Home Sports Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 4: Model that beat experts says start Mecole Hardman, sit Adam Thielen – CBS Sports

Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 4: Model that beat experts says start Mecole Hardman, sit Adam Thielen – CBS Sports

16 min read

With major NFL injury news pouring in on a weekly basis and stars like Saquon Barkley (ankle), Tyreek Hill (collarbone), Drew Brees (thumb) and Cam Newton (Lisfranc) all sidelined for the foreseeable future, owners are scouring the latest Week 4 Fantasy football rankings. Their goal: work the Fantasy football waiver wire and create the right lineup combinations to survive the meat of the 2019 NFL schedule. With a number of marquee games taking place in Week 4, finding matchups to exploit is key to coming away with a win. The red-hot Kansas City Chiefs have another juicy matchup against the Detroit Lions in a game whose total is 54 this week. If you’re a Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Sammy Watkins owner, they’ve probably already worked their way into automatic-start territory. But for more difficult start or sit decisions, you need to see the Fantasy football rankings from the proven computer model at SportsLine. They’ll help you make optimal Fantasy football picks for Week 4 and beyond.

When it comes to ranking players, their model beat human experts in Fantasy football last season when there were big differences in ranking. And the model was closest to the hole overall, meaning it best pinpointed where every player would finish each week. Over the course of a season, that could literally be the difference between winning your league or going home empty-handed.

Last week, the model was extremely high on Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, saying he’d finish as a top-five player at his position despite being started in less than 50 percent of leagues. The result: Winston threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns against the Giants, finishing as the overall QB5. Anybody who had him in their lineup was well on their way to a huge week.

Now the model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has revealed its 2019 Fantasy football rankings for Week 4 of the NFL season. One player the model is high on this week: Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman. After receiving just one target in his debut, the rookie has taken on a larger role in Kansas City’s offense in the two weeks since Hill was shut down. 

Hardman has received 11 total targets the last two weeks and hauled in six passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. With 4.33-second speed in the 40-yard-dash, he might not be as nuanced a receiver as Hill, but he does give the Chiefs a vertical element they’re looking for. With Mahomes attacking downfield relentlessly, the value in that is inherent. That’s why SportsLine’s Week 4 Fantasy football rankings list Hardman as the No. 18 wide receiver, a rock-solid WR2, even though he’s being started in just 18 percent of CBS Sports leagues and still available in 40 percent.

And a massive shocker: Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, who’s recorded a touchdown catch in two of his first three games, stumbles big-time and doesn’t even crack the top 25. 

Thielen put up solid numbers in Minnesota’s victory against the Raiders on Sunday, finishing with three receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown and adding a one-yard rushing score. However, Thielen and the Vikings must travel Soldier Field this week to face the Bears, who feature an extremely disruptive defense that is giving up just 13 points per game. 

Plus, Thielen has struggled mightily against Chicago in recent years, failing to score a touchdown while recording fewer than 70 yards receiving in his last six meetings against the Bears. He’s a player to consider putting on the bench in Week 4 and is squarely out of the WR1 conversation.

The model is also calling for a surprising quarterback you aren’t even thinking about to finish in the top 10 of its Week 4 Fantasy football rankings. This player could be the difference between winning big and going home with nothing.

So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 4 Fantasy football rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

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