Baker Mayfield is the new starting quarterback for the Browns and it is amazing. When he entered the game on Thursday Night in Week 3, the crowd popped like when Daniel Bryan won the WWE title back at WrestleMania XXX (I was there with DeAngelo Williams and former Browns tight end Gary Barnidge, Danger Zone!). The crowd was just waiting for the moment to happen and they loved it. Just like they did in Cleveland. Even the players seemed super-stoked for the moment. They were high-fiving. Plus, if I didn't know better, it looked like they were running harder on both sides of the ball. What a great moment.
Especially, when you consider what Josh Rosen walked into. The crowd clapped politely. Like if Steve McMichael was a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble. It was nice, but yeah. And, his teammates didn't seem into it. They looked at him like you look at your co-worker who takes her food out of the microwave with three seconds left on the clock and doesn't hit reset. No surprise, it didn't work out for the Birds.
This week, I'm not playing Rosen. But, I'm going to start Mayfield in just about all the leagues I was able to grab him in. Hell, I had him already rostered on a few super-flex leagues. Let's go!
Here are my remaining Week 4 sleepers:
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
I have Dalton as my QB4 heading into this week. The Falcons defense has been reeling in recent weeks as Cam Newton and Drew Brees both threw three touchdowns against Atlanta. And I know lumping Dalton in with that crew is like an SAT question where you try to find the one who doesn't belong. But when you look at the Falcons injuries in the secondary to S Keanu Neal (ACL) and S Ricardo Allen (Achilles), the Falcons are more than suspect on the back end. Also, consider Tyler Boyd a must-start and John Ross as a sleeper if A.J. Green is out this week.
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco is right in the middle when it comes to fantasy quarterbacks this season. He's had at least two touchdowns in four of his last five games. The Steelers have allowed an average of 3.3 touchdown passes per game. Plus, the Steelers and Ravens tilt's are typically tepid in the way of fantasy production. The two teams combined for 77 points in their primetime affair last year.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
Of all the quarterbacks advocated here, this is the one I feel the worst about. Mostly because it's Eli Manning. He's like a former WrestleMania headliner who is now saddled in the mid-card putting over the younger stars. But everyone once in a while, they let those stars go over. Eli has his chance here against the Saints who have allowed the third-most passing yards this season. They are 28th in stops, according to Pro Football Focus.
Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
He will have a bigger role as Rex Burkhead was added to the injured reserve list. But the Patriots were already leaning that way. He was just two snaps behind James White last week (25 to 23) but he did well out-pace the field with 14 attempts and was targeted just as many times as White (3) against the Lions. I know a lot of you were stung if you listened to me last week about Michel. Just count that as being a week ahead.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
The Packers are infatuated with a running back by committee, but the eyeball test leads me to believe Jones is the best runner in that backfield. He averaged nearly four yards after contact on his six attempts. Fifty-percent of his carries resulted in a first down or touchdown. If you're struggling with a replacement for Christian McCaffrey, Adrian Peterson or Chris Thompson, I would consider Jones.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
Shepard was one of my favorite players coming out of the preseason, and a guy I had rostered all over the place. He hasn't really done a lot this season, but he got some more production after Evan Engram (knee) left the game in Week 3. Shepard had a season-high seven targets which he turned into six receptions for 80 yards. And as stated above, if we love the matchup for Eli Manning, it only stands to reason it plays for his receivers as well. Rhett Ellison is also a super deep sleeper play at tight end, but I wouldn't expect him to impact Shepard's value.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers
Allison still trailed Davante Adams and Randall Cobb in terms of target share and snaps, he just looks like a more explosive player than Cobb at this point. Allison is kind of receiver who would earn playing time based on his ability for just about any other team. But, this is Mike McCarthy and the Packers, so Allison had better enjoy fetching water for Cobb. I kid. But, based on talent and the matchup against the Bills -- I'd feel comfortable. Seriously. Aaron Rodgers is like the NFL version of Clayton Kershaw. Give him an overmatched opponent in a seemingly meaningless regular-season game and he doesn't miss.
Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Yes, I was crushing Rosen above. But the dude has talent and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt of being put into a tough situation. Kirk has played well this season, but he certainly raised eyebrows with his seven receptions for 90 yards against the Bears. The Cardinals defense could put the team in a negative game script this week, and the rookie quarterback could start throwing the ball heavily against Seattle.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
We've all wanted to make John Ross a thing for the longest time. Kind of like the way we want Cesaro as world champion happen in the WWE. But, it just doesn't seem like it's ever going to happen. I'm at least hopeful for Cesaro. Still, Boyd has become the WR2 we envisioned opposite of A.J. Green. His production has risen over the past three weeks of the season as Dalton's trust in him continues to grow.
Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears
Look, I love Matt Nagy. I get he's the smartest guy in the room. A trend for the bald dudes for sure. But, how about we dumb down this offense for Mitch a little bit? He's only been a starting quarterback in college and pro for two seasons. Let's ease him in. Don't go full John Fox. How about something less exotic? For example, you teach somebody to juggle by giving them tennis balls. You don't throw him a couple of chainsaws. Let's get Burton involved over the middle, please? I guess this wasn't really a breakdown a more of a wish list. Sue me.