Week 4 Fantasy Football Return League Rankings

Antonio Brown

Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs after a pass reception against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Tennessee Titans won 16-9. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Through three weeks, we have seen enough to understand what everyone’s special teams role is. The rankings look very different this week because we have eliminated Randall Cobb, DeSean Jackson, and Wes Welker since those guys don’t figure to make enough of a difference with minimal return opportunities.

Return leagues can get crazy. Some guys’ value is entirely reliant on return yards while others improve already solid numbers with a serviceable amount of returns. We’ll try to make sense of that here so let’s take a look at how the return league big board is shaping up as we head into week 4.

Rank Wk 3 Rank Player

2013
RET Yards

2013 RET TD

2013
Total FPS

2013 PPR FPS

Notes

1 2 Darren Sproles

104

0

33.2

49.2

Sproles has had a quiet start but I still have him above any other returner. He added 53 return yards this week, an additional 5.3 points to make up for an otherwise lackluster 17 rush yard/39 reception yard performance. It’s the second game this season that he eclipsed 100 all purpose yards and he’s a killer in PPR formats.

2 6 Antonio Brown

58

0

50.6

70.6

Brown had a monster 9-196-2 performance against the Bengals but don’t expect feats like that often. This makes up for his 5-71-0 in Week 1 and 6-57-0 in Week 2 but he does not put up elite numbers often. With just four return yards this week and 58 on the season, he helps his offensive numbers ever so slightly.

3 4 Julian Edelman

133

0

45.8

72.8

Edelman is a PPR machine but a standard league dud. Good thing he has a steady flow of punt returns to keep him more than relevant in standard return leagues and a must-start in PPR return leagues.

4 9 Tavon Austin

23

0

27.1

45.1

Austin has barely made a dent as a returner but 2.3 extra points can be a big difference in a game where even 0.5 points can spell defeat in any given week. He’s a good PPR starter but not always reliable in standard return leagues.

5 13 Ted Ginn Jr.

122

0

39.6

46.6

Ginn had much less return yardage with the Giants unable to score a single point but he continues to show off some newfound offense prowess with a 3-71-1 line. He’ll get a lot more return yards in most games and is a must-start in return leagues as he continues to get a lot more looks than usual.

6 12 Cordarrelle Patterson

262

1

45.5

50.5

Patterson added 59 return yards on Sunday which made his 2-49-0 line on the day a serviceable one in return leagues. He’s an explosive returner who figures to pile up a lot of yards and get about three receptions a game.

7 11 Golden Tate

136

0

32.3

42.3

Tate had an interesting all-around day against the Jags, putting up 29 rushing yards, 88 receiving yards, and 33 return yards. He usually gets more return yards but less offensive yards but as you can see, second rate starters who also add even a small chunk of return yards can be weekly starters in return leagues.

8 7 Keshawn Martin

323

0

39.5

42.5

Martin added another 73 return yards to an already impressive total and also caught two passes for 35 yards for a solid 10.8 Week 3 effort. Like Patterson, he figures to get a ton of return yardage and a few receptions to make him startable.

9 22 Damaris Johnson

305

0

30.5

30.5

Damaris is the top ranked returner who never plays any offensive snaps and I usually shy away from those guys but he’s different. Not only is he an explosive returner who put up 92 yards this week and 186 yards in Week 2 but he plays on an Eagles team that gives opponents a ton of opportunities to score, especially field goals. More scores means more kick returns for Damaris, who also returned all three punts on Thursday.

10 8 David Wilson

145

0

18

18

It’s been a miserable start for Wilson and the Giants offense but he did add 24 return yards to a solid season total and has nowhere to go but up.

11 10 T.Y. Hilton

46

0

20.3

31.3

Hilton hasn’t made a big dent on offense or special teams but I still have hope after his 6-124-0 performance in Week 2 (just 2-13-0 in Week 3).

12 16 Jacquizz Rodgers

17

0

15.7

22.7

Rodgers didn’t have a chance to return any kicks on Sunday but is a valuable add over the next few weeks with Steven Jackson out.

13 15 Jeremy Kerley

46

0

11.5

16.5

Kerley returned from a concussion and added 18 punt return yards to a 2-25-0 line. He’ll usually get more looks when Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill aren’t constantly open – and more punt return yardage too.

14 19 Harry Douglas

29

0

15.4

24.4

Like Rodgers, Douglas wasn’t able to make a dent in the return picture this week and also put up a paltry 1-9-0 line. He’s droppable in most leagues until he flashes some of that Week 1 4-93-0 ability again.

15 14 LeGarrette Blount

84

0

17.5

17.5

Blount led the Pats in rushing and added 24 return yards this week, we’ll see how the Pats’ backfield plays out.

16 17 Trindon Holliday

225

1

28.5

28.5

The problem with returners is that they’re only good when the other team scores a lot. With the Broncos facing Oakland, Holliday only got a chance to return for 34 yards after a 155 yard, one touchdown performance against the Giants a week earlier. He has his uses but he shouldn’t be started every week, especially against weak teams in Denver where the ball is rarely returnable on kickoffs anyway.

17 18 Dexter McCluster

136

0

19.1

25.1

Although the Chiefs won, McCluster only added one reception and 15 return yards. He’s probably not startable in any league.

18 21 Felix Jones

102

0

16.6

18.6

Jones put up 34 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards, and 48 return yards for a Week 3 total of 9.5 FPS (11.5 PPR). With LeVeon Bell returning, however, Jones value is definitely going to plummet.

19 20 Devin Hester

307

0

30.7

30.7

Like Holliday, Hester only got the chance to return for 26 yards just a week removed from a 249 yard day. He’s too unreliable to use.

*FPS based on Yahoo standard scoring.

Off the Big Board: Wes Welker (0 returns), DeSean Jackson (0 returns), Randall Cobb (0 returns)

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Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.
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