Sleepers Week 4 Fantasy Football

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2023

This week’s rundown of fantasy football sleeper picks includes a healthy helping of rookies to consider for lineup usage. As we have seen with first-year guys such as De’Von Achane, Tank Dell, and Sam LaPorta, these NFL newcomers can break out for a big game at any time, so we want to get ahead of the lightning strikes instead of keeping upside types reserved or on the waiver wire.

I also recommend lineup picks from a game that might only stir enthusiasm from fantasy players.

Fantasy Football QB Sleepers for Week 4

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans vs Pittsburgh Steelers

The Texans’ new franchise QB is off to an impressive start to his career. He has passed for four TDs in his last two games, with totals of 280 and 384 passing yards.

The Steelers’ defense leads the NFL with 13 sacks, but Houston will be well-prepared to have Stroud get the ball out quickly. Pittsburgh does get burned when the pass rush does not get home, as it ranks 22nd in the NFL in passing defense.

Houston’s rookie passer ranks fourth in the NFL with 121 passing attempts and he is the top fantasy football waiver wire pickup at the position for Week 4.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears

Both winless teams need this game badly, simply to regain respectability. The Broncos obviously need it worse after taking a historic beating from the Miami Dolphins.

Wilson was not at the center of the most recent avalanche of negativity directed at his team, and he already has two 300-yard games, a rarity for the former Seahawks star even during his best years. The Bears rank 28th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to QBs.

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Fantasy Football RB Sleepers for Week 4

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers

This might be the final week where we can see decent production from Mattison before Cam Akers seriously starts to eat into his reps. The Vikings acquired the ex-Ram to at least operate in a timeshare with Dalvin Cook’s former backup.

The current starter knows that Akers is coming for his job and has one last chance to show that he should still be good enough to stay in the mix and not be completely overtaken. The Panthers have allowed an NFC-high six rushing TDs to RBs and rank 29th in rushing yards allowed to the position.

Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans

We have been reading and hearing much conjecture that Warren could potentially surpass Najee Harris as the Steelers’ lead RB producer. He will get the best chance to do so in Week 4.

Pittsburgh can certainly use an extra offensive spark, and Harris is capable of providing it. Houston ranks 29th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to RBs.

If the Warren bust-out fantasy football performance does not happen this week, he will not appear in this article again.

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears vs Denver Broncos

Chicago desperately needs to establish some balance on offense and might turn to the rookie to boost the running game with more work. The Broncos certainly looked beyond awful against the run last week, so Johnson will be used to probe the same defensive unit and ease some pressure on Justin Fields.

The Bears have reportedly been high on the rookie since the preseason and this is the best week to see what he is capable of with more carries. Denver’s defense may play with some pride, but Johnson can still post quality totals if a good amount of work helps to get him into a rhythm. .

Fantasy Football WR Sleepers for Week 4

Drake London, Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Putting London into lineups so far this season has induced much uneasiness. The Falcons’ passing game has looked very erratic under Desmond Ridder, and the second-year WR has been unreliable as a result.

But the matchup against the Jaguars gives London an opportunity to post quality fantasy totals, as Jacksonville ranks 25th in FFPG allowed to WRs. An end zone visit will seal a satisfying outing for fantasy players.

Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears

Working off the Wilson recommendation, Mims has already emerged as his best big-play threat. He is averaging 27.9 yards per reception so far this season.

I will be pairing Wilson with Mims in some of my Week 4 DFS lineup builds, using them as complements for some of the DFS picks you will find here. The first-year Denver burner is worthy of flex consideration in Week 4.

Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants vs Seattle Seahawks

This is my super-deep Week 4 sleeper who should also be locked into DFS Showdown lineups for the Monday night matchup. Do not hesitate to take the shot with Hyatt in larger seasonal leagues, and you should consider his possible impact when wagering on the Monday night game.

Another potentially explosive rookie, Hyatt has not caught a ball in two of three games, but the Giants desperately need to get him involved in a sagging passing game. He is the one guy they have that can truly threaten defenses downfield.

Hyatt has drawn scouting comparisons to DeSean Jackson, and no one else on the New York roster has his upside (Parris Campbell is averaging 4.3 yards per catch). Seattle has allowed the most receiving yards to opposing WRs among NFC teams.

Fantasy Football TE Sleepers for Week 4

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins

We have not seen Kincaid produce as hoped yet, but this can be the week where he starts to flash more of his considerable promise. A high-flying offensive affair is expected, and Buffalo needs to get the ball to others besides Stefon Diggs to keep pace with the Dolphins.

The Miami defense ranks 25th in FFPG allowed to TEs. if you are itching to bet on the Over in this game, view the projected total among our Week 4 NFL Odds.

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions

The 2023 second-round draft pick of the Packers was targeted eight times in Week 3. The Lions have allowed the most FFPG and receptions (24) to opposing TEs.

Fantasy Football D/ST Sleeper for Week 4

Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants

The Seahawks might allow a big play to Hyatt, but the return of Jamal Adams can lead to more sacks and possible turnovers. According to Pro Football Focus, Seattle generated 36 total pressures in Week 3, the most by any NFL team.

Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers 2023

Fantasy football draft season sits far in the distance, but fantasy players are already starting to think about picking their 2023 teams.

The pile of potential fantasy football sleepers for the upcoming season will feel the fallout from free agency, the NFL Draft, and the schedule release.

With this in mind, The Game Day’s fantasy football crew (Frank Ammirante, Scott Engel, Jeff Hicks, Sam Wagman, and Matt De Lima) delivered their early 2023 fantasy NFL sleepers for drafts. Use these fantasy tips to know which names to highlight on your cheat sheet.

Our staff’s favorite fantasy football preseason sleeper targets for 2023 leagues:

Frank AmmiranteSam HowellKendre MillerTerrace MarshallTrey McBride
Jeff HicksSam HowellAlexander MattisonMichael GallupSam LaPorta
Lance PattonDeshaun WatsonCam AkersTerrace MarshallCade Otton
Matt De LimaKenny PickettKhalil HerbertGeorge PickensDalton Kincaid
Pat PickensAaron RodgersZach CharbonnetGeorge PickensDarren Waller
Sam WagmanJared GoffAntonio GibsonJordan AddisonDalton Kincaid
Scott EngelJordan LoveZach CharbonnetJalin HyattJuwan Johnson

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Fantasy QB Sleepers 2023

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders

The Commanders have shown confidence in 2022 fifth-rounder Sam Howell as the starting quarterback because they didn’t take one in this year’s draft. While Howell will have to compete with veteran Jacoby Brissett, the second-year quarterback is expected to win the job.

This is intriguing for fantasy football due to Howell’s rushing upside. We saw this in his lone start in 2022, where he carried five times for 35 yards and a touchdown. This was also the case in college, as he rushed for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final year at UNC.

Howell has a strong group of pass-catchers, including Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, and Antonio Gibson. Washington also upgraded at play-caller by hiring former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to run the offense.

In other words, this is a young quarterback with a fantasy-friendly profile and strong team context. As of June 1, Howell is going as QB28 in Underdog drafts, making him a significant value, especially in Best Ball formats. — FRANK AMMIRANTE

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

At the peak of his powers, Deshaun Watson was one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL – finishing as a top-5 fantasy QB in his first three seasons as the full-time starter.

After missing nearly two full seasons with well-documented off-the-field issues, Watson didn’t seem sharp last season, but I’m willing to throw out the minuscule six-game sample size – although he did close the year with back-to-back top-10 finishes.

While Watson doesn’t possess the same rushing upside as Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields, he does have the ability and willingness to make plays with his feet. An improved wide-receiving core and another year in the Browns system make this pick a perfect buy-low candidate for a dynamic dual-threat talent. — LANCE PATTON

Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets

Keep counting out Rodgers to your own detriment. The four-time MVP, just a season removed from winning consecutive awards, has made a career proving naysayers wrong.

Rodgers has a loaded group of offensive weapons, notably Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall, who are each in the top 30 in ADP. Plus, the Jets brought in familiar faces Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, and burner Mecole Hardman as wide receiver weapons for the veteran.

Still, Rodgers is ranked 124th and the 17th QB in our fantasy ranks, which suggests he’s a league-average signal-caller. I have a hard time believing that. — PAT PICKENS

(Psst: Some of our writers also picked Aaron Rodgers as one of the top fantasy football busts. Click to see why.)

Fantasy RB Sleepers 2023

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings

There are several reasons to believe Mattison turns the Vikings’ backfield into a 50/50 split or takes over. It has been no secret that the Vikings have wanted to shed salary, with a target on Dalvin Cook‘s contract.

While he is still rostered, the Vikings still felt the need to give Mattison a two-year deal that can average $4 million per season. That is not nothing when looking at the current contracts starting running backs get.

Then there’s the talent factor. Cook has 28 broken tackles in the past two seasons. Mattison has 20 in 305 fewer rushing attempts.

Running backs can break down, and Mattison is showing he has a chance to be a better back than Cook is right now at a sizable discount in drafts. — JEFF HICKS

Samaje Perine, Denver Broncos

Javonte Williams’ progress may be on a slow track as he recovers from a major knee injury, and Perine showed late last year that he could deliver quality production when pressed into additional service. Russell Wilson will need a quality ground game and a reliable pass-catching RB to support him in his effort to bounce back from his worst season.

If Williams is not ready to start the season on time, the former Bengal might be ticketed for a significant role as soon as the schedule opens. Over the longer term, Perine will at least operate in a timeshare, and it is possible he could be the more productive of the two Denver RBs for a long stretch.

Denver’s offense will have more potency under Sean Payton, and Perine can be more versatile than Williams. He has some additional promise as a pass-catcher and frequently utilized RB in an improved offense, so Perine has a potential floor as a quality flex option. — SCOTT ENGEL

While we wait for fantasy draft season, peek at our top NFL futures odds, then continue reading:

Fantasy WR Sleepers 2023

Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants

The Giants committed to Daniel Jones in the offseason with a new contract. They also ventured to provide him with more playmakers, and Hyatt could quickly make a splash in New York as a unique weapon for Jones.

The wide receiver depth chart is open for a talent like Hyatt. In its preseason scouting report, the NFL’s official website compared him to DeSean Jackson.

Hyatt may prove to be an instant upside performer. He has a tremendous deep gear and TD promise, and the former Tennessee star should flash his upside early in his rookie year.

Listed at 6-foot-0 and 180 pounds, Hyatt must add more bulk and refine his intermediate and short passing techniques. But he can progress fundamentally throughout the regular season, and New York’s third-round draft pick is a nifty fantasy WR depth target in the final rounds of seasonal drafts. — SCOTT ENGEL

George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers

What attracted scouts to Pickens ahead of last year’s NFL Draft had to be his body control and ability to manipulate himself to get into position to catch the football. Acrobatic catches and high-pointing the football are part and parcel of Pickens’s talent.

In what was a good, but not great rookie season last year, Pickens lacked consistent production—but, this was an issue across the entire Steelers offense. Look for him to climb the fantasy football rankings through the preseason.

Looking ahead to 2023, Kenny Pickett is bound to have a positive regression in his touchdown totals. Furthermore, by the end of the year, it will be clear that Pickens is the leader of this receiving corps over Diontae Johnson. — MATT DE LIMA

Fantasy TE Sleepers 2023

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills

It’s always hard to rely on a rookie tight end because they tend to start slowly, given all the intricacies of the position.

Just look at Kyle Pitts, the most heralded rookie the NFL had seen in years. He had over 1,000 receiving yards, but he struggled to score touchdowns in an offense more concerned with running the football than passing it.

I’m willing to throw many of those preconceived notions away here, though, because I don’t think that Kincaid will play a true tight-end role in his rookie season. I believe he acts more as a hybrid wide receiver/tight end while incumbent tight end Dawson Knox lines up in line, and the Bills run more two tight end sets.

The Bills are one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL and desperately need a player to step up as the WR2. Look for Kincaid to try and fill that role. — SAM WAGMAN

What are Fantasy Football Sleepers?

A fantasy football sleeper can mean one of two things. Either a relatively unknown player who has a big year or a player who takes the next step forward and significantly outperforms expectations with career-best statistics.

Generally speaking, a sleeper is a player undervalued during fantasy football drafts. It’s important to be mindful of fantasy football average draft position (ADP) when judging whether or not a player is a good value, sleeper, or breakout.

How to Identify a Fantasy Football Sleeper

The best way to identify or find sleepers for the upcoming season is to think about each player’s context and past history. For example, if a player moves from a backup role to a starter.

Here are a few more ways to find sleepers:

  • Players who emerge, show improvement and play really well late in the previous season.
  • Players who played through injuries in the previous season. They may finally be healthy and improve this season.
  • Head coach or offensive coordinator changes often result in roles shifting.
  • Positive regression. IE Diontae Johnson caught 86 passes in 2022 but had no touchdowns. No WR ever had that many catches without a TD. A positive regression suggests a more statistically in-line touchdown total (averaged ~7 TDs in his first three years).


Scott Engel

Scott Engel is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously he was at and The Athletic. His work is also featured at RotoBaller and on Scott is a host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 13-time finalist. He was an Associate Editor and featured writer at and his career began at CBS SportsLine, where he was a Senior Writer and Managing Editor. Scott was the Managing Director at RotoExperts.

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