When identifying potential sleepers, snap count and target share is the name of the game. The difference between a player being a sleeper or just some bench piece is a very fine line. It is all about how productive a player can be with the limited looks that they receive. It is also important to consider their matchup and their team’s offensive scheme. The conclusion of Week 3 has left us with some more interesting data points. Based off of that, here are four candidates who could turn themselves into NFL Week 4 sleepers.
Week 4 Sleepers
Darnell Mooney – WR, Chicago Bears
It has been an ugly start for Darnell Mooney. In the first two games of the 2022 season, Mooney accumulated 4 receiving yards. That’s if we’re being technical. He contributed 8 yards in Week 1’s aqua bowl, and erased half of that total by losing 4 yards in Week 2. This past week was slightly better, I guess. He turned a team-high six targets into 23 yards. That’s a 35% target share, which under normal circumstances would be a green flag. But seeing as Justin Fields only tossed the rock 17 times, it’s really not that impressive.
The Bears’ Week 4 opponent, the Giants, ceded 66 yards on 6 catches to rookie WR Kyle Phillips in Week 1. They were then exploited for an additional 43 yards and a touchdown by DJ Moore and the Panthers in Week 2. Baker Mayfield hooking up with DJ against the Blue Men gives me hope that Fields and Mooney are able to do the same. If not, then unfortunately this Week 4 Sleepers pick turns right into a drop candidate.
Zack Moss – RB, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are coming off a heartbreaking (and tablet breaking) loss to the Miami Dolphins. In this loss, three Bills’ RBs managed to combine for only 62 yards on the ground. In fact, it was Josh Allen who led the team in rushing with 47 yards. Moss was the runner-up with 46 yards on only four attempts. That’s an impressive 11.5 yards per carry. Moss’ running mate Devin Singletary accounted for nine carries, but only picked up 13 yards. Moss has been the more “productive” runner for a couple of weeks now, but Singletary’s pass-catching has kept him on the field.
Buffalo Bills coach destroys a Microsoft Surface tablet pic.twitter.com/CsxvbMTPv9
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports2) September 25, 2022
Moss makes the Week 4 sleepers list because this is a team that knows what they have to do to get back on the winning track. When they were at their peak last season, the Bills we’re effective in running the football. I believe that the OC will get back those ways next week when the Bills get the Baltimore Ravens. This isn’t the Ravens of old, you can actually run the ball on this team. Just ask Rhamondre Stevenson. Heck, just as Damien Harris. Hell, just ask…Mac Jones!? The trio each scored a TD on the ground last week. Stevenson totaled 73 yards on the ground and Harris compiled 43. This is a good spot for Moss to get one of those goal-line looks we’ve all been expecting to see. Save a tablet, ride a Moss.
Noah Fant – TE, Seattle Seahawks
At least one of the Week 4 sleepers had to be a tight end right? The position is thinner than expected this season with big name players not really producing at the volume we thought (not talking about you Mark Andrews, keep doing your thing). Fant himself hasn’t been the producer for his team that many were expecting. While he hasn’t produced the big numbers yet, he has been consistently involved in the game plan/passing attack. Fant has has at least two catches in all three weeks. That’s not the worst out of a tight end on a team that has historically favored the run over the pass.
Look for Fant to get even more involved in his Week 4 matchup against the Detroit Lions. The Lions have been involved in three straight shootouts. When they step on the field points follow. That’s what happens when you’ve got a potent (yes, I said it, potent) offense and a sketchy defense. Dallas Goedert got busy on them Week 1 to the tune of 3-60-0. Logan Thomas did Logan Thomas things in Week 2 with a 3-37-1 line. I foresee the Lions putting up numbers in this matchup, forcing Geno to air the ball out a bit more than planned.
Josh Reynolds – WR, Detroit Lions
Did someone say shootout? Why yes, I did. With Amon-Ra St. Brown on the mend, Josh Reynolds could see himself atop the Week 4 sleepers rankings. Reynolds was a little quiet to start things off, but if you check out his snap percentages through the first three weeks (80,72,79), you’ll notice that he’s always been a part of the scheme. When Amon-Ra St. Brown’s ankle starting acting up, it was Reynolds that emerged with a 10 targets, which he turned into six grabs and 96 yards.
As mentioned above, the Lions get the Seahawks next week. There’s a reason that they’re the Seahawks and not the ball hawks. In Week 1 Jerry Juedy torched them with 102 and a score and this past week they let rookie WR Drake London muscle into the end zone for a score. With Brown and RB D’Andre Swift both nursing injuries, the sky is the limit for Reynolds, he just has to capitalize.
Goff serves up a DIME to his old friend Josh Reynolds!
— NFL (@NFL) November 25, 2021