It’s hard to believe we are finishing up Week 4 and nearly a quarter of the way through the NFL season, but here we are. There’s no need to overreact, but four weeks is a good enough sample size to take an honest look at your roster. Is it time to step into contender status and look to add some pieces? Is it time to begin the dreaded rebuilding process?
Whichever way you’re leaning, now is a good time to move on some players whose market has not yet caught up with their updated value.
Let’s take a lake at some of them.
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Dynasty Fantasy Football Risers & Fallers
Anthony Richardson (QB – IND)
After dominating the underwear Olympics, Anthony Richardson quickly became the prize of the rookie quarterback class. Still, it’s difficult to project how young quarterbacks will adapt to the NFL early in their career, particularly those who are effective runners. Although Richardson’s mobility led to an early exit during Week 2 and missing Week 3, the rookie signal-caller has topped 20 points in each of his complete games.
On Sunday, Richardson connected on just 11 of 25 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns, but he rushed for 56 yards and another score for 29.6 fantasy points. In his two-and-a-half games, Richardson has already run for 131 yards and four touchdowns. He’s topped 200 yards passing in both games he finished and has just one interception.
One of the best things about Richardson’s start with the Colts is that they’re letting him air it out and using his rushing ability as a compliment rather than the inverse, evidenced by his 62 pass attempts in his two full games.
Finishing as QB4 and QB2 in those games, respectively, it’s scary that Richardson may be closer to his floor than his ceiling.
D’Andre Swift (RB – PHI)
D’Andre Swift has now strung together three weeks of impressive performances. Although this Sunday yielded his lowest rushing total during that stretch, he still finished as the RB12 with 17.9 fantasy points. Even more noteworthy than that was the further intel gained on the running back rotation. Last week, Swift and Kenneth Gainwell rotated quarters, which was similar to this week until they gave Gainwell two series in the third quarter before giving Swift the keys for the remainder of the game.
Gainwell isn’t going away, but it’s a positive sign that the team was willing to deviate from the standard rotation. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t believe Swift had the vision to succeed, but it’s clear to anybody who does have a vision that he’s the more explosive running back. When the offensive line opens running lanes like the Eagles do, vision takes a backseat to explosiveness, which is where Swift excels.
Jake Ferguson (TE – DAL)
With Peyton Hendershot inactive, Jake Ferguson took advantage with seven receptions for 77 yards on Sunday. It was the best game of his career, even though Hendershot’s absence didn’t lead to more playing time. Instead, Ferguson kept his normal role while Luke Schoonmaker stepped into Hendershot’s role. The positive sign is that Ferguson is rolling out a 27% target share in a good offense. He doesn’t necessarily need to be on the field all the time if the Cowboys continue to get him the ball when he’s on the field.
Michael Wilson (WR – ARI)
The third-round rookie out of Stanford began generating hype during training camp, but the hype train has largely been quiet, with other rookies stealing the show. Michael Wilson stepped back into the spotlight on Sunday with 76 yards and two scores on seven receptions. His 26.6 fantasy points were good enough for WR6 on the week, and has now topped 50 yards in three straight games. His 2.30 yards per route run this season ranks second of 13 rookie wide receivers with at least 50 routes per PFF.
The Cardinals offense figured to be a black hole, but they’re competitive every week, and Wilson is becoming an intriguing player.
Jaleel McLaughlin (RB – DEN)
An undrafted rookie out of Youngstown State, Jaleel McLaughlin making the Broncos roster out of training camp was an upset. At 5-foot-9 and 187 pounds, McLaughlin isn’t going to threaten Javonte Williams for an every down role, but he did rush seven times for 72 yards and caught three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. Williams left the game early with a hip flexor injury but isn’t expected to miss extended time.
Still, Sean Payton said after the game that McLaughlin’s role will continue to expand after calling his game “outstanding.” He may never be a high-level fantasy asset, but the offense benefits when he touches the ball and may carve out a steady role moving forward.
Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL)
We can debate whether the issue here is with Arthur Smith, Desmond Ridder, or Kyle Pitts himself, but the fact of the matter is that the fantasy output is leaving a lot to be desired. If Pitts’ lack of production isn’t frustrating enough, Jonnu Smith‘s line of 95 yards on six catches in Week 4 should get you there. With Pitts posting just two catches for 21 yards on Sunday, Jonnu has now outproduced Pitts in fantasy points in two of four weeks while tying him in another.
Smith has tallied 179 yards across the last three weeks compared to Pitts’ 77. We’re trending towards another lost season for Pitts’ talent. He may still hit big eventually, but at some point, we will no longer be able to cash in on his upside.
Raheem Mostert (RB – MIA)
The Dolphins offense is good enough to support Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane, but it may not be good enough to support them both, along with Jeff Wilson, who is expected to return from injured reserve (IR) in the coming weeks. Regardless, Achane is making his bid to be the team’s primary ball carrier after another dazzling performance in Week 4.
The rookie carried eight times for 101 yards and two touchdowns while adding three catches for 19 yards. Mostert wasn’t so effective, finishing with seven carries for nine yards and three catches for 36 yards. The two split snaps nearly evenly through two and a half carries before Achane became the go-to guy and finished with 39 snaps compared to Mostert’s 28.
Miles Sanders (RB – CAR)
The Panthers prized offseason acquisition was out-snapped and out-produced by Chuba Hubbard on Sunday. Hubbard played 38 snaps to Sanders’ 32 snaps, with both players garnering 16 touches. Sanders managed 32 yards on those touches, while Hubbard tallied 54. It’s worth noting that Sanders is dealing with a hamstring issue and may have been slowed by that, but Sanders has struggled all season.
He’s rushed for just 158 yards through four games and has failed to reach 50 yards on the ground since Week 1. He has provided some production through the air, but Chuba Hubbard has looked like the superior back thus far.
Sean Tucker (RB – TB)
Sean Tucker became a fantasy darling during the draft process, only to go undrafted and take the wind out of fantasy managers’ sails. After latching on with the Bucs, Tucker received glowing reviews and appeared to be the team’s backup running back. After a few weeks of limited results, the wind has once again been removed from the sails of Tucker supporters. Ke’Shawn Vaughn operated as the team’s backup with Chase Edmonds on injured reserve, while Tucker did not play a single offensive snap.
If you’re looking for a sliver of hope with Tucker, Vaughn still hasn’t shown he can play, and starter Rachaad White continues to deliver inefficiency on a weekly basis. This backfield is begging for somebody to step up.