Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 4

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 4

Fantasy football player trends

Fantasy Football Market Report: Week 4

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It’s never too early to talk about fantasy football’s Most Valuable Player candidates, but, three weeks into the season, the race doesn’t even seem close – it’s Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Jackson took a page from New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who couldn’t come to an agreement with the Yankees on a long-term contract and opted to play 2022 on a “prove it” deal and is chasing down the all-time single-season American League home run record. Jackson and the Ravens couldn’t reach an agreement, and he decided to play out 2022 to prove he’s worth a mega-deal – even with a supporting cast mostly devoid of stars.

We all know about his running ability and nothing has changed there – he has rushed 26 times for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson’s passing prowess wasn’t expected. Through three weeks, he has thrown for 749 yards and 10 touchdowns – three or more passing TDs in every game.

Jackson took a risk by gambling on himself, but, if he stays healthy and these numbers continue, he will cash in heavily at the end of the season – and will have earned his astronomical second contract.

Here is the Week 4 Fantasy Football Market Report.

Fantasy football risers

Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson – I’ve been a detractor of the Falcons making Patterson their featured running back, but I have to admit the results have been impressive so far this season. Despite having just one carry of more than 18 yards, Patterson is averaging 100 yards rushing a game, has scored two touchdowns, is averaging 6.2 yards a carry and has twice as many 100-yard rushing games (2) than Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler combined. I’m still not sold on his being a weekly fantasy starter, but I’m coming around to that line of thinking.

Detroit Lions RB Jamaal Williams – For the second time in three weeks Williams posted two-touchdown games. With D’Andre Swift apparently on pitch count due to ankle and shoulder injuries, Williams has taken over – carrying 32 times in the last two games compared to just 12 for Swift. Even if Swift returns to the role of the primary back, Williams is going to have a significant role, especially near the goal line. Early reports suggest Swift is expected to a couple of games.

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith – There were some concerns for those who had Smith on their rosters after Week 1. Newcomer and Jalen Hurts bestie A.J. Brown was targeted 13 times in the opener, catching 10 passes for 155 yards while Smith was targeted just four times and caught none – the first goose egg of his career. Those concerns have gone away. In the last two games, Smith has been targeted 19 times, catching 15 passes for 249 yards and one TD – all numbers equal to or better than Brown’s in the same span (18-10-154-1).

Chicago Bears RB Khalil Herbert – Sometimes opportunities are all a player needs to make an impact. When David Montgomery went down early with knee and ankle injuries in Sunday’s game with the Houston Texans, Herbert realized his opportunity to be the lead back and responded with 20 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Nobody should be shocked. When Montgomery missed four games last year, Herbert responded with 78 carries for 344 yards and a touchdown against four 2021 playoff teams (Raiders, Packers, Buccaneers and 49ers). If Montgomery is sidelined for an extended period, Herbert will be in a great spot.

Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson – The expectation was that 2021 first-round draft pick Travis Etienne was going to replace Robinson as the primary back in the Jaguars offense. Robinson hasn’t given up the starting job without a fight. He has almost twice as many carries and rushing yards (51-230) than Etienne (26-112), and Robinson has scored four touchdowns – at least one in every game.

Fantasy football fallers

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady – You can’t put the lack of production of the Bucs offense solely on Brady – each of his top three wide receivers has missed time already this season. That said, Tampa Bay’s offense has been brutal. In three games, the Bucs haven’t scored a touchdown in the first half – the only team in the league to do that – and Brady has accounted for just three touchdowns (one in each game). He is averaging only 224 passing yards, and that number would be worse if not for having to throw 42 times against Green Bay last Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson – In the opener against Green Bay, the Packers had no answer for Jefferson, who caught nine passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns. However, Philadelphia and Detroit made a concerted effort to take Jefferson away from Kirk Cousins – consistently rolling safeties over to bracket-cover him. The result has been just nine catches on 18 targets for 62 yards and no touchdowns. The Vikings will have to find new ways to get him the ball or defenses will continue to blanket him.

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon – The Bengals haven’t been setting the world on fire, but Mixon was drafted to be a low-end RB1 or high-end RB2 and has been neither in totality. He has averaged just 2.8 yards a carry on 58 attempts (58-163), and his next touchdown in 2022 will be his first TD of the season. Mixon hasn’t been a consistent double-digit touchdown scorer (just once in his career), but he is expected to be a yardage hog and that hasn’t been happening either.

Houston Texans WR Brandin Cooks – In most fantasy leagues, there are only two Texans on rosters – Cooks and RB Dameon Pierce. Pierce has been gaining steam while Cooks has seen a decline in targets, receptions and yards in each of Houston’s three games. He has just 13 catches for 158 yards and no touchdowns, which could have him heading to fantasy benches in droves.

New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara – Kamara was expected to be the centerpiece of the Saints offense but has been a bomb in the two games he has played. He has just 24 carries for 100 yards and five receptions for 19 yards. There are a lot of question marks in the Saints offense, but Kamara wasn’t expected to be one of them. His only saving grace is that he gets Minnesota this week in London. The last time they played Kamara rushed for 155 yards and scored six touchdowns. So there’s that.

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