Box scores never tell the whole story, so which fantasy options are rising and falling heading into Week 5? If you want to completely dominate your league, consider Fantasy Consigliere for premium analytics and next-level advice for all your leagues, all year long.
Stock up: Derek Carr, OAK
There was reason to be very optimistic about Derek Carr entering the season, as Jon Gruden’s offense was poised set him up for some big-time numbers. Through four games, that’s happened with a season-long pace of 5,492 passing yards (which would be an NFL record), and I think the huge overtime win in which Carr threw for 437 yards and four touchdowns will give he and the team confidence the rest of the way. The 27-year-old is arguably a QB1 for October with games against the Chargers, Seahawks, and Colts.
Stock down: Josh Allen, BUF
I thought Josh Allen could have had a productive fantasy day in Week 4 against Green Bay, but he struggled with 151 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions through the air while adding just 19 scoreless yards on the ground. The bottom line is that Allen is extremely talented and will probably have more QB1 days based on his ability as a rusher, but he’s going to be very volatile all year as he learns on the job surrounded by the worst supporting cast in the league.
Stock up: T.J. Yeldon, JAX
It sounds like Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is going to miss at least two games after re-aggravating the injury on Sunday, so that sets T.J. Yeldon up for a lead role once again. The Alabama product is best viewed as a low-end RB2/FLEX option most weeks, but he could be a legitimate RB1 in Week 5 against a Kansas City defense that hasn’t tackled anyone this year. Yeldon is easily the top waiver-wire pickup tonight if he’s still available in your league.
Stock up: Nick Chubb, CLE
I loved Nick Chubb coming out of Georgia, as he has an old-school running style, but the new-school explosiveness to be a star in today’s NFL. That was on full display against the Raiders, with the rookie rushing three times for 105 yards and two touchdowns to become the first player in league history to have 100+ yards and multiple touchdowns on three or fewer carries. I think Chubb needs to be added in all leagues as the top handcuff in football with increasing standalone value.
Stock down: Dalvin Cook, MIN
The woes of Leonard Fournette this season could be a lesson to both Dalvin Cook owners and the Vikings in general, as the last thing anyone needs is for the dynamic second-year back to suffer a setback because he came back before he was at full health. Unfortunately, the Vikings already seem to be testing their luck by playing Cook in Week 4, and it’s impossible to tell how many snaps he will play if he’s active again this weekend. That could be the case until he’s declared 100%, which could be a while if Cook keeps pushing through the injury. He looks like a risky FLEX right now.
Stock down: Chris Carson, SEA
After a heavy workload in Week 3 with 32 carries, Chris Carson (hip) was inactive for Sunday’s win against the Cardinals, and it came at the worst possible time; backup Mike Davis rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns, while first-round pick Rashaad Penny got in on the action with nine carries for 49 yards. Now, the Seahawks will likely use a full-blown committee, so while Carson is still the guy to own in my opinion, he is just a low-floor FLEX.
Stock up: Cooper Kupp, LAR
So, I don’t think defensive coordinators were able to find a way to stop the Rams in the offseason, and that’s partly due to the growth of Cooper Kupp in the slot. The 25-year-old went off for nine receptions for 162 yards and two scores against the Vikings last Thursday night, and he’s on pace for a 96/1,392/16 line that doesn’t seem completely unrealistic with the schedule softening up for Los Angeles. Kupp is safe to keep in lineups as a weekly low-end WR2/FLEX option in all formats.
Stock up: Josh Gordon, NE
Simply getting on the field was probably the biggest hurdle Josh Gordon had to overcome in New England, and he immediately saw significant playing time for what should turn into a high-powered passing attack. The superstar receiver nearly found the end zone on one of his two receptions in his team debut, and Gordon is probably going to be a difference-maker whether or not he plays a full compliment of snaps at any point this season. Plus, things should only open up with Julian Edelman returning to man the slot and Chris Hogan kicking back outside.
Stock down: Michael Crabtree, BAL
Michael Crabtree had a quality start to the season with lines of 3/38/1, 5/56, and 7/61, but he failed to do damage in a dream matchup on Sunday night against the Steelers, catching just three passes for 29 yards. The veteran doesn’t bring enough big-play ability to overcome a lack of targets with John Brown on the outside and Willie Snead in the slot, but perhaps things will open up soon. For now, consider Crabtree a decent FLEX rather than the low-end WR2 some fantasy owners were hoping for.
Stock down: Demaryius Thomas, DEN
Everyone got on Case Keenum for “missing” the throw to Demaryius Thomas down the right sideline in last night’s loss to the Chiefs, but it looked to me like the veteran slowed his route down like he wasn’t expecting the pass to come his way. Of course, we don’t know how they are coached, and maybe Thomas was supposed to run at less than full speed to find the soft spot in the zone, but Keenum didn’t throw it like that. More concerning is the lack of downfield targets for DT, as Courtland Sutton is getting almost all the contested-catch opportunities for Denver.
Stock up: George Kittle, SF
On pace for a 72/1,264/4 line at the season’s quarter mark, George Kittle should be viewed as a solid TE1, especially after a career day (six receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown) in a tough spot against the Chargers. We said when Jimmy Garoppolo went down that it shouldn’t impact Kittle much as the best skill-position player on an offense now being orchestrated by his college quarterback, and the pair certainly played well in C.J. Beathard’s first start.
Stock down: Jesse James, PIT
Jesse James went off to start the year with a combined eight receptions for 198 yards and one touchdown over the first two games of the season, but despite maintaining a lofty 22.8 yards-per-reception average, the Penn State product has taken a clear backseat to Vance McDonald in Pittsburgh. Over the past two weeks, James has caught just two passes for 30 yards, so he is just a big-play dependent TE2.