Box scores never tell the whole story, so which fantasy options are rising and falling heading into Week 4? 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: Jared Goff, LAR
Despite tough matchups against the Cardinals and Chargers already, Jared Goff has completed 70.3% of his passes and is on pace for over 5,000 passing yards through three weeks. I think the former No. 1 overall pick has simply taken his game to another level in what basically amounts to his second season after a lost year in 2016, and his weapons combined with the genius mind of Sean McVay makes the Rams nearly impossible to stop. After this week against the Vikings, Goff gets a cupcake schedule the rest of the way and could be a legitimate top-five option.
Stock down: Kirk Cousins, MIN
Looking strictly at the numbers, Kirk Cousins has played great for the Vikings, completing 68.3% of his passes for 965 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions. However, the offense has actually been held in check outside of a big second half against Green Bay, and their fatal flaw—the offensive line—was evident in Sunday’s upset loss to Buffalo. Cousins has the weapons to continue putting up numbers, but he could be derailed against stingy fronts, and that’s exactly what’s coming up over the next three weeks (@ LAR, @ PHI, v ARI).
Stock up: Kerryon Johnson, DET
I’ve been saying to put stock in Kerryon Johnson since he was drafted, and he’s been exceptional to start his career with a role that’s increasing by the week. Overall, Johnson has rushed 29 times for 161 yards (5.6 YPC), but his best game came on Sunday night against the Patriots with 101 rushing yards—making him the first Lions player since 2013 to go for 100+ yards on the ground. Feeding the Auburn product is the way to create a balance, versatile offense in Detroit; I think Kerryon is an RB2 in redraft formats and needs to be aggressively targeted in dynasty leagues.
Stock up: Chris Carson, SEA
It’s probably not a coincidence that the Seahawks won their first game of the season when they fed Chris Carson (32 carries for 102 yards and a score), as the team irrationally went away from him with 13 combined carries in Week 1 and Week 2. I don’t completely trust the coaching staff to keep feeding him, but the workload is obviously encouraging, so hopefully fantasy owners didn’t bail on Carson a week early. He should be back on the low-end RB2/FLEX radar.
Stock up: Matt Breida, SF
As a whole, the 49ers offense obviously takes a huge hit with Jimmy Garoppolo (knee) done for the year, but if there’s anyone that could see their stock increase—particularly in PPR formats—it’s Matt Breida. The second-year runner will benefit from a lot of short passes with C.J. Beathard under center, as Kyle Shanahan’s handpicked backup loves throwing underneath to his backs. Plus, San Francisco will almost certainly be trailing more with Jimmy G out, so game scripts should work in Breida’s favor.
Stock down: Jamaal Williams, GB
Last week, Green Bay talked as if Aaron Jones, who was coming off a two-game suspension, would be the clear 1C to Jamaal Williams’ 1A and Ty Montgomery’s 1B, but that wasn’t the case against the Redskins. Instead, it was a fairly even three-way split with Jones leading the team in carries (six) and rushing yards (42), which essentially ends any hope for Williams as a high-upside RB2. And because all three guys are capable options, it’s unlikely that anyone is able to separate themselves to become a fantasy difference-maker, so this is probably a situation to avoid for the foreseeable future.
Stock up: Mike Williams, LAC
Mike Williams has turned a strong preseason into a superb start to the regular season for the Chargers, as he’s found the end zone three times, including twice in Week 3 against the elite secondary of the Rams. I wasn’t concerned at all about the talent entering the year, but the presence of Tyrell Williams was something to consider; still, it hasn’t mattered so far, and the top-ten pick is turning into a top-tier touchdown threat and must-own in all formats.
Stock up: Jordy Nelson, OAK
If going for a 6/173/1 line with a pair of 60-yard plays doesn’t force people to realize Jordy Nelson isn’t “washed up,” I’m not sure what will. The 33-year-old is averaging 20.6 yards per reception to start the season, and as Jon Gruden predicted last week, it was his turn to have a big game after Jared Cook and Amari did in Week 1 and Week 2, respectively. Jordy should be able to take advantage of No. 2 and No. 3 cornerbacks when teams decide to shadow Amari Cooper, and Gruden knows how to scheme receivers open as well as anyone.
Stock down: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
I was extremely optimistic about Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals this year, but that was clearly a mistake. While the pinpoint-throwing Sam Bradford is a perfect fit with Fitz, it didn’t even take full three games to make Bradford the scapegoat for a poor start to the year. Now, No. 10 overall pick Josh Rosen—who showed a connection with Christian Kirk more than anyone over the summer—will take the reigns and is unlikely to be a boon to the future Hall of Famer’s fantasy stock on an offense that has issues way beyond the quarterback position.
Stock down: Robby Anderson, NYJ
Perhaps Sam Darnold will get more aggressive as the season progresses, but as I’ve said before, Robby Anderson had great chemistry with Josh McCown in 2017, and that didn’t seem like it would be replicated with Darnold in his rookie year. Some fantasy owners spent a quality mid-round pick on Anderson, but I don’t think it’s too early to cut ties after a combined five receptions for 49 yards over the past two weeks.
Stock up: David Njoku, CLE
Just when it looked like David Njoku was worth dropping after a slow start to the season, Baker Mayfield was inserted into the lineup to give the offense—and Njoku’s fantasy stock—a spark. The 22-year-old tight end only had two receptions for 36 yards last Thursday, but Mayfield is the perfect signal-caller to unlock Njoku’s potential because he can throw in and out of the pocket and prefers to play between the numbers. Pick up or buy low on Njoku while you can.
Stock down: Eric Ebron, IND
Eric Ebron had a touchdown in each of the first two games to start the season, but he failed to take advantage of a start on Sunday against the Eagles with Jack Doyle (hip) inactive. The former first-round pick dropped a touchdown and was limited to 33 yards as the clear No. 1 tight end for Indy, so it’s fair to wonder if he’s more comfortable and plays better as a secondary option to Doyle. Ebron is probably just a volatile TE2 in Frank Reich’s offense.