We saw some great performances and some head-scratching efforts in Week 4. We also saw some injuries that will likely impact you going forward. But that’s all part of the challenge of managing your fantasy team. If you play Dynasty, you’re in it for the long haul. Still, it’s a weekly game and you have to ride the ebbs-and-flows and see what it can mean for the trajectory of a player. That’s what the Stock Watch is all about. We watch the games, process the information, and try to forecast where players are headed. After all, getting ahead of the curve is the way to succeed. So, below you’ll find one player that improved their position and one that’s going the wrong way from each position. Use this as a guide as you’re trying to make moves and evaluate your team this week!
Stock Up: Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
About: Most of the off-season, we assumed the Seahawks were waiting to enact their plan. Certainly, it wasn’t going to be Drew Lock or Smith at quarterback for the regular season. And when it remained Smith heading into the regular season, the assumption was that the Seahawks would struggle. It hasn’t turned out that way. The Seahawks aren’t incredible, but the team is now 2-2 and Smith has become a fun streaming option. In fact, through four weeks, he’s posted a better completion percentage, more yardage, and more passing touchdowns than the franchise quarterback he replaced in Russell Wilson. In fact, Smith is QB10 through four weeks. He’s a quarterback making the most of his second chance, and now it looks like the Seahawks might have been right to make him part of the plan all along.
Stock Down: Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: I was never a Bears fan, so I didn’t follow Trubisky as closely as some. Still, I thought he got a bad deal with former coach Matt Nagy. I was curious to see what Trubisky could do if given a second chance in a better situation. He spent a year behind Josh Allen in Buffalo and then that chance came this off-season with the Steelers. While Pittsburgh drafted Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick, it was Trubisky that was named the starter. This was his chance. And Sunday that chance came crashing down. After three and a half games of middling offensive production, Trubisky was benched for the rookie. I don’t see him coming back as the guy in Pittsburgh, and I don’t see him getting a third chance—at least not any time soon. If you were holding Trubisky hoping to see some magic, it’s time to let the dream die.
Stock Up: Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs
About: I could go with a couple of backs here, including a couple of rookies. It was a good week for rookie longshots in Week 4. But I’m going with Pacheco. No, I don’t think he’s going to displace Clyde Edwards-Helaire in Week 5 and be an RB1. But remember, we’re playing the long game. The Chiefs like Pacheco, enough that he made the active roster as an undrafted rookie and has received touches weekly. That’s more than we can even say for veteran Ronald Jones. And Pacheco’s role seems to be growing during meaningful moments. While he got 12 carries for 62 yards in garbage time in Week 1, Pacheco saw 11 carries for a season-high 63 yards on Sunday night. What was striking was that he was a regular part of the rotation, getting meaningful rushes while the contest was still in doubt. That’s a sign confidence in him is growing and, as we move through the season, he’s becoming a bigger part of the attack for an offense that could use some more pop in the run game. If you’re stashing Pacheco on your bench or Taxi Squad, this is a development that could lead to fruit and starting lineup potential as early as the back half of the season. Hold him, watching his value grow and prepare to reap the benefits.
Stock Down: Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
About: Is this personal? It sure is. Is it wrong? I don’t think so. Regardless of how I feel personally, Gordon has been a productive running back throughout his career. This season has been a struggle. Gordon has carried 37 times this season in four games, and he’s fumbled four times. Two of those were lost, including a Red Zone fumble in Week 1 and a fumble returned 68 yards for a game-turning touchdown on Sunday. After that, Gordon saw just a couple more touches, with third-string Broncos’ running back Mike Boone getting more snaps after Javonte Williams left with an injury. In addition to fumbles, Gordon hasn’t been particularly effective as a runner. He has just 139 yards, averaging 3.8 yards per carry. Williams has been lost for the year and it’s tempting to believe its wheels up for Gordon. I’m much less confident about that, especially given that the Broncos signed Gordon for only one year late in the game. It’s fair to wonder if a player who’s seen three fumbles returned for a touchdown in his last 12 games has lost some confidence. It’s fair to wonder if the Broncos have lost some confidence in him, too. I think they have, so I’m approaching Gordon with caution, especially in dynasty. If you find someone willing to pay a king’s ransom, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Stock Up: Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
About: The Saints are just 1-3 this season. It hasn’t been a good run and it’s fair to wonder if the team has what it takes to get back into the playoff race. One bright spot-on offense has been rookie receiver Olave. Olave has seen 36 targets, catching 21 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown. After a slow Week 1, Olave saw 13 targets in back-to-back games in Week 2 and Week 3, then saw seven targets, catching four for 67 yards and a touchdown with backup Andy Dalton in a losing effort in London. He looks like a great fit for the offense and an emerging passing weapon that isn’t going away. He was also a player that, for many, you could acquire later in the First Round of rookie drafts, behind players who haven’t even made their 2022 debut. Even for a team that’s struggling, it looks like wheels up for Olave!
Stock Down: Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals
About: I, too, wanted to believe in Dortch. He showed us so much the first three weeks, seeing 23 targets and catching 20 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. Many felt he was just a placeholder for a team with so many injuries. But, surely, it seemed he was a lock to remain relevant given his production. Sadly, that was not the case. Sunday, in a win in Carolina, with Rondale Moore active for the first time this season, Dortch was relegated to being an afterthought. He saw one target, catching a single pass for six yards. Worse yet, while Marquise Brown saw 71 snaps and Moore saw 65 in his return, Dortch saw just 27 snaps. And that’s with A.J. Green and DeAndre Hopkins still out. A week ago, Dortch looked like a potential lottery ticket. Now, it looks like he’s little more than a handcuff.
Stock Up: Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants
About: Tight end is a tricky position, especially when it comes to young players. You need a combination of talent and opportunity, and even then it can take a few years. Bellinger wasn’t a high draft pick but he did land in a great spot with the Giants, who had an opening at tight end. After doing literally nothing in Week 1, he’s been slowly coming on. In the past two weeks, he’s seen eight targets, catching seven for 63 yards. That might not sound like a lot, but the Giants’ pass game hasn’t been robust. Still, Bellinger is getting steady targets and gaining a role in the offense. That’s a great sign for a player that went largely undrafted in fantasy. Now’s the time to scoop him up on the Waiver Wire, after all, look at what new Giants’ Head Coach Brian Daboll did for Dawson Knox!
Stock Down: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
About: This off-season, the Dolphins placed the Franchise Tag on Gesicki. It was part of a slew of moves aimed at boosting the offense for 2022. It made some sense, too. Gesicki looked like one of the top tight ends in the game, seeing 85 or more targets in the three prior seasons and more than 110 targets in 2021. You wouldn’t be blamed for grabbing Gesicki as a Top 12 option at the position. And yet, 2022 hasn’t shown him to have that kind of role in the new Dolphins’ offense. Through four weeks, he’s seen just 10 targets. To his credit, Gesicki has caught eight of those for 71 yards and a touchdown. If you played him in Week 2, when he caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown, it likely worked. If you started him in the other three weeks, when he caught four passes for 30 yards combined, you’re likely not feeling too excited. While Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have exploded, and Chase Edmonds is at least involved in the Red Zone, Gesicki has morphed from a Top 12 option into a touchdown-dependent tight end play. That doesn’t bode well moving forward, especially for a player with no long-term security.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.