Week 4 of the NFL Season is in the books, and we’re starting to transition from questions into trends. We’re seeing players develop roles on teams, and it’s time to start making some shifts in our expectations for the season. When it comes to dynasty, we play the long game. Week-to-week variations shouldn’t hold much sway, but when you see trends over a period of time, it’s fair to start moderating your expectations. That’s what this stock watch is all about.
As will be the case throughout the season, I’ll be taking stock of what we’ve learned each week. I’ll be offering one player per position—QB, RB, WR, and TE—who improved their stock and one who saw their stock slip. For those trying to win now and those playing the long game, it’s crucial to pounce at the right time. So, without further ado, here’s Week 3 of the Dynasty Stock Watch.
Stock Up: Mac Jones, New England Patriots
About: Jones lost last night to the Patriots’ former quarterback in Tom Brady. He’s 1-3 as a starter and not exactly lighting up the stat line. So, you might be wondering if I forgot what this piece was about. No, I didn’t. Jones didn’t win last night, but he hung in tough against the defending Super Bowl champions in a game that was all about pressure. He finished 31-for-40 for 275 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. He remained poised, completing 19 passes in a row at one point and giving his team a chance to win. We’ve seen that life in the NFL is an adjustment for all rookies, including this celebrated quarterback class. Last night I saw a player in Jones who feels like the right fit for the right team, and those that snagged him as the last of the five First Round quarterbacks in rookie drafts have to be feeling good right now.
Stock Down: Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
About: From one Patriots quarterback to a former Patriots quarterback. Jimmy G. has been under the microscope all season, and Sunday’s results won’t help. It’s been said the best ability is availability, and that’s been the problem for Jimmy since coming to the 49ers. He’s in his fourth full season with the team, yet he’s appeared in just 29 games out 52 potential contests. While he’s started all four games this season, he left Sunday with a calf injury that threatens to keep him out for some time. The 49ers already started looking to the future, drafting Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick. He came in and was uneven Sunday, as the 49ers lost to the Seahawks. Still, he threw two touchdowns, and we’ve seen him be a weapon with his legs. An injury that forces Jimmy to miss time could hasten the end of his time with the 49ers, leading to an uncertain future after 2021.
Stock Up: Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons
About: Is he a running back? Is he a receiver? It doesn’t matter. Patterson continues to get carries and be involved in the passing game, catching five passes for 82 yards and THREE touchdowns on Sunday. After four weeks, he’s become an every-week start, and it looks like he might be one of the most bankable fantasy assets for the Falcons. For the season, he is RB2, just behind Derrick Henry and a bit ahead of Najee Harris. Patterson looks to finally be living up to some of his early career hype and seems to be the RB you want from the Falcons.
Stock Down: Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins
About: Like most people, I was excited about Gaskin coming into the season. The fact the Dolphins didn’t add any significant competition in the backfield seemed to be a great sign. But Gaskin just isn’t producing, and now he’s not getting that many opportunities. For the season, he is RB39. In Sunday’s game, Gaskin got two carries for three yards and no targets. Malcolm Brown got eight carries and a target, while Salvon Ahmed got three carries and two targets. Through four games, Gaskin has 29 carries for 142 yards and 12 receptions for 57 yards with no touchdowns. Those aren’t the numbers we’re looking to see.
Stock Up: Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams
In his second year, Jefferson is starting to see his usage tick up in a good Rams’ pass offense. On Sunday, he saw six targets, catching them all for 90 yards and a touchdown. So far this season, Jefferson has seen 18 targets, catching 13 for 229 yards and two TDs. He’s not the primary receiver, but as a young player, he’s trending in the right direction to make a meaningful contribution for the Rams and those who roster him.
Stock Down: Will Fuller V, Miami Dolphins
About: In 2020, Fuller was having a career year. Through 11 games, he remained healthy, seeing 75 targets and catching 53 for 879 yards and eight TDs. Then he was hit with a suspension. It cost him the final five games last year and the first game of this season. As a free agent, Fuller left during the off-season, signing what amounted to a one-year prove-it deal with the Dolphins. Some had high hopes he’d show out again and build toward a brighter future. Fuller missed the first two games of the season and has yet to make an impact. He’s seen eight targets so far, catching four for 26 yards. Hardly inspiring. With a passing offense that is a bit of a struggle and Fuller seemingly a fourth or fifth option, it doesn’t seem promising, which could leave him with a very uncertain future heading into 2022. For dynasty players, none of this is good news.
Stock Up: Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
About: We’ve seen flashes from Knox throughout his first two years but not consistent production. This year Knox is a big part of what the Bills are doing. He’s TE5 on the season, catching 15 passes for 144 yards and four TDs in four games. That includes catching two touchdown passes in Week 4 alone. While the Bills have plenty of weapons, Knox has carved out a nice role, making him a valuable commodity at such a variable position.
Stock Down: Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers
About: Tonyan was a big breakout star in 2020. He finished as TE3, leading many to be bullish about his prospects heading into 2021. While his finish was impressive, Tonyan thrived thanks to insane efficiency. He saw just 59 targets in 2020, catching 52 of them for 586 yards and 11 TDs. In 2021, we do not see that same production. Through four games, he has 15 targets, catching eight for 74 yards and a touchdown. That has him as TE28. Those that snagged Tonyan hoping for consistent TE1 production aren’t getting it, and it looks like in this offense, there is no guarantee he’ll get the volume to deliver on those lofty expectations.
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.