With three weeks now in the books, us fantasy football owners have a decent sample size to use in order to assess our squads. Like every year, the 2015 season has already been full of disappointments and surprise players; although this year seems to have presented the most disappointments in quite some time. Many players’ fantasy stock has fallen. However, there have been a few players that have put up big numbers and have emerged onto the fantasy landscape.
Without further ado, I present to you the top players with rising and falling fantasy value heading into week 4:
QB, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
While Cam Newton is one of the most popular players in the game, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a reliable fantasy option. Entering the season, his stock took a dip when Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL and would miss the entire season. However, Newton has surprised in a big way thus far and has finished in the top 3 of all QBs in points the past two weeks. He faces an easy matchup in week 4 against Tampa Bay.
QB, Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
After a solid outing in week 1 and an even better performance in week 2, I was hesitant to buy into the Tyrod Taylor hype. After his week 3 performance, I’m sold. Who would’ve thought the 5th year, first time starting QB would burst onto the fantasy scene as he has so early on. Taylor is a top 5 fantasy QB to this point, outscoring guys such as: Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers. Taylor has completed an impressive 74% of his passes with 7 TDs to just 3 INTs. He has proven to be a great fit in Buffalo and is a must start from here on out.
RB, Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
With Tevin Coleman’s absence, Devonta Freeman took full advantage and went off as not only the highest scoring running back during week 3, but the highest scoring player in all of fantasy football with 37 points. With a hat trick of touchdowns and nearly 200 yards from scrimmage, Freeman established himself as a starting candidate from here on out. While Coleman may take some carries away in upcoming weeks, Freeman definitely made his case to receive the bulk of the workload. He’s definitely worth a start in week 4, especially with Coleman not at 100%.
RB, Karlos Williams, Buffalo Bills
What has happened to the RB situation in Buffalo? Entering the season you would’ve thought LeSean McCoy would have ended up making the biggest impact, or Fred Jackson, or Anthony Dixon, or maybe even Bryce Brown. It has been none of them. Instead, it’s been 5th round pick out of Florida State, Karlos Williams. Williams has scored a touchdown in all three games to start the season and has made much more of an impact in the running game than any other RB on the roster, including McCoy. Williams has averaged nearly 8 yards per rush and has 186 rushing yards compared to McCoy’s 146. For those with both players on their fantasy roster, like me, we face a tough predicament when deciding which player to start in upcoming weeks until McCoy can show more production.
RB, Alfred Blue, Houston Texans
Finally, the replacement for Arian Foster made some sort of impact. For those who ‘wisely’ drafted him late in your fantasy draft in hopes that he would tear it up in Foster’s absence, your investment finally paid off; though he probably sat on your bench in week 3. Regardless, the 2nd year running back rushed for a career high 139 yards and scored his first touchdown of the year. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and he can take advantage of the remaining weeks he has as the team’s starting RB.
QB, Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
I don’t know where to start with Andrew Luck. I took him in 2 of my 4 leagues with the expectations that he would be a 20+ point fantasy QB week after week in that offense, as many others thought as well. It’s been a 180 turn for Luck and the Colts this season. He has thrown a league high 7 INTs in just 3 games for 41 fantasy points. He has allowed players such as: Marcus Mariota, Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Fitzpatrick to outscore him to this point in the season. Andrew Luck has looked horrid as has the supporting cast and there are no signs for a turnaround, even though he finished the week 3 matchup against Tennessee in strong fashion. Still, you can’t bench your 2nd-3rd round selection and you just remain optimistic that he can turn it around. He has been the biggest disappointment of all QBs thus far.
QB, Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Entering the week as a top 10 fantasy QB through the first two weeks, Kaepernick quickly changed his fate as he threw two pick 6s within the first five minutes of the game as he finished with 4 INTs against the Cardinals. The once prized, high upside, running QB is just too much of a risk to start on game day. His 5 fantasy points in week 3 were less than backup QBs: Kellen Clemens, Brandon Weeden and Luke McCown.
RB, Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Trying to play through a hamstring injury against Chicago in week 3, Lynch was pulled early on in the game after only 5 carries that garnered less than 3 yards per rush. “Beast Mode” has been quite the disappointment so far with only 138 rushing yards (3.4 ypc) through three games with 0 touchdowns. He has shown a noticeable decrease in power and explosion and may be heading towards the notorious running back decline that they tend to endure at this stage in their careers. Thomas Rawls had a solid week 3 and may steal some carries going forward, same with Fred Jackson.
RB, LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
McCoy has dealt with a nagging hamstring injury throughout the season and hasn’t been able to play at the level he is capable of. While he has been a consistent producer, he hasn’t been on the level that those hoped who drafted him in the 1st-2nd round. Perhaps when he is at full health he will step it up. He has been outplayed by rookie Karlos Williams and McCoy’s workload will likely decline as the season goes on, unless he steps up his game of Williams shows decline in production.
WR, Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys
When Dez Bryant went down with that fractured right foot in week 1, that seemed too good to be true for fantasy owners of Terrance Williams. The up and coming Cowboys receiver was a breakout candidate heading into the season and the absence of Bryant seemed like the perfect time for him to emerge as a legitimate fantasy option. While he did show up against Philly in week 2 with 84 yards and a TD, he was blanked in week 3 and was targeted just twice. The absence of Tony Romo has hurt his fantasy stock as Brandon Weeden isn’t a reliable QB. Week 4 is a make or break week for Williams against an average New Orleans secondary.