As we head into Week 4, it’s time to start making decisions on players who are outperforming or underperforming to this point of the season.
Keenan Allen, Weeks 1-3 (2018): WR 36
Keenan Allen, Weeks 4-16 (2018): WR 10
Derrick Henry, Weeks 1-3 (2018): RB 44
Derrick Henry, Weeks 4-16 (2018): RB 10
Andrew Luck, Weeks 1-3 (2018): QB22
Andrew Luck, Weeks 4-16 (2018): QB2
What do these stats show us? Even top-tier talent can start slow and still finish as top-10 options for the rest of the year. Slow starts can be because of an injury in the preseason, lack of reps or just tough matchups.
The key takeaway is: don’t panic just yet on players with high expectations. This is the best time to trade for players who are off to slow starts who can explode in the second half of the season.
James White and Sony Michel — New England Patriots
Go all-in on the New England running attack. Sony Michel owners to this point are frustrated (rightfully so). But he is too talented to continue this cold streak. He only has one broken tackle on the year and this could be from a lack of focus or playing down to the competition of his first three games.
With Antonio Brown out of town, James White owners will benefit greatly. He will be back to being Tom Brady’s go-to target when he’s trouble and should be a top-20 running back in points-per-receptions leagues. Buy both now. As the Patriots start to play better competition, they’ll become more of a run-first offense.
Kyler Murray and David Johnson — Arizona Cardinals
Let me show you the Arizona Cardinals upcoming schedule: SEA, CIN, ATL, NYG, NO, SF, TB, and SF again. Hello, fantasy goodness!
These two will explode during this stretch of games and can carry fantasy teams up to the playoffs. Buy now on both, but especially on Kyler Murray who will be a top QB10 for the rest of the season.
A.J. Green — Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green should be back from an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined since the start of the season. The Bengals have an awful defense which means that they will be passing a ton just to keep up in those games.
When he’s been healthy, he’s been a top-10 wide receiver. Buy low on Green and offer his owner a player such as Sammy Watkins or Stefon Diggs. Green will outperform both of those receivers once he comes back.
Julian Edelman — New England Patriots
In the two games that Antonio Brown didn’t play in, Julian Edelman scored 16 and 19 fantasy points. He’s Tom Brady’s number one option and that will continue for as long as he can stay on the field. Edelman is a top 20 wide receiver for the rest of the season with the potential to finish inside the top 10.
Chris Carson — Seattle Seahawks
This one hurts. I was a Chris Carson truther heading into the season, but the guy can’t seem to hold onto the football. For a running back, that’s a bad look.
After he fumbled in Week 3, he saw five more carries and only rushed for four yards. His confidence is shot, and the Seahawks won’t have any problem adding Rashard Penny into the mix. He looked good before he went down with an injury.
If you decide to hold onto Carson, make sure you can add Penny as a handcuff because this is an offense with a strong running game all-around.
Dak Prescott — Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott has benefited from having a soft schedule to start the year. He is a borderline top-14 quarterback for the rest of the season. Trade him now while his trade value is at its peak.
Since 2017, Dak has thrown for over 300 yards in just four games. He’s not a quarterback that will throw for a bunch of yards or rush for a lot either. He’s a solid bye week fill-in when the matchup is right. Don’t expect for him to be a top-10 quarterback for the rest of the season. Trade him for a top-20 wide receiver or running back while you still can.
Sammy Watkins — Kansas City Chiefs
There are three big reasons to trade Sammy Watkins while his trade value is still high. First, he’s a huge injury risk. Over the past four seasons, he has played in 46 out of a possible 64 games.
Second, once Tyreek Hill comes back from injury, he will be a flex play on most weeks at best.
Third, he’s had one monster game (46) and the other two have been average games (10.11). The healthier the Chiefs become, the fewer targets and opportunities that Watkins will see.
John Ross III — Cincinnati Bengals
John Ross is the ninth-highest scoring wide receiver through the first three weeks. He has more fantasy points than Mike Evans, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., and DeAndre Hopkins—all top-10 wide receivers in drafts this year.
A.J. Green is a couple of weeks away from returning and once he does, Ross will go back to being the fourth option in the passing attack. Try to trade him for a wide receiver like Emmanuel Sanders or Kenny Golladay. They will be WR3’s for the rest of the season and will give consistent production.