Player value is always a hot topic in fantasy circles. There are some players with whom fantasy owners can ignore the bad week knowing that better days are ahead. And there are others that should have owners worried. Do you have patience and stay the course, or panic and move on?
Ronald Jones (RB – TB)
Week 4 line: 19 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards
The Ronald Jones breakout is coming. Jones had a modest performance in Week 4 but the trend is pointing upwards. Jones logged 19 carries and more importantly, his snap share increased to 50%, his highest of the season, earning his first RB1 performance of his career. Jones is a dynamic runner, with shifty agility and breakaway speed. His frame and ability to hold up to NFL workload was always the question but last week he looked to be getting stronger and able to handle more carries. He is still a non-factor in the passing game but that’s ok. The Bucs have corrected their defensive issues and that will me solid game scripts for Jones. Jones can produce as an RB2 with early down work because he has game breaking talent. This week he draws a tough run defense in New Orleans but owners can use that to their advantage. If he has a down week, that will give you leverage to acquire him at a discount.
Will Fuller (WR – HOU)
Week 4 line: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 23 yards
Will Fuller has been one of the more disappointing receivers early in 2019, but if you dig deeper it’s not all that surprising. Fuller is less than one year returned in his recovery from a torn ACL so a slow start is understandable. However, Fuller has been on the field for 251 of 262 snaps on the season so the injury does not appear to be lingering. Fuller also has faced a difficult pass defense schedule to open the year, all four games against a negative strength of schedule passing matchup. In October he faces a top-five easiest opponent SOS schedule with matchups against Atlanta, Kansas City and Oakland. Lastly, the Texans continue to look bad at offensive line and DeShaun Watson has not been comfortable in the opening month. This month will give Watson a chance to get right and Fuller will be a primary recipient. Look for Fuller to breakout in October.
Michael Gallup (WR – DAL)
Week 4 line: DNP – Injury
Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup returned to practice this week, after missing two games with a sprained MCL. While the timetable was looking closer to four weeks, Gallup looks ready to return to the lineup against Green Bay. Gallup came on at the end of the year in 2018 and established himself as the unquestioned number two receiver on the team, taking 80% of the snaps after Week 5. He is an explosive player for the Cowboys, making big plays all over the field, and the Cowboys look like a different offense with him in the lineup. He may come back slowly this weekend. If that happens, try to acquire him at a discount, he will have WR2 value the rest of the season.
Matt Breida (RB – SF)
Week 4 line: DNP – Bye Week
I have always been a big fan of Matt Breida, since the time he entered the league he’s played like the 49ers best back. He’s shifty and explosive, with plenty of make you miss talent. It’s his playing time that has been the question. With Tevin Coleman sidelined with an injury since early Week 1, owners hoped Breida would see an expanded role in the offense. Instead, the backfield has turned into a running back by committee. Breida just can’t catch a break as Coleman is reportedly set to return on Monday night. Breida is receiving 15 opportunities per game and with that amount of chances he can be a productive player for owners. But that likely won’t last, Coleman was paid in the off-season for a reason. While I expect Breida to remain the passing game back, you can expect his rushing production to plummet. Start looking for a trade partner, maybe packaging him and another player for an upgrade somewhere.
Adrian Peterson (RB – WAS)
Week 4 line: 11 Carries, 28 Yards
Adrian Peterson is looking like a shadow of his former self and surprisingly it may not be all his fault. Washington has the 26th ranked offensive line, according to DVOA, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry through four games. Most alarming is run plays are being stopped behind the line of scrimmage nearly 20% of the time. This team is missing holdout Trent Williams but all cannot be blamed on that loss, the line is simply being dominated. This week they play New England and will stick with their veteran QB Case Keenum but it won’t be long until the rookie Dwyane Haskins takes the field permanently. This is a rushing attack that you don’t want any part of. If you are still rostering Peterson, it’s time to cut bait.
(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)