Week 4 is complete, and dynasty movement continues. Injuries have created new opportunities or raised long-term questions about players. The star-studded 2021 quarterback class continues its journey to establish a foothold in the league. Elsewhere young players are solidifying their opportunity for playing time and fantasy production. Weekly the Footballguys staff will share their thoughts on the dynasty ranking movement and answer a critical question you may face.
Jared Goff - Detroit
Goff’s fantasy value was hanging on by a thread before the start of the 2022 season, but he sits as QB5 in the overall rankings through five weeks. Goff is averaging just over twenty-two points per game, and based on the quarterback play around the NFL looks like he could be an option for teams moving forward if the Lions decided to move on from him after the season. The Lions have a tough stretch of upcoming games, but Goff has proven he can still play quarterback in the league and be fantasy relevant.
Justin Fields - Chicago
As much as I believe in Fields' talent, there is something wrong with the Chicago offense right now. It's not all on him, but for the first time this season, Fields completed more than ten passes. There were flashes of his arm strength with deep attempts to Darnell Mooney, and he has rushing upside with his legs rushing for fifty-two yards. The talent could be there, but until Bears management proves they believe in fields and provides him with the weapons to succeed on the football field, dynasty managers need to be cautious.
Justin Fields - Chicago
Effective dynasty managers practice patience through difficult times, but Chicago's inability to surround their sophomore quarterback with NFL talent has made retaining optimism for Justin Fields a challenge. The flashes of brilliance are still there, but a lack of trust in his protection and pass catchers has made Fields' start to the 2022 campaign as bad as anyone could have imagined. Fields still possesses upside, often showing his rushing ability as he scrambles out of broken pockets. Still, Chicago must hope Fields survives the 2022 season unscathed and not mentally broken. Confidence is critical, and Fields lacks his usual amount through four weeks this season. For his long-term dynasty value, that could prove detrimental.
Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay
Father Time is undefeated, and while Tom Brady has successfully fended him off well into his forties, Aaron Rodgers may not be as lucky. Rodgers has looked pedestrian in 2022, turning in exclusively disappointing weeks through the first four weeks. Rodgers' 14.1 fantasy points per game rank 22nd behind players like Joe Flacco, Jacoby Brissett, and Marcus Mariota. Poor offensive line play and the absence of Davante Adams as a reliable pass catcher have contributed to the early-season struggles, but Rodgers has also earned blame for himself. Errant throws and questionable decisions, two things Rodgers has mostly avoided over his storied career, have been prevalent. Rodgers' age, combined with his poor play, leaves no choice but to move Rodgers down in dynasty rankings.
Justin Fields, Chicago
We can have a really hard time processing NFL coaching decisions. If each game is about four hours, a 17-game season reveals 0.8% of a player's life. We lack the information a coach has about the development of a player, and we are left to infer a lot of information. What is the NFL does not have the view of Justin Fields the dynasty community does. This is clear from the pre-draft process is the NFL, including a continuous drip of information before the draft and Fields's slip to 11 overall. Likewise, two different coaches have shown no trust in Fields during his time in Chicago. It was easy to dismiss Matt Nagy as the cause of Fields's rookie season struggles, but every signal points to the fact that Fields is not the player the dynasty community hoped for.
Patrick Mahomes II, Kansas City
It turns out the demise of Patrick Mahomes II was greatly exaggerated. Many thought the loss of Tyreek Hill would cause Mahomes to struggle in 2022. He is currently sitting at QB4 and is tied for the league lead in passing touchdowns (11). Elite quarterbacks stay elite for a long time, and Mahomes is another example of that.
Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Wilson's return to the starting role in Week 4 started disastrously, beginning 8 for 24. But into the fourth quarter, he found his groove, going 10 for 12 for 128 yards, throwing one touchdown, and leading a game-winning drive on the other. He struggled his rookie season, which led many to write him off entering year two, but the Jets receiving talent, led by Garrett Wilson, has stood out. Also, Breece Hall has started to seize control and show the ability that made him the consensus top rookie back, and free-agent tight end Tyler Conklin has been a revelation. Given the injuries to Trey Lance and Mac Jones and the struggles of Justin Fields, Wilson looks capable of delivering on his placement as the second quarterback picked in 2021. Suppose he continues his play from the fourth quarter, and the Jets show the willingness that led to Joe Flacco averaging 51 passes per game. In that case, Wilson could catapult past a slew of veteran quarterback options nearing retirement.
Davis Mills, Houston
Mills flashed to end his rookie season and created buzz coming into year two as a young player with a firm grasp on the starting role. But his game is unlikely to ever translate into meaningful fantasy impact, and he currently sits at 12.58 points per game, at the bottom of full-time starting quarterbacks. But more concerning for his dynasty status is the team's 0-3-1 record and positioning for the top pick in the 2023 draft. In reality, Mills is cast as a backup-level player and should be viewed similarly to Gardner Minshew with the 2020 Jaguars. He created Superflex value due to proximity to a starting job that Trevor Lawrence replaced. The 2023 draft has two quarterbacks at the top in C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young and assuming the Texans lock up position to grab one, Mills is not the type of player that will force the team to pass on an upgrade. Get out while you can.
Nick Chubb - Cleveland
The delineation between the best running back in the NFL and the best fantasy running back is always unclear, but Nick Chubb is solving that problem through the first four weeks of 2022. Chubb is operating as the top fantasy back despite being on a Jacoby Brissett-led offense, scoring more than a touchdown per game and remaining incredibly efficient on the ground. The Browns have consistently managed Chubb's workload in hopes of extending his career, and this season has shown dynasty managers that running backs can last past 26 years of age. Chubb's value will only increase with the introduction of Deshaun Watson, giving him a massive touchdown upside and appeal as a top-12 dynasty running back.
Dameon Pierce - Houston
Despite being a day-three draft selection, Dameon Pierce looks like he'll retain value past the 2022 season. Averaging more than 14 points per game and a yards-per-carry mark above 5.0, Pierce is succeeding behind a mediocre offensive line in Houston. Through four weeks, he has been the heartbeat of the offense, with his physical running style encapsulating everything the Texans aspire to be. The Texans may still add a second, more reliable running back into the mix following this season, but similar to James Robinson and Chris Carson, the skill is immediately apparent, and dynasty managers should view Pierce as a top-30 running back moving forward.
Cam Akers - La Rams
Through four weeks in 2022, Cam Akers is being out-snapped by Darrell Henderson 158-91. Despite running efficiently against the Cardinals, Akers returned to inefficient running, lacking vision, patience, and contact balance and averaging less than two yards per carry in Week 4 against San Francisco. While many dynasty managers hoped Akers would become the second coming of Todd Gurley, his value consistently slides. While returning from significant injuries is difficult, it's fair to wonder if the best version of Akers is in the past. Akers should be teetering on the edge of the Top 50 for the running back position, but his consensus value currently sits inside the Top 30.
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