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Week 4 Fantasy Football Booms & Busts Report: The Invincible Amon-Ra St. Brown

Will Desvallees Sep 29th 4:20 PM EDT.

Amon-Ra St. Brown has absolutely turned heads and is exceeding his ADP significantly. After being drafted in the fifth round or so, St. Brown is the WR3 through three weeks, sitting only behind Stefon Diggs and Cooper Kupp.

Heading into Week 4 of the regular season, Detroit’s St. Brown and Atlanta’s Cordarelle Patterson have proved to be the biggest boom players at their respective positions. Both players were drafted around the sixth round in most leagues but each is producing as top-five players at their respective positions. Likewise, QB Tua Tagovailoa of the Dolphins wasn’t selected within the first 120 selections in most drafts but is now producing as much as some of the league’s most valuable fantasy quarterbacks. He was the QB1 in Week 2 when he threw for 400+ yards and six touchdowns.

On the other hand, we’ve seen a few players struggle immensely to live up to their lofty expectations. Joe Mixon (inefficiency) and Alvin Kamara (injuries) were late first-round or early second-round picks in virtually every fantasy football draft but have gotten off to disappointingly slow starts this season. Cam Akers (inefficiency) was drafted closer to the fourth round but has shown absolutely no value up to this point of the season. Finally, Darnell Mooney’s four catches for just 27 receiving yards heading into Week 4 makes him the biggest fantasy football bust of the season at the wide receiver position.

Let’s take a look at the biggest booms and busts at the various positions as we prepare for Week 4 of the fantasy football season.

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Booms

WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (ADP: 61.5)

Entering the 2022 season, Detroit Lions' second-year WR Amon-Ra St.Brown had an ADP of approximately 61.5 and was considered to be the 22nd wide receiver to come off the boards. Through the first three weeks of the season, St. Brown has been one of this year's hottest fantasy football wideouts. He’s averaging 24.4 PPR points per game as the WR3 in all of fantasy football and is only behind Stefon Diggs and Cooper Kupp in that department. 

St. Brown has tallied 23 receptions for 253 yards (11.0 AVG) and three touchdowns. He is dealing with a bad ankle which has kept him out of practice throughout the week and as a result, is listed as questionable for Week 4. However, St. Brown has more receiving yards right now than Marquise Brown, DeVonta Smith, and even Justin Jefferson. While the Lions are a mediocre team this season, St. Brown’s efficiency as a route-runner for Detroit has been lights out. Right now, St. Brown is averaging 84.3 receiving yards and one touchdown per game. For a guy who didn’t come off of most draft boards before the fifth or sixth rounds, the young wideout is vastly defying the expectations this season and is rewarding the fantasy owners who decided to draft him as one of their starting wide receivers. 

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RB Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (ADP: 80.5)

Veteran WR turned RB Cordarelle Patterson had a breakout season in his first year with the Atlanta Falcons in 2021. Despite being drafted as a punt-returning wide receiver in 2013, Patterson only had his breakout season at 30 years old last year in Atlanta where for the first time in his career Patterson played running back. Last season, Patterson had 153 carries for 618 rushing yards (4.0 AVG) and six touchdowns. Through the first three games of 2022, Patterson has had 49 carries for 302 rushing yards (6.2 AVG) and two touchdowns. Currently, Cordarelle Patterson ranks third in rushing yards among all players this season. Only Nick Chubb (341 rush yards) and Saquon Barkley (317 rush yards) are ahead of him. Nonetheless, Patterson is producing more yards per carry than both Chubb (5.5 AVG) and Barkley (6.0).

If you take the time to watch the Falcons play and specifically focus on Patterson’s rushing attempts, you will see the raw power and athleticism he brings to the table. His height, speed, and weight combine for powerful rushing attempts where Patterson is able to accelerate and charge into defensive lines. Despite it being only his second NFL season as a running back, Patterson has been turning heads and is exceeding all expectations. Before Week 1 and fantasy football drafts this season, Cordarelle Patterson had an average ADP of 80.5Now, he is the RB6 in PPR formats. He’s certainly provided a massive return on your investment if you drafted him in the middle rounds. He’s currently performing like a second-round selection despite playing with a mobile quarterback and elite weapons around him such as Drake London and Kyle Pitts.

 

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 135.5)

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa has absolutely shattered any expectations set for him before the season began. Miami signed WR Tyreek Hill to a record five-year multi-million deal before the season began, providing Tua with another route-runner to look for downfield. Clearly, this offseason acquisition has paid off.

More than that, Tua looks like he’s significantly improved as a player in comparison to last season. Tua has led the Dolphins to an undefeated record of 3-0. Tua has completed 71.3% of his passes (72-of-101) through the first three weeks of 2022 for 925 passing yards and eight touchdowns with just two interceptions. Tua has already recorded half of the passing touchdowns he produced in 13 games played in 2021 (16 touchdowns). It seems that Tua is more confident in his arm this season as he is throwing for more yards and touchdowns while at the same time, is barely rushing the football. Last year, Tua had 42 rushing attempts for 128 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Right now, Tua has only had four rushing attempts on the season. While his vastly upgraded corps of receivers is helping him succeed, Tua clearly improved as a quarterback in his third year and is right now one of the league’s most valuable fantasy QBs.  

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Busts

RB Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (ADP: 36.5)

In Week 1, the Rams opened up the NFL season against the Bills on Thursday night. Buffalo’s defense showcased their talent and absolutely shut down Los Angeles’ offense. Fantasy owners who selected Akers within the first four rounds of their drafts were heartbroken when Akers recorded just three rushing attempts for zero yards in the first game of the season. He performed slightly better in Week 2, when he had 15 carries for 44 yards and two catches for 18 receiving yards. Nonetheless, Akers averaged less than three yards per carry in Week 2. Akers finally got going in Week 3 where he had 12 rushing attempts for 61 yards (5.08 AVG) and one touchdown. Nonetheless, Akers is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry this season for a total of 105 rushing yards, 18 receiving yards, and just one touchdown. In turn, the Rams’ have expanded RB Darrell Henderson’s role as a running back. Though Henderson was the team’s RB2 heading into the 2022 season, he has more rushing yards (111) and receiving yards (26) than Akers through the first three weeks of the regular season. That alone is and should be a source of major concern for fantasy owners who drafted Akers to be one of their starting running backs. While he has plenty of time to turn things around, Akers is letting fantasy owners down in 2022 after missing the entirety of 2021 due to injury. Frankly, I’m afraid of this backfield and am not touching either Akers or Henderson. We could be looking at a season-long time share.

RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 9.5)

In virtually all fantasy football drafts this season, Joe Mixon was an undeniable first-round selection. However, the 2021 Pro-Bowler has been surprisingly inefficient running the football so far this season. Despite averaging 4.1 yards per carry last season, Mixon has produced just 163 yards for 58 rushing attempts (2.8 Y/A) through the first three weeks of 2022. While he has been decent as a pass-catching RB so far with 13 catches for 103 yards, Mixon has not gotten into the end zone once heading into Week 4. Despite averaging 68.5 rushing yards per game in his six-year NFL career, Mixon is only producing 54.3 rushing yards per game in 2022. He’s produced at least 71 rushing yards per game in each of the last four seasons. While Mixon could have his breakout game tonight as the Bengals host the undefeated Miami Dolphins, the first-round RB has produced the same number of fantasy points you would expect from a middle-of-the-pack fourth-round pick.

RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (ADP: 12.0)

While an injury to his ribs has been the biggest factor holding Saints’ RB Alvin Kamara up this season, he’s fallen well-below the expectations of a late first-round to early second-round draft selection. Kamara had a quiet Week 1 and it was reported after the game that he was working through an injury to his ribs. The Saints subsequently kept him out of the Week 2 contest against Tampa Bay. Kamara returned in Week 3 and looked a lot better. He had 15 rushing attempts for 61 yards. Still, Kamara has combined for just 100 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, and no touchdowns through Week 3. It was reported yesterday that Kamara was limited in the Saints’ Wednesday practice as a result of his ribs. While he could play in Week 4, Kamara is clearly still dealing with this injury which is preventing him from being at 100% health. As the season moves along, it seems probable that Kamara gets healthy and starts producing the numbers we are used to seeing out of AK41. Nonetheless, he has not produced close to the numbers fantasy owners would have expected heading into Week 4 and he may be among the biggest busts thus far this fantasy football season. Plus, you can’t forget about Mark Ingram in New Orleans’ backfield as well. Things aren’t looking food for Kamara owners in 2022. He played his best football during the Drew Brees era. Ever since Brees retired, Kamara has been a different kind of player and not quite as explosive.

WR Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (ADP: 67.5)

Darnell Mooney is probably the biggest wide receiver bust of 2022 so far. Though he’s been healthy and has started in all three of the Bears’ games so far this season, he’s only caught four passes for 27 yards and no touchdowns. He’s only converted on 4-of-11 targets (36.4 Ctch%) and has averaged just 9.0 yards per game through the first three weeks of the regular season. Some people may have drafted Mooney over guys like Amon Ra St-Brown or Saints rookie Chris Olave. Mooney is performing worse than many receivers who are currently free agents at the moment. While he could erupt for a huge game, Mooney’s lack of production is very concerning. He is without a question the biggest WR bust of the season as we are set to kick off Week 4. 

QB Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos (ADP: 76.0)

In his first year with the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson has struggled to get into rhythm with his new offense. In Week 1, Geno Smith and the Seahawks beat the new-looking Denver Broncos. Wilson did not have a terrible game. Despite only throwing for one touchdown in their season-opener, Wilson completed 69.0% of his passes for 340 yards and finished the game with a 101.3 rating. Despite their loss in the season-opener, Wison didn’t do terribly in his first appearance as the Broncos’ QB. He had an abysmal Week 2 against the Houston Texans defense where he only completed 45.2% of his passes against the Texans defense for 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He followed that up with a relatively unimpressive performance in  Week 3 against the 49ers. Last Sunday, Wilson threw for 184 yards but did not get a single touchdown. For the first time in his NFL career, Wilson is completing less than 60% of his passes. While he’s produced reasonable yardage, the fact that Wilson has only produced two touchdowns is a major concern. At the moment here are a few quarterbacks who were drafted well-below Wilson but are having much better fantasy seasons so far: Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, Matthew Stafford, and Ryan Tannehill. While Stafford and Tannehill have thrown their fair share of picks so far in 2022, they have more touchdowns and fantasy point production than Wilson heading into Week 4. Getting rid of Wilson at this point would be hard to do as he is a prime buy low candidate. Let’s hope that he and the Broncos’ offense can get into rhythm. It's unfathomable that Wilson has just two passing touchdowns heading into Week 4. Nonetheless, it is the reality. 


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