Fantasy Football 2022: Buying or Selling Week 4 Standout Performances
Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season saw several standout fantasy performances, many from players who had been having quiet campaigns up until now.
While some of these showings may be a sign of things to come, others will be remembered as little more than anomalies during an overwhelmingly disappointing season.
With that in mind, read on for a look at some of the top fantasy football outings of Week 4 and whether you should be buying into them or selling them.
Fantasy points referenced are from point-per-reception (PPR) formats. Average draft position (ADP) is courtesy of FantasyPros.com
Justin Jefferson Has a Huge Game After 2 Quiet Weeks
Justin Jefferson went into the season as one of the top wide receivers in any fantasy format. The 23-year-old had an ADP of No. 6 overall and was generally the No. 2 wideout off the board.
Despite these lofty expectations, Jefferson was relatively quiet for the last two weeks. After opening the campaign with a 39.4-point explosion against the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers, Jefferson only notched a pedestrian 15.2 points across the last two contests. But he rewarded his managers' faith with another scoring bonanza Sunday.
The Minnesota Vikings star lit up the New Orleans Saints, hauling in 10 receptions for 147 yards. He also punched in a three-yard rushing score to push his PPR scoring mark to 31.0.
Expect more days like this over the remainder of the season. Jefferson saw a season-high 13 targets in Week 4, more than doubling the concerning six looks he saw in Week 3.
With that kind of volume, Jefferson is too talented to not record eye-popping fantasy production.
Buying that Justin Jefferson is back to being a top wideout.
Jamaal Williams Explodes Again in Feature Role
The Detroit Lions went into Week 4 with a slew of their top contributors sidelined or limited with injuries, including No. 1 wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown and top running back D'Andre Swift. The Lions still managed to keep their offense red-hot by putting up 45 points in a barnburner with the Seattle Seahawks.
One of the main reasons Detroit was so competitive was the play of running back Jamaal Williams, who shone in a feature role with Swift sidelined.
Williams finished Week 4 with 23.9 fantasy points after he rushed 19 times for 108 yards and two scores and added one reception for one yard.
It was the second consecutive week in which Williams scored a pair of rushing touchdowns. With Swift banged up against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3, Williams posted a season-high 24.7 fantasy points.
While the 27-year-old is clearly earning a full-time role as the short-yardage and goal-line back because of his incredible production in those situations, he’s likely going to take a large step back upon Swift’s return.
Prior to going down with shoulder and ankle injuries against the Vikings, Swift had been fantasy's No. 3-scoring running back in PPR leagues between Weeks 1 and 2. Williams was no slouch either, but his 23.0 points over the first two weeks were only the 25th-most in the league.
Managers who have been relying on Williams over these last couple of games may want to consider dealing him while his value is sky-high. Even if he doesn't play in Week 5, Swift will likely be back in the lineup in time for a Week 7 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys (Detroit has a Week 6 bye). Williams will come back to earth in his usual backup role.
Selling that Jamaal Williams will continue to have a starring role in Detroit's offense.
Dameon Pierce Has a Career-Best Game
Dameon Pierce was one of the more hyped rookie backs during the 2022 offseason. Despite the significant buzz surrounding him, the Florida product largely underwhelmed over the first two games.
After Pierce posted an abysmal 4.9 points in the opener and followed that up with a still-weak 8.7-point showing in Week 2, many managers pushed him to the bench.
Things finally began turning around for the first-year back in Week 3, when he earned a season-high 20 totes and generated 18.1 fantasy points against the Chicago Bears. While he didn't see as many touches in Week 4, he managed to eclipse the 20-point mark for the first time in his career with a dazzling showing against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Pierce went off for 131 rushing yards and a score on just 14 carries. He also saw his most action yet in the passing game, hauling in all six of his targets for eight yards. Prior to Week 4, Pierce had been targeted only four times.
This was the kind of performance managers were hoping for when they selected the Houston rusher with an average ADP of 81. Pierce was a popular sleeper who is just starting to wake up and could get even better with more experience under his belt.
The 22-year-old has a chance to reach new highs in touches with a Week 5 matchup against a tough Jacksonville Jaguars defense.
Pierce has clearly usurped Rex Burkhead as the Texans RB1, logging a career-high 68 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, and could soon be approaching that status in fantasy as well.
Buying that Dameon Pierce is just getting started.
Josh Jacobs Performs Like a Future PPR Star
The Las Vegas Raiders finally got in the win column for the first time during the 2022 season, riding a scintillating showing from running back Josh Jacobs to beat the AFC West rival Denver Broncos.
During a week in which Derek Carr and the passing offense slumped—the quarterback only completed 21 of 34 passing attempts for 188 yards and zero touchdowns—Jacobs led a backfield that dominated the Denver front.
The fourth-year back rushed 28 times for 144 yards and two scores while adding five receptions for 31 yards. He finished the day with 34.5 fantasy points, good for the second-most of his career.
While his rushing output was fantastic, Jacobs is starting to turn some heads in PPR leagues because of his increased involvement in the passing attack. Sunday marked the second game in a row that the 24-year-old saw at least five targets and hauled in five of them.
Going into 2022, it appeared that Jacobs would be less involved as a pass-catcher after the acquisition of star wideout Davante Adams. That seemed to be the case after the back had just one target in each of Vegas' first two games, but Jacobs is now on a pace to post similar numbers to last year, when he saw 64 targets.
It's unlikely that'll continue, however. The Alabama product's high volume of targets has come with Hunter Renfrow—the talented slot receiver who racks up the type of short-yardage receptions Jacobs has been getting—on the sidelines with a concussion.
With Renfrow potentially returning in Week 5, Jacobs will likely be far less involved as a pass-catcher. While he could still have some incredible outings like this past one on the ground, his floor will be much lower in PPR leagues, and he’ll be a much more volatile running back option overall.
Selling that Josh Jacobs is going to be a star PPR running back.
J.K. Dobbins Has His 1st Big Game Since 2020
After missing the entire 2021 season and the first two weeks of the current campaign while recovering from a knee injury, Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins finally reemerged in Week 3.
While he looked rusty in his return, scoring just six fantasy points on nine touches against the New England Patriots, the 23-year-old appeared to be close to full strength in Week 4, giving a glimpse of the production that gave him an ADP of 50.
Dobbins nearly doubled his touches against the Buffalo Bills while scoring 22.3 fantasy points. While he didn't dominate Buffalo’s ferocious defensive front with 41 yards on 13 carries, Dobbins had a touchdown on the ground and was a key part of the passing game, catching all four of his targets for 22 yards and a score.
Given this showing came against the league's reigning No. 1 defense—one that had allowed just 173 rushing yards prior to its Week 4 meeting with the Ravens—it's looking likely that Dobbins will improve in the softer matchups Baltimore has on tap.
The coaching staff appears to be ready to hand the reins of the backfield over to Dobbins. He saw 50 percent of the offensive snaps and the lion's share of running back carries (13 of 22) this week and should only build on that starting in Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Buying that J.K. Dobbins will be a fantasy star in 2022.
Marquise Brown Has Another Double-Digit Target Day
The Arizona Cardinals have gotten plenty of value out of their draft-day trade for Marquise Brown.
The wideout has been the focal point of the team's high-volume passing attack over the first four games, amassing team highs in receptions (30), targets (45), yardage (339) and tying for the most receiving touchdowns (2).
Week 4 marked the third straight matchup in which Brown saw at least 11 targets and the second consecutive contest in which he scored at least 20 fantasy points. His six-catch, 88-yard, one-touchdown showing Sunday followed up a Week 3 outing in which the wideout had a career-high 14 catches for 140 yards.
As brilliant as the 25-year-old has looked, it’s likely that a good chunk of the volume he has been getting as Arizona's WR1 will be diverted toward others soon.
DeAndre Hopkins will soak up a large chunk when he's done serving his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, and Rondale Moore (hamstring) should only get more looks when he's back to 100 percent after making his season debut in Week 4.
Brown will assuredly have a key role in head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s pass-happy offense, but he'll likely serve as more of a field-stretching deep threat and big-play weapon rather than a possession receiver after Week 6.
Managers may want to sell high on Brown before Hopkins returns, getting as much value as they can for the wideout before his targets start to dry up.
Selling that Marquise Brown will continue to see a high volume of targets this season.