It’s really crazy to think that the football season is already one quarter in the books. It’s been a little over a month now since fantasy draft season, and as owners we have a good sense of who has succeeded and who has disappointed. For every quarter of the NFL season, I will do an evaluation of the studs and duds since Week 1. It will be interesting to see how the standouts thus far will stack up against those in December, but let’s not jump the gun, so here are the first quarter studs and duds:
Kareem Hunt – This almost goes without saying. Prior to the third week of the preseason, Kareem Hunt wasn’t even a starter on his team. He was a third-round pick out of Toledo, and the Kansas City Chiefs rightfully traded up to draft him after an illustrious college career. Only when Spencer Ware tore his PCL in the third preseason game did Hunt gain the workhorse title. Since then, Kareem Hunt has done nothing but dazzle. He ranks first among all RBs in fantasy points this year, and has shown no signs of slowing down after his 45-point NFL debut. Kareem Hunt is the biggest stud so far.
Stefan Diggs – Diggs has a history of hot starts, but nothing like the string of performances he’s had in 2017 thus far. In a league of inconsistent receivers, Diggs has been a rock, as he ranks first among receivers this year. The ex-Terp was electric in his first game of the season with Sam Bradford at the helm, but struggled in the second, with the injury to his starting QB. Oh, he rebounded quite nicely, putting up 8 catches for 173 yards and two TDs in the following week and 5 catches for 98 yards last week, with Case Keenum at QB. Diggs has certainly been a stud so far.
Alex Smith – In the past, Alex Smith has been labeled as a game manager, or a QB who won’t do anything spectacular, but also doesn’t often make mistakes. This has been half-true so far. He has been spectacular this year, with 1,067 passing yards and 8 passing TDs to go along with 1 rushing touchdown. Smith also has not made any mistakes, as he has 0 turnovers through 4 weeks. Alex Smith has certainly been a surprise stud quarterback.
Isaiah Crowell – Crowell came into 2017 with so much promise. Personally, I have never been an Isaiah Crowell fan, and this year my intuition was correct. Crowell has lost work due to the emergence of the young halfback from the U, Duke Johnson Jr. Last week, Isaiah only got 7 carries against the Bengals. Since Crowell has ranked around 50th amongst running backs in fantasy points, he has been a dud through Week 4.
Amari Cooper – These first four weeks have been ugly for Cooper. He went within the first few rounds of all fantasy drafts this year, often being drafted as a fringe WR1. Since his Week 1 touchdown, Cooper is yet to reach the endzone. His knack for dropping balls has prevented him from reaching painter, and his numbers have been atrocious. The former first-round pick ranks near 70th amongst fantasy receivers. Last week, Cooper only had 2 catches for 9 yards. Because of this lack of production, Amari Cooper has been a dud.
Andrew Luck – The Andrew Luck scenario is very frustrating to his fantasy owners. Luck was drafted as a top QB option, yet has not debuted in 2017 yet. He is finally practicing, but this injury seems to be taking the recovery time of an ACL tear. This means that through 4 weeks, Andrew Luck fantasy owners have probably been scrambling for a quarterback, and their luck seems to be running out (I’m sorry). Since he has totaled 0 points this year, Andrew Luck has been a dud.
Hopefully you are not 0-4 right now, but do not get discouraged if you are. It’s a long season, and unless your name is Ben Dickson (my opponent this week), I wish you the best of luck in Week 5!