With Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season in the books, the truly elite fantasy football teams continue to separate themselves as many squads are falling victim to injuries and under-performances. For dynasty owners, manning the waiver wire and looking for opportunities to acquire talent that can help in 2021 and beyond is a major key to success. Young wide receivers often form the core of dynasty rosters, and hitting on the right ones can be crucial. Below is a look at two receivers whose stocks have changed dramatically in the past four weeks.
WR Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
As a popular sleeper pick in redraft leagues this season, Mooney entered 2021 as a dynasty darling who saw his stock skyrocket throughout the summer after Chicago drafted Justin Fields. With poor QB play through the first three weeks, Mooney recorded just 12 passes for 101 yards. He exploded in Week 4. The sophomore wideout compiled 5 catches on 7 targets for 125 yards, including a 64-yard reception, and chipped in a ten-yard carry for good measure.
As Fields continues to acclimate to the NFL, Mooney’s stock will continue to rise. With head coach Matt Nagy announcing that Fields is the starting quarterback in the Windy City moving forward, the buy-low window will slam shut as soon as this Sunday. After compiling 61 catches for 631 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season, it’s clear the wide receiver is extremely talented and will grow as Chicago’s offense does. I would advise aggressively pursuing Mooney as his price will only continue to increase as the season progresses. Any rookie second-round pick along with one or two ancillary pieces (a rookie third-round pick or a player such as Rhamondre Stevenson) is a fair price for Mooney; I also prefer him to Marshall mentioned next.
WR Terrace Marshall Jr., Carolina Panthers
Rookie drafts throughout the summer saw Marshall’s ADP skyrocket with the arrival of Sam Darnold and a reunion with former LSU passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Brady. Wide receiver Robby Anderson was also entering the last season of his contract but signed a three-year extension in the last week of August. Since then, Marshall’s value has continued to sink as he reigns fourth – at best – in the pecking order of a Panthers offense that is vastly improved but yet to demonstrate it can support that many fantasy-relevant players. Marshall’s snap counts have ranged between 51-71% this season as he’s produced just 14 catches for 93 yards. Darnold has developed a strong rapport with DJ Moore and the presence of veteran wideout Robby Anderson and elite running back Christian Mccaffery has helped hinder his numbers. Despite having similar year-to-date production as Mooney, he would be hard-pressed to ascend in the passing game over the next couple of seasons. I would advise shopping Marshall, particularly if owners in your league still believe in a path to relevancy for him and are still hanging on to his preseason performance. I would be willing to swap Marshall for Mooney, a 2023 second-round pick, or a combination of less exciting players such as Michael Gallup and Denzel Mims.