With Week Three of the 2021 NFL season in the books, fantasy football teams have already begun separating from the pack. Dynasty owners continue to constantly scour the waiver wire and opposing teams, hoping to pick up a hidden gem or two to bolster their roster for 2021 and beyond. In what was projected to be a deep rookie class, mid-round rookies have had varying levels of success. Below is a look at players whose dynasty stocks rose and sank as I forecast what they are worth and what we can expect moving forward.
RB Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers
As the handcuff to the most valuable asset in fantasy football, Christian McCaffrey, Hubbard is the top waiver pickup in redraft leagues and thus has seen his stock shoot up in dynasty leagues. With McCaffrey suffering a hamstring strain in Carolina’s Thursday night victory over the Houston Texans, fantasy owners are getting Mike Davis déjà vu with Hubbard. Though the presence of Royce Freeman in Carolina’s backfield may concern some, Hubbard received the lion’s share of opportunities (11 targets & 5 carries) and is ticketed for a workhorse role. His biggest risk is that he remains dependent on McCaffrey’s recovery timeline. This has opened up a selling window for Hubbard in dynasty, particularly for rebuilding teams looking for a piece with a more direct path to playing time long-term. As a late second/early third-round pick in rookie drafts, owners of rebuilding teams should look to cash out on Hubbard at what could be the peak of his value. A second-round pick in 2022, along with an intriguing young piece (such as Gabriel Davis) is solid value for a long-term handcuff drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.
WR Dyami Brown, Washington Football Team
Drafted in the third round by Washington, Brown looked to join stud wide receiver Terry McLaurin and offseason acquisition Curtis Samuel to form a formidable trio at receiver for Ryan Fitzpatrick in the nation’s capital. Injuries have quickly derailed this plan, as Fitzpatrick suffered a major hip injury in the Football Team’s Week One loss to the Chargers. Meanwhile, Samuel has spent the first three weeks of the season on Injured Reserve thanks to a groin injury. Despite a decreased lack of competition for targets, Brown has registered just four catches on 12 targets for 32 yards. He has seen his snap share decrease in all three games as he’s struggled to connect with quarterback Taylor Heinicke. Brown’s inability to make plays in the slot or downfield is concerning and doesn’t bode well for his dynasty prospects. Brown was selected in the early third round of most rookie dynasty drafts, and if he can be moved for any third-round rookie pick he absolutely should be. He remains a cut candidate in shallower leagues, and a hold in deeper leagues where owners can hope his draft lends itself to outweighing his current production.