Week 3 of the NFL has come and gone, hard to believe the season is almost a quarter over. By now, the foggy scope that clouded our perceptions on each team/player is dissipating, and it gives us a clearer picture of who will continue to dominate, whose dominance may slow down a bit, and whose dominance hasn’t been fully realized but is ready to burst through.
Last week, we talked about trading players and gave some guidelines for pulling off a trade. But it’s also important to realize that every season has an ebb and flow to it, and every player falls into three categories. Those categories are: Underachievers, overachievers, and just-right achievers.
Here are some players who’ve been strong to start the season, but there stock is quickly falling.
Giovani Bernard RB, Cincinnati Bengals
The rookie running back broke out in Week 2, catching a 27-yard touchdown pass in addition to running for a score against Pittsburgh. He posted another solid game in Week 3 with 99 total yards and a touchdown against Green Bay.
Though Bernard is becoming a factor in the Bengals’ offense, his participation is still a red flag. He only played a bulk of the snaps last week because starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis coughed up the ball. His upcoming schedule is also tough, with the Bengals taking on a tough front four in the Cleveland Browns and then another in the New England Patriots.
Chris Johnson RB, Tennessee Titans
Johnson has put up consistent yardage numbers this season, which makes him tradeable. In three games, he rushed for 70, 96, and 90 yards respectively, but has yet to find the end zone and is a non-factor in the passing game.
More importantly, he’s not getting the ball in goal line situations, meaning all his touchdowns will come via the long run. The Titans upcoming schedule is particularly brutal and features the likes of Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers.
Ahmad Bradshaw RB, Indianapolis Colts
Bradshaw owners who thought they were snake bitten when the Colts traded for Trent Richardson breathed a sigh of relief in Week 3. Bradshaw outperformed the 2012 No. 3 overall pick against the 49ers on Sunday in both attempts and rushing yards. Sure, owners can exhale for now, but the writing is on the wall. Teams don’t trade away first-round picks for nothing, so Richardson is bound to take over in the coming weeks. Trade Bradshaw now.
And here’s a group of players who would be a fantastic addition to any team:
Reggie Wayne WR, Indianapolis Colts
Wayne is definitely not the playmaking, touchdown machine he once was. Still, his savvy route running and ball skills combined with a decent quarterback tossing him the rock are grounds for consistency. Aside from a tough matchup in two weeks against Seattle, he’ll vie against more pedestrian defenses in Jacksonville, San Diego, and Denver. Overall, Wayne still gets open at will and sees enough targets to warrant WR1 numbers but at the very least will be sneaky consistent as a WR2.
Arian Foster RB, Houston Texans
The timeshare with Ben Tate has zapped Foster from a dominant RB1 to just an RB2. Plus, with one of the toughest schedules upcoming — Houston plays Seattle, San Franciso, and Kansas City in the next four weeks — so it may seem dumb to try and trade for Foster as of now. However, the guy finally started to show signs of life last week as he knifed through the Baltimore defense for 54 yards on 12 carries. He’ll remain an RB2-level talent as long as Tate is there, but has the upside of a RB1 down the line as he continues to heal from a preseason injury.