I’ve always said touchdowns and volume are what move the chains in fantasy. But sometimes, it’s as simple as being the last man standing. Is Panthers rookie Chuba Hubbard the next big thing or a mere flash in the pan? Three NFL games is too small a sample size to make that determination, but you could argue being “good” doesn’t actually matter. Useful fantasy contributors come in all shapes and sizes.
Take fill-in quarterback Taylor Heinicke of the Washington Football Team, for instance. The undrafted Old Dominion alum (not traditionally viewed as a college football power) was playing for the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL as recently as last year. But he’s made the most of his opportunity filling in for injured starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, soaring to a QB9 showing on the strength of 21.38 fantasy points in Week 3. You could say the same of Alexander Mattison, who breezed to 112 rushing yards while keeping the seat warm for hobbled workhorse Dalvin Cook in Minnesota. Similarly, no one is champing at the bit to play Mike Davis—he epitomizes the “three yards and a cloud of dust” aesthetic—but, just by showing up last season, he finished as the RB11 in PPR leagues.
Hoarding handcuffs in the off chance one of them ascends to elite fantasy status isn’t recommended, but once in a while, at the intersection of opportunity and usage, you’ll find a hidden gem. Christian McCaffrey, currently feeling the effects of a pulled hamstring, leaves behind a pair of mighty big shoes, but if anyone is equipped to fill them, it’s Hubbard, a former unanimous All-American and college football’s leading rusher in 2019.
Hubbard’s new standing atop the Panthers’ backfield was one of many topics we discussed on this week’s Fantasy Show, where we also scoured the waiver wire, brainstormed potential streamers and identified players poised for breakout weeks. Soak up our collective fantasy knowledge and dominate your Week 4 by clicking the video below.