NFC West Stock Market: Week 4

In Week 3, Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johson (left) proved that he can still produce. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a step back.

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

The NFL regular season is more volatile on a week-to-week basis than the Stock Market. One team that lost by several touchdowns the week before can follow up with a blowout victory. Players who are responsible for the blame one week could be responsible for a game-winning play the next.

With Week 4 of the regular season in the books, let’s take a look at three NFC West players who saw their stock rise, and three NFC West players who saw it fall.

Three Up

Chris Johnson, running back, Arizona

He’s not the same back who lit up the NFL Combine with a 4.24 clocking in the 40 or rushed for 2,000 yards in his second season, but Chris Johnson provided a reminder he can be much more than a bit player. In his second straight start in place of an injured Andre Ellington, Johnson rushed for 110 yards and two TDs on 22 carries. Four days after turning 30, Johnson piled up his highest rushing total since the 2013 regular-season finale.

Jimmy Graham, tight end, Seattle

Jimmy Graham was limited to one catch and targeted twice in Week 2 amid reports that he was frustrated with his role — or lack thereof — in the Seattle Seahawks’ run-first offense. Frustrated or not, Graham bounced back in a big way against the Chicago Bears, hauling in seven catches for 83 yards — both season highs — and scoring the lone offensive touchdown of the game in the 26-0 victory.

Alec Ogletree, linebacker, St. Louis

Alec Ogletree helped spark a strong defensive performance in a losing effort for the St. Louis Rams, who held the high-powered Pittsburgh Steelers to 259 yards of total offense in a 12-6 setback. Ogletree registered over 100 tackles in each of his first two seasons and tied for the team high with nine on Sunday. He also recorded a pair of sacks, which surpassed his total (1.5) from the first two seasons combined.

Three Down

Colin Kaepernick, quarterback, San Francisco

Assigning individual blame in a 40-point loss is no easy task, but Colin Kaepernick took the life out of the 49ers when he had two interceptions returned for touchdowns less than six minutes into the game at Arizonas. Kaepernick finished with a career-high four picks — the last one coming on the first play of the second half — en route to a dismal 9-of-19, 67-yard performance in the 47-7 drubbing.

Tre Mason, running back, St. Louis

With first-round draft pick Todd Gurley making his season debut for the Rams, it was a prime opportunity for Mason to make a statement and solidify his spot in the backfield. Instead, Mason submitted a line of 16 yards on nine carries and added one reception for 15 yards in a 12-6 loss to the Steelers. A hamstring injury kept Mason out of the opener and he managed 26 yards on seven carries in Week 2.

Torrey Smith, wide receiver, San Francisco

Give a big assist to Kaepernick for the rapid fall of Smith, who did not have a catch and was targeted twice in the 49ers’ beat-down at Arizona. Smith was coming off a big game in Week 2, reeling in a 75-yard scoring strike and finishing with six receptions for 120 yards. A one-dimensional wideout, Smith became an afterthought when the 49ers decided to muzzle Kaepernick after the two early pick-sixes and stick with the ground game.