Before I dive into the positional looks I wanted to make a note about the Bucs and Dolphins in lieu of their game being moved to Week 11 due to Hurricane Irma. This is a huge hit to the value and stock of every fantasy relevant player on both of these teams and not because they are not playing Week 1. With both of these teams losing their Week 11 bye due to the rescheduling they are now both going to have to play games 16 consecutive weeks. This is going to take a major toll on their bodies and I would think there would be an increased likelihood of injuries on both of these teams. The only possible exception would be Doug Martin who due to his suspension will have 3 less weeks of wear and tear. While I am not a doctor I can’t image the human body was built to sustain 16 consecutive weeks of playing NFL football with no break.
Now that the preseason has ended it is worth taking a look at some players whose dynasty fantasy football value has gone up and some that have gone down. For the purposes of this article I am going to avoid the obvious like Kareem Hunt who’s stock is up and Spencer Ware who’s stock is down. What I really want to look at is whose path to opportunities have become clearer or gloomier.
When compared to the “weapons” the Rams rolled out with him last year one can’t help but think that Goff is at least in a position now to see if he is any good. With the addition of Sammy Watkins this preseason Goff has a legit, when healthy, #1 WR to throw to along with some other options like Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Tavon Austin. While the sample size wasn’t huge this preseason Goff did complete 75% of his passes.
Honorable Mention – Jay Cutler, DeShone Kizer, Carson Wentz
The preseason couldn’t have really gone much worse for Glennon without getting injured. He lost his #1 WR in Cameron Meredith for the season and the heir apparent, Mitchell Trubisky, looked really good. While expectations weren’t exactly sky high for Glennon prior to the preseason he at least looked like a potential bye week fill in QB, but now he looks like a guy who belongs on the waiver wire. The weapons around him are not very good with Kendall Wright, Markus Wheaton and Kevin White as his WR options. I would honestly be surprised if Glennon is the starter for more than 8 game this season.
Honorable Mention – Paxton Lynch, Joe Flacco, Blake Bortles
Hyde is the polar opposite of Mike Glennon as his preseason could not have gone better. Many, including me, were wondering if Hyde might get cut by the end of the exhibition season. However, now he has an even stronger hold on the #1 job in SF. With the team releasing Tim Hightower and rookie Joe Williams going on injured reserve, the only threats to Hyde are Raheem Mostert and undrafted free agent Matt Breida. The biggest question for Hyde now is can he stay healthy enough to be an RB1 for the entire season. You certainly have to have confidence that Kyle Shannahan’s offense will put Hyde in a good position as it did for both Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman last year. For me, Hyde’s stock is way way up after this preaseason.
Honorable Mention – Doug Martin, Dalvin Cook, Chris Carson
This entire offseason and through training camp I have heard countless fantasy experts talk about how Wiliams is one of the leagues most valuable handcuff backs. This seemed even more accurate because Williams was healthy heading into camp this year unlike his rookie year last year. Mike Gillislee had a significant role last year as LeSean McCoy’s backup last year and many expected Williams to offer similar production. If McCoy had gotten hurt many touted Williams as a top 10 fantasy back. However, Williams was cut at the end of training camp by the Bills and is now on the Broncos practice squad. Needless to say this is certainly a step back for Williams and his value.
Honorable Mention – Joe Williams, Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy
After the injury to Julian Edelman no player on the Patriots seems to benefit more than Hogan. It is clear from the playoffs last year and the preseason this year that he has the most important thing and that is Tom Brady’s trust. Hogan is in line for a much larger target share with Edelman out and now finds himself as a borderline WR2 in most formats and leagues.
Honorable Mention – Kasen Williams, Jordan Matthews, Kenny Golladay, Eli Rogers, Rishard Matthews
Before the preseason started it looked like Woods was going to be the #1 WR for the Rams (I consider Tavon Austin more of a hybrid player) and as such was going to see a fair share of targets. With the addition of Woods’s former teammate in Buffalo, Sammy Watkins Woods, moves down the food chain for the Rams targets. In addition, rookie Coooper Kupp showed very well in the preaseason. I was high on Woods before traning camp started as I thought he was undervalued based on the opportunities he was due to see, but after the preseasons it it tough to see Woods being more than a back end fantasy option.
Honorable Mention – Jeremy Kerley, Jermaine Kearse, Carlos Henderson
Going into training camp everyone was drooling over the new weapons that the Titans had with Corey Davis and Eric Decker. However, both of those players struggled to stay healthy all preseason. What this means is heading into the season expect the Titans to rely on their old faithful TE Delanie Walker. Marcus Mariota has a good rapport with Walker and it seems likely that his target share will remain healthy.
Honorable Mention – Austin Hooper, George Kittle, Charles Clay
Many thought during the offseason that James was in line to be the #1 TE for the Steelers this season. Last week when the team acquired Vance McDonald from the 49ers it was clear that the team didn’t see James as a #1 TE. With Martavis Bryant reinstated there doesn’t appear to be very many targets available for James. So a guy who looked like he might be a sleeper now looks like a player who doesn’t have much value at all.
Honorable Mention – Erik Swope, any TE on the Ravens
My thoughts go out to all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and to all of those in the path of Hurricane Irma (like myself) stay safe. It seems like we have been without real football forever and now finally it is here. Good luck to all this season and keep an eye out each week for the content we are going to be pushing out here at Dynasty Sports Empire.