Before I dive into this week’s stock watch I wanted to touch on another topic quickly. I live in Florida and during this past week as Hurricane Irma closed in my wife and I watched a lot of the television coverage. There was one thing that stuck out to me during the coverage that had some relevance to fantasy football. It amazed me the amount of people who ignored the mandatory evacuation orders that were given in South Florida. As I thought about what made these folks do this it dawned on me they were trying to be heroes. Just like in fantasy football where oftentimes we want to find that sleeper or hidden gem.
Those folks in South Florida were more concerned with saying they stayed and survived (hopefully) then they were about their own safety. Oftentimes, I feel like some owners are more excited about finding the hidden gem then they are with winning. They have no fear of the risk that the player will bomb and their team with it. They only see the upside of being able to brag about riding out the storm or finding the diamond in the rough. While this may work out for you every once in a while, it doesn’t seem like the best way to do things consistently.
The intention of this stock watch is not to highlight the obvious and tell you that David Johnson’s and Allen Robinson’s stock is down. If you need me to tell you that then you are in trouble in DSE. This is intended to look at some of the subtler risers and fallers.
I wrote about Goff last week as being value up and this week I am even more strongly behind this. While it was against the Colts, Goff looked the part of a much-improved player this past week. He was accurate (21 for 29 which is 72%), threw for over 300 yards and had no turnovers. He spread the ball around to Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp along with his TEs and RBs. I watched some of this game and he looked like a different QB then last year. Don’t forget Goff is only 22 years old and if he can continue this trend this week against the Redskins those Dynasty owners that had patience with him might very well find a long-term reward.
Honorable Mention – DeShone Kizer, Alex Smith, Sam Bradford
Did someone forget to tell Dalton that the game against the Ravens counted? To be fair the Ravens have a very good defense but 16-31 for 170 yards and 4 INTs is just horrible. What is even more unnerving about this is the Bengals had all of their weapons for this game. This might be the most talented group Dalton has had around him and he still threw up this dud. It is definitely worth keeping an eye on Dalton this week to see if he remains a viable QB1 or at worst a high-end backup.
Honorable Mention – Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco, Tom Savage
I know I said this wasn’t going to be a column about the obvious. However, for me, why Hunt’s stock is up isn’t that he is good or that he had a good week. What really impressed me about Hunt was how well he caught the ball out of the backfield. If Hunt can continue to show he is a reliable three down back his stock goes up even higher. I like most folks felt that Charcandrick West was going to be the main third down back but this might not be the case. West showed good hands, good route running skills and he made plays. If this week and moving forward he continues to show the same ability to catch the ball he might find himself among the elite fantasy RBs.
Honorable Mention – CJ Anderson, Tarik Cohen, Giovani Bernard, Dalvin Cook
Mark Ingram/Adrian Peterson/Alvin Kamara
I am convinced that Sean Payton hates fantasy football team owners. He seems to especially have an issue with Mark Ingram. Ingram ran for over 1,000 yards with an over 5.0 yards per carry last year with 46 receptions and the reward was the team bringing in Peterson and drafting Kamara. In their week 1 game the team split the carries 6 for Peterson, 6 for Ingram and 7 for Kamara and it isn’t like any of them had significantly better numbers than the other. This backfield is going to be a mess all year long. The best you can hope for is that at some point Payton realizes that Ingram is good and Peterson is done. Otherwise this entire year is going to be a guessing game.
Honorable Mention – Jamaal Charles, Dion Lewis, Eddie Lacy
Hopkins had 16 targets in Week 1 which led the NFL and was more than 10% of the targets he got last year total. If you are only looking at the surface numbers on the stat sheet you will see that he only had 7 receptions for 55 yards with a TD. While those numbers might not overwhelm you the target number jumps out at me. Again, remember we are looking for guys with a clear path to opportunities. If the Texans can find anyone, Savage or Watson, who can play QB at a decent level Hopkins could very well move back towards the numbers he put up in 2015 (111 catches for 1,521 yards and 11 TDs).
Honorable Mention – Randall Cobb, Cooper Kupp, Corey Davis, Pierre Garcon, Allen Hurns
I know this one borders on being the obvious but White to me seems like one of those guys Dynasty owners make excuses for, like a Josh Gordon. White was drafted #7 overall by the Bears in 2015 and since then has a total of 21 receptions while playing 5 career games. Don’t be the owner that looks at him and thinks he is the same guy that was drafted in 2015. After the number of injuries he has had and the little football he has been able to play since then he just isn’t worth it. Think of all the practice time White has missed hampering him from being able to get better. Like with anything in life you don’t get better at it by not doing it. Unfortunately for White his health issues might never let us see what he could have been.
Honorable Mention – Chris Hogan, Mike Wallace, Kenny Britt
I admit I had to look up who Seth DeValve is as I really had no idea who he was until Sunday. However, DeValve had a nice day on Sunday for the Browns catching 4 passes for 42 yards and getting 5 targets. He was the team’s second leading receiver in both yards and catches this past Sunday. With a rookie QB the TE position seemed likely to get a lot of passes thrown their way. The thought was that 1st round pick David Njoku would be the player who got the majority of these receptions and targets. However, it looks like at this point DeValve is ahead of Njoku. At a fantasy football position that is fairly weak a player like DeValve might have some value as a bye week fill-in with an opportunity to be more.
Honorable Mention – Austin Hooper, Zach Miller, Charles Clay
Many thought coming into the season that this would be Henry’s breakout fantasy year for the Chargers. Well on Monday night against the Broncos he had zero targets. While I still think Henry is going to be a TE1 type player it might have to wait until Antonio Gates retires. The Chargers have a lot of mouths to feed with Tyrell Williams, Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, Gates and others. If you are a win now team you might explore the market for Henry as his ascension might not happen this year.
Honorable Mention – Texans TEs, Ravens TEs, Rob Gronkowski
Good luck heading into week 2 of your fantasy football season and remember to stay patient as the season is young.