Week 1 Stock Report
Here is a rundown of some players and teams whose value has changed after week 1.
WOW…week one was the week of the tight end. The usual guys produced, Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, and Vernon Davis, but some new guys burst onto the scene. Jared Cook and Jordan Cameron blew away their preseason hype and Julius Thomas exploded against the Baltimore Ravens. I don’t think tight ends will continue to produce at the rate they did in week one, but it looks like teams will be relying on the position more in the passing game. If you are weak at the TE position, look to get one off of your waivers or acquire one in a trade because it looks like they could be difference makers each week.
Wide open offense, high number of plays, and explosive players. The Eagles are going to wear teams out this year. LeSean McCoy, Desean Jackson, and Michael Vick looked great on Monday Night Football. McCoy has video game moves, Jackson was getting wide open all over the field, and Vick should put up stats as long as he is healthy. Even Brent Celek looked like a fantasy contributor in the new offense. Keep playing your Eagles until teams learn how to slow them down. Bryce Brown should be owned in all leagues as he would a strong #2 running back if McCoy gets injured.
This past week reminded everyone that the NFL is truly a passing league.
-15 receivers had more than 100 yards receiving.
-29 different receivers scored touchdowns.
-20 receivers had 10 or more targets.
Because teams are throwing the ball so much, top level receivers are going to be scoring like top 10 running backs. Get as many wide receivers in your starting lineup as possible. They are getting a ton of opportunities, especially in the red zone, which can only lead to more points for your team.
It could be a one week aberration or the start of a season-long trend, but only 2 running backs surpassed 100 yards rushing during week one. I still feel that the top running backs will be fine, but I don’t see them having a huge advantage over the top receivers this year. More teams are running spread offenses and are splitting carries between 2 or 3 backs during a game. The Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks are typically run heavy teams with talented running backs. Each team’s quarterback threw for over 300 yards and the team ran more passing plays than running plays. If your league has a flex position or the option to start either 2 running backs and 2 wide receivers or 1 running back and 3 wide receivers, I would consider starting an extra receiver in your lineup. It seems like the only time teams like to run the ball is when they are trying to waste the game clock at the end of a game to preserve a big lead.
-All Pittsburgh Steelers
This team hasn’t been bit by the injury bug, they have been bit by the injury pit bull. They lost their top offensive lineman in Maurkice Pouncey, and that is going to have a negative effect on the rest of the skill position players. They even lost Le’Veon Bell during the preseason and his impact will be lower when he comes back from injury. Their current running backs are below average at best and now they will have even less room to run. Ben Roethlisberger is going to have even less time to throw and he usually misses a few games a year due to injuries. They didn’t do anything against the Tennessee Titans, who had one of the worst defenses in the league last year. Hopefully you aren’t counting on any Steelers as a regular starter for your team. Antonio Brown should still be on rosters as a number 3 or 4 receiver. Emmanuel Sanders should only be owned in 12 team or larger leagues. Roethlisberger should not be counted on as more than a low end number 2 QB.
-Denver Broncos Running Backs
The saying is that if you have two starting quarterbacks, then you have no quarterback. We may need to come up with a saying for a team with three running backs. Unless there is an injury or someone has a dismal David Wilson like performance, the Denver running back situation is something that you want to avoid in your starting lineup. Each member of the Broncos three-headed monster has a specific role. Monte Ball seems to be the back that they want to get the goal-line carries and grind out games when the Broncos are up big. Knowshon Moreno is the most trusted for pass protection and Ronnie Hillman is the best receiver out of the backfield. The Broncos don’t trust any of these players enough to give them quality playing time to accumulate stats for fantasy. Moreno and Ball should be on rosters in leagues of 10 or more, if you own Hillman and you need a roster spot feel free to drop him.
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