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Week 4 Stock Report
Each week I will highlight players and teams who have seen their value rise or fall during the previous week. I will also try to highlight players that have favorable schedules coming up that could give them a boost in value. Remember that you always want to sell high and buy low!
Stock Up/Buy Low
Powell plays with a rookie quarterback, his coach loves to run the ball, has an above average offensive line, solid defense, and his main competition is injured (again) with a bad hamstring. Powell should be the #1 target for waiver wire pick-up this week. While he isn’t an immensely talented running back, he has adequate ability and plays in a great situation. With the running back talent lacking this year, you have to like a guy who will get most of the work in a run heavy offense. When Chris Ivory comes back from his latest injury, he will be the clear back-up running back. Powell should have plenty of opportunities to put up #2 running back numbers for the foreseeable future.
Hopkins has shown consistency thus far, he is a precise route runner, and Schaub trusts him. He may see his workload continue to increase as Andre Johnson is dealing with a variety of injuries. He obviously has talent, and should only get better as he gets more comfortable with pro game. He does have a rather difficult schedule in 3 of the next 4 weeks, but could be very valuable during the second half of the season.
Avery has been able to take advantage of Alex Smith‘s noodle arm with underneath throws and crossing patterns. Smith just does not take chances downfield and Avery has been the biggest beneficiary. Avery has always been one of the fastest players in the league and has the potential to a ton of yards in the open field. Plus, 4 of his next 5 games are at home. Look for Avery to continue to get a high number of targets while Smith plays it safe on offense.
Big and fast receiver. Big arm rookie Qbs tend not to struggle with bombs, it’s the short-to-intermediate passes guys like Geno Smith struggle with. Hill is likely to have multiple long-pass targets a game. All you need, as a fantasy owner, is for one of those long passes to connect. The Jets are a run first team, but they usually have a couple opportunities with play action to go deep to Hill. I would expect the Jets to take more chances with Hill as long as he shows he can hang onto the ball. Santonio Holmes looked great last week, but he hasn’t had the best track record with the Jets. Hill should continue to be the main receiving threat for the Jets going forward.
One of the most talented hidden gems out there. If his knees cooperate, will work well as a slot receiver in the pass-happy offense of the Lions. Detroit is in desperate need of something other than dump off throws to their running backs and jump balls to Megatron. It may take a couple of weeks, but he’ll be owned in most leagues come November. With Burleson breaking his arm in a car accident, Broyles has his opportunity to get a bunch of playing time for the Lions. Burleson put up good numbers last week against a bad Washington pass defense, and Broyles should be able to get 6-8 targets a game coming out of the slot.
Despite being a running back that doesn’t get many carries, Clay has been very consistent, and will surely find the end zone soon. If this guy had a couple of TDs under his belt, he’d be owned in a majority of leagues. With the improvement of Tannehill and Hartline, and the ability for Wallace to stretch the field, you should see an increase in Clay’s value. He has been getting 5-6 catches and 50-60 yards a game so far, and that could increase as the Dolphins offense continues to develop.
Stock Down/Sell high
Teams are stacking 8-9 guys in the box because EJ Manuel has not proven he can torch opposing secondaries yet. When Fred Jackson comes in, they don’t stack the line as much (expecting, more so, a pass), and thus, his stats have been better. Spiller also got banged up against the Jets, which is another reason why he stat line from week 3 looked so bad. It doesn’t seem like a severe injury that will keep him out for several weeks, but the Bills may lighten his workload to make sure he makes it through the season. Jackson has played better than expected and the Bills may rely on him more in upcoming games. If you can still get a high-end WR2 or RB2 for him, seize the opportunity.
Going into the year, Richardson was touted as a top 10 running back because of talent and opportunity. In Cleveland, he was the no question #1 option at running back. He was going to get most of the carries for the Browns, play on 3rd down, and be their goal line back. While he is on a more powerful offense with the Colts, his role has changed. The Colts are trying to build a Power run offense and Richardson is going to be a big part of that. The problem is the number of opportunities that he is going to have is dimished because he is basically in a time-share with Ahmad Bradshaw. I think Richardson will get more playing time than Bradshaw, but Bradshaw has been playing too well not to get 10-15 touches a game. Some have even questioned his talent as an elite runner because the Browns were willing to trade him. Richardson has not shown elusive ability to break runs past 10 yards, but he has shown that he can score from short yardage. It is highly doubtful that you will see round 1 production from Richardson on the Colts.
Well at least he didn’t fumble last week! Wilson is so preoccupied with not fumbling, that he has become an easy tackle (and unable to break tackles). It slows him down, and he is unable to take chances that make elusive guys like Shady McCoy so dangerous in the open field. He is also sharing carries with two other running backs, so his opportunities are limited. He actually had a nice touchdown run last week that was called back on a questionable holding penalty. The Giants are a complete mess on offense and Wilson is not getting the playing time to merit a spot as a starter for your fantasy team. Keep him on your bench until the Giants get things figured out.
Bowe is a physical receiver similar to Anquan Boldin. However, Alex Smith does not want to take chances, not only downfield, but in tight spaces either, an area where Bowe could otherwise succeed. It is extremely frustrating to watch the Chiefs play while owning Bowe. If the Chiefs keep winning with the current offensive philosophy, I don’t see how Bowe increases his production this year to that of a quality #3 receiver. They are going to run the ball a ton this year and they don’t want Smith turning the ball over. I would keep Bowe out of your starting lineup until further notice.