Week 6 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!
- The Bears may have finally found a #2 receiver to play opposite Brandon Marshall. Jeffery has seen at least 8 targets in 4 of the 5 games so far this year. This includes averaging 12 targets during the past two weeks. Jeffery has benefited from teams giving Marshall so much attention because he has been Jay Cutler‘s favorite receiver in both Denver and Chicago. Obviously he isn’t going to put up the types of numbers he did against the Saints ( 1o-218-1), but he has become an important part of the Bears offense. Cutler has shown confidence in throwing his way, and Jeffery should see 8-10 targets per game for the rest of the year. That could translate into 5-6 catches, 60-80 yards per game, and 7-9 touchdowns for the year. The Bears have shown that they like to throw the ball in the red zone, and Jeffery will get his fair amount of chances from Cutler. He has an unbelievably easy schedule the next two weeks (Giants and Redskins). Look for him to continue to put up WR2/WR3 numbers for the Bears.
2. Eddie Lacy
- Lacy came back from his concussion with a strong game against the Lions. He had 99 yards on 23 carries, and was the main running back used by the Packers. Jonathan Franklin, who had a big game against the Bengals, had another fumble in week 5 and didn’t play much after the fumble. Don’t look now, but the high-flying Packers offense is ranked 5th in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Lacy was expected to be the main running back this year, but he lost a couple games to a concussion, which opened the door for James Starks and Franklin. Starks got hurt and Franklin has been unable to hang on to the football. IF Lacy can stay healthy, he has the chance to be the main running back used in an offense that has shown the ability to run the ball effectively the first 5 weeks of the season. While I am not completely sold on Lacy’s talent, I am sold on his opportunities that will be available to him as the feature back for the Packers. Three of the next five games are at home for the Packers. That is followed by games against sub-par run defenses (Vikings, Giants, Lions). Lacy should make for a decent #2 running back, but is still limited in PPR leagues due to a lack of involvement in the passing game.
- I am sure that when Tony Gonzalez decided to come back for one last season (again), he didn’t envision the Falcons sitting at 1-4 heading into their bye week. This was a team on the brink of the Super Bowl last year, and they were returning with almost the same offense, plus they upgraded at running back. Injuries have decimated this team and it is causing them to rely on their big name players even more. Gonzalez wasn’t used much the first 3 weeks of the season. He averaged 32 yards on 4 catches, while only getting 6 targets per game. The past two weeks, Gonzalez has seen his targets increase to 14 each game, and has averaged 11 catches and over 12o yards. Now that Julio Jones could be out for the rest of the season, the Falcons should start to rely on Gonzalez even more. His averages for the rest of the season could look more like his last two games, which would give him a monster statistical season for his last year in the league (maybe). With Roddy White also banged up, Matt Ryan is going to be forced to use Gonzalez more than they planned at the beginning of the season. I see Gonzalez finishing the season as the #3 or #4 tight end, and I would target him in a trade this week, especially while his team in on a bye week.
-Andre Ellington: more explosive than Mendenhall (only 3.2 YPC). Better in the passing game (for PPR leagues).
-Torrey Smith: has at least 85 yards in each game. Only has one touchdown, but that won’t last for long. Almost double digit targets every week.
-Garrett Graham: takes over for the injured Owen Daniels. In limited playing time, already has 3 touchdowns, and four games with at least 3 catches. Gets a lot of looks in the red zone. Should see an increase in targets as starting tight end.
1. Matt Schaub/Texans
- It is never a good sign when fans of a team are burning the jersey of their starting quarterback outside the stadium. It is also not a very good sign when a quarterback consistently gives the other team points (4 straight games with a pick 6). There have always been questions about Schaub’s ability to lead a very talented Texans team. He has really shown that he is the weak link holding this team back. I don’t know if he will make it through another game if he has a turnover. Schaub has put up 3 solid fantasy games so far this year, but he has made crucial mistakes for three weeks straight, and looks to have zero confidence on the field. The Texans just lost Owen Daniels for several weeks, which is going to only make Schaub’s job more difficult. Schaub can be safely dropped from 10 and 12-team league rosters.
2. Lamar Miller
- Miller was expected to make his big statistical jump this year for the Dolphins. When Reggie Bush was let go via free agency, it was assumed that Miller would be the biggest beneficiary, and he would be a solid #2 running back for fantasy teams. Miller showed brief flashes (51 carries) of talent last year when he averaged 4.9 yards per carry. While he has already equaled his carry total from last year through only 5 games, he is only averaging 10 carries per game. The limited carries could be justified if he was getting receptions out of the backfield like Reggie Bush did last year, but those targets are going to Charles Clay. One of the problems is that the Dolphins have one of the worst lines in football. They are on pace to give up the most sacks in a season. It is difficult for a running back to get carries when his team is always facing long distances for first downs due to yards lost from sacks. Miller is also losing playing time to Daniel Thomas, someone he was expected to easily beat out for playing time. It is tough to depend on a guy who only gets 10 carries a game with no upside in the passing game. I would not recommend using Miller as a starting running back or as a flex in a PPR league. You won’t get much in return with a trade, so you are best to hold on to him.
-LeSean McCoy: With Foles at QB, the Eagles won’t attempt zone-read offense. After Foles replaced Vick last week, McCoy ran 10 times for 6 yards. However, it’s hard to put McCoy on here, because no one is going to sit him (more of a weekly/eliminator piece of advice).
-Tavon Austin and Jared Cook: nightmare schedule coming up. Increased targets for Austin Pettis and Lance Kendricks have come at the expense of these two. Plus, it’s a lousy offense to begin with and they don’t play the Jaguars every week.