Fantasy Football Stock Watch

Andrew Barton
Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson (27) rushes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

As the season gets closer, now is the time to reevaluate the fantasy value of some of the league’s top players. While some players have seen their outlooks brighten, others have been declining.

Quarterbacks

Stock Up: Ryan Tannehill

Tannehill finished as the 7th ranked QB in fantasy last year despite attempting less than 500 passes and throwing for under 4,000 yards. Yet, he provided surprising value with his legs, rushing for seven touchdowns and showcased budding chemistry with wideout A.J. Brown. Now, with Julio Jones added to the mix, Tannehill will have two elite weapons downfield. While the Titans will still run the ball with Henry, Tannehill is likely to increase his pass attempts substantially and his 33 passing touchdowns from 2020 will likely rise closer to 40. Tannehill is a legit QB1 option in all leagues.

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Tannehill has been slept on since he was a Dolphin. It’s time to respect his play.

Stock Down: Aaron Rodgers

This is not an indictment on Rodger’s talent. When healthy and happy he is no worse than the third best quarterback in fantasy. Yet, he is clearly not happy. Having turned down a lucrative extension from the Packers, the odds of him sitting out substantial time this coming season continues to grow. With quarterback being a critical position to fantasy success, it can be difficult to justify spending valuable draft capital on a player who does not seem invested in the coming season. If Rodgers commits to the Packers, he should be one of the first QBs off the bored. Unfortunately, that seems like a big “If” right now.

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: We know what Rodgers is capable of on the field. But will he play?

Wide Receiver

Stock Up: Calvin Ridley

With Jones gone, Ridley looks to be the lead player in Atlanta’s passing attack. In the games Julio missed last season, Ridley averaged 109 yards a game and put up three touchdowns. He’ll have a huge role in Arthur Smith‘s new offense, has a solid QB in Matt Ryan, and won’t constantly be double teamed with Kyle Pitts also running routes. Ridley has the potential to be a top three receiver in fantasy if he can eclipse the 100-catch threshold. 1,500 yards is not out of the question for the Falcon.

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: A top three fantasy season is not out of the question for Ridley with Julio gone.

Stock Down: Davante Adams

As a huge fan of Adams, this is painful to write. Similar to the Rodgers situation, Adams future with Green Bay seems murky. If his quarterback chooses to miss time, that will hurt his fantasy stock. Also, the question of if Davante himself is happy is also worth considering. He and Packers haven’t worked out an extension and that could lead to a souring relationship. Is Adams still a top fantasy receiver for the coming seasons? Yes. Would I invest a top five pick on him as I once would have? If Rodgers continues to be a question mark, the answer is no.

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Adams is still a must draft player, just be aware of his QB situation.

Running Back

Stock Up: Darrell Henderson

No player in fantasy is seeing his stock rise faster than Henderson. With Cam Akers set to miss the season, Henderson will be thrust into the starting role. Henderson has the talent to be a viable RB2 if given the appropriate number of touches. Through the first seven weeks he averaged 5.4 yards a carry, posted four touchdowns, and racked up 520 rush yards. Henderson could easily reach 1,000 all-purpose yards if he remains the lead back in McVay’s offense.

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: If there is one player rising across draft boards it is Henderson.

Stock Down: James Robinson

The fantasy football gods can be cruel. A year ago, Robinson was the unsung hero who carried teams to fantasy championships off the waiver wire. He rushed for over 100 yards four times and managed a respectable 50 receptions out of the backfield. Now with Trevor Lawrence looking to jumpstart the passing attack in Jacksonville and Travis Etienne primed to eat into his touches, Robinson will likely max out as a flex option player. Robinson is a prime example of how quickly a player can rise and fall in the world of fantasy football.

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Robinson is an example of how quickly things change in fantasy football.

Flex Options

Stock Up: T.J Hockenson

Jared Goff is a likely downgrade from Matt Stafford. Detroit is primed to be one of the worst teams in the league. But, someone needs to catch passes in Ford Field. With no noticeable wide receivers on the roster and only D’Andre Swift serving as a viable fantasy option, Hockenson is in line for a lot of targets. He was one of four tight ends to be targeted over 100 times last season and will likely increase his stats across the board. 

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: In need of a tight end? Hockenson will produce and won’t cost you a high pick.

Stock Down: Courtland Sutton

Two years ago, Sutton had a breakout campaign and posted 1,112 receiving yards and six touchdowns. After a lost 2020 season, he returns to the Broncos with questions at quarterback and an array of pass-catching weapons. Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant and KJ Hamler will all demand attention and it is unknown if Lock or Bridgewater can be a quarterback capable of running the offense. Sutton was once on the brink of being a fantasy mainstay. Now, he is best viewed as a flex option and possibly even relegated to the bench. 

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Sutton has a lot of talent, but his signal callers leave much to be desired.

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Final Thoughts

There is always the potential for any of these players to rise and fall throughout the season. Injuries or bad play can ruin even the most promising seasons. The beauty of football is that every Sunday there is a chance at redemption and anyone can have a monster week or year. Keep an eye on these players to see if the outlook changes before your draft.