Below is a list of players whose fantasy stock has gone up or down. Now that many fantasy owners are drafting their teams, it’s good to know what players are making an impact during preseason.
Justin Hunter WR, Titans
Hunter has been raved about this preseason. He had a big preseason game against the Saints where he caught four passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Last season, Hunter showed some flashes of being a good receiver. In less than a month, Hunter’s ADP has moved up three rounds.
Brandin Cooks WR, Saints
This kid really is something special. His skill set matches so well with the offense he is in. During camp, and now in preseason, Cooks has been great on the field. He is an excellent route runner and has plenty of speed. In his first two preseason games, he’s been targeted eight times. This is something that I suspect will continue.
Kelvin Benjamin WR Panthers
Here’s another rookie receiver making quite the name for himself this preseason. Benjamin is having a great camp and has been able to move up the depth charts and establish himself as the team’s No. 1 WR. He’s shown his excellent hands by making some very nice catches. In the first preseason game, he made a nice leaping catch for a 29-yard touchdown. At 6-5 and 240-pounds, he will likely get a ton of red-zone targets, which translates into scoring opportunities.
Terrence West RB, Browns
Ben Tate is the starter for the Browns, but West has made some noise this preseason and is likely going to get some playing time because of that. Last season while in college, he rushed for 2,519 yards on 413 carries (6.1 ypc) and 41 touchdowns. The kid is an absolute beast. Tate has a history of injuries so there’s a chance that West may be the Browns back, if history repeats itself.
Lamar Miller RB, Dolphins
Miller has been working with the Dolphins first team because Knowshon Moreno has been dealing with a knee injury. He’s done well in practice and ran well in the team’s scrimmage, but has struggled during the preseason games. Despite his challenges, Miller appears to be a good fit for Lazor’s offensive scheme. With Moreno still not 100% healthy, Miller will continue to have the opportunity as the team’s starting back.
Kyle Rudolph TE, Vikings
Rudolph could be in for a huge year this season. The Vikings hired Norv Turner as their offensive coordinator and he’s known to feature the tight end. Rudolph trimmed down in weight this offseason and worked on his speed. He’s motivated to take that next step and proving that he’s one of the better TE’s in the league. Through two preseason games, he’s caught five passes for 111 yards and one touchdown.
Other players whose stock is rising: Marquise Lee WR, Jaguars; Mohamad Sanu WR, Bengals; Travis Kelce TE, Chiefs; Blake Bortles QB, Jaguars; Zach Ertz TE, Eagles; and Jordan Matthews WR, Eagles.
Le’Veon Bell RB, Steelers
Bell and teammate LeGarrette Blount were arrested for possession of marijuana, and Bell was also charged with DUI. Bell’s value was already dropping because he told reporters that Blount would take away goal-line carries. This did not bode well in the fantasy football community. Now with the recent news his stock will take another hit. Once being drafted in the second round, Bell is now being drafted in the third because of that. He’s even taken as late as the fourth, and will probably drop as low as the fifth in some leagues.
C.J. Spiller RB, Bills
He had a disappointing 2013 season as he played through injuries. It also appears that the Bills don’t value him as much as the general public does. In the Bills preseason game against the Steelers, Spiller received just 12 snaps compared to Fred Jackson’s 26. In addition, Spiller was on the sidelines for all red-zone chances in that game. It’s pretty clear that the Bills have a lot of confidence in Jackson, despite him being up there in age. The addition of Bryce Brown also hurts Spiller’s value. If Spiller is given most of the workload, he has the talent to do well, but that doesn’t appear to be the plan for the Bills offense.
Stevan Ridley RB, Patriots
Ridley was benched in the Patriots preseason game against the Eagles for fumbling the football. I feel as though I’m having DeJavu. He was benched last season for coughing up the ball up. Rookie James White has been getting praised this preseason, so Ridley has to literally get a grip on it, or he can lose touches to White. If he can hold on to the ball he’ll be fine, but that’s a big if.
Odell Beckham WR, Giants
This rookie was supposed to come in and make an immediate impact in the Giants’ offense. However, a nagging hamstring injury has kept him off the field for most of camp and the preseason. Coach Tom Coughlin has expressed his frustrations with the rookie’s health. It’s an unfortunate situation for Beckham, who could have had plenty of opportunities to shine. His health continues to decrease his value.
Jeremy Maclin WR, Eagles
Coming off an ACL injury, many may have been skeptical about Maclin this season. I was not one of them. However, a new hamstring injury has kept him off the field in recent weeks. Maclin was in a great situation. The Eagles parted ways with DeSean Jackson, which would mean more looks for Maclin. This injury puts a red flag on Maclin. He’s only been able to play a complete season once in his five year career. Availability is a concern for him moving forward. If I knew he’d be healthy all season, he’s someone I’d take, but since that can’t be guaranteed, his value is now a bit lower due to his recent injury.
Nick Foles, QB, Eagles
Foles is a player that I wasn’t too high on heading into the season. He lost the receiver (DeSean Jackson) that had a lot to do with his success in 2013. Both Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper are battling injuries. In his first preseason game, Foles completed 6 of 9 pass attempts for 44 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. He did bounce back in the second preseason game where he produced an 81 yard, one touchdown performance. Expectations are a bit too high for Foles, and from what I’ve seen during the preseason, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with Foles as my No. 1 QB.
Other players whose stock is dropping: E.J. Manuel QB, Bills; Eli Manning QB; Giants; Andre Holmes WR, Raiders; Knowshon Moreno RB, Dolphins; Johnny Manziel QB, Browns.
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