August 31st Fantasy Football Stock Update

RB Steven Jackson UP

Isaiah Pead has failed to lock down the #2 back job behind Steven Jackson. He will split the role with follow rookie Daryl Richardson. This is good and bad news for Jackson’s fantasy stock. The good news is that there’s no immediate threat to his workload and he should see the type of carries he’s used to so long as he’s healthy and running well. The bad news is that there’s no obvious handcuff should he get hurt so you’re taking a big risk with Jackson that he doesn’t get hurt or decline. History suggests he might have one more good year in him so he’s worth that risk in a weak running back class outside of the top-10 backs.

RB Isaiah Pead DOWN

Pead failed to win the #2 back job behind Steven Jackson. He’ll split the role with Daryl Richardson. Pead is undraftable right now as is Richardson, but if Jackson does get hurt, it’s worth monitoring them. The Rams will run a lot so there might be enough carries to go around for one or both to emerge as a startable fantasy player in that situation.

WR Nate Washington DOWN

Kenny Britt will only be suspended 1 game. With Britt back and Kendall Wright coming in, Washington almost definitely won’t have another 1000 yard season, but he’s improved from 2010 as a football player and his quarterback situation has been upgraded so even if he has fewer targets than in 2010, he should exceed his 2010 production. He’s a nice late round “handcuff” for Britt because he’ll see plenty of targets should Britt get hurt again.

WR Kenny Britt UP

I’ve maintained all along that Britt has the ability to be a top-10 wide receiver with Jake Locker throwing him the football. He has caught 56 passes for 1146 yards and 12 touchdowns over his last 13 full games over the last 2 seasons. Now he’s only getting suspended 1 game and should be healthy enough for a starter’s workload by week 2. He might not become a top-10 receiver this year with the uncertainty about the knee and the one game he’ll miss, but he definitely has the upside and he’s worth the risk as a WR2/flex type in the early mid rounds.

TE Jason Witten UP

Jason Witten will reportedly be a game time decision for week 1 as he tries to come back from a lacerated spleen suffered a couple of weeks ago. This is much better news than his original prognosis, which was doubtful for week 1. At the very least, this news should mean that he’ll be in the starting lineup week 2.

An incredibly consistent producer, Witten has between 64 catches for 754 yards and 96 catches for 1145 yards in every season since 2004 and is averaging 5.16 catches for 59.07 yards and 0.31 touchdowns per game in that time period. Over 15 games, that’s 77 catches for 886 yards and 5 touchdowns. That’s not a bad year at all. You can safely draft him as your TE1 in fantasy. Even if he misses one game, tight end is a deep enough position that you can pick someone up off waivers for just one game and get decent production.

RB Jonathan Stewart UP

Jonathan Stewart’s ankle injury seems to be nothing. It looked bad when he was on crutches after the game, but he’s unlikely to miss any regular season time. I’ve put his original projections back.

RB DeAngelo Williams DOWN

Jonathan Stewart’s ankle injury seems to be nothing. It looked bad when he was on crutches after the game, but he’s unlikely to miss any regular season time. I’ve put Williams’ original projections back as well.

RB Isaac Redman DOWN

For more on the Steelers’ backfield situation, click here.

RB Jonathan Dwyer UP

For more on the Steelers’ backfield situation, click here.

RB Rashard Mendenhall DOWN

For more on the Steelers’ backfield situation, click here.

RB Tim Hightower DOWN

Tim Hightower was cut by the Redskins today. He may get signed fairly quickly, but it appears he’s just not the same player he was before his ACL tear and he’s unlikely to get signed anywhere where he can make a draftable fantasy impact. Take him off your board if he was on it.

RB Alfred Morris UP

Alfred Morris is the biggest beneficiary from the Hightower release. Morris was the only one of the Redskins’ 3 remaining running backs to be held out of the preseason finale this week. This is notable because Shanahan, like many other coaches, held out all of his starters. It looks like Morris was being preserved for a week 1 start. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee anything more than that with Mike Shanahan, but if you put a gun to my head and made me pick one of the Redskins’ 3 running backs, Morris would be the one.

RB Evan Royster UP

Royster also gets a stock up with Hightower being released simply because there’s less cooks in the kitchen, but Royster did play in the finale with the 2nd and 3rd team, so it doesn’t look like he won’t be the week 1 starter, but he could easily get a bunch of starts this season. He’s worth a late round flier, if you don’t mind week to week uncertainty.

RB Roy Helu UP

Helu would seem to be 3rd on the Redskins’ running back depth chart as of right now. Not only did he play in their final preseason game, but he didn’t see much action early in the game with the 2nd team. The Redskins have expressed their doubt in him as a lead back and see him more as a change of pace back, though for what it’s worth, he’s the best pass catching back remaining on the roster now that Hightower got cut. He could also get a few starts knowing Shanahan, but I’d rank him 3rd of the Washington running backs right now.

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