August 31st Fantasy Football Stock Report

RB Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati) UP

Giovani Bernard had a strong pre-season, especially around the goal line. He’s the more talented of Cincinnati’s two running backs and, while he may start the season splitting carries with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, he might not stay in that role all season. Few flex plays have more upside.

Projection: 190 carries for 840 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 40 catches for 320 yards (152 pts, 199 pts PPR)

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Cincinnati) DOWN

BJGE is really only worth a late round pick at this point. He’s not an inefficient per carry runner and he doesn’t provide anything in the air. If he starts losing carries and goal line carries to Bernard, he’ll be useless in fantasy, except as a Bernard handcuff.

Projection: 150 carries for 590 rushing yards 5 total touchdowns 12 catches for 70 yards (96 pts, 108 pts PPR)

QB Terrelle Pryor (Oakland) UP

Terrelle Pryor appears to have won the Raiders’ starting job. He might be the worst passer of any of the 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL this season, but the Raiders will be trailing an awful lot so he’ll get a lot of pass attempts and add value on the ground. He’ll be a better fantasy quarterback than real quarterback. He’s only a QB2 in deep leagues though because he could easily be benched for Matt Flynn at some point this season, but there’s upside with him if he can make all 16 starts.

Projection: 3250 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns, 17 interceptions, 400 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns (206 pts standard, 232 pts 6 pt td leagues)

QB Geno Smith (NY Jets) UP

Mark Sanchez sounds like he’ll miss multiple weeks with injury, so Geno Smith, by default, looks to be the Jets’ starting quarterback. It’ll probably remain that way even when Sanchez returns because the Jets won’t want to kill the rookie’s confidence by benching him mid-season. Don’t expect much from Smith though. The history of non-1st round pick quarterbacks in the NFL is pretty poor, especially as rookies (Andy Dalton and Russell Wilson are the exception not the rule). Smith looked awful in his first extended pre-season action during the 3rd pre-season game.

Projection: 3000 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 200 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown (163 pts standard, 187 pts 6 pt td leagues)

RB David Wilson (NY Giants) UP

I was already considering moving Wilson up because he was taking some of the goal line carries away from Andre Brown and because he was having an amazing pre-season, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. However, Andre Brown is out indefinitely with a fractured ankle and might miss the entire season. It’s the same leg he fractured last season. He’s not draftable any more, while Wilson has minimal competition for carries and is as close to being a true feature back as you can be. There’s RB1 upside here. The Giants have averaged 16.6 rushing touchdowns per season since 2004. The last time a Giants’ starting running back was also the goal line back, he scored 15 times, Tiki Barber in 2004, before Brandon Jacobs and Andre Brown. Brandon Jacobs scored 15 times in 2008 despite splitting carries. Tom Coughlin runs on the goal line.

Projection: 280 carries for 1260 rushing yards 12 total touchdowns 28 catches for 200 rushing yards (218 pts standard, 246 pts PPR)

RB Isaac Redman (Pittsburgh) UP

The Steelers have cut Jonathan Dwyer. This is good news for Isaac Redman, who will be pretty much the feature back until Le’Veon Bell returns, with just change of pace backs La’Rod Stephens-Howling and Felix Jones behind him on the depth chart. It’s still not a great fantasy situation, but Redman isn’t a bad late round pick by any stretch of the imagination.

Projection: 140 carries for 630 rushing yards and 4 total touchdowns 25 catches for 200 receiving yards (107 pts standard, 132 pts PPR)

RB Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh) UP

Dwyer’s release is also good news for Bell, as it’s a sign that Bell is farther along in his recovery than originally thought. He’s out of his walking boot and while he’ll miss at least 4-6 weeks with an injury that tends to linger, his value is on the rise. The only concern is that Redman impresses in his absence, but Redman will probably go back to being just a passing down back upon Bell’s return.

Projection: 150 carries for 630 rushing yards and 5 total touchdowns 23 catches for 150 receiving yards (108 pts standard, 131 pts PPR)

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August 28th Fantasy Football Stock Report

RB Trent Richardson UP

So much for him being injury prone. Trent Richardson is, by all accounts, having a phenomenal pre-season and Training Camp and has gotten himself down to 225 pounds and in phenomenal shape. With Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator, he’s locked into a massive workload and should surpass the 318 touches he had last season. He averaged just 3.6 yards per carry last year thanks to injuries sapping his effectiveness, but he’s much more talented than that and he has a very strong offensive line in front of him.

Projection: 280 carries for 1260 rushing yards 11 total touchdowns 56 catches for 450 receiving yards (237 pts standard, 293 pts PPR)

WR Kenny Britt DOWN

I liked Kenny Britt as a sleeper because he was getting through the off-season without any off the field incidents or any injury problems. However, he’s going to miss the Titans’ final pre-season game with recurring knee problems and has reportedly had problems with swelling for a while. He might just never get healthy enough to make good on his talent. He’s still a nice sleeper, but he’s only a WR4 or WR5.

Projection: 55 catches for 880 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (124 pts standard, 179 pts PPR)

WR Nate Washington UP

With Kenny Britt remaining an injury risk, Nate Washington gets a stock up. He’s been Jake Locker’s preferred target this pre-season, as he was last season, but there’s not a lot of upside with him. He’s not the talent Britt can be when healthy and he’s unlikely to exceed last year’s 46/746/4 line by much in this receiving corps with the Titans’ quarterback situation.

Projection: 51 catches for 770 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns (107 pts standard, 158 pts PPR)

RB Eddie Lacy UP

DuJuan Harris is out for the season with a knee injury. He was Lacy’s only real competition for carries. Fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin has appeared overmatched thus far, while neither Alex Green nor James Starks is very good. Lacy is still a rookie and he’s still on a pass heavy offense, but he has plenty of talent and he’ll have plenty of room to run and goal line opportunities on Green Bay’s talented offense. He’s a RB2 that could be drafted in the 2nd round if you want to double up on backs.

Projection: 240 carries for 1030 rushing yards 10 total touchdowns 31 catches for 250 receiving yards (188 pts standard, 219 pts PPR)

RB Montee Ball DOWN

A day after being benched, Ronnie Hillman was back working with the first team offense again today. John Fox said that the Broncos will be using a running back committee, as he usually does. John Fox hates rookies, so while Ball should lead the team in touches, I think it’s generally a situation to avoid in fantasy this season, at least for drafting purposes.

Projection: 150 carries for 660 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 17 catches for 130 receiving yards (115 pts standard, 132 pts PPR)

RB Ronnie Hillman UP

A day after being benched, Ronnie Hillman was back working with the first team offense again today. I still think he’s the 3rd most valuable fantasy back on this team, but it’s a situation to avoid entirely. Let someone else sort out this mess.

Projection: 100 carries for 450 rushing yards 3 total touchdowns 23 catches for 200 receiving yards  (83 pts standard, 106 pts PPR)

WR Brandon Marshall DOWN

Brandon Marshall is upset that the Bears are not taking his hip problem, as he recovers from surgery, seriously. While the hip could be a problem that limits him this season, the bigger concern is Marshall, a notorious headache for coaches, being at odds with his coaching staff and speaking out publicly unprompted about the issue. It’s not a serious issue either way, but it’s enough to give me pause with Marshall in the first 2 rounds of a draft.

Projection: 91 catches for 1250 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (179 pts standard, 270 pts PPR)

WR Alshon Jeffery UP

With Marshall moving down, I’m moving Alshon Jeffery up, though Jeffery’s dominant pre-season alone might have been enough to move him up. He’s worth a flier in the later mid rounds and has WR3 upside.

Projection: 60 catches for 750 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (111 pts standard, 171 pts PPR)

TE Travis Kelce UP

Tony Moeaki is expected to be done for the season with a fractured shoulder, but Travis Kelce might have beaten him out for the pass catching job either way. Still, with Moeaki gone, there will be plenty of playing time for the talented rookie and Alex Smith loves throwing to underneath targets so he’s worth a late round flier. Few TE2s have more upside.

Projection: 50 catches for 600 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns (84 pts standard, 134 pts PPR)

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August 26th Fantasy Football Stock Report

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey UP

I don’t know why, but Darrius Heyward-Bey seems to have beaten out TY Hilton for the starting job. He’s not that great, but the Colts passing offense could make him fantasy relevant. Donnie Avery was incredibly inefficient last season, yet he still managed 60 catches for 781 yards and 3 touchdowns. He’s worth a look as a depth receiver.

Projection: 57 catches for 850 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns (115 pts standard, 172 pts standard)

WR TY Hilton DOWN

It doesn’t look like TY Hilton is going to beat out veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey for a starting job. Hilton had 26 catches for 506 yards and 5 touchdowns in his final 8 games last season, despite making just 1 start, but the Colts are planning on using more two-tight end sets and fewer three-wide receiver sets this season with Bruce Arians gone and Pep Hamilton coming in. They also won’t emphasis the deep passing game as much as they did last season, when Luck led the NFL in pass attempts 20+ yards downfield through the air, which is where Hilton wins as a route runner. He could still beat out DHB at some point this season and I think he’d be a better pick for the starting job, but he’s being overdrafted at his current ADP in the 6th round.

Projection: 58 catches for 940 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (130 pts standard, 188 pts PPR)

RB Lamar Miller UP

Lamar Miller looks to have locked up the starting job, after a scare last week from Daniel Thomas. Proceed as normal.

Projection: 230 carries for 1010 rushing yards 7 total touchdowns 25 catches for 180 receiving yards  (161 pts standard, 186 pts PPR)

RB Joique Bell UP

Joique Bell has beaten out Mikel Leshoure for the #2 back job behind Reggie Bush, so he’s the handcuff you want for the injury prone Bush. He’s also worth a pick on his own merits because he’s an excellent pass catcher and underrated runner who will see touches on this offense. Leshoure isn’t worth drafting.

Projection: 110 carries for 520 rushing yards 4 total touchdowns 44 catches for 330 receiving yards (109 pts standard, 153 pts PPR)

WR Andre Roberts DOWN

With Floyd locking up the starting job, Andre Roberts will mostly just be the slot receiver this year. There’s still room for production with him in that role because the Cardinals will be passing a lot and passing out of 3-wide sets, but he’s just a late round pick.

Projection: 57 catches for 750 receiving yards 4 touchdowns (99 pts standard, 156 pts PPR)

WR Michael Floyd UP

Michael Floyd has locked up a starting job. He has big upside opposite Larry Fitzgerald in Bruce Arians’ offense.

Projection: 65 catches for 900 yards and 6 touchdowns (126 pts standard, 191 pts PPR)

August 25th Fantasy Football Stock Report

WR Jordy Nelson UP

Jordy Nelson returned to practice after knee surgery today, 2 weeks before the Packers’ first game of the season. It’s obviously a very good sign for his week 1 status and makes me a little bit more confident in a bounce back year.

Projection: 80 catches for 1120 receiving yards 10 touchdowns (172 pts standard, 252 pts PPR)

WR James Jones DOWN

With Randall Cobb taking over a bigger role and Jordy Nelson coming back from injury, James Jones could see up to 100 fewer passing snaps than he did last season, so he’s unlikely to reach the 64 catches for 784 yards he had last season and even if he were to catch 64 passes again, it’s unlikely he’d convert 14 touchdowns. Something like 2010 (50/679/5) or 2011 (38/635/7) is much more likely. Leave him alone.

Projection: 53 catches for 670 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (103 pts standard, 156 pts PPR)

RB Knowshon Moreno UP

Originally, I thought it would be Ronnie Hillman to start the season for the Broncos, but he’s been a mess in the pre-season so it’s beginning to look like Moreno is going to be the early season back and passing down complement. Montee Ball will eventually take over the starting job, like he would have if Hillman were the guy and I do expect him to lead the team in carries, but John Fox hates playing rookies.

Projection: 120 carries for 500 rushing yards 4 total touchdowns 23 catches for 190 receiving yards (93 pts standard, 116 pts PPR)

RB Ronnie Hillman DOWN

Ronnie Hilman has been a mess in the pre-season. I’d take Ball and Moreno over him. He’s barely worth a late round flier at this point.

Projection: 80 carries for 380 rushing yards 3 total touchdowns 20 catches for 160 receiving yards (72 pts standard, 92 pts PPR)

QB EJ Manuel UP

EJ Manuel hasn’t officially been named the starting quarterback of the Bills, but he’s been by far their best quarterback this pre-season and he may win it by default regardless because of Kevin Kolb’s potentially career threatening concussion. The Bills signed veteran Matt Leinart, but he’s only insurance in case Manuel misses time after minor knee surgery. His status is in doubt for the very early part of the season, but when he does play, he could post QB2 numbers because of his rushing ability. Ryan Tannehill’s rookie numbers should serve as a template for Manuel’s He’ll be the starter by the time bye weeks roll around and he faces New Orleans’ pathetic defense week 8 so he could be a smart backup for a team with a starting quarterback with a bye week 8.

Projection: 3300 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 300 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns (202 pts standard, 228 pts 6 pt leagues)

RB Bilal Powell UP

Bilal Powell has been working as the starter for the Jets this pre-season and getting more touches than Chris Ivory. This won’t continue into the season. The Jets are just limiting Ivory’s carries as he works through hamstring problems and trying to keep him fresh for the regular season. However, Powell is the clear #2 back and is worth a late round flier because he’ll be the starter should the injury prone Ivory miss any time. Hamstring problems tend to linger. He’ll also play the majority of the passing downs.

Projection: 120 carries for 440 rushing yards 4 total touchdowns 25 catches for 200 receiving yards (88 pts standard, 113 pts standard

RB Stepfan Taylor UP

Ryan Williams just can’t get healthy. The Cardinals are shopping him ahead of final cuts and could cut him if they can’t find a taker. He’s not worth drafting anymore. 5th round rookie Stepfan Taylor is the handcuff you want for injury prone Rashard Mendenhall.

Projection: 130 carries for 570 receiving yards 4 total touchdowns 18 catches for 130 receiving yards (94 pts standard, 112 pts PPR)

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August 21st Fantasy Football Stock Report

Jonathan Dwyer (Pittsburgh) UP

Projection: 120 carries for 500 rushing yards 4 total touchdowns 15 catches for 110 receiving yards (85 pts standard, 100 pts PPR)

Isaac Redman (Pittsburgh) UP

Projection: 100 carries for 440 rushing yards 4 total touchdowns 20 catches for 160 receiving yards (84 pts standard, 104 pts PPR)

Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh) DOWN

Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to miss at least 6-8 weeks with a Lisfranc injury and he could be a candidate for the injured reserve with designation to return, which would put him out until at least week 9 and his status is even more up in the air than that. There’s no guarantee he’ll be the feature back upon return either. In his absence, the underwhelming trio of Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, and La’Rod Stephens-Howling will split carries. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley likes rotating backs anyway. It’s a fantasy situation to avoid.

Projection: 100 carries for 420 rushing yards 3 total touchdowns 18 catches for 150 receiving yards (75 pts standard, 93 pts PPR)

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August 20th Fantasy Football Stock Report

QB Michael Vick (Philadelphia) UP

Michael Vick has been named the starter for the Eagles. The good news is he’ll have a better supporting cast than he did last season unless injuries strike at the same level they did last season and he has a new Head Coach in Chip Kelly who wants him to run more. Vick did look great in the pre-season in Kelly’s system and he has that Kelly has made him fall in love with the game again. That’s the good news.

The bad news is he’s almost a lock to miss 3-4 games with injury and I wouldn’t rule out him getting benched for Nick Foles or Matt Barkley later in the season, especially if the team is out of playoff contention. He’s averaged 11.8 starts per season over the last 4 years, starting 10 last season, and I think going into his age 33 season, the over/under for starts for him should be around 10.5. On top of that, he’s shown declining physical abilities as a result of age and his injury history and he’s more reliant on his physical abilities than maybe any quarterback in recent history. He was never going to age well. I think he’ll produce like a QB2 and it’s best to go with someone more reliable in a backup quarterback.

Projection: 2300 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 450 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns (191 pts standard, 219 pts 6 pt td leagues)

QB Brandon Weeden (Cleveland) UP

As was expected all off-season, Brandon Weeden was named the Browns’ starting quarterback and I expect him to have a fairly long leash, even with veterans Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer behind him. If he stays healthy, he could start all 16 games. However, he’s just a low end QB2. He should post better numbers in his 2nd season in the league in a system that fits him better under Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner, but he won’t be that impressive.

Projection: 3550 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 100 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns (184 pts standard, 216 pts 6 pt td leagues)

QB Blaine Gabbert (Jacksonville) UP

Blaine Gabbert has won the Jaguars’ starting quarterback job, but don’t draft him. He’s not very good and will likely cede multiple starts to Chad Henne, like he did last year. In 10 games last year, Gabbert threw for 1662 yards and 9 touchdowns, with 6 interceptions and 56 rushing yards. I wouldn’t bet on him doing much more than that this season.

Projection: 1800 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 70 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns (105 pts standard, 125 pts 6 pt td leagues)

RB Daryl Richardson (St. Louis) UP

Daryl Richardson has been named the starting running back of the St. Louis Rams. He shouldn’t feel too comfortable as Isaiah Pead and/or Zac Stacy could both steal carries and even starts from him this season, but he gets moved up. Steven Jackson’s primary running back, Richardson rushed for 475 yards on 95 carries and also caught 24 passes for 163 yards. He’s a solid bet to go over 200 touches. Pead will be the change of pace back. There’s still an opportunity for Zac Stacy to eventually become a starter at some point this season if the unproven players above him on the depth chart don’t impress, but he’s not really worth drafting. He might be a nice late season waiver wire pickup if anything.

Projection: 180 carries for 790 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 35 catches for 250 receiving yards (140 pts standard, 175 pts PPR)

RB Lamar Miller (Miami) DOWN

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman the running back competition Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas is “neck and neck.” They have contrasting styles of play so they could split carries if the coaching staff doesn’t feel there’s a big talent difference. I still like Miller to lead this team in carries, but he gets a stock down and Thomas gets a stock up. Thomas could see the goal line looks.

Projection: 190 carries for 840 rushing yards and 6 total touchdowns 23 catches for 160 receiving yards (136 pts standard, 159 pts PPR)

RB Daniel Thomas (Miami) UP

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman the running back competition Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas is “neck and neck.” They have contrasting styles of play so they could split carries if the coaching staff doesn’t feel there’s a big talent difference. I still like Miller to lead this team in carries, but he gets a stock down and Thomas gets a stock up. Thomas could see the goal line looks.

Projection: 140 carries for 590 rushing yards and 6 total touchdowns 20 catches for 150 receiving yards (110 pts standard, 130 pts PPR)

RB Jonathan Stewart (Carolina) DOWN

Stewart is the more talented of Carolina’s two backs, but he can’t stay healthy. After missing 7 games with injury last season, Stewart is a candidate to start the season on the PUP, which would cost him the first 6 weeks of the season, this according to Head Coach Ron Rivera. Stewart had 93 carries in 9 games last year. He might not exceed that by much this season.

Projection: 100 carries for 440 rushing yards 4 total touchdowns 15 catches for 100 receiving yards (84 pts standard, 99 pts PPR)

RB DeAngelo Williams (Carolina) UP

With Stewart possibly starting the season on the PUP, Williams gets a stock up. He had 173 carries last season with Stewart missing time and could see even more this season as the Panthers want to have a little bit more of a traditional running game. Cam Newton and goal line back Mike Tolbert will still steal a bunch of touchdowns and Newton is still a good bet to take off a bunch of times on his own though and Williams just isn’t that talented anymore.

Projection: 180 carries for 720 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 18 catches for 130 receiving yards (121 pts standard, 139 pts PPR)