Fantasy Football, Week 1: Stock Up, Stock Down

Fantasy Football, Week 1: Stock Up, Stock Down


Fantasy Football, Week 1: Stock Up, Stock Down

Week 1 is always a time for overreaction, and for cutting through the noise. That said, plenty of information from week 1 is useful, or at least far more useful than guessing on usage in the preseason. It’s important to put things in context (injuries, other factors that might have affected like matchup). Here is our attempt to do that, by looking at players who’s stock could be up or down.


Devonta Freeman, RB Atlanta

Level of concern: moderately high

Freeman was the RB#1 last year. But it’s fairly concerning that the guy who was supposed to start last year, Coleman, pretty much split time and was much more productive in week 1, considering Freeman wasn’t battling a known injury issue. I think this drops his value to more like low-end RB2 value, with the danger to go lower if Coleman outperforms him in the next month.

Jay Ajayi, RB Miami

Level of concern: high

If you missed it, Ajayi didn’t even travel with the team to Seattle because of a coach’s decision, and is rumored to have been sulking since the team brought in Foster. This doesn’t look like a committee situation in the near-future, and do you really need the handcuff (who may be in the doghouse) for Miami? Droppable IMO.

Derrick Henry, RB Tennessee

Level of concern: moderate

Henry laid an egg in the opener. Those who priced him as a RB3 and potential flex starter appear to be on the wrong end. That said, still rosterable as a handcuff. But he’s not going to get enough carries or be anything more than a complete risk play unless Murray is out.


Philip Rivers, QB San Diego

Level of concern: moderate

Philip Rivers fish face

I had Rivers as a QB1 with everyone coming back from injury. Well, it took one half to change that. I think the offense will be better off than when Allen went down last year, but this definitely bumps him down other QBs in the same tier.

Tyrod Taylor, QB Buffalo

Level of concern: moderately high

He laid an egg in the opener. Year two is off to an auspicious start, and now Watkins is out. Better QB2 options exist and he just became a risky start.

Sammy Watkins, WR Buffalo

Level of concern: moderately high

Watkins could miss several weeks, and then relies on an efficient and high volume of the offense to come his way, compared to other top receivers.

Tyler Boyd, WR Cincinnati

Level of concern: moderate

The Bengals rookie was clearly behind Brandon LaFell in the opener, and for now looks like waiver wire rather than end of roster.

Dez Bryant, WR Dallas

Level of concern: moderately high

Dez Bryant returned to catch passes from Matt Cassel

He caught only one pass from rookie Dak Prescott. Will they get on the same page? And how will Dez handle it if they don’t, quickly? He’s definitely below other receivers, and I can think of at least 12 I would take over him now.

Coby Fleener, TE New Orleans

Level of concern: moderate

I’m not a big believer in Fleener but I am a believer in the Saints offense being productive for tight ends. Fleener managed only 1 catch in his Saints’ debut (4 targets), despite Brees’ huge numbers. That said, 35-year-old Ben Watson had 9 games with 5 or fewer targets, and 7 others with 8 or more. It will be a matchup play, but I’m not writing Fleener off yet, even if it’s a slow start, until someone else gets the TE reps and targets.

Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland

Level of concern: moderate

This would have been high until the RG3 injury news. Barnidge hit it off with McCown last year. It is a different offense, though. I think your best hope is that Barnidge rebounds and then you sell, before RG3 comes back with more girlfriend tattoos.


Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City

Level of optimism: high

Who would have seen over 100 receiving yards from Ware? He had a monster day with Jamaal Charles still not back from the knee injury. Ware is going to be hard to keep out of the lineup, and a Charles/Ware combo should still see Ware as a starting option many weeks, and if Charles can’t get back where he was, look out.

C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver

Level of optimism: moderately high

CJ Anderson is on the Waiver Watch

Anderson was limited by injuries last year. He looked like the back that had optimism high the previous offseason, and the offensive line and Kubiak’s offense in year two looked like a perfect fit. With an unsettled QB situation, he should get fed, and the line looks capable of opening the plate up.

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit

Level of optimism: moderate

I was already higher on Abdullah than most so I’m tempering my expectations, since it was the Colts. But it was the type of game we did not see from him last year. He and Riddick both had over 100 yards from scrimmage, and I expect Abdullah to get about a 60/40 split and be productive, and RB2 worthy.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta

Level of optimism: moderate

I think it’s more a case of hurting Freeman’s value, than Coleman shooting up. He would have to become the main guy to have trustworthy starting decisions.

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay

Level of optimism: Moderately High

I already had Winston as QB12 entering the year, and week 1 did nothing to temper that. He should finish in the top 8 if healthy all year.

Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City

Level of optimism: moderate

Alex Smith could use a stylist

Smith had a great game in leading the comeback. I think he becomes a better option, but probably won’t see that kind of game script too often where he needs to come from down 18 and trail all game.


Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore

Level of optimism: moderately high

Wallace is available in many leagues. After week 1, he looks like the best bet to pair up with Flacco and get a boom/bust guy in your flex spot that could hit some home runs.


Chris Hogan, WR, New England

Level of optimism: moderately high


He only had four targets, but Hogan is going to be starting for New England, and should be a WR3. I highlighted him in last week waiver pickups, and he is probably available for another day, before ownership shoots up.

Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis

Level of optimism: moderately high

Jack Doyle caught two touchdowns, but Allen had more targets and got one of his own. Allen’s issue has been injuries, but with Fleener gone, he can finish in the top 5 at the position with Luck back.

Jason Witten, TE, Dallas

Level of optimism: moderately high

He is the security blanket for the rookie and had a huge number of targets in week 1. Ride that while it lasts.


The Least Valuable Fantasy Team, Week 1

Every week I’ll highlight the Least Valuable Team, using the Top 15 QBs by starting percentage, Top 30 RBs, Top 40 WRs, and Top 15 TEs. If you have this team, congratulations and send us a screen grab.

QB: Russell Wilson (258 passing, 1 TD, 1 INT, 16 rushing yards)

RB: Adrian Peterson (51 rush yards, 0 rec yards)

RB: Giovani Bernard (25 rush yards, 2 rec for 5 rec yards)

WR: Brandon Marshall (3 rec for 32 yards)

WR: Tyler Lockett (3 rec for 17 yards)

WR: Dez Bryant ( 1 rec for 8 yards)

TE: Gary Barnidge (0)

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