Fantasy Football Stock Watch: NFL Week 10
Howard Bender takes a look at the rising and falling value of a number of NFL players you'll want to keep tabs on heading into Week 10 of the fantasy football season.
As we head into Week 10, the moves you make and the games you play increase more and more in importance. Playoff spots on your fantasy football league are on the line and you want to make sure you are keeping up on all the latest moves and injuries which seem to be piling up a little more as we move through the regular season. For most, values aren’t changing much, so waiver wire action is likely to stay limited. Pay attention to your league’s trade deadline if it hasn’t passed yet as it may be time to start trading off some depth if you need to make a hard push to the playoffs. For now, here’s a look at some players whose value is currently rising and falling.
Nick Mullens , QB SF – Despite a strong performance on Thursday night, Mullens is still not someone to trust outside of 2-QB and superflex leagues. Is he truly better than C.J. Beathard ? Perhaps, but let’s remember that he did what he did against a Raiders team that is not just falling apart, but also packing it in for the season. Both their pass-rush and coverage grades over at Pro Football Focus are weak and while Jon Gruden will never say he doesn’t care about winning games this season, his focus is clearly on next year’s draft position. Mullens does get a moderately favorable match-up against the Giants next week, but it’s probably not one to trust unless absolutely necessary.
Duke Johnson , RB CLE – We’ve got a new regime running the show in Cleveland and that brought new life to Johnson who had been complaining about his reduced role this season. It seems very possible that Johnson will continue to be used in a larger role, but let’s also remember that the game script this past week against Kansas City favored a much more pass-heavy scheme in an effort to keep pace with the high-scoring Chiefs. Not to mention, the Chiefs ranked near the bottom of the league in running back pass-play coverage heading into the week. Had Johnson posted another weak effort we would have written him off completely. His performance in Week 9 at least gives him a stay of execution for another week and that might work to his advantage facing the Falcons next.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling , WR GB – It looks like Geronimo Allison is scheduled to have core-muscle surgery which is likely to hold him out for the duration of the regular season. That locks MVS into the third-receiver role and helps solidify his value for the remainder of the season. Davante Adams and Randall Cobb are expected to be the top two wideouts for the Packers, but we’ve seen them run quite a number of three and four-receiver sets this season which helps increase MVS’s overall fantasy value. He’s already been favored by Aaron Rodgers this year, so just getting another target out of the way in Allison, can only help.
Maurice Harris , WR WAS – Another example of one man’s pain being another man’s pleasure. The Redskins have officially placed Richardson on IR with a shoulder injury, thus ending his season. It’s the same issue Richardson has been trying to play through all season long, but after another dismal performance this past week, the team accepted the fact that this was the best option. Harris finds himself in a similar position as Valdes-Scantling from Green Bay as he will take the field as the Skins’ No. 3 behind Jameson Crowder and Josh Doctson . And let’s not overlook the injury issues Crowder has seen all season long. If he’s out at any point, Harris moves up as the No. 2.
Adam Humphries , WR TB – He’s starting to see an increased role as his targets have jumped to an average of nine per game over his last three as opposed to the 4.6 per game he averaged over the team’s first five. He’s moved ahead of Chris Godwin on the team’s target leaderboard and while we’re not expecting him to fully supplant Godwin, he is likely to continue getting a strong share of work and therefore share in the WR3 role. He’s still not at the point where you feel confident in using him as anything more than a bye-week filler, but over these next couple of weeks, if you’re in need of a flex play, he’s got a pretty favorable schedule coming up.
D’Onta Foreman, RB HOU – The number of people stashing this guy has been astounding and it continues to be a waste of a roster spot. He was eligible to come off the PUP list after Week 8 and the latest comments from Texans coach Bill O’Brien have us believing Foreman won’t be activated until the tail-end of his 21-day window which opened after Week 8. The Texans don’t seem to be in any kind of a rush to bring him back and while Lamar Miller posted a stinker of a game this past week, he still had back-to-back 100-yard efforts. The team is not going to supplant him as their leading running back with Foreman anytime soon, so not only do you probably have to wait another week or two for him to return, he’s going to be playing in a shared role. Are you really going to use him during your fantasy playoffs in an undefined role?
Carlos Hyde , RB JAC – Everything seems on-track for Leonard Fournette to return to action in Week 10 which will, of course, start to hurt Hyde’s overall value. Just keep in mind that the Jaguars may handle Fournette with kid gloves to start which would give Hyde owners the illusion of a shared backfield. But that is not their ultimate goal. They are looking to have Fournette lead the way and use Hyde as a change-of-pace or a third-down back at the most. Of course, given the frailty of Fournette, you have to lock down Hyde on your roster in case Fournette re-injures himself.
Chris Carson , RB SEA – He wasn’t 100-percent when walking in to Week 9 and, as a result saw fewer touches than . That may not change this week as reports of a hip/thigh/groin issue persist and head coach Pete Carroll says that Carson won’t do much work throughout the week. While you can expect him to be limited all week, you’re going to have to track his progress and see how he’s feeling Friday and Saturday. The Seahawks could go with a more even split between Carson and Davis if he’s limited late in the week, but you should also be wary of potential game flow this week against the rams. It just might not be a good time to use a Seattle running back regardless of health.
A.J. Green , WR CIN – We’ve learned that Green will be sidelined for at least the next two weeks, according to a recent report from Adam Schefter, but before you focus on the “at least” and freak out, keep in mind that Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said his star wideout would not require surgery here. We know that Green has had issues with his toe in the past and has been able to play through, so while missing the next two weeks is going to be critical for you, having him back for your fantasy playoffs is still very much in-play. People are going to try and buy-low on you here, so be careful. We’re not against dealing him, but just don’t sell for pennies on the dollar because he’s currently injured.
Rob Gronkowski , TE NE – How much more pain and agony do we have to go through here? Is Grink ever going to be the game-changer he once was? Maybe he’s got one or two performances in him to shine, but how are we to know when those games are going to be? If they’re ever going to be, for that matter. With so many other weapons, the Patriots no longer have to be so reliant on Gronk and therefore won’t have to specifically game plan to free him up from coverage regularly. Not to mention, these back issues continue to crop up, so who’s to say you don’t get the ol’ zeroburger from him when his back locks up in the first quarter? His level of reliability is pretty darn weak.