Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Week 9
Justin Vreeland surveys the fantasy football world and examines whose stock is rising and whose is falling after Week 9.
Happy Stock Watch day! Week 9 is in the books and playoffs will be here before you know it. By now you have a pretty good feel for where you are at in the standings and what it’s going to take to make that push for a playoff spot. Player values fluctuate constantly and it is always important to stay on top of your game. Feel free to shoot me feedback or anything else in the live chats or on Twitter @JustinVreeland. Without further adieu, let’s dive in!
D.K. Metcalf, WR SEA – Metcalf had a massive game in the Seahawks win over the Bucs, hauling in six receptions for 123 yards, a TD, and a two point conversion on nine targets. The nine targets matched a career high and both the receptions and yards set new career highs. He finished the game with 27 fantasy points. It was his second straight game with over 16 fantasy points. He has at least seven fantasy points in five straight games and he has double-digits in four of the last five. At this point, he is someone that you can have in your lineup on a weekly basis and feel okay with it. That being said, Seattle faces the 49ers in Week 10, so you might want to leave him on your bench for that one. His stock is rising and he is a freak athlete that will only get better over time. The only big issue here is that the Seahawks claimed Josh Gordon and we will have to see if that puts a damper on Metcalf’s target share.
Hunter Renfrow, WR OAK – Renfrow was someone I really liked as a deep league sleeper coming into the year, but things were not looking to great for him through six games as he had zero games with double-digit fantasy points, and was averaging just a hair over four targets per game. However, things have really changed over the last two games for the rookie wide out. In Week 8 against the Texans, he finished with four receptions, 88 yards, and a touchdown, but that was only on eight targets, so I didn’t want to get overly excited about it. Then this week against the Lions he hauled in six passes for 54 yards and another touchdown on seven targets. That gives him back-to-back games with north of 17 fantasy points. I am now ready to say that he is someone that should be added in deeper leagues. His next four games are all fantastic matchups as well, as the Raiders will take on the Chargers, Bengals, Jets, and Chiefs. He isn’t going to win you your league, but he is someone that you can slide into your lineup as a bye week filler and at the very least get a few points out of him.
Kenyan Drake , RB ARI – How about that debut with Arizona from Drake? You think he likes being Miami just a little bit? He finished with 15 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown, while also hauling in four receptions for 52 additional yards and he even converted a two point conversion. He set new season highs in rush attempts, rushing yards, touchdowns (yes, he had zero with Miami), yards per carry, longest rush, receiving yards, and fantasy points with 28.2. Keep in mind, he was traded to the Cardinals on Monday and played this game against the 49ers on Thursday! I loved him in that game and I love him with this team. He is a talented kid who is good at catching passes (something Arizona utilizes frequently). That being said, he doesn’t quite have the fantasy value that you would hope for, as the Cardinals still have David Johnson and Chase Edmonds on the roster and when they get healthy it’s going to be a messy RBBC/hot-hand approach that no one enjoys dealing with for fantasy purposes. Just like I said with Edmonds after his big game, sell-high if you can.
Devin Singletary , RB BUF – I brought him up on SiriusXM and broke him down in the DFS RB coach this week as I was ready for the breakout performance from him and he delivered. He finished with 20 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown while also hauling in three receptions for 45 yards on four targets (good for a total of 23 fantasy points). Meanwhile, Frank Gore finished with 11 carries for 15 yards, zero targets in the passing game, and got stuffed three times in a row on goal-line carries from the Redskins one yard line. This backfield is the rookie’s at this point and hopefully after watching Gore get stuffed multiple times the Bills will start giving those carries to Singletary. He is an explosive back and he has done a good job of catching passes (already has that role fully to himself), so this could be a monster fantasy asset down the stretch. He has the Browns and Dolphins on tap the next two weeks and you can expect more big days ahead.
Keenan Allen , WR LAC – I have no idea what’s going on with Allen, but it isn’t good. Allen is an elite talent and one of the best wide receivers in the league and he still has the same quarterback throwing him the football, yet his production has been terrible. He finished with three catches for 40 yards on just four targets this week. He had seven fantasy points. Over the last six games, he has failed to reach double-digits in four of them and hasn’t scored over 12.3 points in any of them. What happened to the guys that was averaging 29.2 fantasy points PER GAME through the first three weeks of the season? Sure, he had a 43.6 point game in there, but still, he had over 17 points in all of them. One issue is the fact that he has six or fewer targets in four of the past six games. Not sure why that is, but we need that to change. He is still worth a spot in your lineup on a weekly basis, but this has been a very rough stretch.
Marlon Mack , RB IND – Mack is playing rock solid football for the Colts in reality, but he isn’t doing a whole lot in the fantasy football world. He finished with 21 carries for 89 rushing yards this week, which is very solid, but he had zero receptions and zero touchdowns, meaning he had a lousy 8.9 points in PPR leagues. It was his fourth game with fewer than nine fantasy points across eight games this year and he hasn’t topped 20 points since Week 1. The big issue here is his lack of work in the passing game, as he has just 11 total receptions this season. That doesn’t matter in standard leagues, and he is fine in that format, but it is a killer in PPR leagues and he currently ranks as the RB20. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to change either. He is likely doing enough to warrant a spot in your lineup on a weekly basis, but it’s far from exciting.
Mark Walton , RB MIA – The excitement everyone had for Walton after Drake was traded has been very short-lived. In the first game without Drake, Walton had 11 carries for 35 yards and finished with 6.4 fantasy points. This week, in the second game without Drake, Walton had 12 carries for 29 yards… in a game that Miami won. That gives him three straight games with double-digit carries and also three straight games with fewer than 7.5 fantasy points. The Dolphins suck. They haven’t been able to get a running game going in any of their eight games this season, so there is little reason to believe that it’s going to change anytime soon. **I wrote this before he got suspended, drop him! Also, don’t think that Ballage will be worth a spot in your lineup. The situation is terrible and he’s terrible.
Sam Darnold , QB NYJ – Things are getting worse and worse for Darnold on a weekly basis. He had a good game against Dallas in Week 6, which started an absurd hype train for him, but he’s fallen off a cliff since. Against New England in Week 7, he finished with negative fantasy points, threw four interceptions, and was apparently seeing ghosts. Against the Jags in Week 8, he finished with three inceptions and was sacked EIGHT times. Yikes. Okay, surely a matchup with the Dolphins would correct his woes, right? He tossed another bad interception against Miami and finished with just 13.5 fantasy points in a LOSING effort against the previously winless Dolphins. To this point he has thrown six touchdowns while throwing nine balls to the opposing team. Then he comes out on Monday and calls Adam Gase the best coach he’s ever been around, so clearly his judgment is very poor (everyone except the Jets knows how bad of a coach Gase is). Don’t use Darnold in fantasy. Don’t even consider it.
Stocks to Watch
Noah Fant, TE DEN – Fant had the best game of his young career this week, hauling in three passes for 115 yards and a touchdown, good for a 20.5 fantasy point day. The rookie tight end has shown the ability to get open and he’s very athletic, so when he actually hangs onto the football (we have seen some rough drops from him this year) good things can happen. As nice as the production for this game was, it came on just four targets, which isn’t enough for us to get too excited. That being said, we cannot simply ignore this explosive game in what was his first game with a new quarterback. It’s also important to keep in mind that Sanders is gone and the Broncos need a second option in the passing attack behind Sutton. Keep an eye on him going forward for seasonal leagues and he may be an interesting cheap DFS play occasionally.