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Week 3 Fantasy Football Stock Watch

Bryan Armetta wraps up the biggest fantasy football risers and fallers from Week 2’s NFL action.

Bryan Armetta wraps up the biggest fantasy football risers and fallers from Week 2's NFL action.

A clearer picture has begun to emerge in the NFL following Week 2.  As roles have become more defined and pecking orders emerge on various teams, the uncertainty of seven days ago has begun to fade. This is the time when managers begin to at least flirt with making the tough decisions and bold moves that are required for any championship winner, although the line between smart and foolish moves is blurry. Here are the biggest risers and fallers entering a crucial Week 3:

Fantasy Football Stock Watch Week 3

Stock Up: WR Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

The Jets’ rookie receiver was arguably the biggest surprise of Week 2. Wilson’s talent as a first-round pick has never been in question; the concern in redraft leagues related to who would be throwing him the ball. It appears that the Ohio State product has developed a real connection with veteran Joe Flacco, accounting for eight catches and 102 yards on 14 targets, as well as the game-winning touchdown, in New York’s comeback win over the Browns.

Is this sustainable? Normally, rookies only get better as a season progresses, but Wilson could be a unique case. The impending return of quarterback Zach Wilson is likely a downgrade from Flacco in terms of passing volume. The Jets are also sure to get names like Elijah Moore and Breece Hall more involved in the offense. That doesn’t mean managers should be rushing to trade away Wilson. He’s clearly valued by the front office, and it took him just eight quarters to establish himself as the team’s de-facto number one wideout. Wilson is currently a solid flex with WR2 potential if all goes well.

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Stock Down: RB Chase Edmonds, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins scored a whopping 42 points against the Ravens, but Edmonds was barely involved. The newly signed Dolphin had a combined 41 yards on just six touches. Even more troubling was that he wasn’t Miami’s preferred running back, as Raheem Mostert had a total of 14 touches for 79 yards. A committee is nothing new for Edmonds, who was stuck behind Kenyan Drake and James Conner in Arizona, but there is some cause for concern following this week.

Mike McDaniel’s connection with Mostert dates back to his years as the 49ers’ running game coordinator. While he’s never been able to stay healthy, Mostert’s talent has never been in doubt. Their chemistry could be enough for Mostert to overtake Edmonds on the depth chart, even after the latter inked a $12 million dollar deal this offseason. It’s still early in the season, but one catch for a receiving back, in a game Miami spent most of trailing by double-digits, is concerning.

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Stock Up: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

St. Brown, named after the Egyptian sun god, has been scorching defenses this year. Most importantly, he’s proving that last year’s second-half stretch was no fluke, averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues. An average of 12 targets means that his value isn’t being carried by touchdowns, although placing within the top ten for red zone looks is never a bad thing.

Can we safely call St. Brown a fantasy WR1? It’s hard to say; while he has commanded the most looks in a surprisingly potent Lions offense, there are plenty of mouths to feed. Factor in the impending debut of first-round pick Jameson Williams, and there is a scenario where Amon-Ra sees a dip in production. That may sound like an argument to sell high on St. Brown, but there’s clearly a connection here with Jared Goff. St. Brown might end the season as a high-end WR2, but that’s still great value for the many managers that drafted him in the fifth or sixth round. 

Stock Down: RB Derrick Henry, Tennesse Titans

After the fall of Rome, it took years for citizens of its vast empire to come to terms with their new reality. Fantasy managers that drafted Derrick Henry are likely going through a similar period of shock. King Henry’s reign as an elite ‘back may be coming to an end; he’s averaging a paltry 53.5 total yards per game and has yet to catch a single pass. If it weren’t for a first-quarter touchdown, there would be more panic over last Monday’s brutal 1.9 yards per carry against the Bills. 

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In fairness to Henry, his rushing production is emblematic of the Titans’ collective struggles as an offense. Talent-wise, he hasn’t suffered a major drop-off. That’s cold comfort for fantasy football, as much of Henry’s value will depend on game script. When Tennessee was the AFC’s number one seed last season, the opportunity to run the ball was far greater. This season’s 0-2 squad won’t be leading in many games, which severely limits touches for a running back that doesn’t catch passes. Henry should still be viewed as an RB1, but another poor showing this weekend against the Raiders would be catastrophic.

Stock Up: WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

Garrett Wilson wasn’t the only rookie receiver to impress on Sunday. Although the Saints’ offense struggled, Chris Olave emerged as a go-to option for Jameis Winston, hauling in five catches for 80 yards. Olave could have been in store for a bigger day, as he was targeted 13 times, many of which were down the field. If he can become a consistent red zone threat, Olave could be a steal compared to his preseason ADP. 

The Saints also need Olave to be great. Alvin Kamara and the rushing game have struggled, and the team has failed to find much on offense outside of a resurgent Michael Thomas. Jameis Winston has shown the ability to support multiple fantasy-relevant players before, so it isn’t out of the question that two wide receivers can coexist in this offense. New Orleans may pass the ball less if Andy Dalton gets the start for an injured Winston this Sunday, but that also presents a perfect buy-low opportunity. Once Jameis returns, there should be plenty of receptions to go around.

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