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Week 8 Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Quarterbacks Edition

Bryan Armetta talks fantasy football quarterbacks in this special edition of Stock Watch.

Bryan Armetta talks fantasy football quarterbacks in this special edition of Stock Watch.

The league’s offensive decline this season has had wide-ranging, oft-discussed impacts on the state of fantasy football. However, let’s drop the vague terms and get straight to the point: Quarterbacks have been bad. Outside of an elite group at the very top, signal callers have struggled to generate much in terms of passing yardage, touchdowns and fantasy points. For those who drafted a passer late, this season has likely been a carousel of game managers and struggling superstars. That’s why this week’s stock watch is solely looking at QBs: who you should rush to add and which veterans you can consider dropping halfway through the year. 

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Stock Up: QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Petition to change Jones’ nickname from Danny Dimes to Danny Wheels? The Giants quarterback ran for 107 yards and a score against the Jaguars last weekend. With Saquon Barkley sharing the same backfield, defenses are unable to hone in on Jones’ exceptional running ability. Brian Daboll and New York’s coaching staff have used this to the team’s advantage, scheming up designed quarterback draws and bootlegs to get Jones in open space. 

If Jones can be even an average passer like he was on Sunday (202 yards passing, one touchdown), it’s hard to ignore his top-ten potential at a low-upside position. It’s no coincidence that DJ has looked more comfortable in the pocket since the return of second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinson, and the return of other injured wideouts can only help a beat-up offense. The schedule is also enticing over New York’s next three games (@SEA, HOU, DET), so the time to snatch Jones off waivers is now. 

Stock Down: QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Green Bay’s bold strategy this offseason was to trade away All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, replacing him with an abundance of young rookies and cheap veterans. Just seven games into the season, it’s safe to say that the front office might be regretting their decision. The Packers have been downright anemic on offense, scoring an average of just under 18 points per game in their last three contests. While he wasn’t given the most help, blame also needs to be pointed at Aaron Rodgers

The four-time MVP has looked bad so far, failing to get in sync with any of his receivers other than Allen Lazard. After the team’s most recent debacle against Washington, number 12 criticized his teammates for failing to own up to their mistakes. While he isn’t necessarily wrong to call out Green Bay’s sloppy play, Rodgers is currently sitting on a career-worst quarterback rating of 40.5, worse than Mitch Trubisky, Andy Dalton and Matt Ryan. Something needs to change for Rodgers to be even rosterable in 1-QB leagues, but don’t expect a spark on Sunday night when the Packers go up against a formidable Bills’ defense.

Stock Up: QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

There’s an offensive renaissance underway in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s being led by a career backup. Geno Smith, once seen as a tank commander, is demanding respect from the league thanks to his stellar play through seven games. The Seahawks are currently ranked sixth in the league in yards per pass attempt and third in quarterback rating; that’s a notable improvement compared to last season with Russell Wilson

While last Sunday wasn’t exceptional (13.1 fantasy points), Smith is still QB7 on the year. Behind the remarkable start is Geno’s completion percentage; his current mark of 73.5% leads the league. Seattle has put their quarterback in a position to succeed with plenty of early-down passes to catch defenses off guard, and the results have been remarkable. A date with the 6-1 Giants, with DK Metcalf likely out, could prove difficult, but it’s hard to doubt Smith’s potential as a QB1 for the rest of the season. 

Stock Down: QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

We’ve waited and waited, but the Justin Herbert from Weeks 1 and 2 might not be coming back. Over his past five games, Herbert is the QB15, with a large portion of his production coming in garbage time. It’s no coincidence that Herbert’s fantasy decline occurred after he suffered a rib injury against the Chiefs; it’s the kind of ailment that can linger for a whole season. While Herbert is still in a good position to finish the year as a top-eight quarterback, expectations might need to be tempered due to his physical limitations.

The offensive environment around the Chargers quarterback has also only gotten worse. Mike Williams is headed to the IR following an ankle injury, while Keenan Allen has been sidelined by hamstring issues all year. If not for the excellence of Austin Ekeler, it’s hard to imagine Los Angeles would even have a winning record. A much-needed bye week should only help Herbert, but it’s becoming apparent that any jump into the league’s top five passers will have to wait another year.