Fantasy Stock Watch: Week 2 Preseason Recap
Another week of preseason action is in the books. With the regular season drawing closer and closer, it’s crucial to take what we can out of these preseason games, albeit with a grain of salt. With that said, we can clearly see some stock rising and falling after the second week.
Here’s a look at the top risers and fallers heading into the 2012 fantasy football season after the preseason’s second week:
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
Johnson was in the “Fallers” category last week because he looked puzzled in his first preseason game. Johnson looked like his old self though against the Buccaneers defense (which might have also done the trick). Johnson racked up 46 yards and two touchdowns on two carries and looked fast and explosive off cuts. News that Jake Locker will start the season at quarterback also raises Johnson’s value since Johnson and the running game will be used as a crutch to ease Locker into the year. And if Locker’s performance last Friday was any indication of where he’s at, he will need that crutch of a running game a great deal.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Although LeGarrette Blount’s knee is fine, the Bucs will be careful with Blount for the rest of the preseason. That leaves Martin with an opportunity to take the reigns of the running back duties. Although his stats don’t scream instant success, he has been running smoothly with impressive cuts and speed. That ability paired with Coach Schiano himself comparing Martin to Ray Rice equals a rising stock.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
The offense under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is revolving around Ryan and rising WR Julio Jones, and it was even more apparent in Week 2 of the preseason than Week 1 which is saying something! Ryan finished the game 18-21 with 174 passing yards and a score. Terrific pickup around Round 5 or 6 if you’ve focused on RB and/or WR early.
Lestar Jean, WR, Houston Texans
Jean caught 4 balls for 42 yards and a score. Jean looks fast and will certainly get plenty of one-on-one matchups with Andre Johnson opposite him. Jean is going late in drafts and is a terrific pick up if you need a WR late and are looking for big upside.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Stafford continues to look like himself from a year ago in the preseason. That was confirmed when he hit Calvin Johnson downfield with a bomb and finished the day with 184 passing yards and 2 TDs on 12 completions. Stafford looked great; Calvin Johnson also looked great – although there were defenders all around him – so don’t expect Stafford to fall off at all.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksvonille Jaguars
There are now talks that Jones-Drew is looking to be traded, but even without trade rumors, Jones-Drew’s holdout looks to go into the season with no progress being made. Even if Jones-Drew signs soon, he will still need to adjust to Mike Mularkey and company’s new offense and schemes. With every day that passes, Jones-Drew stock goes down.
Jacob Tamme, TE, Denver Broncos
Many owners were excited at the opportunity of Peyton Manning joining up with former Colts TE Jacob Tamme in Denver, but the preseason has showed that the Broncos have featured both Tamme and Joel Dreessen. Tamme would have been a nice pickup in a later round, but after a second week of splitting targets with Dreessen, it seems clear that that will be the approach in the regular season as well.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
I don’t care if Vick and his ribs will be fine for him to start Week 1. He’s not starting on my team. To me, players like Vick with repeated injuries are just undraftable: his style of play will simply lead to another injury and that can’t be afforded at the QB1 position.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
A week ago, I loved Ridley’s value, but after a minor injury and the Patriots’ second preseason game, I have my worries. Shane Vereen exclusively got the first team carries while Ridley was saved until the second half. With several mouths to feed in New England and Ridley not surely slotted as the starter, Ridley’s value lowers considerably.
Austin Collie, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Like Ridley, I was gushing about Austin Collie a week ago. Collie was being drafted very late but with extreme value and an apparent connection with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Collie received another concussion though in the second preseason week, which drops his stock for similar reasons as Vick: likelihood of injuries. If Collie gets one more decent pop to the head, his career is over.
Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins
It was reported this last week that both of Helu’s Achilles were bothering him. Prior to any play this season, Helu was high on my board since I assumed he would have the exclusive starting role in Washington locked up, but between minor injuries and a messy backfield situation in Washington, keep your distance from Helu.
Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons
On 3 Carries, Turner ran for -3 yards this past weekend. Ugh.
Turner lacks any of the explosiveness that he used to have. With a slower, older Turner and a new offense which is dynamically coming together around Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, Turner’s value plummets.