Fantasy Football Week 2: Buy and Sell Stock Report
With a failed last-minute bid by the Redskins to catch the Eagles and an epic, unsurprising collapse by the San Diego Chargers, the NFL closed Week 1 out with a whimper.
Which players helped and hurt their fantasy football stock the most last week? This list doesn't include the obvious guys like Anquan Boldin, LeSean McCoy or Reggie Bush—who went supernova—or the studs like Adrian Peterson.
Buy: Joe Flacco, QB, Balitmore Ravens
It was a dismal night in Denver for the Ravens. Joe Flacco reverted to his old regular-season self, making some horrific decisions and nearly getting pick-six'd on more than one occasion.
When the slaughter mercifully ended, however, Flacco's fantasy line actually wound up looking rather good.
Granted, we shouldn't expect Flacco to put up 62 passes in the next two games combined, let alone the next one like he did last week. But he also won't be playing on the road against a good Denver defense.
Sell: All Broncos Running Backs
Running back Ronnie Hillman was named the starter at the end of Denver's preseason, but Knowshon Moreno got the first snaps and ultimately the most run against Baltimore.
That's right, Knowshon Moreno.
This was just one game, but Denver's running back situation is so bad that none of them could get into the end zone in a blowout. Granted, it might be tough to do that when Peyton Manning is simply slinging, but Wes Welker got both short-yardage touchdowns of the night.
The fact is, we won't know who might emerge as a fantasy-relevant running back on a weekly basis for the Broncos. Moreno might get the most playing time simply because he is the best blocker, but his upside is limited.
Buy: Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns
Tight end Jordan Cameron's stock was up in the preseason, but it's climbing once more.
The third-year tight end took over for Ben Watson this offseason, and he had a promising preseason. He turned that into a great regular-season debut as the starter against the Dolphins.
Cameron was the only reliable target for quarterback Brandon Weeden all day. Things should only improve as receiver Josh Gordon comes back from suspension in Week 3 to stretch defenses. This was no one-hit-wonder performance.
Sell: Zach Sudfeld, TE, New England Patriots
Tight end Zach Sudfeld was invisible against the Bills, so much so that I couldn't find a picture of him from last week.
Conventional wisdom said Sudfeld would at least replicate some of Rob Gronkowski's production for the Patriots. Conventional wisdom would be dead wrong.
He threw up a fat goose egg, burning all those fantasy owners who had faith in him to put up good numbers in Week 1. Of course, it didn't help that he had a pulled hamstring, but Sudfeld ran nine pass routes to Michael Hoomanawanui's 25, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
With Gronkowski's imminent return—he practiced all last week, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him out there in some capacity even this week—it seems like Sudfeld's bubble has burst. He is worth dropping for your waiver-wire acquisitions this week.
Buy: James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers
That was the bad news for James Jones in a relatively high-scoring affair for Green Bay in San Francisco. Jones was only targeted twice in 37 throws from Rodgers. That does not bode well for his fantasy prospects.
Jones scored double-digit touchdowns last season, but Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson battled injuries for much of hte season. He is now the fourth-best option for Rodgers. Barring injury, this might be a problem for his fantasy owners.
Even so, it's hard to get worse from a goose egg. If someone is selling, buy him on the cheap.
Sell: Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins spent $60 million on receiver Mike Wallace this offseason. He was one expensive decoy in Week 1.
Brian Hartline used the rapport he established with quarterback Ryan Tannehill last season to great effect, catching nine of his whopping 15 targets for 114 yards and a touchdown. That matches his touchdown total from last season already, though it was against the same defensive coordinator he scored on last year, Ray Horton.
It's hard to imagine he'll garner this kind of attention from Tannehill on a weekly basis.
Buy: Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
This slide was originally intended for running back Shane Vereen
There was a disturbance in the force when Stevan Ridley fumbled the ball away as the Patriots were driving for a potential score. Emperor Bill Belichick banished the third-year player to Hoth for his insolence.
In his place stepped, his apprentice. Shane Vereen took full advantage, scoring oodles of fantasy points—particularly in PPR leagues—despite not getting into the end zone.
Of course, the Hoodie is fickle. Was Ridley's banishment a sign of things to come, or was it a temporary situation?
The Patriots have no choice with the revelation that Vereen had wrist surgery after Sunday's game. His fantasy owners can breathe a huge sigh of relief.
That is, of course, unless Belichick decides to roll LeGarrette Blount out there for 25 carries.
Sell: Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
And the award for the worst fantasy performance of the week goes to Pittsburgh running back Isaac Redman. The veteran all but lit a paper bag full of dog poop and put it in his place wherever fantasy owners started him.
Redman had negative fantasy points on the day after tallying just 16 total yards while losing one of his two fumbles. Le'Veon Bell cannot come back soon enough.
Buy: Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns, and he wound up outside the top 15 in standard fantasy scoring.
His two turnovers played a part in that, but so did the play of guys like Sam Bradford, who somewhat surprisingly wound up in the top 12, depending on scoring format.
He did it on the wings of a fantastic performance from new tight end Jared Cook and without much from rookie receiver Tavon Austin or burner Chris Givens.
Sell: Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
The toast of the town was receiver Danny Amendola after he gutted out 10 catches for 104 yards, including several on the game-winning drive. But the Patriots might not have been in position to win were it not for his running mate, Julian Edelman.
The diminutive receiver racked up 72 yards and two touchdowns on the day, outpacing all other New England players in fantasy scoring. He should be one of the biggest waiver-wire pickups this week.
Once he has a nice game against the Jets, sell high. Amendola will be back soon enough, and so will tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Buy: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins
What an inauspicious regular-season debut for Lamar Miller as Miami's starter.
Miller was held to a whopping 0.3 yards-per-carry (YPC) average. He split time with Daniel Thomas, who was equally ineffective but got the goal-line touchdown.
A big part of this was Cleveland's fantastic defensive line, which gave Miller zero room to operate on the ground. As it turns out, Daniel Thomas had the better fantasy day after scoring on a one-yard dive.
Thomas didn't have a good day himself, averaging just 0.6 YPC, so there is little reason to believe Miller is in any sort of trouble. But this was a troublesome performance.
Sell: David Wilson, RB, New York Giants
It was déjà vu all over again for David Wilson.
It was déjà vu all over again for David Wilson.
There was a big glitch in the Matrix as the second-year running back found himself in Tom Coughlin's doghouse after a brutal opening night against the Cowboys.
He managed to avoid Coughlin's full wrath after fumbling early, but putting the ball on the ground a second time—a fumble the Cowboys returned for a touchdown—ended his night. Has it ended his brief reign as the Giants' lead back?
It's hard to believe Coughlin will stick with Da'Rel Scott, who doesn't have much upside and helped ice the game by bobbling a late-game pass from quarterback Eli Manning. But Wilson spent quite a bit of time behind Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown after getting himself into the same briar patch last year.
If you drafted Wilson, stick with him. You might not get much of a return after that debacle. But this was a rather disappointing start for the dynamic running back.