Daily Fantasy Football September 11: DFS Stock Up, Stock Down
The first game of the 2015 NFL season is in the books. Never fear, football fans, there are 15 more for daily fantasy football players to pick apart on the horizon between Sunday and Monday.
But with such a long offseason, keeping up with every injury, cut and matchup for Week 1 has been difficult. Several young stars will emerge with a new opportunity, but which ones will falter against tough opponents?
Once again, calm down—that's why we're here.
We've picked apart players whose stock is on the rise and others who have taken a tumble. So before setting lineups this weekend, make sure to pick or pass these players.
Stock Up: Corey Brown, WR, Carolina Panthers ($3,000)
Following the loss of Kelvin Benjamin to a season-ending knee injury, it appeared the Carolina Panthers would be at a complete loss at the wide receiver position.
Not that the situation has improved much, but Corey Brown was named a starter alongside Ted Ginn Jr. According to David Newton of ESPN.com, Panthers coach Ron Rivera made the announcement with confidence in Philly Brown.
"I’m going to call him Philly," Rivera said. "Philly catches the ball. Corey is a nice young man."
Despite dropping passes during the preseason, Brown will start over Devin Funchess in Week 1. Going up against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has been down for years, expect Brown to at least put up decent flex numbers for owners.
He's far from a WR2 on fantasy teams, but with so many spots for receivers and a flex slot, Brown's stock is on the rise thanks to his opportunity to open the season.
Stock Down: Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills ($7,000)
For a No. 1 wide receiver, Sammy Watkins is nowhere near the reliable option fantasy owners need at his price point.
Not only does Watkins not have a reliable quarterback with Tyrod Taylor taking over the reins, but he also faces a tough matchup. The Indianapolis Colts ranked second last season in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, according to DraftKings.
The reason why? Oh, well there's this guy named Vontae Davis on the other side of lead receivers. Forgot about him? Receivers haven't, as he ranks No. 2 on Pro Football Focus' cornerbacks coverage rating.
With limited talent in the receiving game outside of Watkins, Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said Davis will likely shadow Watkins, per Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. Still want to take a chance on Watkins as a WR2 on Sunday? We didn't think so.
Stock Up: Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,700)
After taking a look at a wide receiver with a difficult matchup, let's focus on one who has a chance to shine. That's exactly what Nelson Agholor hopes to do against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.
Agholor faces a Falcons defense that allowed the 26th-most fantasy points to wide receivers last year. Atlanta was torched by passing attacks to the tune of 288.6 yards allowed per game and 12.9 yards per reception.
The Falcons ranked 32nd and 31st in the NFL in those categories, respectively. Just a reminder: There are only 32 teams in the league.
The rookie receiver isn't the No. 1 target in the Eagles' passing game with Jordan Matthews as the lead receiver. But with room to make a huge impression after Jeremy Maclin left for the Kansas City Chiefs, Agholor is hoping to shoot off like a rocket in the season opener.
At just $5,700, Agholor might be a receiver to target at the difficult WR3 spot. When he has a huge performance on the prime-time stage, don't expect him to remain at this price for long.
Stock Down: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers ($7,600)
Sure, Corey Brown's stock went up because of his opportunity. That still doesn't bode well for Cam Newton, who will now be without his lead receiver and has to depend on guys who weren't sure if they would make the team when training camp opened.
Newton can still run the ball with great efficiency, but opposing defenses will be bearing down on him every time the ball is snapped. Jacksonville's defense might not seem imposing, but it did rank 14th against opposing quarterbacks last season on DraftKings.
Averaging 19.2 fantasy points per game last season, Newton might have looked like a quarterback to target weeks ago. But at a price point that puts him as the No. 7 QB on DraftKings, his value is nowhere near that salary without Benjamin lining up with him.
Rather than targeting a player like Newton, grab Matt Ryan or Ryan Tannehill at a lower price. Ryan has Julio Jones to throw to, and Tannehill has Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills along with his rushing prowess. That is, of course, if you're looking to save money on a quarterback.
Stock Up: Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans ($3,400)
In a year where depth at tight end is so slim, Delanie Walker's stock is still high heading into the season, especially when you consider that tight ends are often utilized by young quarterbacks as safety valves.
That's exactly what Marcus Mariota will likely do with Walker, who finished last season ranked ninth among tight ends in fantasy production. His 12.1 fantasy points per game were more than Travis Kelce, Jason Witten and Jordan Cameron. Each of those players have a higher price tag than Walker's $3,400 mark.
Walker's salary is lower than normal due to a thumb injury he suffered earlier in the offseason. But after leading the Tennessee Titans in receptions, yards and targets, there should be no concern over whether he'll be productive again on a weekly basis.
As if he needs another reason why his stock is up, Walker also faces a porous Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. The Bucs allowed the seventh-most yards and the second-most receptions to tight ends in 2014. Suffice to say, Walker can be started with confidence at a reasonable price in Week 1 and beyond.
Stock Down: Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers ($5,500)
Melvin Gordon may have the starting spot for the San Diego Chargers, but it's not exactly because he dominated in his first preseason. The former Wisconsin back wasn't impressive during the preseason games, but he still has the hype coming into Week 1.
The Detroit Lions are planning to make sure that hype train stops on the tracks on Sunday.
Last season, the Lions allowed the second-least points to fantasy running backs. That typically happens when you give up just 3.2 yards per carry on the ground. Even without Ndamukong Suh, Detroit will still have a stout rush defense to contend with Gordon.
Let's just say that the rookie will have his hands full trying to find open space in Week 1. Pair the underwhelming preseason with the matchup, and Gordon's stock is falling before he ever takes his first NFL snap in the regular season.
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