Welcome back for another edition of the Stock Market Report where we will discuss players who are on the rise and players who are falling for one reason or another. Players that are part of this report have shown over two games that they are either rising or falling for one reason or another. While the players that are rising are not that surprising, the players that are falling are surprising and their poor play is affecting their respective team.
Matt Cassel - QB, KC
The Chiefs are paying Cassel $7.1 million this season, compared to Drew Brees who has a base salary of $7.6 million this season. Needless to say, the Chiefs grossly overpaid for Cassel based on one season in New England. Over the past two games, he has completed 26/56 passes for 283 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. While his protection has not been that great, you would expect a player that is making in excess of $7 million dollars that he would be better at limiting mistakes. The Chiefs are on a bye in week eight, but they return in week nine to face the Jaguars, which should be an easy day for Cassel.
Matt Forte – RB, Chi
Just when we thought that Forte was turning things around, he turns in two sub-par performances. He is definitely in a “sophomore slump.” Over the past two games, he has ran the ball 21 times for 47 yards (2.2 ypc) and no touchdowns. He had decent match-ups (Falcons and Bengals) but he did not take advantage of those opportunities. He will face the Browns in week eight and this is his best match-up of the season. If he cannot get it going against the Browns, then it will be time to let him go, unless your waiver wire is scarce.
Marion Barber – RB, Dal
It should be obvious to everyone that Barber is not 100% as he is running the ball timidly instead of powering through the line like he usually does. That is one glaring issue with head coaches as they allow RBs to come back too early from an injury before they are fully healed. Tashard Choice would have continued to be a solid replacement until Barber could come back 100% which would have benefited the Cowboys in the long run. Instead, they brought Barber back too early and he has had 29 rushing attempts for 100 yards and no touchdowns. The Cowboys face the Seahawks in week eight and while Seattle allows 99 yards per game, I still do not like Barber. In fact, I would stow him on your bench until he can prove that he is back to his old self.
Jamal Lewis – RB, Cle
Like Forte, Lewis put together a solid game in week five, but he has been terrible over the past two weeks. He has 26 rushing attempts for 68 yards and no touchdowns. Some may chalk up his poor performances to tough match-ups and while that may be true, Lewis is past his prime. While he may continue to have solid games here and there, he cannot be trusted to be a starting RB for your team. If you must, he has a pretty good match-up against the Bears next week, but I would only use him as a flex option.
Terrell Owens – WR, Buf
I have been making myself believe that the reason that Owens was not getting the ball was due to play calling and/or poor coaching. While they may be true to a certain extent, I have seen Lee Evans start to play fairly well, while Owens is still lagging behind. I am not thinking this has to do with that very large chip on his shoulder and he is upset that he is not the best WR on his team. I feel sorry for owners that drafted him, but they had to see this coming. Owens has six receptions for 40 yards over the past two games. I am sure that most of you have him on your bench and he should stay there until further notice. The Bills do have a solid match-up with the Texans next week, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is a QB who makes few mistakes, but he is not a solid passer. If you must play him, go ahead and I wish you the best of luck, but there are many other options that would be better than Owens.
Tom Brady – QB, NE
The Brady of 2007 is back and he is looking very good in the pocket over the past few games. He started the season a little timid, but he is hitting everyone with arms that is in a Patriots uniform. Against the Titans, Brady completed 29/34 passes for 380 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions. In week seven against the Buccaneers, he completed 23/32 passes for 308 yards, three interceptions, and two interceptions. Brady is back and the rest of the NFL better be on their toes. The Patriots have a bye next week and come back in week nine to face the Dolphins, their first of two conference match-ups.
Thomas Jones – RB, NYJ
Jones has had a pretty solid season and the past two weeks have been no different. He has 48 rushing attempts for 331 yards and two touchdowns. What is it with RBs and the Chicago Bears. As soon as a RB leaves that team, they excel wherever they go and they same thing is happening to Matt Forte. The Jets face the Dolphins for their final meeting and Jones struggled against their tough run defense. However, I would still plug him in and see what he could do this time at home.
Devin Hester – WR, Chi
Hester is proving that he has more to offer than a solid return man. I think that the addition of Jay Cutler has a lot to do with that though. Over the past two games, Hester has 14 receptions for 184 yards and one touchdown. The Bears face the weak Browns defense in week eight and while the Bears may rely on Forte for much of the game, Hester will have opportunities early in the game. Hester will be a suitable #2 or #3 receiving option for your team.
Sidney Rice – WR, Min
While Rice is not scoring a lot of touchdowns, he is quietly becoming the go-to receiver for Favre, which is not a bad position to be in. Rice has had 17 receptions for 312 yards which is #1 in the NFL over the past two games. While it has taken him a few seasons to get things going, he is on fire and is a must start in any league format.
Marques Colston – WR, NO
Colston had a decent start to his season, but he is starting to heat up and is Drew Brees go-to receiver. He has 13 receptions for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He has a solid match-up next week against the Falcons who allow 250 yards per game. However, regardless of the match-up, he will always be a solid start while Drew Brees is at the helm.
There are many players on this report that I would not have expected to see here, but it goes to show you how fickle the NFL can be. Stay tuned for next week’s report as I expect to see a few new names of players on the rise and players that are falling.