Daily Fantasy Football October 7: DFS Stock Up, Stock Down
When it comes to the daily fantasy football stock market, the key is to not overreact.
Breakout stars can turn into zeroes pretty quickly. Look at Carlos Hyde of the San Francisco 49ers, who exploded for 35.2 points in Week 1 and has yet to total the same amount again—over the course of three games' worth of work.
With Hyde, the stock market showcased a clear down arrow after the breakout. So it goes: Injuries, the opponent and the team around a player play pivotal roles in how a fantasy player will perform.
With such an example in mind, let's take a look at the stock market and identify several players headed in quite obvious directions.
Stock Up: Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks ($3,800)
As things stand right now, it's time to buy a lot of stock in Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls.
Marshawn Lynch just missed Monday Night Football with an injury, and the best the coaching staff has to say about the situation is that it's "hoping" Beast Mode will be able to play on a short turnaround, per John Boyle of Seahawks.com.
Now add in the fact Boyle just noted Fred Jackson suffered an ankle sprain.
In other words, Rawls is set to see a major workload in Cincinnati this weekend if Lynch can't go. As the old saying goes, opportunities equal production.
So far, Rawls' best game came in Week 3 when he totaled 13.4 points. At $3,800 and with perhaps an entire workload to his lonesome, he looks like one of the week's top value buys.
Stock Down: Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($3,500)
Daily fantasy owners probably aren't too pleased with Atlanta Falcons wideout Roddy White so far, and by the sounds of it, he isn't too pleased with his role in the offense, either.
Through four weeks, White has become fantasy irrelevant with just six total catches. Most of the credit for his struggles go to the emergence of a viable ground game led by Devonta Freeman.
"I've contributed to offenses for this franchise for the last nine, 10 years. It always bothers me when I go out and don't catch any balls in a game because it hasn't happened in so long," White said, per ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure.
The thing is, it's hard to imagine White's comments will influence the way the offense works at this point. Atlanta seems to have finally found a balanced attack once again, and it's winning the team games.
So while the price tag here looks great and White has posted major performances in the past, it's clear the arrow continues to point down.
Stock Up: Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,800)
Martavis Bryant is once again fantasy relevant.
Bryant is now eligible to play after serving a four-game suspension, and from the sounds of it, the Pittsburgh Steelers are happy to have him back in the fold.
“Martavis is motivated, he looks strong, he’s very impressive right now. He’s a great kid, wants to win and believes in himself,” Steelers quarterback Mike Vick said, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Bryant looks like a boom-or-bust play at a great cost considering the Steelers hit the road to take on the San Diego Chargers without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger under center.
But the Chargers are dealing with injuries to their top two cornerbacks. Jason Verrett missed last week with an injury, and Brandon Flowers suffered a concussion. It's an exploitable situation and only helping Bryant's stock to boom.
Stock Down: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions ($5,400)
It appears to be all downhill from here for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Stafford has hit the 20-point mark just once this season. He hasn't hit the 300-yard mark in seven consecutive games, and through four games, he's thrown as many touchdowns as picks (five).
Against a game Seattle defense on Monday Night Football, Stafford threw for just 203 yards and nothing else. There isn't a running game behind him to speak of, and a miserable offensive line continues to prohibit Stafford from airing it out down the field to Calvin Johnson.
To make matters even worse, as improbable as that sounds, Stafford now has to encounter the Arizona Cardinals. The best quarterback Arizona faced this year so far is New Orleans' Drew Brees, who needed a whopping 48 pass attempts against the defense just to score 20.5 points.
Some may raise an eyebrow at Stafford's price, but it's not a high-upside risk worth a look.
Stock Up: Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers ($3,200)
One would think San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green would be on the downswing heading into Week 5 with Antonio Gates set to return from his suspension.
For shame, too, as Green posted 18.4, 9.7 and 15.3 points in his three appearances this year, something close to sound consistency at an unreliable position.
According to quarterback Philip Rivers, though, Green's carved out a role for himself in the offense, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Philip Rivers said Ladarius Green 'has had a heck of a (three) games. He really has... I certainly don't anticipate him staying on sideline.'"
Both Green and Gates on the field at the same time sounds like a nightmare for defenses. It also sounds like a necessity for the Chargers after Malcom Floyd and Stevie Johnson left last weekend's game with injuries.
In other words, don't throw in the towel on Green.
Stock Down: Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills ($5,700)
One of the most obvious starts of last week, Karlos Williams of the Buffalo Bills couldn't get anything going against the New York Giants and posted just 16 points, the day saved by a fluky 23-yard touchdown reception late in the game.
With the stock arrow already pointing down, things went from bad to worse as the team's general manager, Doug Whaley, revealed Williams suffered a concussion, per Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com: "GM Doug Whaley announces in radio interview that RB Karlos Williams sustained a concussion and is going thru NFL protocol."
Williams might be able to suit up next weekend if he clears the league's protocol, but it's a long shot owners will want to avoid. The team just signed Dan Herron to help fill the position, per NFL.com's Dan Hanzus.
At this price, owners would be better off looking at Justin Forsett ($5,800) or even one of the names on a major stock upswing, Ronnie Hillman ($4,900).
Stock Up: Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos ($4,900)
It looks like Hillman will be the starter for the Denver Broncos moving into a matchup against the Oakland Raiders.
Hillman wasn't a factor in daily fantasy until last weekend, when he broke off a 72-yard touchdown run on his way to 20.8 points. The coaching staff instead favored C.J. Anderson over the first three weeks of the season.
Coach Gary Kubiak spoke on the matter with SiriusXM NFL Radio: "Gary Kubiak on Anderson/Hillman: 'I think Ronnie deserves some more touches. He's got the hot hand right now.'"
There's no reason to believe Kubiak will pull a 180 now. Hillman looks like the best back in Denver, which is great news for owners: Oakland just gave up 18.5 points to Matt Forte and generally struggles against backs.
Look for Hillman to wind up on many a "surprise" list after Week 5. Stock information in hand, owners should know it's coming.
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