2010 Fantasy Football: NFL Player Stock Market Watch Leading Up to Week 7

Allen KimSenior Analyst IOctober 18, 2010

2010 Fantasy Football: NFL Player Stock Market Watch Leading Up to Week 7

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    PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 13:  Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball against the New England Patriots on August 13, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Here's a look at the landscape of the rising and falling stocks of players around the league.

    While some players did themselves favors with strong play, others have hurt their stock immensely with poor showings.

    Now's the time to add some, trade for others, or cut ties completely as Week 7 of the NFL season approaches.

    Check out my Week 7 Fantasy Football Start-Sit Open Advice Thread.

    Archives: Week 4  | 5 | 6


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    PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 17:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass against the Cleveland Browns during the game on October 17, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Stock Up:

    Ben Roethlisberger, PIT: Finally back from suspension, Big Ben has not missed a beat. Ben threw for 257 yards, three touchdowns, and a pick. With the Steelers already in contention for the top seed in the AFC, having Ben under center should help them continue their domination.

    Matt Schaub, HOU: Schaub finally broke out of his slump as he helped lead a comeback against the Chiefs. Matt threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns. With all of  his weapons healthy, Schaub should hopefully be able to reclaim that elite QB tag.

    Matt Cassel, KC: Even though the Chiefs had a second half meltdown to the Texans, Cassel finally showed signs of life. He threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns. This is the start of a potential explosion from Cassel and Co. as their upcoming schedule is incredibly soft.

    Colt McCoy, CLE: McCoy made his NFL debut on Sunday against the suffocating Steelers' defense. The Steelers hit him five times and caught two of his passes.

    Through all of this he managed to throw for 281 yards and a touchdown. While they're not jaw-dropping numbers, Colt managed to put up respectable numbers against one of the leagues' best defenses.

    Stock Down:

    Jay Cutler, CHI: In the third quarter, Cutler fumbled the ball, recovered it, and finally ended up being sacked for a safety. While he managed to throw for 290 yards, none of those passes were for touchdowns.

    It looks like he may need another week to get his bearings before he can hopefully get back to early season form.

    Mark Sanchez, NYJ: While the Jets managed to pull out a fourth quarter win against the Broncos, much of this was in spite of their second year signal caller. Sanchez threw two picks and it's the second week in a row that Sanchez has put up weak stats.

    Sanchez's recent decline is odd considering Santonio Holmes came back from suspension, which should only help to open things up for Mark.

    Phillip Rivers, SD: Rivers managed to put up respectable numbers even with Gates and Floyd going down. However, those injuries are sure to limit Rivers if either of them miss a significant amount of time, particularly Gates.

    It would be best to cap expectations until his favorite targets are back on the field.

    Brett Favre, MIN: Favre may have played an efficient game, but he really didn't do much against the Cowboys. He only threw for 118 yards and one score.

    He needed a cortisone injection for his elbow, and it may be a lingering injury that bothers him throughout the season.

    The Vikings really need Sidney Rice back in uniform.

Running Back

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 03:  Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 3, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Stock Up:

    Frank Gore, SF: Gore had his best rushing game of the year running for 149 yards on 25 touches. This is sure to satisfy owners everywhere after three straight games of sub 80 yard rushing performances.

    With the 49ers' offense actually looking respectable—Alex Smith threw for two touchdowns—Gore may be able to find running room as the 49ers desperately try to claw their way back into the mix.

    If San Francisco expects to have any success on offense, they would be wise to continue to feed the ball to their workhorse back.

    Arian Foster, HOU: Foster, the leading rusher in the NFL, was stymied last week when the Giants defense suffocated the entire Texans' offense. Foster turned things around this week as he helped Houston come back with a win against the Chiefs by hitting pay dirt two times in the fourth quarter.

    Ryan Torain, WAS: The Redskins fed Torain the rock 20 times and he capitalized on the opportunity by rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns. As long as Clinton Portis is sidelined, Torain will get plenty of touches going forward and every opportunity to succeed.

    Jamaal Charles & Thomas Jones, KC: It looks like there is a new two-headed monster in town. The duo of Charles and Jones seems to have supplanted DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart as the best running back combo in the league.

    Charles continues to make the most of his opportunities averaging 6.3 yards per touch. Even though he only has one touchdown for the year, he'll continue to have opportunities to score and rack up yards.

    Jones, the bruiser of the two, recorded 100 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Texans' stingy run defense.

    Christopher Ivory, NO: After failing to impress in the absence of Pierre Thomas leading up to week six, Ivory blew up on Sunday against the Buccaneers. He ran for a career high 158 yards.

    However, with Pierre and Bush set to come back soon, it would be best to temper expectations going forward.

    Stock Down:

    Matt Forte, CHI: Forte continues to frustrate owners with inconsistent play. After rushing for 166 yards last week, Matt only managed a pathetic 11 yards against the Seahawks. He's a boom or bust back and this appears to be a trend that will continue throughout the season.

    Michael Turner, ATL: On 15 rushing attempts, Turner managed to compile a measly 45 yards. He was unable to find any running room and made absolutely no impact on the game.

    Jahvid Best, DET: Best had absolutely no room to work as he was consistently tackled behind the line of scrimmage. The Giants' defense bottled him up everywhere he went and held him to 16 rushing yards on 12 carries.

    This is the fourth straight week that Best has not breached the goal line or tallied respectable point totals. It looks like his turf toe will continue to bother him and his owners throughout the season.

    Ryan Mathews, SD: Even after Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd went down to injuries, Norv Turner opted to lean on Rivers instead of feeding Mathews the ball. Ryan isn't even afforded goal-line duties, which are instead given to Mike Tolbert.

    Mathews prospects looks bleak if he can't even get an increased workload with the Chargers' two best weapons out.

Wide Receiver

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 17: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions catches the ball on an 87-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 17, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Gian
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Stock Up:

    Jeremy Maclin, PHI: Maclin caught all seven of the balls thrown his way for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Most of the production came with DeSean Jackson leaving the game. Even with the secondary focused on him, Maclin shrugged off the extra attention and had his way with the Falcons.

    Calvin Johnson, DET: Put Betty White behind center and Calvin Johnson will still find a way to produce. Against one of the best pass defenses in the league, Johnson managed to rack up 146 yards and a touchdown. This is with Shaun Hill and his replacement Drew Stanton behind center.

    Greg Jennings, GB: The Packers' coaching staff made it a priority earlier this week to get Jennings more involved in the offense and they did just that. Jennings easily had his best game of the season with 133 receiving yards and a touchdown. With Finley potentially out for the season and Ryan Grant on IR, the Packers should continue to lean on the combination of Rodgers and Jennings.

    Deion Branch, NE: Branch picked up right where he left off four years ago, hauling in nine passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. The chemistry between Tom and Deion is still intact and he may help Patriots' fans forget about the front-office trading away Moss.

    Dwayne Bowe, KC: This is not a joke. There has been a legitimate Dwayne Bowe sighting. Bowe caught—not dropped—six passes for 108 yards and two scores.

    Apparently, all it takes is the hapless Texans' secondary to make a player like Bowe relevant again. Plus, the Chiefs have a juicy schedule over the next couple of weeks. You can either hope to ride the hot hand to some wins, or cash in now and rid yourself of Bowe.

    Mike Williams, SEA: Williams helped the Seahawks decimate the Bears secondary. He caught 10 passes for 123 yards and he may be finally fulfilling that sleeper tag he was garnering around the fantasy world in the preseason.

    He might not be the bust that Lions' fans thought he was. However, this is just a small sample size. Let's see if he can top this performance, or at least keep up a high level of production.

    Patrick Crayton, SD: Crayton took advantage of injuries to Malcolm Floyd and Antonio Gates and posted 117 receiving yards on six catches. If either of them miss a significant amount of time, Crayton may just become Rivers' go-to guy.

    Johnny Knox, CHI: The lone bright spot in the Bears' offense in their loss to the Seahawks was Johnny Knox. With Cutler back behind center, Knox caught five passes for 120 yards.

    Mike Wallace, PIT: Mike caught three balls for 90 yards and a touchdown. He went long for 50 yards on one of those plays.

    With Big Ben back under center, Wallace's prospects should continue to rise as the season goes along.

    Pierre Garcon, IND: Welcome to the 2010 NFL season Garcon.

    With so much attention on Austin Collie over the first few weeks of the season, Garcon finally had his coming out party, recording 103 receiving yards and a touchdown.

    Even though there are a lot of weapons on the Colts, Garcon is in the perfect situation and is too talented to not produce. He may even end up as the better option between him and Collie for the rest of the year.

    Derrick Mason, BAL: Mason finally recorded his first triple-digit receiving yard game of the season. Derrick caught eight balls for 100 yards.

    The Ravens' offense has been gradually improving every week so this could be the start of something good for Derrick.

    Stock Down:

    Marques Colston, NO: Even with Drew Brees behind center, Colston has yet to break the century mark for the season. On top of that, he doesn't even have a single touchdown.

    Colston has had some second-half season surges, so owners may have to hold out hope that he eventually breaks out of this funk, or that Drew Brees starts to throw the ball his way more.

    Wes Welker, NE: While Welker managed to catch seven balls, he was held to 53 yards. His first post-Moss era game was very uneventful as Deion Branch stole the show. This is also the third straight game that Welker has not found the end zone. Not to mention he has yet to top 100 yards in any game this season.

    Even if he may get more looks from Tom Brady with Moss gone, he's going to have a tough time catching them with defenses game planning around him.

    Donald Driver, GB: Even with JerMichael Finley out to injury, Driver was a non-factor for the second week in a row. While he does have three touchdowns up until this point, he's on pace for his worst season—in terms of yardage—in eight years.

    Hakeem Nicks, NYG: With the Lions in town, owners of Nicks must have been salivating at the potential aerial onslaught Hakeem could have rained down on the Detroit secondary. Instead, he was bottled up for eight yards on three catches. This comes after he annihilated the Texans' secondary for 130 yards and two scores last week.

    As the new No. 1 WR in New York, Nicks will continue to see double and triple coverages as defenses begin to game plan on stopping him.

    Louis Murphy, OAK: Once thought to be the savior for Oakland's offense, Jason Campbell has done nothing but bring down the stocks of all the receivers on the team.

    I can't believe I'm writing this, but Bruce Gradkowski can't come back soon enough.

    Miles Austin, DAL: Austin was held to a season low 12 receiving yards. He did have a touchdown negated due to a penalty, but Dallas is in disarray right now.

    It's also no mere coincidence that Austin's two worst games of the season came during Roy Williams' best games of the season.

    Randy Moss, MIN: With Brett Favre showing his age, Moss will continue to have limited production. Also, with Sidney Rice set to rejoin the team soon, Moss will see less looks come his way.

Tight End

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    PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 17:  Benjamin Watson #82 of the Cleveland Browns attempts to go up and over Ryan Clark #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on October 17, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Ima
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Stock Up:

    Benjamin Watson, CLE: This former Patriot was targeted nine times, and caught six of them for 88 yards and a touchdown. It appears that he may be Colt McCoy's safety blanket and that he'll see plenty of looks go his way as the Browns offense tries to find some sort of consistency.

    Heath Miller, PIT: Ben behind center makes all the receivers more enticing. Miller had his best game of the season catching two balls for 50 yards and a touchdown.

    Todd Heap, BAL: Heap finally caught his first touchdown of the season. He also recorded 49 receiving yards, his highest total since Week 1 of the NFL season.

    Stock Down:

    Antonio Gates, SD: Antonio has been on an absolute tear this year catching touchdowns like his life depended on it.

    With Gates going down to injury, nervous owners must be fidgeting everywhere waiting for the diagnosis and return timetable for the standout TE. Gates was seen wearing a protective boot after coming back from the locker room in the Chargers' loss, meaning he'll most assuredly be missing some time.

    Zach Miller, OAK: See: Louis Murphy (Wide Receiver - Stock Down).

Defense/Special Teams

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    ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 17: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks to avoid getting sacked by James Laurinaitis #55 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 17, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Chargers 20-17.  (Phot
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Stock Up:

    St. Louis Rams: After getting stomped by the lowly Lions last week, the Rams defense responded in a big way against San Diego. The pass rush got to Phillip Rivers seven times and they held one of the top offenses in the league to 17 points—the Chargers' average has been 28 points a game up until this week.

    Stock Down:

    Chicago Bears: The only saving grace for the Bears was the 89 yard return touchdown by Devin Hester. Aside from that, they were thoroughly manhandled by the Seahawks. This comes on the heels of a dominating performance against the Panthers.

    Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons got thrashed on Sunday giving up 31 points to the Eagles. Even with DeSean Jackson leaving the game with a concussion, Kevin Kolb managed to tear them apart with pinpoint passing.

    Houston Texans: As if giving up 31 points to the Chiefs and making Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe look like studs wasn't bad enough, the Texans lost DeMeco Ryans to a season-ending achilles injury. An already awful defense gets even worse.