By: Blake Sullivan (Twitter: @BlakeSullivanFF)
Week 3 Risers and Fallers
Two weeks of the NFL season have come and gone. You are probably starting to get worried about how certain players are performing. Early in the season is a great time to sell high and buy low. Just because a player is off to a bad start doesn’t mean they can’t turn things around. Here are my observations from the first 2 weeks. This series of articles will be identifying the players whose value is currently rising or falling.
RB – Risers
Ty Montgomery- Many people were skeptical that a wide receiver could switch over to the running back position and have as much success as Ty has had. As a Packer fan, I was one of those people. After seeing the way he can power through people I believe in him. So far he has 3 TD’s in the early going. Rodgers being able to buy time in the pocket allows Montgomery to be a release on passing plays along with seeing touches in the run game. I hope you have Ty on your team, and if not you might consider a trade.
Mike Gillislee- I don’t think anyone could have imagined that he would have 4 rushing TDs in 2 weeks. He may not get a ton of yards with Brady at QB, but he will benefit by being in the red zone often, where they have fed him the ball thus far. I still get very nervous starting anyone in the Patriots backfield, but if he keeps getting this goal line work, he could be an excellent RB2 or flex on a weekly basis.
Kareem Hunt- Who is this rookie? If you are in an active league, he was drafted or picked up after the first week. If you own him you could probably generate a large return for him in a trade. I would have a hard time trading him after what he has done, and what I think he will continue to do. The Chiefs offense is explosive, and Hunt is going to keep getting better. He already has 5 TDs and over 350 total yards.
Leonard Fournette- Another rookie is on the rise. Many people saw this coming, as he was well documented coming into this season. Fournette is a solid guy you want on your team to put up healthy numbers each week. He is averaging about 100 yards and a TD per game. He should get a heavy dose of the plays in Jacksonville.
WR – Risers
Michael Crabtree- The Oakland Raiders have been on fire, thanks in part to the connection between Michael Crabtree and Derek Carr. He has had 80+ yards in both weeks catching 3 TD’s in week 2. With plenty of others like Amari Cooper and Marshawn Lynch, Crabtree should still get some open looks. I think Crabtree’s value is still going up, so I might hold onto him for a little longer if you are thinking about trading him.
Jermaine Kearse- Kearse is fitting in well with the Jets so far. He has stepped right into the shoes of Brandon Marshall. He is averaging 60 yards and a TD per game. These numbers aren’t anything to freak out about, but he may be available on waivers in a good majority of leagues. He could be a great WR2 or Flex.
TE – Risers
Jason Witten- Witten is off to a great start in 2017. He has become the Cowboys leader in all time receiving yards and games played. Witten has 156 yards and is only one shy of his touchdown total from last season. Hopefully he will continue to have a great 2017 season.
Evan Engram- Evan Engram has been coming up with some big time catches with the absence of OBJ. This guy is a beast. One of the top talents at the TE position, this rookie hardly even looks like a tight end out on the field. He would be good to claim from waivers for a couple of weeks unless he continues to get better. The Giants offense can’t get any worse, so Engram will get better as the Giants get better.
RB – Fallers
Ezekiel Elliott- He hasn’t had a terrible year by any means, but he has yet to find the endzone. His week one performance was pretty promising, but last week he was only able to get 22 total yards. It is hard to give advice on Zeke because nobody knows what is going on with his legal issues. He needs to be in your lineup if you have him. If you do not have him, you may want to put out some feelers to see how willing owners are to trade him.
DeMarco Murray- Murray has only managed to get 88 yards without a touchdown. I am concerned that he has yet to find the endzone or pick up many receiving yards. Last year he averaged 100 yards and nearly a TD every game. Murray should start to pick it up soon so he could be valuable to get in a trade. There is no way he will equal his performance from last year, so do not expect too much out of him. Not to mention, Derrick Henry is looking good.
WR – Fallers
Doug Baldwin- Doug Baldwin has proven he is able to bounce back from a slow start. It is possible that he will do it again this year. If you are winning your matchups and he is on your team then you need to hang onto him. If you need some points now you should probably trade him away so that you can have a better chance of making the playoffs. Baldwin only has 100 yards on the season so be cautious no matter what you do.
A.J. Green- A.J. Green is having a bad year due in part to the performance of Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s not like he is doing awful, but he is doing worse than anyone would have thought. If the offense can start putting together drives without turning the ball over, Green’s value will go up. If anyone is willing to part ways with him then you should jump on the opportunity. Green’s value isn’t getting lower. If you can grab him from an owner that is jumping ship on the Bengals offense, go get him.
Brandon Marshall- I am not sure what to say about Marshall. He has been a great receiver the last several years. It worries me that his targets were very limited even with OBJ out for most of the first 2 games. Marshall hasn’t done a whole lot in the games to instill confidence in Eli that he will catch a ball that is thrown to him. I want to believe that Marshall can turn things around, but I also thought that Victor Cruz would do the same. I would stay away from Brandon Marshall in the Giant’s offense.
TE – Fallers
Jimmy Graham- Graham has great talent and can easily be one of the top scoring TE’s. Seattle is trying to figure out who will be running the ball for them. At this point it looks like rookie Chris Carson will get a shot at being their lead back. I expect them to settle down into the run game which will allow Russell Wilson to get some better looks down the field early on in downs. I think it is a few weeks out before Graham starts to perform at a high level. If you can pick him up cheap then you might want to do so.
Tyler Eifert- Eifert is another player who has been hurt by Cincinnati’s poor offense. He will bounce back, and luckily for him and for owners, the TE position is not that deep of consistent scorers. All he has to do is get some catches under his belt and he will be back to making a contribution to your fantasy team. Eifert’s value won’t get any lower. You can go grab him for dirt cheap, and assuming the Bengals offense gets it together, you’ve got a game-changed at the TE position. If he can stay healthy.