Fantasy Football Stock Watch

Who's Rising, Falling and Why

 Below, find all the news and moves that truly impact the fantasy football value needle, with no stone left unturned. We ground each breakdown in our Fantasy Stock Formula, analyzing which factor(s) have seen a change (Talent, Opportunity, Surrounding Talent, Coaching Scheme, Risk, and Upside) to identify Risers, Fallers, Penny Stocks, and Value Holes. All caught up? Return to the homepage.

Joe Mixon’s Paths Will be Clearer with PFF’s Top-Ranked Run-Blocker Jonah Williams
Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon was a big winner during the 2019 NFL Draft as the team drafted Alabama OT Jonah Williams with the No. 11 overall pick. Williams (6’5/302) started every game of his three-year Alabama career (29 starts at left tackle, 15 at right tackle) and went pro after earning unanimous first-team All-American and the 2018 Jacobs Trophy as the SEC’s top offensive lineman. Williams landed PFF College’s No. 1 run-blocking grade in the country last season and allowed zero sacks with only three QB pressures. Also intelligent with a 39 Wonderlic score, Williams’ biggest drawback is his 17th-percentile athleticism, a limitation Williams overcame with pro-ready technique and balance on tape. Before the draft, scouts debated Williams’ position fit from either tackle spot to guard or even center. Good friend of the program and NFL Draft extraordinaire Dane Brugler had this to say about Williams; While not on the same level as future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, he overcomes his lack of ideal length in similar ways, including his ability to make split-second reads, quickly find his landmarks and stay square to rushers. Overall, Williams is a detail-focused blocker with the foot quickness, technical savvy and attitude to be an above-average run blocker and pass protector in the NFL. Mixon is coming off a fantastic season, rushing for 1,168 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was a workhorse back tallying 237 rushes, and now benefits from a bolstered offensive line and no key RB additions in free agency or from the draft. He easily one of The Wolf's favorite players heading into 2019, as he is ranked No. 6 overall (+8 vs ECR) on his current Big Board. The introduction of Zac Taylor as the team's head coach already has the Bengals moving in the right direction by being separated from the shoe that is Marvin Lewis. His creative play calling and offense crafted under the McVay tutelage should have Mixon drafters salivating. His stock is on the rise, and a huge third season jump could be on the way.
N’Keal Harry: Trained With Tom Brady, Mentored by Julian Edelman and Lining up Everywhere
It's not easy being a new receiver on the Patriots. Just look at the list of failed draft picks or free agents who never grasped the offense or got iced out by Tom Brady and were never able to recover. The offense is based on precise route-running and perfect timing, making it vital to be on the exact same page as Brady. It's still early, but it looks like N'Keal Harry is on his way to break that trend. First, he was invited to Tom Brady's secret workouts with Julian Edelman, then Edelman took him under his wing to mentor him throughout camp. With 160 vacated targets and over 1,700 available air yards, Brady and Edelman know the importance of Harry making an immediate impact, and they're doing their best to make it happen.  Sure, all of that looks great on and off the field. However, Josh McDaniels is already throwing the kitchen sink at the rookie by lining him up all over the formation. Not to mention he's been getting a lot of Stephon Gilmore in coverage -- which cooled down the rookie's hot start to camp. “He’s a good dude. I’m just trying to focus on my technique. If I see something, I’ll tell him," said Gilmore. "Other than that, I feel like he’s got the right coaches to help him become a great player. He keeps competing. He’s mad if he drops a pass. He’s mad when he messes up. When you see stuff like that, he shows you he really cares that he wants to be a great player.” We have Harry ranked as our WR32, which is +13 vs the ECR.
David Johnson to Return to Fantasy Cheat Code in Cardinals’ Air Raid
We've already covered the puke-inducing usage that David Johnson was forced to experience in 2018. From his former coaching staff ramming him into the heart of the opposing defense, to his lack of usage in the passing game, Johnson is ready to return to his fantasy cheat code self in Kliff Kingsbury's Air Raid. “I think it’ll be similar to 2016,” Johnson said, who had more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage that season. “I think I’ll be utilized as both a runner and a receiver." Just that news itself has made the fantasy community jizz itself, but there should be many more reasons as to why it's a borderline lock that DJ will return to fantasy dominance.  Not only will Kingsbury scheme it up to get the versatile back on the edge and into space, but he expects the team to run 90 to 95 plays per game -- just like what he executed at Texas Tech. Obviously things will be a bit different in the NFL, but Johnson is preparinghimself be a 90-plus play workhorse. “With so many plays we’re trying to get in, I’ve got to be conditioned,” Johnson said. Kingsbury wasn't known to produce workhorse backs under his watch at Tech. However, his scheme and competition in the Texas area made it difficult to recruit future NFL backs. Even with the return of Larry Fitzgerald, the emergence of Christian Kirk and the additions of talented rookie wideouts, Johnson will continue to be the most pivotal and dangerous player in this offense. The Wolf continues to be a bit down on Johnson (No. 9 overall), but expect a slight bump throughout the summer for Kingsbury's most talented weapon.
DeVante Parker Set to Let Down Fantasy Owners After Dominating Camp Again
There are three guarantees in life: Death, taxes and DeVante Parker letting down his fantasy owners after dominating the offseason. It was impossible to be on Twitter during Dolphins OTAs and minicamp and not see highlights of Parker making one-handed grabs or Moss'ing a poor DB during the months of May and June. As we all know, Parker typically flashes his elite first round talent around this time of the season before an injury creeps in during training camp and eventually does next to nothing during the fantasy season. But could this year be different with Adam Gase no longer calling the shots and a fresh start? Some believe it.   ESPN's Cameron Wolfe labeled Parker as the "surprise offseason standout" of the Dolphins. "He has regularly looked like the Dolphins’ best offensive player this spring, making highlight grabs along the sideline and consistently being a threat in the red zone and in the middle of the field." He added, "In a surprise, the Dolphins brought back Parker this offseason on a one-year deal with hopes that a fresh start under a new coaching staff and a new quarterback (right now, Ryan Fitzpatrick) that seems to appreciate him more will help." With good reason, The Wolf has not fallen for Parker's yearly offseason hype, as he is not featured on his 2019 Big Board. But will he eventually creep in there if he continues to dominate practice? You better believe it.
A Healthy Curtis Samuel is Poised for a Breakout Fantasy Season
Finally healthy, Curtis Samuel is starting to look like the dynamic playmaker that he was at Ohio State -- which earned him a second round selection by the Panthers. The speedster (4.31 40-yard dash) made countless plays throughout minicamp and finally had a full offseason that didn't involve rehabbing an injury. With the team letting Devin Funchess walk in free agency, Samuel will officially be the Panthers' No. 2 wideout behind the studly DJ Moore. On just 47 touches last season, Samuel totaled 578 yards and seven touchdowns. As evident by his yards per touch (12.3) and number of touchdowns, he's a big-play waiting to happen in what should be an extremely fast offense. “He’s always fast and quick, but it’s learning and understanding how to get in and out of breaks, and how to snap out of that break with your hands presenting a good target. His catch radius I think has improved,” coach Ron Rivera said. “I just think his overall game has improved.” During camp, Samuel has been one of, if not the best player on offense. He was a terror downfield, making highlight grab after highlight grab. OC Norv Turner will manufacture ways to get him the ball, whether it's vertical or horizontal in the passing game, or even out of the backfield where he averaged over 10 yards a carry and added two scores. As of now, The Wolf has Samuel as his WR47 (-6 vs ECR) and should be on the rise if he continues to make noise during training camp.
Chris Conley Turned Heads at Jaguars Minicamp, Could Hold Penny Stock Fantasy Value
In what most believed was an afterthought free agent signing, former Chiefs WR Chris Conley "has been the best receiver during OTAs and minicamp," per Jags beat writer Mike DiRocco. One of the NFL's biggest freaks (4.35 40-yd dash, 45 inch vertical and 139 inch broad jump) has frankly been fantasy irrelevant during his four-year stint with the Chiefs. However, he's back with Nick Foles (who had a brief stint in KC) and Foles has been looking his way throughout camp. With Marquise Lee not practicing any time soon and Donte Moncrief out of the picture, Conley's development with Foles could give him the edge over the other Jags' receivers, making him an intriguing Penny Stock flier. Although Conley has been a major fantasy Hail Mary with little-to-no consistency, he did put up five touchdowns last season. With no one really stepping up in this wide receiver group, new OC John DeFilippo could utilize Conley's track star speed. There's a diverse group of receivers with Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, DJ Chark, Terrelle Pryor (lol) and Conley, but none of them have stepped up to be a No. 1 reliable option. Conley has never once been reliable, even in Kansas City's aerial show last season, but maybe a change of scenery is what he needed. It shouldn't come to a shock that the speedster is not featured on our 2019 Big Board. However, things could change if he makes his mark in training camp.
Christian Kirk “Has Been the Best Receiver on the Roster,” set to Explode in Fantasy
Coming off a tumultuous rookie season that ended with a broken foot, Christian Kirk is set to build off his successful first season in an offense that he knows best -- the Air Raid. Word out of Cardinals' camp is that Kirk is 100-percent healthy and "has been the best receiver on the roster this spring." What's given him a head-start on the rest of the receiver group, is that he already knows the ins-and-outs of Kliff Kingsbury's Air Raid offense, as he was a star in Kevin Sumlin's Air Raid at Texas A&M. His skill-set fits like a glove in this scheme, which should make him Kyler Murray's primary option with a chance to explode in fantasy. “It’s putting guys in space,” Murray said. “That’s what this offense does; it puts people in space. It makes defenders make decisions and like I said, I think it can be very dangerous.” With Larry Fitzgerald not getting any younger, Kingsbury will look to utilize Kirk's quickness and ability after the catch to get him in space and let him do his thing with the ball in his hands. Whether it's bubble screens, slants or underneath patterns, they're going to find a way to pepper him with targets. “Kirk has a good feel for it as well, I’d say. Some of the terminology and concepts are really similar to what they’ve [Murray and Kirk] both done before," said Kingsbury. The Wolf was a bit down on Kirk after they drafted Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler, dropping him to WR42. I think after reading the positive buzz coming out of Arizona, there will be a change to his 2019 Big Board.
Fantasy WR1? Aaron Rodgers Would “Like to Throw to Davante Adams More”
Although Davante Adams ranked second in the league in targets, Aaron Rodgers feels he needs to feed his No.1 weapon even more. “I’d like to throw to Davante more,” Aaron Rodgers said this week following a Green Bay Packers OTA practice. “He’s that open. We’ve got to keep finding ways to get him the ball.” Typically, the Packers have featured 2-3 viable weapons, but Rodgers is ready to continue funneling the ball to Adams. He finished as 2018's top WR in FPPG (18.3), and could easily repeat with Rodgers peppering him even more. Oftentimes, QBs avoid admitting their preference to lock-in on one guy, but Rodgers is embracing his sweet spot: “There’s nothing wrong with having a go-to guy who’s that dynamic and trying to find ways to get him the ball,” Rodgers continued. “I’m not going to shy away from throwing the ball to Davante.” That's perfect, because Adams should see even more favorable coverages in Matt LaFleur's offense that'll move him around all over. According to his WRs coach, this scheme "gives him different means of getting open and the flexibility to move him around in different spots on the field, and that way defenses can’t key on them."

How quickly this offense clicks remains a major storyline, as LaFleur comes from the notoriously complex "Shanahan"-tree. If installation is smooth, Adams could easily repeat as fantasy's top-WR. He's topped 10+ TDs in three straight seasons, and proved fully capable of shouldering a passing attack in his first year as Rodgers' true No.1. Don't hesitate taking Adams in the 8-10 range of 2019 drafts. The floor and ceiling are equally sky-high.

Dallas Goedert Set for Sophomore Explosion? Major Fantasy Implications
Of all the early 2019 "Fantasy Hype Trains," Eagles TE Dallas Goedert might be the most surprising. Yet, within the last 2 weeks, Goedert's been labeled: "the star of OTAs,  "phenomenal," "a different player," and "capable of making a leap into stardom." In fact, the sophomore's been so impressive that the Eagles are reportedly making it "plainly obvious that Goedert is going to be a more significant part of the offense." Though this reeks of classic offseason puff, there's still so much smoke from so many papers that there's likely some real fire here. At 6'5", 260 lbs with former basketball player verticals, Goedert certainly has the physical makeup. Carson Wentz obviously loves targeting his TEs, Doug Pederson schemes up plenty of targets for the position, and Goedert offers sneaky huge TD upside. Yes, Zach Ertz is a major roadblock. He's among the league's elite, and paced the position with 156 looks last year. Yet, if he were to miss any time, Goedert would be an immediate Top-7 TE1 streamer. At a position that is often TD-or-bust after the top-six options, Goedert offers a decent weekly dart-throw with ultimate handcuff value. He's a fantastic stash-and-see option, yet is going largely undrafted right now. Goedert could truly be "The Next Ebron." Meanwhile, Ertz's target-share has to be in greater question. He should still be the clear-cut No.2 TE after Kelce, especially since the Eagles may now "move around Ertz even more." But there's no way he'll see enough volume to catch 100 balls again, and Goedert could put a dent into his total scores.
Rashaad Penny in “Great Shape” for a Fantasy Breakout
Upon being drafted at 27 overall, Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny seemed destined for fantasy stardom. Unfortunately, poor conditioning and health kept Penny stuck in mud all year, allowing Chris Carson to shine. Penny, however, has drawn "rave reviews for his conditioning" after dropping 15 lbs. He's been operating as the lead back with Carson recovering from offseason surgery, and is now primed for a sturdier "1B" role in the league's run-heaviest attack. There'll be plenty of Ground Pie to go around in Seattle. The Seahawks were the only team to run more than they passed in 2018, sporting a 48:52 Pass-to-Run ratio. Consequently, they led the league with over 160 team rushing yards per contest, and OC Brian Schottenheimer suggested they'll remain ground-oriented in 2019: “We make no apologies for how we play,’’ Schottenheimer said. “We want to run the football. We want to be physical. We want to take our shots.’’ Now, according to Pete Carroll, "nobody is in better shape" than Carson, who remains in-line for the largest slice. Still, at least 12-15 weekly carries will be left for the taking, especially with Mike Davis' 146 touches removed. Carroll said as much, noting of Penny: "Once he got going, he showed the explosiveness and the speed and the dynamics. Those two guys, they’re good football players and we love what they bring... there’s plenty of room for both of those guys, so I’m excited for both of them...  one-two punch, and I don’t know who’s one and who’s two, it doesn’t matter to me.” Nevermind Carson's sketchy injury history. He's missed time in both season, and Penny would be an unquestioned weekly-RB1 as the team's workhorse. His 85 carries should at least double. With his slashing rushing style and three-down traits, Penny will offer standalone value on this volume bump alone. He's risen to my RB30 and sits at No.78 overall on my latest Big Board -- about +10 spots higher than the ECR.
Report: Todd Gurley Won’t be Rams ‘Bell Cow’ in 2019
Last season's clear No. 1 overall fantasy pick, Todd Gurley, has had quite the six months. In fact, it might be the one of the greatest falls from grace in fantasy football history. We all know how his 2018 ended, but the offseason has treated the former Fantasy MVP even worse. He was diagnosed with arthritis in his surgically repaired knee, then held out of OTAs and now reports are saying that he's looking to shed weight to preserve his paper mache knees. With the arrival of the explosive Darrell Henderson, whom GM Les Snead has compared to Alvin Kamara, things are looking extremely murky for Gurley's fantasy outlook in 2019. Ian Rapoport didn't help the cause when he dropped this bomb on NFL Network:

"The days of Todd Gurley just being the straight-up, every-down bell cow are probably over, just based on his knee, his age, the position, the amount of carries he's had," Rapoport said on Monday's edition on NFL Total Access. "It's probably not going to be like that, which by the way is maybe why the Rams drafted a running back in the third round, someone they really like a lot. This is a team that is clearly ready to spread the ball around."

"Of course, Gurley's knee, the wear and tear on that knee, the surgically repaired knee, is something that everyone knows has been concerning to the team for some time. All they really want is for Gurley to come back when the season begins when it's really time to go to be 100 percent. What they don't want is to have all those questions they had leading up the Super Bowl repeat before Week 1." Although many experts are jumping ship on Gurley, The Wolf has yet to follow the pack. In fact, he ended up drafting Gurley at pick No. 15 in the RSJ Mock Draft and he still has the Rams' RB ranked No. 7 overall on his Big Board -- which seems a bit high to me and the rest of the community (+9 vs ECR). This is by far the most important story to follow for the remainder of the offseason.
James Conner’s Volume in Question as Steelers Explore 2-Back Formations
The classic fantasy workhorse back in Pittsburgh might be a thing of the past, as the Steelers have hinted that it might not be the 'James Conner Show' in 2019. Not only did Conner begin to slide down the stretch -- highlighted by missing three of the team's final four games -- but the emergence of Jaylen Samuels and the addition of Benny Snell in the draft should both be causes for concern. To make matters worse, per Pro Football Talk, G.M. Kevin Colbert has indicated that, despite having three viable options at tailback, any of them could potentially become the new workhorse, depending on performance. That is not a ringing endorsement for a player whom many have thought would be a top-10 fantasy lock. During OTA's, the team was spotted by beat writers as using both Conner and Samuels in the backfield in two-back sets. The two running backs possess complimentary skill-sets, with Conner as the pure every-down running back and Samuels as a former college H-back/tight end. However, Samuels proved he was every bit as talented as a rusher, when he carved up the Patriots to the tune of 142 yards on 19 carries. “We did a little bit of it [last season], but we didn’t really run it in a game, so I guess this year we’re going to try and put that a little more in the offense,” Samuels said, via Sarah Spencer. “I think that could be kind of special with me and [Conner] in the backfield. Me and him in the game, period. We’re just building on from that right now. . . . He’s more of a runner and a catcher, as well, but I can get outside and run routes, as well. To have that dual threat with me and him in the game, it could be really scary for defenses.” With this news, Conner has taken a tumble down our Big Board to No. 16 overall (-4 vs ECR).
Unsexy Lamar Miller and Sexier D’Onta Foreman Unchallenged in Texans Backfield
After three-years of uninspiring Lamar Miller play and two injury-ridden D'Onta Foreman seasons, the Texans seemed ripe for a 2019 backfield makeover. Surprisingly, they exit the offseason making minimal moves, adding only a 7th Round creature under the guise of Cullen Gillaspia, all while cutting ties with the nagging Alfred Blue. Thus, the "unsexy" Miller once again seems destined for serious volume in a Top-10 overall offense. Far more intriguing, however, is D'Onta Foreman's clear-path to overtake this valuable gig. Despite consistently ranking in the Top-10 in RB touches since joining Houston, Miller has continually underwhelmed. He's finished as the Half-PPR RB19, RB16, and RB22 while failing to top 175 points as one of the league's least efficient runners. Lacking any semblance of talent, Miller's ceiling could not be more capped despite the juicy situation. Still, the volume, surrounding talent, and scheme all create a sturdy floor considering Miller's fair Round 6 ADP. Unlike years past, however, Miller may finally be pushed. Finally recovered from his 2017 Achilles tear, Foreman has looked nimble, "much leaner," and more explosive during offseason workouts. Reportedly feeling better now than he has since high school, Foreman is "coming in with something to prove." This, of course, is classic offseason "puff." Still, a healthy, leaner, and motivated Foreman should have no problem taking Miller's job by midseason. Foreman was already flashing quick feet as a rookie at his massive 230 lbs. In fact, he appeared en route to stealing this gig with 65 yards and 2 scores in Week 11 prior to going down. Foreman's among the highest-upside picks owners can make beyond Pick 100, and is arguably our favorite "RB Penny Stock."
Why Corey Davis is the Most Overrated Fantasy Football Player in 2019
Corey Davis is the most overrated fantasy football player in 2019, and it's not real close. Ranked 62 overall by the "experts," Davis is a whopping 27 spots lower on my Big Board, especially after the 2019 NFL Draft. Even without any real competition for targets, Davis still struggled to find any consistency. He topped 10 Half-PPR FPs only four times, as compared to five week-ruiners under 5 FPs. Now, Davis will contend for looks with early second-round pick AJ Brown, along with newly-signed Adam Humphries and a returning Delanie Walker. Puke. For inexplicable reasons, fantasy "experts" remain enamored with Davis' "potential." Sure, he's flashed Alpha WR1 traits, but Davis has been far quicker to disappear than to dominate. Still, analysts love finding excuses for the former fifth overall pick, blaming QB injury or poor scheme fits. Yet, when have Davis or Marcus Mariota consistently proven they can stay healthy or maintain high-levels of play? And why would former TE-coach Arthur Smith, who's already promised an "ugly," run-heavy attack, suddenly spark a passing masterpiece? In four years with Mariota, the Titans have ranked 21st, 28th, 28th, and 31st in pass-attempts. Mariota's only topped 20 TDs once, has topped 300+ yards in just 7 contests, and has never hit even 3500 passing yards in a season. This "Aerial Pie" has been consistently unsatisfying, and now will be distributed to even more mouths. Why Davis is considered even a Top-30 WR, above guys like Tyler Boyd, Robby Anderson, and Mike Williams, is mind-boggling. Rookie WRs N'Keal Harry and DK Metcalf come with far great ceilings 2-3 rounds later, and I'd prefer even Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief, who can be had 50+ picks later. Get off the Davis train ahead of the "experts." You'll thank us when he's an afterthought this time next year.
Devonta Freeman Set for Major 2019 Fantasy Rebound with Coleman Gone and Line Upgraded
Despite back-to-back underwhelming fantasy campaigns, Falcons RB Devonta Freeman appears set for a major 2019 rebound. First, Tevin Coleman - Freeman's main competition for usage - has departed to San Francisco. Next, Atlanta used two first round picks to bolster an already solid offensive line, selecting athletic BC guard Chris Lindstrom at 14 and trading back into Round 1 for mammoth OT Kaleb McGary. For the first time in NFL history, Atlanta is now poised to roll out a line featuring five first rounders, and Freeman will undoubtedly benefit. Many are pointing to new OC Dirk Koetter and his pass-happy ways as a negative. Indeed, outside of 2015 (when Koetter revived Doug Martin for a shocking 1673 yard, 7 TD campaign), Koetter's recent attacks with the Bucs and Falcons featured paltry run-games. But with backfields featuring Steven Jackson's corpse and a washed-up Martin as the top options, what could be expected? Contrastingly, Koetter's early track-record is sneakily run-heavy, as he was the Jaguars OC behind bowling-ball Maurice Jones-Drew's early career success. Three of these four teams ranked in the top-five in rushing attempts, and MJD strung together four-straight RB1 campaigns that featured heavy receiving and goalline usage (including a 1900 total yard, 11 TD masterpiece in Koetter's last season). Though not as thick as MJD, Freeman is similarly versatile, with a low-center of gravity and bruising running style. He's just two seasons removed from back-to-back Top-Five Fantasy campaigns featuring 1500+ total yard, 13+ TDs. Despite the team drafting RBs Qadree Ollison (152 overall) and Marcus Green (203) and hyping Ito Smith, Freeman faces minimal carry-competition. He could see an MJD-style workload, behind a potential Top-Five Line, inside a Top-Five overall offense -- all the ingredients for a RB1 campaign. He's a Round-3 Bargain.
Derrius Guice “Coming Along a Little Slower,” Faces Stiffer Volume Competition in Bryce Love
Not long ago, Redskins HC Jay Gruden had fantasy owners foaming at the mouth over a potential workhorse role for Derrius Guice. Though Gruden claimed Guice "doesn't have to come off the field on third down," the team's actions suggest otherwise. They already brought Adrian Peterson back following his 2018 Renaissance. More concerningly, the Redskins also drafted Bryce Love, who's only a season and ACL injury removed from a prolific, Heisman worthy campaign. With receiving dynamo Chris Thompson "as healthy as he's felt in a while," the Redskins backfield is shaping up to be a nightmare committee situation. As much as we love Guice's talent, these major "Usage" concerns, along with the health risks, have us low on his 2019 fantasy prospects. In fact, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Guice required multiple surgeries and is "coming along a little slower" than expected. Even with full health, who knows how Washington's "Ground Pie" will be distributed between four quality options. Guice certainly has the talent to shoulder the majority of work, but Love is also incredibly dynamic in all facets of the game if healthy. Thompson is among the league's better third down backs. Peterson just ripped off 1,042 rushing yards last season. Plus, the overall offense isn't exactly inspiring. Last season, the Redskins ranked 29th in the league with just 17.6 points per contest. Sure, rookie Dwayne Haskins could provide a spark, but this is a complex scheme with minimal weaponry outside of the backfield. I'll pass on shared work within a low-powered attack. Give me Mark Ingram, David Montgomery, or even Kenyan Drake at similar or even cheaper prices.
Rams GM Les Snead: Darrell Henderson Brings “Kamara Element”
After trading up to draft Darrell Henderson, Rams HC Sean McVay and GM Les Snead labeled the explosive rookie a mere "change of pace back." Yet, just how often the team intends to shift gears remains up in the air and, based on Snead's latest comments, may be more often than expected. In pre-draft video, McVay and Snead both clearly coveted Henderson, with the GM going so far to compare the Memphis monster to Alvin Kamara: “The Memphis guy does give you a Kamara element. I won’t get off of that, won’t say it, we’ll play against him and you’ll feel it,” Snead said. Kamara, of course, has gone from "change of pace" to offensive centerpiece in short order. Now, Henderson would be hard pressed to replicate Kamara's NFL success, especially behind a monster in Gurley. Still, the comparables aren't without warrant. Similarly explosive both upfield and laterally with a low, strong center of gravity, Henderson racked up an insane 1,909 yards on only 214 carries. He owns the FBS record with 8.23 yards per carry, and accumulated the most plays of 40 (14) and 50 (12) plus yards. Both runners feature a slashing, instinctively finding space and stringing together moves with ease. As such, Henderson could be a monster in a scheme that feeds RBs and masterfully generates opportunities in space. He already owns one of the most valuable "Handcuff" gigs, but this high-praise from both the coach and GM suggest this may be more of a "Handcuff with Benefits" situation. This is especially true with Gurley currently plagued with arthritis in his knee and unlikely to work much this preseason. Snead has said all along the team needs a "Robin" to Gurley's "Batman." Based on these gushing reviews, Henderson could be a closer equal than the caped-crusaders sidekick ever hoped to be. He's among fantasy's most valuable "Penny Stocks" beyond Round 9.
Sony Michel’s Fantasy Value Murkier After Patriots Add Alabama RB Damien Harris
Just when you think the Patriots backfield is safe for fantasy football... (palm-to-face emoji). After the 2019 playoffs, Sony Michel looked locked into the New England bellcow role. In only three contests, Michel was fed 71 carries (24 per game), amassing 336 yards and 6 TDs. Alas, this is the Patriots, and their backfield can never be certain. Despite being seemingly set at RB, the Patriots selected Alabama RB Damien Harris with the 87th pick. Though "unsexy," Harris flashed the reliability and versatility that the Patriots crave, both in the run and pass-game. As such, Patriots insider Ryan Hannable told the Fantasy Fullback Dive this is more than just a "Michel injury policy," leading to a steep downgrade for the sophomore's 2019 fantasy outlook. Although the Patriots leaned on Michel during playoff crunch-time, Hannable does not expect the same in 2019, especially with Harris added: "They don't trust him to produce like he did last year from a durability standpoint... he has an injury history at Georgia, missed time last year, they don't trust him to carry the load... Michel will be the number 1 back, but Harris will take some of his carries for sure." In fact, Hannable suggested the thick Harris could steal volume where it matters most: the goalline. Though Michel should remain a yardage beast in this offense, he'll be losing invaluable receiving work to James White and now could be a TD-liability if Harris carves out a role at the stripe. Potentially trapped in "between-the-20s purgatory," Michel takes a significant fantasy hit. On my latest 2019 Fantasy Big Board and Rankings, Miche falls from the mid-20's, "High-RB2" tier all the way to 53 alongside the more flex-style backs. Meanwhile, Harris drips in some stash-and-see upside considering Michel's injury history alongside a potential goalline role in a scoring-heavy attack.
Chiefs Name Damien Williams Starter; Fantasy Stock Continues to Soar
Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy made it clear about who will start at running back this year for his scoreboard-breaking offense. "Damien Williams is our starter," Bieniemy told reporters, via Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest. "We expect him to excel at that role." The question was asked because as we know, the Chiefs added Carlos Hyde to the stable of running backs that includes Darrel Williams and three rookies in James Williams, Darwin Thompson and Marcus Marshall. We've been firm believers in "owning the backfield" when it comes to Kansas City -- as in securing both Williams and Hyde. Williams' ADP will likely rise due to this declaration. However, Hyde should be a little more affordable than his current ADP.  Although Hyde is a talented runner who has yet to really make a consistent fantasy mark, Williams seems like the obvious choice as the starter. He has a three-down skill-set that he showed off down the stretch and into the playoffs once Kareem Hunt got kicked to the curb. Williams scored 10 TDs in only six weeks while averaging over 22 FPs per game, a pace that trailed only Todd Gurley. On Wolf's updated Big Board to reflect the news, Williams slides in at 20th overall, a crazy +14 vs the sleepy ECR. Hyde checks in at No. 95 overall, still occupying arguably the most valuable handcuff gig in fantasy. This is Top-Five RB Upside available at an absurdly discounted price.