Every week around the NFL, players’ values rise and fall for fantasy football, just like the stock market. Knowing how to interpret the players with fluctuating stocks is vital for owners looking to capitalize on a potential trade. Week 7 was no different, and here we will go over some of the players with both rising and falling values.
Stocks on the Rise
The Arizona Cardinals chose to not give fantasy football owners any heads up on their plan to not use David Johnson, who entered the game listed as questionable. Even when Johnson comes back to full health, it’s hard to imagine that Kliff Kingsbury won’t find ways to keep Chase Edmonds involved. Until Kyler Murray can start throwing for touchdowns more consistently, the running game will be crucial for the Cardinals moving forward despite their weak offensive line.
Although Stefon Diggs didn’t find the endzone this week, he still had his second straight week of substantial numbers for his fantasy football owners in Week 7. With Adam Thielen going down early with a knee injury, Diggs had an impressive stat line of 7 catches for 142 yards. The Minnesota Vikings play the Washington Redskins on Thursday night, making Thielen’s return very questionable on a short week. Look for Kirk Cousins to focus on Diggs while Thielen is out to expose a weak Redskins’ passing defense.
Corey Davis & A.J. Brown
The decision to move on from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill looks to be precisely what these wide receivers needed. A.J. Brown led all players in targets with 8 with Corey Davis just behind him with 7. Even though Brown didn’t find the endzone as Davis did, the usage for both players puts them straight back into starting consideration for fantasy football in deeper leagues. While the Tennessee Titans still sit in the last place in the AFC South at 3-4, there is hope for the future.
Hear me out on this before you wonder why I have the preseason number one wide receiver on this list. DeAndre Hopkins has been nowhere near the player he was for fantasy football in 2018. Week 7 was the first time since Week 1 that Hopkins had either scored a touchdown or broke the 100-yard mark for a game. He should have had multiple scores, but a controversial call prevented that. Back-to-back weeks of double-digit targets gives us hope that Hopkins is coming back into form. Make sure to watch Will Fuller’s status moving forward; if he misses time, Hopkins will continue to see increased targets.
While it’s hard to find positives for the winless Miami Dolphins, the play of WR DeVante Parker is one of the bright spots. Week 7 markers three straight weeks of scoring a touchdown. So long as Ryan Fitzpatrick is under center, Parker remains a serviceable option in deeper fantasy football formats. The Dolphins couldn’t be any further away from a Super Bowl appearance, but Parker can at least make the journey to the number one pick in the draft a bit more entertaining. Week 8 gives Parker and the Dolphins a difficult primetime matchup on Monday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Although John Brown is not scoring very often, he is proving to be one of the most consistent wide receivers you can start in fantasy football. Week 7 against the Dolphins gave Brown his second touchdown on the year to go along with his 5 catches for 83 yards. Quarterback Josh Allen’s skillset and deep ball accuracy mesh perfectly with Brown’s elite top-end speed. Posting 10+ points in five of six games so far this year, he is worth Flex play consideration in the majority of leagues.
Players with falling stocks
2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes injury in Week 7 hurts every pass-catcher on the Kansas City Chiefs, and especially Tyreek Hill. Hill’s ability to get behind a defense won’t be used to its full extent so long as Matt Moore is at quarterback. For fantasy football purposes, Hill should be viewed as a high-end WR2 until Mahomes returns from his dislocated kneecap.
Joe Mixon has been down-right terrible this year to be blunt. After gaining only two yards on 10 carries in Week 7, Mixon’s value might be at rock bottom. Between an atrocious offensive line and poor efficiency when he does have the ball, Mixon is bench-worthy until something changes. For those of you who do play in dynasty leagues, Mixon is a person I would actively target for the right price. The offensive line will improve next year, and I can see the Cincinnati Bengals drafting a new QB to take Andy Dalton’s place. This might be the lowest Mixon’s stock value will ever be.
As exciting as it was to see newly acquired Los Angeles Rams CB Jalen Ramsey matchup against Julio Jones, the loss of Matt Ryan put a damper on that. The extent of Ryan’s ankle injury is unknown until MRI results come back, but he was seen in a walking boot following their Week 7 game. Jones did manage to lead his team in receiving despite the tough matchup with 6 catches for 93 yards. Next week, Jones and the Atlanta Falcons play the Seattle Seahawks, followed by their bye-week. Fantasy football owners hope that time is long enough for Ryan to make his return. Until then, the Falcons will rely on NFL journeyman Matt Schaub under center.
Since returning from his self-imposed holdout, Melvin Gordon hasn’t looked like himself. One thing he didn’t account for was how well Austin Ekeler would play in his absence. Once Gordon announced his return, fantasy football owners knew this would most likely be a time-share. So far, Ekeler has been the better running back and one of Philip Rivers’ favorite targets as well. Gordon’s 2.25 yards per carry average won’t cut it and should be viewed as the RB2 for the San Diego Chargers regardless of what the depth chart says. Don’t be afraid to look around your league to see if anyone still believes in him, and try to cash in on his perceived stock value.
In his second year in the NFL, Rashaad Penny isn’t showing the potential the Seattle Seahawks saw when they drafted him. Chris Carson has a firm hold on the starting position and shows no signs of letting it go. Carson and QB Russell Wilson are proving to be a great duo through Week 7 for fantasy football. The Seahawks will continue to lean on them if they plan to keep pace with the San Francisco 49ers, who remain undefeated. Although Sunday’s loss to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens made that job even harder. Penny currently is only worth a bench stash in case of an injury to Carson at this point but shouldn’t see starting lineups.
After a sensational performance in his first game, Daniel Jones has struggled. One of the most polarizing rookie quarterbacks coming out of the draft, Jones has lofty expectations to live up to given his number six overall selection. Throwing 7 interceptions in his last four games isn’t going to be good enough to silence the critics. Now with 12 turnovers in his first six games and 18 sacks, eight of those coming in Week 7 against the Cardinals, Jones needs to learn on his feet quickly. Sterling Shepard’s return from his concussion can’t come soon enough to give Jones another viable target, as TE Evan Engram didn’t provide much help in his return.
Dwarfed by the phenomenal performance of Aaron Rodgers was the continued committee approach the Green Bay Packers used for their running backs. No matter how good Aaron Jones looks on film, Jamaal Williams continues to see a sizeable snap count. Take away his breakout game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5; Jones has remained relatively middle of the road. Without knowing how the Packers will use their running backs, their ceilings and stock value are both capped due to the split usage.
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Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.