2015 Fantasy Football: Preseason Fantasy Stock - Week 3
With preseason underway, there will be updates daily to this 2015 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock page. Games will be added as I watch them. Adjustments will be made on my 2015 Fantasy Football Rankings accordingly. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles
Slow down the Nelson Agholor hype train. Agholor, who caught two passes for 11 yards at Green Bay, wasn't even targeted by Sam Bradford. Agholor could have some decent outings in his rookie campaign, but all of the rookie-related buzz is causing him to be drafted way earlier than he should be.
Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles
Sam Bradford was a perfect 10-of-10 at Green Bay, accumulating 121 yards and three touchdowns in the process. Prior to watching this game, I assumed that many of his throws were checkdowns, and some of them were, but Bradford made several impressive throws.
Darren McFadden, RB, Cowboys
Darren McFadden looked much better against the Vikings than he did the previous week. He was given just four carries, but turned them into 37 yards. After the game, it was reported that the Cowboys prefer McFadden over Randle, but they are fully dedicated to using a committee. I wouldn't trust McFadden because of his injury history, but he's definitely on the radar.
Joseph Randle, RB, Cowboys
Joseph Randle drew the start versus Minnesota. He struggled early on, thanks to poor blocking from an offensive line missing Zack Martin. He had two nice gains later on, as well as an 11-yard burst that was negated by a Ronald Leary hold. However, the big news is that Darren McFadden looked much better than he did the previous week. He was given just four carries, but turned them into 37 yards. After the game, it was reported that the Cowboys prefer McFadden over Randle, but they are fully dedicated to using a committee. This obviously hurts Randle's draft stock.
Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys
In a sideline interview, Tony Romo mentioned that Terrance Williams has enjoyed a terrific training camp. It showed, as Williams, who led the starters in targets (3), torched the Vikings on a 60-yard touchdown, thanks to a poor angle by safety Robert Blanton. Williams was also open for another big gain down the sideline, but Romo fired the ball out of bounds. Dez Bryant was out, but Williams will definitely be more of a factor this upcoming season than he was last year.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
Doug Martin didn't begin the dress rehearsal well, getting stuffed on a few occasions, including a third-and-1. However, Martin made some brilliant runs after that. He burst through a hole on a 19-yard touchdown and then did some tough rushing, muscling through some tacklers for a gain of 10. Martin appears to be in great shape for the first time since his rookie campaign, so make an effort to grab him as a sleeper.
Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
Amari Cooper caught four passes for 62 yards in one half of action against the Cardinals, including one play, a gain of 37, in which he dragged Patrick Peterson down the field for 10 yards. It could've been an even better performance, as Derek Carr missed him twice. Cooper, who saw a team-high eight targets, also dropped a pass because the sun got into his eyes. I like Cooper a lot, but because he's a hyped rookie, he's going way too early in fantasy drafts.
Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders
Latavius Murray gained just one yard on seven carries versus Arizona. That's not good. Murray was blown up in the backfield twice for losses of three and five, so he barely was above zero despite gaining 13 yards on one play. It's not Murray's fault he didn't have anywhere to run, but the concern is the offensive line, which may have lost right tackle Menelik Watson. The 2013 second-rounder went down with a leg injury and was sobbing when he was taken into the locker room. Jack Del Rio told reporters that it "does not look good."
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
DeAndre Hopkins is a beast. He was trending on Twitter for a couple of hours, and for good reason. The catch he made in the end zone on the opening drive against the Saints was a thing of beauty, as he reached out and snatched a ball that was far away from his body, all while being dragged down by the defender, who was flagged for pass interference. The officials reviewed the play, but ruled that he didn't catch it. They were incorrect, and it's a shame that incompetence had to ruin a tremendous play. Hopkins, who finished with one reception for 29 yards in very limited action, is poised to have a monstrous season.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos
While the Denver passing attack lacked explosion in the dress rehearsal, the Broncos were able to move the chains on the ground. C.J. Anderson was brilliant, gaining 49 yards on 13 carries. Some of his attempts featured a number of broken tackles, as he was able to turn what appeared to be minimal gains into huge bursts. Anderson also caught three balls for 22 receiving yards. On one of the receptions, he spun away from a defender and broke more tackles to pick up a decent chunk. He's definitely worth a top-six fantasy draft pick in all non-2QB formats.
Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers
Carlos Hyde once again ran extremely well. He was given just four carries against Denver, but he turned them into 28 yards. He broke numerous tackles on a 17-yard burst. Hyde will handle the majority of the workload this year, and he's one of my favorite players to target in the Round 3-4 range.
Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
Peyton Manning finished 14-of-21 for 124 yards and an interception in a single half of action against the 49ers. He once again spent most of his time dinking and dunking, and some of his passes were way off. It's as if the 2014 season never ended, though Manning can't use his injury as an excuse any longer. He's an overrated fantasy commodity; I wouldn't touch him at his fourth-round ADP.
Steve Smith, WR, Ravens
Given that Steve Smith ended up playing just one quarter as a result of being ejected, he had a terrific performance, catching four passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. The score, a 63-yarder, happened because Smith abused beleaguered David Amerson. Smith also impressively broke a tackle on another reception. With barely anyone else to throw to, Joe Flacco is going to target Smith heavily, and the veteran wideout doesn't look like he's playing in his 15th year.
Kenny Britt, WR, Rams
The Rams need to get Kenny Britt out of the lineup. He's always been injury-prone, but he was horribly inefficient against the Colts. He caught two of his three targets for 21 yards, but made two mistakes in the process. He did a bad job of trying to get the first down, coming up a yard shy of the marker when he could've fought to move the chains. He also failed to finish a route in the second quarter, which resulted in an incompletion. Britt is a bum who should be avoided in all fantasy leagues despite his status as a starting NFL receiver.
Brian Quick, WR, Rams
Brian Quick should play over Kenny Britt, but when will that happen? Quick didn't enter the third preseason game until midway through the second quarter, and he failed to reel in a single reception. This was terribly disappointing, as Quick has enough potential to be a borderline starter in fantasy.
Martellus Bennett, TE, Bears
Martellus Bennett saw seven targets in the dress rehearsal, which was more than double compared to any other player Jay Cutler had at his disposal. He snatched all seven for 45 yards. Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal were out, but this shows that with pass protection still being an issue, Cutler will heavily target Bennett this season, especially with Matt Forte set to see a reduction in targets in the wake of Marc Trestman's departure.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins
Jarvis Landry led all Dolphin wideouts with 84 receiving yards on five catches against the Falcons. He saw a team-high six targets, so he only failed to convert one of those, which was an uncharacteristic drop. The big play was a 35-yarder, and Landry could've gone even farther down the field had his own tight end, Dion Sims, not gotten in the way. What's remarkable is that all of this happened in less than a half of action. Landry is going to have a monstrous season, especially for PPR owners.
Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins
Lamar Miller is someone you should target as one of your starting running backs. He was superb in the team's dress rehearsal, gaining 22 yards on six carries to go along with five catches for 31 receiving yards. The Dolphins are determined to ride him this year, and he's obviously a big part of the offense. Unless he gets injured, Miller stands a great chance to finish as a top-10 fantasy running back.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill was sharp once again, despite the fact that Branden Albert was out of the lineup versus Atlanta. Tannehill went 15-of-19 for 145 yards and a touchdown in less than a half of action. One of his misfires was a miscommunication with Rishard Matthews, while another was a rare Jarvis Landry drop, so Tannehill could have easily gone 17-of-19. Definitely an improved passer, Tannehill seems poised for a solid fantasy campaign as a low-end QB1, thanks as well to his excellent scrambling ability.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
Melvin Gordon struggled again. He was given 14 carries versus Seattle, but turned them into just 34 yards. This has been a concern this offseason, and it has to do with Gordon stopping his legs when he reaches the line of scrimmage because he doesn't see the types of huge holes he enjoyed at Wisconsin. The silver lining is that Philip Rivers targeted Gordon twice.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks
Jimmy Graham does not look happy. He caught just two passes for 24 yards in two-and-a-half quarters of action at San Diego. It was a frustrating evening for him though, as he watched Russell Wilson sail a ball over his head at the end of the first quarter. Later on, Wilson threw behind Graham in the red zone. The pass fell incomplete, and Graham glared back at Wilson and looked extremely frustrated to be in such a stagnant passing attack. The menacing gaze was troubling, as the Saints were more than happy to jettison Graham because of his alleged, horrible attitude creating issues in the locker room.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Chargers
Stevie Johnson is going to be a big factor in San Diego's passing attack. Johnson saw more targets (6) than any other player in the team's dress rehearsal. He converted four of those, accumulating 63 yards in the process. We've seen the slot position produce big numbers in this scoring attack, and Johnson should be able to pick up where Eddie Royal left off. It's worth mentioning that Johnson is more talented than Royal, so I think he's definitely worth a spot in my Fantasy Football Sleepers list.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
Russell Wilson finished 7-of-15 for just 56 yards in the third preseason game, meaning he had an anemic YPA of 3.7. Sadly, some of this was against the San Diego backups. He went 2-of-7 for 21 yards versus the reserves, as one of the incompletions was nearly picked. Wilson was victimized by a Jermaine Kearse drop, but it was just yet another brutal performance by him, thanks mostly to the horrible offensive line.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
Odell Beckham Jr. was the prominent fantasy player in the preseason dress rehearsal by a wide margin. Beckham failed to catch a single pass heading into this contest, but he managed to snatch five balls versus the Jets. He accumulated just 31 yards, but that can be chalked up to bad luck more than anything. For instance, he made a terrific reception over Darrelle Revis with one hand while falling out of bounds, but was able to get just one foot in the field of play. Later on, Beckham once again beat Revis downfield, but Eli Manning sailed the pass out of bounds. Beckham is without a doubt worth a late pick in the first round of fantasy drafts, and he could end the year as the No. 1 overall receiver.
Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers
Martavis Bryant was unstoppable against the Bills. He caught three passes for 138 yards and a touchdown in a half of action, and he was even better than those numbers indicate. Bryant drew two pass interference flags, both on rookie cornerback Ronald Darby. One was deep downfield, while the other was in the end zone. Bryant otherwise made a deep catch over Darby, then hauled in a 36-yard reception in which he ran circles around the beleaguered Bills. Bryant even made the putrid Landry Jones look good, scoring a touchdown after beating Ron Brooks. If Bryant slips in your draft because of his suspension, make sure you grab him as a value pick.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs
Jeremy Maclin dominated the targets with the first team against the Titans. He drew more than double compared to any other starter, as he saw seven balls go his way. Maclin reeled in all seven for 65 yards and a touchdown. Not bad for less than one half of action. It's clear that Smith is going to rely heavily on Maclin, who could be a PPR monster this season. If he stays healthy - a big "if," considering his history - he could be a low-end WR1 in that format.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Tom Brady had a third poor performance this preseason against the Panthers. He has struggled immensely, and he appears to be distracted by the Deflategate situation. Many are considering him a "steal" at his eighth-round ADP, but I wouldn't touch him there.
Philly Brown, WR, Panthers
Philly Brown needs to be discussed. Brown was so absolutely dreadful against the Patriots that he was trending on Twitter. Brown committed two drops out of his five targets. One should've been a touchdown, while another could have been a routine 5-yard completion. Brown also had poor timing with Newton, as the two barely connected (one catch, five yards). I thought there was a chance that Brown could be a sleeper in the wake of Kelvin Benjamin's season-ending injury, but I don't think he can be touched in 12-team leagues at this point.
Aaron Dobson, WR, Patriots
Aaron Dobson had a very disappointing performance at Carolina. He saw two targets go his way from Tom Brady, and the passes were intercepted on both occasions. One was especially Dobson's fault, as he allowed Charles Tillman to rip the ball out of his hands.
Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers
Greg Olsen is going to have a HUGE fantasy season. He was targeted a whopping 10 times in two-and-a-half quarters of action against the Patriots, and he secured six of those passes for 51 yards. He had a seventh reception, a 27-yarder, that was negated by a penalty. The only blemish of the evening was an uncharacteristic drop. With Kelvin Benjamin out for the year, Newton is going to target Olsen heavily, making the Panther tight end one of the best options at his position in fantasy.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars
Blake Bortles went 20-of-29 for 245 yards and a touchdown to go along with four scrambles for 38 rushing yards in two-and-a-half quarters of action versus Detroit. He was every bit as good as those numbers indicate, which is not surprising at all. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has turned water into wine before in terms of coaching up lesser quarterbacks, yet now he has a true talent in Bortles, who made only a couple of bad throws in this game. Bortles projects to be a solid QB2 with upside because of his rushing ability.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars
Allen Hurns was inconsistent last season, but he was just an undrafted rookie free agent. Perhaps he'll be better in his sophomore campaign, and it seems as though that'll be the case, if this performance was any indication. Hurns led the starters with four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. He also drew a long pass interference flag that set up another score. With Marqise Lee injured/lazy, Hurns has a real opportunity to be a viable fantasy option.