Fantasy Football

2015 Fantasy Football: Week 5 Stock Watch

Each week I will be discussing the fantasy stock watch. The stock watch article will help the fantasy owner decide who they should be looking to clear room for and who may be on their way out the door. Each player has a grade and definition.

Stock risers will be graded from bottom to top in this format: Advancing, emerging, mounting, and soaring. For those players that find their stock decreasing, they will be graded in this order from bottom to top: Drop, fade, slump, and lessen.

Stock Rising

Duke Johnson (Emerging). Johnson is getting more playing time as Isaiah Crowell has been slipping in his performance. Looking at Crowell’s stats from last week (12 carries, 62 yards), he had a solid 5.25 average, but when you throw out his long of 32-yards it drops down to 2.8 yards per carry. He has done a little bit above this, but he just isn’t getting the job done. Johnson also adds another element to the passing game. He was targeted ten times last week and caught nine passes for 85 yards and a score. He also rushed eight times for 31 yards.

Leonard Hankerson (Mounting). Roddy White was a top wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, and he still has some value as a pro, but we play fantasy football, and whoever makes the points is who we want in the lineup. Welcome Mr. Hankerson to your number two role on a high passing team in the Atlanta Falcons. White’s role is to secure your place in targets by forcing the defense to make sure he is covered. In the first four week’s Hankerson has caught 17 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns. The issue is that the Falcons like to spread the ball around, and as long as White is healthy he always remains a threat to steal receptions.

Gary Barnridge (Mounting). The Browns are looking to involve their tight end, and since Jordan Cameron left on his way to Miami, it opens up the hole for Gary Barnridge. He may not have the talent of Cameron, but he is a viable tight end in a place where very few remain free agents. Last week Barnridge caught six passes on six targets for 75 yards and a touchdown. The last two weeks have been his coming out party to fantasy owners. In that span, he has 12 receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns. The negative is that he is playing for a bad Browns team, who is looking to get Travis Benjamin involved at all times.

Drew Brees (Soaring). Welcome back Drew Brees, we missed you. Brees destroyed the Dallas Cowboys, as he was 33/41 passing for 359 yards and two touchdowns. When the game ended, Drew Brees finished with his best performance of the season, and it occurred on the road. Keep in mind that he faced the Cardinals on the road and still threw for 355 yards but had a 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio. This week he faces the Philadelphia Eagles on the road, and how he performs will tell a lot about what you can expect the rest of the season.

Todd Gurley (Advancing). Todd Gurley made his permanent debut last week against the Arizona Cardinals. He rushed 19 times for 146 yards and caught two passes for 15-yards. Gurley looked as though he made the Cardinals defense into Swiss cheese as there were holes everywhere, and he exploited each one of them. He takes his game to Green Bay this week which is a little softer against the run than Arizona.

Allen Hurns (Advancing). We all know that the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to have to pass the ball to be competitive. Allen Hurns is going to be a benefit of this situation. Last week Hurns caught 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. He has scored in back-to-back games, the problem is that he has caught just 11 passes in the three games prior to facing the Indianapolis Colts. He will need to be more consistent for me to climb the stock charts.
Stock Decliners

Peyton Manning (Slump). The Broncos keep rolling no matter how bad Peyton Manning is playing. He was particularly awful against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are strong against the pass (11th in NFL) but this wouldn’t be a problem for Manning before this season. His final stat line 17/27 passing for 213 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions sounds like Ryan Mallett numbers. Minus his rookie season, you could probably count on your hands how many times he finished the game throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. In reality, it has happened 32 times in 244 games, or once every eight games played (minus his rookie season). This season, he has done that twice. The first time was against Baltimore where he had one interception and no touchdowns. Manning has also thrown six touchdowns in just four games and has five interceptions. It appears Peyton Manning has come full-circle back to his rookie season.

Melvin Gordon (Slump). Melvin Gordon has had some up and down games his rookie season. He hasn’t played poorly; he just hasn’t gotten to his max skill level yet. Gordon has a decent yards per carry (ypc) average at 4.1, but three of his four games he has averaged 3.6 ypc or below. He has not scored a touchdown, and he is a below par at catching the ball. He can benefit himself with a touchdown, and he will have that chance when the Chargers take on the Steelers this week.

Jonathan Stewart (Slump). A lot of hopes was riding on Johnathan Stewart this season. He was finally able to break free from the running back by committee role when Carolina let DeAngelo Williams go to the Steelers. Unfortunately, he has not made anything count. He has not scored a touchdown and had 3.7 ypc to go along with just five receptions. Also, he has rookie Cameron Artis-Payne breathing down his neck. The good news is that he is climbing. He has improved his yards per carry in the last two weeks, and like Gordon if he had a touchdown that would smooth things over.

Emmanuel Sanders (Lessen). It is not so much Sanders had a bad game, it is the fact that Peyton Manning couldn’t get him the ball. He has had several opportunities where the ball has gone over his head or just uncatchable. He is still positive in PPR, but as Peyton Manning goes so does Sanders.

Stock Rising definitions

Advancing-Player has a good performance one week, but could go either way

Emerging-Steady production but may be in a time share or limited for a reason

Mounting-Has proved his worth and in-line to take over a starting role

Soaring-Has taken over starting role and proven his worth

Stock Declining definitions

Drop- Player has fallen and should not be on your roster

Fade- Getting closer to the drop zone, but need to see more, or has value somewhere

Slump- Has had several disappointing weeks in a row, but is too good to drop or is talented enough to move away

Lessen- A bad game, but nothing too concerning as of yet

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