Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 3 Stock Report: Who is Trending?

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With two weeks of the NFL season in the books, fantasy owners have to decide whether their player’s production was an isolated performance or the beginning of a trend.

In my weekly Stock Up-Stock Down Report, I am going to examine players at each position whose stock appears to be going up and whose is going down. As all fantasy owners are well aware of, the way we view NFL players is constantly changing. Find out where these players stand and whether you should make a deal for or deal away in the 2017 Fantasy Football Week 3 Stock Up-Stock Down Report.

2017 Fantasy Football Week 3 Stock Report

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Quarterback

Stock Up

Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos

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Trevor Siemian is one of the biggest surprises in fantasy football after leading the Broncos to a 2-0 record with seven total touchdowns ( one rushing). His surprise play includes a four-touchdown day in Denver’s Week 2 annihilation of the Cowboys.

His support system features an improved offensive line, a formidable rushing attack and a very good group of playmakers headlined by Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. The Broncos’ powerful team makes nearly every week a favorable one to start Siemian, which is what fantasy owners look for in a QB2.

Siemian is finally learning what he is capable of doing without pushing himself outside his comfort zone. This is not the Siemian from 2016, currently, he is the number one quarterback in Fantasy Football! Denver heads on the road to take on the Bills in Week 3, where he is at least on the streaming radar for quarterbacks.

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

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Alex Smith seems to be the most underappreciated player in the NFL.  In a league that suffers from a serious lack of capable quarterbacks, all Alex Smith has done in his career is win. Often labeled as a ‘game manager”, quarterbacks who are not considered prolific enough to carry their teams but are just good enough to stay out of the way.

He won’t often be tasked with putting the Chiefs on his back. Smith should always be at the top of the streaming heap for those in need of a streaming quarterback. With Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and the emerging Kareem Hunt, Alex Smith is poised to take a step up due to the influx of top-tier weapons.

His torrid start against the Patriots in Week 1, when he threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns, proves the current Chiefs’ formula makes him a high-quality streaming option.

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

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The Eagles are passing as much as any team in the NFL through two weeks. Wentz is tied for third in the NFL with 85 passing attempts. Overall, he has 640 passing yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions.

The sophomore quarterback has all the makings of a QB1 in fantasy football. Unfortunately, the Eagles’ running game was essentially nonexistent and is the biggest part of the equation of the extreme reliance on the passing game. However, Wentz has taken lumps with a league-high eight sacks, which causes major concerns. The passing offense isn’t likely to slow down as long as the Eagles can keep Wentz upright.

Fantasy owners need to continue to ride the hot streak but owners beware that Wentz cannot carry his offense on his own, behind such a weak offensive line.

Stock Down

Eli Manning, New York Giants

Eli Manning has looked atrocious so far this season. He has passed for 439 yards passing with one touchdown in two games this season.

The Giants can’t run the football, averaging 3.4 yards on 18 attempts against the Lions in Week 2. The pass protection isn’t any better, either, allowing Manning to take five sacks and eight quarterback hits. Manning and the Giants’ offensive struggles date back to last season, as the team hasn’t eclipsed 20 points in its last eight regular and postseason games, since November. The only real upgrade the Giants made in the offseason was to sign 33-year-old wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

The Giants are a bad football team. The offensive line stinks. They have no ground game and Odell Beckham is the offense’s only viable threat. Unfortunately, Beckham isn’t 100 percent. Eli is a mistake-prone quarterback whose offensive line cannot block anyone. Stay Away!

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

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Tyrod Taylor managed only 125 yards passing in the Buffalo Bills’ 9-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Taylor is now 16-15 in his 31 starts since being acquired in a trade with Baltimore in 2015.

The coaching staff has claimed that they have not lost faith in Taylor as he finished 17-of-25 with a 79.6 passer rating in the loss Sunday. The entire offense struggled including LeSean McCoy. In winning Week one against the Jets, the Bills didn’t have to rely on the passing game. The Bills rushed for 190 yards and Taylor was not needed.

The Bills have no downfield passing game as evidenced by averaging just 6.6 yards per pass attempt. There is no value in rostering Taylor now.  In short, Taylor isn’t the entire problem, but he’s part of it.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are 1-1 but look pathetic and are a total mess. The monumental loss of David Johnson has sunk the Cardinals’ offense. His injury takes away the Cardinals’ only insurance policy against a Palmer decline.

In Week 1, Palmer was picked off three times in the Cardinals’ season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions. Against a horrific Colts defense, he completed just over 50 percent of his passes with an interception.

It will be very difficult for fantasy owners to trust Carson Palmer.

Running Back

Stock Up

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

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Chiefs incumbent running back Spencer Ware‘s injury was confirmed to be a torn PCL, a season-ending injury. Opportunity knocked for Kareem Hunt, and wow, did he ever answer.

Going into fantasy drafts, there was a lot of speculation and analysis being given to Hunt and his determined value. The rookie was likely drafted as an RB2 in most 12-team leagues. Obviously, he has greatly surpassed that ranking.

He had an auspicious debut. In four seasons at Toledo, where Hunt got 855 total touches, he only ever fumbled the ball once and he recovered it himself. So what does he do in his first NFL carry? He fumbled the ball and the Patriots recovered. He then carved up the Patriots by exploding with 246 yards from scrimmage along with three touchdowns.

As an encore, he rushed for 81 yards and two touchdown runs against the Eagles on Sunday. His start is no fluke and this offense is a running back dream!

Hunt is a difference maker and is going to win leagues for many of his fantasy owners.

Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

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During his rookie season, Rams running back Todd Gurley showed a lot of promise while running 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games. He slumped to 885 yards on 3.2 yards per carry in the Rams’ first season in LA, which left some fantasy owners nervous what to expect in his third season.

Gurley, who has not rushed for 100 yards in a game since 2015, has not recaptured the form of his breakout rookie season. However, he seems to be making progress.

In Week 2, he rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, good for 5.5 yards per carry and caught three passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. It was the first time since Nov. 6 of last season that he reached 4.0 yards per carry. You have to go all the way back to December 2015 to find his last game with at least 5.0 yards per carry.

New head coach Sean McVay is finding more ways to utilize Gurley. McVay spent the previous three seasons as the OC in Washington, during which time he helped make Chris Thompson one of the most dangerous pass-catching backs in the league.

Gurley has a team-best eight receptions on 10 targets for 104 yards and one receiving touchdown in two games this season. That 16-game pace of 64 catches, 80 targets, 832 receiving yards and eight scores through the air is on the Le’veon Bell/David Johnson level. This is the key to a resurgent season for Todd Gurley, making him one of this season’s fantasy football bargains.

C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos

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C.J. Anderson has seen a major resurgence this season,  he had a 20-carry, 81-yard showing in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Anderson followed that performance with a stellar outing. He was the top-scoring running back in both standard (27.4) and PPR leagues (30.4) in Week 2. He ran for 118 yards and a TD on 25 carries against the Cowboys and added three catches for 36 yards and another score.

Anderson has averaged more than 17 carries a game as the Broncos starter and has a career 4.6 yards per carry. He is an injury risk and has yet to make it through a full season. Between 2015-16, he missed 10 games. He will get plenty of touches when healthy, but his injuries and inconsistency have made him frustrating for owners.

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

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The Seahawks rookie running back looked impressive this season, but questions surrounded who would be Seattle’s top back with Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, and C.J. Prosise all listed ahead of him on the teams’ depth chart.

Averaging 5.1 yards per carry and leading the team with 132 rushing yards, Carson has clearly started to pull away with the starting job. Carson did not solve the Seahawks’ jumbled running back situation in his first NFL game. But he did make the case that he should be a big part of the answer. In Week 2, Lacy would up a healthy scratch, and Rawls got the start against the 49ers, and finished with only five carries.

They each watched as rookie Chris Carson instead showed why he should be named the starter, gaining 58 yards on seven carries in the fourth quarter as Seattle rallied. Carson finished with 93 rushing yard on 20 carries.

Carson looks like a part of the Seahawks’ immediate future. He is clearly their best running back.

Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears

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Tarik Cohen is the top offensive threat in the Bears’ offense. His play making prowess sparkled in his NFL debut in the opener. He had five carries for 66 yards, eight catches on 12 targets for 47 yards and three punt returns for 45 yards. His 158 all-purpose yards were most by a Bears rookie in his debut.

He is the clear-cut receiving back on the Bears, and he holds more value in PPR leagues. In Week 2, he started the game at wide receiver and played outside in addition to the slot. Cohen finished with 55 yards on eight catches. He also had seven carries for only 13 yards.

Starting running back Jordan Howard injured his right shoulder in the first half , and left the locker room with his right arm in a sling. He was listed on the injury report with a shoulder problem.

Cohen is an electrifying pass-catcher and change-of-pace runner. “The Human Joystick”  is second in the NFL in receptions (16) and is the only running back that ranks among the top 20 player in targets (21).

Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens

The Raven’s offense is currently third in rushing yards, behind only Denver and Kansas City. They currently produce 146.5 yards per game on average. Javorius Allen is currently sixth in the league with 137 rushing yards. The main reason that the Ravens are finding success on the ground is simply the team’s commitment to running the ball again. In the last two games, the Ravens have run 74 rushing plays versus 51 passing plays. The team is second in rushing attempts and 28th in passing attempts.

Allen seems to have vaulted a bang-up Terrance West as Baltimore’s top back by virtue of Allen out snapping West 42-15 this past Sunday, and that was in a game where the Ravens were ahead the whole time.

Allen’s superior receiving skills give him more upside even if the two receive the same amount of carries. Allen is a stud in PPR leagues due to Flacco’s tendency to throw to his running backs (Second most in the NFL last year with 149 targets).

Stock Down

Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys

No, Elliot is not here due to his on and off NFL legal issues and possible suspension. He is here because he quit on his team on Sunday. Elliot is a great player. He led the league in rushing in his rookie year last season.

On Sunday, he was bottled up by the Broncos, where he carried nine times for eight yards. There were two plays in that game where he exhibited a clear lack of hustle and gave up on the plays and on his teammates. He has to learn how to play when his team isn’t playing well.

Elliot wants to be known as one of the greatest NFL player of all-time.  First and foremost, he needs to start acting like one!

Eddie Lacy, Seattle Seahawks

For the first time in his NFL career, Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch for his second game with the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks kept Thomas Rawls, Chris Carson, and C.J. Prosise as their three active running backs on Sunday. Rookie Chris Carson served as the primary back as the Seahawks ran out the clock to seal the Seahawks’ win over the 49ers on Sunday.

Carson, who has the most carries of any Seattle back in each of the first two weeks, had 20 carries for 93 yards and was much more effective than the other running backs on Sunday. Thomas Rawls played a mere supporting role finishing with five carries for four yards. At least Rawls was active, which is more than Lacy can say. In Week 1, with Rawls a late inactive, Lacy had a chance to cement his position atop the depth chart. Unfortunately, he finished with five carries for three yards.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has run for 74 yards on 14 carries this season, leaving 147 yards on 41 carries in the Seahawks’ 2017 rushing stats to the running backs. Carson has all but 15 of those yards.

Finding carries for Lacy may not be getting any easier anytime soon. That means Lacy will have to jump Carson, Rawls, Prosise on the depth chart to see significant enough action to make him worthy in fantasy. There is nothing to suggest that will be the case in the near future, making him a wasted roster spot.

LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles brought in Blount to be the main running back. They hoped he would be the missing piece. Through two games, Blount has 14 carries for 46 yards and two catches for two yards and a touchdown. After leading the league with 18 rushing touchdowns last season, he doesn’t have one yet.

It is unfair to blame the Eagles’ running woes on the rushers alone. In general, their rushing attack has been extremely lackluster throughout two games. In fact, Wentz is their leading rusher through two games.

Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints

Seriously???  Peterson has no role in the Saints offense, which is geared to having running backs who can excel in the passing game.

There are a lot of players available on the waiver wire with more upside and will help your team. If you still have Peterson on your roster, I certainly hope this week is the last week you are rostering him?!?  If not, you are not paying attention.

Wide Receiver

Stock Up

Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders

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Michael Crabtree continues to prove that he is the Raiders’ major threat in the red zone. Crabtree caught all six of his targets on Sunday, three of them for touchdowns.

Three days after he turned 30, an age which receivers often start to show their age, Crabtree showed he still can find his way to the endzone.

Any speculation Amari Cooper would begin to supplant him as the Raiders’ No. 1 wideout was a bit premature.  Crabtree is the No. 1 offensive weapons with the Raiders.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

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Keenan Allen returned to the field in 2017 with much anticipation and intrigue. He has elite talent if only he can stay healthy.

Through his first two games, Allen has 14 catches on 20 targets for 135 yards and a score. He has looked like his pre-injury self and a focal point of the Chargers offense.

He is a borderline WR1 option and there is really nothing to suggest that he can’t continue this kind of production going forward.

J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals

J.J. Nelson has really stepped up in the absence of the team’s No. 2 wideout John Brown. He has carved out a more permanent role in the Cardinals’ offense thanks to his 120-yard, one-touchdown outing against the Colts in Week 2.

His long-term value is somewhat clouded by the Cardinals’ WR depth chart. Take a flier on Nelson if your wideout situation is in need of a boost over the next two weeks, as Arizona has a back-to-back matchup against the Cowboys and 49ers.

J.J. Nelson is probably as good an add as anybody else this week at the WR position.

Stock Down

Brandon Marshall, New York Giants

Brandon Marshall’s fantasy value has been trending downward ever since he signed with the Giants this offseason.  The Giants’ offense has looked lost so far this season.

Marshall has two catches for 27 yards so far in two games this season. He is out of sync with QB Eli Manning and is someone not worth being on your roster any longer.

John Brown, Arizona Cardinals

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John Brown’s talent is undeniable but so his unreliability. He is battling leg muscle issues related to his sickle cell trait.

Brown battled through hamstring injuries last season to appear in 15 games. Once a 1,000-yard receiver for the Cardinals, he is looking to stay on the field and reassert himself as a deep threat for Palmer.

The sky is the limit for John Brown, but he misses a lot of games and it minimizes his worth to Fantasy owners.

Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns

Corey Coleman suffered a broken right hand against the Ravens in Week 2 and will miss significant time. Coleman injured the same hand last season and missed six games without having surgery. On Tuesday, the Browns place Coleman on the IR, who can return after eight weeks.

The Browns are already short of firepower on offense, and this injury will make matters even worse. It looks as if rookie QB DeShone Kizer will have to start looking at Rashard Higgins and even Kenny Britt to step up their game.

Tight End

Stock Up

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

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Another game, another record for Jason Witten.

The Dallas Cowboys tight end became the franchise’s leader in games played Sunday with his 225th, breaking a tie with Ed Jones (224).

The Cowboys have leaned heavily on Jason Witten this season, targeting him the second-most on the team. In Week 2, he caught 10-of-13 targets for 97 yards and a touchdown in the Broncos’ blowout win over the Cowboys.

Witten leads all Fantasy TEs in points this season, and there is no reason to suspect he will slow down anytime soon with the number of targets he is getting now. Witten is a low-end TE1 with a high weekly floor but a low ceiling.

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills

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Based on all of the issues with the TE position this season, Charles Clay deserves a roster spot. He was a minor letdown, points-wise in Week 2, but he and QB Tyrod Taylor did connect on all three targets after posting a 4/53/1 in Week 1.

Charles Clay is the only reliable option that Taylor has this season.

Ben Watson, Baltimore Ravens

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Ben Watson and Joe Flacco have seemed to have developed a nice chemistry. They connected on all eight targets for 91 yards in Week 2.

Watson is a very streamable TE and if he can stay healthy, he projects to be a 50-60 catch, 700-800 yards, and 5-7 TD TE. Are you a Greg Olsen owner?  Stop, and go make a waiver claim on Ben Watson!

Stock Down

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

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Greg Olsen, the most reliable TE in the NFL, has been placed on injured reserve after undergoing surgery on Monday to repair his broken right foot. Olson is eligible to return to game action after he spends eight weeks on IR, and he can return to practice in six weeks. He suffered the injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s win over Buffalo.

The 11-year veteran hasn’t missed a game since his rookie season.

This injury leaves Fantasy owners scrambling to find someone to replace Mr. Consistency at the TE position. The issue is that there is no out there replacing that production. While you might get spikes in fantasy production from the replacement TE, you will never find the consistent production.

C. J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans

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C.J Fiedorowicz was placed on the Injured Reserve after Week 1 after suffering a concussion.  This is was especially troublesome news for Fiedorowicz since this was the second concussion he has had this season.  He also suffered a concussion a few weeks prior near the end of the preseason but passed the mandatory baseline neurological exam before being cleared to play in the season opener.

Under NFL rules governing injured reserve, he can be designated to return. He is eligible to return to practice in six weeks and can play again after spending eight weeks on injured reserve.

Fiedorowicz had a career year last season which saw him catch 54 passes for 559 yards and four touchdowns. He took on much a larger role in the offense and was gearing to do so in the 2017 season. With the uncertainty of concussions, I would not look to add him to my roster and hope that he makes a full recovery.


Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic is from Cleveland, Ohio and a HUGE sports fan including NFL and college football, MLB (GO TRIBE), NBA (GO CAVS!) and MMA. He is an avid Cleveland and Ohio State sports fan. He has been called a Sports Geek by friends and foes alike and that fits him perfectly. He has been competing in fantasy sports, mainly fantasy football and baseball for over 20 years. He participates in numerous fantasy football leagues annually and is the commish in his two biggest money leagues. Also, participates in up to four fantasy baseball leagues annually and is the commish in one league that has been competing for over 15 years. Dennis has won several leagues in each sport and is the team to beat in the league and everyone knows it. Dennis is also an avid DFS player in both football and baseball. Dennis is a student of all sports and normally calls out what the game announcers say before they say it. Coming soon....twitter account.

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