Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down article.
One single week in the NFL (especially early in the season) is often the definition of overreaction theater, much less the week-to-week game of Fantasy Football. Each player has data from which we draw conclusions. We are forced to use that information to make decisions moving forward.
We tend to evaluate each week's Fantasy performances thinking about the short term. What does the data tell us about what to expect for a defined period of time, or for the rest of the season? But we can also draw conclusions from a longer-term Dynasty perspective.
Who saw their stock rise based on usage or opportunity in Week 2? Who saw it fall due to their own performance, lack of usage, or because of a change in role? Let’s dive in and find out.
2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down
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Justice Hill, RB, Baltimore Ravens
We got our first peek under the hood of the Ravens team without J.K. Dobbins leading the way at running back. While there were some signs that this could be a completely split backfield, Hill's workload looks encouraging. Hill led Gus Edwards in snaps (57% to 43%). He got one more look in the red zone that Edwards, and had three targets to zero for Edwards.
Edwards got the touchdown in Week 2, but Hill has eight of the Ravens running backs 13 Red Zone attempts. The touchdown upside is definitely still there as evidenced by Hill's two scores in Week 1. And even if the rushing touchdowns remain split, Hill ran 23 routes to 10 for Edwards, so Hill has the potential for scores through the air.
Hill is rostered in just 30% of ESPN leagues and 44% of Yahoo leagues ahead of waivers running. There is a good chance he is on the waiver wire in some of your leagues.
Jayden Reed, WR, Green Bay Packers
All of the Jayden Reed hype - and there is a lot of hype - after his two score game on Sunday must be taken with a grain of salt. First, Aaron Jones missed this game with injury. That eats into the workload of a player like Reed. Christian Watson hasn't played yet this season. How he impacts Reed remains to be seen. But even with all of that, I still see an emerging star here for the Green Bay Packers.
Reed was 11th among all wide receivers with a 32% target share in Week 2. He saw eight targets from Jordan Love when all other wideouts combined for just 10. Of the four wide receiver targets in the Red Zone, Reed had three of them. He was just all over the place in a way his four catches and 37 receiving yards don't capture.
Through two weeks, Reed is among the leaders in targets per route run as he is consistently getting open downfield. No matter who returns in the weeks to come, if you are open, they will find a way to get you the ball.
Target per route run rate at WR through two weeks:
40% - Puka Nacua
37% - Tyreek Hill
34% - Jayden Reed
32% - DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams
29% - Michael Pittman, Mike Evans, Tee Higgins
28% - CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk
27% - Justin Jefferson, Calvin Ridley, Deebo Samuel, Mike…
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) September 18, 2023
Raheem Mostert, RB, Miami Dolphins
For those who bought De'Von Achane stock in the preseason, are you selling low right now or holding? Because Raheem Mostert has the running back market cornered in Miami through two weeks. Mostert once again played on 73% of Miami's offensive snaps. Achane saw work on just 10%. Mostert has three targets through two weeks, and Achane has one. But most importantly, Mostert has six opportunities in the Red Zone while Achane has a goose egg in that area.
And Mostert, even at the advanced age of 31, is showing he still has some juice. Only Bijan Robinson (24%) has a higher rate of carries over 10 yards than Mostert (18%). As one of just 10 running backs who have at least 73% of their team's snaps this season, Mostert is delivering on a draft price tag in the double-digit rounds.
Achane may be the future, but Mostert is not going away for Miami as long as he is healthy.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Cleveland Browns
Imagine that two years ago, you bought the (at the time) most expensive sports car money could buy. You had seen how well it performed for others, it was new and had plenty of miles left in the tank, and despite some bad PR, the car was supposed to be a step above the competitors. Now imagine that car had to immediately spend three months in the shop before it could be driven, and ever since you could take it out on the road, it's been nothing but a broken down disappointment.
Welcome to the Deshaun Watson experience. After paying $260 million for Watson after his legal troubles, the Browns must be having quite the buyer's remorse. Watson ranks 30th in true completion percentage, 25th in adjusted yards per attempt, and 22nd in clean pocket completion percentage.
The rushing he provides gives at least a solid fantasy floor, but if he can't connect with one of the strongest wide receiver rooms in the league, he will remain unstartable. For a player who looked like an MVP candidate three seasons ago, the two seasons away have built up a level of rust that Watson just can't shake.
When not facing pressure, these have been the most/least accurate QBs according to @FantasyPtsData
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) September 19, 2023
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Let's get the good news out of the way first. Alexander Mattison has seen at least 73% of the snaps for Minnesota through the first two weeks. Mattison has six of the eight running back targets this year. He also has all six running back Red Zone opportunities this year. Now for the bad news.
Mattison is 40th among running backs in true yards per carry (3.1). He is 42nd in yards per touch (3.3), and 28th in yards per reception. Basically, he has just been wildly inefficient through two games, and with the Vikings at 0-2, the thought is how long do they stick with him before giving Ty Chandler a bigger chance.
The thesis going forward will be that Mattison, assuming he keeps the job, will get there on volume. Minnesota will continue to be an elite scoring offense with an abysmal defense, so the opportunities will be bountiful. Perhaps lack of better options allows Mattison to continue, but right now not many other backs are more inefficient.
Alexander Mattison on 9 runs+targets:
5 total yards
1 fumble lost
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 15, 2023
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