Preseason Risers: Players who have seen their fantasy stock rise thus far in the NFL preseason.
It’s difficult to know what will translate to the regular season and what is just an early preseason mirage, but these are some of the guys who have been increasing their fantasy stock over the last couple of weeks….
Jaron Brown WR, Cardinals: Brown suffered an ACL tear last October, but he’s all systems go and running faster than ever. John Brown has been dealing for a quad injury for weeks, and has always been slow to recover, so Jaron is running as the No.2 in Arizona for what could be several weeks into the season.
Zay Jones WR, Bills: The sudden trade that put Sammy Watkins in Los Angeles and subsequently brought Jordan Matthews to Buffalo may have ultimately provided more questions than answers. One thing we can be sure of though is that Zay Jones is going to get a shot at becoming the No.1 WR for the Bills as a rookie with Matthews still recovering from a chest injury and Anquan Boldin likely to play almost exclusively out of the slot.
Seth DeValve TE, Browns: I shudder to think that Brock Osweiler will continue to start under center for the Browns, but if he does, DeValve could see a significant role in the Browns offense. Rookie David Njoku is struggling with back soreness and dropped passes at a position that is notoriously difficult for first-year players, and Randall Telfer is listed as the top tight end, but his role is more of a blocking one. Athletic and sure handed, DeValve is primed to see action early and often in Cleveland.
Taywan Taylor WR, Titans: Taylor is one of the last in line in a crowded Titans receiving corps, but his preseason play is displaying the natural playmaking ability we witnessed at the Senior Bowl where he was one of the fastest players on the field by our Catapult metrics. He has to leapfrog a few good players to step into fantasy relevance, but the path may be clearer than you think with Eric Decker already prone to injury and Corey Davis week to week with a hamstring problem. If nothing else, Taylor is a must-have in dynasty leagues.
Darren McFadden RB, Cowboys: There’s definitely some risk/reward potential to think about with this one, as there is a possibility that Zeke Elliott’s suspension is delayed until next season, but McFadden has the potential to be a first-half-of-season savior behind the league’s best O-line in Dallas. As long as his ADP doesn’t skyrocket, McFadden is well worth the pick.
Kenny Golladay WR, Lions: Possibly fifth in the initial pecking order in Detroit, Golladay is making an argument for starter’s snaps with dominant preseason play like his his 3/52/2 line on Saturday against the Colts. The redzone is where I see him making his biggest impact in year one.
Ted Ginn WR, Saints: I rarely saw Ginn leave the field during the closed practice I was able to attend at Saints camp last week. He was inconsistent in Carolina, and he may very well be in New Orleans (he dropped an easy TD grab last week in the end zone), but they’re going to give him snaps and targets galore in a high-octane passing offense.
Nelson Agholor WR, Eagles: He’s still a flier, but Agholor’s role has grown since the departure of Jordan Matthews to Buffalo. He’s squandered opportunity to thrive in the past, but our sources in Philly say that Agholor has turned a corner and is doing all the right things to be a productive member of the Eagles organization, on and off the field.
Thomas Rawls/Chris Carson RB, Seahawks: Contrary to popular belief, Rawls has been the first-team back in Seattle over Eddie Lacy, which isn’t that hard to believe if you leave out his 2016 season – he led the NFL in yards per carry as a rookie in 2015. Carson is playing well behind those two — he’s already ahead of Alex Collins and he’s been deadly in the redzone during the preseason. He’s someone to consider late in dynasty drafts.
Amara Darboh WR, Seahawks: One of my standouts at this year’s Senior Bowl, Darboh is turning heads at Seahawks camp with his ability to make catches in tight spaces and run-after-the-catch ability. We have reason to believe the ‘Hawks are going to be throwing the ball more than ever this year, and without a clear dominant receiver in the mix, Darboh has as good a chance as anybody to carve out significant playing time.