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Brandon Marshall's fantasy football stock is surging
Marshall's Average Draft Position (ADP) has taken off
(Kellen Micah / Icon Sportswire)

2016 Fantasy Football Stock Watch

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August 15, 2016

The 2016 fantasy football preseason is in full swing with NFL camps underway, and so are fantasy football drafts. It's just mid-August, and we've got players that are screaming up the charts in their Average Draft Position (ADP), while others are falling like a rock due to new player developments and breaking news. In this segment, the Docs highlight some of the key movers and shakers to bring to your attention and offer their fantasy spin.

All Average Draft Position (ADP) information and graphs provided by the good folks at Fantasy Football Calculator

Arian Foster, RB, MIA

Foster's fantasy football draft value is rocketing up the charts. He currently is going in the 5th round based on his latest ADP. Foster is someone to keep an eye on. He is one of the few elite athletes that have ever tried to come back successfully from an Achilles injury of this severity (See our RB Injury Rule article). Perhaps he can set the standard for this type of injury?

Arian Foster Average Draft Position

Docs take: You should definitely still plan on getting some late draft stock in RB Jay Ajayi. Ajayi was a 5th round fantasy pick just a few weeks ago, but can now be had in the 8th round. Turning 30 years old later this month, Foster is older and frequently injured, so don't let a fantasy football sleeper like Ajayi slip past you in your draft.

DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, RB, TEN

Murray and Henry gashed the Chargers this weekend for 93 yards / 1 TD and 74 yards / 1 TD respectively. This also included a 71 yard TD scamper by Murray, which has caused a recent reactionary bump up in the draft value of Murray and Henry.

DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry Average Draft Position

Docs take: Both Murray and Henry benefited from huge holes opened up by a mediocre Tennessee offensive line, which we have rated as 16 out of 32 in run blocking this season in our Offensive Line Rankings . These holes came at the expense of the Chargers playing 2nd and 3rd team talent on their defensive line. As such, we wouldn't let the stat line get you too excited about Murray or Henry as the TEN o-line had it a little easy vs. SDG evaluating their depth chart on defense. The RB situation in Tennessee will be a very murky Running Back By Committee (RBBC), and the youth on this offensive line will struggle a lot more when facing elite, defensive first-team competition.

Brandon Marshall, WR, NYJ

Marshall arguably had his best season last year in his 10 year career in the NFL, posting a career high in TDs (14), only seven yards short of a career high in receiving yards (1,502), and posting his second highest total in receptions (109). It was a monster year for Marshall in his first season with the Jets, and he was one of our fantasy football sleeper picks in 2015. Many folks forget, but Marshall could be had much later in your 2015 draft due to concerns about his age and joining a traditionally run first offense with serious QB issues. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick put those QB issues to rest last season, and with the resigning of Fitzpatrick at the end of July, Marshall's fantasy football stock shot up. Marshall went from being an early 3rd round pick to now becoming a mid to early 2nd round pick (and rising).

Brandon Marshall Average Draft Position

Docs take: Despite being 32 years old, we still really like Marshall due to his incredible work ethic and legendary workouts. At 6'4" / 230 lbs, he is a massive defensive mismatch, and the physical abuse playing WR is much less than a position like RB, where a player gets pounded on almost every snap. We like Marshall as a top 5 WR in our Fantasy Football WR Rankings and think there is still a little more ceiling for his draft stock to go up in value and still be a good selection. While not quite a first rounder, he is just on the outside looking in as an early second round pick in our assessment.

Eric Decker, WR, NYJ

Similar to Marshall, Decker had a huge year last year as well, and similar to Marshall, his draft value has been shooting up since the signing of Fitzpatrick.

Eric Decker Average Draft Position

Docs take: Unlike Marshall, we would be a little more cautious with Decker. In addition to being a WR, Decker effectively was also the TE for the Jets last season. Tight Ends for the Jets caught a total of 8 passes last year combined, being driven largely by former 2nd round 2014 Draft Pick TE Jace Amaro being lost before the start of the 2015 season. Amaro is now back and healthy, which opens the door to a little instability for Decker. It's not to say Decker is a fantasy football bust - that isn't the case at all. However, it is reasonable to expect a slight dip in production as Decker competes somewhat with Amaro for receptions and more importantly, redzone looks for TDs.

Marvin Jones, WR, DET

Marvin Jones is part of the Lions answer to trying to replace the huge loss at WR with the retirement of Calvin Johnson. Both Jones and WR Golden Tate's ADP has been largely flat for weeks and holding steady as late 8th round (Jones) and mid 4th round picks (Tate).

Marvin Jones Average Draft Position

Docs take: Jones has had a fantastic camp and is now listed as the top WR for the Lions. This news has driven a slight uptick in his ADP. At this point, both Jones and WR Golden Tate bring similar fantasy value, but Jones is a much better draft bargain with his much lower ADP and is a great mid to late round target.

Michael Thomas, WR, NOR

Thomas is turning heads in camp and moving up the depth chart. The second round pick from the 2016 NFL Draft out of Ohio State is making eye popping catches and now pushing Brandon Coleman and Willie Snead for the starting WR position opposite of Brandin Cooks. That Saints have labeled Thomas as a playmaker, and his fantasy stock is on the rise moving from approaching a 14th round pick at the end of July to now a mid-11th round pick (and rising).

Michael Thomas Average Draft Position

Docs take: This one warrants proceeding with caution. WRs Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman shouldn't be discounted, and historically the transition from college to the speed, timing, and complexity of the NFL for WR in particularly is a tough one. At this point, we wouldn't press Thomas' value any further. Rookies almost always have an inflated value at WR and TE in fantasy football, so be wary of their ADP at those positions. (See our How to Handle NFL Rookies in your Fantasy Football Draft article).

Ladarius Green, TE, PIT

The Heath Miller era at TE in Pittsburgh is officially over after 11 NFL seasons, as Miller announced his retirement in the off-season. The Steelers immediately made a move to get Green from the Chargers. Green was being groomed to be the replacement to super star TE Antonio Gates, but it never really took root. Now entering his 5th year in the league, Green has a golden opportunity to pop a big season in Pittsburgh. Known for his pass catching ability, Green is a hybrid type player capable of playing both TE and even WR. With WR Martavis Bryant suspended all year coupled with Miller's retirement, the stage is set for Green. His draft value has been steady the past month as a late 8th round pick, but it has recently taken a nosedive.

Ladarius Green Average Draft Position

Docs take: Proceed with extreme caution, and any thought of taking Green at this point should be exercised well after the 8th round. Green has been suffering from what has been called headaches, and now there is noise he may retire. We aren't quite ready to wipe our hands completely clean of Green in our rankings just yet, but he slides significantly down as a much riskier pick that may not even play this season.

Want more? Catch all previous editions of our fantasy football stock watch using the links below:
2nd Edition: Fantasy Football Stock Watch
3rd Edition: Fantasy Football Stock Watch

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