|Miller's Average Draft Position (ADP) keeps going up and up
(Leslie Plaza Johnson / Icon Sportswire)
2016 Fantasy Football Stock Watch
2nd Edition: 17 days to kickoff!
Lamar Miller, RB, HOU
August 22, 2016
The 2016 fantasy football preseason is in full swing with NFL camps underway, and so are fantasy football drafts.
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
Miller has been that steady growth and income stock this preseason, as his fantasy value has steadily risen from an early 2nd round pick in July to now approaching a mid 1st round pick.
The Texans shelled out a four-year, $26 MM contract to get Miller from Miami, and it is clear they are ready to let him start earning that cash.
He is already making major waves in Houston, and there are reports he looks like he is shot out of a cannon when hitting the line.
Miller was largely overshadowed in Miami, particularly from a fantasy perspective. He showed moments of being a decent fantasy RB (note he has a career yard per carry mark of 4.6), but never truly
settled into a week-in and week-out dominant role. Miller now joins a team with a better offensive line and better opportunity. At only 25 years old, there is plenty of gas left in the tank from
this former University of Miami RB. He is the complete package at RB with great hands and good blocking ability. Miller is one of a handful of RBs in the NFL that will be featured,
and Houston loves to feed their RB the rock. We've got Miller rated as the #4 RB overall and are projecting him to have 59 receptions, 488 receiving yards, 1128 rushing yards, and 10 total TDs in our latest Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings.
Dion Lewis, RB, NE
News broke yesterday that Lewis now needs a second knee surgery, which will result in him missing a significant amount of time (8 - 10 weeks). As such, his fantasy stock is going to crash... and crash hard.
Meanwhile, new opportunity abounds for RBs LeGarrette Blount and James White.
We labeled Lewis as one of our fantasy football busts earlier this summer, and he didn't even make it to the start of the season before that played out.
We have a long, proven history of nailing our bust picks, but unfortunately we also have a
history of some of them busting before folks can leverage that information to their advantage in their fantasy football drafts. Blount's fantasy stock will immediately start driving up, and you can already see that starting to take root. Blount has been crawling his way out of the coaching staff doghouse,
and now with Lewis set to miss significant time, Blount is in line to get the bulk of the power carries, which could spell fantasy gold near the goal line. As for James White, he has good hands out of the backfield and will absorb a good chunk of Lewis'
pass catching opportunities and long yardage situations. Consequently, this pushes Lewis' value up for Point Per Reception (PPR) leagues as a late round flyer. Both are players to capitalize on in your draft while their draft values are lower than expected. News regarding Lewis' surgery will spread quickly around the web (as seen in the ADP chart above), so the window of
opportunity here will be tight. Be weary of an over surge in the draft value of Blount and Lewis as the coming days unfold, but in the meantime, take advantage of the situation while the getting is good.
Devin Funchess, WR, CAR
Word is starting to get out about Funchess, and his fantasy stock has been sharply rising. He has pushed forward in recent days from a mid 14th round pick to now a late 12th round pick and surging.
Funchess is getting all the praises in camp and is pressing Kelvin Benjamin, who comes at a much higher draft price (5th round). Funchess keeps burning the Panthers secondary deep, so notice served for those in fantasy leagues that award bonus points for big plays. The 2015 second round draft pick from the University of Michigan
put in serious time in the off-season to improve, and it has immediately translated
to the field in a big way early in the preseason. At 6'5" / 230 lbs, Funchess is a beast to try to cover, and he could very well finish the year with better numbers than Benjamin at a much lower draft price.
LeVeon Bell, RB, PIT
Earlier this summer, Bell was being taken as high as the first pick overall, but then news broke regarding a four game suspension. His draft value took an immediate hit down to the early
second round, where it has held fairly constant. Recently, Bell's suspension was reduced from four games to three games, which should result in his fantasy value creeping back up into the late first round.
Bell tore both his MCL and PCL last season. Of the MCL, ACL, and PCL joints in the knee, the PCL has the longest recovery time. Bell also suffered
his injury later in the season, giving him that much less recovery time. Bell has missed most of the first team reps in mini-camp, which has given RB
DeAngelo Williams the spotlight to shine. It doesn't make sense for the Steelers to press Bell, as he represents the future of the franchise at
only 24 years old, and they have a more than capable RB in Williams. Bell is coming off fantasy football draft boards as a high pick (even facing a 3 game drug suspension and returning from a major injury; See our RB Injury Rule article prior to drafting), and
he gets a big red flag and labeled as one of our Fantasy Football Busts this year.
There is a time and a place for Bell to go in your draft, but not as early as his current ADP.
Robert Aguayo, PK, TAM
The rookie Aguayo has been struggling and missing kicks left and right this preseason. The Bucs have and continue to get major heat for using a second round draft pick... on a kicker. That isn't going to stop anytime soon.
Aguayo isn't registering a significant pulse in fantasy football mock drafts (no data), but there have been some folks out there taking fliers on him.
We all need the Bucs in our fantasy football leagues - they take kickers in the 2nd round! Taking a kicker early is a mistake in the NFL, and it is also a mistake in your fantasy football draft as detailed in our Fantasy Kicker Mistake article.
When it does come time to take a kicker in your draft, let our free Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings help.
Want more? Catch all previous editions of our fantasy football stock watch using the links below:
1st Edition: Fantasy Football Stock Watch
3rd Edition: Fantasy Football Stock Watch