|What? No Romo? FANTASY STOCK MARKET PANIC TIME!
(Jeff Lewis / Icon SMI)
2016 Fantasy Football Stock Watch
3rd Edition: NINE days to kickoff!
Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
August 30, 2016
Down the stretch they come! We've got fantasy football drafts firing off left and right, and the fantasy stock ticker is jumping all over the place so fast
it will make your head spin. Some players 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 latest edition of our fantasy football stock watch, 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
Bryant has been holding steady as a late first round / early second round pick all preseason, but then a lug nut fell of one wheel when he suffered a concussion early last week, followed by the entire wheel rolling down the road after QB Tony Romo sustained a compression fracture in his back and will be out 6 - 10 weeks. Now Bryant's player value is crashing and folks are jumping like lemmings off a cliff to wipe their hands clean of him.
With Romo out at least until mid-season, Dak Prescott will be called on to carry the load in Dallas. Prescott's ability to scramble should not be a
negative impact to the Cowboys rushing attack, but there is a good chance that the passing attack is not what it could be with Romo. While
Prescott did make Mississippi State a relevant program in the SEC, he hasn't faced NFL defenses when they are throwing their worst at him.
Bryant becomes a little more risky and clearly drops well into the 2nd round of fantasy drafts. His value should start leveling out in the
next few days and hold there. He is too explosive of a player to let slip too far, and we would draw a hard line in the sand no later than the early 3rd
round relative to other options available at WR at that time. Rookie QBs have a history of latching onto veteran WRs, and Bryant's strong personality and skills
are a perfect storm for Prescott to focus his attention Bryant's way as he adjusts to the speed and complexity of the NFL.
Kirk Cousins, QB, WAS
Cousins has been getting overshadowed in one of the deepest fantasy football QB pools we've seen in over 15 years (See our Quarterback Free Fall draft strategy article). This has really driven down the value of fantasy QBs as exemplified
by Cousins' ADP, which has been holding steady as a late 11th round / early 12th round pick despite him having three games last year with 4 passing TDs.
Cousins is arguably the most explosive option at QB late in your draft. He is one of a handful of QBs that can unleash a fantasy nuke on your competition any given week as evident by 5 games last year
with at least 3 passing TDs - YOU LIKE THAT!!! While he had 7 games last year with 300+ yards passing, he also had 3 with less than 200. That inconsistency is keeping his value low despite his ability
to unleash a TD flurry on any given week. Last year was his first full year to start all season (9 GS in previous 3 years combined), and he will get better on the consistency front. We like Cousins for his upside
as a QB with explosive potential late in your draft.
Donte Moncrief, WR, IND
Moncrief's stock has soared in less than 2 weeks as his ADP has sharply driven up from an early 7th round pick to now approaching an early 5th round pick. Tweets by retired 6 time Pro Bowl IND WR Reggie Wayne
regarding Moncrief's ability have further put Moncrief squarely on the fantasy radar, and folks are jumping on the Moncrief bandwagon left and right.
We tagged Moncrief as one of our fantasy football sleepers in May and really liked the value he brought to the table
as a 7th round pick. The Colts are an explosive offense that will pass the ball plenty of times in 2016, and Moncrief provides a fast (4.4 speed), big target for Luck since he is 4" taller than both T.Y. Hilton and Phillip Dorsett.
Coming out of the University of Mississippi, Moncrief flashed explosiveness in his second season last year prior to Andrew Luck being lost for the season (26 targets, 17 receptions, 200 receiving yards, and 3 TDs in his first 3 games).
Now in 2016 Luck is back and Moncrief is the clear starter lining up on the opposite end of the field of T.Y. Hilton. Hilton will garner much of the attention of the defense, which will help open the door for Moncrief to potentially breakout for a big year.
Entering his third year in the league, this is often a year WRs do post breakout campaigns, and Moncrief is near the top of our list of candidates in that category (see our Three Year WR Rule article for more information).
Antonio Gates, TE, SDG
Gates started the preseason as a 14th round pick per his ADP, but he has been steadily creeping up as fantasy geeks slowly awake from their off-season slumber and have been driving
his value up to now an early 11th round pick.
We really like Gates as a value pick very late in your draft. In fantasy football, you simply cannot overlook the all-important TD, and very few TEs in the history of the NFL have had as strong of a
TD presence as Gates. The chemistry he has with Philip Rivers is as strong as any in the history of the league (most prolific QB-TE combo in NFL history with 77 TDs), as Rivers has spent his entire 12 year NFL career with Gates
in San Diego. Gates is just two years removed from a 12 TD season, and this year he and Rivers have the number 8 squarely on their radar as a high priority goal. As in 8 TDs, the amount Gates needs to break TE Tony Gonzalez's
all-time NFL record for most TDs for a Tight End. If you start with the number 8 as a prediction for TDs for Gates, he suddenly stands out as a TE that warrants a much higher ADP than the 11th round. Gates does bring some injury concerns to the table,
but he also brings an explosive option to your roster when he lines up on the field. Any time missed due to an injury compresses his TD potential when playing, as we fully expect Rivers and Gates to meet their goal of 8 TDs this year. You've seen the intensity and passion Rivers
brings on and off the field - would you bet against one of his goals? As seen in our Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings, we like Gates as the #7 overall fantasy TE. Based on current TE ADP
rankings at the time of the writing of this article, that would put Gates as an early 9th round pick, which is two full rounds higher than his current ADP.
Want more? Catch all previous editions of our fantasy football stock watch using the links below:
1st Edition: Fantasy Football Stock Watch
2nd Edition: Fantasy Football Stock Watch