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Fantasy Football Stock Report: Week One

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Fantasy Football Stock Report: Week One

Courtesy of

Ok, so you lost your week one matchup because your opponent started Ryan Fitzpatrick in Arrowhead. That is in the past, and it is now time to look forward. Below are players I am buying (production is here to stay), holding (don’t move them quite yet), and selling (trade them now).

Mike Tolbert - The powerful Charger running back carried owners by getting into the end zone against the Vikings on Sunday, recording the rare football hat trick. However, we knew he could do that. The reason I am buying his stock is because he split carries with Ryan Matthews right down the middle, 12 apiece. Tolbert was a nice producer last year, and with 15 touches per contest, he will reward his owners all year long.
Jimmy Graham – As a big target on a pass happy offense, Graham figures to catch his share of TD’s this year, as he did Thursday night against the Packers. All pass catchers have value when Drew Brees is under center, as he willing spreads the ball around. But with Marques Colston potentially lost for the next month (broken collar bone), Graham is the long receiver with size. An offense that features speed options both at WR (Henderson, Meachem) and at RB (Sproles), Graham will have plenty of room to operate in the coming weeks.
Kevin Kolb – He is one of few good things to come from the NFC Worst. He will benefit routinely from the weak matchups within the division, and has an elite playmaker in Larry Fitzgerald who can make up for his deficiencies throwing the ball down the field. It appears as if they have a legitimate run game being led by Beanie Wells, making defenses at least honor the run. He completes a high enough percentage of his passes to give fantasy owners confidence moving forward.
LeSean McCoy – Last week I made him my number one RB for week one, and I am ready to take a bigger step on the runner known as “Shady”. He, not DeSean Jackson or Mike Vick, is the Eagle you want. His blend of skills, as well as weapons around him, makes him my projected top RB in 2011. Teams have to plan for the speed of Vick and Jackson, thus leaving McCoy with one-on-one matchups with linebackers often. He can gain yards between the tackles, a necessary ability if the Eagles are holding onto a late lead.
Anquan Boldin – Straight from the Hines Ward School of receiving, Boldin brings it on every down. His is a physical receiver who will continue to benefit from Lee Evans’ ability to stretch the field as well as Ray Rice’s versatility. Joe Flacco is moving up the QB ranks rapidly, another reason I love Boldin from here on out.

Vincent Jackson – Be patient. That’s all there is to be said. He is the top receiver in a high flying offense. Don’t overreact to a week one no show, he will make up for it.
Rashard Mendenhall – Don’t let a savvy owner take him off your hands. Mendenhall typically struggles, as do most offenses, against the stingy Ravens D. The Steelers got away from running the ball due to an early deficit, something that rarely happens. Keep Mendenhall on your roster, he will be back to his 25 carry 125 yard days in no time
Tony Romo – If the Romo owner in your league just watches Sportscenter highlights, then take advantage and get Romo. He put up solid fantasy numbers against the elite pass defense of the Jets (342 yards and 2TD’s), but crumbled down the stretch. Tough to swallow for Jerry Jones, but you don’t care! He put up great numbers and will continue to do so. LeBron James is still an elite fantasy option, even though he struggles late, isn’t he?

Cam Newton – The rookie was great on Sunday, but that was the outlier, not the trend. Not only will he not continue to chuck the ball for 422 yards, I don’t think he goes for 300 yards again. The running game will once again become the focus, and teams will make Newton throw at least near coverage (something the Cardinals refused to do and their corners appeared to be allergic to WR). Therefore we expect Steve Smith’s value to plummet as well. Smith doesn’t have enough size to put up big numbers like that (160 yards and 2 scores) if the coverage is physical with him. I’m a writer and I know that, I assume defensive coordinators have an idea too.
Cedric Benson – Get what you can for him now, he’s not playing the Browns every week. Pitch him as a featured back who will see a ton of carries, and fail to mention that his yards per carry is less than average and that defenses have no reason to fear any sort of passing game in Cincinnati these days. Not to mention that down the stretch, when fantasy matchups mean more, Benson sees the Ravens and Steelers both twice.
Ryan Grant/James Starks – The Packers have absolutely no reason to run the ball: Aaron Rodgers is that good. The limited carries that are available in the Packer backfield are split evenly, not giving either back enough touches to produce meaningful fantasy numbers. The NFC North is a tough division for RB’s, so take advantage of their matchup this week (@Carolina) and then sell their stock.
Scott Chandler – The Bills TE caught 2 TD’s in Kansas City this past weekend, but he is still the Bills TE. The official over/under on total touchdowns has not changed from 3.5, and I would be tempted to take the under. In one week, Chandler doubled the Bills TE scores from last year. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing against Chandler; the Bills just don’t use the TE enough to make him anywhere near relevant to fantasy owners.
Chad Ochocinco – Brady goes for 517 passing yards, and 85 contributed to just over 2.7% of that. Ochocinco may have something left in the tank, but for those expecting a Randy Moss type bounce back, you’re sadly mistaken. Brady, like many elite QB’s, spreads the ball around effectively, but Chad appears to be his fifth favorite target. Both tight ends (Hernandez and Gronkowski) as well as Wes Welker and the ageless Deion Branch all were significantly more involved, and I see no reason for that to change (it kind of worked well on Monday night).


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