Welcome to our first edition of our 2020 fantasy football stock watch, in which we’ll examine who’s trending up or down in fantasy after each week.
It’s a little hard to make projections about the NFL after just one week, but think of this as a snapshot of where the arrow will point after the first round of games that we saw on Sunday. Heck, those arrows could switch to pointing right up or down next week!
So let’s begin with the good news for fantasy owners about some of the QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs we watched, followed by the bad news:
QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Like everyone else, I assumed the Packers would continue running the ball like they did a ton last year and Rodgers’ upside would be capped. But for one week, against a tough Vikings defense, Rodgers tossed the rock 44 times and delivered four touchdown passes. If we’re seeing the Rodgers of old, look out.
QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
He was drafted as the QB5 on average, but after one game, we saw the “Let Russ Cook” movement actually work. He finished as the top QB in fantasy in Week 1 with four touchdowns, 322 yards through the air and 29 on the ground.
RB Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams
To be fair, Brown only out-carried rookie Cam Akers 18 to 14. But he did so much more with those carries, scoring twice and averaging 4.4 ypc. Darrell Henderson only carried the ball three times. In the battle of this three-headed monster, Brown pulled ahead.
RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers
He was also projected to be part of a timeshare … but he literally ran away with the lead, carrying 15 times and catching four passes, including a 76-yard touchdown.
RB Adrian Peterson, Detriot Lions
I know. He’s long in the tooth. He didn’t do too much in his days with Washington. But man, he averaged 6.6 ypc, totaled 93 yards and caught three passes for 21 yards, fending off the younger Kerryon Johnson (seven carries for 14 yards) and D’Andre Swift (three carries for eight yards and one HUGE dropped pass that would have won the game for the Lions). I’m buying.
RB James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
You should always take a flier on a starting running back. It appears the Jags found their Leonard Fournette replacement.
WR Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
I predicted he would outscore Julio Jones over this full season, and he did in Week 1. The Falcons are going to throw a ton and both wide receivers will benefit. But it seems like it’s Ridley > Jones in the red zone.
WR Will Fuller V, Houston Texans
If you took a shot on the receiver in your drafts to become Deshaun Watson’s favorite target, it looks like you’ll be rewarded (as long as he stays healthy).
TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
This depends on Kenny Golladay’s health, but maybe he earned more trust from Matthew Stafford on Sunday with a 5-56-1 day against the Bears.
QB Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
It’s pretty simple: if the offensive line is healthy, he’s soooo much better. Maybe it’s time to bench him next week and wait for that to happen?
QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
You drafted him as a reclamation project, and yes, the Ravens are really, really good defensively. But what a dud (189 yards, one touchdown and a pick).
RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Sorry, Browns fans, but we’ve got to talk about another player who had a rough week. I felt that Chubb’s draft value was too high given the presence of Kareem Hunt. And while Chubb did do really well when he got the ball (10 carries, 60 yards), he was out-carried by Hunt 13 to 10 and the game script favored Hunt, who is a better pass-catcher. There will be games when Chubb comes up with yardage and goal-line carries, but his upside is capped.
RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
It isn’t completely gloomy for Ekeler, who was the leading rusher for the Chargers. But the guy who caught 92 passes in 2019 was targeted JUST ONCE and he caught it for a paltry three yards. The change at quarterback might hurt his value and rookie Joshua Kelley appears to be a thing.
RB Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens
Uh-oh. He didn’t do a ton with his team-leading 10 carries. But maybe that was because it wasn’t a close game? Still, the fact that rookie J.K. Dobbins scored twice is concerning.
WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It may have been health related, and yes, he scored on Sunday. But I don’t see Evans living up to his ADP this year even when he’s healthy.
WR Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
We all banked on him taking over as the top receiver in Cincy with Joe Burrow singing his praises in the preseason. Instead, he saw just five targets to A.J. Green’s nine.
TE Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When you’re Tom Brady’s old buddy and you’re out-targeted and out-produced by O.J. Howard, it’s time to worry.
TE Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons
Ridley, Jones and Russell Gage each caught nine passes. Hurst caught three. In a pass-heavy offense and especially in a good spot against Seattle, you’d hope for better.