Fantasy Football Stock Market - Preseason Week 3
Just as there are fluctuations on Wall Street there are also the peaks and valleys of players ADP’s leading into upcoming draft weeks. To welcome back another season with an NFL preseason that is in full swing, lets look at one guy who could loom large, a couple of players to keep a watchful eye on, a group of pass-catchers to show patience with, and a running back that you may want to hold off on early.
Brice Butler, WR, Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders’ rookie receiver has even been recognized on EA Sports Madden 25 for his speed. The 6′ 3″ San Diego State pass catching product has been given a speed rating of ninety-four good for the fourth fastest on the team. His speed to burn is reason enough behind team quarterbacks desire to target the seventh round selection above all others. Brice Butler leads Oakland’s receiving core with nine targets while participating in just under forty-five percent of the total offensive snaps.
Brice Butler seems to be comfortable playing from the slot according to reports and is managing a hefty 21.6 yards per catch. In fact during preseason week two’s Oakland game versus the New Orleans Saints Butler played twenty-two of thirty-three first team offensive snaps. Not only is Butler’s yards per catch average among the highest in the league he is also sporting an aDot of 16.7 yards where as the league average across all pass catching position is but 8.7 yards. While we are not suggesting that you buy Brice Butler early in re-drafts the speedy tall drink of water is a strong buy candidate in deeper dynasty league formats.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
One of two players a watchful eye should be cast upon is the Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy. Much ado about nothing was made regarding a gain in weight over the offseason by Lacy. But after a Packers scrimmage and the most recent preseason game versus the St. Louis Rams Lacy has emerged as Green Bay’s best back. Saturday night Lacy managed 5.0 yards per carry platooning with the first team during nineteen plays. Lacy has given such a small sample size up to this point in the season so his 205.6 elusive rating undoubtedly will drop but Lacy’s breakaway percentage of 37.5 is currently tops among Packer running backs.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Along with Eddie Lacy another rookie running back that could be a value add for fantasy owner this draft season in later rounds is Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard. The Bengals rookie has rushed for a touchdown in each of the last two preseason games. Bernard is displaying consistency when it comes to hitting pay dirt the rookie is managing a 19.6 elusive rating over nineteen rush attempts. Despite Bernard’s in-ability to break a run for longer than nine yards, to-date, Bernard has proven versatile in the passing game with four total receptions two of which have went for sixteen yards and twenty-two yards.
If fantasy owners find themselves unable to nail down a second solid running back in the first few rounds of drafts either Eddie Lacy or Giovani Bernard could provide viable buy options in rounds five through six. Bernard’s current ADP closely resembles that of Lacy as both are currently the 26th and 27th running backs being taken off draft boards.
After last night’s performance how can we not have a “Buy” recommendation on the New England Patriots rookie. Thompkins had thirty routes ran second to only Aaron Dobson and his 3.87 Yards Per Route Run was the highest figure of all. Danny Amendola did not take a snap during last night’s match-up allowing Thompkins to participate in 53.7 percent of all offensive snaps. In Amendola’s absence the undrafted free-agent was targeted on forty percent of his routes ran and managed to reel-in eight receptions for 116 receiving yards. Over the past forty-eight games Danny Amendola has taken part in fifty percent or more of all offensive snaps in only twenty-three of those games, Thompkins could provide a nice insurance option, in later rounds, to an oft-injured Amendola.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Receiving the start in both preseason games due to an injured Andrew Hawkins, second year player Mohammed Sanu has played approximately thirty-five percent of the snaps in each contest, spending almost sixty percent of those snaps in the slot. Sanu left his most recent game versus the Tennessee Titans with three receptions one of which was a touchdown. Sanu finished with thirty-six yards on a total of four targets in the game. Forty percent of Sanu’s five targets have been twenty yards or deeper yet neither pass were deemed catch-able. The likely candidate at slot receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals currently owns a 0.43 PPO in points per reception formats. This cat is definitely worth keeping an eye on as his stock begins to ascend in deeper drafts.
Chris Givens, WR, St. Louis Rams
Chris Givens is a player that many fantasy pundits are high on and his current ADP allows another second year player in Givens to be considered a value pick. In only twenty-six percent of the St. Louis Rams offensive snaps throughout this preseason the young pass catcher, Givens, is playing above his 2012 10.67 ppg average eclipsing the mean by 1.28 points in limited action. Currently owning a 1.13 PPO this preseason Chris Givens’s average draft position is presently middle of the tenth round. You can see below, that just over the last week, the Rams’ second year wide receiver’s ADP has climbed from the bottom of the ninth round to the top of the ninth round still presenting excellent value. When drafting this week “Hold” fast on Chris Givens’s existing market value and it will pay off down the line for your squad rewarding fantasy teams with a round four to five like point return.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Running backs are going to fly off of draft boards as the position does every year. The fact that Houston Texans Arian Foster has still yet to practice and is receiving injections into the lower back in an attempt to help with the pain has to be of some concern to fantasy owners. Two seasons removed from leading the league in yards from scrimmage, Foster’s inability to get onto the field so far this preseason has to raise red flags with fantasy owners. In keeper or dynasty formats if the price is right an owner may want to cut bait with Foster now rather than later.
Dealing with the fantasy line-up headaches involved with deciphering game day status of a defined but health riddled first round selection can prove quite cumbersome. Drafting a player with Foster’s productive past should provide an owner with worry-free plug and play capability unfortunately that may not end up the case, with Foster, this season. If a dynasty or keeper owner can get equal first round running back trade value with more upside it may end up worth selling Foster in the long run.