Stock Watch – Week 8
Matt Stein has your Week 8 stock watch.
Stock Watch – Week 8
Week 7 of the NFL season brings us to the halfway point in many fantasy football leagues. And while we’ve learned plenty about players throughout the first seven weeks, there are still many unknowns that need to get figured out.
One way you can ensure success in the second half of your season is to make moves that’ll position you for success. This means knowing who to buy and who to sell on a weekly basis.
Luckily for you, that’s exactly what we’re going to do for you. Here’s a look at the top players to sell and the top players to buy.
Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
Cooks was expected to be a perfect fit in the high-powered offense in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the offense has been anything but high-powered this year and Cooks has struggled mightily all year long.
He’s only posted two games with a positive grade this year, but his overall grade still remains negative. However, what’s truly worrisome is that Cooks saw a season-low three targets this past week despite the fact that quarterback Drew Brees was without a healthy top target.
What’s also worrisome about Cooks is that he’s only averaging 8.5 yards per reception. Cooks was expected to excel as a slot receiver this year, but the Saints have only had him line up there on 32 percent of the snaps he’s been on the field.
It appears as if there are major offensive issues in New Orleans, and the rookie Cooks appears to be hurting the most. Sell now if you can.
Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns
It was only a week ago that Tate was a hero. Coming back from a major injury, Tate punched the ball into the end zone twice in Week 6.
Week 7 was a completely different story as Tate only managed 36 rushing yards and negative two receiving yards. Here’s the ultimate problem for Tate: he isn’t the most talented running back in Cleveland.
Despite having 10 less rushing attempts this year, rookie running back Terrence West has forced just as many missed tackles (10) as Tate. West’s elusive rating is a solid 43.4 while Tate’s is a measly 29.6.
It’s only a matter of time before the coaches in Cleveland see that West is the most talented back. Don’t be surprised if Tate is a backup within a few weeks, which means you need to sell this week.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
There are a handful of problems that point to Davis being an ideal sell target this week.
The biggest issues, however, are the number of targets Davis is seeing this year and his dropping problem. Davis’ drop rate sits at 22.22, which is the third-worst in the league for tight ends who have played at least 25 percent of their teams snaps.
His 23 targets through Week 7 ranks No. 23 in the league. Now Davis has missed two games this season, but that should only add to concerns about his success for the remainder of the season.
With the 49ers having a bye week in Week 8, now would be the perfect time to try and move Davis.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
It’s been a very up-and-down year for Cutler as both a starting NFL quarterback and a fantasy quarterback.
His current grade from PFF puts him at No. 19 in the league as of Week 7. However, his accuracy percentage is a solid 75.6, which puts him in with the 12th-best percentage in the league.
Where Cutler has struggled this year is with his deep ball. He’s only completed 40 percent of his passes thrown 20 or more yards down the field. That’s one of the worst percentages in the league.
However, most of his deep-ball issues have to do with neither of his big-target wide receivers being truly healthy this year. That’ll eventually happen and it should greatly help improve Cutler’s deep ball.
It’s only a matter of time before the offense in Chicago starts clicking, so buy him before his cost becomes too high.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Bernard was another big-time running back who struggled in Week 7. His 17 rushing yards and negative one receiving yards left him with 1.6 points in standard-scoring leagues.
The reason to continue to believe in Bernard is due to his ability to pick up yards after being hit. He’s currently averaging 2.9 yards after contact per attempt. That’s currently the third-highest average in the league.
The Bengals have been in a funk offensively the past few weeks. However, that should change and Bernard’s ability to make plays in both the run and pass game makes him a target to buy this week.