George Kritikos provides dynasty league risers and fallers following Week 2 of the preseason.
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As Dynasty owners, our valuations of players are constantly evolving, whether talking about a rookie who has yet to tap their full potential, or a veteran on a new team carving out a role for himself.
We watch and dissect every bit of information about these players in an effort to assign a value to their services. Be it draft, auction, trade or waiver value, it is imperative that we quantify their worth, and avoid making costly mistakes with our limited capital and transaction windows.
Through this “Risers & Fallers” series, we will do our part to help illustrate the players that are on the verge of making noise in the Dynasty world who could strengthen your team, and separate the ones who aren’t worth the headaches and anxiety.
Some weeks these assessments will be based on the player’s own production in recent games. Other times it may be the poor play of those around them, leading to an overall slide in their output. Perhaps the starter ahead of them on the depth chart is in decline, opening the door for a lesser known player to make his mark. Or maybe the offensive line has been ravaged by injuries, turning a weekly stud into a sitting duck who’s output is sure to suffer.
In any case, the goal here is to keep you ahead of the curve, and give you an edge on your league-mates when building your Dynasty roster and ultimately in the WIN column.
So, without further adieu, here are the Risers & Fallers for Preseason Week 2.
Dak Prescott (DAL – QB): RISER
Prescott was rumored to the Cowboys all draft season and ended up there as a fourth-round pick and the presumed backup to Tony Romo. While this is preseason, engineering scoring drives on all six offensive possessions is still impressive. Prescott himself managed four of those scores, two through the air on 12 of 15 passing and two via his legs with 28 rushing yards overall.
The team has to be feeling that they have a long-term answer after Romo, who may not have more than a year or two of good health left in him. This offense will become more run heavy, closer to 2014, but Prescott is an efficient quarterback who can provide nice value for dynasty owners willing to spend a late rookie pick.
Tyler Boyd (CIN – WR): RISER
Another rookie, Boyd has shown progression in more ways than just the box score. Sure, he had a pretty touchdown reception in Week 2, but it was his usage which is the reason for optimism. Boyd was restricted to slot work in Week 1, which led the dynasty community to worry about his future role. Well, Boyd played both outside spots and the slot this past week, making it possible that he is the man opposite A.J. Green as early as Week 1.
Boyd’s stock has fallen and risen multiple times this offseason. From his disappointing 2015 season after a 2014 dominant campaign to his landing spot in Cincinnati until now. Boyd should be an option in the middle of the first round but has been slipping to the late first and even early second of rookie drafts.
Dion Lewis (NEP – RB): FALLER
One of the more polarizing running backs this offseason just took another hit. Lewis, the PPR dynamo for half of 2015 suffered an ACL tear in November and suffered a setback which will now require a second surgery. That, unfortunately, will put Lewis on the shelf for at least half the 2016 season and create a hole at the running back position for the Patriots.
While this door has closed, a window is open for someone to jump through. Likely, it will be James White, the former Wisconsin Badger who looked good to close out 2015. He managed two receptions in the Bears game this week despite logging zero carries. His competition looks to be Tyler Gaffney, who added three receptions on top of his eleven carries. If Gaffney proves to have three-down potential, he could have the biggest boom potential. White’s price will be high now, but Gaffney could be very cheap for running back needy owners.
Denver Broncos’ Quarterbacks: FALLER
This mix and match at the quarterback position to find a starter has not worked out at all. Trevor Siemian performed as expected, largely checking down to avoid a big mistake on route to 10-of-14 passing for just 75 yards and an interception. Mark Sanchez was “better” with 10-of-17 for 120 yards, but both struggled to move the offense into scoring position. While the bright spot was Paxton Lynch with two touchdown passes, that was against the backups with a double-digit deficit.
I could have included the Broncos receiving options here given their dependence on the outcome of this battle. However, both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have that risk built into their dynasty price. Any owners who had hoped to play late-round quarterback with these options will be disappointed. It is starting to look like the team will go run heavy and potentially see a quarterback carousel. Even at dirt-cheap prices, this is a position to avoid.
Tajae Sharpe (TEN – WR): RISER
With the recent trade of Dorial Green-Beckham, the presumption was that Tajae Sharpe would get an opportunity to contribute early. If it is anything like his preseason game against the Panthers, that contribution could be good enough to use in a lineup. He led the team with six catches and 68 yards, although he was unable to secure a touchdown reception. Add in the fact that Marcus Mariota is humming this preseason (14-of-15 passing so far) and he could really thrive as a rookie.
Sharpe came into the NFL draft this year with more receptions than any other receiver in college. He also had heavy target loads with 176 in his final season and proved to have sure hands. This should be beneficial for Mariota after dealing with the likes of Justin Hunter last year. While his value is rising, Sharpe could still have some room to outperform his average draft position.
Robert Griffin III (CLE – QB): RISER
Another quarterback, I know. That said, it is hard not to be impressed by Griffin’s game this week. It was efficient (6-of-8), effective (two passing touchdowns), and showed some flashes of his old self (a nice 22 yard run for example). Go check out the perfect placement on the touchdown pass to Terrelle Pryor, something Griffin failed to do a few months ago when complaints of his passes hitting neighboring garages hit the news wires.
Unlike past years, there are serious weapons on this team with Josh Gordon’s return imminent, rookie Corey Coleman, and breakout tight end Gary Barnidge all set to hit the field. Griffin’s rookie season is no more than a memory, so do not expect that. You should expect a good return on a very cheap investment with the opportunity to trade him to a contender later in the season, especially in superflex or two-quarterback leagues.
Terrance West (BAL – RB): RISER
The curious case of West’s career continues as he looks rejuvenated this offseason. The former Cleveland Brown looks fitter and had some nice runs on the way to a nine-carry, 33-yard night after his two-touchdown preseason debut. He added a nice19-yardd reception, showing some of the explosion that looked lost last year.
With a wide open backfield, it looks like West could have a role in this offense. Add in Forsett’s early struggles and a pair of young running backs who are still learning the nuances of the NFL, and West is hitting his stride at the right time. He is another cheap to free dynasty option and the gamble is well worth the minimal risk.
Josh Ferguson (IND – RB): FALLER
Ferguson was hyped early this offseason after signing with the Colts as an undrafted free agent. That hype has not materialized early on the field as he is averaging under one yard per carry and has struggled to break tackles or pick up blocking assignments. Even in the receiving game, Ferguson has not shown to be the explosive playmaker dynasty owners were expecting to see.
With Frank Gore the main running back in tow, Ferguson was expected to be the primary PPR option in the backfield. His price soared into the second round of rookie drafts based on this and now is losing some of that steam. Throwing out a few feelers to Ferguson owners could be fruitful if they are feeling panicked. It’s only been a few preseason games so now is the time to see if owners are acting irrationally.