Stock Up, Stock Down: Preseason Week 1


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Romeo Doubs - Packers, WR
Doubs is earning praise right now from everyone. It's not always about how many say it, but who says it. Matt LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb have spoken glowingly of the rookie for his work ethic, skill and consistency on the field. In fact, his biggest comments came from the four-time MVP when he said Doubs provides a "wow" play in every practice. This is significant because Rodgers is not known for gelling early with rookie wide receivers. Doubs has made the best of his opportunities since fellow rookie (and higher draft pick) Christian Watson went down with injury. Sammy Watkins also missed a few practices which in turn allowed Doubs to shine. At the Packers' Family Night practice which drew 50,000 fans, Doubs came out in the 11-on-11s with the starters. After trading Davante Adams to the Raiders, the Packers are starving for a receiver to step up. While Doubs is a far cry from Adams, his early development could help ease the blow of losing such a player. Doubs has crept into late-round sleeper territory in redraft leagues.

Darrell Henderson - Rams, RB
Rams' coach Sean McVay provided a small bump in Henderson's ADP last week when he said he views both he and Cam Akers as starting running backs. Furthermore, Akers and Henderson are currently splitting reps with the first-team offense. While none of this means anything of true significance now, in the fantasy football world it at least moves the needle. Through the first 12 weeks of last season, Henderson performed well as he was RB13. In that span, he averaged 17 touches and 82 yards from scrimmage per game. While I'm heavily in on Akers in 2022, Henderson can play some football. Akers' playoff performance (and fast return from an achilles tear) in the 2022 postseason has many feeling that Henderson could be the Rams' running back of greater value. The problem with that logic is no Rams' back including Henderson or Sony Michel played well (but haters leave that out). Regardless, right now Henderson's stock is on the rise and I'm here to avoid it, respectfully.

Jalen Tolbert - Cowboys, WR
Tolbert already received some buzz during minicamp sessions when it was reported that he had a chance to start Week 1. With James Washington now out with an injury, Tolbert will see even less competition for targets. Michael Gallup is still on the PUP list with no clear return date in sight. Even if he were to return, Tolbert would still be in on three-wide receiver sets. Sitting atop the receiver depth chart with CeeDee Lamb, Tolbert could cash in based on opportunity alone. Currently with a 10th-round ADP price, that could rise as we get closer to Week 1. Tolbert won't be starting at receiver for just any offense, it's the top ranked offense from last season (in terms of yards and scoring). Cowboys owner (ruler and mouthpiece) Jerry Jones stated that the team would be in no rush to add a veteran receiver. This speaks volumes about how the team feels Tolbert is coming on. While rookie receivers are often hard to trust, being attached to a top-tier offense makes Tolbert a late-round gem.


Josh Jacobs - Raiders, RB
Jacobs set the world on fire during the Hall of Fame game when it seemed as if he'd get a full workload of touches in a meaningless game. Many rushed to say that this could mean the Raiders are trying to move on from him. Jacobs handled seven touches for 44 total yards over a few series. Coach Josh McDaniels cleared things up saying that he wanted all of his running backs to get reps and take live hits. McDaniels said the team has "no desire" to trade Jacobs. What added to speculation was the Raiders declining to pick up Jacobs' fifth-year option, something he is not bitter about. It is expected that Zamir White and Kenyan Drake will gobble up touches, but the actual split is unclear. McDaniels doesn't have a history of using a workhorse back and he seemed to show his hand a bit in the Hall of Fame game. Keep an eye out on this backfield as the team goes through training camp.

Miles Sanders - Eagles, RB
Sanders' stock this offseason has fallen in a bizarre way. He told us plain and bold not to draft him. Coach Nick Sirianni came out and let the world know that Sanders is their guy. This is the part we know but it doesn't stop here. It was never expected for Sanders to be the Eagles' workhorse back (especially on a Jalen Hurts-led team). His teammate Kenneth Gainwell is generating a lot of buzz during training camp. Lane Johnson spoke highly of Gainwell saying he reminds him of Brian Westbrook. Sirianni really showed the second-year back love when he wore a shirt representing Gainwell for the team's public practice. As far as passing downs, Gainwell will certainly pose a threat to Sanders. If he cuts into early-down work it could mean even more damage to Sanders' ADP. Yes it's wild, all of these things affect how fantasy managers draft their roster.

Christian Watson - Packers, WR
Watson is down, but he is far from out. Things happen, injuries happen and the season hasn't even started yet. It's not so much Watson's injury that's hurting his stock, it's the fact that Doubs is balking while he's injured. It's natural for people to compare two rookies drafted onto the same team that needs receiver help. Rodgers himself said, "It's not a big concern." While Watson is frustrated, he's figured out ways to be mentally active and engaged while he's on the PUP list. Picked early in the second round, Watson had a leg up on Doubs. Once he's back in action he'll have a chance to get on the fantasy radar. It's still unclear who Rodgers' new go-to guy will be in the passing game. Allen Lazard has drawn the most praise from Rodgers but we are not buying that. The Packers drafted Watson for a reason and he should be able to provide proof of that soon.


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