What a wild Week 1 of the NFL Season. We saw great performances and some not-so-great performances. In dynasty, we’re in it for the long haul. That doesn’t mean we can ignore the day-to-day fluctuations. That’s what the Stock Watch is all about. Each week, I look at one player whose stock is on the rise and one whose stock is on the decline at each of the key fantasy positions. Let’s look at some of the big swings from Week 1.
Stock Up: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
About: After last season, many had concerns about Tua. The Dolphins appeared to as well. He remains the only one of the big quarterbacks from the 2020 draft class without a long-term extension. Would he return to form and look healthy? Could he be a Top 12 QB in 2023? The answer came in the form of an epic back-and-forth with Justin Herbert and the Chargers on Sunday. Tua threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns. He looks like he’s picking up right where he left off before injury last season. That’s great for the Dolphins and for those who roster him in fantasy.
Stock Down: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: Pickett was the lone quarterback taken in the First Round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He took over as the starter early in the 2022 season, and heading into Year Two, you’d expect some growth. Instead, Pickett and the rest of the Steelers’ offense looked lost on Sunday. Granted, the team was facing a tough defense in the 49ers. Still, it’s an ominous sign for Pickett, the Steelers, and those who roster him in fantasy. It’s fair to be concerned he might not be the answer.
Stock Up: Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams
About: We’ve seen this movie before. The Rams go into the season with Cam Akers as the lead rusher and then another back getting more work. It happened again in Week 1, as Williams got 15 carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns. That has him sitting as RB9 on the first week of the season. Akers got more carries (22) but was nowhere near as efficient. That makes it more than fair to wonder if Williams is in line for an even bigger workload to come. At the very least, he should be rostered.
Stock Down: J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
About: This one hurts. Dobbins was entering this season healthy for the first time since missing the entire 2021 season. This figured to be his year, especially as his rookie contract ends, and he’s looking for a new deal. After a strong first half in which he scored a touchdown, Dobbins tore his Achilles tendon Sunday. His season is over, and it’s fair to wonder what becomes of his career at this point, as he’s missed most of the last three years. I’m not dropping him yet in Dynasty if I have an IR slot, but his long-term future is murky at best.
Stock Up: Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots
About: Someone was going to be the guy in this Patriots’ passing offense. I suspected Juju Smith-Schuster and/or Mike Gesicki would get some looks after being acquired in free agency. Then the Patriots splashed out an extension on DeVante Parker, who was acquired last off-season. But in Week 1, it was Bourne who seemed to be the go-to guy for Mac Jones. He saw a team-high 11 targets, catching six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. That was good enough to be WR4 on the week. It’s not a guarantee he’s the guy, especially with New England, but it’s a good enough reason to make sure he’s on a roster going forward.
Stock Down: Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs
About: It’s hard to imagine anyone had a worse Week 1 than Toney. He was a First-Round pick by the Giants, who never really hit with that franchise. The trade to the Chiefs last year brought optimism he’d deliver on some of his promise. But it didn’t happen last season. In addition to struggles with injuries, Toney hasn’t shown much pop. On opening night, with Travis Kelce out and the Chiefs desperate for passing game weapons, it seemed like a golden opportunity. And yet, Toney flopped. He caught one pass for one yard on five targets and had one rush for -1 yards. He netted zero yards, and, worse yet, one of his drops turned into an interception returned for a touchdown. It’s one game, yes, but it’s a worrying sign for a player that, to this point, has been all hype and no production.
Stock Up: Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers
About: The Panthers don’t have a stable set of receivers yet. They have a collection of veterans trying to find a new start, young players who have never gotten started, and a promising rookie. When that happens, for a young quarterback like Bryce Young, a veteran tight end can be your best friend. That certainly appeared to be the case in Week 1. He saw a team-high seven targets, catching five passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. Hurst has been a reliable passing game option everywhere he’s gone, and he looks like a great low-end streaming option for 2023 as well.
Stock Down: Chig Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
About: The entire Titans’ passing game looked off. Ryan Tannehill had a horrendous performance, too. But it’s not a bad time to be worried if you went into the season banking on Okonkwo to deliver as a week-to-week starting tight end. The Titans aren’t a powerhouse passing team. And now, with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, the team has a target monster. He saw 13 targets on Sunday as the Titans threw it 34 times. Okonkwo saw two targets and went without a catch. There will be better days, but with what looks like a low-volume target share, you’re likely banking on touchdowns to buoy his value. That’s not a reliable formula for weekly success, even at the tight end position.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.