It was another fun week of action in Week 2. 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 2.
Stock Up: Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
About: Mayfield was once the overall No. 1 pick. He was the great hope for the Browns, especially after leading them to the playoffs and a win over the Steelers. But his time in Cleveland fizzled, and the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson. Mayfield went to Carolina, where he flailed and ended up being released. His stint as a backup with the Rams showed some promise, helping him land with the Buccaneers. With the stakes incredibly low, Mayfield has responded. He led the Buccaneers to a win in Minnesota in Week 1, then threw for more than 300 yards in a home win over the Bears in Week 2. Mayfield has the Buccaneers 2-0 and looks like an interesting streaming QB option, to say the least. In short, rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Stock Down: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
About: Don’t freak out; I’m not advocating releasing Burrow. But he signed a huge contract and came into the season with huge expectations. After not even reaching 100 yards passing in Week 1, he was mortal in Week 2. The Bengals are now 0-2, having lost two division games to start the season. Burrow missed much of camp with a calf injury, so no doubt he’s rusty. But it’s an inauspicious start for a player that some thought had NFL Regular Season MVP upside. It’s worth watching.
Stock Up: Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts
About: Moss was a Third-Round pick by the Buffalo Bills that had a lot of hype. It never really happened, so when he was traded to the Colts last season for Nyheim Hines, it seemed like a fresh start. But we didn’t see much. This off-season, Moss broke his arm in camp, limiting his availability for Week 1. In Week 2, he was back, and the Colts and fantasy players got to see the potential, especially with Jonathan Taylor’s role far from certain. Moss dominated the backfield touches, rushing for 88 yards and a touchdown, catching four passes. It’s an encouraging sign, especially for those true believers who have held on to Moss.
Stock Down: A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers
About: At one point, it seemed like Dillon might be the future in the backfield for the Packers. First, he couldn’t displace Jamaal Williams. But last season, he was a decent compliment to Aaron Jones. This season has been a struggle, which is why the Packers tried to acquire Jonathan Taylor. In Week 1, Dillon mustered just 19 yards on 13 carries. With Jones out, Dillon had a shot to be the featured back. He rushed for just 55 yards on fifteen carries. He’s an RB3 at best and one that doesn’t appear to have much of a secure long-term future.
Stock Up: Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens
About: Heading into the season, there were plenty of questions about which Ravens receiver would step up. Through two weeks, First Round pick Flowers looks like he’s seizing the role. In Week 1, he caught nine passes for 78 yards on ten targets. In Week 2, a win over the Bengals, Flowers saw five more targets, catching four passes for 52 yards. It’s a great start for the rookie and an encouraging sign for those who bet on him high in rookie drafts.
Stock Down: Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams
About: With no Cooper Kupp, the receiver targets are wide-open. The Rams have had two good games, with Matthew Stafford slinging it. The Rams beat the Seahawks 30-13 in Week 1 and held strong against the 49ers into the Second Half. While Tutu Atwell and Puka Nacua are lighting it up, Jefferson has been MIA. He has just five receptions for 33 yards on nine targets in two games. In fact, he didn’t even get a catch in Week 2. In a moment, he should have had an opportunity to seize a bigger role, Jefferson has come up small.
Stock Up: Durham Smythe, Miami Dolphins
About: Tight end is a tough position in fantasy due to the nature of how they’re used. So, take this one for what it is—a player that’s getting consistently involved. Sometimes, that’s what you need from a tight end. The Dolphins moved on from Mike Gesicki this off-season, and it was fair to wonder how tight end would factor in. Through two games, Smythe has seen ten targets, catching six passes for 67 yards. Not lighting the world on fire, but certainly interesting. He’s caught three passes in each game, giving him what seems like a stable floor. At least he’s a player worthy of being rostered.
Stock Down: Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
About: I thought this would be Pitts’ year. Heading into year three, he seemed poised to be a featured part of the offense. When he was drafted in 2021, he was supposed to change the tight end position. But for those who spent a high first-round pick in rookie drafts, there hasn’t been much of a return. The problem isn’t all on Pitts. The Falcons aren’t a high-volume pass offense. But the team is also using Jonnu Smith in the passing game, limiting the opportunities and the ceiling for Pitts. He’s a talented player who just doesn’t get enough volume to maximize his potential.
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.