We saw some interesting performances and some misfires this Sunday in the NFL. 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 5.
Stock Up: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
About: What a difference two weeks can make! After three weeks, it was fair to wonder if Fields was the long-term answer in Chicago. He’d thrown for three touchdowns and four interceptions while the team was a woeful 0-3. In Week 4, Fields stepped up against the Broncos. He tossed four touchdowns and went for more than 300 yards despite the loss. In Week 5, he doubled down against the Commanders with four more touchdowns as the Bears earned the 40-20 victory. Fields now has 1,143 yards, 11 touchdowns, and just five interceptions. He’s also completing a career-best 61.8 percent of his passes to this point. He’s not out of the woods, but the last two weeks have shown what Fields—and new receiver D.J. Moore—can do. His stock is on the rise.
Stock Down: Mac Jones, New England Patriots
About: Like Fields, Jones has entered his all-important third season. Unlike Fields, the past two games have been a disaster for Mac Jones. The Patriots have been outscored 72-3 in that time, and Jones has been pulled from each game by Head Coach Bill Belichick. Entering Week 5, Jones was completing 63.7 percent of his passes, the lowest mark of his career, with 898 yards, five touchdowns, and four interceptions. In Week 5, a 34-0 loss to the Saints, Jones passes for just 122 yards and two interceptions before getting the hook. Not only does he look lost, but Jones also appears on the brink of losing his starting job.
Stock Up: David Montgomery, Detroit Lions
About: This off-season, a lot of the talk for the Lions was about the No. 12 overall pick, Jahmyr Gibbs. While the rookie is an explosive talent, it’s fifth-year veteran Montgomery who has been the star in the backfield for the Lions. He came into Week 5 already with five rushing touchdowns, matching his total from all of 2022. On Sunday, he rushed for 109 yards and another touchdown, giving him more than 400 yards rushing and six touchdowns in his four starts this season. Montgomery is approaching RB1 territory and looks like a great hammer for the 4-1 Lions.
Stock Down: Miles Sanders, Carolina Panthers
About: Sanders had a career year in 2022. For the Eagles, he rushed for a career-high 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns. When he signed with the Panthers this off-season, it looked like a great match. But so far, it’s been far more fizzle than sizzle. He’s got less than 200 yards rushing in five games with just one touchdown. He’s barely a flex consideration, and he’s in something of a backfield split with Chuba Hubbard. That’s not what those who roster him were hoping to see.
Stock Up: Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers
About: While Carolina hasn’t been good for Sanders, Thielen has seemingly found the Fountain of Youth. The Panthers are a disappointing 0-5 on the season, but Thielen is doing his level best to keep them in games. He came into Week 5 as WR10 on the season. In Sunday’s game, despite the loss, Thielen saw 13 targets, catching 11 for 107 yards and a touchdown. He’s having a huge season, a boon to those who hung on to him in dynasty.
Stock Down: JuJu Smith-Schuster, New England Patriots
About: After a strong 2022 season, Juju signed a free-agent deal in New England. But it hasn’t panned out. While not incredible, Juju posted a solid season with the Chiefs, catching 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns. He was the top-performing receiver on the Super Bowl champs and is the best receiver for the Patriots this season. But it hasn’t translated into much success on the field. He has just 14 receptions for 86 yards in five games. He’s not playable, and it’s unclear if that will improve.
Stock Up: Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans
About: Schultz earned the Franchise Tag from the Dallas Cowboys in 2022 but didn’t find a long-term contract there or elsewhere. He ended up signing a one-year deal with the Texans, where at least he figured to be a focal point of the passing game. In five years with the Cowboys, he caught 211 passes for 2,122 yards and 17 touchdowns. But he got off to a slow start with the Texans. He picked it up in Week 4 and was featured again in Week 5, where he caught seven passes for 65 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 10 targets. Schultz is heating up along with the rest of this young Texans’ offense, which is a good thing for those who roster him.
Stock Down: Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals
About: Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, McBride was regarded as the top tight end prospect. That made his landing in Arizona sub-optimal, given that Zach Ertz was already there. When Ertz was injured, McBride surged to end his rookie year. I thought that would lead to a step forward in 2023. It hasn’t happened. In five games, McBride has seen just seven targets, catching six passes for 62 yards. On Sunday, not only did Ertz get a target, but Geoff Swaim caught two passes. It’s clear that McBride, despite his potential, isn’t a part of the Cardinals’ attack at this point.
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.