Week 8 of the NFL Season featured some crazy finishes and some unpredictable performances. It also featured some dower injury news. But that’s all part of the challenge of managing your fantasy team. If you play Dynasty, you’re in it for the long haul. Still, it’s a weekly game and you have to ride the ebbs-and-flows and see what it can mean for the trajectory of a player. That’s what the Stock Watch is all about. We watch the games, process the information and try to forecast where players are headed. After all, getting ahead of the curve is the way to succeed. So, below you’ll find one player that improved their position and one that’s going the wrong way from each position. Use this as a guide as you’re trying to make moves and evaluate your team this week!
Stock Up: Taylor Heinicke, Washington Commanders
About: I feel like we’ve ridden the rollercoaster with Heinicke the past two seasons. At times in 2021 he looked like he could be the guy. Then the Commanders faded to end the year and talk of him as the starting option faded. Carson Wentz came in and that seemed to be that. But Wentz didn’t get off to a hot start, traded verbal barbs with Head Coach Ron Rivera and got injured. He’s on IR and in comes Heinicke. Not only have the Commanders won the two starts made by Heinicke, they’ve looked better. It’s to the point where it’s reasonable to wonder if Wentz gets back into the lineup this season. And if he doesn’t, given the uncertain supply of franchise quarterbacks, could Heinicke be on the cusp of leading the Commanders or another team in 2023? If he keeps playing this way, stranger things have happened.
Stock Down: Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans
About: There was some thought Willis would be the top quarterback taken in the 2022 NFL Draft, perhaps even in the First Round. There is tremendous upside for the quarterback out of Liberty. But he slid to the Third Round to the Titans, and many have waited to see what he might do when given the chance. With Ryan Tannehill unavailable, Willis made the start Sunday. What we saw was a raw prospect at best. Yes, the Titans won. But they did so thanks to 32 carries, two touchdowns, and more than 200 yards from Derrick Henry. Willis threw the ball just ten times, completing six passes for 55 yards and an interception. He also ran five times for just 12 yards. Either way, it wasn’t thrilling. Willis might have potential, but it’s a work in progress to say the least. Those hoping for a pro-ready guy right away should moderate expectations.
Stock Up: Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
About: For a few years now we’ve suspected Pollard was going to replace Ezekiel Elliott. This season, they two have practically shared the backfield. But the question remained whether Pollard could carry the load and what he’d look like if he did. On Sunday, with Elliott out of the lineup, we got our answer. In just 14 carries he went for 131 yards and three touchdowns. He’s explosive with big play ability. He not only looks capable of leading the Cowboys’ backfield, he looks like a great option. If you can still get him cheap now, I’m making the move.
Stock Down: David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
About: Sure, Montgomery is still the starting running back for the Bears. He’s getting a majority of the snaps and touches. He’s also in a contract year and being out produced by Khalil Herbert. Sunday was another perfect example of that. Montgomery got 15 carries, going for 53 yards and catching three passes for 22 yards. Herbert got 16 carries, going for 99 yards and a touchdown. Their spread is getting smaller each week and it’s easy to see that soon, regardless of health, Herbert will be the guy in Chicago. That leaves Montgomery with fading value in 2022 and an uncertain long-term future. It might be time to get out if you can.
Stock Up: Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
About: Sometimes you’re the right guy in the right spot at the right time. Boyd is often the forgotten third receiver for the Bengals but he’s put up some decent numbers. While Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins get all the publicity, Boyd has quietly put up 29 receptions for 455 yards and three touchdowns through seven weeks. He was sitting as WR17 heading into Monday night’s game. And this week, when it was revealed Chase has a hip injury that could sideline him for up to six weeks, Boyd got an even bigger boost. While Higgins gets a boost, too, Boyd is the under-the-radar choice that could be a league winner, giving rebuilding teams a big chip to trade in the heart of the fantasy season.
Stock Down: Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders
About: Renfrow had an incredible 2021 season. I bought into the narrative that would continue in 2022, thinking he could play the Julian Edelman role for the Raiders in Josh McDaniels’ offense. Unfortunately, that hasn’t played out as planned. Renfrow missed time with injury, but even when he’s been on the field he’s been mostly an afterthought. He’s seen just 25 targets, catching 18 passes for 156 yards and no touchdowns. He’s not a reliable start and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be a major part of the Raiders’ passing game. Turns out that honor belongs to Mack Hollins…
Stock Up: Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens
About: The Ravens have one of the best tight ends in football in Mark Andrews. The team also made a point to invest heavily in the tight end market in the 2022 NFL Draft. While much of the focus has been on whether the Ravens could find some good wide receivers, it was clear Thursday night they’re all set at tight end. Even after Andrews left with injury, the team didn’t miss a beat with Likely. He saw seven targets, catching six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. It’s not the first time this season Likely has flashed. The rookie tight end has some value this season but he’s also an ideal stash, if you can still get him, moving forward.
Stock Down: Brevin Jordan, Houston Texans
About: From a tight end stash that’s delivering to one who it might be time to let go. Jordan, a Fifth Round selection from Miami in 2021, seemed like a great potential fit for the Texans, a team in need of passing game weapons. It just hasn’t worked out. Jordan has been active for just four games, seeing 14 targets and catching five passes for 27 yards. Even at a position that is sometimes a tossup, there isn’t enough value there. If you were holding him for some day, it might be time to free up a roster spot.
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