We survived Week 9, with all its injuries and bye weeks. Doubtless, your lineup had some holes. Did the big performances save you? Were you facing Joe Mixon? Likely that determines the outcome of this week anyway. 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: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
About: Much of the dialogue about Tua this season has centered around concussions. While that is a big story, and one that is certainly worth monitoring, a bigger story should be his performance. The Dolphins went all in on 2022. They gave Mike Gesicki the Franchise Tag. They traded for Tyreek Hill. All of this was meant to surround Tua—the former No. 5 overall pick—with weapons so the team could make a run. Now sitting at 6-3 on the season, it’s clear that the gambit has paid off. Tua is 6-0 in the games he’s started and finished in 2022. And he’s doing it with a robust passing attack. Tua is completing 69.9 percent of his passes, he’s thrown for 1,980 yards—more than in nine starts as a rookie—and he’s at 15 touchdown passes, one away from tying his career high. He looks like one of the NFL’s best and the Dolphins look like a contender. This is a great turn for those who bet on Tua in rookie drafts and have seen Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert leap past him in the last two seasons.
Stock Down: Sam Ehlinger, Indianapolis Colts
About: I’m not saying Ehlinger got Frank Reich fired, but he didn’t help. The Colts moved off of Matt Ryan, whose name is often mentioned in Hall of Fame debates, in favor of seeing what they have in Ehlinger. What they have is nothing. Ehlinger is 0-2, with 61.5 percent completions for 304 yards an interception, and 11 sacks. It’s a failed experiment, one that shouldn’t continue for the Colts or fantasy players.
Stock Up: Ken Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
About: For a few weeks it looked like Breece Hall and Walker would battle for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Hall got injured, but Walker’s performance on its own would likely be enough to vault him to the forefront of the race. In a year where many of the big rookie options haven’t looked great, Walker has looked like a Pro Bowler. In four starts, Walker has 424 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s also been a boon to a position that’s been decimated in 2022 but injuries, inefficiencies, and committees. In short, your buy window has slammed shut.
Stock Down: Damien Harris, New England Patriots
About: The use of running backs for the Patriots has long been confounding. Still, it seemed that Harris seemed to slide into a defined role of being the first-up ball carrier. In 2021, that even resulted in a number of touchdown opportunities. This year, Harris has struggled with injuries while fellow back Rhamondre Stevenson has been on fire. In seven games this season, Harris has just 71 carries for 302 yards. He has three touchdowns and eleven receptions, but Harris is coming up on the end of his contract, and with Stevenson taking a bigger role, it’s easy to see Harris fading down the stretch for the Patriots. That combined with an uncertain future makes him a tough long-term asset to gauge.
Stock Up: Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
About: Sometimes it just takes time. Many were high on Hardman when he was drafted but we haven’t seen consistent performances. Then, this off-season, Hardman was seemingly the forgotten man. The Chiefs signed Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, then drafted Skyy Moore. Just last week the team traded for Kadarius Toney. Meanwhile, all Hardman is doing is going out there and producing. He’s been especially hot the past four games, as the Chiefs seem to have settled into an offensive groove. He’s caught 25 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns, also adding two rushing touchdowns. However, given the plethora of weapons in Kansas City and Hardman’s lack of a long-term deal, I’m looking at selling a player who is soaring to a team that is trying to win it all. Take advantage of the hot streak because it’s hard to trust it will continue this season and beyond.
Stock Down: K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings
About: Just 33 targets, 21 receptions, 185 yards, and two touchdowns. That’s what Osborn has produced in eight games this season. I was among those who thought Osborn would be in for a big 2022 season. It hasn’t happened. And now with T.J. Hockenson adding another focal point in the passing game, Osborn is the fifth option at best. Barring injuries, there’s no reason to even consider him for a flex spot. He’s a drop in re-draft and little more than a deep stash in dynasty.
Stock Up: T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings
About: I know I was skeptical if he’d get the volume in Minnesota. It’s only been one game, but I think I was wrong. Hockenson saw nine targets, catching them all for 70 yards. He looks like a perfect compliment to Justin Jefferson. Will he always catch everything thrown his way? Of course not. But his game one production on a short week indicates the Vikings plan to feature him, which means consistency and volume at a position that’s usually short on both. It’s wheels up for Hockenson.
Stock Down: Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints
About: Once upon a time, Trautman was a hot late-round rookie draft selection. He was taken by a Saints team that didn’t have any consistency at tight end. Now in year three, Trautman has never developed into the pass-catcher some hoped. He has just 50 receptions for 428 yards and four touchdowns in his career. Even for a Saints’ team starved for weapons, he’s an option in a three-headed milieu at tight end, sharing targets with Taysom Hill and Juwan Johnson. And I’d probably rather start either of the other two for their upside.
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.