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Fantasy Football Week 1: Stock Watch - Buy, Sell or Hold?

Matt Brandon Sep 8th 7:15 PM EDT.

Week 1 is finally here! The reigning Super Bowl champions host the Dallas Cowboys tomorrow night! You’ve done your research and drafted the possible roster. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to do too much in-season management. However, we all know that the draft is just part of this game we all love. Churning the waiver wire and making solid trades is critical to fantasy success. 

You might be one of many owners looking at your roster and seeing a lot Questionable, Out, and IR tags. So it’s time to make some moves, as it’s never too early to trade. Let’s take a look at whose stock is up, whose stock has plummeted and who you should hold onto to reevaluate after some time. 

Note: Be sure to use FantasySP’s Trade Analyzer to help you formulate the best possible trades. FantasySP’s Trade Value Chart will make sure you’re offering trades that benefit your team, but aren’t so egregiously unfair to the other owners that they won’t make a deal with you for the rest of the season.

Quarterbacks

Zach Wilson, New York Jets (BUY)

Wilson has the pedigree of efficiency in his college career, and he will need every ounce of that efficiency as he works to help rebuild the Jets with coach Robert Saleh. New York's weak defense will absolutely help Wilson's volume and opportunities. Wilson will have to air it out as he’ll be playing catch up in many matchups to come. 

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (SELL)

If you’ve held onto Garoppolo in Dynasty this long, I hate to tell you this but it’s time to part ways. Trey Lance is the future here. Lance offers a rushing floor the Niners will never see with Garoppolo. The one season he finished in 2019, Garoppolo was the QB14, not the worst but he certainly didn’t win you your league that season. The writing was on the wall when San Francisco moved all the way up to the third overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft to take Lance. So whether it’s by Week 6 or sooner, Lance will be taking over and you’ll want to be as far from Jimmy as possible. 

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (HOLD)

Great weapons and a great offense usually mean good things for a quarterback from a fantasy perspective. Let’s just wait to see if he can still run the ball after coming back from that gruesome Week 5 injury against the Giants last season. And don’t forget, he’s still dealing with an additional shoulder injury. Prescott should be fine, so don’t panic if he has one bad outing. That said, be on the lookout in case poor performances become a trend.

Running Backs

A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers (BUY)

He’s your security blanket should anything happen to Aaron Jones. You must own A.J. Dillon if you own Aaron Jones. Last season, Dillon proved to be a value even with Jones healthy. But as we’ve seen with Cam Akers and now J.K. Dobbins, you want to hedge your bets with the running back position. Last year we saw a stunning Week 16 out of Dillon, as he accumulated 124 yards on 21 rushing attempts and 2 TDs. With Jamaal Williams now in Detroit, Dillon is the next man up and will see an uptick in production as the RB2 in Green Bay. 

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (SELL)

You must think I’m crazy designating Gus Edwards as a player you should sell. Don’t get me wrong, his stock has never been higher… but that’s exactly why you should sell. If you drafted Edwards as a late-round stash, you hit the jackpot! You thought with his 5.2 yards per carry last year (second-highest in the league), Baltimore would be crazy to sideline this burgeoning bell cow. Now an open door at the RB1 position, Edwards stands to be a major beneficiary of touches. The one thing you can’t count on with him is his receptions since he’s all but useless in the passing game. Not to worry though, Baltimore is a run-first offense that’s ready to ground and pound away with Edwards at the helm. All this to say, given where you were likely able to grab Edwards, you should SELL HIGH to any team that thought a zero-RB approach was the way to go this season. You should sell to a depressed Dobbins owner who had him as their RB1. Don't forget that Ty'Son Williams has emerged as a decent backup running back and the Ravens just signed Le'Veon Bell. Edwards won't be quite as good as people are expecting. 

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (HOLD)

Sorry Travis Etienne truthers, looks like you’ll need one more season before you can load up the hype train. James Robinson just might be the steal of your redraft leagues. The Jags leaned heavily on Robinson last year, as he finished as the RB7. The offense will be shifting with Trevor Lawrence under center, but there’s no RB competition for Robinson with Etienne out. So despite some expected regression, Robinson will still command attention at the position with a steady week-to-week volume landing him as a solid RB2 on your rosters. 

Wide Receivers

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (BUY)

The Lions have made their cuts, and Breshad Perriman truthers have been silenced. Officially, St. Brown is second in the pecking order of wide receivers behind Tyrell Williams. I know Jared Goff is his quarterback, but what’s in St. Brown’s favor is the volume that he will get with Goff. The Lions will be playing from behind early, so expect a high number of targets for the rookie right out of the gate, with little competition in his way outside of T.J. Hockenson

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (SELL)

If you were to write a list of infuriating players to own from last season, Tyler Lockett would be at the top of that list. When you look back at his stats, all looks in order. However, the majority of the stats he raked in were from 3 weeks. Aside from those weeks, he was practically a ghost. DK Metcalf led the team in receiving yards last year and all roads point to the same approach in 2021. Russell Wilson will be targeting Metcalf a ton and Chris Carson will be utilized early and often in the ground-and-pound running game. Avoid the drama of wondering when to start Lockett and capitalize on his bloated stats for trade value. 

Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans (HOLD)

This future first-ballot Hall of Famer is ready for a new chapter with the Titans. He’ll be an excellent WR2 alongside A.J. Brown and will help him open up the field for Ryan Tannehill. Julio is getting older but I wouldn’t give up on him quite yet. Let’s take a wait-and-see approach with this All-Pro wideout. 

Tight Ends

Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings (BUY)

Tyler Conklin could turn into a sneaky buy in Minnesota despite the fact that the Vikings brough in Christopher Herndon. While the Vikings have lost Irv Smith Jr. to a knee injury, Conklin sits at the top of the team’s depth chart at the tight end position. Herndon has absolutely no hands so with Kyle Rudolph now in New York, Conklin should be Kirk Cousins’ top target at the position. While Rudolph was sidelined last year, Conklin just edged out Smith in targets (22-20).

Evan Engram, New York Giants (SELL)

Don’t count on Engram to return to his gory days this season. There are far too many mouths to feed in New York’s passing game. Daniel Jones doesn’t have the volume to support them all. Jones had 10 interceptions and was sacked 45 times last year! While dealing with what looks like another year of scrambling, don’t count on Engram being the beneficiary of the few targets Jones can squeak out. 

Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints (HOLD)

He’s dealing with an ankle injury that will keep him out the first few weeks of the season but Trautman could still be a decent value. He’s now at the top of the depth chart with Jared Cook in Los Angeles. Trautman has Jameis Winston as his quarterback now that Winston won the job over Taysom Hill. When you think of Winston, you think of interceptions, but you also think of a ton of passing yards and touchdowns! Thel 6’5” Trautman will be a great red-zone threat for the Saints.

HEADLINES

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DeVante Parker MIA WR +9.7
Brandon McManus DEN K +9.5
Daniel Carlson LV K +9.5
Tyrell Williams DET WR +7.8
Chris Boswell PIT K +7.8
Rondale Moore ARI WR +7.4
Dallas Goedert PHI TE +6.2
Raiders DST LV DST +6.0
J.D. McKissic WAS RB +5.9
Jaylen Waddle MIA WR +5.9
Rashod Bateman BAL WR +5.9
Jonnu Smith NE TE +5.9
Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB +5.8
Ravens DST BAL DST +5.8
Ronald Jones TB RB +5.7
Laviska Shenault JAC WR -11.9
Jameis Winston NO QB -11.3
Colts DST IND DST -8.6
Matt Ryan ATL QB -8.2
Melvin Gordon DEN RB -8.1
Ryan Succop TB K -7.7
Russell Gage ATL WR -7.1
Jason Myers SEA K -7.0
Tua Tagovailoa MIA QB -6.2
Chiefs DST KC DST -5.7
Zack Moss BUF RB -5.6
Robbie Gould SF K -5.5
Nelson Agholor NE WR -5.2
James Conner ARI RB -4.9
Rhamondre Stevenson NE RB -4.8

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