Michael Fabiano | Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Antonio Bryant, Brandon Jacobs, Brandon Marshall, Cadillac Williams, Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, Chaz Schilens, Chris Henry, Drew Brees, Earnest Graham, Eddie Royal. Derrick Ward, Glen Coffee, James Davis, Leon Washington, Michael Crabtree, Nate Washington, Ray Rice, Rex Ryan, Terrell Owens, Tim Hightower, Tom Brady, Troy Williamson, Willis McGahee
With Week 3 of the NFL preseason under way, fantasy leaguers have had a few games to see fluctuations in player’s values. While most preseason stats can be thrown out the window (I still don’t believe in Troy Williamson), there have been a few players who’s stock has fluctuated due to their on-field performances.
Here are the biggest five risers and fallers based on the preseason. I even threw in a few other notables at the end.
1. Tom Brady, QB, New England: After Brady’s sparkling two-touchdown performance in his preseason opener against the Eagles, fantasy leaguers had thoughts of his record-breaking 2007 season. While expecting that might be a little much, Brady is still 1-A at the quarterback position behind Drew Brees.
2. Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore: Can you say sleeper? Rice has been the most impressive running back in Ravens’ camp and appears set to open the season as the team’s Week 1 starter. While Willis McGahee remains in the mix, Rice is still being drafted as a low-end No. 2 fantasy back or flex starter in a lot of leagues.
3. Chad Ochocinco, WR, Cincinnati: Heeeee’s back! After taking a one-season hiatus after losing Carson Palmer for much of 2008, Ochocinco has a new name and a new attitude. He’s put up some good numbers in the preseason and should post another 1,000-yard campaign as long as Palmer avoids injuries.
4. Leon Washington, RB, N.Y. Jets: He’s fast, he’s elusive and he’s the most explosive offensive player on the Jets’ roster. Washington is also primed to see more touches out of the backfield in the offense of coach Rex Ryan, who has committed to running the football. Washington has flex starter potential in PPR formats.
5. Ahmad Bradshaw, WR, N.Y. Giants: A fast and explosive player, Bradshaw has shown off some serious skills and abilities in the preseason while securing the second spot on the Giants depth chart behind Brandon Jacobs. Like Washington, Bradshaw could turn into a viable flex option during the season.
Notables: Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati, James Davis, RB, Cleveland, Glen Coffee, RB, San Francisco
1. Brandon Marshall, WR, Denver: Whoever nicknamed him “Baby T.O.” had Marshall pegged to a tee. He’s complained about his contract, requested a trade and has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason. Despite his talent, Marshall has gone from a fantasy star to a serious risk. Move Eddie Royal up on rank lists.
2. Antonio Bryant, WR, Tampa Bay: Bryant has missed most of the preseason after having arthroscopic knee surgery, and that’s just the start of his troubles. The Bucs will run the ball much more this season, and the quarterback position is questionable at best. Try not to take Bryant as more than a No. 3 fantasy wideout.
3. Terrell Owens, WR, Buffalo: T.O.’s toe has been a cause for concern throughout the preseason. While he recently tweeted that his toe is “healed,” the 35-year-old wide receiver is still more of a fantasy risk then he’s been since his days with the Philadelphia Eagles. Don’t draft him as more than a No. 2 fantasy receiver this season.
4. Derrick Ward, RB, Tampa Bay: I thought Ward’s value was on the rise when he signed with the Bucs, but that went down the drain when the team announced it would use him in a backfield committee with Earnest Graham and Cadillac Williams. That scenario seriously limits his potential and makes him more of a fantasy flex starter.
5. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina: Stewart scored an impressive 10 touchdowns last season and was seen as a potential flex starter in 2009, but a sore Achilles’ tendon has caused him to miss a lot of work in training camp. What’s more, DeAngelo Williams has been impressive in the preseason and had made Stewart look even more like a risk in drafts.
Notables: Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco, Nate Washington, WR, Tennessee, Jamal Lewis, RB, Cleveland