The end game in fantasy football is to win championships. The draft is the first part of this journey, and some would consider it the most important event along the way. Part of having a successful draft is knowing which players have seen their value rise and fall, as it allows you to gauge those players you might have to jump on a round or two earlier, compared to those you might be able to land later.
In an effort to help you, the fantasy football enthusiast, get in the know as your drafts inch closer and closer on the calendar, he’s a look at some of the biggest risers and fallers over the last few weeks and where you should be looking to land them.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs
There hasn’t been a bigger mover in fantasy land over the last few weeks than Edwards-Helaire, who now has a clear path to a huge workload in the wake of Damien Williams’ opt-out. In fact, I’ve moved him up all the way to No. 6 on my running back rankings and No. 6 overall in my Top 200. Rookie running backs can make a massive impact, and the Glyde is now in a perfect position to do just that. He won’t make it out of the first round in most re-drafts, most notably PPR formats.
WR Julian Edelman, Patriots
Edelman’s stock had fallen earlier in the offseason, as the Patriots lost the G.O.A.T., Tom Brady, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That left the team with Jarrett Stidham (four career pass attempts) as the projected starter. Not ideal for Edelman. Fortunately, the Patriots brought in former NFL MVP and long-time fantasy star Cam Newton into the mix. While Superman does have questions of his own, his presence does make Edelman a far more attractive option as a No. 3 fantasy wideout.
TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons
Hurst’s stock started to gain some steam when he signed with the Falcons, who lost Austin Hooper to the Cleveland Browns in free agency. That trend continued throughout the summer, where Hurst is drafted as a top-10 fantasy tight end. He’s drafted as the TE8, on average, based on recent data from Fantasy Football World Championship high-stakes ADP. With Hooper gone and over 90 targets up for grabs in the offense, Hurst is in a great spot to have a breakout season.
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Rodgers, once THE elite quarterback in fantasy land, is coming off a season that saw him finish as the QB9 while scoring fewer than 15 points 10 times. What’s more, he hit the 20-plus point mark just three times. The Packers did little to improve his cast of offensive characters, adding Devin Funchess (who opted out of the 2020 season) and not much else. The team did add another runner in A.J. Dillon, though it seems to indicate a bigger focus on the run could be in the cards. I have Rodgers ranked outside of my top 10 players at the position, and he’s currently the QB14 based on FFWC ADP data. He’s a late rounder in most drafts.
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Buccaneers
Vaughn was considered a solid sleeper upon being picked by the Buccaneers in the NFL draft, but his stock has taken a nosedive in recent weeks. First, he landed on the COVID-19 list. Then, the team added LeSean McCoy to what was already a crowded backfield with Ronald Jones, Vaughn, and Dare Ogunbowale. The final nail in the fantasy coffin might have come this week, as Bucs coach Bruce Arians named Jones the “main man” as we head into training camp. At this point, it’s tough to consider Vaughn more than a late-round No. 4 fantasy runner.
WR Jarvis Landry, Browns
Landry has long been one of the most consistent options among fantasy wide receivers, but he enters this season with a lot of questions. The veteran is coming off hip surgery and has been placed on the active/PUP list to start training camp. That doesn’t mean he won’t be ready for Week 1 (reports suggest he will be), but just how healthy he’ll be remains to be seen. I’d also expect some regression in his targets, catches and yardage totals from last season with Austin Hooper in the mix. Right now, Landry is tough to draft as anything more than a mid-to-low end No. 3 fantasy wideout who seems to have a much smaller ceiling than his 2019 finish.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest fantasy football news and analysis!
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