Fantasy football is a game of matchups. One player is a good play one week and a bad play the next. His health, the health of his teammates, the team he’s playing — these are all factors to consider. We’ll break down the risers and fallers right here each week to help fantasy owners keep tabs on the changing stock of some fantasy options that can possibly help change your season for the better, or note big names that are going in the opposite direction.
To help get you ready for week one’s fantasy football action, let’s break down some names that are rising and falling heading into the weekend:
Tim Wright, TE, New England Patriots
Gronk needs a running mate. The newly acquired Wright seems primed to take over Aaron Hernandez’s old “move” role. What’s more, Gronk has been cleared to play, but reports on his conditioning would lead us to believe he’ll only play about half of this week’s snaps. That means more targets for Wright and…
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Wait, but you just said… ? I’m confused. Look, sure, Gronk isn’t 100% yet but if he’s on same field with Tom Brady, you better be playing Gronk. He’s been cleared to play for Week 1, that’s all that matters.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Emmanuel Sanders
If you haven’t heard, Peyton Manning likes to throw the ball — a lot. Oh, and he’s pretty dang good at it too. With Welker out, look for newbie Sanders to step up in a huge way.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco goes up against possibly the worst defense in the history of the NFL in Week 1. Throw in San Fran’s own depleted defense and you’ve got yourself a Cowboys/49ers shootout. That makes Kaepernick a huge riser. Even though he and the rest of the Niners looked suspect this preseason, you have to roll him out there in week one.
Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos
This one’s kind of a gimme, right? Concussion, amphetamines… not a good start to the season for Welker. The good news: you know he’s going to be a beast when he gets back and being forced to sit out for four games is a blessing in disguise for the oft-concussed mighty mouse.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Cleveland Browns
Those banking on Johnny Football to be named the starter in Cleveland are certainly feeling a bit disheartened at the moment. Much like Tebow-mania, it’s only a matter of time before the fans start screaming bloody murder for Manziel to play, and if Hoyer’s preseason performance is any indication of his regular season play, the change will come sooner rather than later.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Love for Washington’s offense has been weaning this past week. Reports out of practice are more and more including lines like, “RGIII is still a work in progress,” and “Will he ever learn to get down” popped up a lot this week. People are doubting… time to capitalize?
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
Reed gets thrown into RGIII’s mess. If Griffin can’t learn to be a pocket passer like Gruden wants or gets injured, all the receivers suffer. Reed is an exceptional talent, but his history of concussions and crowded talent in Washington’s passing game combine to make him a bit of a risk. Things could easily turn around, but at the moment he might not be worth all the preseason hype.