Ding! We are right around a week away from the beginning of the 2021 NFL Season and there are already teams on the verge of a disaster season. There are also teams who had players flat-out explode and shine bright. This past week, there were a few players whose stock has risen and needs to be bought now, as well as players needing to grab some pine on your bench spots. Here we go!
Stock Up – Mekhi Sargent, RB Tennessee
You could call this a biased pick, but the former Hawkeye was impressive this past Saturday. Rushing for 78 yards on 16 carries is not eye-popping, but it’s a very bright spot for an otherwise lackluster Titans rushing attack – outside of Derrick Henry of course. Sargent made a very strong case for the third spot in the depth chart over Brian Hill, who only managed 24 yards out of his 10 carries. In deep dynasty leagues, Sargent is worth a stash option. Bold prediction? Mekhi Sargent overtakes Darrynton Evans and finds his way as the backup to King Derrick Henry.
Stock Up – Myles Gaskin, RB Miami
Odds are, Myles Gaskin is not available in most fantasy leagues. However, if you do happen to have Gaskin on your squad, he may be worth plugging into the starting lineup. The Dolphins are planning on using a three-back committee approach this season, but Gaskin should be the most productive. Probably the best receiving back of the three, Gaskin should garner some James White-esque targets. The third-year back ran the ball six times for 27 yards and a touchdown, while also catching four passes on four targets for 44 yards and a touchdown. Teammate Malcolm Brown may have carried the ball more, and even found the end zone himself, but in PPR formats, Gaskin is the clear choice.
Stock Up – Jameis Winston, QB New Orleans
Get your napkin bib ready and eat a W! In start-up leagues, Jameis is a very sneaky pick near the bottom of the draft pool. Listed as the No.29 QB available, and the No. 207 player on the board, Winston offers a low floor and high ceiling. He may surrender some playing time to Taysom Hill, but if the Saints plan on utilizing Marquez Calloway correctly, they will need to throw the ball deep. This is where Winston will come into play. If Michael Thomas plays for the Saints at all this season, this makes the Winston pick that much sweeter. Grab Winston as a backup in the late rounds. You won’t regret it.
Stock Down – Miles Sanders, RB Philadelphia
Every week, Miles Sanders becomes more of a boom or bust view. Especially in a committee backfield and, quite possibly, splitting carries with Boston Scott, Sanders just is not putting up the numbers to impress. Maybe it was just trying to find running room against a very good Patriots run defense, maybe it was due to Philly’s offensive line – allowing four QB sacks – either way, I would be very cautious of Miles Sanders. Stash him for now, but get him out of the starting lineup.
Stock Down – Andy Dalton, QB Chicago
Not that Dalton’s stock was very high to begin with, but time is ticking on the clock in Chicago. Chants of “we want Justin” echoed throughout Soldier Field during last Saturday’s game against Buffalo. As a quarterback not named Justin, that hurts the ego a bit. Dalton will start for the Bears this season, but we are only two games into the preseason, and Bears fans are already demanding to see the rookie play. Dalton was able to find Rodney Adams on a deep 73-yard touchdown pass, but that was his only bright spot by no fault of his own. The offensive line needs to be fixed before this offense is able to do a whole lot, but at least Fields can scramble. Dalton was sacked on 2 of 9 pressures, whereas Fields also took 2 sacks on 5 pressures. The bottom line, stay very far away from the Red Rifle.
Stock Down – Tony Pollard, RB Dallas
For the past three years, Tony Pollard may have been the most popular backup running back in the NFL. It is still the Zeke Show in Dallas and Pollard has now been outshined in both games by South Carolina product, Rico Dowdle. So far, in two games, Pollard has posted nine carries for 33 yards, but to his credit, he did haul in two receptions for 16 yards and a touchdown. Rico, however, has rushed 14 times for 56 yards, also hauling in two receptions for 10 yards. The touchdown is nice, but as far as production is concerned, Big D may be shying away from the former Memphis Tiger.