Week 1 is in the books and the 2021 NFL Season is in full effect! Some fantasy managers rejoiced as they were able to kick off their season with a win, and others are adjusting their lineups to avoid the slippery losing-streak slope. We watched Baltimore lose another running back prior to the start of the weekend. Melvin Gordon proved me wrong and showed his fantasy relevance. Amari Cooper is on a mission to prove that he is the best receiver in the NFL. And Jameis for MVP? Let’s dive in and see where the stocks are at for a couple of players in this week’s article.
Stock Up – Deebo Samuel, WR San Francisco
Deebo Samuel put up an impressive performance for fantasy managers in Week 1 and could have very well earned himself some target shares from either Jimmy G or Trey Lance. Those targets may drop a bit whenever Brandon Aiyuk finds himself in the lineup, but until then I am buying Deebo stock as much as I can. The 49ers play Philly this week and Samuel could very well be the recipient of some target shares as well. Is he the number one target? I believe that still belongs to one, George Kittle. However, Samuel is still worth a WR2 or FLEX spot in your lineup. Stock up because this could be Deebo’s year.
Stock Up – Ja’Marr Chase, WR Cincinnati
Mr. Chase caught a lot of grief after he was quoted in an article, stating that the transition to the NFL has been hard for him BECAUSE THE BALL IS HARDER TO SEE WITHOUT THE WHITE STRIPES. Many fantasy managers questioned drafting the former LSU product, those in dynasty leagues snatched him up early in the first round. Those who rostered Chase most likely had him on their bench, not expecting the rookie to put up relevant numbers. Although now, you have to wonder if the connection between Burrow and Chase has been reestablished. The ceiling is high and you should be buying.
Stock Down – Saquon Barkley, RB New York Giants
By no means am I saying Saquon Barkley is not good. Don’t get his stock dropping confused with his talent. He is perfectly capable of being the back he once was…however this is a product of the offense he finds himself in. An offense with Daniel Jones at the helm who struggles to complete rewarding passes – his lone touchdown coming off a Sterling Shepard reception in which he broke two tackles to find the end zone. An offense that had Daniel Jones throw the ball 37 times. An offense that only ran the ball a total of 20 times, Saquon accounting for half of those rushes. It makes sense though, the Giants did say they would ease Barkley into their game plan. Barkley may be better off on the bench until he begins to get more shares.
Stock Down – Terry McLaurin, WR Washington
Much like Barkley, this is not due to his talent, but completely due to the situation in Washington. The Football Team offense threw the ball a total of 18 times, with McLaurin logging 4 catches on 4 targets for 62 yards. Taylor Heinicke took over after Ryan Fitzpatrick had to leave the game due to injury and to his credit, did not do a bad job. But the soon to be renamed Football Team does not run a high octane offense. Therefore, the expectations for the receiving corps drop a bit. Out of the receivers on Washington, McLaurin is the guy you can trust the most in this scenario, but don’t expect explosive numbers.