This article will provide you with some insight for planning each upcoming fantasy week by detailing five players whose stock is either rising or falling. This should aid you in making waiver claims or maybe sway your decision concerning players that you already have on your roster. Let’s kick things off by looking at five players whose stock is on the upswing.
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland – You’d be hard-pressed to find a late summer trade that had a bigger impact than the one involving Duke Johnson’s move to Houston. Johnson is one of the best pass-catching backs in the league, which means the decision to trade him indicates that Cleveland has a solidified plan for third-down work. Chubb has been a solid pass catcher his whole career and Johnson’s departure opens the door for him to be a bona fide workhorse until Kareem Hunt returns from suspension. His average draft position has climbed a bit, but there’s no reason to be wary of him with your first pick. Chubb is being drafted right where he should be. But now that I’ve brought up the name of Duke Johnson …
Duke Johnson Jr., RB, Houston – The reason for Johnson’s ascension is pretty obvious, but just how high he should be drafted is a much more clouded situation. After he was traded to Houston it was clear he’d be involved as a pass-catcher, but the recent injury to Lamar Miller leapt Johnson into the starting running back discussion. Carlos Hyde was added to replace Miller, but I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Duke Johnson as a lead back. Johnson’s pass-catching chops are well documented, but his lack of volume isn’t because he can’t handle it. Cleveland used Johnson in a satellite role during his time there and it doesn’t mean he can’t see a bigger workload. In his senior season at Miami, Johnson averaged more than 18 carries per game and notched better than a 6.5 yards per carry — which is no joke. Johnson is only 5-foot-9, but he has a body mass index higher than Lamar Miller despite being a couple of inches shorter. It’s possible that “The Grand Duke of Houston” simply never had the chance to be the guy we say he can’t be. We need to treat him like the lead back in a powerful offense until Houston tells us not to.
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago – With apologies to Jon Gruden, “this guy” has shot up the charts faster than anyone. Montgomery was a popular sleeper pick this summer, but his play in the preseason raised the eyebrows of even the most casual fantasy owner. Montgomery’s college statistics were phenomenal, but his combine metrics were just barely above average, which caused a lot of people to climb off the bandwagon. All of that changed in preseason Week 1 when Montgomery flashed on our screens, and the reports out of Chicago camp in the weeks that followed drove his price up even higher. Montgomery has gone as early as the third round in recent drafts. Coach Matt Nagy has discussed the possibility of limiting Tarik Cohen’s touches in the upcoming season, which would be great news for Montgomery. His average draft position is starting to flirt with “yikes” territory, but his price is still reasonable. I wouldn’t have any issue trusting Montgomery as a rock-solid RB2 with an easy path to RB1 numbers if he performs well.
Curtis Samuel, WR, Carolina – D.J. Moore might be listed as Carolina’s WR1, but in reality Samuel is the wide receiver to target if you’re drafting this weekend. I have to draft him almost two rounds earlier these days. Samuel was my pick going into last off-season, and I’ve been beating the drum for him for almost four months. Samuel was pacing alongside Moore in nearly every statistical category that mattered last year and the buzz around camp is that they’ve both taken a leap forward. This may be the most explosive receiving corps that Cam Newton has had in his career, and Samuel should be a force with which to be reckoned. He lit up the charts in every receiving category and myself and others have raved about just how good Samuel is at getting separation while running any kind of route. His draft price is still too low, so don’t hesitate to draft him at his average draft position.
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle – The hype-train is once again moving full steam ahead on a Seattle running back, but this year it’s the right guy. Rashaad Penny is a name that hasn’t gone away since he was drafted in the first round of the 2018 draft, but Chris Carson is the back to own. ris Even though Penny will remain involved, it’s clear Seattle has its heart set on Carson. Mike Davis was shipped off to Chicago, which means that even if Penny’s workload increases there will be plenty of carries to go around. Carson is being drafted as the RB10, but that’s likely his floor if he stays on the field.
And now for the five who are on their way down draft boards.