Stock Up: RB Todd Gurley
Gurley returns to the state of Georgia, where the Falcons are going to give him the chance to be the main bell-cow running back after sharing time in Los Angeles. Can Gurley handle 20-25 touches per game? I am not sure, but the opportunity will be there, which is all fantasy owners can hope. Gurley will probably go in the late fourth round and could be a potential steal.
Stock Down: QB Matt Ryan
With Gurley now in town, it is obvious the Falcons want to run the ball a bit more than in seasons’ past. Additionally, Ryan’s road game roommate, tight end Austin Hooper, has left to sign with Cleveland in free agency. I still like Ryan as a low-end QB1, but I think his 4,900 passing yard season of 2018 is more of an outlier than the norm.
Stock Up: TE Ian Thomas
Thomas flashed over the past two seasons as a backup, but with Greg Olsen gone, he will be highly involved in the offense as the Panthers’ starter. I always say that opportunity equals fantasy points, and Thomas should have a chance to catch four to five targets per week in Joe Brady’s RPO offense.
Stock Down: WR Curtis Samuel
I made a point to try to draft Curtis Samuel in all my leagues last season. However, with the free-agent signing of Robby Anderson and the fact that the offense must feed Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, I wonder if this could be a long season for Samuel owners.
New Orleans Saints
Stock Up: WR Emmanuel Sanders
The Saints finally went out and brought in a legitimate WR2 to complement Michael Thomas. Drew Brees will love throwing to Sanders, who excels at running crisp routes all over the field. Sanders might not score a ton of touchdowns, but in PPR formats, he could easily have 75-80 catches in the Saints potent offense.
Stock Down: RB Latavius Murray
The word out of New Orleans last season was that running back Alvin Kamara was only playing at 75 percent due to an injured leg. Looking back, this seems likely as Kamara only had 14 carries or more one time after Week 6. If Kamara is back to getting his usually 18-22 touches, Murray will see a decrease in his overall numbers. While I can still see him being the short-yardage running back and suitable for standard leagues, I anticipate lowering him on my PPR draft boards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stock Up: QB Tom Brady
There will be some fantasy owners who think that Brady’s skills have diminished based on last year’s mediocre performance. I could not disagree with that assessment more strongly. Brady had virtually no weapons in New England and only felt comfortable throwing to Julian Edelman. In Tampa, he has two of the best receivers in the game in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, plus tight end Rob Gronkowski ended his retirement to come back to play with Brady for another shot at a Super Bowl. Look for Brady to have close to 4,500 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, making him a definite QB1 this season.
Stock Down: TE O.J. Howard
I want to like Howard, but the problem is that I think head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich don’t like his fit in their offense and would be willing to trade him in a heartbeat if the right deal came along. To make matters worse, Rob Gronkowski signed with the Bucs and will pair up with Tom Brady again, significantly limiting Howard’s chance for production.
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