In Part Three of the Risers and Fallers list for Week 2, I will be discussing the wide receivers and tight ends who have increased and decreased their values following Week 1 on the 2014 NFL season and whether you should Buy, Sell or Hold them.
RisersMr Miyagi would be proud.
Antonio Brown, PIT:
Typically when a wide receiver goes up against Joe Haden, you sit him…unless your name is Antonio Brown. Last season, Brown averaged a shade under 90 yards per game against Haden and whipped him to the tune of 116 yards and a score on Sunday. As Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target, Brown will see more targets than some WR duos see on other teams combined, leading to high-end WR1 numbers week in and week out as he did last season. BUY before his owner knows what he’s got, he may even be had at a slight discount if he gets suspended for the best moment of Week 1:
Kelvin Benjamin, CAR:
There was never a question about Benjamin’s talent coming into this year, the issue was whether he could be consistent enough to warrant WR3/Flex value on a week to week basis. Considering just how dominant he was against the Bucs on Sunday (without Cam for that matter) I think that he answered that question with a resounding yes. He is the #1 receiving threat on a team that has needed a physical specimen on the outside since they drafted Cam and will be targeted heavily unless something drastic happens. The man is a monster and he should have no problem debunking the rookie WR curse with ease. BUY
Allen Hurns, JAX:
A preseason darling in the ilk of Victor Cruz in 2010, Hurns came out of nowhere to put up big stats, thanks in part to the various injuries to the Jags wide receiver core during the offseason. Hurns continued to build off that momentum, with his first two career receptions going for touchdowns, finishing with four catches (on nine targets) for 110 yards and two scores and finishing as the #1 scoring WR in standard and PPR leagues for Week 1. Though I don’t see him as only a one-week wonder, a la Eddie Royal last season, I do not expect Hurns’ dominance to continue into weekly WR3 production or better. With Cecil Shorts missing Week 1, there were more targets available to be spread amongst the secondary receiving options and Hurns was the main benefactor on Sunday. With Shorts coming back into the fold and the expected growth of Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson, expecting consistency out of Hurns is not a wise move. SELL if you can, his value won’t be any higher than it is now.
Devin Hester, ATL:
If you’ve watched football at all in the past eight years, you should know who this man is. Known primarily as the most electrifying and accomplished return man in the history of the NFL, Hester has also tried his hand at wide receiver in years past with varying degrees of success. After finally ending his tenure as a member of the Chicago Bears, the Falcons brought Hester in to not only be their return man, but to also contribute in the passing game. With the ball in his hands, there are few talents as electric as Hester in the open field, but we’ve seen this trap before. Don’t write him off immediately, but don’t jump to grab him off the wire just yet. If his production maintains some consistency over the coming weeks, he has value as a bench wide receiver with solid upside as a bye week filler or possibly even flex value. HOLD but trending up quickly.
Dennis Pitta, BAL:
There’s not much more to say than to simply state that Joe Flacco targeted Pitta 15 times for a grand total of 10 catches and 83 yards. There are very few tight ends with that kind of target volume in the NFL which by itself makes Pitta a solid weekly starter. The touchdowns will come as will targets galore. BUY
Zach Ertz, PHI:
Though the Eagles offense failed to get out of the gates early, they eventually put it together after laying a goose egg in the first half and performed to expectations after the break. Though Celek and Ertz both caught three balls, Ertz clearly separated himself as the tight end to own in Philly with his three going for 77 yards and a score vs. Celek’s meager 15 yards. An early favorite of mine, Ertz has begun to lay the groundwork for what is setting up to be a breakout year in an elite offense. Add in his red zone dominance and Ertz has high-end TE1 written all over him. BUY BUY BUY
Top 5 Most Added (Yahoo):
Dwayne Allen, IND, TE
Allen Hurns, JAX, WR
Josh Gordon, CLE, WR
Steve Smith Sr., BAL, WR
Malcolm Floyd, SD, WR
Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, TB:
This has more to do with Josh McCown not being as reliable as we thought than Jackson’s and Evans’ individual talent level. Hopefully, the output from both Jackson and Evans was more a byproduct of playing a stout Carolina defense, but if the line continues to struggle and McCown does not bounce back in a big way, they could fall fast. HOLD, but they could both fall in a big way.
Brian Hartline, MIA:
I already did not like Hartline as a low ceiling/high floor type of receiver and his usage on Sunday did not do him any favors. With Mike Wallace being a more effective target paired with Tannehill’s limited ceiling in the weekly passing game, Hartline does not look like he will have the week-to-week consistency he has had in past years. He could still have value on some weeks, but his high weekly floor has dropped to moderate at best. SELL
Jordan Reed, WSH:
The durability concerns reared their ugly head earlier than anticipated with Reed. Already in danger of being knocked out for lengthy periods of time if he gets another concussion, Reed is now looking at a lengthy spell out of the Redskins lineup with a hamstring injury. His upside is still massive, but he’s a poor man’s Gronk with equal or greater injury concerns. SELL
Ladarius Green, SD:
There is no question that Green will be a TE1 for seasons to come when Antonio Gates finally retires, but until he does, Green has little upside in redraft leagues. Green only saw two targets and surrendered snaps to Eddie Royal throughout the game while Gates saw 10 targets good for six catches and 81 yards. As long as Gates is healthy, he will continue to out produce Green with consistency. Even more concerning, Green was playing on Special Teams, which is typically left for the reserves and backups that aren’t expected to see much of the field on offense or defense. His usage should improve over the course of the season, but he will never hit TE1 value this season playing behind Gates. SELL
Top 5 Most Dropped (Yahoo):
Jordan Reed, WAS, TE
Rueben Randle, NYG, WR
Ladarius Green, SD, TE
Cody Latimer, DEN, WR
Tyler Eifert, CIN, TE