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Fantasy Football Stock Report: August 2nd

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Fantasy Stock

Fantasy Football Stock

Training camp has begun and even though it’s very early in the 2012 NFL season, there’s already plenty of newsworthy events and rumors for the savvy fantasy football owners to be aware of. As with any stock market, there will be highs and lows, good and bad.

Here’s a look at some of the more important headlines that could have a positive affect on your upcoming fantasy draft and who is trending up and who is falling off. Updated through Thursday, August 2nd.

Stock UpStock Up

Kevin Smith (RB)- Apparently forgotten incumbent starter Kevin Smith is making the most of Detroit’s injury-plagued group of running backs. Smith has looked healthy and comfortable in the backfield, while Mikel LeShoure and Jahvid Best have yet to take the field. According to head coach Jim Schwartz, there’s not even a timetable for Best to return anytime soon. Meanwhile LeShoure will begin the season serving a two game suspension, further opening the door for Smith to make an early fantasy impact.

Kyle Rudolph (TE)- Numerous reports have said that the second year tight end has looked like the Vikings “best player in camp”.  With veteran Visanthe Shiancoe now plying his trade in New England, Rudolph should be heavily utilized in the Minnesota offense- one that’s sure to be playing with a lot of second half deficits. He has a chance to be an excellent sleeper target as Christian Ponder‘s safety valve.

Tim Tebow (QB)- While we all expected to see the Jets utilize Tebow as a short yardage specialist and red zone threat, New York’s first week of practices have confirmed it. New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano will indeed serve up a healthy portion of his infamous “Wild Cat” offense and Tebow will he heavily utilized as a goal-line runner and occasional passer. The Jets passed an unusually high percentage of the time in the red zone last season, so expect Mark Sanchez‘s touchdown passes to plummet while Tebow could put up some occasionally useful fantasy numbers that could justify a late round fantasy selection.

Jacquizz Rodgers (RB)- ESPN is reporting that they expect the Falcons to heavily involve Rodgers in their offense, not just as a third down back, but perhaps heavily spelling Michael Turner throughout the season. Rodgers is only currently being chosen as a RB4 or RB5, mainly in PPR formats, but his role in the offense will certainly be something for fantasy football owners to monitor in the next month.

Evan Royster (RB)- Royster continues to look impressive in camp and is taking a significant portion of first-team reps in the Redskins’ backfield. His current ADP number is all the way down at 199.23, so he represents a tremendous, low-risk target late in fantasy drafts. Keep in mind that Mike Shanahan will likely utilize a rotation that will be frustrating and difficult to predict.

Stock DownStock Down

Ben Roethlisberger (QB)- It’s been a rough offseason for the Steelers offense. Longtime offensive coordinator, and Roethlisberger enthusiast Bruce Arians is gone, so Pittsburgh will have to learn an entirely new offense under his replacement, Todd Haley. Furthermore, the backfield situation is unclear, as starter Rashard Mendenhall is expected to begin the season on the PUP list. Star wide-out Mike Wallace may miss significant time with a contract holdout and the Steelers seem to be ready to move on without him. Now reports are breaking that Big Ben has a “partially torn rotator-cuff.” These are all troubling signs for a dependable fantasy signal-caller.

Jahvid Best (RB)- As mentioned, Jim Schwartz stated that Best won’t be back in the foreseeable future. Additionally, the NFL will apparently be involved in monitoring Best’s recovery from concussions and will help determine if and when it is safe for him to return to practice. With the NFL facing so much scrutiny and lawsuits about concussions and health, you can bet that Best will face a very stringent series of tests and specialists before he can earn any playing time, much less fantasy value.

Santonio Holmes (WR)- With significant changes to New York’s offense already threatening Holmes’s potential, now the team’s top wide receiver is sitting out of practice for undisclosed reasons. Though possibly just a minor conditioning or nagging injury concern, Holmes has been plagued by attitude and effort issues in the past and changes to the team’s offense or his role won’t help his already-waning fantasy stock.

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