At this point in training camp, there is news constantly flooding Twitter, Rotoworld, and other sports news platforms. Though some of that is certainly valuable, it’s difficult to sort through important news and noise. That said, this article will discuss three noteworthy reports over the past week with analysis as to how that news affects each players fantasy stock.
Leonard Fournette – Stock Down
Leonard Fournette has played only 12 snaps this preseason and has already been ruled out for the Jaguars’ third preseason game on Thursday night. This missed time is due to a foot injury, which is similar to a condition that he battled during his time at LSU. Despite this news, drafters haven’t flinched as Fournette remains a mid-second round pick according to fantasyfootballcalculator.com.
There is little doubt that Fournette has the prospect pedigree to make an immediate impact at the professional level. However, with either Blake Bortles or Chad Henne leading the offense, there figures to be plenty of turnovers and stalled drives for the Jaguars this season. That will work to hinder Fournette’s chances at reaching the end zone, and thus be a drag on his fantasy value. When it was assumed that Fournette would receive most of the snaps and workload out of the Jaguars backfield, efficiency wasn’t a huge concern because he could simply amass stats like Todd Gurley last season.
With volume now in question as well, however, there are too many unknown circumstances to draft Fournette at his current ADP. With the likes of Amari Cooper and Dez Bryant going immediately after Fournette, this news confirms that it is time to look elsewhere in drafts.
Carlos Hyde – Stock Up
Carlos Hyde played 21 of 24 snaps with the first team offense in the 49ers second preseason game, which included four out of five third down snaps. Meanwhile, Joe Williams, the much-hyped rookie, received only one carry for one yard. This indicates that Hyde is in little to no danger of losing his every-down role with the 49ers this season (at least early on) and that he remains a good option at his current ADP of 3.10.
Despite being a part of a bottom third team offense each of his three seasons in the NFL, Hyde has shown the ability to run efficiently. Not only have his yards per rush been above 4.0 each of the past three seasons, but his elusiveness metrics on playerprofiler.com also reflect that he was deserving of his very solid 4.6 yards per carry last season.
Given the news of Hyde’s workload and the efficiency he has proven capable of throughout his early career, he is being undervalued in current drafts. The aforementioned Leonard Fournette as well Marshawn Lynch, Christian McCaffery, and Dalvin Cook are all being over valued and taken ahead of Hyde. That said: if he remains on the board in the middle of the third round, jump at the chance to take him as a great value.
Cooper Kupp – Stock Up
Cooper Kupp was a divisive prospect throughout the draft process, with film grinders generally viewing him much more favorably than metric evaluators. While it’s too early to declare one side correct, Kupp showed some promise in the Rams’ second preseason game in which he caught 6-of-7 targets for 70 yards and a touchdown.
This news is noteworthy because all of Kupp’s production came with Jared Goff under center. In addition, while the addition of Sammy Watkins suddenly created a competition for the outside receiver roles, Kupp seems to have created a role for himself as the slot receiver. That should give Kupp the chance to develop immediate rapport with Jared Goff.
While this news certainly doesn’t make Kupp a high-end receiving option, it does make him an interesting flier late in drafts in deeper formats. Even if he doesn’t end up finding his way onto your fantasy team during the draft, owners may lose patience and cut him if he gets off to a slow start making him worth monitoring on the waiver wire. Based on his preseason performance, Cooper Kupp should be a name for fantasy owners to know.