Whose Stocks Is Falling
It's now one more day closer to draft day, and the time for evaluating players is running out. Here is a list of the top 5 players that joined the bear market as their fantasy draft stock took a hit after week 2 of the preseason. As this list shows, it's time to adjust those mid-round RB rankings.
1. Montee Ball - Ball was the most hyped rookie running back over the summer, but after his performance in the second week of the preseason, all fantasy owners should drop him from their draftable list. Ball broke the most sacred rule in Denver this year, which is, never let Peyton get hit. It happened on a 3rd and 5 play. Peyton dropped back and Ball was supposed to protect the middle from an oncoming rusher. Ball hit his spot in time, but gave the oncoming Seattle rusher a mild chest bump instead of a true NFL block. Peyton completed the pass, but the Seahawks rusher went straight through Ball and put Manning in the dirt. Then on a different series, Ball did his best impression of a "soccer flop" block and the Seattle rusher hopped over him and chased Peyton to the sidelines. If Manning does not trust an RB to protect him, then that running back does not get on the field.
2. Le'Veon Bell - Bell was also an extremely hyped rookie in the offseason, and like Montee Ball, he has failed to live up to the hype during the preseason. Bell did not play in the Steelers' first preseason game, and he only had 4 carries for 9 yards in their second preseason game. And to add an injury to insult, Bell suffered a foot injury that has now required a second opinion on how to move forward. Bell's fantasy draft stock took a massive hit in week 2 of the preseason, and it appears he may not have a chance to increase his value over the rest of the preseason.
3. Giants RB's - Wilson and Brown both had decent performances in their game against the Colts, and that was the problem. Wilson had 8 carries for 34 yards, and Brown had 8 carries for 36 yards. The stats that the Giants' running backs put up look like a complete and utter timeshare. Also, the Giants website list both Wilson and Brown as #1 running backs. Wilson is the more explosive of the two RB's, but all signs so far this preseason are pointing to that most hated scenario in the Fantasy Football World, a true running back committee.
4. Lamar Miller - For the second time in the preseason, Lamar Miller failed to wow the crowd with his super-hyped playmaking ability. Miller did score a rushing TD against Houston in the Dolphins second preseason game, but Daniel Thomas had a better stat line against the Texans. The Dolphins offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, stated that Miller and Thomas are in a "neck and neck" race to earn the starting job. Lamar Miller's draft stock is hanging by a thread, and if he is not named the starter by fantasy draft day, then his value will plummet.
5. Ronnie Hillman - Hillman was put on top of the Broncos' first depth chart, and he has performed well this preseason. Hillman's pass protection has looked much improved from last year, and that was a must for him to earn playing time. The reason Hillman's fantasy stock has taken a hit after preseason week 2 is that he had two fumbles in the game against the Seahawks. If Hillman can rebound next week against the Rams, then he may prove to be a draft day steal. However, if Hillman appears shaky against St. Louis, then it might be time to push Knowshon Moreno up the draft rankings.