Photo Essays  

 

Published: Dec. 26, 2014 at 02:17 p.m.

Fantasy Stock Watch Week 17

The NFL changes in an instant, which is why it's important to stay abreast of how your players are looking prior to Sundays. Below is a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling, as we approach Week 17 and the fantasy playoffs. Keep an eye on these players heading into Sunday to help make the right choices for your fantasy lineup, as their stock could be on the move again before kickoff.

9 Photos Total

  • <p>Not that long ago it seemed like the Raiders wanted to silence the hype roar growing around Murray. Now? Interim head coach Tony Sparano has admitted Murray can be <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000449354/article/tony-sparano-latavius-murray-can-be-a-feature-back" target="new">a No. 1 back</a>. This is something fantasy fans have known since watching Murray give the Raiders a much needed spark on offense. But to hear it come from the brass in Oakland is a great sign for Murray's stock next season as well.</p> 9

    Michael Zito/Associated Press

    Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

    Not that long ago it seemed like the Raiders wanted to silence the hype roar growing around Murray. Now? Interim head coach Tony Sparano has admitted Murray can be a No. 1 back. This is something fantasy fans have known since watching Murray give the Raiders a much needed spark on offense. But to hear it come from the brass in Oakland is a great sign for Murray's stock next season as well.

  • <p>Jackson has been battling a quad injury suffered in Week 16, and it's now looking like he <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000449380/article/injury-roundup-julio-jones-questionable-vs-panthers" target="new">might be sitting out</a> of the NFC South championship game this Sunday between the Falcons and Panthers. Jackson's status could change before Sunday, but as of right now it's not looking good. Which paves the way for ... </p> 8

    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

    Jackson has been battling a quad injury suffered in Week 16, and it's now looking like he might be sitting out of the NFC South championship game this Sunday between the Falcons and Panthers. Jackson's status could change before Sunday, but as of right now it's not looking good. Which paves the way for ...

  • <p>Hooray! We might finally get a chance to see one of my offseason sleepers (whoops!) get significant action on Sunday. Of course, once Jackson left in Week 16, the team turned to Jacquizz Rodgers on more snaps than Freeman, but it was Freeman who looked electric on his 31-yard touchdown run. Freeman could be a sneaky flex play this week if you're league is still going, and he's a great bargain in daily fantasy as well.</p> 7

    Rogelio Solis/Associated Press

    Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

    Hooray! We might finally get a chance to see one of my offseason sleepers (whoops!) get significant action on Sunday. Of course, once Jackson left in Week 16, the team turned to Jacquizz Rodgers on more snaps than Freeman, but it was Freeman who looked electric on his 31-yard touchdown run. Freeman could be a sneaky flex play this week if you're league is still going, and he's a great bargain in daily fantasy as well.

  • <p>After Stanton suffered a sprained MCL and ACL earlier this year, the hope for the Cardinals was that he'd be able to return for the playoffs. Unfortunately, that might not be the case anymore after Stanton underwent arthroscopic surgery to clear an infection. Fantasy owners likely hadn't been betting on Stanton for Week 17, but if you were hoping to pin your hopes on the Cardinal quarterback for an <a href="http://playoffchallenge.fantasy.nfl.com/" target="new">NFL Playoff Challenge</a> run, you might need to rethink your strategy. </p> 6

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Drew Stanton, QB, Arizona Cardinals

    After Stanton suffered a sprained MCL and ACL earlier this year, the hope for the Cardinals was that he'd be able to return for the playoffs. Unfortunately, that might not be the case anymore after Stanton underwent arthroscopic surgery to clear an infection. Fantasy owners likely hadn't been betting on Stanton for Week 17, but if you were hoping to pin your hopes on the Cardinal quarterback for an NFL Playoff Challenge run, you might need to rethink your strategy.

  • <p>Green has been seen <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000419693/article/injury-roundup-vontaze-burfict-undergoes-knee-surgery" target="new">practicing this week</a>, even participating in position drills. That's great news for his fantasy owners who have been waiting patiently for him to return to the field. Green is likely to start on Sunday against the Jaguars, and if he does he should be starting for your fantasy teams as well.</p> 5

    Paul Jasienski/Associated Press

    A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

    Green has been seen practicing this week, even participating in position drills. That's great news for his fantasy owners who have been waiting patiently for him to return to the field. Green is likely to start on Sunday against the Jaguars, and if he does he should be starting for your fantasy teams as well.

  • <p>In a shocking twist, the Chiefs announced that Alex Smith will be inactive for Sunday's game with a lacerated spleen. Chase Daniels will start in Smith's stead. It's unlikely that anyone still playing would have been relying on Smith this week, but just in case get him out of your lineups. Also, Daniels and Albert Wilson make for an interesting (and affordable) daily fantasy stack.</p> 4

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

    In a shocking twist, the Chiefs announced that Alex Smith will be inactive for Sunday's game with a lacerated spleen. Chase Daniels will start in Smith's stead. It's unlikely that anyone still playing would have been relying on Smith this week, but just in case get him out of your lineups. Also, Daniels and Albert Wilson make for an interesting (and affordable) daily fantasy stack.

  • <p>Bell has been dealing with an Achilles injury but was a full participant in practice on Thursday and is likely to earn a probable tag for this weekend's NFC North championship bout in Green Bay. Bell will be a solid RB2. if your team is still in need of his services.</p> 3

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

    Bell has been dealing with an Achilles injury but was a full participant in practice on Thursday and is likely to earn a probable tag for this weekend's NFC North championship bout in Green Bay. Bell will be a solid RB2. if your team is still in need of his services.

  • <p>Mathews missed much of the season with a sprained MCL injury, and it now looks like an ankle injury will continue to cost him even more time. Mathews has missed the last two games and has missed practice time this week as well. The Chargers have a capable backup in Branden Oliver, and right now it's looking like they'll lean on him one more time rather than risking Mathews aggravating his injury. </p> 2

    Peter Read Miller/Associated Press

    Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

    Mathews missed much of the season with a sprained MCL injury, and it now looks like an ankle injury will continue to cost him even more time. Mathews has missed the last two games and has missed practice time this week as well. The Chargers have a capable backup in Branden Oliver, and right now it's looking like they'll lean on him one more time rather than risking Mathews aggravating his injury.

  • Julio Jones has sat out of practice all week, but there's still a relatively good chance he could play on Sunday. Owners relying on Jones will likely be waiting until the last second on Sunday before knowing if they can rely on the uber-talented wideout in the final week of the season. 1

    Rogelio Solis/Associated Press

    Julio Jones, WR Atlanta Falcons

    Julio Jones has sat out of practice all week, but there's still a relatively good chance he could play on Sunday. Owners relying on Jones will likely be waiting until the last second on Sunday before knowing if they can rely on the uber-talented wideout in the final week of the season.