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Published: Aug. 31, 2015 at 09:59 p.m.
Updated: Sept. 1, 2015 at 12:06 p.m.

Preseason Fantasy Stock Watch

We have reached the halfway point of the preseason schedule and things are starting to come into focus. The good news is that some players have exhibited standout performances on the field. The bad news is that injuries could be opening up opportunities that might not have otherwise existed. As such, there has been some movement in the fantasy stock across the NFL.

10 Photos Total

  • <p>We have a starting quarterback in Buffalo! Tyrod Taylor has been named to the job, ending weeks of speculation. The idea that Taylor would win the gig had been picking up steam throughout training camp and was reinforced by the young quarterback's play during the Bills' preseason games. It's a major stretch to think that Taylor could be more than a late round option as a QB2 this season, but as a starting signal-caller in the National Football League, there is certainly some value there. Even more when you consider Taylor's ability to run with the football. </p> 10

    Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills

    We have a starting quarterback in Buffalo! Tyrod Taylor has been named to the job, ending weeks of speculation. The idea that Taylor would win the gig had been picking up steam throughout training camp and was reinforced by the young quarterback's play during the Bills' preseason games. It's a major stretch to think that Taylor could be more than a late round option as a QB2 this season, but as a starting signal-caller in the National Football League, there is certainly some value there. Even more when you consider Taylor's ability to run with the football.

  • <p>We have a starting quarterback in the nation's capital! Although, maybe I shouldn't be quite so excited about this one. Cousins will be the starter for Washington over Robert Griffin III, but it feels like the Michigan State product sort of backed into this job. Neither of the team's options at the position have played particularly well in the preseason (or in the regular season for that matter), but hey ... Cousins is a starting signal-caller in the National Football League, amirite? </p> 9

    Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington

    We have a starting quarterback in the nation's capital! Although, maybe I shouldn't be quite so excited about this one. Cousins will be the starter for Washington over Robert Griffin III, but it feels like the Michigan State product sort of backed into this job. Neither of the team's options at the position have played particularly well in the preseason (or in the regular season for that matter), but hey ... Cousins is a starting signal-caller in the National Football League, amirite?

  • <p>There have been plenty of concerns about Manning heading into his 18th NFL season. Stories about the veteran still having <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000515217/article/peyton-manning-still-doesnt-have-feeling-in-fingertips" target="_blank">numbness in his fingertips</a> aren't encouraging. What's even less encouraging is watching the future Hall of Famer struggle with his accuracy throwing the ball downfield. It's probably too soon to say that Manning has morphed into Alex Smith right before our eyes, but it should remind fantasy enthusiasts that the days of The Sheriff posting ridonkulous fantasy numbers are probably in the rearview mirror.</p> 8

    Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

    There have been plenty of concerns about Manning heading into his 18th NFL season. Stories about the veteran still having numbness in his fingertips aren't encouraging. What's even less encouraging is watching the future Hall of Famer struggle with his accuracy throwing the ball downfield. It's probably too soon to say that Manning has morphed into Alex Smith right before our eyes, but it should remind fantasy enthusiasts that the days of The Sheriff posting ridonkulous fantasy numbers are probably in the rearview mirror.

  • <p>I want to love Alfred Morris. I really do. I also want Jay Gruden and his coaching staff to love Alfred Morris. But they don't seem to. I mean, would you allow someone you love to run behind <em>that</em> offensive line? No, you wouldn't. Also, would you try to replace someone you love with Matt Jones? Not likely. Don't look for Morris' numbers to completely fall off a cliff, but with Morris set to hit free agency after this season, the search for his replacement could be underway.</p> 7

    Alfred Morris, RB, Washington

    I want to love Alfred Morris. I really do. I also want Jay Gruden and his coaching staff to love Alfred Morris. But they don't seem to. I mean, would you allow someone you love to run behind that offensive line? No, you wouldn't. Also, would you try to replace someone you love with Matt Jones? Not likely. Don't look for Morris' numbers to completely fall off a cliff, but with Morris set to hit free agency after this season, the search for his replacement could be underway.

  • <p>For a second time this preseason, rookie Melvin Gordon looked less-than-special running the football in San Diego's zone blocking scheme. Meanwhile, Woodhead saw plenty of action both as a runner and receiver for the Chargers offense. Fantasy managers are just beginning to remember how much of an integral part of the offense Woodhead has been. But for the moment he remains a late-round bargain. It will be interesting to see how that changes as we approach the start of the regular season.</p> 6

    Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers

    For a second time this preseason, rookie Melvin Gordon looked less-than-special running the football in San Diego's zone blocking scheme. Meanwhile, Woodhead saw plenty of action both as a runner and receiver for the Chargers offense. Fantasy managers are just beginning to remember how much of an integral part of the offense Woodhead has been. But for the moment he remains a late-round bargain. It will be interesting to see how that changes as we approach the start of the regular season.

  • <p>Randle hasn't exactly done anything wrong this preseason. Then again, he hasn't done anything so right as to pull away in the competition with Darren McFadden. All offseason, the Cowboys coaches have talked about this backfield being a committee in 2015. Now the idea of a rotation gains even more credibility when owner Jerry Jones <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000518588/article/cowboys-comfortable-with-running-back-committee" target="_blank">expresses his comfort level</a> with not having one workhorse. Randle might well end up being the starter, but what good is that if you're only getting 12-15 touches per game?</p> 5

    Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    Randle hasn't exactly done anything wrong this preseason. Then again, he hasn't done anything so right as to pull away in the competition with Darren McFadden. All offseason, the Cowboys coaches have talked about this backfield being a committee in 2015. Now the idea of a rotation gains even more credibility when owner Jerry Jones expresses his comfort level with not having one workhorse. Randle might well end up being the starter, but what good is that if you're only getting 12-15 touches per game?

  • <p>One of the biggest surprises in the first round of cuts was Fred Jackson being released by the Buffalo Bills. But the departure of the veteran opens up the Bills' No. 2 running back job behind LeSean McCoy. While there are several options available to Rex Ryan (Bryce Brown, Anthony "Boobie" Dixon), it looks like Williams will get the first shot at the job. Drafting a handcuff to McCoy is a questionable strategy this season. But if you're about that life, then Williams is probably going to be your man.</p> 4

    Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills

    One of the biggest surprises in the first round of cuts was Fred Jackson being released by the Buffalo Bills. But the departure of the veteran opens up the Bills' No. 2 running back job behind LeSean McCoy. While there are several options available to Rex Ryan (Bryce Brown, Anthony "Boobie" Dixon), it looks like Williams will get the first shot at the job. Drafting a handcuff to McCoy is a questionable strategy this season. But if you're about that life, then Williams is probably going to be your man.

  • <p>You have to imagine that Mason is getting nauseous from the offseason roller coaster he's ridden. After ending the season on a high note, Mason's stock dips when the Rams drafted Todd Gurley. News that Gurley might not be ready for Week 1 causes Mason's stock to swing upward. Now comes word that the second-year running back has a hamstring injury and could be questionable for the regular season opener. Why can't the Rams just have nice things?</p> 3

    Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

    You have to imagine that Mason is getting nauseous from the offseason roller coaster he's ridden. After ending the season on a high note, Mason's stock dips when the Rams drafted Todd Gurley. News that Gurley might not be ready for Week 1 causes Mason's stock to swing upward. Now comes word that the second-year running back has a hamstring injury and could be questionable for the regular season opener. Why can't the Rams just have nice things?

  • <p>Speaking of nice things ... what did Cam Newton do to anger the football gods? First he loses Kelvin Benjamin for the season with a knee injury. Then rookie Devin Funchess suffers a hamstring injury over the weekend. While the latter doesn't appear to be serious, it's still a setback for a player that is expected to have a large learning curve this season. A year that looked like it would have plenty of promise for a Newton resurgence is starting to look worrisome.</p> 2

    Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

    Speaking of nice things ... what did Cam Newton do to anger the football gods? First he loses Kelvin Benjamin for the season with a knee injury. Then rookie Devin Funchess suffers a hamstring injury over the weekend. While the latter doesn't appear to be serious, it's still a setback for a player that is expected to have a large learning curve this season. A year that looked like it would have plenty of promise for a Newton resurgence is starting to look worrisome.

  • <p>Khalil Mack is looking like he'll be a beast in his second season. Pairing him with veteran pass rusher Justin Tuck could make the Raiders front formidable in 2015. Meanwhile the secondary is anchored by the ageless Charles Woodson. Make no mistake, the Raider defense won't be a hot fantasy commodity this season but they do have some <a href="http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap3000000515921/article/deep-dive-finding-valuable-sleepers-late-in-drafts" target="_blank">deep sleeper appeal</a> and could be a waiver-wire option later in the year. </p> 1

    Oakland Raiders D/ST

    Khalil Mack is looking like he'll be a beast in his second season. Pairing him with veteran pass rusher Justin Tuck could make the Raiders front formidable in 2015. Meanwhile the secondary is anchored by the ageless Charles Woodson. Make no mistake, the Raider defense won't be a hot fantasy commodity this season but they do have some deep sleeper appeal and could be a waiver-wire option later in the year.