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Preseason Highs

We recently focused on some players whose values took a hit this preseason. For all of them, the last four weeks have been simply brutal for their dynasty value. While their owners cry a quiet tear, we’ve seen several other players emerge and become much more valuable assets in dynasty leagues during the same period of time. Here’s a list of the biggest risers from the preseason:

Felix Jones, RB DAL
Jones has always been a tease in fantasy leagues. He has so much explosive potential, but it’s always just seemed to be just that – potential. If this preseason is any indication, this looks like the year he finally becomes a viable weapon in fantasy leagues. He’s looked the part of a featured back in a dynamic offense and has had little competition for carries thus far.

Chris Wells, RB ARI
Wells started camp off right by holding off Ryan Williams for the starting job. After Williams went down, it solidified the fact that Beanie has this season to finally prove he can be a consistent fantasy force. Owners who drafted in new dynasty leagues a month ago got an absolute steal in Wells.

Reggie Bush, RB MIA
When he signed in Miami, most figured he would be a good third down option and gadget player for the Dolphins. His steadfast dedication to prove naysayers wrong, combined with the disappointing preseason of Daniel Thomas have him in line to be the featured back in Miami this season. We still believe he’s a viable sell candidate, but he’s squarely back on the fantasy map.

Ben Tate, RB HOU
Tate has gone from being on the roster bubble to being one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy football. After finally getting himself healthy, Tate showed everyone why the Texans believed he could be their featured back last season. While Arian Foster remains the bellcow in Houston, just remember that talented running backs always get their chance.

Colt McCoy, QB CLE
You can’t put too much stock into the preseason, but you can’t deny it, either. McCoy simply looked like a different player this season and it seems like the new offense fits his skill set beautifully. For the first time since Tim Couch was drafted, there seems to be hope for the quarterback position in Cleveland.

Tim Hightower, RB WAS
Nobody on this list has risen higher than Hightower this offseason. A month ago, he was looking at a year in Arizona as a situational back in the mix with Chris Wells and Ryan Williams. He now looks like a viable RB2 in the short term as the unquestioned starter in Washington. While that may not last as long as you’d hope with Shanahan at the helm, it’s still a huge boost to his value.

Randall Cobb, WR GB
Cobb is still buried on the depth chart in Green Bay, but it was very apparent early on that he has the “it” factor. It wouldn’t surprise us a bit to see him replace Donald Driver sooner rather than later, even with the existence of James Jones and Jordy Nelson on the roster.

Denarius Moore, WR OAK
We like to give credit where credit is due and Bill Williamson of ESPN wrote a very good piece on Denarius Moore today. Fact is, Moore looks to be more than just a flash in the pan. We haven’t seen a late round receiver get this much positive press since Marques Colston. It’s high praise, but it seems he’s earned it thus far. Now, can he deliver when the games count?

Stevan Ridley, RB NE
While most dynasty owners targeted Shane Vereen as the rookie to own in New England, Ridley worked his way up the depth chart with a very strong preseason. He’ll make the roster and is a serious threat to overtake BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the short yardage back sooner rather than later. In fact, he showed the ability to possibly be much more down the road.

Lance Kendricks, TE STL
Kendricks was supposed to be a developmental prospect and future contributor for the Rams. It looks like his first contribution will come next Sunday instead. He looks to be a future TE1 in fantasy and owners who rolled the dice on him early in the Summer hit the jackpot.

Matt Stafford, QB DET
Stafford proved without a doubt that his health is the only thing standing in the way of him being a QB1 in dynasty leagues. If he can stay upright, he honestly has top five potential at one of the most coveted positions in fantasy.

Cecil Shorts, WR JAX
Much like Denarius Moore, Shorts was an afterthought in early rookie drafts. Many Jaguar writers are predicting Shorts could be the best receiving weapon for the Jags as early as this season. While that seems a little unreasonable, it’s still significant since they see him in practice each day.

Julius Thomas, TE DEN
Thomas should compete with Lance Kendricks for tight end rookie of the year honors in fantasy. He lit up camp early on and never stopped making plays. Virgil Green has to wonder how that all happened.

Jahvid Best, RB DET
The concussions are a serious concern, so you have to temper your expectations. However, he’s looked great in practice and seems to be over the foot issues that dogged him last season. Combine that with Leshoure’s season ending injury and Best will have a chance to make a huge impact this season. Can he stay healthy?

Da’Rel Scott, RB NYG
There was some thought that Scott could be stashed on the practice squad this season. After a preseason that featured him running through the opposing defenses with ease, there’s no chance of that happening. Scott is a worthy long-term project for dynasty teams.

Those are just a few of the players who gained significant value over the past month. There are sure to be more after an exciting weekend of roster trimming – keep it here at DLF to keep yourself up to date all weekend long!

Ken Kelly
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Happiness
11 years ago

Forgetting Antonio Brown? Kendall Hunter? Julio Jones?

DLF_KenK
11 years ago

All worthy candidates, but I had to stop somewhere! I would agree on all of those.

Brown has certianly risen and we featured him on the watch list this past week. It’s a little unclear how much with Sanders coming back, but he’s become roster worthy for sure.

Hunter seems to have vaulted himself to the backup spot, though Dixon is still in the mix somewhat there. We do like his potential, though. He’s looked great.

As far as Jones goes, he’s solidified his spot as a top three rookie pick. I’m not sure it’s risen much more than been solidified. Regardless, he looks like a future star.

DLF_KenK
11 years ago

A few others I debated adding were Phillip Tanner, RB DAL; Harry Douglas, WR ATL; Lee Evans, WR BAL; Jeremy Maclin, WR PHI; Brandon Jacobs, RB NYG; Aaron Brown, RB DET; Joe Mays LB DEN; Casey Matthews LB PHI; Deji Karim, RB JAX; Jake Locker, QB TEN; Greg Olsen, TE CAR and that’s just off the top of my head.

Fun times for sure!

DLF_SteveA
11 years ago

Now that the Cowboys decided to keep 4 half backs on their roster (and assuming they don’t trade one of them), I think it’s going to be hard for Jason Garrett to feel comfortable giving him more than 200-225 carries this season. Should be interesting.

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