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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Preston Williams, Henry Ruggs Rising

  • The Draft Network
  • August 26, 2020
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The 2020 NFL season is almost here, and as players continue to workout during this abridged preseason, information is changing rapidly. Each week leading up to the start of the season The Draft Network will take a look at the landscape around the NFL and determine whose fantasy football stock is rising and falling based on the previous week’s happenings. This will be a valuable resource leading up to your fantasy drafts, as it’ll not only update you on what’s going on, but why it matters for fantasy purposes. 

STOCK UP

Henry Ruggs III (WR - LV)

The injury to Tyrell Williams (more on that below) potentially opens things up for a lot of rookie contributors in the Las Vegas Raiders’ receiver room. While it’s good news for those taking a flier on Bryan Edwards late in drafts, it’s even more beneficial for Ruggs. Ruggs is going to be on the field a lot and now will likely see around 90 targets (assuming Williams plays about half a season). His game-breaking speed put to use that frequently moves him into my top 40 wide receivers heading into the season. Ruggs was my top rookie receiver before the Williams news, but he now separates himself even more from Jerry Jeudy, Justin Jefferson, and Michael Pittman Jr. 

Preston Williams (WR - MIA) 

It’s been a tough week to be a wide receiver named “Williams” for everyone but Preston, who continues to impress in Miami Dolphins camp following his ACL injury last season. Remember, before getting hurt, Williams was the No. 37 overall wide receiver in PPR formats. Here’s what Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald had to say about him:

Now he’s back—and based on the six training camp practices open to reporters, potentially better than ever. He’s still big. He’s still fast. He still jumps high. And he still catches touchdown passes with panache.

Considering how thin the Dolphins are at wide receiver following the opt-outs of Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns, the opportunity is there for Williams to have a very productive season. He’s currently my WR57, but has a chance to crack the top 50 if he stays healthy and continues to impress.

Cam Newton (QB - NE)

If there was any doubt about whether or not Newton was poised to be the New England Patriots’ Week 1 starter, it no longer exists. Newton, by all accounts, has performed quite admirably in camp and Jarrett Stidham is both injured and performing poorly. Just read what Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard had to say:

Stidham’s situation will do nothing to ally the growing concerns about him. Internally, there’s been a frustration that Stidham hasn’t done more to grab the starting position to this point. He certainly started off strong, but has struggled since the first two days.

Yikes. 

So now that we can move on from Stidham, Newton becomes a little more interesting. While I’d only feel comfortable rostering him in two-quarterback leagues, he’s a worthwhile starter in that format with his stock on the rise. 

STOCK DOWN

Tyrell Williams (WR - LV)

Williams is tough, man. After playing through a foot injury last year and attempting to play through a torn labrum this season, no one can question Williams’ desire to be on the field. However, he’s now no longer a top-80 fantasy wide receiver because it’s tough to project him playing more than half a season. It’s a shame because he was a valuable fantasy asset for large portions of the 2019 season and had the chance to be a decent bench option this year. Alas, it’s time for fantasy managers to move on, even when he’s active. 

Mike Williams (WR - LAC)

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will be three straight years of good health for Williams.

https://twitter.com/TomPelissero/status/1298304955531526145

While that timeline isn’t the end of the world, Williams not missing regular season action seems very optimistic. Given the quarterback change in Los Angeles, I wasn’t super high on Williams to begin with. Now? He drops outside my top-60 wide receivers for the upcoming season. He’s a worthwhile flier as a WR6, but anything more than that will be a bonus. There are so many good pass-catching options available this year that I don’t expect to have many (if any) shares of Williams entering the season. 

Kenyan Drake (RB - ARI)

This is only a small drop in stock, but you never like to see a player in a walking boot 2.5 weeks before the start of the season. Drake says it’s nothing and Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has been cryptic when asked about it, but it’s worth monitoring. Drake is currently coming off the board with an ADP of 15.7 as the RB10. I moved him down one spot from RB11 to RB12 in my rankings and dropped him from No. 19 to No. 22 in my overall Top 200 until we get more information. Considering we don’t know if Drake can handle a starter’s workload for a full season, this is a small red flag that needs to be acknowledged.

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