The preseason didn’t feature many huge performances that lead to a player snatching a job from an incumbent starter, but there were a few movers and players that rose or fell. Here are a few that you should grab as their stock rises or move as they are declining.
Rasheem Green, DE, Seahawks Stock: UP
A 5-star recruit at USC, Green was drafted in the third round by the Seahawks and is currently not listed as a starter but will get playing time rotating opposite Frank Clark. Green tallied 18 tackles and 3 sacks in the preseason and was tearing things up; he appeared to be unblockable. Green will rotate in and out on the Seahawks line, and since they know defensive line talent he will be playing more than not.
Carl Lawson, DE, Bengals Stock: UP
Lawson was changed to DE in MFL and his value shoots up immensely. Lawson is a pass rushing phenom, dropping opposing quarterbacks 8.5 times in 2017 while only playing 41% of Bengals defensive snaps. He won’t garner many tackles so he will have up and down games, but 15 sacks are not out of the realm of possibility. Lawson will rotate in and provide pressure without seeing double teams thanks to a stacked defensive line.
Markus Golden, DE, Cardinals Stock: UP
Golden was activated off the PUP list and can rejoin practice; he will likely be ready to play in a few weeks and your window to buy will close as soon as he takes a snap. Golden wreaked havoc in 2016 with 51 tackles and 12.5 sacks, then missed almost all of 2017 with an ACL tear. Golden is young and immensely talented, grab him while you can!
Khalil Mack, DE/LB, Bears Stock: Down
Mack was surprisingly traded to the Bears and it was announced that he would be moved to LB. The move was subsequently made in MFL and hurts his overall value. If your league has an edge rusher spot, his stock stays the same, as he will still garner sacks and 70-80 tackles. Mack doesn’t lose a ton of value but his value as a DE is much greater.
Cory Littleton, LB, Rams Stock: UP
Littleton was announced this weekend as the three-down linebacker in L.A. who will wear the “green dot” and call plays in the middle. He played sparingly in 2016 after being signed as an undrafted free agent from the University of Washington. Littleton was a defensive end and converted to linebacker for his final college season, and had 36 tackles in 2017 while playing only 25% of snaps. He is put in a situation to succeed and has a rookie behind him to push him - Littleton will produce this season.
Shaquem Griffin, LB, Seahawks Stock: UP
Griffin was a feel-good story coming out of Central Florida and the Seahawks snapped him up in the fifth round of the draft - a move that is paying dividends. Griffin beasted in the preseason, recording 26 tackles with 15 being solo. He has a knack for the ball that can not be denied. Griffin is likely to start this week with K.J. Wright recovering from knee surgery and the Seahawks will find a way to get him on the field when Wright returns.
Malcolm Smith, LB, 49ers Stock: UP
Smith will man the middle of the 49ers defense and he will see a ton of opportunities with Rueben Foster out the first two games. Smith was solid in Oakland, garnering more than 100 total tackles the last two seasons. He should be a solid source of tackles cheap and could help your team get out of the gates quick.
Matt Milano, LB, Bills Stock: UP
Milano was solid in the preseason, posting 11 tackles, and when used in 2017 showed flashes of being a good linebacker, several productive games and filled in when needed. Milano has stepped up and will be a three-down linebacker on a defense which will be on the field a lot and can be had inexpensively. The other Bills linebacker with all the buzz and cost leads me to my down stock next.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Bills Stock: Down
This is all said with the caveat that Edmunds is going to be a top linebacker in the NFL but he may not have the instant impact expected. He is 20 years old and looked a little lost in the preseason at times, as to be expected of a young rookie. Edmunds may not have the early impact he has been drafted for, but this could provide a buying window if an owner is impatient. Keep an eye on the situation.
Bradley McDougald, S, Seahawks Stock: Up
McDougald is the new leader of the Seahawks secondary and is primed to jump into the DB1 stratosphere. He notched 7 tackles in the preseason and will likely anchor your fantasy secondary by posting more than 100 tackles this season. McDougald has shown ability to be a top safety previously in Tampa Bay, where he narrowly missed 100 tackles in 2015 and 2016. This is your last chance to get him before he is in the top tier of defensive backs.
Jacquiski Tartt, S, 49ers Stock: Up
The same goes for Tartt, he is primed to move into the upper echelon of defensive backs. He was on a pace for 90+ tackles before going down with a forearm injury in 2017. Tartt will eclipse 100 tackles if he stays healthy and will be a stalwart in the 49ers secondary for years to come.
Derwin James, S, Chargers Stock: Up
James looked phenomenal in the preseason, as he had 9 tackles but his grasp for the game is what stood out. He enters a talented secondary but the Chargers will find a way to get him on the field. James is an absolute stud, and while I doubt you can buy him at this point his stock is primed to only rise.