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Dynasty Stock Watch - Wide Receivers (Part 1)


The stock market in fantasy football is always turbulent, especially during the offseason when draft choices, free-agent signings, blockbuster trades, coaching changes and off-the-field soap operas can change a player’s fantasy value instantaneously.

The NFL has the longest offseason of the four major American sports, which means there are more months for a player’s fantasy worth to rise and fall. This offseason has been no different than others and many wide receivers have seen their stock in dynasty fantasy leagues either take flights or take hits. So much so in fact that I have to devote two separate articles to receivers whose dynasty stock has changed drastically in recent months.

Here are two wide receivers whose fantasy stock has risen this offseason, and two wide receivers whose fantasy stock has fallen.

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Dynasty Stock Rising

These wide receivers have seen their dynasty value rise since last season ended and could be worth buying now.

 

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals

2018 Stats: 43 receptions, 590 yards, 3 TD

 The second-round speedster from the 2018 NFL draft was in the midst of a fine rookie campaign when he suffered a season-ending foot injury that shut him down. The only other thing that shut down him before his injury was the ineptitude of Arizona’s offense. With offensive coordinator Mike McCoy showing no innovation with his schemes and quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen showing no accuracy with their passes, it was amazing Kirk was able to muster as many catches and yards as he did.

New head coach Kilff Kingsbury enters the NFL with more bells and whistles than a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade float. His Texas Tech teams had unstoppable offenses that were predicated on passing and had college defenses sweating more often than TNT honchoes do when Charles Barkley starts ranting. With Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald probably playing his final season, and without much depth behind him at the receiver on the roster, Kirk could blossom into a perennial 1,000-yard pass catcher in 2019 and carry that throughout the next several seasons.

 

Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins

2018 Stats:  24 receptions, 309 yards, 1 TD

The prevailing thought for most was that Parker was sure to be cut this offseason after a four-year stint in Miami that was underwhelming for a receiver drafted in the middle of the first round (2,217 yards and nine TD). Parker never clicked with any of the quarterbacks who threw to him or any of the offensive coordinators who coached him, so it was a downright shock that the Dolphins brought him back with a two-year contract. Even more shocking was how the Dolphins decided against upgrading its receiving corps (no WRs drafted) so Parker has a legitimate chance to become Miami’s No. 1 WR this season if he stays healthy and focused.

Miami has a new head coach in Brian Flores, meaning Parker has a clean slate with the coaching staff. The Dolphins also eradicated Ryan Tannehill in favor of veteran gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick and former Arizona first-rounder Josh Rosen, which is superb for Parker since Tannehill did as much for the fantasy values of receivers as run-and-shoot offenses did for the fantasy values of fullbacks. While you should not bank on Parker on suddenly becoming a 2019 version of Mark Clayton or Mark Duper, he could very well have the most productive year of his career with how things are laying out for him.

 

Dynasty Stock Falling

These wide receivers have seen their dynasty value fall since last season ended and should be sold or cut from rosters.

 

Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns

2018 Stats: 43 receptions, 586 yards, 5 TD

Callaway has lots of flash and dash, but his rookie campaign was uneven at best and a disappointment at worst. He did not have any 100-yard outings and played three games where he failed to have just one receiving yard. Callaway never seemed to get on the same page with franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield, nor was he able to get anywhere near the targets ball hog Jarvis Landry received throughout the season.

Cleveland made the biggest blockbuster of the offseason when the Browns traded for Odell Beckham Jr., and that immediately sunk Callaway’s fantasy value like a reef would sink a ship. Beckham never helps the fantasy values of the pass catchers around him (ask Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram owners) because he takes all the targets and leaves scraps for everyone else. In Cleveland, now there are two target takers between Beckham and Landry. Callaway probably fits in as the No. 4 option in Cleveland’s passing attack behind Beckham, Landry and tight end David Njoku, so this is far from an ideal situation for Callaway’s fantasy value for both the short and long term.

 

Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets

2018 Stats: 38 receptions, 449 yards, 1 TD

Enunwa is a popular player among Jets fanatics and diehard football fans because of his hard-nosed style and how he relies on guts and guile to make plays because he is not the fastest receiver. He became Josh McCown’s favorite target in 2016 when he caught 58 passes for 857 yards and he made a courageous comeback this past year after missing the entire 2017 season due to injury. Enunwa is an above-average possession receiver who has built solid chemistry with quarterback Sam Darnold and could have been a decent get in PPR leagues if the Jets did not sign Jamison Crowder this offseason.

Crowder was not given a multi-million dollar deal to simply be an afterthought in Adam Gase’s offense in New York. Crowder will cut into Enunwa’s targets and receptions more than he will speedster Robby Anderson or tight end Chris Herndon IV because Crowder and Enunwa will be frequenting the same spaces in the secondary on many occasions. If you thought an improved Darnold coupled with a new offense would mean 70 catches for 900 yards and six scores for Enunwa in 2019, you probably shot too high with your projection now that Crowder has made the Jets receiving corps crowded.

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