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Fantasy Football Stock Up, Stock Down: Preseason movers

Berry loves Pierce, Waller as fifth-round picks
Matthew Berry identifies his favorite fifth-round picks from Rotoworld's 12-team half-PPR draft including Dameon Pierce, Darren Waller, Diontae Johnson and more.

With the NFL preseason now in the rearview mirror, we are now less than two weeks away from the real thing. That means we are closer to having our dreams come true (or be crushed) in fantasy football land. We are currently in the thick of fantasy draft season so it’s important to know who’s on the rise and fall. Here is where things stand with some notable players after the preseason.


Jordan Love - QB, Packers

Love has been on his game all training camp and throughout the preseason. Some may still feel like he’s a big question mark going into this season, but he’s given us little reason to doubt him thus far. Love completed 21-of-33 of his passes for 193 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions this preseason. At the very least he should be on the QB2 radar as far. At some point this season, you’ll have him in your lineups.

Deuce Vaughn - RB, Cowboys

The more Vaughn plays football, the less people have the fortitude to make those already-used lame short jokes. Thus far he’s (and will continue to) proved his doubters wrong. After rushing 13 times for 64 yards and two touchdowns in two preseason games, he appears to have leaped Malik Davis in the Cowboys’ running back room. The box score doesn’t tell the story though. Vaughn’s suddenness and short-area quickness make him a pain to tackle for defenders. Vaughn saw no action in the Cowboys’ final preseason game which indicates they have plans for him in their offense. He’s just getting started.

Tank Bigsby - RB, Jaguars

Bigsby has done nothing but impress since he put on his Jags’ uniform. The third-round rookie rushed for 159 yards on 28 carries this preseason. In the Jags’ final preseason game, all of his reps came with the first-team offense while alternating with Travis Etienne. He quickly jumped JaMycal Hasty for the team’s RB2 role. If the Jags’ final preseason game is an indication, Bigsby could have stand-alone value. Etienne remains Jacksonville’s unquestioned RB1, but for a final roster spot on your fantasy team, Tank isn’t a bad pick.

George Pickens - WR, Steelers

If Kenny Pickett is going to take any steps forward, it’ll be because he and the team realize that Pickens is the Steelers’ greatest weapon. As expected for a player of Pickens’ caliber, the preseason numbers won’t wow you. The highlight of his 3-76-1 stat line was his hauling in a 35-yard pass over a hopeless cornerback. If you can draft Pickens as a WR3 in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft, you’re looking at a player who could be an integral part of a championship team.

D.J. Moore - WR, Bears

Justin Fields desperately needed a top-tier playmaker and Moore wasted no time in showing that he is that guy. Moore showed his run-after-catch immediately in the first game by housing a 62-yard screen. Some will scoff at this thinking the Bears won’t throw the football enough. If you watched what Fields had to work with in 2022, you’d know why. Moore is a solid fantasy pick in rounds three or four.

Darren Waller - TE, Giants

Daniel Jones couldn’t take his eyes off of Waller in their short preseason appearance. In one drive Waller was targeted four times and converted them into three receptions for 30 yards. Waller is the Giants’ WR1 and TE1 at the same time and they’ve already demonstrated how they’ll use him all over the field. A healthy Darren Waller in 2023 means that only Travis Kelce will score more fantasy points than him at the tight end position.

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Trey Lance - QB, Cowboys

With Brock Purdy’s health uncertain for most of the offseason, it seemed like Lance would once again get a chance to become the 49ers’ starting quarterback. Once Purdy was healthy, Lance just couldn’t do enough to outperform what Purdy did in actual NFL games. The 49ers’ staff all but admitted that they missed on Lance and it just didn’t work out. Lance has no fantasy value right now as he’s currently the Cowboys’ QB3. At only 23 years old, Lance will have plenty of time to learn behind Dak Prescott.

De’Von Achane - RB, Dolphins

After a couple of preseason games that showed Raheem Mostert is the clear starter, coupled with Achane’s injury, fantasy managers have cooled a bit on the explosive rookie. There’s no denying Achane’s talent, but he shouldn’t have been expected to be a starter right away. I believe he will provide fantasy value at some point this season once he’s a bit more acclimated. By the time you read this Jonathan Taylor could also be the Dolphins’ new running back, so there’s that.

Dalvin Cook - RB, Jets

Cook made it clear that he chose the Jets because they gave him the best shot at winning a Super Bowl (the $7 million contract doesn’t hurt either). Still not yet having practiced, it’s tough to see him getting the same volume he received as a member of the Vikings. His talent and explosiveness are still the same which in real football should lead to him and Breece Hall forming the NFL’s best running back tandem. From a fantasy standpoint, both he and Hall shouldn’t be seen as anything more than flex plays.

Kadarius Toney - WR, Chiefs

People started to buy into Toney this offseason as both Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes implied that he could be their top receiver. An early training camp injury and no preseason action have led to a drop in his ADP. In my opinion, you should as they say “buy the dip” on a guy who still possesses skills and qualities that no other Chiefs’ receiver has. If you’re going to draft a Chiefs’ receiver right now, I still feel like Toney is your best shot for the most production.

Treylon Burks - WR, Titans

Burks was all but ready to become the Titans’ WR1 with no real threats to his target share. An early training camp injury sidelined him and blew his chances of showing any of that this preseason. The Titans then signed DeAndre Hopkins as their new WR1 so now Burks will essentially work behind him. Regardless of the move, Burks will be much improved in 2023, but Hopkins will lead the team in targets and put a cap on Burks’ ceiling for now.

Gerald Everett - TE, Chargers

Everett could be a solid late (late) round flier as a TE2 in your fantasy roster. His stock is mostly lowered because everyone on the Chargers offense is being talked about except him. We are hearing how great rookie Quentin Johnston is, or how Kellen Moore is opening up the offense. It’s almost made to seem like Everett won’t eat too. Herbert is a good bet to lead the league in passing attempts, so any pass catcher in this offense should be considered a decent fantasy option.