2015 Pre-Season Fantasy Movers and Shakers

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm ET


It's our job at FFN to monitor the rankings of players from across multiple expert websites and to report back on our findings. This allows us to look at not just the rankings but the movement within those rankings. We then publish those findings in our free Movers and Shakers tool. As camps start heating up and preseason games get underway, the 7 and 14-day charts are good indicators of draft direction. It's still early in the season, but here are some of the guys moving up and down the rankings charts.

Moving Up

Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon
As the Chargers have been able to spend more time evaluating Gordon, a few things have become apparent. First, he's "as good as advertised" according to Chargers RB coach Ollie Wilson. Gordon is expected to get the bulk of the first and second down carries. He's struggling with pass protection though which means that Danny Woodhead will likely get the vast majority of third-down work. Still, there's a lot to like about Gordon who is being drafted near the end of the 3rd-round in most 12-team leagues.

Doug Martin
Go ahead, do a double-take. Yes, we wrote down the Muscle Hamster's name. He's burned fantasy owners over the past two years, so why the positive movement? Well, reports out of camp have been positive - not just positive, but glowingly positive. Martin is down to 210 pounds and has had his "best offseason in three years" according to the Tampa Tribune. Coach Lovie Smith has already named Martin the starter. In 12-team leagues, Martin is currently being drafted as a low-end RB3 who could...could...outperform those expectations.

Ameer Abdullah
You can't blame the Lions for being quiet about the progress and expectations they have for Abdullah. After all, this is the same team that sang the praises of Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best only to see those possibilities go down in flames. They may be mum on his progress, but everyone else watching this kid has been overwhelmingly impressed. In fact, it's hard to think of another player who has been receiving the kind of preseason buzz that Abdullah has. Lions' Teryl Austin remarked that the Lions' defense is having difficulty tackling him in practice. "We can't even touch him. He's like grasping at air." We may be grasping at air as well come draft time. He's being drafted ahead of his FFN ranking which means that folks are reaching for him. Look for him to come off the boards in the 5th.

Hakeem Nicks
Remember this guy? A few years ago, Nicks was a fantasy stud in New York. It looked like he lost a step his final two years as a Giant and he never really caught on in Indy. Perhaps Tennessee is the place for the 27-year old to bounce back. Whether we're looking at 7, 14, or 21 days, Nicks has seen the most positive movement in the FFN rankings. Considering his 94th ranking among WR's and 308th among all players, his movement in the rankings is likely more about adjusting the awfully-low expectations we had preseason. He's still not worth drafting. If he does indeed bounce back, he'll be on the waiver wire.

Jacob Tamme

Jacob Tamme
Another guy you might have forgotten about, but this one still has a bright future. No other tight end has moved up the ranks like Tamme. The fondness for the TE position in Atlanta means that Tamme may have found a home where he can thrive this season. Even though Tony Moeaki is technically ahead of him in the rankings, word out of camp is that the Falcons think Tamme could be the pass-catching TE and certainly a redzone target. Tamme might not be drafted in most fantasy leagues, but could be a waiver-wire gem as the season gets going.

Frank Gore

Frank Gore
Other than C.J. Spiller, we don't expect any other running back to benefit from a new team like Gore. Let's face it. In his career, he has never had an opportunity like he does right now. The Colts have a fantastic line, and unlike past years in San Fran, Gore will not have to face 8-man boxes. The Colts have indicated that Gore will be the workhorse and will also be used more in the passing game. If ever there was a time for him to shine, this is it. Expect Gore to go near the start of the 3rd-round and serve as a high-end RB2 or even an RB1 for those fantasy owners who draft QB's or WR's with their first picks.

Moving Down

Arian Foster

Arian Foster
No surprise here. No other player has moved as much (in either direction) as Foster. The injury has knocked him out of first round consideration. When we compare his current ADP (61st overall) to his FFN overall ranking of 109, that's a huge gap which tells us that people A) don't know that he's hurt, or B) are willing to reach for him. If, and that's a big IF, everything goes well, Foster is expected to resume practice around Week 6 and has the potential to play Week 8. Drafting Foster as your RB4 could potentially be the steal of the draft. Whether or not you want to reach for him is up to you.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady
This one has been a lot of back and forth. Brady moved down in the rankings after the announcement that his suspension was going to be upheld. Then he moved up a tick when it was announced that he would be taking this to court and a decision was expected before the season starts. Then he moved down again after Jimmy Garoppolo started taking the first-team reps at practice. Fortunately for us, we should have some resolution by August 19th.

Kevin White
White will likely start the season on the PUP list which is why he's been dropping in the FFN rankings. Being drafted in the first round automatically puts a ton of pressure and expectations on a kid, but the vacuum left by Brandon Marshall's departure means that there's ample opportunity for White to produce alongside Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett. This makes his shin splints more than just a nuisance. While the Bears are optimistic that White will be ready for Week 1, we're not ready to count our chickens just yet. He just resumed running this week, so it would be best to keep an eye on his progress. Based upon his downward movement in the rankings, it appears that fantasy owners are being cautious.

Michael Floyd

Michael Floyd
Floyd's downward movement is consistent with his injury status and downgraded outlook for starting Week 1. Floyd not only dislocated three fingers on his left hand, they actually pierced his skin and were sticking out. OUCH! Coach Bruce Arians has labeled his injury "unique" which makes it difficult to estimate recovery time because there really isn't a precedent for this. Expect a continued downgrade of Floyd in the rankings and perhaps a slight boost to Larry Fitzgerald.

Darren McFadden, Charles Sims, and Joique Bell
These players have moved down in the rankings and for the same reason. A few weeks ago, it was believed that they were legitimate threats for RB1 duties, but since then they've been surpassed on the depth charts. Whether it's injury concerns or simply being outplayed during camps, fantasy experts are feeling less optimistic about these three, although Sims stands a chance at being more active in the passing game.

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