Gerhart Stock Rising, Westbrook is back

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Whose stock is rising in the fantasy world? Whose is falling?

Whose stock is rising in the fantasy world? Whose is falling?

Whether you’re turning over every stone to try and prepare your team for the playoffs, or you’re a dynasty/keeper owner looking for future sleepers, there are several reasons to follow the stock market report this late in the season.

RISING
Toby Gerhart, Vikings RB

With Adrian Peterson leaving early due to a sprained ankle, the second rounder from Stanford banged his way to 76 yards and a score on 22 carries in Week 12. If AP misses time, Gerhart will be a decent flex option against the Bills in Week 13. From a dynasty perspective though, he has limited upside with Peterson in front of him for the long term.

Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs WR
After an extremely disappointing 2009 season, the 26 year old from LSU is having a career year. He has already hauled in 14 TD passes (13 in his last seven games). Bowe is putting up digits at a ridiculous pace, proving that he is a legit fantasy WR1, and a dynasty gem. While his price might be sky high right now due to his stat lines of late, he’s still worth investing in after proving he can flat out dominate defenses. It also doesn’t hurt that Matt Cassel has targeted him 55 times over the last four games. Say hello to your new top five fantasy WR, as his value has skyrocketed.

Sam Bradford, Rams QB
The number one overall draft pick in the 2010 draft has become quite a solid fantasy option in his first year, which is a great sign of things to come for the youngster. He’s become a dynasty star, throwing for nearly 2,500 yards, 17 TDs and nine picks in his first 11 games, including his first career 300-yard, three-TD game this past week. Big games like his performance against Denver prove that he can be a solid fantasy starter, but even more encouraging than that is that he’s produced despite a plethora of injuries to his top targets. Consider him someone whose value is rising rapidly.

Brian Westbrook, 49ers RB
With Frank Gore leaving Monday Night’s game early with a hip injury, it looks like a former fantasy god could potentially step back into the spotlight just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Rookie Anthony Dixon rushed for a score in Gore’s absence, but it was Westy who stepped in and toted the rock for 136 yards and a score. With Gore out for the season, Westbrook becomes a seasonal must-add.

Mike Goodson, Panthers RB
For some reason, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart couldn’t get a darn thing going running behind the Panthers line this year, but immediately following Williams being placed on IR, second-year man Mike Goodson comes in and racks up 100 or more yards on more than 20 carries in two straight games, then follows those games up with a 14 carry, 55 yard, TD, eight catch, 81 receiving yard game in Week 12. Goodson has been on our radar for quite some time, but never more so than now. Not only is he helping owners win leading up to the fantasy playoffs, but with DeAngelo Williams set to become an unrestricted free agent, Goodson could have some long term value as the Panthers starting back.

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots TE
When the Patriots traded Randy Moss to Minnesota earlier this season, many fantasy experts tabbed TE Aaron Hernandez as the top recipient from a fantasy perspective, but I touted Gronkowski as the potential long-term winner. While Hernandez benefitted the most right away, the 6’6” Gronkowski has been more involved over the past four weeks, catching 15 balls for 209 yards and three scores over that time. He’s sure-handed, runs great routes, and is surprisingly fast. Look for him to continue to earn Tom Brady’s trust and attention, making him a fine dynasty prospect.

Pat Angerer, Colts LB
My new IDP man crush has quietly taken over the MLB job in Indianapolis from Gary Brackett. The second-round pick from Iowa has become an every-down player, and has shown that he gets involved in nearly every play, racking up 31 total tackles in his last three games. I say get him while he’s cheap!

Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants DE
The rookie from South Florida had a coming out party in Week 12 against Jacksonville, racking up six solo tackles, two sacks and forced two fumbles. In IDP leagues that require starters at defensive line, he’s a player to keep a close eye on, as not only is DL one of the hardest spots to find consistent production, but the Giants have had a knack for grooming amazing talent at defensive end. If he can continue to earn a larger role in DC Perry Fewell’s rotation, he will carry solid IDP value. Other rookie defensive linemen who have been playing well lately to keep an eye on include Cincinnati’s Carlos Dunlap, Philadelphia’s Brandon Graham and Tampa’s Gerald McCoy.

Rolando McClain, Raiders LB
After an atrocious start to his rookie season, McClain has finally become somewhat productive over the last couple games, racking up 15 solo tackles and his first career interception over his last two games. Look for the eighth overall pick to continue to improve, and IDP owners should place him back on their radar.
David

Hawthorne, Seahawks LB
Another IDP I feel the need to mention this week is Seahawks third year man David Hawthorne. The solo tackle machine had a huge year at MLB in 2009 filling in for Lofa Tatupu, and has manned the weak side for much of 2010, racking up eight or more solo stops in three of his last four games. If you’re looking for help in a tackle-only league, look to Hawthorne.


Ben Obomanu, Seahawks WR
Quietly, the 27 year old from Auburn has had a huge last four weeks, hauling in three scores, including five balls for 87 yards and a score in Week 11 against the Saints and five balls for 159 yards in Week 12 against the Chiefs. If Mike Williams continues to miss time, he’s a solid WR3 option.


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Paul Hickey