The Stock Report: Whose stock is up and whose is down?

Ken Walker

A lot can happen during the DFL offseason. Players change locations, get new teammates, and have other circumstances that might change their upcoming season outlooks.

Here’s a look at a handful of players under contract with DFL teams who have had more pronounced stock movement this offseason.

Stock Down

Jonathan Taylor, RB/IND — Australia
Taylor had a bad 2022, so his stock was already low. It was hard to envision it going down further. But this is a Top 5 running back talent, so a rebound was expected. But after the Colts drafted Anthony Richardson, one of the most athletically gifted running quarterbacks we’ve ever seen enter the league, suddenly the prospect of Taylor losing rushing attempts and, possibly, goal line looks has made his stock go back down from the optimistic outlook he had entering the offseason.

Davante Adams, WR/LV — Papua New Guinea
In fairness to Adams, he already had a quarterback change last year and he still succeeded, finishing as the WR3 overall. But even though Adams faced a decline in quarterback talent from 2021 to 2022, something tells me the decline from 2022 to 2023 will be much more dramatic, and that could affect his ability to match last year’s output.

Darnell Mooney, WR/CHI — Italy
A year ago, Mooney entered the 2022 season as Justin Fields’ go-to guy, ready to take the next step. But he got hurt midway through the season and the team has since added Chase Claypool and D.J. Moore to the mix, plus a rookie and an additional tight end. Things have suddenly gotten murkier for Mooney and the prospects of him meeting or exceeding his 2021 output seem dim.

Dalton Schultz, TE/DAL — Greece
Schultz has been a TE1 the past three seasons, even reaching as high as the TE3 overall in 2021. But he has been playing within the confines of a good offense with a strong quarterback. He now finds himself playing on a rebuilding team with a rookie quarterback and he could take a major hit in production this year.

Rashod Bateman, WR/BAL — Australia
The fan — and front office — favorite in Australia has seen his stock take a hit after the Ravens added a costly veteran in Odell Beckham and a rookie in Zay Flowers. Bateman has failed to show much in his two seasons as a pro, so it’s getting down to make or break territory for the young receiver.

Cole Kmet, TE/CHI — Sint Maarten
Kmet broke onto the scene in about Week 9, right after the Savages acquired him in a trade. He went on a remarkable stretch run and finished as the TE8 overall. Things were looking good for him heading into this offseason until his team went out and acquired a WR1 and an additional tight end, to go with the wide receiver they acquired midseason last year as well. And now he could be lost among the bodies.

Chris Godwin, WR/TB — Colombia
Godwin is a great receiver regardless of who is throwing him the football. But going from the greatest quarterback of all time to a disastrous collection of stiffs is an alarming sight for Godwin and the Capybaras. Godwin’s stock has certainly fallen since the end of the season and he’ll have to prove he can maintain production with bad quarterback play.

Tyler Allgeier, RB/ATL — Papua New Guinea
Things were looking up for Allgeier toward the end of last season. In his last four games, he averaged 17 points per game and looked to be carving out a nice role. Then his team drafted the next big thing at running back and Allgeier has been relegated to backup duty.

Jameson Williams, WR/DET — Australia
Williams missed most of his rookie season last year returning from a torn ACL and flashed his big play ability, but in very limited action. Things were looking up for him heading into his second season, and then he went and did something stupid such as violating the league’s gambling policy — made all the more dumb after seeing Calvin Ridley suspended for a whole year for such an infraction. Now, when he finally returns there surely are bright days ahead, but his stock plummeted for at least this season after that suspension.

Kenneth Walker, RB/SEA — Bolivia
Maybe the Llamas knew something the rest of us didn’t when they only signed Walker to a two-year deal last offseason. While such a decision was named one of the team’s “biggest mistakes” last year, the tables quickly turned after Walker got some competition in the form of second-round draft pick Zach Charbonnet. Now, Walker will be at best splitting a workload, and at worst relegated to second-fiddle.

Stock Up

Elijah Moore, WR/CLE — Colombia
Moore had a somewhat promising rookie year, showing at least enough flash to be seen as a potential threat moving forward in his career. But last year, he fell out of favor and was a major disappointment, eventually getting traded. That trade has, at the very least, given him new life and a new hope for the Capybaras. Whether he can capitalize off it remains to be seen.

Treylon Burks, WR/TEN — Peru
Burks was a big disappointment last year as a first-round rookie and heir apparent to A.J. Brown. With weight issues and general conditioning plaguing him all offseason, he certainly didn’t do much to alleviate those concerns. But after the Titans did very little to challenge him this offseason, his stock began to rise as he’ll get another chance to show what he can do as the apparent No. 1 option in the passing game.

Odell Beckham, WR/BAL — Kazakhstan
Beckham missed football last season while recovering from a knee injury the previous year. But the Very Nice Team signed him to a deal anyway and now they get to see if their patience and financial investment will pay off. He was given a big contract by the Ravens so assuming he stays healthy he should be heavily involved in game plans this year.

D.J. Moore, WR/CHI — Kazakhstan
The story of Moore is well documented at this point. Perennial WR2 with possible WR1 talent who has never topped 10 touchdowns and can’t seem to crack the upper echelon of wide receivers. Part of his issue is that he has never had much of a quarterback to throw him the ball, but there’s optimism that he has now paired with his best one yet.

Russell Wilson, QB/DEN — South Africa
The trade of Wilson last offseason was met with huge optimism which is what might have led the Ballstrikers to give the aging quarterback a three-year, semi-lucrative deal in free agency. Needless to say, his first year with the team was a big bust. Now Wilson is paired with the highly-regarded Sean Payton and there is renewed optimism that Wilson could rebound from his woeful 2022 season.

Calvin Ridley, WR/JAX — Kazakhstan
Ridley hasn’t played football in a season and a half. He stepped away from the game two years ago to work on his mental health and then missed all of 2022 due to a gambling suspension. The Very Nice Team, just as they did with Beckham, paid Ridley anyway to be ready to go in 2023. Ridley got shipped to a new location and is now ready to go. If he is even a fraction of what he once was, the Very Nice Team’s modest investment will pay off. 

Justin Fields, QB/CHI — Peru
Fields was in a no-win situation last year with nothing around him and yet still used his amazing record-setting rushing ability to put up monstrous numbers. His team added a lot of weaponry around him this offseason and if his passing numbers can improve at a higher degree than his rushing numbers wane, he’s in for another big year. 

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR/DET — Australia
With the suspension of Jameson Williams and, frankly, St. Brown’s own development, this stock is definitely on the rise. ASB (or is it ARSB?) has been a pleasant surprise so far in his career, finishing as a lower-end WR2 in 2021 and a lower-end WR1 last year. He figures to remain a focal point of the passing game even when Williams returns, but will be especially targeted in his absence. 

Tony Pollard, RB/DAL — Colombia
Last year Pollard was stuck in a committee role and yet still finished as a RB1 because of his explosive play. A lot of people had high expectations for him heading into 2023, but there was still trepidation that his team might have added a serious rookie contender or veteran nuisance to hold him back from a featured role. Neither of those things happened (yet) and thus all systems are a go for him to take that lead role and make the most of it. It’s on him to take advantage. 

Garrett Wilson, WR/NYJ — Papua New Guinea
Wilson was arguably the most talented rookie wide receiver in last year’s draft class but was somewhat limited by poor quarterback play (at times). He did flash brilliance at times with the right quarterback. That’s why his stock particularly shot through the roof after his team acquired Aaron Rodgers. Now, whether Rodgers is the “right guy” or not remains to be seen, but he’s at least better than the carousel of crap he had to work with last year. He has the ability to have a huge breakout season if he and Rodgers get on the same page.