Post-Draft AFC North Fantasy Stock Watch

With the draft over and most of free agency having come to pass, Dr. Roto breaks down the AFC North playmakers with shifting fantasy value.
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Baltimore Ravens

Stock Up: RB J.K. Dobbins

With Mark Ingram turning 31 this season and with Gus Edwards signed only to a one-year tender, can you blame the Ravens for selecting Dobbins in the second round of the draft? He is a complete three-down back who should see some immense running lanes with Lamar Jackson’s mobility at quarterback. Look for Dobbins to split time at first with Ingram, but I fully expect him to get the bulk of the carries as the season moves forward. 

Stock Down: RB Gus Edwards

Gus the Bus might be put into the parking lot for a while if Dobbins is as good as advertised. Edwards signed a one-year tender with the team in March, but that was before the team selected Dobbins in the draft. Edwards might see a potential stock up if he gets traded before the season.

Cincinnati Bengals

Stock Up: QB Joe Burrow

I haven’t been this excited for a rookie quarterback to come into the league in years. Burrow was incredible running the LSU offense, and I feel confident that the Bengals are going to put him into great situations to help him shine. Even better is that he is playing with some excellent skill players, which should help to accelerate his growth. 

Stock Down: WR John Ross III

The Bengals drafting of Tee Higgins signified the death knell for John Ross's tenure in Cincinnati. To make matters worse, the team declined his fifth-year option making him a free agent at the end of the season. Ross has dealt with injuries throughout his whole career, which has sadly made him expendable. I would only select him in fantasy if I owned A.J. Green or Tyler Boyd, and I wanted to cover myself at the end of the draft.

Cleveland Browns

Stock Up: RB Nick Chubb

I am still all in on Nick Chubb. He looked sensational last season rushing for close to 1500 yards and catching 36 passes for 278 yards. In 2020 I think he can improve in one significant way—touchdowns. Chubb only had eight TDs in 2019 while the Browns offensive line struggled as a whole. With the addition of Jack Conklin and first-round pick Jedrick Wills, Chubb might see some more room to run, and hopefully, he can find the end zone at least a dozen times.

Stock Down: TE David Njoku

Some might disagree, but I am just not sure how David Njoku fits into the Browns’ plans this season. They not only brought in Austin Hooper from the Falcons in free agency, but they drafted Harrison Bryant in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Might they use a three tight end offense? Maybe, but I wouldn’t want to bet my fantasy hopes on it.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Stock Up: WR Diontae Johnson

I think a lot of fantasy owners are going to overlook Diontae Johnson this season. That would be a mistake as Johnson is an exceptional route runner who will only improve playing with future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. I can see how people might think that the return of JuJu Smith-Schuster will affect Johnson's output, but the Steelers have not committed to JuJu long-term, and there are rumblings that he might be allowed to look elsewhere come 2020. If that happens, Johnson becomes the WR1 in the Steel City. 

Stock Down: TE Vance McDonald

It can’t be a good sign for McDonald’s fantasy value that the Steelers went out in the offseason and signed Eric Ebron from the Colts to be their starting tight end. McDonald has always struggled with consistency and was a monumental disappointment in 2019 (only 273 yards receiving in 14 games). While much of that can be attributed to the poor quarterback play, McDonald did little to distinguish himself on the field to the Steelers or his fantasy owners.

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