September 02, 2017

When it comes to fantasy draft boards, every piece of new information causes certain players to rise or fall.

Injuries are always the biggest reason for a drastic move up or down, as different players get opportunities and those hurt become unplayable in the short term. Playing time also affects value. Here are several of the players who have seen the biggest rises and falls in the past month:

RISERS

The season-ending knee injury to Spencer Ware has opened the door for rookie Kareem Hunt to start for Kansas City. Many people believed it was just a matter of time until Hunt took over the starting job anyway, but the injury adds clarity to the situation. Hunt has gone from a RB that was barely in the top 50 to someone who is now a high end RB2 and a steal for those who drafted him before the news came out about Ware's injury. Chancandrick West also moves up draft boards, as at the very least he is likely to be the goal-line back.

The likely suspension for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has also led to a rise in the rankings for Darren McFadden. With Elliott to possibly sit six games, McFadden moves into RB4 territory overall for the season.

The trade of Sammy Watkins to the Rams probably hurts his value, as Jared Goff is still an unproven QB but it does help the fantasy prognosis for Todd Gurley. Last season, opposing defenses stacked the line of scrimmage as they just weren't worried about the passing game beating them for a big play. That won't be the case this season as safeties will have to respect the speed of Watkins and play off the line of scrimmage. Gurley shouldn't face stacked boxes.

Jay Cutler may not have a huge impact at the QB position but his arm strength and willingness to throw the ball deep into the secondary could be a boon for DeVante Parker in Miami. We have been waiting for Parker to have a breakout since being drafted by the Dolphins and this season could be it.

A wide receiver who was a sleeper up until about two weeks ago is Kenny Golladay. He will give Matthew Stafford the kind of big body who can go up and grab the ball in the red zone that the Lions haven't had since Calvin Johnson retired.

FALLERS

Until the situation with Andrew Luck is cleared up, it's going to be hard to see how you can draft anyone with Indianapolis with any kind of confidence. Luck is still not practicing and it's really anyone's guess as to when he will be able to play, but Week 1 certainly seems extremely unlikely. The offensive line is still below average and with Scott Tolzien at the helm, no one is going to respect the passing game and there won't be any lanes for Frank Gore to run through and big plays for T.Y. Hilton will be kept to a minimum.

With QB being as deep as it is, there's no reason to draft Luck in a standard league. Over the past couple of seasons, Blake Bortles has been a bad NFL QB but a good fantasy one. This year he will just be bad at both. It will be hard to trust Ben Roethlisberger with his problems playing away from Heinz Field. It's not a small sample size anymore. His numbers are just atrocious on the road.

Eddie Lacy may be making his weigh-ins for Seattle but as of now he is sharing the starting job with Thomas Rawls. Throw in C.J. Prosise, who will be the pass-catcher out of the backfield, and this is a situation to avoid.

Allen Robinson and DeAndre Hopkins are top flight WRs but have QBs that won't be able to get them the ball on any kind of regular basis. These were both first-round picks in a majority of leagues last season but this year they can be had in the third-round or later. Rumors of the Dolphins seeing what they could get for Jarvis Landry have to make you wonder whether he'll be as big a part of the offense as he has been in years past.

One of the biggest abilities in fantasy football is availability, something that Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert don't seem to possess. One can argue that Reed is just as talented as any tight end outside of Rob Gronkowski but what one can't argue is that he has never played a full season in his NFL career, missing 18 games over the past four years. Eifert is almost a carbon copy of Reed as he has also never played a full season, missing 27 of 64 games. The two deepest positions in fantasy football are TE and QB, so there's no need to spend a high pick at either position on a player likely to get hurt and miss multiple games at some point in the season.

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This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com

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