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Fantasy Football: Stock watch; why you should be buying Travis Etienne, selling Dak Prescott and more

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If you had told me back in November that the last four teams that would still play in the conference championship would be the Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles and 49ers, I would have easily believed you. I probably would have given the Bills an edge over the Bengals, but otherwise…yes, it looked like the top four teams in the NFL, more or less.

Of course, the path of these teams to the confrontation next week was hardly a direct one. The Eagles had to fight for the No. 1 spot after Jalen Hurts missed a few games, while the 49ers saddled seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy to make the conference championship, which I definitely wouldn’t bet on until didn’t see him there. And, let’s not forget, the Bengals looked like they had a bit of a Super Bowl hangover as they entered November 4-4 after an embarrassing Week 8 loss to the Browns.

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Well, the Chiefs… it’s easy to keep the metronome on track when you have Patrick Mahomes in the QB, even though Mahomes sprained his ankle in Saturday’s win and the Chiefs suddenly had some questions ahead of the most important game in history. season. Mahomes is expected to survive the injury, but that’s an added complication in a season that’s had plenty of them.

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And yet, we are here, more or less where we expected to be. It’s funny how it works.

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So we have the Chiefs hosting the Bengals and the 49ers heading to meet the Eagles on Sunday, with the Bills, Cowboys, Jaguars and Giants leading it after their defeats. And these four teams have a lot of questions in the offseason. We’ll get answers to a lot of them when free agents and the NFL Draft come along, and we’re sure to get more questions about where they came from.

In today’s newsletter, we take a look at the most important question for each of the four teams eliminated from the playoffs this weekend. just like we did with the teams that lost last week. But first, let’s take a quick look at what Jamie Eisenberg thinks. helped and hurt their 2023 stocks the most this weekend:

stock up

  • Brock Purdy – He’s the “boy” in San Francisco
  • Travis Etienne… “He deserves a second round pick”
  • Sidi Lamb — Completed his breakthrough campaign
  • DeVonta Smith… Is he superior to AJ Brown?
  • Kadarius Tony — “There is a chance to become a star”

stock down

Duck PrescottEnds again on a disappointing note

Daniel Jones… Heading to free agency after severe loss

Devin Singletery — Did he end up in Buffalo?

Gabe Davis… Another setback to end a disappointing season.

Juju Smith-Shuster —disappears again”

You must check Jamie’s full divisional round summary is here, which also includes his updated ranking for the remaining players remaining in the playoffs. And now the biggest questions facing each of the four eliminated teams, starting with Bills’ frustrating offense:

The biggest questions for the eliminated teams

Deebo Samuel

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Accounts: What can they add to the offense?

The Bills were second in the league in scoring, with Josh Allen throwing for 4,283 yards and 35 touchdowns in 16 games, so you can’t say it was a foul or anything like that. But there have certainly been times this season where they haven’t been as effective as expected, especially if the opposing teams managed to pick up Stephon Diggs, which the Bengals were able to do on Sunday. No one else stepped up, which was a constant problem for them – aside from the occasional big game from Gabe Davis, this offense became incredibly dependent on the individual skill of Diggs and Allen. But there is room for another playmaker who could play a big role here, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to add another one this offseason, especially as Diggs enters his 30th season. The window is now open and Billy must ensure that it remains open as long as possible. A more consistent secondary wide receiver would make a big difference.

Cowboys: What’s going on with Tony Pollard?

With two seasons in a row ending with some pretty serious clock management issues, the Cowboys have a ton of questions to ask. They also definitely need more help in passing play as players not named by CeeDee Lamb pool for 89 yards in a one-point loss. But the biggest question now is what happens to Pollard, who is given free rein after suffering a serious ankle injury on Sunday. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, Pollard received a fracture of the left fibula, an injury that will require surgery and likely a three-month recovery process. NFL agent freedom opens in March, so Pollard will likely be far from a full recovery by the time he tries to find a new home. Pollard proved he could be a star with a bigger workload by running 1,007 yards on 193 carries (5.2 YPC) while adding 371 yards on 39 catches. eventually somewhere he can at least reproduce these numbers. Now? It’s definitely not a fact. A disappointing result for a talented player.

Jaguars: Will Trevor Lawrence take it one step further?

We got good and bad from Trevor Lawrence in the Wild Card round quite abruptly, but Saturday’s loss to the Chiefs wasn’t as dramatic. He had a more run-of-the-mill, banal game, throwing for 217 yards and one touchdown, giving him 11 games of 19 with one or fewer passing touchdowns. Lawrence was a lot better in 2022 than he was as a rookie, but aside from 13 touchdowns in five games from weeks 10 to 15, he was still more good than great. And this is reflected in his QB11 finish in points per game. How far the Jaguars can go in the coming seasons will directly depend on how much Lawrence can continue to grow, and he will need to take another step forward to justify what will almost certainly be an increase in his fantasy value in the draft. pulled out at QB8 in our last tryout draft. Calvin Ridley should help, but it remains an open question if Lawrence can justify the expense.

Giants: What’s next for Daniel Jones?

The Giants enter 2023 with the third-highest cap space according to, but that’s before Jones and Sakwon Barkley, among others, are moving to free agency. They made a shocking playoff run that seems to cement Brian Daball’s place as one of the best new coaches in the league, and they especially deserve credit for their work with Jones – his career saw Jones finish with QB13 on points per game. – A low interception rate of 1.1% and 708 yards, fifth among all quarterbacks in the league this season. Now the question is, do the Giants roll him back and re-sign Jones? And if they do, will they be able to find him enough weapons to take him one step further? I think extending it beyond a year or two would be a mistake, but the Giants may decide it’s best to go back with Jones and see if they can squeeze more out of him with better weapons around him. If he does return to the Giants, I probably see Jones as a borderline top 12 quarterback for 2023, especially if they add a few high-level playmakers in the passing game.


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