2017 Stock Up, Stock Down: Offense

I thought it would be worthwhile to look at the players who are making the most or least of their free agent season. For this week we will look at the offense with each position, except tight end, getting a stock up or stock down nomination. Why no tight end for both?  I simply couldn’t come up with a good stock up candidate as it’s a weak free agent class thus far.

Stock Up: Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins

Cousins did not need to do much to improve his contract hopes for next year, but through four weeks his Redskins look like one of the two best teams in the East and he is on pace for another 4,000 yard season. He has a lot of new faces on the offense yet is still producing and has a 7:1 TD to interception ratio. He is well on his way to earning a $27 million+ a year contract next season.

Stock Down: Jay Cutler, QB, Dolphins

Cutler was out of the NFL and heading into broadcasting when an injury to Ryan Tannehill gave him a chance to revitalize his NFL career. Through three games he has been awful and the Dolphins offense is the worst in the NFL. He looks disinterested and that he is there to collect a paycheck. Unless things change he’ll be out of the NFL next season.

Stock Up: Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers

Hyde has had a solid, injury riddled and somewhat hidden career in San Francisco, but has basically become their offense this year. Hyde is on pace for over 1,200 yards at a 4.9 YPA clip. More importantly he is showing that he can be a factor in the passing game with 17 receptions for 88 yards, which is on pace to shatter his career high of 27 receptions for 163 yards he set in 13 games last year. Age is not on his side, since he is already 27, but he can crack the $6-$6.5 million a year club if he keeps this up.

Stock Down: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

Bell reportedly turned down a massive contract offer this summer for reasons that nobody but himself could explain. Bell wanted to earn around $15 million a year, an absurd number for a running back, and gambles on the franchise tag. Thus far it hasn’t been a good decision. Though he arguably could set a career high in yards, he is on pace for well over 300 carries to do so and his yards per carry is down a full yard from his career norms. His receiving efficiency is down too. He’s still going to get a big offer from someone, but its doubtful it will be as good as the one he turned down.

Stock Up: Davante Adams, WR, Packers

While few free agent receivers have stood out this year, Adams leads the Packers in yards and targets this season. I don’t know what Adams worth is on the open market but with Jordy Nelson in his 30s the Packers probably need Adams. Green Bay has already pretty much set their own market for receivers around $10 million a year and Adams stands to make at least that from Green Bay if he finishes the year as their top target.

Stock Down: Terrelle Pryor, WR, Redskins

Pryor saw little interest as a free agent last year so he took a lower cost contract to get away from Cleveland and try to make a name for himself elsewhere. Thus far it hasn’t worked out that well. He is on pace for under 800 yards as the Redskins passing game is being spread all over the field. He did have his best game of the year last Monday so maybe things are looking up, but he needed a great year to solidify himself as a potential 1 and right now hes going to settle for mid level 2 money.

Stock Down: Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals

You don’t like to put an injured player on these types of lists, but I don’t think there was much choice here. A big year and Eifert was looking at $8 million or more a year, but the former first rounder absolutely needed to stay healthy to get a chance at that. In his two active games Eifert continued to look like a mid level player and there is no way around the fact that he is always injured.

Stock Up: Zack Martin, OL, Cowboys

Martin didn’t have to do much to be the top available free agent this year, but I don’t think too many available players have stood out so far which is only going to make his market more lucrative this year. No sacks or penalties so far and Martin is well on his way to the Pro Bowl and to setting a new high for guards, which will be over $12 million a season.

Stock Down: Xavier Su’a-Filo, OL, Texans

The guard market is so lucrative right now that it doesn’t take much to get paid and Su’a-Filo has a chance as a high second round pick to really make it big, but his current pace is going to see him land on the bench rather than vying for a big contract. In 4 games he’s been credited with 3 sacks allowed and 2 penalties, which isn’t going to cut it.

  • a57se

    Doesn’t your stock have to be up in the first place in order to go down?

    • McGeorge

      Cutler made out like a failed CEO with a golden parachute. He made a great decision.

      LeVeon Bell was just a fool.

      • Werner

        LE Veon Bell seems to have killed himself – why contract him at 15′ APY with a huge guarantee, if you can have him for 13’+x on a 2nd year Tag pay as you ? Will RB Tag Number actually go down at some point given that huge contracts have disappeared from the equation and new ones are mostly frugal ?
        Cutler outsmarted them – but he did not even cost a precious 7th Rounder Comp Pick to trade for(!!) and he goes for 60% of A. Dalton – so he wins in the thank you for nothing competition easily
        Cousins – raking in 50+ in two years and seeing the market inflate so the tide will lift his boat conveniently.
        @Jason: Why are not Patriots – Solder (LT!!!!) or Butler(CB!) in the mix ?

        • Butler because its just offense. Solder hasnt been good but I think that position doesnt have the major fall factr unless Brady of course continues to get hammered.

  • McGeorge

    Kirk Cousins – even if his numbers are a little inflated, why not over pay him a little if you can get a decent starting QB. I’d rather pay him 27+ than speculate 18 on Mike Gennon/Brock Osweiller. If I was a crap team with no QB (Jets, Browns, 49ers) why not pay him 30MM, and stop having to invest draft picks in QBS? The problem with football is players have short careers. Even if you put together a good team, it wont stay good for more than a few years, unless you continue to draft well or have Bill Belichick as your HC/GM. You can’t afford to waste time searching for a QB once you have a good team. If you have a core nucleas now, then pay Cousins 30MM, rather than drafting a QB, having them turn out to be a disappointment, and 3 years have gone by and your stud 25 year old LB and RB and CB are now 28.

    • My feeling on Cousins is this, If you are a team picking at the top of the draft and the draft has QB prospects you can find you shouldnt sign him. If you are a bad team but not in a position to draft one then you go ahead and do it. The only thing I would say is that if you do sign him you cant be blind to a big contract, no matter what the guarantee.and dont let it stop you from the draft 2 or 3 years down the line if you cant break the 8-8 mark

  • Charles Crawford

    What about Cameron Brate as a TE stock up candidate? on pace for 60/800/12 and only making $690K this year.

    • I was only looking at UFAs. Brate is a RFA but yes he would be a good one. I kind of could see ASJ of the Jets having an ok year once he gets a few more games in.