Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 10
Welcome back to the Dynasty Report, Footclan!
As the year progresses, dynasty values will continue to fluctuate as injuries occur, depth charts are adjusted, and rookies emerge. Keep in mind that managing a dynasty team will require year-long engagement, with a balanced view of your team’s short and long-term outlook. Therefore, each week I will be highlighting some of the dynasty risers and fallers in the form of a Dynasty Stock Report. My hope is that this article can be a go-to resource on your journey to a dynasty #FootclanTitle. Most weeks, I would usually add a segment diving into dynasty strategy, a 2022 prospect, or a player to stash for future seasons. However, in this edition, we will focus entirely on the 2021 rookie class and evaluate how they have performed to start the season. Therefore, below you will find a year-to-date Rookie Opportunity Dashboard, highlighting all rookies and their performance through the first 9 weeks.
Rookie Opportunity Dashboard
Weeks 1 – 9
Since we are halfway through the fantasy football season, I wanted to expand on my rookie opportunity dashboard to give you an overview of how rookies have performed for the entirety of the first half. Which rookies stand out in usage? Which rookies have been most efficient?
Also, a quick shoutout to Tristan Cummings (@tcummings01) who reached out on Twitter and suggested this segment.
And with that, let’s dive in! For reference:
- Expected Fantasy Points is a value calculated based on a player’s usage in their offense. The more high-value opportunities they receive (deep targets, red-zone opportunities, etc.), the higher their expected value will be.
- FPOE stands for Fantasy Points Over Expected and signifies efficiency relative to a player’s usage. FPOE is the difference between a player’s actual PPR points and their expected PPR value.
- Red-Zone Opportunities include targets and rush attempts. For quarterbacks, pass attempts are included as well.
If there are any specific metrics you would like me to include, or if a rookie was excluded, let me know on Twitter @FF_MarvinE.
Year-To-Date Rookie Review – 15 Observations:
- Starting things off with the Quarterback position, Trevor Lawrence leads all rookie QBs in expected fantasy points per game (16.8), though he only ranks QB31 among all players
- Trey Lance’s number might seem unimpressive due to his limited opportunities so far, yet he is the only rookie QB with a positive FPOE (+1.5)
- In addition, in his one game as a starter, Lance had an impressive expected fantasy value of 24.9, primarily due to his 57% rushing share (16 carries) against the Cardinals
- Mac Jones leads all rookies with 5.0 red-zone opportunities per game with Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry being the primary beneficiaries (leading the Patriots with 9 RZ targets each)
- Najee Harris has by far been the most productive rookie RB, heavily driven by his impressive usage, ranking RB3 in expected fantasy points only behind Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry
- One of the only rookie RBs with a positive FPOE is Elijah Mitchell, who is averaging 2.6 points above expected (RB10)
- Despite being a rookie, Kyle Pitts is already an elite Tight End from a usage standpoint, ranking TE2 in expected PPR points (14.5) only behind Darren Waller
- The Muth is Looth! Freiermuth is the most efficient rookie TE scoring 2.5 points above expected. More on his ascent in the Dynasty Stock Report below
- Brevin Jordan has seen more opportunities over the last two games and even ranked as the TE2 in FPOE (+5.6) against the Rams. Keep an eye on his usage in the second half of the season
- Jaylen Waddle leads all rookie WRs in expected fantasy points (15.2) and ranks 16th in usage among all wide receivers
- Ja’Marr Chase is currently on pace to be the second 21-year old rookie wide receiver since 2000 to finish as a WR1. The other rookie WR to achieve this? Justin Jefferson
- Chase’s production is heavily driven by his efficiency, ranking as the WR8 in FPOE (+3.6) and WR5 in Yards per Route Run (3.0)
- Despite DeVonta Smith’s 23.6% target share, his performance has been slightly inconsistent, ranking outside of the top-36 in four of his nine games
- Rashod Bateman has not broken out yet, but his 18.3% target share in three games is extremely encouraging for his future outlook
- Despite limited snaps and opportunities, Rondale Moore has received several opportunities in the red zone (WR20 – 1.2 p/g) though it hasn’t translated into any touchdowns. His only touchdown on the season was a long reception in broken coverage
Dynasty Stock Report
It was a tough 2020 season for Carson Wentz as he struggled right out of the gate and was eventually replaced by Jalen Hurts. At that time, the benching of Wentz was absolutely reasonable as he was setting career lows in yards per attempt (6.0), QBR Rating (72.6), and completion percentage (57%). For a team that was set to miss the playoffs, it made perfect sense to pivot to their rookie quarterback. Now as a member of the Colts, Wentz has slowly turned things around, finishing as a top-12 quarterback in four of his last five games. In that timespan, among quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 plays, Wentz ranks:
- QB6 in Expected Points Added per play (0.251)
- QB9 in Success Rate (50.6%)
- QB3 in Touchdown Rate (7.4%)
- QB9 in Points per Game (20.5)
*Stats courtesy of RBSDM
And while his completion percentage over expected (CPOE) is slightly below average at -1.2 (QB19), that number is much improved from his 2020 season in which he ranked QB33 with -3.7 CPOE. Part of Wentz’s resurgence can and should be attributed to his improved supporting cast. From a young, rising wide receiver in Michael Pittman Jr. to one of the most dynamic running backs in the league in Jonathan Taylor, Wentz has several intriguing targets in the passing game that allow him to move the chains effectively. From a contract standpoint, the Colts have the option of extending Wentz after next season as his guaranteed salary drops to $0 in 2023. If they do decide to extend him, at only 29 years old in an improving offense, Wentz should be considered a high-end QB2 in all dynasty formats.
It pains me to write about Antonio Gibson in this section of the article, as I was all aboard the #GibSZN hype train entering the 2021 season. And while I still believe in him long-term, there have been some concerning signs over the last couple of weeks that could hurt his short-term value. To start the year, there were several reasons to be encouraged regarding Gibson’s potential usage. Through the first five weeks, he actually ranked as the RB11 in opportunity share (30.9%) and RB9 in rushing share (58.5%). And while J.D. “Smooches” McKissic was still their primary passing back with an 11% target share, Gibson was not that far behind at 8% averaging 23.8 receiving yards per game.
The last three games paint a different picture as Gibson’s opportunity share has dropped to 21.7% (RB33). As you can see above, his expected PPR value has been trending in the wrong direction, while finishing below expected in each of the last three games. Furthermore, we have seen McKissic and even rookie RB Jaret Patterson take on more touches as Gibson continues to heal from a shin fracture that he suffered earlier in the year. Considering these trends, is it time to pivot away? Not quite. In an interview prior to their matchup against Denver, Ron Rivera stated that Gibson is merely scratching the surface on his potential while admitting that his shin injury has limited his practice time and ability to prepare for games. That could explain the lower usage over the last few games. Coming off of a bye week, the hope is that Gibson is healthier and his usage reverts to his early-season averages. Also, keep in mind that McKissic will be a pending free agent after this season. So from a dynasty perspective, this week might be the perfect time to try and acquire Gibson as his value has been trending down since Week 6.
The Muth is Looth!
Over the last three games, Pat Freiermuth has slowly become a focal point for the Steelers’ offense. In that timespan, he ranks 2nd on the team in target share (19.8%) and receiving yards per game (48.3) trailing only Diontae Johnson in both of those metrics. Of course, part of the Muth’s improved usage is due to Ebron’s hamstring injury which has sidelined him over the past two weeks. But even going back to week six prior to Ebron’s injury, we have seen Freiermuth slowly take over the TE1 role, leading all Pittsburgh tight ends in snap share (60%), target share (17.9%), and receiving yards (58) against the Seahawks. From a fantasy perspective, Freiermuth is clearly not in that elite tier yet though he has provided dynasty managers with multiple top-12 performances over the last three weeks. Among all Tight Ends since Week 6, Freiermuth ranks:
- TE10 in Target Share (19.8%)
- TE12 in Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt (1.38)
- TE2 in PPR points per game (16.2)
Freiermuth’s dynasty value will only improve going forward, as he continues to develop as one of the Steeler’s primary targets in their offense. In addition, Eric Ebron is set to become a free agent after this year, paving the path for the Muth to fully assume the TE1 role. The one concern that could potentially cap his upside is their quarterback situation. With Ben Roethlisberger becoming noticeably less effective this season, the Steelers will likely explore other options either through the draft or free agency. While there is some uncertainty as to who will lead this offense beyond 2021, Freiermuth should continue to command opportunities, establishing himself as a dynasty TE1 for years to come.
We know he already has a touchdown…
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 9, 2021
Phillip Lindsay had an electric start to his career with the Denver Broncos, producing the 2nd highest PPR per game average (14.9) by an undrafted rookie in the Super Bowl Era. Furthermore, he currently ranks 6th among all undrafted running backs in rushing yards per game with 52.6, a number that used to be higher prior to signing with the Houston Texans. Since joining his new team, however, Lindsay has essentially been unstartable, ranking as the RB81 in PPR per game scoring. His lack of production is primarily driven by the Texans’ backfield utilization as they initially used three running backs to start the season. In fact, Lindsay ranked as the RB3 on his own team in opportunity share (11.2%) for the first seven games. Even after Mark Ingram was traded, Lindsay’s numbers have somehow declined, receiving only 9.6% of the team’s opportunities over the last two weeks. What is even more concerning is his lack of involvement in the passing game, only receiving four targets all season.
Because of his inconsistent touches, Lindsay’s dynasty value has plummeted all the way down to RB92 per the Sleeper platform. And with very few high-value opportunities on a team that will usually play from behind, he will likely remain unproductive for dynasty managers. For now, we will have to wait until after their bye week to see if the backfield opportunity distribution changes at all. If it remains a four-way committee, Lindsay might just be droppable in most dynasty formats.