Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 12

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Welcome back to the Dynasty Report, Footclan!

Managing a dynasty team requires year-long engagement and commitment. By far, the toughest aspect of building a dynasty championship roster is balancing the present and the future. It is not easy, but the Fantasy Footballers team is here to guide you through that process!

As we approach the fantasy playoffs, the dynasty landscape continues to change as depth charts are adjusted and injuries occur. If you are new to this series, each week I will provide you with the following:

  • Dynasty Tip of the Week
  • Dynasty Stock Report
  • Bonus Segment (an intriguing statistic, college prospect evaluation, or a dynasty stash)

Let’s dive in!

Dynasty Tip of The Week

Enjoy the Process

We are now 11 weeks into the season; and around this time of the year, it is very easy to lose motivation when managing your dynasty teams. So for this week’s segment, I will not focus on a specific dynasty strategy or resource. Instead, I want to highlight what I believe is the most important aspect of fantasy football: having fun and enjoying the process along the way. 

If you are feeling slightly overwhelmed and maybe less motivated than you were at the start of the year, believe me when I say that all dynasty managers feel that way at some point during the season. Especially if you are also in multiple redraft leagues, which require more week to week work, finding time to focus on your dynasty teams may become increasingly difficult. Coupled with the impact of COVID-19 and several key injuries to top tier players, I have found that making dynasty trades this season is more crucial, but more time consuming, than it was in the past. 

So if you are overwhelmed and need to take a break, be sure to do so! As we approach Thanksgiving weekend, with some entertaining games slated for Thursday, sit back and just enjoy football. Remember that just a few months ago, there was plenty of uncertainty whether we would even have a football season. The fact that we are 11 weeks into the year with relatively minimal delays and hiccups is something I am truly grateful for.

With that, I hope you have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving, Footclan! And now, let’s dive into this week’s stock report!

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Dynasty Stock Report

Stock Up

Damien Harris – New England Patriots, RB

I know, I know. For fantasy, we should never trust Bill Belichick and the Patriots backfield. But hear me out.

Damien Harris has slowly emerged as one of the more efficient and effective running backs in the league. Since week 4, Harris has led all Patriots RBs in opportunity share at 24% while ranking RB5 in rushing yards (514). Furthermore, he has been extremely efficient with the touches he has received. On the season, per PlayerProfiler, he ranks RB7 in breakaway run rate (6.2%), RB10 in evaded tackles per touch (30.3%), and RB11 in yards created per touch (1.73). What makes his production even more impressive is that he is also the RB2 in average defenders in the box (7.3) and RB4 in stacked front carry rate (39.6%). So while opposing defenses are anticipating the run when Harris is on the field, he still produces positive yardage.

The one downside that remains is Harris’ limited involvement in the receiving game. In 7 games this season, he has only accounted for a 2% target share, while receiving 2+ targets in only one game. With Burkhead suffering a season-ending knee injury, Harris’ role could expand further. And as long as he continues to receive a sizable workload, I expect Harris to build on his rising dynasty ADP (RB34) to close the season.

Stock Down 

Jared Cook – New Orleans Saints, TE

Jared Cook had an outstanding season for fantasy managers in 2019. In 14 games, Cook ranked as the TE10 in PPR points per game, finishing as a top 12 TE in 71.4% of his games. With Drew Brees returning, the expectation was that Cook would continue to dominate for fantasy. Except through 11 weeks, he ranks as the TE22 in PPR points per game. While he was extremely consistent last season, we have seen him finish outside of the top 24 at the TE position in 55.6% of his games this season (5 total). And among all Saints receivers, he ranks 4th in the pecking order with a 33% weighted opportunity rating, behind Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Alvin Kamara.

For dynasty, his time as a fantasy-relevant TE may be coming to an end. Adam Trautman, who the Saints drafted in the 3rd round this off-season, is the likely successor at the TE position for New Orleans. In fact, it seems that transition has slowly occurred over the last three weeks as Trautman has out-snapped Cook during that timespan. With Cook losing more and more opportunity each week, fantasy managers will need to prioritize trading for Trautman before he takes over as the Saints’ lead TE.

Stock Up

J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens, RB

Back in week 8, with Mark Ingram missing time, there was hope that the J.K. Dobbins would assume the Ravens’ RB1 role and never look back. And while he finished as the PPR RB19 against a tough Pittsburgh defense, Baltimore reverted back to the 3-way committee when Ingram returned. This past week, however, it seems as if they finally handed Dobbins the keys to the backfield. Against Tennessee, he would finish as the RB6 with 18.5 PPR points on 17 touches, leading all Ravens running backs in opportunity share (28%) and snap percentage (63%).

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Similar to Damien Harris, who we discussed above, Dobbins is one of the most efficient RBs in the league. Per PlayerProfiler, he is the RB11 in yards created per touch (1.69) on the season, while evading a tackle on 30.3% of his touches (RB10). If the Ravens finally lean in and give him the majority of the RB opportunities, Dobbins could be a league winner with matchups against the Jaguars and Giants in weeks 15 and 16. His breakout will be put on a short hold as he just tested positive for COVID-19. But assuming he returns in week 13 and continues to lead this backfield in touches, I expect him to be a high-upside RB2 the rest of the way. 

Stock Down

N’Keal Harry – New England Patriots, WR

Entering the 2020 season, the Cam Newton-led Patriots offense was in desperate need of an X-receiver to emerge. The popular pick was N’Keal Harry, who was the Patriots’ first-round pick back in 2019. However, his breakout season never materialized despite ranking 2nd on the team in total snaps. In fact, this season, he has finished as a WR3 or worse in 87.5% of his games (7), while ranking 4th in Weighted Opportunity Rating (0.37) behind Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers, and Damiere Byrd

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To put his unproductive career into perspective, both Meyers and Byrd have accumulated more yards this season (391 and 469 yards, respectively) than Harry has throughout his short two-year career (318). And with Harry clearly operating as the WR3 in this offense, even with Edelman injured, it is becoming increasingly evident that he is not the future of this Patriots receiving group. His decline in production is also reflected in his dynasty ADP, dropping from WR50 in September to WR57 this month. Unfortunately, unless he starts to produce for fantasy managers, that ADP will continue to dip heading into the off-season.

Stock Down

Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers, RB

Joshua Kelley was the assumed heir apparent to the Melvin Gordon opportunity share that was left behind when he signed with the Denver Broncos. And to start the year, that certainly seemed to be the case as Kelley received 38 opportunities in his first two games, providing hope for fantasy managers that he could be a serviceable RB2 most weeks. And when Ekeler suffered a devastating knee injury in week 4, a path to opportunity opened up for Kelley to take over for this Chargers offense.  Yet over the last 6 games, we have seen his opportunity share steadily decline as Justin Jackson and Kalen Ballage have proven to be more efficient and productive for fantasy. For comparison, since Ekeler’s injury, Kelley ranks as the RB64 in PPR points per game (5.63). Over that same timespan, Jackson and Ballage rank as the RB38 and RB12, respectively. 

With Ekeler seemingly set to return in the coming weeks, Kelley may be slowly phased out of this offense, paving the way for an Ekeler and Ballage/Jackson committee for the rest of the season. Fantasy managers will need to hold onto Kelley as the Chargers do have a very favorable schedule for the rest of the year. However, if he does not improve his efficiency (ranking as the RB58 in yards created per touch), I would assume that his role in this offense will remain limited going forward.

Bonus: College Prospect Evaluation

Ja’Marr Chase – LSU Tigers, WR (2021 Prospect)

Ja’Marr Chase is one of the more complete receivers in this deep and talented 2021 draft class. Unfortunately, we will not see him play in his final year as he opted out of his Junior season due to COVID-19. Regardless, Chase’s performance last season all but locks him in as a first round receiver in this upcoming draft. As a Sophomore, he totaled an impressive 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. Chase was truly dominant for the LSU Tigers as he accounted for a 31.4% receiving yards market share and a 33.3% touchdown market share. 

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While Chase might not necessarily be the fastest receiver in this class, he has plenty of game speed and burst to gain separation with his routes. He is also one of the more dangerous yards-after-catch receivers due to his outstanding vision and physicality. More often than not, Chase will find a way to break a tackle and gain additional yards, making him one of the toughest receivers to bring down. In fact, his 2019 season ranked first among all Power-five WRs since 2015 in yards after contact with 431 yards (per PFF). 

But what impressed me the most when watching his film is his elite ball tracking in contested catch situations. Joe Burrow often relied on Chase to make plays downfield. And with his physicality and athleticism, when the ball was in the air, Chase would frequently come down with the reception despite tight coverage. This skill should immediately make him a popular target for his future NFL quarterback. From a fantasy perspective, I expect Chase to be an immediate contributor due to his complete skillset. And while he is one of the best receivers in this class, you might be able to draft him in the mid first round of your dynasty rookie draft, with several running backs likely being taken ahead of him.

NFL Draft Projection: Early/Mid 1st Round

Fantasy Rookie Draft Projection (1QB/1TE): Mid 1st Round

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