Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 4
Welcome back to the Dynasty Report, Footclan!
Managing a dynasty team requires year-long engagement and commitment. By far, the toughest aspect of dynasty football is balancing the present and the future. It is not an easy task, but the Fantasy Footballers team is here to help guide you through that process!
We are now through 3 weeks of the season, and 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
Take Advantage of Your League’s Roster Settings
If you are in a deeper dynasty league, you are likely already familiar with these two roster features – the IR slot and the taxi squad.
An IR slot is a bonus roster spot that allows you to stash players that are on injured reserve, inactive, or doubtful to play. The taxi squad is similar, except this one is based on the experience level of the player. Some leagues only allow you to roster rookies in your taxi squad, while other leagues might extend it to second or even third-year players.
If your dynasty league uses one or, hopefully, both of these features, make sure you understand the details of those roster settings. Which injury designations apply to the IR slot? Is there a specific lock date for our taxi squad?
You might ask yourself why this matters. Using your IR slot and taxi squad can give you further flexibility throughout the season. For example, after injury designations are released, you can move those injured players into your IR slot to free up a roster spot. This could enable you to pick up a high upside, impact player whose opportunity could expand in the future. Furthermore, if that newly acquired player is a rookie, you might even be able to stash him in your taxi squad.
In short, understand your league settings and try to maximize your roster to its fullest. Because if you can free up a roster spot and acquire a Myles Gaskin or James Robinson before their breakout, that could potentially change the trajectory of your dynasty team.
Dynasty Stock Report
Stock Up: Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings, WR
Coming out of LSU, Justin Jefferson was one of the more highly touted rookies entering the NFL. And while CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy are thought of as the most talented rookie WRs, Jefferson is right up there with them as one of the savviest route runners in this class. His first two games left much to be desired. He finished as the WR83 in week 1 and as the WR70 in week 2, compiling a grand total of 5 receptions for 70 yards.
And then, week 3 happened.
Justin Jefferson: 93.8 PFF grade in Week 3.
Third-highest single-game grade by a rookie WR since 2006.pic.twitter.com/1EvY3xsG5v
— PFF (@PFF) September 28, 2020
Jefferson would out-snap both Bisi Johnson and Chad Beebe, and finish the week as the WR3 in PPR leagues. He also impressively accounted for 36% of the team’s targets (3rd most among WRs) and 54% of the team’s air yards (4th most among WRs). He was the center of this passing attack versus the Titans, which could be a sign of things to come. If that trend continues, you could be looking at a flex WR in Justin Jefferson for the remainder of the season.
Stock Down: Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers, WR
Entering the season, there were already some concerns regarding Mike Williams’ health as he suffered a sprained shoulder during the off-season. Fast forward to week 3, and Williams could be out again with a hamstring injury. Because he missed most of the second half, he would only finish the week with one reception and 17 yards. Keep an eye on the injury report and monitor his availability heading into week 4.
However, what is even more concerning for Williams is his lack of involvement in the passing offense with Justin Herbert at QB. With Tyrod Taylor, Williams accounted for 31% of the team’s target share, and 44% of the team’s air yards share. Those numbers drop significantly to 13% and 23%, respectively, with Herbert in week 2. While the injury is a concern, his lack of involvement in the offense should be just as alarming for fantasy managers, making him unstartable in most league formats.
Stock Up: Tee Higgins – Cincinnati Bengals, WR
This was the week of rookie WR breakouts, with a second one making the dynasty stock report. After a slower start to the season, we finally saw Tee Higgins’ snap count rise in week 2. That trend would continue into week 3 as Higgins would out-snap Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green, leading to a stellar performance that would have him finish as the WR13.
The rookie connection.
— NFL (@NFL) September 27, 2020
Higgins would account for 21% of Joe Burrow’s targets for a total of 150 air yards. But what was most encouraging was his involvement in the red zone on designed plays, scoring two touchdowns versus the Eagles. Going forward, I expect Higgins to remain a crucial part of this offense as he is now entrenched as the outside WR opposite of A.J. Green. And if he continues to garner 20% of Burrow’s targets, Higgins should be fairly productive for the rest of the season.
Stock Down: Benny Snell – Pittsburgh Steelers, RB
Benny Snell was one of the more popular waiver wire adds after his week 1 performance, when he received 19 touches and compiled 113 rushing yards. Part of the increased opportunity was due to James Conners’ unavailability after suffering an ankle injury versus the Giants. Since then, Conner has out-touched him 40 to 11. When healthy, this backfield still belongs to Conner, which makes Snell nothing more than a high upside backup.
To put their first three weeks into perspective, Conner ranks RB22 in fantasy points over expected (+5.3, per Rotoviz), while Snell is RB118 (not a typo) with -5.2 FPOE. Conner has been more efficient with his touches, which explains the opportunity gap between the two RBs. I would still hold onto Snell in dynasty leagues as Conner is a free agent after this season. But as long as Conner is on this team, Snell will have very little opportunity to be fantasy relevant.
Stock Up: Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills, QB
Kudos to our DFS writer, Ben Cummins, for predicting Josh Allen’s improvement in one of his off-season articles. Allen has been nothing short of sensational in the first three weeks of the season. He is currently the QB2 in fantasy while pacing 2nd in passing TDs (10), 7th in rushing yards (83), and 6th in passing attempts (114). In addition, he is averaging a career-high 9.1 yards per attempt on a much improved 71% completion rate.
It is evident that the addition of Stefon Diggs has unlocked this offense, and Allen is clearly benefiting from it. So far in 2020, per RBSDM, Allen ranks 4th in completion percentage over expected (+8.8) after finishing 22nd in this metric in 2019 (-0.4). Dismantling any pre-season doubt, Allen should be locked and loaded in your starting lineups going forward.
Stock Down: Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears, QB
Entering 2020, there were plenty of question marks regarding Mitchell Trubisky’s future as the starting QB for the Chicago Bears. After two solid performances, Trubisky would struggle to get anything going against the Atlanta Falcons this past week. He would only complete 13 of his 22 pass attempts for 128 yards, on a very underwhelming 5.8 yards per attempt. And in the 3rd quarter, trailing by 16 points, Matt Nagy would bench Trubisky for Nick Foles.
Foles would then respond by throwing three touchdown passes, completing a 30-26 comeback victory over the Falcons. And now heading into week 4, Foles has already been named the starter, effectively plummeting Trubsiky’s dynasty value. If you are a fantasy manager with Trubisky on your roster, especially in a superflex league, I would hold onto him for now as he will be a free agent this upcoming off-season. The QB landscape can be unpredictable so I would wait until after free agency to cut Trubisky from your team.
Bonus: College Prospect Evaluation
Kyle Pitts – University of Florida, TE (2021 Prospect)
Raise your hand if you were extremely underwhelmed by this year’s rookie tight end class? You and me both!
Thankfully, the 2021 TE class is projected to be much better. So for our first college prospect evaluation of the season, I present to you Kyle Pitts, TE for the Florida Gators.
Kyle to Kyle.
Kyle Trask: 416 Pass Yds, 6 TD
Kyle Pitts: 170 Rec Yds, 4 TD
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 26, 2020
Pitts is essentially a really big WR that plays the TE position, measuring in at 6’6” and 240 lbs. What jumps out immediately when watching him is his athleticism on the field. He is a matchup nightmare for most defenders, routinely beating them downfield or towering over them for contested catches.
Pitts is also very dynamic with the ball in his hands, excelling in yards after the catch opportunities. Combine all of that with his fluid route running, and you might be looking at a top tier fantasy TE for years to come. And while he is not an elite blocker yet, that is something he can improve upon heading into the draft.
This past weekend, we saw Pitts and his QB, Kyle Trask, connect for an impressive 170 yards and 4 receiving TDs. Keep an eye on Pitts as Florida battles South Carolina this weekend.
NFL Draft Projection: 1st Round Prospect
Fantasy Rookie Draft Projection (1QB/1TE): Early 2nd Round