Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 5
Welcome back to the Dynasty Report, Footclan!
We are already four weeks into the season, which means we are finally gaining a clearer picture of the fantasy landscape. D.J. Moore is in the midst of a career year, while Cordarrelle Patterson might just be an every-week starter for your dynasty teams. Hopefully, heading into Week 5, you are on track to make the fantasy playoffs. If not, don’t panic yet. We still have several weeks of football left for you to turn your season around! Remain engaged, pursue trades, and remain active on the waiver wire to put yourself in the best situation to make the dynasty playoffs!
As always, 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. In addition to the Dynasty Stock Report, each week I will be providing you an updated Rookie Opportunity Dashboard (market share, red-zone stats, etc.) along with one of the following topics:
- Dynasty Strategy
- 2022 Prospect Breakdowns
- Dynasty Stashes
Rookie Opportunity Dashboard: Week 4
Below you will find a summary of each rookie’s performance for the past week. Monday Night Football games may be initially excluded but will be added as data becomes available. For reference:
- Expected Fantasy Points is a value calculated based on a player’s usage in their offense. The more high-value opportunities that 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.
A few rookie observations from week 4:
- Trey Lance was by far the most efficient rookie QB, scoring 11.7 points ABOVE expected. Yes, part of this is due to the 76-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel against broken coverage. Regardless, due to his rushing floor, his potential is sky-high as a fantasy QB.
- Kenneth Gainwell ranks as my RB10 in Week 4 in Expected PPR Points. Despite the high usage, he still performed ABOVE expected by 3.7 PPR points.
- Kyle Pitts continues to dominate in usage, ranking as my TE2 for the week in expected PPR points (19.2).
- Kadarius Toney finally received his opportunity with an impressive 15.9 expected PPR value and a 25% target share.
Dynasty Stock Report
Entering the season, dynasty managers (including myself) were expecting an encore from Brandon Aiyuk’s rookie year and another dominant season from George Kittle. However, to start the year, Deebo Samuel has been the unquestionable lead receiver for Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Through four games, he impressively leads the 49ers in several receiving metrics, including target share and air yards share. Compared to the rest of the league, Samuel is currently the:
- WR8 in Targets per game (10.2)
- WR1 in Receiving Yards per game (122.5)
- WR1 in Yards After the Catch per game(67.5)
- WR6 in Weighted Opportunity Rating (0.76)
Furthermore, to put his productive start into perspective, we have only seen 26 wide receivers from 2010 to 2020 start their first four games with at least 400 receiving yards and 40 targets. Of those 26, 80.7% finished the year averaging WR1 numbers on a per-game basis while 96% finished their season as a top-24 wide receiver. In other words, according to historical production, Deebo’s start should equate to sustained fantasy success, with a very high likelihood that he remains a WR1 for the rest of the year. As a dynasty manager, hold on to Samuel as I expect his dynasty value to improve significantly by the end of the year, especially with Trey Lance set to start as soon as this week.
Deebo Samuel is IN! @49ers cut the lead to 7 with 1:20 left.
— NFL (@NFL) October 3, 2021
The Ravens backfield has been marred by injuries, opening up the gates for players like Ty’Son Williams and Latavius Murray to take on a more prominent role. In his limited opportunities, Williams was fairly productive, especially in the first two games of the season. Against the Raiders and the Chiefs, he received 28 opportunities, scoring once and totaling 187 yards on an efficient 6.7 yards per touch. He also led the Ravens backfield in team opportunity share (23%) and rushing share (31%) in that timespan. Despite his productive start to the year, Baltimore decided to limit his opportunities over the last two games, culminating in a healthy scratch in Week 4. In fact, against the Broncos, the Ravens decided to rely on three running backs over the age of 28 instead of Williams.
Perhaps, this might indicate is that J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are likely going to lead this backfield next year once they return healthy from their respective injuries. And considering Le’Veon Bell, DeVonta Freeman, and Latavius Murray are all short-term options for this team, it is even more concerning that Williams is unable to crack the rotation for the Ravens. As dynasty managers, we likely missed our window to trade Williams at his peak value. For now, he is still worth a roster spot on your dynasty teams, at least until we see how effectively this new backfield rotation performs in the coming weeks.
Fun fact: D.J. Moore is one of two players that I have rostered in all of my dynasty leagues. Therefore, I am absolutely ecstatic that I finally get to write about him in this segment after an impressive start to his season. In his first three years in the league, we have seen glimpses of his potential, totaling 200+ PPR points and ranking within the top-30 in per-game scoring in his last two seasons. The biggest roadblock for Moore was always his touchdown efficiency, scoring only 10 times on 356 opportunities to start his career. However, in his fourth year, his connection with Darnold has elevated him into WR1 territory. Through the first four weeks of the season, Moore ranks:
- WR4 in Targets per game (10.8)
- WR4 in Receiving Yards per game (99.5)
- WR11 in Air Yards per Game (109.2)
- WR4 in PPR points per game (22.4)
Furthermore, as you can see in the chart below, Moore’s usage (expected PPR value) has improved every single week. Equally important, as seen by the green bars below, he has also met or exceeded his expected value each game. And while some weeks are more efficient than others, if he continues to dominate the targets and red-zone opportunities for Carolina, expect Moore to maintain his WR1 production. And at only 24 years old, Moore’s dynasty stock will only improve as the season progresses, especially if Darnold continues to rely on him as that team’s lead receiver.
After a somewhat promising season debut in which he received a 30% target share against Green Bay, Trautman has slowly faded into the dark abyss of the tight end landscape over the last three weeks. In that timespan, Trautman has averaged a 63.7% snap share while only receiving two opportunities for a total of three receiving yards. Part of his lack of opportunity is due to the offensive struggles for the Saints. Outside of their extremely efficient game against the Packers, over the last three weeks, New Orleans ranks 26th in total plays (170), 29th in yards per play (4.6), and 31st in pass attempts (69). Simply put, there is very little volume to sustain multiple fantasy-relevant players in this offense.
In addition, Juwan Johnson has been the more productive tight end in the Saints’ offense. While he has only averaged 23.5% of the snaps, he leads New Orleans in receiving touchdowns (3) and is tied with Kamara for first on the team in red-zone targets (3). And with Michael Thomas set to return later this year, I expect Trautman’s lack of targets to continue as the season progresses. At this point, Trautman could be considered droppable, especially if a tight end like Dan Arnold or Maxx Williams is still available on waivers in your dynasty leagues.
The Value of a Draft Pick
One of the more common questions that I receive from new dynasty players is how to value draft picks and when to trade for them during the year. Understandably, draft picks are one of the most valuable assets in dynasty. Unlike players who could lose value due to their ecosystem or an unfortunate injury, draft picks will hold or improve their stock over time. Therefore, as a rebuilding team, it makes perfect sense to trade players who do not fit your dynasty window for rookie picks. Keep in mind, however, that picks are far from guaranteed to hit. If you read my first dynasty report of the season, I highlighted just how uncommon it is for rookies to produce right out of college. As a result, proven talent should always be priced at a premium, which generally comes at the cost of multiple first-round picks. If you are trading for a player like Stefon Diggs, expect at least two first-round rookie picks to be involved in the transaction.
If you are looking to acquire first-round picks for the upcoming rookie draft, the best time to trade for them is now. As the season progresses, the value of a dynasty pick will only increase, especially the closer we get to our rookie drafts. In fact, this is also true for second and third-round picks, as certain prospects gain traction and dynasty managers look to scoop them up at a value in the middle rounds. Inversely, older veteran players have the highest value during the season, especially to a contender. Therefore, if you are looking to maximize the value of an older Adam Thielen or Leonard Fournette, now is the perfect time to reach out to those contenders to see if they are willing to part with draft capital for immediate production. And whether you decide to keep the pick or trade it away in a few months, trading for picks while their value is at its lowest during the season will pay dividends as soon as draft season begins.