Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 7
Welcome back to the Dynasty Report, Footclan!
We are quickly approaching the halfway point of the football season, which means the playoff picture in your leagues should be slowly taking shape. And with bye weeks starting in Week 6 and injuries continuing to pile up, the depth of your rosters will truly be tested. Therefore, it is never too early to take a look ahead. Plan out your bye weeks, run through your lineups, and analyze your matchups to put yourself in the best possible situation to win each week.
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 6
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 6:
- Najee Harris once again finishes as the overall RB1 in expected fantasy points/usage (28.4)
- Khalil Herbert was the RB12 in usage (17.3 expected points) with David Montgomery and Damien Williams unavailable
- The Muuuuuth (aka. Pat Freiermuth) was a top-12 TE in expected fantasy points this past week (9.8 – TE10), while also finishing 3.0 PPR points above expected (TE15)
- Jaylen Waddle continues his breakout rookie year, finishing the week with a 28% target share and the 5th highest expected value (22.7) among all wide receivers
Following the Money (and Player Contracts)
When trying to evaluate a player in dynasty, their contract or guaranteed money can be extremely telling. It immediately shows whether a team believes this player can be a long-term contributor to their franchise. As a result, using contract information can be extremely helpful in determining a player’s dynasty value. One of my favorite resources is Over The Cap, as it provides us with the contract details beyond just the total dollar amount. It gives us an overview of a player’s guaranteed salary, the dead money on their contract, and the potential cap savings if they were traded or released. One of the most crucial pieces to a player’s contract is their Dead Cap, which is the dollar amount that remains on the team’s overall salary even if that player is no longer on the roster. In other words, the higher the dead cap, the less likely it is for a player to be released, signifying a team’s commitment to that player. If the dead cap is relatively low, that player could be either released or traded, especially if the cap savings far outweigh the liability of that player’s contract and performance.
For example, at first glance it might seem like Robert Wood’s contract has him linked to the Rams through the 2025 season. However, if we look a little closer, his seasons beyond 2023 are non-guaranteed. Furthermore, if we toggle through the “post-June 1 cut” scenario, we see that releasing Woods could save the Rams upwards of $10 million each year starting in 2022. While it is unlikely they let him go, we have to keep this information in mind as the Rams could run into some cap issues in 2022 (27th in the league in available cap space). On the other hand, Robby Anderson, who has severely underperformed so far this year, would only save the Panthers $5.0 million in 2022 with a dead cap of $11.8 million. In other words, the Panthers are better off keeping him around for depth even if Terrace Marshall takes a leap next season.
In short, a player’s contract can highlight just how volatile a player’s dynasty stock might be. The more value a player provides for their team (ie. rookies or players outperforming their contract), the higher the likelihood that they remain on the roster. However, if a player’s production begins to decline while their cap hit continues to rise, their team might just decide to release them. Therefore, when managing your roster, contract and cap details can help foreshadow a player’s future dynasty value and the potential opportunity available for the players around them.
Dynasty Stock Report
Ja’Marr Chase has been nothing short of sensational this year. Despite the lofty expectations as the highest-drafted wide receiver since Corey Davis, Chase has continued to perform at an extremely efficient level every single week. It should not come as a surprise, however, as his college production profile checked nearly every box. From his 77th percentile breakout age (19.5) to his impressive market share numbers in his Sophomore year at LSU (33% dominator rating), Chase entered the league as one of the more well-rounded prospects in recent history. And through six weeks, he has performed as one of the most productive fantasy receivers in the league. Despite only ranking as the WR21 in target share (24%), Chase is the WR5 in receiving yards per game (92.2), WR2 in Air Yard Share (47.6%), and the WR5 in Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt (3.16). In other words, Chase has been extremely efficient, making the most of every single opportunity.
As you can see in the chart above, his fantasy production is heavily driven by his efficiency and “points above expected.” While that can certainly be viewed as a positive, if his efficiency does regress to the mean, Chase may no longer be the WR1 that we have grown accustomed to over the last few weeks. Regardless, from a dynasty perspective, what Chase has done to start his career has been truly historic. In fact, he is one of only two rookie wide receivers since 1992 to start their first six career games with a minimum of 500 receiving yards, 40 targets, and 5 touchdowns. The other wide receiver to accomplish this: Randy Moss. Expect Chase’s dynasty ADP to steadily improve, especially if his efficiency continues to carry his production to close out the season.
It might be time to start worrying about Allen Robinson’s dynasty value after six weeks of average production. So far this season, Robinson is the WR70 in PPR leagues, averaging only 8.4 PPR points per game. And considering he was being drafted as a WR2 this past off-season – with a WR14 dynasty ADP – dynasty managers should be extremely disappointed with his production. Interestingly, his opportunity metrics would indicate that he should be much more productive than the WR70 on the season. In fact, Robinson is currently the WR24 in air yards share (32.9%) and WR17 in target share (24.8%) but is only averaging 39 receiving yards per game on a career-low 6.5 yards per target. Part of his decline in production is driven by Matt Nagy’s below-average offense, ranking only 32nd in passing yards per game (117.2), 31st in adjusted yards per attempt (5.2), and 31st in cumulative quarterback rating (73.2). It also doesn’t help that Justin Fields is currently only 27th in Completion Percentage Over Expected (-1.5) among all QBs with a minimum of 100 plays.
In addition, another unexpected variable this season has been the emergence of Darnell Mooney. While he only ranks as the WR53 in PPR production (for the same reasons outlined above), Mooney has actually operated as the lead receiver for the Bears, commanding a 26.9% target share and 32.3% air yards share in six games. As a result, Robinson’s overall opportunity has been capped because of Mooney’s connection with Justin Fields. With this in mind, how should we approach Robinson in dynasty formats? The positive news is that Robinson is a pending free agent and is more than likely going to find a new home prior to the 2022 season. So while his dynasty ADP is slowly on the decline, we could see a resurgence from him in a more explosive offense next season. Therefore, if his dynasty ADP drops outside of the top-24 by the end of the year, Robinson could be an intriguing trade target, considering the upside we have seen from him in his eight-year career.
With the unfortunate injury to Cam Akers earlier this season, Darrell Henderson (aka Darnell Anderson) was thrust into the RB1 role for Sean McVay’s offense. While there was some concern that the Rams would utilize a running back by committee, Henderson has been the clear leader for this backfield to start the season. When healthy, he has averaged a 59.1% rushing attempt share, while leading the team with a 32.4% opportunity share in 5 games. To put those numbers into perspective, Henderson ranks as the RB8 in opportunity share, ahead of Jonathan Taylor (30.7%) and Aaron Jones (31.6%). In addition, he has also been involved in the passing game, accounting for 9.9% of the team’s targets. In short, Henderson has been a focal point for the Rams, ranking among some of the most elite running backs in the league in usage.
While Henderson’s dynasty stock is trending upward, Cam Akers is still set to return in 2022. However, according to Matthew Betz’s injury analysis in our 2021 UDK, Akers’ Achilles injury could significantly impact his long-term outlook as research has shown that it negatively affects a player’s power score, career length, and games played. Therefore, Henderson could remain the lead running back for the foreseeable future, especially if Akers’ athleticism is slightly capped for the remainder of his career. As a result, Henderson becomes a potential trade target for those looking to win a championship this year. Because, assuming he continues to receive top-12 usage, I would not be surprised if he turns out to be a league-winner as he currently has the 2nd best running back playoff schedule to close out the year.
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2021
After a season in which he finished as the TE8, averaging 11 PPR points per game, Tonyan’s production has taken a significant hit in 2021. The concern dating back to last season was always his inconsistency and lack of top-tier volume. So while he certainly had his game-winning weeks in 2020 – six finishes inside the top-6 – he also ranked outside of the top-24 in five games. And considering he was only the TE23 in target share last year (12%), his production was heavily reliant on his touchdown efficiency. In fact, it has been Tonyan’s red-zone efficiency that has declined significantly this season. Last year, he only saw 11 red-zone targets in which he scored at an extremely efficient 63.6% rate (7 touchdowns total). Through six games in 2021, Tonyan has only received 4 red-zone opportunities and has not scored a single time inside the 20.
That number is bound to regress to the mean, though I highly doubt we ever see Tonyan score on 63% of his red-zone targets again in his career. In addition, with his target share declining to 11% this year, without his efficiency, he is likely unplayable in most of your lineups. Unless you are forced to start two tight ends, finding a more productive and affordable option such as Jared Cook or Tyler Conklin is likely the best option for your dynasty team. Continue to hold to Tonyan as he is still on the field for 61.2% of the offensive snaps. However, if those snaps do not translate into improved opportunity in the coming weeks, Tonyan will likely see his dynasty ADP drop outside of the top-24 by the end of the year.