Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 8
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 7 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
Dynasty Trading – Know Your League’s Dynasty Outlook
We briefly touched on this topic last week. With several leagues being a month away from their trade deadline, now is the perfect time to assess where each team is trending. It is crucial to not only know your team’s dynasty outlook, but the potential outlook for your fellow leaguemates.
First off, evaluate your league standings to assess where each team is slotted. Are they still in contention for a playoff spot, or are they looking towards the next season? In addition, the “points for” and “points against” column can shed some light on a team’s first half of the season. For example, if a team is currently 2nd in your league in “points scored against,” but they also rank 1st in points scored, they may be a playoff team masked by a below .500 record. Conversely, if a 5-2 team is last in the league in both columns, they may have had an extremely favorable schedule to date.
Don’t forget to take a look at each team’s rest of season schedule. Are they set to play against multiple below .500 teams? Do they have a tough schedule leading up to the playoffs? Taking a look at the league standings and assessing where each team might finish by the end of the season can give you a better idea of their trading tendencies and where those 2021 picks might land.
Lastly, assess each team’s depth chart. Are they particularly deep at a specific position? What weaknesses do they have? Use those weaknesses to your advantage when crafting a trade. For example, a contender might have a desperate need at RB. If you have David Johnson on your rebuilding roster, go approach a contender and see if they are willing to trade a low 2021 1st or multiple 2021 2nds for RB depth. Keep in mind that aging RBs or WRs are most valuable during the season when they represent production. Take advantage of that and offload older players that do not fit your rebuilding window, such as Melvin Gordon, Adam Thielen, or even Julio Jones.
Dynasty Stock Report
Stock Up: Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers, QB
Justin Herbert has been rapidly rising in the dynasty landscape since taking over for Tyrod Taylor in week 2. While many believed that Joe Burrow would be the most productive rookie QB this season, Herbert has been more impressive to start his career. Since 1950, where does Herbert rank among all QBs in their first 5 starts (minimum 100 attempts per PFR)?
- 6th in passing attempts (184)
- 3rd in completions (124)
- T-5th in passing TDs (12)
- 4th in QB Rating (108.1)
- 3rd in total fantasy points (125.8)
If we take a look at his efficiency metrics, he has been nothing but stellar this season. Per PlayerProfiler, Herbert is 11th in true completion percentage (73.8%) and 5th in adjusted yards per attempt (8.2). And despite playing with a bottom 10 offensive line (per Football Outsiders), Herbert has found a way to produce, ranking as the 4th best QB under pressure with a 54.2% completion percentage.
Stock Down: Gardner Minshew – Jacksonville Jaguars, QB
Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport shared that there was a realistic possibility that Gardner Minshew could be replaced by either Mike Glennon or Jake Luton if he continues to struggle. Minshew would finish the week with a lackluster 14 completions (on 27 attempts), 173 passing yards, and 2 passing TDs. The encouraging part about his performance is that he did not lose a fumble or throw an interception after turning over the ball at least once in each of his last 5 games.
Regardless, the Jaguars enter a pivotal bye week after losing their 6th straight game. For now, fantasy managers will anxiously wait to hear if Minshew will retain his starting gig. Unfortunately, if he does remain the starter, this may only delay the inevitable. The Jaguars currently have the 4th worst record in the league, which currently puts them on track to draft either Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields, two outstanding 2021 QB prospects. Minshew’s days as a startable fantasy QB may be numbered, so be sure to move him this season while he still retains dynasty value. Consider trading him in a package deal with a 2021 pick to net yourself a QB under a long-term contract, such as Matthew Stafford or Ryan Tannehill.
Stock Up: A.J. Brown – Tennessee Titans, WR
A.J. Brown has been sensational since entering the league in 2019. Since 1992, among all WRs in their first 20 games, Brown is tied for 66th in targets (116) and 50th in receptions (75). Despite the low volume, he is 15th in receiving yards (1,383) and T-7th in receiving TDs (12), leading all WRs in yards per target (11.92). And from a fantasy perspective, he ranks as the WR12 in total PPR points with 297.3. Brown is proving that he is one of the best receivers in this league while operating as the focal point of this highly efficient Tennessee offense.
AJ BROWN TO THE HOUSE. 73 YARDS! @Brown1arthur
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2020
Despite what many assumed was an unsustainable rookie season, Brown is offsetting his efficiency regression with an increase in volume share (+4 percentage points). So while his yards per reception has declined from 20.2 to 14.3, his 16 game target pace of 128 is significantly higher than his 84 targets from 2019. For dynasty purposes, one of the biggest drivers to sustained production is continuity. And for the foreseeable future, this Titans offense will have just that, with Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry signed to long-term contracts. Expect Brown to continue to improve as he cements himself as a dynasty WR1.
Stock Down: Ian Thomas – Carolina Panthers, TE
Ian Thomas was trending upward when the Carolina Panthers released Greg Olsen this past off-season. The expectation was that Thomas would assume the 81 vacated targets that Olsen left behind. As a result, his dynasty ADP heading into the season was TE18, just behind Irv Smith Jr. and Jonnu Smith (per DLF August ADP). Seven games into the season, those expectations have not materialized. Thomas is currently on pace for a meager 27.4 targets, only 114 receiving yards, and 2.2 receiving TDs.
Part of his lack of production is due to the addition of Robby Anderson. With three legitimate threats at wide receiver, and an impressive RB duo of Christian McCaffrey and Mike Davis, there are only so many targets left in this Joe Brady offense. For now, his dynasty stock is on the decline, trending as the TE27 in dynasty ADP. In more shallow 1TE dynasty leagues, he is likely droppable, especially if you need depth at other positions.
Stock Down: Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Green Bay Packers, WR
Heading into the season, there was an open competition for the WR2 role for the Green Bay Packers. To start the season, Allen Lazard seemed to run away with it before suffering a core muscle injury that placed him on injured reserve. With both Davante Adams and Lazard injured, Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the next man up. Despite the increase in opportunity, MVS would only total nine receptions and 82 receiving yards over the last four games.
The Packers are definitely calling around about WRs. No idea on specific targets, but have heard they are making plenty of calls. They came close to pulling the trigger on Robby Anderson last year. We'll see if Gutekunst makes a move this time around.
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) October 23, 2020
With a week away from the NFL trade deadline, reports are coming out that the Packers are in the market for an upgrade at wide receiver. If they do strike a deal within the next few days, this would further diminish MVS’ dynasty value as he will likely operate as the 5th or 6th option in this offense once Lazard returns. If you can trade him right now and recoup some value, I would absolutely do that as his dynasty value is trending in the wrong direction.
Bonus: College Prospect Evaluation
Jaylen Waddle – Alabama Crimson Tide, WR (2021 Prospect)
In the NFL, speed kills.
That’s exactly what Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle brings to the table. While he is projected to be one of the fastest receivers in this upcoming 2021 class, there is so much more to his game. His blend of athleticism, deceptive speed variation, and outstanding lateral movement makes him a threat to score from anywhere on the field. In addition, he is also a very proficient route runner, proving over the last few seasons that he is more than just a “field stretcher.”
Further confirmation that Jaylen Waddle is really good and really fast pic.twitter.com/EbVRQaSF7b
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) November 30, 2019
What makes Waddle so special is that while he is usually the fastest player on the field, he is very selective in how he uses his speed. He knows when to accelerate and decelerate, oftentimes using that to his advantage by making defenders miss. His vision and ability to vary his speed is on full display in the return game, where he has been very successful in his college career. For reference, he averaged 24.4 yards per punt return in 2019, which was 6th best in CFB history. His impact in that facet of the game should lead to immediate playing time in his rookie year.
Unfortunately, his Junior year will be cut short after suffering an ankle fracture versus Tennessee. Per our injury analyst, Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT), the expectation is that he fully recovers, though he is unlikely to participate in the NFL combine. As a result, expect a slower off-season and start to his NFL career. He finishes his Junior year with 557 receiving yards, 4 TDs, and an impressive 22.3 YPR. And prior to his injury, per PFF, Waddle generated the 3rd highest yards per route run (4.68) in the FBS.
NFL Draft Projection: Mid 1st Round Prospect
Fantasy Rookie Draft Projection (1QB/1TE): Mid-to-Late 1st Round