The Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 2

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Welcome to the first edition of the 2021 Fantasy Footballers Dynasty Report!

As the year progresses, dynasty values will undoubtedly change as injuries occur, depth charts are adjusted, and rookies emerge. Keep in mind that managing a dynasty team will require year-long engagement, with a balanced view of both the short and long-term outlook of your team. Therefore, each week, 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 highlighting at least two of the following topics:

  • Dynasty Strategy
  • 2022 Prospect Breakdowns
  • Dynasty Stashes
  • Rookie Opportunity Dashboard (weekly updates on opportunity stats and metrics)
Dynasty Strategy

Rookies: Tempering Your Expectations

One of the most important dynasty lessons that I try to remind myself of every year is that we have to temper our expectations for our rookies. While adding players through our rookie draft can give us hope, we have to remember that only a handful of them will contribute immediately. To put this into context, a simple metric that we can leverage are rookie hit rates! In other words, how likely is it for a rookie to finish within the top-12 or top-24 at their respective position? For reference, since most leagues start multiple wide receivers and running backs, in the table below, their hit rates are defined as a top-24 finish. Whereas for quarterbacks and tight ends, which most leagues only start one of each, their hit rates are calculated based on a top-12 threshold. 

2010 to 2020 – PPR per game – minimum 8 games played

Round 1 Round 2-3
Wide Receivers (top-24) 22.86% 3.30%
Running Backs (top-24) 58.82% 23.81%
Tight Ends (top-12) 11.11% 2.56%
Quarterbacks (top-12) 18.52% 9.09%

As you can see in the data above, rookie running backs have the highest success rate for fantasy. So despite a disappointing first game, Najee Harris should still have a productive year considering the ample opportunity in that backfield. Outside of the RB position, the hit rates drop drastically. While only about one-fourth of all 1st round wide receivers hit that top-24 threshold, it was encouraging to see Ja’Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith lead their teams in target share in week 1. Furthermore, you will notice that tight ends have the lowest hit rate, which should level our expectations for Kyle Pitts. Despite a slower start to his career, Pitts still had a 24.2% target share against the Eagles. If he maintains that kind of volume, he could join Evan Engram as the only rookies to finish as a TE1 over the last decade. Lastly, by far the most overarching theme is that outside of the running back position, players drafted after round one have a very low likelihood of being immediate fantasy contributors.

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Ideally, you want to see rookies produce at some point during the year (potentially a second-half breakout) as that generally bodes well for their future success. A.J. Brown is the perfect example as he finished his rookie year as the WR30 in per-game scoring, despite breaking out as the overall WR2 in his final six games. Even though he did not qualify as a “rookie hit,” he still gave us a glimpse of his potential to end his first season. In short, remain patient as it might take a couple of weeks or months for rookies to acclimate to the league. Hold onto them, do not trade away, and remember that winning a dynasty championship is a marathon, not a sprint.

Dynasty Stock Report

Stock Up

CeeDee LambDallas Cowboys, WR

After a truly impressive rookie year in which he finished as the WR33 in PPR per game scoring, expectations were sky-high for CeeDee Lamb to take the next step in 2021. However, the biggest question mark for Lamb and this offense was always regarding their volume. With Dak Prescott returning, would Kellen Moore’s offense mirror their first four weeks in 2020 when everyone was healthy and they passed the ball 50.2 times per game? And if their passing volume declines, would there be enough targets to sustain multiple top-24 wide receivers? After week 1, we might not have to worry about that as the Cowboys passed the ball 58 times, allowing both Cooper and Lamb to generate double-digit targets.

Lamb would finish the week with an impressive 27% target share, while also leading the team in air yards (144) and weighted opportunity rating (0.69). While this was certainly an encouraging start for Dallas, I do not expect Dak Prescott to throw the ball nearly 60 times every single game. For reference, not a single quarterback who played a minimum of 8 games in 2020 averaged more than 41 passes per game. However, with Michael Gallup set to miss some time due to a calf injury, this passing offense will have to rely on Cooper and Lamb to succeed. So even if their volume declines, there should be plenty of opportunities for both players to operate as the WR1A and WR1B in this offense. And considering Gallup is a free agent after this season, we could be looking at a Cowboys passing attack led by Cooper, Lamb, and Dak for 2022 and beyond.

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Stock Down

Ryan FitzpatrickWashington Football Team, QB

After signing with Washington earlier this year, Ryan Fitzpatrick was set to lead this young and improving playoff team. And based on what we saw last year, there was plenty of hope that Fitzmagic could elevate this offense. In seven games as the starter, he finished as a QB1 five times, averaging 22.4 fantasy points for the Dolphins. In addition, he was the QB2 in deep completion rate and QB5 in catchable pass rate per PlayerProfiler. Coupled with the plethora of dynamic weapons on this offense, Fitzpatrick was expected to be a serviceable, rotational quarterback for your dynasty rosters.

Unfortunately, Washington’s offense took a hit in week 1 as Fitzmagic was placed on injured reserve with a hip subluxation. Per Matthew Betz’s Week 1 Injury Recap, this should not be a season-ending injury. However, the timeline for recovery can range between six to eight weeks, giving Tyler Heinicke plenty of opportunities to potentially seize the QB1 role. If Heinicke can build on his respectable performance on Sunday – 122 yards, 73% completion rate, and 1 touchdown – Fitzpatrick’s dynasty value could further decline. Washington will also have the option to bring in someone like Cam Newton should Heinicke struggle down the line. Keep in mind, Fitzpatrick is only on a one-year deal which puts his long-term value at risk. So if he relinquishes the QB1 role, at age 38, Fitzpatrick’s days as a starting quarterback in the NFL could be coming to a close.

Stock Up

Corey DavisNew York Jets, WR

After a season where the New York Jets finished 2-14, they revamped their entire coaching staff and offense this past off-season. Part of that transformation involved bringing in Corey Davis, who was coming off of his best season in 2020. While he only had the second-best target share of his career (23%), he set career-highs in yards per target (10.7), air yards per target (11.9), and receiver air conversion ratio (0.90). In other words, he was more efficient on his opportunities than in his first three seasons. And after signing a 3-year, $37.5 million contract, it was fully expected that Davis would step into the lead receiver role in Mike LaFleur’s offense.

In his first game as a Jet, Corey Davis did not disappoint, finishing as the WR5 in PPR leagues with 26.7 points. He only had a 19.4% target share (leading the team), though he accounted for 100% of the team’s receiving touchdowns and an impressive 37.6% receiving yards market share. And while I expect Elijah Moore and Jamison Crowder (COVID-19) to be more involved as the season progresses, there is an evident connection between Zach Wilson and Davis that could translate into weekly top-24 production. As a result, I expect Davis’ absurdly low dynasty ADP of WR53 to steadily rise this year, making him an excellent trade target in your dynasty leagues.

Stock Down

Zack MossBuffalo Bills, RB

This was by far one of the most surprising personnel decisions last week as Zack Moss was declared inactive for the Bills’ first game. Based on reports and comments from head coach Sean McDermott, the implication was that Moss was a healthy scratch. And while the off-season addition of Matt Breida was bound to limit Moss’ opportunities, the expectation was that he would once again play a key role for the Bills’ offense. In fact, in 2020, he led all Bills players in total red-zone opportunity share (33.3%), despite playing only 13 games. As a result, no one expected Moss to be inactive in their first game of the season.

In his absence, Buffalo ran the ball sparingly, finishing the game with a 32.9% run rate. Furthermore, Devin Singletary led all Buffalo running backs in rushing share (44%) and target share (10.2%), while leading the team in total scrimmage yards with 80. The good news for dynasty managers is that Matt Breida was mostly ineffective with his four carries. As a result, there is hope that Moss could be activated if Breida continues to struggle. Regardless, if Singeltary maintains his efficiency, it will only be a matter of time until he overtakes Moss in dynasty ADP (RB44 vs RB39).

Rookie Opportunity Dashboard

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 an expected fantasy value based on a player’s opportunities. The formula leverages historical data and is unique for each position.
  • FPOE stands for Fantasy Points Over Expected. If this value is positive, this would indicate that a player was efficient with their opportunities.
  • 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

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Player Position Fantasy Points (PPR) Expected FPs FPOE Passing Attempts Passing Air Yards Rush Attempts Rush Attempt Share Targets Target Share Red-Zone Opportunities
Ja’Marr Chase WR 20.9 12.34 8.6 1 3% 7 27% 0
DeVonta Smith WR 19.1 12.03 7.1 0 0% 8 25% 1
Terrace Marshall Jr. WR 5.6 11.89 -6.3 0 0% 6 18% 2
Jaylen Waddle WR 16.1 11.61 4.5 0 0% 6 22% 1
Anthony Schwartz WR 11.6 10.34 1.3 1 4% 5 19% 0
Rondale Moore WR 10.8 8.53 2.3 0 0% 5 16% 1
D’Wayne Eskridge WR 3.8 2.63 1.2 2 7% 1 5% 0
Kyle Pitts TE 8.1 14.6 -6.5 0 0% 8 24% 1
Pat Freiermuth TE 3.4 2.32 1.1 0 0% 1 3% 0
Najee Harris RB 5.9 15.27 -9.4 16 76% 3 9% 4
Elijah Mitchell RB 16.4 10.94 5.5 19 68% 0 0% 2
Javonte Williams RB 5.1 10.37 -5.3 14 50% 1 3% 2
Kenneth Gainwell RB 13.3 10.98 2.3 9 29% 3 8% 2
Larry Rountree III RB 2.7 4.45 -1.8 8 29% 0 0% 1
Michael Carter RB 3 3.81 -0.8 4 24% 2 6% 0
Trevor Lawrence QB 22.4 18.21 4.2 51 414 1 6% 3
Mac Jones QB 18.05 14.78 3.3 39 247 0 0% 4
Zach Wilson QB 20.9 12.92 8 37 370 0 0% 2

Data per Pro Football Reference & Rotoviz

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