Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 10
Welcome back to the Dynasty Report!
In this weekly series, I will be highlighting the most impactful storylines from a dynasty perspective. While most of this article will focus on NFL players, this piece will also include a brand new segment called the Prospect Watch List. My goal is to provide you with an overview of some of the best prospects entering the league to help gauge the potential value of your dynasty picks. Since there are quite a few prospects to follow, I will focus on a different position each week. In today’s piece, we will look at the most productive Tight Ends in College Football. In short, you can expect the following segments every week:
- Rookie Opportunity Dashboard: Overview of rookie performances in the NFL
- Dynasty Stock Report: Recap of the Risers & Fallers in the Dynasty Landscape
- Prospect Watch List: Production Profiles & Analysis for CFB Prospects
Rookie Opportunity Dashboard: Week 9
To keep the dashboard concise, I will only be highlighting the most fantasy-relevant rookies at each position every week. For reference:
- Expected Fantasy Points or xFP is a value that signifies volume and usage. We want to target rookies that rank highly in this metric, as it could potentially signal future opportunity and fantasy success
- Fantasy Points Over Expected or FPOE signifies efficiency relative to a player’s usage. FPOE is the variance between a player’s actual fantasy points and their expected fantasy value. This metric will usually regress closer to the mean (zero), which is why we isolate it from their baseline production (xFP) to determine which players we can rely on for fantasy
- Opportunity Share is the percentage of targets and rush attempts that a player accounts for on their team
Rookie Observations after Week 9:
- It was a week of career highs for Kenneth Walker as he received the most opportunities (30) in a single game against the Cardinals. This led to an impressive 22.9 Expected Fantasy Points, which ranked 3rd among running backs for the week. More importantly, he set a season-high target share at 12.5%, signaling a continued improvement in his receiving usage.
- Dameon Pierce, on the other hand, was not as involved in the receiving game as he received zero targets in a game for the first time in his career. However, he was highly efficient on the ground while accounting for 50.9% of his team’s total opportunities. This game was a perfect example of Pierce’s high fantasy floor as he failed to find the end zone but still managed to finish the week as a borderline RB1.
- Brian Robinson’s usage has been a slight concern over the last couple of weeks, as Antonio Gibson continues to outperform him. And for the second week in a row, Gibson has totaled a higher expected fantasy value than Robinson due to his involvement as a receiver. Unfortunately, this backfield seems to be a full committee as neither Robinson nor Gibson will receive enough opportunities to be anything more than a volatile flex option in your lineups.
- Garrett Wilson’s resurgence continues. As the Jets have faded Elijah Moore, Wilson has been the unquestioned WR1 for this offense. This past week, he set a season-high in target share (37.5%) and air yards share (49.3%), leading to his most productive fantasy performance since his Week 2 breakout. Assuming this usage continues, Wilson should be a solid WR2 going forward.
- It has been a disappointing season for Drake London after a promising start to his rookie year. However, this past week, his target share of 30.4% is the highest over his last five games. While that is a positive development, he continues to underperform as the Falcons remain one of the most run-heavy teams in the league.
- It was a quiet week for rookie tight ends, with Greg Dulcich on bye. However, Cade Otton had the most efficient game of his young career, totaling +5.8 Fantasy Points Over Expected. It was especially encouraging to see him receive two targets near the goal line, one of which he converted into a game-winning touchdown. While Cameron Brate could return next week, I would not be surprised if the Buccaneers decide to fully commit to Otton, who should be the future at tight end for this team.
- Malik Willis set a career-high in passing attempts (16), air yards (204), and rushing share (27.6%) against the Chiefs in Week 9. However, as a passer, he was far from efficient as he finished with a -21.8 Completion Percentage Over Expected. On a positive note, we finally saw glimpses of his rushing upside as he totaled 40 rushing yards on eight attempts.
Dynasty Stock Report
Earlier this year, I wrote about Travis Etienne’s declining dynasty stock as it seemed like the team was committed to James Robinson, despite coming off of an Achilles injury. However, there was a path to more opportunities for Etienne as Robinson would be a restricted free agent after this year. To our surprise, the Jaguars made their choice early by trading Robinson to the Jets and allowing Etienne to flourish as the lead running back. Over the last three weeks, Etienne has been a high-end RB1 in nearly every usage and opportunity metric:
- RB2 in Expected Fantasy Points (19.1)
- RB5 in Opportunity Share (40%)
- RB3 in Rushing Share (73.3%)
- RB4 in Half-PPR points (22.6)
To put his workload into perspective, since Week 7, the only running back averaging a higher Expected Fantasy Value in my usage model is Austin Ekeler. And with this team fully committed to Etienne as their lead running back, his dynasty value should be well within the RB1 range. One could even argue that he should be entrenched as a top-five dynasty running back, factoring in his age, draft capital investment, and production through his first nine games. So if you held onto Etienne through his injury and early-season struggles, you now have a top-tier dynasty running back for the foreseeable future.
Elijah Moore – New York Jets, WR
After some tension with the front office, we saw Moore’s snap share decline to 17% prior to the NFL deadline. Based on his usage, it seemed as if the Jets were keeping Moore healthy in preparation for a trade. However, the trade deadline has come and gone and he remains a part of the Jets’ offense, further complicating his dynasty value. As I mentioned in my “Rookie Observations” segment, Garrett Wilson has clearly assumed the WR1 role. Unfortunately, this will only limit Moore’s upside as this team is unlikely to support multiple fantasy-relevant wide receivers.
With this in mind, how should you approach Moore in dynasty leagues? Personally, I would hold on to him (or even trade for him) as we have seen glimpses of his upside dating back to his rookie year. In fact, after their bye week in 2021, Moore was the WR5 in points per game prior to his injury. Unfortunately, he is unlikely to realize his full potential if he remains with the Jets, so we can only hope that he finds his way to a new team where he can operate as a focal point.
Justin Fields – Chicago Bears, QB
Justin Fields is a QB1 in both redraft and dynasty formats going forward.
After an inconsistent start to his second season, we have seen Fields transform into an every-week starter for fantasy managers. Since Week 5, he has been a QB1 every single week, ranking as the:
- QB3 in Fantasy Points (25.5)*
- QB1 in Fantasy Points Over Expected (+6.6)*
- QB2 in Rushing Share (30.2%)*
- QB1 in Rushing Yards (91)*
*Per Game Stats
While the rushing numbers are impressive, we have also seen minor improvements in his passing efficiency. Over the last five games, Fields is right around average in Completion Percentage Over Expected at QB18 (-0.5) while ranking as the QB11 in Adjusted Yards per Attempt (7.7). In short, the Bears have adjusted their offense to cater to his strength, which clearly translated into elite fantasy production. And while there is room for Fields to improve, keep in mind that Jalen Hurts – who was mostly viewed as a rushing quarterback – did not truly progress as a passer until the Eagles added A.J. Brown. I expect a similar leap for Fields if and when the Bears add more talent to their offense in the near future.
Another player whose dynasty value has severely declined after the trade deadline is Irv Smith Jr. of the Minnesota Vikings. Even before that, Smith was far from productive as he only produced one TE1 performance in seven games. And after suffering an ankle injury that ultimately placed him on injured reserve, the Vikings decided to pursue a long-term option at tight end by acquiring T.J. Hockenson.
Needless to say, Smith Jr.’s time as a Viking is likely coming to an end as he approaches unrestricted free agency in 2023. In addition, with Hockenson under contract for at least another year, it makes very little sense for the Vikings to re-sign Smith. There is always the possibility that he receives a lucrative contract to become the TE1 for another team. But until then, dynasty managers will have no choice but to stash him on their bench until the off-season.
Prospect Watch List: Week 10 – Tight Ends
Brock Bowers – Georgia, TE
Very rarely do we see a tight end prospect lead their team in receiving production early on in their career. In fact, most do not break out until their second or third collegiate season. As a result, when we filter prospects since 2013 who broke out as true freshmen and were drafted with day one or two capital, the list is rather short:
So when a tight end breaks out as a true freshman, it should immediately catch our eye. Brock Bowers is one of those rare players as he led the Georgia Bulldogs in receiving yards (882) in his first season. Furthermore, he had a truly elite campaign averaging an impressive 2.23 Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt and a 25.7% Weighted Receiving Dominator Rating. That season alone puts him in rarified company.
In his sophomore year, he continues to build his case as the TE1 for the 2024 class. While his production has slightly declined compared to last season, Bowers is still having an outstanding campaign. In nine games this year, he is leading the Bulldogs in a variety of receiving metrics, ranking 6th among Power 5 tight ends in Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt. Aside from his production, Bowers has the athletic ability to be an impactful receiver as he recorded a 4.50 40-yard-dash and a 40-inch vertical as a sophomore in high school. We see this clearly displayed on the field, as Bowers has shown on several occasions that he has the ability to burn linebackers with his impressive speed. As a result, do not be surprised if he dominates at the NFL Combine when he declares for the 2024 draft.
In short, if your dynasty teams are desperate for an elite tight end, we might have two of them coming up. Michael Mayer should declare for the 2023 draft. However, do not forget about Brock Bowers in 2024, who may just be a better prospect when he decides to enter the NFL.