Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 11
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 Running Backs 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 10
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 10:
- How can we not start this segment with Christian Watson’s breakout game? Admittedly, I was not the biggest fan of Watson as a prospect, but the opportunity was always there for him to become a fantasy-relevant wide receiver. And with injuries to Romeo Doubs and Randall Cobb, he finally had his breakout performance. His target share (42.1%) and air yards share (73.5%) from Week 10 are the highest by a Packers wide receiver in a single game this year. He also had the most efficient game by a Packers receiver this season, scoring +16.2 Fantasy Points Over Expected (FPOE). Naturally, we need more than a one-game sample size to anoint Watson as a weekly WR1 or WR2 option. However, this performance was highly encouraging and could be a turning point for his rookie season.
- Brian Robinson set a career-high in opportunity share (35.1%) and Expected Fantasy Points (15.9) as the Commanders relied on their running game to outlast the undefeated Eagles. While he may not be the most efficient runner, Robinson should be a weekly flex play with a baseline of 15 to 20 opportunities most weeks.
- Despite the game script not necessarily going his way, Kenneth Walker had another solid outing as he continues to improve his usage in the passing game. Over the last three weeks, his receiving volume has improved with each game, culminating in a career-high 24.2% target share in Week 10.
- Rachaad White had a career-high 22 total opportunities and a 30.1% opportunity share. Anything at or above 30% could signal potential low-end RB2 numbers, which we saw this past week as White finished as the RB19 with 105 scrimmage yards. It remains to be seen if Leonard Fournette will miss time due to his hip injury, which will naturally impact White’s fantasy value heading into Week 12.
- Drake London finished with double-digit half-PPR points for the first time since Week 3, and a respectable target share of 20.7%. In addition, London is averaging the 14th-highest target share (27.7%) among wide receivers this season, which is an impressive accomplishment for a rookie. However, until we see the Falcons’ offense lean on the passing game, his Expected Fantasy Value (xFP) will remain in the WR3/WR4 range.
- Treylon Burks returned this past week and received a 16.7% target share, which ranked 3rd on the team. That is the second-highest target share of his young career (career-high was back in Week 2 with 26.1%). Keep in mind, he received six targets despite only playing on 56% of the snaps. If his snaps continue to improve, Burks could be a late breakout candidate in the second half of the season.
- Over the last several weeks, David Bell has hovered around a 40 to 50 percent snap share but has failed to produce on those opportunities. This past week, Bell eclipsed the 10% target share mark for the first time in his career at 15.2%. Keep an eye on Bell’s usage in the coming weeks as Deshaun Watson is set to return from suspension, likely providing an upgrade for that offense.
- Kenny Pickett finally had his breakout game, ranking as the QB12 and finishing with a positive FPOE (+0.92) for the first time this season. What immediately caught my eye is how involved Pickett has been as a rusher. Over the last two weeks, he is the QB6 in rushing share at 22.4%, providing a significant boost to his baseline production.
Dynasty Stock Report
While Justin Jefferson’s dynasty stock was already extremely high heading into 2022, his production this season only solidified his ranking as the dynasty WR1. In fact, Jefferson is currently on a historic pace, totaling the 4th most receiving yards (1,060) by a wide receiver in the Super Bowl era through the first nine games of a season. As a result, it should not surprise anyone that Jefferson ranks within the top six in a variety of production metrics:
- WR1 in Expected Fantasy Points (16.4)
- WR6 in Target Share (29.9%)
- WR4 in Air Yards Share (41.7%)
- WR2 in Half-PPR Points (19.4)
While he is the unquestioned dynasty WR1, one can easily argue that Jefferson should be valued more than Jonathan Taylor, considering the longer career arc of a wide receiver. And at only age 23, with an offense that is equipped to contend for the foreseeable future, Jefferson should remain one of the most valuable fantasy assets over the next several seasons. Therefore, whether you are a contender or a rebuilding team, he should never leave your roster unless you receive an offer centered around multiple first-round picks. Even then, I would hesitate considering the blend of immediate and future production that Jefferson provides for your dynasty teams.
What has happened to Clyde Edwards-Helaire over the last few weeks?
After a string of RB1 performances to start the year, CEH has not finished higher than RB30 in half-PPR scoring since Week 5. When examining his first four games, it was clear that Edwards-Helaire’s production was heavily reliant on touchdowns. In other words, while he was the RB4 in half-PPR points per game (17.3), he was only the RB31 in Expected Fantasy Points at 10.1. Because he was averaging an unsustainable +7.12 Fantasy Points Over Expected, we should have expected his efficiency to eventually regress to the mean.
However, what we could not have anticipated is a decline in both total opportunities and snaps coming out of their bye week. Over the last two weeks, CEH has only averaged an 11.5% snap share and four opportunities, clearly playing behind both Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon. As a result, Edwards-Helaire will likely provide very little fantasy value going forward. And while he is still under contract for another year, it is becoming inherently clear that the Chiefs will need to find a new RB1 in 2023.
Garrett Wilson – New York Jets, WR
It has been a roller coaster of a year for Garrett Wilson, who broke out almost immediately with a WR1 performance in the second game of his rookie season. However, with the return of Zach Wilson and the breakout campaign of Breece Hall, the Jets’ receivers took a step back from Weeks 4 to 6. Keep in mind, Wilson’s target share never dropped below 18% during those three games, despite a decline in overall volume for all Jets’ receivers.
Fast forward to Week 8, and the Jets were forced to revamp their offense once again after Hall suffered a season-ending injury. As a result, the Jets have made an effort to get the ball in Wilson’s hands early and often, leading to a noticeable increase in volume over the last two games. Since Week 8, Wilson is the WR14 in target share (27.6%) and WR20 in Expected Fantasy Points (10.7), commanding WR2 volume since the injury to Hall. While Robert Saleh has indicated that Elijah Moore could be more involved after their bye week, Wilson remains the most talented receiver and should be a centerpiece for this offense as they fight for a playoff spot in the AFC East.
It pains me to write about Rashod Bateman in this segment as he was one of my favorite prospects coming out of the 2021 draft. And with Marquise Brown traded to the Cardinals, I was fully on board the Bateman breakout campaign. Unfortunately, a Lisfranc injury will sideline him for the rest of the year as he opted to undergo season-ending surgery earlier this month. However, based on reports from the team, he should be ready for the 2023 campaign.
Because he will be sidelined for the rest of the year, Bateman’s dynasty value will naturally decline over the next few months. Aside from the injury, there are other reasons to be slightly concerned about his long-term outlook. With Lamar Jackson set to be a free agent after this year, questions remain as to who will be the starting quarterback for the Ravens in 2023. Will they re-sign Jackson? Could they bring in a veteran quarterback? Of course, this will heavily affect Bateman’s dynasty value. However, I still believe in his talent, entering the league with one of the best collegiate profiles in recent history. Therefore, if you can snag Bateman at a discount, I would take advantage of that opportunity this upcoming off-season.
Prospect Watch List: Week 10 – Running Backs
Blake Corum – Michigan
Blake Corum was a 4-star recruit out of Laurel, Maryland, and has been a part of the Michigan Wolverine’s backfield over the last three seasons. His collegiate career started slowly as he was a part of a running back committee with Hassan Haskins, who was drafted in the 4th round this year, and Zach Charbonnet, who has had a successful career since transferring to UCLA. As a result, he only totaled 147 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in six games as a true freshman. The following year, Corum took a significant step forward as a sophomore, despite Haskins retaining the lead running back role. He averaged a 21.1% weighted team dominator rating, totaling over 1,000 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games.
This season, however, Corum has taken his production to an elite level, operating as the unquestioned lead running back for the Wolverines. He has accounted for 30.2% of the team’s scrimmage yards and 38.3% of their touchdowns in 10 games, equating to an impressive weighted dominator rating of 31.8%. In addition, Corum also ranks 8th among Power 5 running backs in total yards per team play (1.97), indicating that he is one of the most productive running backs in the nation.
However, the biggest question mark for Corum is whether he will receive day two draft capital in a very talented running back class. According to the NFL Mock Draft Database, there are several websites that have him ranked in that range. With day two capital, his prospect comps based on his production, size (5’8” and 210 lbs), and athletic ability would be very intriguing. Per my prospect database dating back to 2013, Tre Mason and Kenneth Walker were very similar running backs to Corum. Both prospects possess similar size and were only marginally productive until their breakout junior season. So while he may not necessarily be one of the top prospects in this class, Corum has a very intriguing profile and should be on your radar heading into the dynasty off-season.