Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 13
Welcome back to the Dynasty Report!
As always, I will be highlighting the most impactful storylines from a dynasty perspective. In addition, we will also take a look at the college football landscape in a segment called the Prospect Watch List. 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 12
To keep the dashboard concise, I will only be focusing on the most fantasy-relevant rookies at each position. 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 12:
- Rachaad White had the most productive game of his career with Leonard Fournette sidelined due to a hip injury. In his first game as a full-time starter, White accounted for 37.1% of the Bucs’ opportunities and ranked as the RB11 in Expected Fantasy Points (15.8). More impressively, he was also heavily involved as a receiver with a 21.4% target share. If Fournette is ruled out for another week, White should be locked and loaded in your lineups as an RB1 for Week 13.
- Isiah Pacheco set a season-high in opportunities (23) and opportunity share (34.3%) as the Chiefs easily defeated the Rams this past week. It was also the first game in which Pacheco totaled over 10 Expected Fantasy Points, signaling a clear upward trend in his usage. While his lack of receiving work continues to limit his upside, the Chiefs are likely going to lead in most games, giving Pacheco plenty of opportunities to run down the clock. Whether newly-signed RB Melvin Gordon eats into those opportunities, remains to be seen. For now, Pacheco can be started as a flex option for at least another week.
- Dameon Pierce has been trending in the wrong direction, finishing outside the top 40 for the second week in a row. It is even more alarming that Pierce totaled his lowest opportunity share (21.1%) and Expected Fantasy Points (7.8) since becoming the starting running back in Week 2. Of course, this may just be a minor bump in the road. However, if Pierce cannot get back on track this week in a favorable matchup versus Cleveland, it will be difficult to trust him in your lineups as we approach the fantasy playoffs.
- Christian Watson’s efficiency has to regress eventually, right? Not this week as he continues his impressive streak, scoring yet another receiving touchdown against a stout Philadelphia Eagles’ defense. While he has relied heavily on efficiency over his last three games (averaging +11.3 Fantasy Points Over Expected), Watson has also commanded WR2 volume as the WR19 in Expected Fantasy Points (11.6). In other words, his heavy utilization in the Packers’ offense should keep him fantasy relevant even if his efficiency regresses to the mean.
- With Mike White under center, Garrett Wilson just had the most efficient game of his young career, scoring +11.2 Fantasy Points Over Expected. In addition, Wilson continues to dominate in volume, receiving 28.6% of the team’s targets and 33.5% of their air yards this past week. Keep in mind, the Jets have the 4th easiest schedule for fantasy wide receivers through Week 17, which means Wilson should be trusted as a reliable WR2 going forward.
- Jelani Woods is coming off of an impressive breakout performance, averaging an impressive 28.1% target share and 12.6 Expected Fantasy Points (xFP). To provide some context, there was only one TE with a higher xFP value than Woods this past week: Travis Kelce (14.5 xFP).
Dynasty Stock Report
Jaylen Waddle – Miami Dolphins, WR
While Tyreek Hill has rightfully received a lot of praise and attention this year, we should not overlook the impressive season of Jaylen Waddle. While many expected he would take a step back, the overall improvement of this offense has allowed both receivers to flourish this season. Through 11 games, Waddle is currently the WR8 in Half-PPR leagues (14.6 per game). Keep in mind, this includes two games in which Tua Tagovailoa was inactive due to a concussion. If we exclude those two matchups, Waddle is averaging an impressive 16.8 points per game and a 24.1% target share with Tua under center.
Waddle’s situation should also be a valuable lesson for dynasty managers as it provides some perspective on talent versus perceived situation. A year ago, there were plenty of fans and analysts questioning Miami’s coaching staff and quarterback play. Fast forward to this season and all of those questions have been seemingly answered with the addition of Mike McDaniel. Factoring in the improvement of Tua, Waddle is now in an ecosystem to succeed for many years to come. As a result, he should be firmly entrenched as a dynasty WR1, even with Hill commanding a significant amount of volume for the foreseeable future.
Zach Wilson – New York Jets, QB
One of the most intriguing storylines heading into Week 12 was the demotion of Zach Wilson. This comes after he only totaled 77 passing yards on a 40.9% completion rate in a loss to the New England Patriots. If we dive a little deeper into his production and efficiency, it becomes inherently obvious why he was benched last week. Since entering the league, Wilson ranks near the bottom in almost every metric. Among quarterbacks with a minimum of 200 plays since the 2021 season, Wilson is the:
- QB25 in Air Yards per Attempt (7.5)
- QB38 in Success Rate (39.3%)
- QB38 in EPA per Play (-0.131)
- QB38 in Completion Percentage Over Expected (-9.4)
- QB37 in Adjusted Yards per Attempt (5.5)
As you can see below, Wilson has clearly been the most ineffective quarterback from an analytical standpoint. As a result, this puts the team in a difficult situation as Wilson is still under contract for at least two more years. Do the Jets bring in a more accomplished veteran? Do they give him one more opportunity? Unfortunately, based on his production over the last two years, his time as the starting quarterback for the Jets may be quickly coming to an end.
One of the most inspiring storylines of the season has been the ascent of Brian Robinson Jr.
After suffering multiple gunshot wounds during an attempted robbery, Robinson made a full recovery and did not waste any time cementing his role in the Commanders’ offense. Once he became the starter in Week 6, he totaled at least 15 opportunities in all but one game, ranking as the RB21 in Opportunity Share (28.9%). And this past week against the Falcons, Robinson set career highs in multiple metrics:
- RB16 in Target Share (13.6%)
- RB10 in Opportunity Share (35.6%)
- RB8 in Fantasy Points Over Expected (+5.1)
- RB6 in Half-PPR Points (19.5)
While this performance provided a glimpse of his upside, Robinson’s production will likely remain in the low-end RB2/high-end RB3 range due to his limited usage in the receiving game. Despite that, he still holds plenty of value for your dynasty teams. Similar to Damien Harris’ role with the Patriots last season, Robinson can still be a reliable flex option most weeks with the upside to finish as an RB1 if he can find the end zone. And considering the draft capital the Commanders invested in him, and the potential for this offense to upgrade at quarterback in 2023, Robinson should at least be viewed as a top-30 dynasty running back heading into the off-season.
D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions, RB
D’Andre Swift’s third year started on a high note, finishing as a top-5 fantasy running back in each of his first two games. However, after suffering an ankle injury in Week 3, Swift was sidelined for multiple weeks and has yet to reclaim his usual workload. After receiving 55% of the snaps and 10 opportunities in his return against the Dolphins, Dan Campbell suggested that they could further limit Swift’s touches to keep him healthy. Since then, the Lions have clearly leaned on Jamaal Williams as their lead running back.
Opportunity Share since Week 9:
Naturally, the most significant concern is that Swift may never reclaim this backfield, merely operating as a complimentary piece going forward. If this is the case, he will likely fall out of the dynasty RB1 range. On a positive note, Swift does lead the backfield with a 16.5% target share, accounting for 100% of the team’s running back targets since Week 9. In addition, as you can see in the chart below, his Week 12 performance ranked within the top 24 in RB usage for the first since Week 1. It is certainly risky to assume this trend will continue. However, this might be the perfect “buy low” opportunity, considering the upside that Swift provides if his usage continues to improve and he remains healthy.
Prospect Watch List: Week 13 – Tight Ends
Sam LaPorta – Iowa
When discussing the most successful tight ends currently in the NFL, multiple Iowa graduates come to mind with George Kittle, Noah Fant, and T.J. Hockenson all making an impact at the next level. Therefore, when an accomplished Hawkeye tight end is set to enter the NFL, it should immediately catch our eye.
Sam LaPorta, a senior out of Iowa, is set to declare for the 2023 draft and has been one of the most productive tight ends in the nation over the last two seasons. Dating back to his freshman and sophomore campaigns, LaPorta was immediately involved in the Hawkeyes’ offense. Despite only averaging 32.8 receiving yards per game in his first two years, his receiving yards market share was very respectable at 16.6%. Even on limited opportunities, LaPorta already displayed his ability as a versatile route runner and dynamic pass catcher in his first two seasons.
However, it was not until the 2021 campaign that LaPorta truly broke out for the Hawkeyes. As a junior, he accounted for 27.5% of Iowa’s receiving yards, averaging an impressive 1.74 Receiving Yards Per Team Pass Attempt (RYPTPA). For context, his RYPTPA ranked 7th among Power 5 tight ends that season. In 2022, LaPorta would have an even better campaign. In 11 games, he leads all tight ends in receiving yards market share at 34.3%. In addition, as you can see in the table above, he is one of only three tight ends in the nation currently averaging a +2.00 RYPTPA.
While LaPorta checks multiple boxes in his production profile, there are some question marks regarding his athletic ability, which could directly affect his draft capital. Naturally, if he is drafted outside of the first three rounds, his likelihood of succeeding in the NFL lowers significantly. Therefore, the NFL combine will be extremely crucial for his dynasty outlook. If he proves to be an above-average athlete, LaPorta has the profile to be a very successful tight end at the next level.