Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 15
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 14
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 14:
- Zonovan Knight has officially taken over the Jets’ backfield, accounting for 77.3% of the team’s rushing attempts and 28.8% of their total opportunities. Keep in mind that Michael Carter did finish with a higher snap share at 50%. However, when it comes to opportunities and usage, he was clearly the RB2 as he finished behind Knight in Expected Fantasy Points with only 7.9. While Knight’s expected fantasy usage value was only at 10.3, that still holds plenty of flex value for dynasty managers in desperate need of a starting running back.
- After finishing below a 30% opportunity share in Weeks 11 and 12, Dameon Pierce has now exceeded the 35% mark in back-to-back weeks. The overarching storyline, however, is Pierce’s availability as he suffered an ankle injury in the 4th quarter this past week. He tried to return to the game, but the coaching staff ultimately decided to keep him out for the remainder of the matchup.
- With the Buccaneers’ backfield fully healthy, both Rachaad White and Leonard Fournette have been heavily utilized over the last two weeks. In fact, both running backs finished within the top 20 in Expected Fantasy Points in back-to-back weeks. And while White did lead the backfield in opportunity share in Week 14 (25.7%), his upside will continue to be limited by the presence of Fournette.
- Garrett Wilson has been one of the most productive receivers over the last five weeks, exceeding the 25% target share mark in three of his last five games. While this past week was a slight disappointment with only a 15.9% target share and 8.3 Expected Points, he should bounce back in a more favorable matchup against the Detroit Lions in Week 15.
- Over the last two weeks, Greg Dulcich is averaging eight targets, a 25% target share, and an absurd 39.8% air yards share for the Broncos. While this offense remains difficult to trust, Dulcich has been quietly productive, finishing as a TE1 in five of his eight games this year.
- Chigoziem Okonkwo just had the most productive fantasy performance of his rookie season, finishing as the TE2 with 15.5 half-PPR points. While those numbers are encouraging, his 15.4% target share and 8.8% air yards share leave much to be desired. So until we see his usage improve, Okonkwo will continue to be a volatile high-end TE2 for fantasy purposes.
- Brock Purdy is now undefeated against Tom Brady after putting together an impressive performance in Week 14. From a fantasy perspective, he was the QB6 in points per game (21.7) and the QB8 in Completion Percentage Over Expected (+6.6). We have also now seen Purdy produce both due to volume (QB8 in xFP in Week 13) and efficiency after scoring +10.9 Points Above Expected in Week 14. And in an offense surrounded by a myriad of explosive playmakers, Purdy should continue to provide fantasy managers with weekly QB2 value going forward.
Dynasty Stock Report
Will Jalen Hurts take the next step as a passer?
Will A.J. Brown command WR1 volume in a run-heavy offense?
Will DeVonta Smith be fantasy relevant as the second option in Nick Sirianni’s offense?
The answer to all of those questions is … “Yes.”
Along with Hurts and Brown averaging top-10 numbers at their respective positions this season, Smith has also taken a leap. In 13 games, Smith is averaging career-highs in both half-PPR points (10.7) and target share (25.6%), while ranking as the WR29 in points per game. More importantly, the Eagles continue to transform their offense into a more pass-heavy system as they are now averaging the ninth-highest neutral situation pass rate at 57%. In other words, they are catering to their offensive strengths, relying on arguably the best WR duo in the league. So while Smith’s production will fluctuate, he remains a must-start flex option with the upside to finish within the top 10 on any given week. And for dynasty purposes, I have him firmly ranked within the top 25 wide receivers, despite the long-term presence of A.J. Brown.
Darrell Henderson Jr. – Free Agent
Darrell Henderson’s dynasty value continues to plummet as he was just recently cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars. This comes only weeks after being waived by the Los Angeles Rams, who are seemingly committed to Cam Akers as their lead running back for the season. While there are likely multiple factors that led to his release, it is still surprising to see Henderson waived multiple times after ranking as the RB21 in points per game last season. For now, I would still hold onto him just in case he finds another opportunity in the off-season. However, considering the running back depth in next year’s free agency and NFL draft class, Henderson will likely remain a backup running back at best heading into the 2023 season.
- TE5 in Target Share (20%)
- TE6 in Air Yards Share (20.8%)
- TE3 in Expected Fantasy Points (9.7 xFP)
- TE8 in Half-PPR points per game (8.5)
To put his production into perspective, the only tight ends with a higher expected fantasy value in my usage model (xFP) are Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. And while the gap between them is still significant, it should not diminish the fact that Freiermuth has been a top-5 fantasy tight end based on his workload this season. As a result, he continues to be one of my favorite trade targets at the tight end position. Especially with players like Dallas Goedert and TJ Hockenson valued higher by most fantasy managers, I would not be opposed to “downgrading” to Freiermuth if it allows me to add another dynasty asset in return. In short, I fully expect his ascent to continue as Kenny Pickett will hopefully take a step forward in this second NFL season.
Mike Gesicki – Miami Dolphins, TE
While the arrival of Tyreek Hill was bound to affect the target distribution of the Miami offense, I did not expect Mike Gesicki’s fantasy value to decline so drastically. In 13 games, Gesicki has finished inside the top 12 in only three matchups. In addition, Week 14 was the third game in a row in which he failed to produce a single fantasy point, totaling only four opportunities since Miami’s bye week.
As for his usage, those numbers are equally discouraging as Gesicki has exceeded the 15% target share mark in only two games. In short, it has been a very disappointing season for dynasty managers who have relied on Gesicki over the last four seasons. Keep in mind that he is also currently playing on a franchise tag, which further clouds his dynasty outlook. However, considering Gesicki‘s athleticism and production from years past, I would continue to hold on to him in hopes that he finds himself in a better situation in 2023.
Prospect Watch List: Running Backs
Quinshon Judkins – Ole Miss
Is it ever too early to take a look at the value of your 2025 picks?
If you happen to be in a heavy dynasty rebuild, the 2025 draft class has given us a glimpse of some impressive running back prospects. One of those players is Quinshon Judkins, a running back out of Ole Miss who entered college as a 3-star recruit. Approaching his true freshman season, he was viewed by many as the RB2 on his own team as he shared a backfield with Zach Evans, a projected day-two prospect in the 2023 class. Despite the competition, Judkins forced his way into the RB1 role and immediately displayed several qualities that made him such an intriguing prospect. From his elusiveness in tight spaces to his ability to fight through contact, it was only a matter of time until he emerged as the RB1 for the Rebels. As a result, Judkins would lead the SEC in a variety of metrics, finishing with a total of 1,592 scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns.
As you can see in the tables above, Judkins’ production would be impressive for almost any running back. However, the fact that he produced such numbers as a true freshman places him in elite company. To put his profile into perspective, there have only been three running backs drafted in the first three rounds since 2013 to meet the following thresholds as a true freshman:
- +1.50 Yards Per Team Play
- +25% Weighted Dominator Rating
- +1,500 Scrimmage Yards
Those running backs are Nick Chubb, Jonathan Taylor, and A.J. Dillon. Judkins could join that list if he does get drafted within the first three rounds. While he clearly still has a long way to go before we can place him in the same tier as the running backs mentioned above, his freshman season offers a glimpse of his upside if he can continue to progress in his collegiate career.