Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 16
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 15
To keep the dashboard concise, I will focus only 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
If you would like me to include other metrics or have any questions on the data below, let me know on Twitter @FF_MarvinE. Data courtesy of @nflfastR.
Rookie Observations after Week 15:
- Coming back from an ankle injury, Kenneth Walker had a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Despite finishing the week with only 9.9 half-PPR points (RB31), he continued to dominate the touches and was a top-24 RB in my usage model (xFP). This is also the third time in Walker’s last four healthy games in which he received at least a 10% target share. So while this week was a slight disappointment, he now approaches a more favorable matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Tyler Allgeier had the most productive fantasy performance of his career, finishing as an RB1 for the first time this season with 22.1 half-PPR points. However, his usage only equated to 9.8 Expected Fantasy Points (RB27), which means that a lot of that production could regress next week. Regardless, Allgeier has consistently received double-digit touches for most of the season, which still holds plenty of flex value for dynasty managers.
- Drake London has quietly put together a pair of high-usage performances in Weeks 13 and 15. In his last two games, London has finished within the top 10 in Expected Fantasy Points and has received a minimum 40% target share in both matchups. While it has not necessarily translated to as many fantasy points (finishing outside of the top 20 in both weeks), the elite usage is extremely encouraging as he closes out his rookie year.
- With Romeo Doubs returning from injury, Christian Watson was still the WR36 in Expected Fantasy Points with 9.3. While that is a slight decline from his xFP average over the last four games (11.9), it was still positive to see him lead the Packers in target share at 21.4%.
- At this point, Garrett Wilson will just continue to produce regardless of the quarterback. For the fourth time in his last six games, Wilson has finished within the top 20 in Expected Fantasy Points, cementing his value as a WR2 for fantasy managers. He now faces a Jacksonville defense that just allowed CeeDee Lamb to finish with seven receptions and 126 yards, so I fully expect Wilson to have another productive week.
- Jahan Dotson has finished with at least a 20% target share and 25% air yards share in back-to-back weeks. While Terry McLaurin is firmly entrenched as the WR1 for the Commanders, Dotson is showcasing some of the upside we saw earlier this year when he finished as a WR2 in three of his first four games before his injury.
- While not in the most explosive offense, Trey McBride has seen his usage improve since the bye week. He has accounted for at least 14% of the Cardinals’ targets in both matchups while finishing within the top 12 in Expected Fantasy Points.
- As mentioned in last week’s Dynasty Report, Brock Purdy will continue to provide QB2 value for fantasy managers, especially in a highly-efficient Shanahan offense. However, because of the low-volume passing scheme – ranking in the bottom 10 in neutral passing rate this season – Purdy’s floor will remain low for fantasy purposes unless we see a drastic increase in his total opportunities.
Dynasty Stock Report
CeeDee Lamb – Dallas Cowboys, WR
While Justin Jefferson has rightfully received most of the attention among the wide receivers in the 2020 class, CeeDee Lamb has also had an impressive start to his career. In fact, Lamb is now one of only four wide receivers in the Super Bowl Era with three 1,000-scrimmage-yard seasons before age 24. The other three wide receivers are Justin Jefferson, Mike Evans, and Randy Moss. In other words, Lamb has been historically productive to start his career. As for this season, he is on pace to set career highs in multiple per-game metrics:
- Target Share (28.6%)
- Air Yards Share (36%)
- Expected Fantasy Points (12.8)
- Half-PPR Points (13.5)
Lamb impressively ranks within the top 12 in each of these metrics despite Dak Prescott missing an extended amount of time. In addition, since Dak’s return from injury in Week 7, his fantasy production has taken a sizable leap to 14.8 half-PPR points (WR8). In short, Lamb should easily be considered a top-five dynasty wide receiver based on his early-career production and the projected continuity with the Cowboys’ offense. And even if Dallas decides to bolster their wide receiver corps this off-season, I expect Lamb to remain the lead receiver for the Cowboys, retaining his WR1 value for many years to come.
Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, QB
Is this the beginning of the end for Tom Brady?
There should be no doubt that Brady has been one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in NFL history. However, like everything in life, all good things must eventually come to an end. And based on his efficiency this season, one could certainly argue that Brady’s production has taken a significant decline. First off, his touchdown rate is the lowest of his career at only 3.2%. Keep in mind he was averaging over 6% in his first two years with Tampa Bay. In addition, his adjusted yards per attempt is only at 6.4, the lowest since his 2002 season. Finally, as you can see in the chart below, his Completion Percentage Over Expected of -1.0 currently ranks QB25 behind players like Mac Jones and Russell Wilson.
Based on these numbers, Brady is no longer the QB1 we have grown accustomed to in his first two years with the Buccaneers. Unfortunately, this severely hurts his dynasty value as he could also retire as soon as next season. Therefore, if there are contenders in your league willing to take a gamble on Brady, I would gladly trade him away for a second-round pick or multiple third-rounders. If there are no takers at that price point, I would just hold onto Brady until he retires as he should still provide QB2 value as long as he remains with the Buccaneers.
T.J. Hockenson – Minnesota Vikings, TE
While T.J. Hockenson was already in the midst of a productive year with the Detroit Lions, his usage has improved drastically since being traded to the Minnesota Vikings. As you can see below, Hockenson has finished as a top 10 tight end in expected fantasy points in each game with Minnesota, ranking as the TE3 in xFP (10.2) in his last seven games. Furthermore, Hockenson is one of only six tight ends to average over a 20% target share in that timespan, clearly operating as a focal point of the Vikings’ offense alongside Justin Jefferson.
From a dynasty perspective, this trade clearly improves Hockenson’s long-term outlook as he is now tied to one of the most accurate quarterbacks in Kirk Cousins, and a young, improving offense under Kevin O’Connell. Therefore, while I would not rank him as high as Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews, he should be firmly entrenched in the second tier with players like Dallas Goedert and George Kittle.
Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns, RB
After finishing as a top-24 running back in five of eight games last year, Kareem Hunt’s production has tapered off drastically this season. Surprisingly, Hunt’s season was off to an outstanding start as he finished as the RB5 in Week 1, followed by multiple top-30 performances through their bye week. However, since Week 10, Hunt has received double-digit opportunities in only one game, while finishing outside of the top 40 in half-PPR scoring in four of his last six games.
Oddly enough, his decline in usage occurred right around the trade deadline, which many assumed was a sign that the Browns were keeping Hunt healthy for his new team. However, a deal never materialized and his usage never improved. Whether there is any correlation to this is likely irrelevant as Hunt is all but guaranteed to be on a new team next year as he approaches unrestricted free agency. While he is nearing the age cliff for dynasty running backs, Hunt could still provide flex-level value next year depending on where he lands in 2023. For now, his dynasty value will remain in flux until we receive some clarity this off-season.
Prospect Watch List – Wide Receivers
Zay Flowers – Boston College
One of the most intriguing prospects entering the 2023 draft is Zay Flowers, a four-year wide receiver out of Boston College. What immediately stands out is his ability to create yards with the ball in his hands. After the catch, one could argue that Flowers is one of the most elusive and electric playmaker in this class. However, as we head into draft season, the biggest concern will likely be his size at only 5’10” and 170 pounds. In spite of that, we have seen Flowers consistently find success at the collegiate level due to his route running and YAC ability, which should translate into a role as a slot receiver (at the very least) in the NFL.
In addition, his production profile might be the most impressive part of his resume. While the draft capital and athletic measurables are still question marks, Flowers has been one of the most consistent wide receivers over the last three seasons. In fact, since his sophomore year, he has not had a season below 2.00 Receiving Yards Per Team pass Attempt, leading the Eagles in a variety of receiving metrics in his final three campaigns. His senior year was by far the most impressive, accounting for over 40% of the team’s receiving production (yards and touchdowns) in 12 games.
Naturally, some might point to the fact that Flowers is not an early-declare prospect, which significantly lowers his hit rate for fantasy purposes. While history clearly points to that conclusion, we have to remember that Flowers would have been an impressive prospect had he declared after his third season. I would even argue that his senior year did not massively improve his profile; it only confirmed what we already knew after his junior year. As a result, Flowers should be on your radar as we head into the off-season as he could be a value in the second round of rookie drafts, especially if he does receive day two capital at the very least.