Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 17
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 16
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
Rookie Observations after Week 16:
- Christian Watson played on only 38% of the offensive snaps due to injury, which makes it even more impressive that he still accounted for 21.1% of the team’s targets and 21.3% of their total air yards. What has impressed me the most about Watson’s usage is that the team has relied on him beyond his deep-threat ability. In Week 16, specifically, half of his opportunities were within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, indicating that the Packers were running quick plays to get the ball in Watson’s hands. Regardless of his status this upcoming week, Watson’s dynasty value continues to trend in the right direction.
- James Cook had the most efficient fantasy performance among all rookies this past week, scoring +8.2 Fantasy Points Above Expected. However, if you have read any of my usage articles, you already know that players who rely heavily on FPOE (or efficiency) are very volatile. In other words, if Cook’s efficiency regresses to the mean, his production could be much closer to his 9.1 Expected Value (xFP). Therefore, temper your expectations as the Bills’ backfield continues to be a committee.
- Tyler Allgeier has finished as an RB1 in usage (xFP) in back-to-back weeks. He had a higher usage value than Cordarrelle Patterson, clearly operating as the Falcons’ RB1. He also now approaches a favorable matchup against a Cardinals defense that allowed the third most half-PPR points to RBs over the last six weeks.
- Jahan Dotson has received a +20% target share and a +25% air yards share in his last three games. In that time span, he has finished inside the top 20 in half-PPR scoring in every single game. While there were some inconsistencies earlier in the year, based on his recent usage, you can likely trust Dotson as a high-end flex wide receiver for the season’s final two games.
- Garrett Wilson’s performance was extremely disappointing as he only totaled three half-PPR points this past week. However, the usage was still very encouraging as he accounted for over 30% of the team’s targets and air yards. He also ranked as my WR25 in Expected Fantasy Points with an 11.4 xFP. And with Mike White set to return this week, Wilson should be much more productive in Week 17.
- Despite Nick Foles‘ atrocious performance, it was encouraging to see him rely on Jelani Woods heavily this past week. Woods finished second on the team in target share at 17.9%, while leading the team in air yards share with 36.1%.
Dynasty Stock Report
Drake London – Atlanta Falcons, WR
During the off-season, in a series titled “Anticipating the Breakout,” I highlighted multiple breakout trends across all positions for fantasy football. The overarching theme in each article is that most rookies do not break out in their first season. For first-round wide receivers specifically, history has shown us that they tend to emerge in their second year at around age 22.
Therefore, while Drake London is unlikely to break out this season, fantasy managers should still be encouraged. In fact, we have seen glimpses of upside in his rookie year, specifically in his last three games. Since Week 13, London is the:
- WR1 in Target Share (39.5%)
- WR3 in Air Yards Share (46.9%)
- WR7 in Expected Fantasy Points (15.2)
In other words, London has received elite usage in his last three games. Part of his inability to break out is due to the run-heavy nature of the offense and their inconsistencies at the quarterback position. However, I fully expect the Falcons to re-evaluate their coaching staff and personnel this off-season, which could put London in a much better situation next year. If they do address most of their offensive issues, London’s dynasty value should skyrocket in 2023 as he should be a prime candidate to break out in his second season.
Since leaving the Miami Dolphins, Jarvis Landry’s dynasty value has taken a significant hit each season. And while there was some hope that he could revive his career in New Orleans, the exact opposite has happened. In nine games this year, he only averaged a 14.4% target share and 5.9 Expected Fantasy Points, clearly playing behind rookie wide receiver Chris Olave.
A significant factor in his inconsistent production has been his health, battling through an ankle sprain that eventually landed him on injured reserve in Week 16. Unfortunately for dynasty managers, Landry’s value is clouded with severe uncertainty as he is quickly approaching the age cliff for wide receivers (age 32). In addition, he is also set to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. While there is a scenario where he lands with a team like the Buffalo Bills or Baltimore Ravens – two teams that could use an upgrade at slot receiver – there is also a possibility that he does not find another starting opportunity in the league. Therefore, depending on where he signs in free agency, he may be droppable in your leagues as we approach the 2023 season.
Isiah Pacheco has quietly put together an impressive rookie campaign, totaling 847 scrimmage yards with two games left to play this year. In fact, since taking on an expanded role in Week 10, Pacheco has received consistent flex volume in the Chiefs’ offense. In his last seven games, Pacheco is the:
- RB27 in Expected Fantasy Points (11.0)
- RB21 in Opportunity Share (27.9%)
- RB9 in Rushing Share (58.3%)
With these numbers in mind, from a dynasty perspective, should you continue to hold Pacheco or trade him at peak value?
To provide some context, Pacheco is one of only 16 day-three running backs since 2010 to exceed 800 scrimmage yards in their rookie year. However, when we look at this list, the results are not all positive. While there are players like Alfred Morris and Jordan Howard who remained fantasy-relevant beyond their first season, there are plenty of running backs whose production declined in the following years. This includes Zac Stacy, Roy Helu, Jeremy Langford, Andre Williams, and many more. In other words, as a day-three running back, Pacheco’s likelihood of maintaining his role into next season is rather low, especially with a very talented running back class set to enter the league in 2023. Therefore, as a dynasty manager, I would look to capitalize on Pacheco’s inflated value this off-season before free agency begins.
After producing low-end QB1 numbers in his first three years at Tennessee, it has been a disappointing season for Ryan Tannehill, averaging the lowest points per game (13.8) and Completion Percentage Over Expected (+0.8) in his time with the Titans. All things considered, his decline in fantasy production should have been somewhat expected as his receiving corps took a significant step back with the departure of A.J. Brown. And while Treylon Burks was an outstanding prospect entering the league, injuries have derailed his rookie year, forcing the Titans to rely on Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine for most of the season.
While it was a disappointing campaign, the good news is that Malik Willis is unlikely to run away with the starting role anytime soon. As a result, Tannehill will enter the 2023 off-season with little competition. However, considering the Titans’ cap situation next year (29th in cap space), it is important to note that the team could save up to $27 million in 2023 if they moved on from Tannehill. Whether they go that route or not will depend on their success in the playoffs. However, if they narrowly miss the post-season, I would not be surprised if Tennessee decided to retool their roster, likely parting ways with Tannehill in 2023.
Prospect Watch List – Wide Receivers
Oronde Gadsden II – Syracuse
When discussing the 2024 wide receiver class, the first names that immediately get mentioned are Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, and Xavier Worthy. What if I told you there was a wide receiver who was more productive than Egbuka and Worthy across a variety of metrics in 2023? That player is Oronde Gadsden II, whose name might sound familiar as he is the son of former NFL wide receiver Oronde Gadsden.
As a true freshman, Gadsden II had a relatively quiet first season, totaling only 24 receiving yards on a 4.3% receiving yards market share. Instead, his 2022 season would be his breakout campaign as he led the ACC in receiving yards with 891. In addition, he averaged an impressive 3.01 Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt – fifth among Power 5 wide receivers – and a 34.2% Weighted Dominator Rating. In other words, he was a true focal point for Syracuse alongside Sean Tucker in 2022. In addition to his production profile, Gadsden II also possesses some unique athletic traits. At 6’5” and 216 pounds, he has the frame and fluid route running to be a mismatch at the wide receiver position.
Lastly, if you have followed the Dynasty Report, you are likely already aware that producing over 3.00 Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt is an elite threshold that very few prospects achieve in their second collegiate season. In fact, we have only seen 21 wide receivers achieve this threshold as true sophomores since 2010. Of the 21 prospects, 19 were drafted within the first three rounds of the NFL draft. Furthermore, 16 of them were drafted in the first and second rounds. In other words, Gadsden’s sophomore campaign almost guarantees that he will be drafted with premium draft capital in 2024, likely placing him near the top of his wide receiver class.