Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 2
Welcome back to another season of the Dynasty Report!
This article will highlight the most important storylines from a dynasty perspective. Since the season never truly ends in a dynasty league, changes throughout the NFL landscape can have a significant impact on a player’s dynasty value beyond just this season.
To give you a holistic view of the dynasty landscape, you can expect the following segments each 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
And if you are looking for an even deeper look into dynasty football, be sure to tune in every week to the Fantasy Footballers Dynasty Podcast with Borg, Betz, and a Baller!
Rookie Opportunity Dashboard: Week 1
To keep the dashboard concise, I will focus only on the most fantasy-relevant rookies at each position. For reference:
- Expected Fantasy Points (xFP) are synonymous with 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
- Opportunity Share is the percentage of targets and rush attempts that a player accounts for on their team
Rookie Observations after Week 1:
- By far the most shocking performance from Week 1 was the breakout game of Puka Nacua, a four-year prospect out of BYU. This was especially surprising considering fifth-round rookies rarely make an immediate impact in the league. In fact, since 2013, only 9.4% of fifth-round rookies have managed to produce a breakout campaign within their first three seasons in the NFL. Against the Seahawks, Nacua averaged an impressive 40.5% Target Share and 34.5% Air Yards Share, ranking as the WR3 in Expected Fantasy Points behind only Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs. It was only one game, so we should probably temper our expectations, especially with Cooper Kupp out of the lineup. Regardless, it was still an impressive debut for the Rams’ rookie receiver.
- With glowing reports coming out of camp, Zay Flowers was projected to be the top receiver for the Ravens. And based on his Week 1 usage, he might just be the WR1 for this offense. Flowers averaged an elite 47.6% Target Share, leading ALL wide receivers in that metric. And while he was only the WR19 in half-PPR scoring, his Expected Fantasy Points of 15.8 ranked 9th among all wide receivers. In short, Flowers has WR1 upside if he can maintain this type of usage.
- Neither of the New England Patriots rookie receivers was very productive. However, Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte both finished with over 20% of their team’s air yards. Their target shares were far less impressive, but it is worth keeping an eye on as the WR1 role in the Patriots’ offense seems to be wide-open this season.
- With Christian Watson out of the lineup, Jayden Reed was a significant part of the Packers’ offense right out of the gate. By far the most impressive part of Reed’s usage was his depth of target, averaging over 18 air yards per receiving opportunity this past week. Keep an eye on Reed’s usage as Watson’s return will likely affect the target distribution.
- While most of his production came in garbage time, Roschon Johnson may have established himself as the lead running back for the Chicago Bears. He surprisingly led the Bears and all rookie running backs in Fantasy Usage (12.9 xFP), finishing the week as the RB12 in half-PPR scoring. While it is entirely possible garbage time influenced his heavy usage, it was still encouraging to see Johnson perform so efficiently in his first NFL game.
- Surprisingly, Bijan Robinson did NOT lead the Falcons in opportunity share as he split touches with Tyler Allgeier in his first game. In fact, Allgeier led the team in rushing share at 57.7%, while Bijan led the Falcons’ backfield in target share at 33.3%. As fantasy managers, we care far more about targets, except Bijan was consistently targeted behind the line of scrimmage (-24 total air yards). While splitting touches is far from ideal, the Falcons are such a run-heavy team (-12.5% Pass Rate Over Expected) that there could be enough opportunities for both Allgeier and Bijan to coexist. However, it could continue to cap Bijan’s upside from achieving top-tier RB1 production.
- Unfortunately, the week was less eventful for Jahmyr Gibbs, who was only the RB44 in Expected Fantasy Points (6.2) as David Montgomery clearly operated as the RB1 for the Lions. Dan Campbell has talked about ramping up his usage as the season progresses, which will need to happen for fantasy managers to feel confident in starting Gibbs in their lineups.
- It was a quiet week for rookie tight ends as none of them exceeded a 16% target share in Week 1. In fact, it was Luke Musgrave who led in Expected Fantasy Points at only 5.9 (TE16). While Musgrave only received four targets, he led all tight ends with 72 air yards.
- Every rookie quarterback underperformed this past week (negative FPOE). However, Anthony Richardson was the clear leader with 23.4 xFP – which ranked QB2 in Week 1. He also finished second among quarterbacks in rushing share at 38.5%. While he is clearly not a prolific passer yet, his rushing upside already gives him a QB1 ceiling every single week.
Dynasty Stock Report
Brandon Aiyuk‘s stock is on the rise after his impressive performance against the Steelers. He totaled 129 receiving yards on eight targets as he led the 49ers in both Target Share (28.6%) and Air Yards Share (47.4%) this past week. He was especially efficient as he caught every single one of his targets, while also converting two of them into touchdowns. As a result, he led all wide receivers in Fantasy Points Over Expected (+16.7), finishing the week as the WR2 in half-PPR leagues. While his efficiency is bound to regress, he still finished the week as the WR21 in Expected Fantasy Points with 12.2.
Keep in mind that Aiyuk’s improved usage is an extension from the end of the last season. Once Brock Purdy took over as the starting quarterback, Aiyuk averaged a 24.5% Target Share and 40% Air Yards share to close out the 2022 campaign. In any given season, those usage numbers should translate into top-20 production. So despite operating in a run-centric offense (-4.4% Pass Rate Over Expected in 2022), Aiyuk has displayed the ability to earn targets at an elite rate. And as long as Purdy is his quarterback, he has the upside to become a top-15 dynasty wide receiver, assuming he remains the focal point in Shanahan’s offense going forward.
Brandon Aiyuk is back to running nasty routes 😮
— NFL (@NFL) September 10, 2023
Skyy Moore – Kansas City Chiefs, WR
The sky may be falling on Skyy Moore, who has yet to make an impact in his NFL career. Despite being selected in the second round, Moore has not been a focal point of the Chiefs’ offense over the last two years. In fact, in his rookie season, he failed to exceed a 20% target share in any of his games. Unfortunately, this trend continues in 2023 as he only garnered four opportunities in Week 1, averaging an 8.1% Target Share even with Travis Kelce out of the lineup. He also finished behind rookie receiver Rashee Rice and Kadarius Toney in total targets, despite leading all receivers with a 69% snap share. While it is early in the season, we could be looking at Moore’s final opportunity to salvage his dynasty value. If he is unable to turn things around this season, Moore will likely be droppable in shallower dynasty leagues in 2024.
The last time we saw Calvin Ridley for a full season, he was the WR4 in half-PPR points per game in 2020. However, after serving a lengthy suspension, there was rightfully some concern that he may never return to elite fantasy production. If Week 1 was any indication, Ridley may just contend for overall WR1 status this season. Against the Colts’ defense, he received a:
- 34.5% Target Share
- 45% Air Yards Share
These are truly elite WR1 numbers, as he finished the week as the WR6 in both Expected Fantasy Points (15.9) and half-PPR scoring (20.1). Assuming he can maintain this type of production, Ridley’s fantasy value should only improve as the season progresses. As a dynasty manager, there are a few things to consider. First, Ridley was an older rookie entering the league and will be 29 later this year. Based on the lifecycle of a dynasty wide receiver, he could be approaching the end of his prime in a few years. Second, he is set to hit free agency in 2024 as he is currently in the final year of his contract. It remains to be seen whether the Jaguars will extend him. Therefore, if you are a rebuilding team, this season may be the perfect time to trade Ridley as his fantasy value should peak later this year. Especially if you can acquire a future first-round pick (plus smaller assets) in return, you should consider taking that offer. If you are a contender, it goes without saying that Ridley should remain on your team. Especially if he can maintain his current usage, he has the potential to be a league winner this season.
J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens, RB
Injuries may rob us of witnessing J.K. Dobbins’ true potential as he will miss the rest of the 2023 season with an Achilles tear. This comes after he fought back from several knee injuries over the last two seasons, including ACL and LCL tears to his right knee. This is especially disheartening as Dobbins was in the final year of his contract and was set to approach free agency in 2024. For a more comprehensive breakdown of Achilles injuries to running backs, I would recommend reading Matthew Betz’s deep dive into Cam Akers’ recovery. In this article, Betz mentions age as a significant factor as younger running backs are more likely to fully recover upon successful surgery. With Dobbins approaching age 25, he is nearly three years older than when Cam Akers suffered the same injury back in 2021. In addition, the lack of contract security is extremely concerning. With such an impactful injury, it is entirely possible Dobbins is no longer with the Ravens after this season, likely leaving him without a guaranteed opportunity to lead a backfield once he is fully recovered. As a result, this will drastically affect his dynasty value as dynasty managers will have no choice but to stash Dobbins as he recovers from yet another unfortunate injury.
Prospect Watch List
Luther Burden III, a true sophomore at the University of Missouri, is one of the top wide receivers in college football. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and was ranked as the second wide receiver in his recruiting class. Despite that, Burden was far from an elite contributor in his true freshman season, averaging only around 14% of the team’s receiving yards while playing behind Dominic Lovett and Barrett Banister in 2022. However, with Lovett transferring to Georgia and Banister graduating, Burden took over as the team’s WR1, showcasing the versatility and YAC ability that makes him one of the most intriguing wide receivers in the 2025 class. In two games this season, he is averaging an elite 49.5% receiving yards market share, accounting for nearly half of Missouri’s receiving offense. In addition, his Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt (RY/TPA) of 4.73 would rank in the 99th percentile among all sophomore seasons since 2010. While some of his YAC efficiency could regress, Burden is expected to remain the focal point of the Missouri offense for the rest of the season. Therefore, if you are looking to reload at wide receiver in your dynasty leagues, Burden should be on your radar as we approach the 2025 draft.