Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 3
Welcome back to the Dynasty Report!
In this weekly series, I will be highlighting the most impactful storylines from a dynasty perspective. While most of this article will focus on NFL players, this piece will also include a brand new segment called the Prospect Watch List. My goal is to provide you with an overview of some of the best prospects entering the league to help gauge the potential value of your dynasty picks. Since there are quite a few prospects to follow, I will focus on a different position each week. In today’s piece, we will take a look at the most productive Wide Receivers in college football. 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 2
To keep the dashboard concise, I will only be highlighting the most fantasy-relevant rookies at each position every week. 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 since it indicates opportunity and potential fantasy success.
- Fantasy Points Over Expected or FPOE signifies efficiency relative to a player’s usage. FPOE is the difference 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
- Previously, my usage model was coded for PPR scoring. You will notice that the data below is now based on half-PPR to provide a more balanced view
Rookie observations after Week 2:
- A week after Rex Burkhead was the more heavily utilized running back for Houston, they decided to go in a different direction, giving Dameon Pierce the majority of the touches this past week. He averaged an 83.3% rushing share while receiving an impressive 29.1% opportunity share, ranking 15th among all running backs. Regardless, his upside will continue to be limited as Houston will provide very few high-value opportunities.
- After an impressive debut, Breece Hall took a slight step back. While he did find the end-zone, scoring 12.5 half-PPR points, his expected value of 5.9 clearly trailed Michael Carter’s 8.5. As a result, this Jets backfield continues to be a committee, making it difficult to trust either running back in our lineups.
- This was clearly the week of the rookie wide receivers as we had three of them average over 30% of their team’s targets. First off, the most productive of the group was Garrett Wilson, who is having a tremendous rookie year. In fact, the only wide receivers currently averaging a higher Expected Fantasy Value than Wilson are Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase. Not bad for a rookie. Assuming Joe Flacco remains the starting quarterback, plug Wilson into your lineups with confidence.
- Slightly overshadowed by Wilson, Drake London should not be ignored. He is currently WR15 in Expected Fantasy Points with 13.8 per game, quickly becoming Mariota’s favorite target.
- Chris Olave’s time is coming. Whenever a wide receiver is as heavily involved as Olave – totaling a 32.5% target share and a 63.1% (!!) air yards share in Week 2 – productive fantasy performances are on the horizon.
- While the numbers are slightly skewed due to garbage time opportunities from Malik Willis, Treylon Burks averaged a 31.6% target share with Ryan Tannehill under center. He was clearly part of the game plan as they got him involved early and often. Unfortunately, Josh Allen happened and they found themselves down 41-7 by the end of the third quarter, forcing the Titans to rest their starters.
- The Tight End position continues to be underwhelming. Isaiah Likely provides some upside in deeper tight-end premium leagues, though he will remain unstartable while Mark Andrews is healthy.
Dynasty Stock Report
The sun god continues to heat up!
Amon-Ra St. Brown has been on an impressive run since week 13 of the 2021 season. Over his last 8 games, he received a 30% target share in all but one matchup, while netting a +20% air yards share in every single game. In other words, St. Brown continues to be the focal point of the Detroit Lions‘ passing offense despite the return of T.J. Hockenson and DeAndre Swift. And to contextualize just how dominant he has been to start the 2022 campaign, here are all the WRs who rank higher in Expected Fantasy Points (volume and usage) over the last two games:
- Cooper Kupp (20.1)
- Ja’Marr Chase (18.4)
- Garrett Wilson (17.9)
- Stefon Diggs (17.8)
- Jaylen Waddle (17.6)
- Michael Pittman (17.5)
- Davante Adams (17.4)
- Justin Jefferson (16.9)
St. Brown comes in at WR9 with 16.6 Expected Points. In short, even if his efficiency regresses closer to the mean (+9.1 FPOE), St. Brown should still be a WR1 due to his volume. Safe to say, he has clearly proven that last year’s second-half breakout was not a fluke. And while the return of Jameson Williams could eventually affect his target share, I do not expect St. Brown to be severely impacted this season as Williams continues to recover from his knee injury. So for now, the sun god should remain in your lineup as he continues to be one of the safest PPR options at the wide receiver position.
Imagine signing your lead wide receiver for $72 million and then proceeding to play them on only 3% of the snaps in a single game. That is exactly what the New York Giants decided to do as Kenny Golladay saw the field on only 2 snaps against the Panthers. While it was quite the shock, Golladay has hardly lived up to his lucrative deal, exceeding 50 receiving yards in only 5 of his 16 games with the Giants. What is even more surprising is how the Giants are deploying their wide receiver corps, with Sterling Shepard and David Sills (UDFA from the 2019 draft) leading the team in snaps this past week. Even Kadarius Toney, who is widely regarded as the best receiver on this team, only received 38% of the snaps. But regardless of the reasoning behind Kenny Golladay’s demotion, this essentially makes him unstartable for all fantasy managers. And from a dynasty perspective, his value will continue to plummet if he is unable to find playing time in his age-29 season with the Giants.
Tua Tagovailoa had himself a day this past weekend as he willed the Miami Dolphins into a comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens. Throwing for 469 yards and six touchdowns, Tua finished the week with the 4th highest adjusted yards per attempt at 9.98. And from a fantasy perspective, he ranked as the QB2 (38.9 points) while scoring 14.7 points above expected. It was a truly masterful performance as the former Alabama quarterback carried many dynasty managers to a win. More importantly, we are clearly seeing the impact that Mike McDaniel is having on this offense. The Dolphins are currently averaging the 5th highest neutral early-down passing rate at 58.7% (see chart below), which is a nearly five percentage point improvement from last year. And coupled with the addition of a dynamic weapon in Tyreek Hill, Tua is currently setting career-highs in expected fantasy points (18.9) and adjusted yards per attempt (9.5). While it is still a very small sample size, Tua’s redraft and dynasty value are clearly trending in the right direction. And assuming he can keep this up, I fully expect his dynasty ADP to rise into QB1 territory.
Trey Lance was set to have a breakout season for the 49ers as they were moving past the Jimmy Garrapolo era. However, after a devastating injury early in Sunday’s matchup, Lance’s opportunity will, unfortunately, have to wait. Per recent reports, he suffered a fibula fracture and ligament disruption, which were both successfully repaired on Monday. And according to our injury expert Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT), Lance should have plenty of time to recover and be ready for the start of the 2023 season.
Even in limited action this year, we saw glimpses of his fantasy upside. In a week 1 matchup that was disrupted by torrential rainfall, Lance used his legs to essentially carry his fantasy production. He averaged the 3rd highest rushing share among QBs at 35.1%, behind only Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen that week. So while his dynasty value may take a slight hit due to injury, rebuilding teams should take this opportunity to trade for a young QB at a discount who still possesses significant fantasy upside. However, if you are a contender who just lost their QB2 in a SuperFlex league, I would not give up on Lance quite yet. Instead, find an affordable replacement for this season – such as Carson Wentz, Marcus Mariota, or Jared Goff – bridging the gap until Lance can return to your lineup in 2023.
Prospect Watch List: Week 3
- The 2023 wide receiver class has gotten off to a slower start with players like Kayshon Boutte and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (injury) failing to make a significant impact through three weeks. A player who has taken a step forward, however, is Marvin Mims, wide receiver for the Oklahoma Sooners. To start his career, he only averaged a 19.1% receiving yards market share and a modest 1.72 receiving yards per team pass attempt. Because of his average production profile, he had to elevate his game in order to close the gap on some of the more accomplished prospects in his class. And in three games this season, Mims is already having the best campaign of his career, currently averaging around 32% of the Sooner’s receiving offense. So while we still have a long season ahead, it is encouraging to see him produce at an elite level to start his Junior year. If Mims can maintain this level of production, he should be firmly entrenched as a day two in pick next year’s draft.
- Ainias Smith is a four-year prospect out of Texas A&M and is mostly regarded as a potential day three pick in the 2023 class. A versatile weapon for the Aggies, Smith spent time playing both as a wide receiver and running back (alongside Isaiah Spiller) in his first three seasons. However, Smith always profiled better as a wide receiver, finishing above a 20% receiving yards market share in both his Sophomore and Junior year. And in three games this season, we are seeing him take a significant step forward as the WR1 for the Aggies. Ranking top-5 in both receiving yards per team pass attempt and dominator rating, Smith’s draft stock is clearly on the rise as we head into week 4.
- A player who has not received enough attention in the 2023 class is Xavier Hutchinson, wide receiver out of Iowa State. Hutchinson is a five-year prospect – playing two seasons for Blinn College (JuCo) – and is currently projected as a day three pick. Despite all of that, it is difficult to ignore just how productive Hutchinson has been since joining the Cyclones in 2020. In his first two campaigns at Iowa State, he has not had a season below a 26% receiving yards market share, operating as their lead receiver each year. Additionally, he is in the midst of an even better campaign. In three games so far in 2022, Hutchinson has averaged a 45.3% weighted dominator rating, while compiling at least 90 receiving yards and one touchdown in each of his first three games. Furthermore, he possesses an intriguing frame for a wide receiver, measuring at 6’3” and 205 pounds. So while there are red flags in his overall profile, Hutchinson is a prospect to keep an eye on as we approach the 2023 draft.