Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 6
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 5
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, 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 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.
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 5:
- Dameon Pierce continues to dominate for fantasy managers as he once again finished as an RB1 this past week. The biggest takeaway should be Pierce’s rising usage in the passing game as his target share has increased every week since taking over the starting role. In Week 5, he set a career-high 20.8% target share. As a result, the only running back to average a higher expected fantasy value (xFP) than Pierce this past week was Christian McCaffrey.
- With Rashaad Penny leaving the game early, we saw Kenneth Walker assume the lead running back role for the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5. While his Expected Value does not jump off the page, this is partially due to the 69-yard touchdown run that ended one of their drives early. Otherwise, Walker would have likely received multiple opportunities as the Seahawks were trying to retake the lead in the 4th quarter.
- With Drake London and Garrett Wilson struggling, George Pickens led all rookie wide receivers in Expected Fantasy Points (11.4), ranking WR25 in this metric this past week. Keep in mind, Pickens was only 3rd among Pittsburgh wide receivers in target share (16%). But because Kenny Pickett threw the ball over 50 times to keep up with Josh Allen, there was enough volume to provide all three receivers with a healthy dose of targets. It is worth noting though that Pickens was by far the most productive receiver as he turned his eight opportunities into a team-high 83 receiving yards.
- Khalil Shakir finished the week as the WR13 in half PPR leagues as he set a season-high 70% snap share with Isaiah McKenzie inactive. However, his target share was rather limited at only 13.9%. Even if we exclude Case Keenum’s pass attempts in garbage time, his target share only improves to 16.1%. Similar to Gabriel Davis, Shakir can be an effective downfield threat, though his volume will remain limited as Stefon Diggs continues to be the target hog in the Bills’ offense.
- Cade Otton operated as an every-down tight end with Cameron Brate inactive, receiving 94% of the team’s offensive snaps. More impressively, two of his seven targets came inside the red zone. While he ultimately did not score, it was still encouraging to see Tom Brady target him heavily in this game. Unfortunately, his TE1 role is likely short-lived as Brate could return this week after suffering a head injury in Week 4.
- In his first start, Kenny Pickett threw the ball 52 times but was unable to generate much fantasy value on those opportunities. He finished the week with a -10.9 FPOE while ranking as the QB19 in Completion Percentage Over Expected (+0.1). There will obviously be growing pains as Pickett acclimates to the league. With a tough schedule ahead, dynasty managers may need to wait a few more weeks before even considering plugging him into their lineups.
Dynasty Stock Report
Breece Hall – New York Jets, RB
Breece Hall’s ascent was never in doubt as he was one of the best running back prospects we have seen in recent history. While he was not necessarily on the same level as Jonathan Taylor or Saquon Barkley, Hall still ranked as a 95th percentile running back in my prospect model due to his elite collegiate production, athleticism, and draft capital entering the NFL.
While Hall’s rookie season started a little shaky (36% snap share in his first two games), we have seen the Jets lean on him heavily over the last two weeks. In that timespan, Hall is the RB7 in half PPR points per game (20.8) while receiving 37.1% of the Jets’ opportunities. His usage in the receiving game is especially intriguing, running a variety of intermediate and deep routes out of the backfield and leading all running backs in air yards share at 12.9%. Because of his versatility, Hall has averaged the 6th highest Expected Fantasy Value (17.4) among running backs since Week 4. In other words, only five games into his career, Hall is already one of the most valuable fantasy assets in the league. As a result, he should easily be considered a borderline top-5 dynasty running back, assuming he continues to receive this type of usage.
Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks, RB
It is always discouraging having to highlight a player whose fantasy value will likely decline due to injury. Just one week after we already lost Javonte Williams, Rashaad Penny will, unfortunately, miss the rest of the season after fracturing his fibula this past week. Pete Caroll also confirmed that he injured his tibia and that he will undergo surgery early this week. The good news is that the projected recovery time (per Matthew Betz) should only be six months, which means Penny should have every opportunity to fully recover before the start of the 2023 season. From a fantasy perspective, this will likely hurt his stock significantly over the next couple of months. Not only was his dynasty value already in flux with the potential emergence of Kenneth Walker, but he will now be approaching free agency after only playing five games this year. Considering the draft capital invested in Walker, the Seahawks may decide to let Penny go. With a talented running back class set to declare next year, it might be an uphill battle for Penny, who will be 27 years old in a few months, to find another starting opportunity in this league.
David Njoku – Cleveland Browns, TE
While the tight end position has been rather disappointing, David Njoku has been one of the bright spots for fantasy managers. Since Week 2, Njoku has been one of the most consistent producers at his position, exceeding five targets in every matchup. In this time span, he was the:
- TE5 in Fantasy Points per game (10.8)
- TE5 in Target Share (22.4%)
- TE9 in Air Yards Share (16.8%)
- TE6 in Expected Fantasy Points (10.0)
While his production is nowhere near that of a Travis Kelce or a Mark Andrews, you can at least rely on Njoku to provide you with a safe baseline of production. And with his regular usage inside the red zone (TE4 in targets inside the 20), he also has the upside to score on any given week. From a dynasty perspective, at only 26 years old, he should be firmly entrenched as a top-10 dynasty tight end. And with a potential quarterback upgrade on the horizon, Njoku should be an every-week starter for dynasty managers going forward.
Matt Ryan – Indianapolis Colts, QB
Matt Ryan was supposed to take this offense to new heights as the Colts transitioned away from the short-lived Carson Wentz era. However, through five weeks, Ryan has not lived up to those expectations as he is currently on pace to throw more interceptions than touchdowns this season. As a result, among quarterbacks with at least 50 pass attempts, Ryan is the QB29 in EPA (Expected Points Added) per Pass Attempt (-0.12) and the QB28 in Adjusted Yards per Attempt (5.9).
While injuries to Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman have likely affected his performance, it is still concerning to see him ranked near the bottom across multiple metrics. As you can see in the chart above, Ryan’s production places him in a cluster of quarterbacks in the bottom left quadrant, surrounded by Carson Wentz, Joe Flacco, and Daniel Jones. This is not a group you want to be associated with. Long-term, Ryan will likely remain with the Colts for at least another season as his contract provides very little cap relief if he were to be released in 2023. But unless we see a drastic improvement from this offense, Ryan will be nothing more than a QB3 for fantasy purposes.
Prospect Watch List: Week 6 – Wide Receivers
Quentin Johnston – TCU
The first player I wanted to highlight in this week’s Prospect Tracker is Quentin Johnston out of TCU, who is not even listed in the table above. After two productive seasons to start his collegiate career, the expectation was that Johnston would elevate his game to another level in 2022. However, the exact opposite has happened as he exceeded 30 receiving yards in only one of his first four games. Naturally, there were some concerns. However, Johnston remained patient and professional, voicing his happiness that TCU remained undefeated despite his struggles.
This past weekend, Johnston finally broke free and had a truly explosive performance against Kansas. He set career highs across multiple metrics:
- 206 Receiving Yards
- 6.24 Rec Yards per Team Pass Attempt
- 66.9% Rec Yards Market Share
- 50% Target Share
Hopefully, this was a sign of things to come and that TCU will once again make Johnston the focal point of their offense.
Emeka Egbuka – Ohio State
Ohio State has produced some impressive wide receiver prospects over the last several years. Most recently, we have seen Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson enter the NFL and make an immediate impact on their teams. Emeka Egbuka, a five-star prospect coming out of high school, could be the next Ohio State receiver to follow that same trajectory as he is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2024 draft. While he did not have the most productive true freshman year (mainly due to the competition on the team), his sophomore season has been truly elite. In six games, Egbuka is averaging:
- 117 scrimmage yards per game
- 3.72 Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt
- 32.5% Weighted Receiving Dominator Rating
- 34.5% Receiving Yards Market Share
The only Ohio State wide receivers over the last decade to produce similar true sophomore numbers are Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who is also projected to be a first-round selection in the 2023 draft. While some of his opportunities are a result of Smith-Njigba dealing with injuries to start the year, Egbuka’s elite performance should not be discounted. Keep an eye on his production over the next two seasons as he should be one of the top picks in your 2024 dynasty drafts.