Fantasy Football Dynasty Report for Week 9
Welcome back to 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 regular season can significantly impact a player’s dynasty value beyond this year.
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 8
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 each 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 8:
- Emari Demercado has now finished with over 30% of his team’s opportunities in back-to-back weeks, translating into a top-20 fantasy usage value in both matchups. While James Conner’s return is imminent, Demercado is clearly the running back to start in his absence.
- Roschon Johnson returned from a concussion, though the Bears’ backfield continues to be an enigma. They had three running backs equally involved as both Darrynton Evans and D’Onta Foreman finished the week with over a 12% opportunity share. However, none of them finished over 20% either, making this backfield a true committee. While I still believe Roschon will get this opportunity to lead this backfield at some point this season, it might be best to avoid all Bears’ running backs until one emerges from the pack.
- Jordan Addison had another encouraging performance, finishing as a top-25 wide receiver in my xFP model in three of the last four weeks. While those numbers are certainly impressive, it will be interesting to see how this offense evolves with Kirk Cousins out for the season. With the recent addition of Joshua Dobbs, Addison’s production could decline with a sizable downgrade at quarterback.
- Keep an eye on Demario Douglas, who finished the week with a career-high in snap percentage (77%), target share (25%), and air yards share (23.5%). He also led the team in route participation at 84%. With Kendrick Bourne out for the season, Douglas’ role should expand going forward.
- Quentin Johnston showed some promise in Week 8 as he finished with a career-high 25.5% air yards share and 15.8% target share. Keep in mind that he still only participated in 66% of the routes (Palmer was at 80%). However, we saw his “average depth of target” drop to 7.8, implying that the Chargers tried to get him involved in the short and intermediate game. As a result, he also received a season-high catchable target rate of 83%.
- While there was a lot of momentum for Rashee Rice last week, he finished the week with only a 60% route participation, 13.5% target share, and 6.5% air yards share. Until we see these numbers improve, Rice will continue to be a volatile option for dynasty managers.
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba finished second among rookie receivers in half-PPR scoring with 11.1 points. However, it’s worth noting that a majority of his production was due to his efficiency (+6.1 Fantasy Points Over Expected). In other words, if he had not scored a touchdown, his fantasy production would be much closer to his 5.03 xFP, which would have ranked outside the top 70 wide receivers.
- Tyson “Bilbo” Bagent topped the list of quarterbacks in Expected Points, but Will Levis was the star of the show. Among rookie quarterbacks, if we exclude garbage time, Levis ranked second in EPA per play with 0.105, and first in completion percentage over expected (+8.9) and air yards per attempt with 12.5. However, Levis was also the QB29 in success rate with only 32.4% of plays generating a positive EPA. These stats suggest that Levis is an aggressive yet inconsistent passer. So despite his impressive debut, there is still room for improvement as the Titans face the Steelers on Thursday Night Football.
Dynasty Stock Report
Dalton Kincaid – Buffalo Bills, TE
Dalton Kincaid was a highly intriguing tight end prospect in the NFL draft for several reasons. Firstly, he showcased his versatility as a receiver during his time at Utah, accounting for over 28% of his team’s receiving yards and an average of over 2.33 receiving yards per team pass attempt in his breakout season. These are the exact qualities we seek in a tight end, especially if we anticipate them to be a receiving threat at the next level. Secondly, Kincaid was the only tight end selected in the first round, which historically comes with a high TE1 hit rate (87%). Coupled with an outstanding landing spot, the expectations were very high for Kincaid entering his NFL career. Although rookie tight ends rarely break out, Dawson Knox‘s unfortunate injury has opened up a path to TE1 production. Over the last two weeks we have seen that come to fruition as Kincaid has averaged:
- 19.2% Target Share
- 11% Air Yards Share
- 74% Route Participation
- 9.9 Expected Fantasy Points
As you can see below, Kincaid’s usage ranks well within TE1 range since Week 7, which has translated to 13.2 half-PPR points per game. And with Knox out for at least the next three weeks, I fully expect this trend to continue. Keep in mind that Knox’s contract will ensure that he remains on the roster through 2024 ($0 guaranteed 2025 onward). However, I am still willing to invest in the talent and draft capital of Kincaid, who projects to be a productive player long-term in the Bills offense.
It has been a tough season for the New England Patriots, as they currently stand fourth in the AFC East. To make matters worse, Mac Jones just lost his most productive wide receiver. It was confirmed earlier this week that Kendrick Bourne will miss the remainder of the year with a torn ACL. This injury will undoubtedly affect Bourne’s dynasty value since he was having one of his best seasons. Before Week 8, he had an average target share of 21%, an air yards share of 28.5%, and participated in 79% of the routes. From a utilization standpoint, he was also the WR30 in Expected Fantasy Points with 10.3 xFP. Unfortunately, Bourne is set to be a free agent after this year, which further complicates his dynasty value. As for the Patriots, this could open up a path to additional opportunities for DeVante Parker and Demario Douglas.
Josh Downs – Indianapolis Colts, WR
Over the past few weeks, Josh Downs has been consistently featured in our Rookie Usage Dashboard due to his increased involvement in the Colts’ offense with Gardner Minshew as their quarterback. Despite Michael Pittman Jr. taking up a significant percentage of the team’s targets, Downs has still been a prominent figure in their game plan. In his last three games with Minshew, he is averaging:
- 20.5% Target Share
- 22.4% Air Yards Share
- 82% Route Participation
- 10.4 Expected Fantasy Points
His 10.4 xFP also ranks within the top 36 at the wide receiver position, implying that Downs has consistently received flex-level usage since Week 6. Clearly, his elite ability to earn targets – which we saw prominently at the collegiate level – has translated over to the NFL. And even though Richardson may change the identity of this offense when he returns next season, Downs should still retain a fantasy-relevant role as the starting slot receiver in the Colts’ offense.
Kirk Cousins‘ season will come to an abrupt end, sustaining a torn Achilles during the Vikings’ win against the Packers. Naturally, this will have a significant impact on the team, considering the positive momentum that their offense has gained in the last few weeks. In fact, Kirk Cousins was one of the most efficient quarterbacks before his injury, ranking:
- QB9 in EPA per Play (0.109)*
- QB13 in Success Rate (48.5%)*
- QB8 in Completion Percentage Over Expected (+4.4)*
- QB5 in Fantasy Points per Game (18.7)
*Excluding Garbage Time
With the injury to Kirk Cousins, the efficiency and productivity of T.J. Hockenson, Jordan Addison, and Justin Jefferson (if he returns from injured reserve) will undoubtedly be negatively affected. In addition, I expect Cousins’ dynasty value to decline as well, entering free agency at the age of 36. Even before his injury, Cousins’ value had already dropped to QB19 midway through October, according to Keep Trade Cut. However, it is important to note that this should not affect the long-term values of their receivers. So if this presents an opportunity to buy either Jefferson or Addison at a discounted price, take advantage of that as I expect the Vikings to address the quarterback position either through the draft or the trade market.
Prospect Watch List
If you have been keeping up with the Dynasty Report, you probably know that the upcoming running back class has been underwhelming. Many of the top prospects have been dealing with injuries or underperforming, making it difficult to assess the true value of the rookie class. However, we may be witnessing the resurgence of Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson, coming off his most productive game this season. After struggling with injuries earlier in the year, Henderson finally returned to form against the Wisconsin Badgers, gaining 207 scrimmage yards and scoring one touchdown on 28 touches.
It is worth noting that this is the level of production we expected from Henderson at the beginning of the season, especially after his impressive freshman year in 2021. In fact, his first year in college was one of the most impressive seasons by a freshman running back, ranking in the +90th percentile in multiple metrics. Therefore, it was especially encouraging to see Henderson bounce back last week, confirming what we already knew: he is one of the most explosive running backs in this class when healthy. Additionally, his junior season is in now line with his freshman campaign, ranking closely in Yards per Team Play at 1.70. If he continues to perform at this level for the rest of the year, Henderson will remain a top contender for the RB1 spot in next year’s rookie class. And if he is selected within the first 50 picks of the NFL draft, he should be firmly entrenched as a first-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts next year.