Dynasty Stock Watch: Week 2
By Doug Harrelson
The NFL is back! If you are like me, and you are on this website so I assume you are, then this time of year has you grinning ear to ear. Finally these players and assets we have acquired have started to have some noticeable movement. Trading in all of my leagues has seen a considerable uptick as player values begin to change. If it is tough to keep up with who is up in value and who is down, don’t panic, I will be giving you a Dynasty Stock Watch article every other week with all the information you need to trade responsibly in your dynasty leagues.
Rams RBs (Akers/Henderson)
Maybe the first thing the dynasty community noticed in this regular season was the usage rate of the Rams RBs on Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills. All offseason the belief was that Cam Akers would lead the backfield and dominate touches while Henderson would be used sparingly as a 3rd down back and as a handcuff for Akers. Sean McVay, like many great NFL head coaches, has shown once again he is not a big fan of our fantasy teams. Henderson dominated the snaps and touches while Akers was mostly used to spell Henderson here and there. The obvious thing to say here is that Akers’ stock is up and Henderson’s is down but the action to take from here is the more important part. If I roster Akers on my dynasty team, I unfortunately am probably forced to hold here. The window to sell RBs often closes immediately when it does. Do not panic though, perhaps over the season usage will change or maybe there is an injury. Henderson has had issues being the main guy in the past due to his injury history. As for those that roster Henderson, you have kinda lucked up or you saw this coming in which case, kudos to you. If I am a contender I am happy to have him as a usable piece going forward but in a rebuild I may look to sell to a contender who may need backfield help. I would approach the teams with Akers and Mitchell as a starting place.
Chiefs RBs (Edwards-Helaire/McKinnon/Pacheco)
Perhaps one of the backfields that caused the most controversy in the preseason was the Kansas City Chiefs. Those just looking at box scores may just see this as a win for all backs involved. These are places you can take advantage of the perceived value of a player's stock. CEH put up two TDs leading a lot of managers to believe that this is the year we have been waiting for. Looking deeper into the numbers you will see that he and McKinnon actually had the same number of snaps. Touchdown upside will exist for anyone on the field at the same time as Patrick Mahomes but I think this small spike in value may not be a bad time to get out from your investment in CEH. McKinnon does seem like he will maintain his role from last year but probably not enough for him to be a startable piece on your dynasty team. Just enough to keep CEH from being the RB we want him to be. Finally, the name nobody knew how to pronounce in June but in August was the centerpiece to a lot of chatter in the offseason, Isiah Pacheco. Pacheco truthers will want to point out the touches he got. A more detailed look reveals that a majority of them came when the game was already locked up. If the score was closer I believe we could take more out of this but as it stands, this could have just been the Chiefs calling off the dogs seeing as Chad Henne was the QB for many of Pacheco’s carries. He could still have a role as the between the tackles RB when the Chiefs are trying to ice the game away. I am not too excited about that prospect in PPR formats. His stock remains where it was at the end of the preseason. If you wanted in you probably already bought in, if you wanted to sell you probably already did, this feels like a hold.
Trey Lance’s dynasty value is dropping fast and I believe completely unfairly. The situation with Garoppolo has given the 49ers access to an easy out if he underperforms this season which has caused some unrest in the dynasty community involving his long term outlook. This situation became worse after the 49ers lost to the Bears this Sunday. I do believe we have a bit of an overreaction from this game. Anyone who tuned into this game could see that this was an NFL game effectively played in a swimming pool. If you were a fan of Trey Lance and think he is gonna be a good fantasy QB going forward, this may be your last chance to buy in. Understand that you are taking on some risk but hey, no risk-it and no biscuit.
The recipe seemed certain for fantasy success coming into the 2022 season for Cole Kmet. The young TE had 93 targets last season despite the presence of veteran Jimmy Graham on the roster. This year the Bears did minimal to improve their group of pass catchers and Jimmy Graham is no longer with the team. There was also an expectation of positive touchdown regression when Kmet scored as many TDs in the NFL last year as I did. I started Kmet this week on many of my teams and was quite disappointed in his bagel he left in my scoring column. Just like I said when referring to Trey Lance, I would not take too much stock in the results of this game. All the things we have said going into the season for Kmet are still true so if there is a dip in value, buy in now.
After a day of incredible NFL games, the Buccaneers and Cowboys game was a bit of a snooze fest. The Cowboys offense in particular was incredibly disappointing after last season. A lot of people, myself included, expected this to be the season that CeeDee Lamb made the jump to that upper tier of WR1s. The matchup against the Bucs defense was tough and Lamb was very disappointing including some drops. Obviously the biggest blow to his value though has nothing to do with what I just said despite all of that being worrisome. The biggest issue is that he will not be catching passes from Dak Prescott for the next few weeks. His ceiling here in particular takes a huge hit. If you are rostering Lamb at this point, I think you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You probably still have to throw him in your starting lineup with an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach. Selling now would be a massive loss on what was likely an expensive investment at this point. If you do not roster him then perhaps this is a buy low window but it may be hard to convince someone to take the massive loss on investment at this point. Maybe wait a week or two and see if their tone changes.
No WR drafted in the 1st round of this year's NFL draft had received less buzz this offseason than Jahan Dotson. So naturally what does he do? He comes out and catches two touchdowns in his first NFL game. Highly regarded out of college but the landing spot concerned a lot of dynasty managers. Perhaps unfairly though. Carson Wentz may not be an elite or even a good NFL QB, but a lot of his issues have more to do with turnovers rather than lack of ability to get the ball down the field. This Sunday we got to have the full Carson Wentz experience. Some big plays, some good drives, some bad interceptions to let Jacksonville back in the game. Everything we have come to expect from Wentz. After a big week 1 Dotson has seen a tick up in value across the industry. I do believe that he was undervalued going in so this feels like his value is going in the direction it should be but there are some important things to note. He is going to be the number two WR on this team for a while with McLaurin signing that new deal locking him into the nation's capital thru 2025. Another thing to note is that of his three catches on Sunday, two of them went for touchdowns. Obviously that rate cannot continue. It is fine to be encouraged and excited about what we saw in week 1 but do expect some up and down weeks to be coming for the rookie. All that being said, I am still happy to buy in on Dotson even at his increased price tag.
Knowing when to buy or sell a player is one of the most important skills for a successful dynasty manager. I hope this breakdown has been helpful for you knowing who to buy and who to sell this week in your dynasty leagues. We will be back to look at more player stocks after week 3 but until then, Happy Trading!