Dynasty Fantasy Football

2021 Dynasty Football Week 14 Stock Watch


Welcome to the 2021 Dynasty Football Week 14 Stock Watch.

One single week in the NFL is often the definition of overreaction theater. Each player has one game of data from which to draw conclusions, and we certainly have no problems with that exercise.

We tend to evaluate each week’s Fantasy performances thinking about the short term; what does the data tell us about what to expect for a defined period of time, or for the rest of the season. But we can also draw conclusions from a Dynasty perspective.

Who saw their stock rise based on usage or opportunity this week? Who saw it fall due to their own performance? Perhaps most importantly, did the performance of teammates affect the opportunity?

This weekly piece will look at each week’s games from a Dynasty Football mindset. I will gather information on whose stock has risen and whose is falling as we make the long-term decisions about our Dynasty franchises.

2021 Dynasty Football Week 14 Stock Watch

Stock Up

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Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos

Well, I would certainly say that Williams passed that first test in the full-time role. Melvin Gordon needs to get his agent on the phone like yesterday to start calling teams who will be willing to sign the veteran this offseason when he becomes a free agent. Because Williams is the future and he is legit.

Williams was about the only interesting thing in the Broncos’ offense Sunday night, amassing 102 rushing yards on 23 carries, adding six catches for 76 yards and a score through the air. Williams did not have more than 17 touches in a game this season prior to Sunday, but he looked like he was built for the increased workload.

For those paying attention, Williams has been an advanced metrics darling all season. He ranks ninth among all running backs with 530 yards created and 11th in breakaway runs and 14th in breakaway run rate. He uses his speed and, most importantly, his elusiveness to get into open space.

It made football sense to keep Gordon and Williams in a timeshare this year to save both of their legs and keep them fresh for a potential playoff push. But if Gordon misses more time, we are about to see a back unleashed that could easily crack the top eight picks in next year’s drafts.

Since Sunday night, I have seen takes that Williams should only be ranked second among dynasty running backs to Jonathan Taylor. If that’s the asking price, grabbing Williams for a modest price is gone forever.

Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

If you’re looking for where the Ja’Marr Chase production went during Weeks 8 thru 13, look no further than across the field in Tee Higgins. From Weeks 1-7, Chase produced 754 yards on 35 catches with six touchdowns. In the five games since he is only at 20 catches for 204 yards and two scores.

Meanwhile, Tee Higgins caught 27 balls for 442 yards and two scores in that same five-game stretch, essentially replacing the huge yardage totals that Chase saw the first half of the season. Higgins has been the alpha receiver the last three weeks, demanding a 27.8% target share while Chase and Tyler Boyd both check in at 18.9%.

On the season, Higgins is now three receptions and two target share percentage points shy of Chase. Many – including yours truly – speculated that Chase was a top-three dynasty wide receiver after the first eight weeks. Has that changed? Actually, no. I think Higgins has just reinserted himself in the conversation that he might also be a top-12 dynasty wideout.

Higgins (22 years old) is just one year older than Chase (21 years old) and both have high-draft, blue-chip pedigree and a team that isn’t afraid to be aggressive offensively. Joe Burrow‘s finger injury is a huge letdown for a team that was starting to skew run-heavy anyway. But the Bengals have basically abandoned throwing to running backs (Mixon is at 5.6% the past three weeks), which means the target tree consists of Higgins, Chase, Boyd, and that’s it. The rest of the ancillary pieces are left fighting for scraps.

Feel free to be just as bullish for Higgins in dynasty as you were for Chase a couple of months ago. Both of these guys are here to stay.

Stock Down

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Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

For about three weeks there we all thought Rashod Bateman was going to be a thing, didn’t we? Well, he still may be in the long-term, but from a stock up or stock down perspective, his value is plummeting in recent weeks.

Sunday’s game is not one that Bateman will put on his sizzle reel moving forward, because, well, there was nothing on it. Six players saw more targets than the one that Bateman drew. Five players ran more routes, including three other wide receivers. When you get 11 fewer routes than Devin Duvernay, something is definitely up.

Bateman now has as many games under 11 points in half-PPR formats as he missed with injury to start the year and has 11 total targets over the past three games. Is this a chicken or the egg thing where Bateman’s struggles are a product of Lamar Jackson‘s recent passing struggles? If so, then why is he running as the WR4 for the Ravens?

Rookie receivers like Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith have flown past Bateman and it remains to be seen how much value he can truly generate with Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews the clear top two options.

Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos

For as much promise as Javonte Williams showed for the Broncos, we are on about week five of Noah Fant showing absolutely nothing in this Broncos passing game. Against the Chiefs Sunday – a game the Broncos trailed the whole second half – Fant saw only four targets. Five other Denver players saw the same number or more targets than Fant.

Fant has not produced a touchdown or more than 59 yards since Week 6, as it is becoming clear this current iteration of the Denver passing game is just not conducive to anyone but the short-stuff, dump-off guy à la Javonte Williams.

Teddy Bridgewater is proving he is not the guy to get the ball to players like Fant, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. He ranks 14th in yards per attempt and 32nd in deep-ball completion percentage, according to Player Profiler.

To make matters worse, Albert Okwuegbunam is now taking a healthy portion of the tight end snaps. On Sunday, Fant saw 58 snaps and 30 routes run. Albert O was given 33 snaps and 11 routes. If Fant is relegated to just two-thirds of the tight end opportunities in an offense that now wants to feature their rookie running back and struggles to complete deep passes, there may not be any hope here until a new quarterback comes to town.

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About Ryan Kirksey

Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. In my week I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long content, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. Astros apologist. Team Terry #McSoarin

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