Dynasty Fantasy Football

2021 Dynasty Football Week 2 Stock Watch


Welcome to the 2021 Dynasty Football Week 2 Stock Watch.

Week 1 in the NFL is 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? 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 2 Stock Watch

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Stock Up

Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers

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The stock for Elijah Mitchell after Week 1 looks like Apple circa 2007. In a perfect storm of opportunity, Mitchell took the usage given to him by a Raheem Mostert injury and a surprise Trey Sermon scratch and literally ran away with it. Mitchell tamed the Lions for 104 rushing yards on 19 carries, good for 5.5 yards per tote including a highlight 38-yard run for a score. He wasn’t targeted in the passing game because, well, they didn’t need to. The 49ers only threw 26 passes and Deebo Samuel was targeted on half of those.

I guess we shouldn’t be shocked at this point when Mostert gets hurt. He has been afflicted with a series of injuries all over his body that have caused him to miss 17 total games since 2016. The Sermon news was a shocker when the early inactives were announced. It remains unclear whether Sermon was just in Kyle Shanahan’s famous dog house or whether he might have broken a team rule, which is the rumor du jour on Twitter. Regardless, the sixth-round rookie out of Louisiana-Lafayette is going to have some kind of featured role going forward regardless of Sermon’s status. Mostert simply can’t be relied upon to remain consistently healthy. That means Mitchell should at least have a share of this rushing attack. In dynasty terms, this could be a role he holds for a long time.

Mitchell was a touchdown-scoring machine in college, converting 46 scores in just 42 games. He also ranked in the 97th percentile in the 40-yard dash and 86th percentile in speed score, so he certainly has some juice to get downfield.

You probably heard this once or a thousand times this off-season. The 49ers have one of the easiest schedules this year, especially in the fantasy playoffs. Mitchell will be one of – if not THE – hottest waiver wire commodity this week, but the 22-year old will fit just as nicely on your dynasty rosters as he will on your redraft squad.

Juwan Johnson, WR/TE, New Orleans Saints

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Michael Thomas who? Out of the way, Adam Trautman. There is a new favored red zone target for win-eater Jameis Winston in New Orleans it would appear. In an absolute dismantling of the Green Bay Packers, Winston tossed five touchdowns on only 20 pass attempts. Two of those were to WR/TE hybrid Juwan Johnson. Of Winston’s four red zone touchdowns, two were to Johnson, with none going to Trautman.

Johnson rarely saw the field in his 2020 rookie season, playing only seven games and demanding 10 targets. But with the wide receiver depth chart decimated in the Big Easy, Johnson should be called upon to find mismatches against linebackers across the middle of the field. He has a massive frame (6’4″, 230 lbs), and the unbelievable speed he possesses for such a large player is astounding. He finished 92nd percentile at the 40 in the 2020 combine.

Michael Thomas isn’t coming back until at least Week 7 or 8. Tre’Quan Smith also landed on IR with a hamstring injury. This should give the bulk of the targets moving forward to Alvin Kamara, Trautman, and Juwan Johnson. Everyone’s favorite late-round, cheap DFS receiver Marquez Calloway? Two targets for one catch and 14 yards. We hardly knew ye. Dynasty rosters would all benefit from the addition of Johnson, and he is worth a FAB bid or trade offer in your league before the price gets out of hand.

Stock Down

Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets

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If Elijah Mitchell is Apple in 2007, then what is Elijah Moore? Enron in 2001? Blockbuster Video in 2010? The much-hyped receiver throughout training looked lost and unable to be found in his first NFL contest. In a game where the Jets trailed throughout, Moore finished with just one catch for negative three yards. The four targets were slightly more encouraging, but considering four players attracted more targets (including Tyler Kroft, Ryan Griffin, and Braxton Berrios) it can’t be considered a win.

The real problem, however, is Corey Davis. There were concerns coming into this season about how Davis would perform without an all-world running back drawing attention and an elite soul-crushing wide receiver on the other side of the field like his situation in Tennessee. Add in concerns about a rookie quarterback in Zach Wilson and people were getting downright scared. He proved all of that wrong on Sunday. Davis led the team in targets (seven), receptions (five), yards (97), and touchdowns (two).

The emergence of Davis and 11 targets going to the Jet’s tight ends on Sunday forces us to temper expectations on how Moore will perform this season. Moore dominated the target share at Ole Miss the last two years (more than 30% each year). But he has a long way to go to prove he can reach even 25% on this team. He deserves a seat on the bench of your dynasty roster while this all gets sorted out. The arrow is pointing down after one game.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Cleveland Browns

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Another buzzy player from the off-season was dealt a stellar hand on Sunday. The Cleveland Browns ruled out Odell Beckham, Jr. to give him more time to recover from his ACL injury, opening up targets. In a pace-up, high-total game against the Kansas City Chiefs, this looked like a game where Peoples-Jones could make his mark.

Well, Peoples-Jones took a peoples’ elbow to the face during this game. In a game with 62 total points, he drew only one target for a catch and four receiving yards. Baker Mayfield had more receiving yards if you need some context. The Browns clearly want to run the ball as part of their game-plan (26 rush attempts Sunday), but when this team gets into shootouts, I am paying close attention to Mayfield’s target. On Sunday, that was the old security blankets Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt and David Njoku.

To make matters worse, unless my eyes deceived me, I did not see Peoples-Jones get that target until late in the fourth quarter when the Browns were in catch-up mode. That is clearly a red flag, and if Peoples-Jones is relegated to special teams duties, he may not deserve a valuable spot on your dynasty squad, no matter what happens with Beckham moving forward. People-Jones is a young, promising prospect. But right now we need to make sure that Andrew Schwartz is not ahead of him in the pecking order.

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