2021 Dynasty Football Week 9 Stock Watch

by Ryan Kirksey
2022 Dynasty Football Week 18 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2021 Dynasty Football Week 9 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 9 Stock Watch

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Stock Up

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Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets

In Weeks 1-5, Michael Carter drew a total of 14 targets from new Jets quarterback Zach Wilson. In just Week 8, Carter drew 14 targets from backup quarterback Mike White. Add in nine targets in Week 7 after White took over for an injured Zach Wilson, and we have a puzzle that needs solving.

White looked absolutely electric in the passing game on Sunday, and he also earned his most rushing attempts of the season (15). What was once a four-man committee has evolved into the Michael Carter show with just a little Ty Johnson and La'Mical Perine thrown in.

Wilson could be back as soon as Week 9, so as dynasty owners who might be looking to trade for Carter, we must predict his path forward in the second half of the season. Just as I'm sure Sean Payton told Jameis Winston in the game after Alvin Kamara had zero targets, I am sure that Jets coach Robert Salah is going to get in Wilson's ear and tell him to "get Carter the damn ball!"

Corey Davis is a nice receiver, but the likes of Keelan Cole, Baxton Berrios and Ryan Griffin ain't the answer long-term.

Carter is the answer to the Jets' unending running back problem long-term. His stock is on the rise as it becomes more clear what they have.

Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

On Sunday we got our first glimpse of big Pat Freiermuth and his usage without a veteran tight end stealing snaps from him. The results were overwhelmingly positive and gave Pittsburgh Steeler fans hope that they may have found their next Heath Miller.

Freirmuth played on 78.4% of his team's snaps on Sunday, 18% higher than any previous high this year, and ended with seven targets (including two red-zone targets!) for 44 yards and a score. His 12.4 points in half-point per reception formats were his highest of the season and showed he can be a reliable option for Ben Roethlisberger.

Eric Ebron is just a guy on a one-year $1 million contract at this stage of his career, paving the way for Freiermuth to take on a huge role in 2022 and beyond. Plus, the unspoken advantage for Freiermuth is he will likely not spend much of his career with noodle-armed Big Ben.

I can just hear the Pittsburgh fans for years to come. "MUUUUUTTTHHH!!"

Stock Down

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Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team

It's officially time (maybe past time) to press the panic button on Antonio Gibson for 2021. The lack of production, usage, and touchdowns may just be a byproduct of an injury that has plagued Gibson all year, but there are now two backs on his own team providing stiff competition to Gibson's fantasy points.

For the first time this season, someone other than Gibson led the Football Team in rushing attempts. Jaret Patterson chipped in 11 rushes for 46 yards. Gibson did out-target Patterson 3-1, but this was the seventh straight game with no more than three targets for Gibson. Meanwhile, J.D. McKissic saw eight targets and averages 6.0 targets in the last seven games.

I don't believe that the talent Gibson displayed last year just suddenly disappeared. Gibson was the RB14 last season even after a slow start, and he contributed 11 touchdowns with 44 targets. Those numbers seem so far away from reality now, but perhaps some health will help Gibson regain his burst.

The danger for dynasty owners is that Washington may now see him as on the oft-injured back and keep rolling out some kind of three-headed committee in the years to come. McKissic is a free agent after this year so there is hope for more of a bell-cow role. But it's not trending in that direction.

Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

It's no secret Allen Robinson could have been the headliner of this list all season, but Week 8 may have been the final straw. In a week where we finally saw some legitimately promising things from Justin Fields, Robinson had his worst game of the season. He hit rock bottom with his second straight week of three or fewer catches and less than 25 receiving yards.

In fact, this is likely the worst stretch of Robinson's career, and he played four years with the Jaguars. Two of Robinson's bottom ten receiving yard totals for his career (when he plays at least 80% of snaps) have come in the last two weeks.

It's not just that there is no connection between Fields and Robinson, it seems as though there is no desire for Fields to make a connection. Darnell Mooney had nine targets. Cole Kmet had six. Jesse James had one fewer target than did Robinson. In his last three games, Robinson's target share in an already limited passing game was just 18%.

Fields is obviously the future in Chicago, but Robinson is an unrestricted free agent in 2022. If he can sign with the first competent quarterback of his career, his stock would shoot back up, even at age 29. But for now, he is unstartable in just about every league.

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