Welcome to the 2022 Dynasty Football Week 13 Stock Watch article.
One single week in the NFL is often the definition of overreaction theater, much less the week-to-week game of fantasy. Each player has data from which we draw conclusions. We are forced to use that information to make decisions moving forward.
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 longer-term Dynasty perspective.
Who saw their stock rise based on usage or opportunity in Week 12? Who saw it fall due to their own performance, lack of usage, or because of trades? Let’s dive in and find out.
2022 Dynasty Football Week 13 Stock Watch
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Isiah Pacheco, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Any running back with a pulse is going to get some dynasty juice when they are drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. Even though Isiah Pacheco's seventh-round draft capital doesn't blow you away, his standout showcase at the combine did turn a number of heads.
He ranked in the 99th percentile in 40-yard time, 98th percentile in speed score, and 93rd percentile in bench press. All quite impressive for a 5'10", 216-pound bruiser. But after Sunday's bell-cow performance against the Rams, that juice is overflowing. Dynasty managers are crawling all over each other to see how they can acquire the new lead back for the Chiefs.
Pacheco delivered against a stout Rams defense to the tune of 69 rushing yards and a score. Although the 22 rush attempts and 84% rushing share were clearly career-highs, what set Pacheco apart was just how much he was used in this game. Pacheco's 84% rushing share was 29% higher than any other Chiefs player in 2022.
His 22 rush attempts were three more than any other Kansas City back. And his 176 rushing yards the last two games is 60 more than any other Chiefs player in back-to-back weeks this year.
Even with the Chiefs signing Melvin Gordon to their practice squad this week, the situation for the rest of this season and beyond is set up perfectly for Pacheco. Edwards-Helaire is out at least three more weeks on an IR stint. Ronald Jones has no trust from the coaching staff (just four carries in Week 12). Gordon couldn't beat out Latavius Murray for the Denver Broncos.
The Chiefs are not thought of as a rushing team with nuclear weapon Patrick Mahomes under center. They rank 29th in rushing play percentage in 2022 (36.9%).
But in the last three weeks, that number has jumped up to 43% and the Chiefs are calling rushing plays at the 18th-highest rate. With a running back they finally trust, the sky is the limit for Pacheco in this offense.
Jelani Woods, TE, Indianapolis Colts
How did Woods go from 13 total targets and 79 total yards on the year to nine targets and 98 yards in just one game? It certainly helped that pass-catching tight end Kylen Granson missed the game with an illness. It also helped that Pittsburgh cornerback William Jackson was placed on IR earlier this month. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon was also hurt during the Monday night game.
But all those factors pale in comparison to the fact that Woods is just a stone cold monster out on the field. He's a 6'7" giant out of Virginia who the Colts took in the third round. He scored eight touchdowns on just 44 total receptions his senior year.
And he already looks like a man among boys when you see him sprinting down the field. His combine measurements were elite and he has sure hands (just one drop all season).
Kylen Granson (illness) was out last night. Round 3 rookie Jelani Woods broke out. Woods is 6'7/259 and ran 4.61:
* 41-of-64 snaps (64%)
* 23 inline, 12 slot, 6 wide
* 27 routes on 39 Matt Ryan dropbacks (69%)
* 9 targets for a 26% share
* 8-98-0 result
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) November 29, 2022
We also should not forget how much Matt Ryan likes throwing to his tight ends. While Ryan was in Atlanta, the Falcons finished top-12 in targets to the tight end position in 2021, 2019, and 2018. Ryan is certainly not the long-term answer at quarterback for the Colts, but Woods has separated himself from the tight end glut on the Colts.
Woods now owns the Indianapolis season highs at the position in targets, receptions, receiving yards, target share, and air yards.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Much of the fantasy analysis surrounding Diontae Johnson this year is focused on his lack of touchdowns. How does he go from at least five touchdowns in three straight seasons to zero through 12 weeks in 2022?
The touchdown shutout is likely a statistical anomaly based on the fact the Steelers are dead last with 0.6 passing touchdowns per game this year. I'm here to tell you that it's actually much worse than a lack of scores for Johnson in 2022. George Pickens has officially taken over as the number one receiver in Pittsburgh.
Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett took over fully as the team's primary option in Week 5 after Mitch Trubisky was benched. Since that time, George Pickens leads Johnson in receiving expected points added per game, receiving yards (despite Pickens putting up zero in Week 8), and touchdowns. Pickens trails Johnson by just 11 air yards and just 6% in target share in that span as well.
Diontae Johnson has been getting nothing more than short dump-offs and shallow curl routes. Johnson's yards per reception is down to a career-low 9.0 yards per catch and his yards after catch per reception is just 2.0 this season after averaging around 5.0 yards the rest of his career.
Pickett may just be the quarterback of the future for the Steelers, and it's clear that he is concentrating on developing a rapport with fellow rookie George Pickens. Pickett has not committed a turnover in his last 12 quarters, and he just had the best Pro Football Focus grade for a Pittsburgh quarterback in a game since Week 10 of 2018.
All this doesn't necessarily mean it's the absolute end of the line for Johnson's fantasy relevance moving forward, but his days flirting with WR1 numbers seem to all be in his past for now.
Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots
Damien Harris' 2021 season of 939 yards and 15 touchdowns now seems like it happened in a different lifetime. This is considering the absolute waste of a draft pick he has been in 2022.
Harris has played only five fully healthy games this year. In that time, he has amassed only 383 yards and three scores this entire season. Meanwhile, Rhamondre Stevenson has 680 rushing yards (already more than 2021), 359 receiving yards (three times as much as 2021), and five total touchdowns.
The hamstring injury suffered in Week 5 has, of course, been a lingering problem all year. But even when he has played, Harris' effectiveness and efficiency has fallen off a cliff. Among running backs, he ranks 28th in yards created per touch, 37th in breakaway run rate, and 21st in true yards per carry, all courtesy of Player Profiler.
We also know that running backs who catch passes are a staple of Bill Belichick teams. That just simply has not been Harris' game. He ranks 58th in routes run and route participation. Stevenson ranks fourth in overall running back targets, 11th in routes run, and sixth in route participation. In addition, Stevenson ranks eighth in the position in yards created per touch. He just has simply been the more explosive player, and it's not even close.
But perhaps the most damning piece of evidence for Harris is that he is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. When that decision loomed for Sony Michel a couple years ago, it was Michel who was jettisoned out of town in favor of Harris. Now it's Harris' turn to be on the chopping block in favor of Stevenson. Stevenson has two more years left after this year on his rookie deal, and the Patriots have never been a franchise to allocate a lot of money to their backfield.
Harris, who will already be 27 by the end of next season, is likely headed to another timeshare situation for a team who is looking for a short-yardage, goal-line running back. That means we have more than likely already seen the one strong fantasy year Harris will ever have.
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