2022 Dynasty Football Week 18 Stock Watch

by Ryan Kirksey
2022 Dynasty Football Week 18 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2022 Dynasty Football Week 18 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 17? Who saw it fall due to their own performance, lack of usage, or because of a change in role? Let’s dive in and find out.

2022 Dynasty Football Week 18 Stock Watch

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Stock Up

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

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If I told you that Kenny Pickett was a top-20 fantasy quarterback over the last two weeks, outscoring players like Trevor Lawrence, Tyler Huntley, and Justin Herbert, would you believe it? Well, it's true, and it's emblematic of the massive leap forward Pickett has made in the last several weeks. Including the suspenseful game-winning touchdown pass on Sunday Night Football, Pickett has led the Steelers to five wins in their last seven games and on the brink of a playoff berth.

But it's more than just real-life football where Pickett has been contributing. He has been useful in fantasy leagues as a QB2 or Superflex option. In his first five games of the season, Pickett accounted for four total touchdowns and eight interceptions. In the six games since then (there was a seventh game where he only played eight snaps), he has five total touchdowns to just one pick. Pickett has crossed 20 rushing yards four times this year and has also thrown for more than 240 yards on four separate occasions.

It was certainly expected that Pickett would see some growing pains as a first year quarterback who was thrown into start in Week 4 and had a receiver traded mid-season. A full offseason as the number one option and the ability to work to develop a connection with George Pickens and Diontae Johnson should do wonders for his dynasty stock next year. With those two receivers, Pat Freiermuth, and Najee Harris in tow, Pickett should have one of the most potent set of offensive weapons heading into the 2023 season.

Trey McBride, TE, Arizona Cardinals

Rookie tight end Trey McBride had the best game of his young NFL career on Sunday when he caught seven of 10 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. His 10 targets, seven catches, and 78 yards were more than any other games this season combined as the combination of Kyler Murray and Colt McKoy just refused to look his way after Zach Ertz was lost for the season. But David Blough had a different idea. McBride was in on 96% of his snaps and was Blough's favorite target, likely earning a longer leash in Week 18 and for the 2023 season.

Ertz tore both his ACL and MCL in Week 10, which has accelerated the numbers of snaps McBride played after that game. Since that time, he has not played in less than 73% of snaps and he now has 25 total targets in the last four weeks. But his dynasty stock is tied to what happens with Ertz. With the pro-bowl tight end suffering the serious injury in mid-November, it is unlikely at 33 years old he will be able to return for the start of the 2023 season.

There is also the matter of Ertz's contract status. He is signed through 2024, but the Cardinals have an out in his deal to take on only a $4 million cap hit if he is released after next season. Assuming the Cardinals pick up McBride's fifth-year rookie option, he could be under contract with them at a discounted rate through 2026. With second-round draft capital and Kyler Murray looking to make it back for the beginning of next season, McBride's arrow is pointing up in dynasty formats.

Stock Down

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

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In one of the more obvious turn of events from the second half of the season, it turns out when a running back is lined up next to a quarterback that is actively and vocally going after the single-season rushing record, it can hurt that running back's numbers. David Montgomery's teammate Justin Fields is just 63 yards away from breaking Lamar Jackson's record for rushing yards by a quarterback. And Montgomery's on-the-field performance has clearly suffered because of it.

After reaching a season-high of 80% of snaps in Week 11, that number has been steadily declining for Montgomery. He played just 54% of snaps against the lowly Lions' defense in Week 17. Meanwhile, Fields rushed for 132 yards against them. And with the decreased snaps, the production has fallen off a cliff as well. Montgomery does have five rushing touchdowns this year, so it's not a dreadful number. But he hasn't topped 80 yards rushing since Week 2, and has just three rushing touchdowns in his last nine games.

There were also three games this season when Montgomery had more than 35 rushing yards, but he only topped four targets one time the entire season. His 40 targets this year are a far cry from 2020-2021 when he averaged 60 targets per season.

And then there is the matter of his contract. Montgomery is a free agent after this season, and will be 26 years old when the 2023 season kicks off. Where he ends up going will likely play a huge factor in his 2023 and dynasty format, but chances are high (with any running back these days) that he ends up in some kind of timeshare committee. Chicago could always look to bring him back, but with Fields the franchise quarterback of the future, that might be the worst thing for Montgomery's long-term fantasy value.

Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos

After the first three weeks of the 2022 season, those who took a shot at Courtland Sutton in rounds 4-5 or who had stashed him on their dynasty rosters were feeling pretty, pretty good about themselves. In those three games, he averaged over nine targets and over six catches plus 97 yards per game. He didn't have any touchdowns, but Russell Wilson was his quarterback so that would positively regress, right?


We know how the rest of the 2022 fantasy season played out for the Broncos, with the offense reaching levels of ineptitude never before seen by an "elite" quarterback. In the 11 games Sutton played since Week 3, he has been absolutely atrocious. He averages 6.7 targets, 3.8 receptions, and 46 yards per game in that span. He has but one touchdown all year, and in Weeks 16 and 17 he played his lowest snap rates of the season in a healthy game (79% and 81%, respectively).

Meanwhile, Jerry Jeudy and Greg Dulcich really improved and solidified themselves as the top wide receiver and tight end options for this team. Add in a healthy Javonte Williams next season, and where in the pecking order does Courtland Sutton fit in, exactly?

After next season, the answer is murky as to whether or not he will even still be on the Broncos. In 2023, the major base salary bump of Sutton's four-year, $60 million contract kicks in. He will earn $14 million next year after earning $1.5 million (with a $10 million bonus) in 2022. But after 2023, the Broncos can exit the deal if they want with only a $7.6 million cap hit. Otherwise, they are stuck with Sutton for two years and $27 million in his age 29 and 30 seasons.

With the emergence of Jeudy, Williams, and Dulcich, plus burner Tim Patrick due back next year, these pieces might leave Sutton on the outside looking in.

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