2022 Dynasty Football Week 7 Stock Watch

by Ryan Kirksey
2022 Dynasty Football Week 18 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2022 Dynasty Football Week 7 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. And we are especially vulnerable in the first few weeks since we have had no game action for eight months.

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 6? Who saw it fall due to their own performance or lack of usage? Let’s dive in and find out.

2022 Dynasty Football Week 7 Stock Watch

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Stock Up

Alec Pierce

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Lost in the publicity of Michael Pittman's dominant PPR game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was that rookie Alec Pierce had a very fantasy-friendly game ( seven targets for three catches, 49 yards, and a touchdown). But what we must determine is whether that game was a result of the outlier performance. Or is this performance from Matt Ryan or a sign of things to come? Matt Ryan has played 228 regular season games, and his 58 pass attempts on Sunday were his second-most ever attempted.

Digging into Pierce, however, it does seem that this is continuing a pattern of strong performances. It is causing his dynasty stock to soar.

Sunday's game was Pierce's fourth straight with at least five targets. He now has at least 61 yards or a touchdown in those four contests. That has meant three straight weeks of double-digit fantasy performances.

It's somewhat forgotten that Pierce was selected with the 21st pick of the second round after a very strong season at the University of Cincinnati. He was an elite downfield threat who scored eight touchdowns on 17 yards per reception in his senior season, which is exactly the kind of player the Colts were looking for. With his 95th percentile combine scores in speed score and burst score, Pierce has the opportunity to be the Colts' long-term answer as a downfield threat while Pittman works the middle of the field.

Pierce is already 18th among all wide receivers at 15.1 yards per reception this year, as the Colts are beginning to utilize his strengths to find him for several deep shots every game.

Bailey Zappe

No one thinks this is a Tom Brady replacing Drew Bledsoe situation just yet, but it is curious that the Patriots drafted a quarterback in the fourth round this year after drafting their supposed franchise quarterback with a top-15 pick in 2021. But when Bill Belichick is asked and remains non-committal to Jones as the starter when he is able to return from his ankle injury, we certainly need to sit up and pay attention.

After a mediocre first start against the Detroit Lions (188 passing yards on 21 attempts, one touchdown, one interception), Zappe burst onto the scene with 309 passing yards, two scores, and no picks in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns. And that game was in a hostile road environment.

Zappe did have just unbelievable numbers in college last season (almost 6,000 passing yards and 61 touchdowns), but it was an offensive scheme designed for his strengths in Conference USA's Western Kentucky. The NFL is a whole other animal, but using a fourth-round pick on a quarterback is not a throwaway selection. The Patriots must see something there. The decision of whether or not to continue to have Zappe Hour when Mac Jones is back is a fascinating one, and one that will ultimately send his dynasty stock plummeting or to the moon.

Stock Down

J.K. Dobbins

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Oh boy. The image of J.K. Dobbins nursing a knee injury after he had started to get more involved after his return from an ACL tear is not a good sign. Unofficially, he was taken out of Sunday's game with knee tightness. Rumors were quickly circulating that there was swelling around his injured knee. This means we could learn very soon that there has been a setback in his recovery. Dobbins could only manage 16 snaps before coming off the field Sunday and ceding the rest of the work to Kenyan Drake.

We know the story with Dobbins. He is uber-talented, as he showed in his 2020 rookie season. We know the Ravens love to run the ball (they rank top-10 this season in run-play percentage). Dobbins is seemingly in the right spot. But a serious knee injury and a slow recovery have only allowed him 35 rush attempts since the end of the 2020 campaign. There's not much you can do right now but hold onto him and wait for hopefully a positive prognosis.

If this is another missed-time situation, his dynasty stock will never be lower. The only hope you have with Dobbins at this point is he is still very young (just 23 years old) and the Ravens have no serious contenders for a long-term answer at the position. Gus Edwards is still working his way back from his own serious injury, so if this is just a small setback, Dobbins can easily slide back into the role.

D.J. Moore

There aren't many certainties in life or in NFL Fantasy Football, but one of those few certainties is that the Carolina Panthers have the most dysfunctional franchise as we head into Week 7. Consider: since the end of the 2021 season they have, fired their offensive coordinator, drafted a quarterback and then traded for Baker Mayfield.  They then fired their coach, kicked Robbie Anderson out of a game, traded Robbie Anderson, and have put the league's best running back on the trade block.

Meanwhile, D.J. Moore, once a guarantee for 80 catches and 1,100 yards languishes with just 20 catches for 204 yards through six games. Moore long ago fell into the dreaded category of "if only he could play with a better quarterback." Through his career has has caught passes from Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, old Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater, PJ Walker, Kyle Allen, and Will Grier. Tell me which one of those is even an average quarterback.

There seem to be no signs of it getting better moving forward. Matt Corral, who was drafted in the third round, is on injured reserve. Scouts are wildly divided on if he is actually an NFL-caliber player. The best that dynasty managers can hope for right now is that a trade does happen. We'd love it if Moore goes to a place with some type of competent quarterback. After three straight years of catching exactly four touchdowns, we all though the touchdown regression would hit Moore in a positive way. It turns out he doesn't have the quarterback on his roster to help him get there.

The talent is still there, so this is clearly a buy (very) low situation if you think Moore ends up in a better environment.

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