If you are researching stocks in the market to invest in, how long are you looking at their profit/loss sheet? Weeks? Months? Keep that in mind with the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 12 Stock Up/Stock Down article.
One single week in the NFL is often the definition of overreaction theater, much less the week-to-week game of Fantasy Football. 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 Football 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 11? 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.
2023 Fantasy Football Week 12 Stock Up/Stock Down
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Kyren Williams, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Well, so much for Kyren Williams being eased back into action after spending more than four weeks on the IR with an ankle injury. Williams had over 200 total yards and two touchdowns on 22 touches against Arizona. Darrell Henderson was let go. Zach Evans barely played. While Royce Freeman got some run, he will be back to playing just about 15%-20% of snaps soon.
With the Rams just a game out of the playoffs in the weak NFC, Williams is coming back at the right time, and the Rams could make a postseason push with him. According to Frank Ammirante, the Rams score 14.3 points per game without Williams in the lineup (and are 1-3). With him, they are 4-3 and score 25 points per game. At more than 60% of snaps in every game he has played this season, he will be one of the true work-horse backs the rest of the season.
Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers
After a roller coaster first five games of the season (two games at QB6 or better, two games at WB16 or worse), Jordan Love has made the Packers and their fans fall in love with him. He now has three straight weeks inside the Top-12 quarterbacks. On Thanksgiving, he put up QB5 numbers (268 yards and three touchdowns) in the toughest of circumstances. That game was: on national TV, on the road, on a short week, and against a tough pass rush. Love put all doubts to rest with that performance.
He has a 7:2 touchdown to interception ratio in the past three weeks, no fewer than 268 passing yards, and has 50 rushing yards in that span. He isn't doing it just by dinking and dunking. Love now has the most deep ball attempts on the season and ranks fourth among quarterbacks in air yards per attempt.
All Pass-Catchers for the Pittsburgh Steelers
If you're not familiar with Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, let me introduce you. This is a guy who has averaged 183.5 passing yards per game over his almost two full NFL seasons. He has a career 62% completion rate and 5.4 net yards per attempt. At least, that's who he was until Sunday. Against Cincinnati, Pickett threw for 278 yards, had a 73% completion rate, and averaged 7.7 net yards per attempt. What changed? Let's call it the Matt Canada effect.
After Pittsburgh fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada, the reins seems to have been taken off Pickett which is good news for the Steelers' pass-catchers. Pat Freiermuth had 120 receiving yards Sunday, more than 30 over his previous high for a game. He also had a career-high in receptions. George Pickens had 58 yards, his most since October 22 when Diontae Johnson was hurt. Johnson had 6.3 yards per target after averaging 3.0 the last two games.
Time will tell whether this will stick, but for now, all of these pass-catchers get a bump up.
Geno Smith, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Geno Smith - who didn't exactly set the league on fire before last season - got a big contract extension from Seattle after 2022. Good for him, he earned it, but it may end up looking very bad for Seattle. As we enter Week 13, Smith is QB20 on the season and has scored more than 20 Fantasy Points just two times in 2023. He has one finish inside the top 15 quarterbacks since Week 3 and that was against the abysmal Washington pass defense.
To sum up all of the issues Smith has had this season in one stat, just look at his clean pocket completion percentage. When he is not pressured from the opposing defense, he completes 66% of his passes. That's 23rd among quarterbacks and just isn't acceptable for a team with playoff aspirations. He actually gets worse in the red zone where he ranks 32nd at the position in accuracy rating.
Puka Nacua. WR, Los Angeles Rams
It's been a tale of two halves for Puka Nacua, who set the world on fire in September, but has seen his world crumble lately. In his first five games of the season (four of which were without Cooper Kupp), Nacua finished as WR9, 5, 37, 4, and 11 in half-PPR formats. Since that time, he has finished as WR59, 5, 65, 54, 13, and 71. Even with a couple of good games, in there, that's not a reliable starter for fantasy lineups, if the downside is literally outside the top 50 at the position.
It's the competition for targets that has killed his season in the second half. After seeing 10+ targets in four of his first five games, Nacua has more than seven targets just once in the last six weeks. He has more than four receptions just one time as well. With Cleveland, Baltimore, New Orleans, and San Francisco looming in his last six games, things don't look better on the horizon. He gets Washington the first week of the fantasy playoffs, but it's not friendly beyond that.
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