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Tue Dec 10th 2019

Week Fourteen Review

Playoff explosion in more ways than one

Week 14 is in the books.  Are you still alive in your leagues?  I am in 5 out of 10 leagues, thanks to Zach Ertz on Monday night.  I hope you've enjoyed the season, and remember that the joy of dynasty is that when you're losing, you're winning - if you have draft picks, that is.  That's what makes dynasty leagues much more fun than redraft leagues. 

There are just two weeks left in the season.  Here are some of my observations from week #14 as we near the end of the year. 

Top Five Observations

Several players were week-winner or week-losers.

  • It was an incredibly high scoring week, leaving dynasty owners incredibly thrilled or depressed at the end of the week.  Drew Brees and Jameis Winston bounced back from bad weeks to carry teams in the early games this week, scoring more than 40 points each.  Emmanuel Sanders and A.J. Brown rewarded owners who started them with more than 30 points each, but many dynasty owners had them on their bench and are killing themselves for it even though they both were questionable starters.  Austin Ekeler carried teams to victory or defeat with his ridiculously efficient 27 fantasy points on just 12 touches.  I saw the winning percentage odds on teams completely flip after Ekeler's fantastic game.  Finally, Monday night ended with an Eagle's rally that plunged Zach Ertz owners and some Carson Wentz owners to victory.  I owe two victories last week to Ertz's Monday night finish.  In one tight end-premium league, I came back from 27 points down to win.  It was an up and down week with considerable swings in each series of game-times leaving dynasty owners elated or super bummed out.  That's the fantasy playoffs for you!

Early injuries painfully took down teams in the playoffs

  • Mike Evans and Jared Cook exited their games early but at least provided some fantasy value by scoring on the plays when they were injured.  Their dynasty owners are left wondering what could have been if they played the entire game.
  • Rashaad Penny, Alshon Jeffery, and DeVante Parker were not able to provide value before their injuries, scoring just 6 points between them.  Their dynasty owners are left wondering what could have been if they played the entire game.
  • This week other players like Calvin Ridley, Marvin Jones, T.J. Hockenson, and Darrius Guise have been placed on IR after they were injured late in games, as have Mike Evans, Alshon Jeffery, and Rashaad Penny.  Dynasty teams are going to be scrambling to piece together their teams in the semi-finals.  If a team was not affected by these injuries, their winning percentages have certainly gone up.

Two quarterbacks are looking like future starters for their teams.

  • Drew Lock started his second game and ripped apart the Houston Texans.  He won his first game last week against the Chargers, but it was not due to his great play.  This week, however, he put the team on his shoulders, and the win is attributed to him.  He went from 64% completions in his first start to 81% in his second (granted, many of the passes were short passes and check-downs).  I was most impressed by his command of the offense, ability to manage pressure, and the variety of arm-slots from which he threw.  You can't be definitive on anything after two weeks, but there is a reason to be hopeful, and Lock has three more weeks to prove that Denver does not need to draft another quarterback next year.
  • Tennessee may not need to draft a quarterback next year, either.  They are talking about a contract extension with Ryan Tannehill after he has completely turned around the Titans, going 6-1 since becoming the starter.  It's hard to believe since he was never a reliable fantasy player when he was starting for Miami for many years and given that Miami is a run-first offense.  Tannehill does have a much better team around him than he ever had in Miami, so this may be the type of team that allows him to rebrand himself and become a dynasty asset. He's been the #2 ranked fantasy quarterback since taking over the starting position in Tennessee.  That's incredible!

Two players have bypassed their teammates to become the top option and fantasy scorer at their positions.

  • Robby Anderson is doing it again.  In the last two years, he has ended the season with a bang and raised his dynasty value only to see it slowly drop steadily until the last third of the next season.  He's had 100 yards and/or a touchdown each of the previous three weeks.  He has surpassed Jamison Crowder as the leading wide receiver for the Jets.  I started him in several leagues last week and won my games because of it, much like I lost games against him in the playoffs last year.
  • It's only been a few weeks, but Raheem Mostert has already become the leading fantasy running back in San Francisco.  He's had some lucky plays like the pass from Emmanuel Sanders last week, but there is consistency in his game too.  He has the highest yards per carry in the NFL for all running backs with 100 or more carries.  He has passed Coleman on the depth chart.  Breida is healthy again and will be the change of pace back going forward.  I still have Mostert ranked behind Breida and Coleman in my dynasty rankings, but I'd have Mostert ranked ahead of them both to end this year.  Mostert could contribute to fantasy championships this year.  If so, he may need to move ahead of Coleman and Breida in dynasty rankings. 

The rookie wide receiver class is performing better than the running back class.

  • It usually takes more years for wide receivers to prove themselves to be every-week starters than it does for running backs who breakout much faster, but this year it is the opposite.  As for the running backs, Josh Jacobs has played well and established his dynasty value.  Devin Singletary seems poised to do so by the end of the year.  Miles Sanders and David Montgomery, however, have yet to do so while the wide receivers in this class have established stronger roles.  A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, Darius Slayton, and, arguably, Preston Williams, have broken out way earlier than expected and their dynasty value has exceeded some of the rookie running backs in this class.  I still believe in Sanders and Singletary, but not Montgomery.  I would order these rookie running backs and wide receivers like this: Josh Jacobs, A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, Miles Sanders, Terry McLaurin, Devin Singletary, Preston Williams, Darius Slayton, and David Montgomery.

Week Fourteen Waiver Moves

As a reminder, I play in dynasty leagues that roster 27-30 players, so the player-pool is very thin. There were only three players that I made claims for this week.  None of them are great dynasty moves, but they could help in a playoff push.

Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson

  • Mike Evans injured himself in the first quarter.  Perriman and Watson made the most of their opportunity as Tampa Bay made their comeback to win.  Perriman played 83% of the snaps and had 5 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.  Watson played 55% of the snaps and had 5 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.  Both looked good and very involved and trusted by their quarterback, Jameis Winston.  Evans is likely to be out for the rest of the season, so these two receivers will be targeted often on a team that cannot run the ball at all.  I favor Perriman, given that he has been more involved in the offense this year.  Watson had only one catch before this game last week, but he is technically playing Evans' role while Perriman is playing his same position on the team.  I made claims for Perriman first, then Watson.

C.J. Prosise

  • Between Perriman and Watson, I put in bids for C.J. Prosise.  He has not done anything all year, but he may get some opportunities now that Rashaad Penny is out for the season with an ACL injury.  Chris Carson was starting to split time with Penny, almost 50/50.  I don't think Prosise will get 50% of the snaps with Seattle, but he will spell Carson in Penny's absence.  He could help in playoff push, especially in PPR leagues.

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