Welcome back Nerds to the Week 8 edition of what we learned. The NFL and dynasty fantasy football are ever changing from week to week and it’s been crazy trying to wrap my head around it to break it down for you every week. There is suddenly a ton of news and notes to go over before week 9 kicks off on Thursday. I’m here as always to give you some talking points and takeaways to help build your dynasty teams stronger for the back half of the season. Hopefully, you guys can use it to shape your roster into a champion before the playoffs and take home that title to add to your dynasty trophy case. Let’s get into this week’s breakdown.
- Offense Is Down
Came across some stats this week while browsing the twitter machine that helped prove this point. It’s evident as an NFL Sunday Ticket subscriber to see in real time how rough it’s been this year for NFL offenses but when it’s broken down into stats and numbers it’s easier to show someone. As dynasty owners, I know week to week we all feel it with the struggle of NFL offenses and the lack of production for our fantasy teams. Last week I broke down the historic low trends that we are on in terms of fantasy football production for WR and RB individually. This week we look at some offenses as a whole. The average total yards per game is down 15 yards from last year and if it remains on this pace will be the lowest since the 2010 season. On this current pace in 2017 RBs are catching the highest percentage of passes since 2006 while WRs are catching the lowest percentage of passes in ten years since this has been charted. TEs have remained constant without much change this season from those of years past. For years we know how this dynasty game usually goes WRs is king and every year we look to get the most exciting RB in the class because of how short of a shelf life RBs have in the NFL. Well, 2017 is smacking us in the face with that theory as if anything RBs has been the easier position to figure out and more consistent fantasy producers. We are eight weeks into the season Julio Jones is the WR16 in PPR, Adam Thielen is the WR5 with one touchdown 8 games into the season and we have two top 36 WRs that haven’t score a touchdown yet. Meanwhile, there’s only one RB ( Ajayi) in the top 30 who hasn’t scored a touchdown. We all know that TE is the most TD dependent position even in PPR without finding the end zone you will struggle to put up TE1 weeks.
- The Zero RB Life
We are back for another installment of this week’s Zero RB breakdown. I mean it’s getting to the point we can’t even call him a Zero RB anymore because of his consistency but Christ Thompson who should be a plug and play RB every week for your teams remained strong as a top RB after week 8. Thompson is now on pace for 1,000 receiving yards and would be the first RB to do this since the great Marshall Faulk in 1999. Kareem Hunt is struggling to find the end zone as he hasn’t scored since week 3 but still holds a small advantage over Todd Gurley and Lev Bell heading into week 9. LeSean McCoy and Melvin Gordon are making a huge surge midseason and putting up big fantasy numbers as Devonta Freeman who was a model of consistency through four weeks have failed to find the end zone or out up decent numbers as of late. Zeke Elliott who currently sits as RB4 is most likely out until the fantasy playoffs likely get replaced by some zero RB candidates. Expect Duke Johnson, James White, Kamara or Powell who all sit as RB2’s in PPR leagues to slide back into the RB1 discussion in the coming weeks.
- Carried by QB
One QB leagues in dynasty have become boring for the most part due to the depth of the position however if 2017 has shown us anything it’s that QB inconsistency can bury a contending dynasty team rather quickly. Think of the owners who went into this season with veteran consistent QBs like Carson Palmer, Big Ben, Matt Ryan or Eli Manning this season none of those guys currently sit higher than QB20 through week 8. Even crazier to think about is Alex Smith who nobody would ever start on a dynasty team week in and week out before this season currently sits as the QB1 and rookie DeShaun Watson sits at QB2 and free agent add Josh McCown is the QB9 ahead of Stafford, Brees, and Rivers. Depth at QB is not something many analysts preach if anything we go the other way and say get a veteran QB you can rely on for 20 points a week so you don’t have to worry about it much like NFL teams do but in 2017 that has been the wrong strategy in 2017 and has cost many dynasty teams a few wins already this season. I touched on Carson Wentz last week and how we have to start taking him seriously we have to start being ahead of this rookie curve in the future at QB. Jared Goff was supposed to be horrible but linking up with Sean McVay has had him putting up consistent numbers, DeShaun Watson was looked at as a developmental talent under Bill O’Brien who failed to beat out Tom Savage in the preseason and he’s on one of the most historic runs for any rookie QB ever. Dak Prescott was criticized all offseason for TD regression in year two and he has done nothing but plays great football and those numbers should only go up with the potential loss of Zeke Elliott. It’s time to start spending this rookie picks on QBs even on our teams with consistent starters because you never know the worst situation is to have a good dynasty team that’s losing games because you don’t have a QB that can score points.
- Can’t Touch This
This is a quick one but the mind-boggling stuff here from what should we expect from NFL coaches. Two upside RBs this year that have been on workload limits halfway through the season are Joe Mixon and Marlon Mack. There’s no denying the talent of either player because they are producing highlight plays every game and it seems that the whole world is on notice or at least the dynasty community but apparently not their coaches. In three wins this season Mixon has seen at least 14 touches in each game and in the four losses only saw more than 11 touches once and that loss was in OT against Aaron Rodgers. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard still seem to be getting more touches than they should and a “Free Joe Mixon” campaign should be started in Cincinnati immediately to show his true value. Marlon Mack has yet to see more than 14 touches in any game this season and with a combined 53 total touches has scored three touchdowns. Mack is the sole RB now behind the ageless wonder Frank Gore but it’s evident Mack can make the splash plays in the running and passing game that Gore just simply cannot anymore. Mack fits the Colts scheme better as they are down in just about every game but until he sees a real workload we will all be left frustrated by his lack of usage.
- Dynasty Nuggets
Dion Lewis has seen at least 11 carries the last three weeks and 55% of carries in the red zone.
In 6/7 games this season Dez Bryant has failed to eclipse 70 receiving yards.
Drew Brees Pass YPG is the lowest it’s been in 10 years and his TD rate is lowest in 9 years.
T.Y Hilton has failed to finish as a WR2 in 77% of games without Andrew Luck.
Since Falcons bye week Devonta Freeman is seeing almost 6 less touches a game.
That’s it for this week Nerds I look forward to week 9 and hope some of these negative points I’ve been drilling home can change around for our dynasty teams. This game is fun and brutal at the same time. We love it and that’s why we play. The NFL changes so fast and that’s what makes dynasty so fun because you have to change with it or the game will leave you behind. Nobody wants to lose and that’s why we are constantly breaking down the action from week to week to help assess player values and encourage owners to be active in all your leagues. Hope you liked the content this week as always hit me up on twitter to talk dynasty and I’ll see you guys next week. Make sure as always you check out the podcast every week and buy those Dynasty Nerds t-shirts!