To keep our finger on the pulse of the dynasty community, I have included this week’s players with the most significant moves in value determined by consensus rankings. A value-above-replacement “Reserve” system derives player value. The system values a “start 9” non-SF 12-team league, along with each starter’s back up for a total of the top 216 (18*12) players. See my previous article on how to value players to further understand this system. The below summaries show the new value in dollars, the change in value in dollars, and the percentage change in value for each player. Note that rankings become available each Friday. There is a natural lag in this data which will not include the player’s current week’s performance.
Top 3 Most Notable Increases In Value
Chubb, at almost 27 years old, came into the season as the 13th-ranked running back and 30th overall player. Even in a timeshare with Hunt, through Week 5, he is the second-ranked running back on the season in PPR formats. This performance has moved him up to the seventh-ranked running back and 17th overall. His efficiency remains high, with his lowest performance at 4.91 yards-per-carry in Week 3, where he saw his largest workload. This just tops Hunt’s best week, clearly showing that from an efficiency perspective, he remains the top guy in Cleveland. He is also out touching Hunt at 98/9 (run/pass) to 57/16, which is a much closer split than many top backs.
With all that working against him, he continues to deliver top-tier championship-winning fantasy performances. He seems valued appropriately and is likely only held by competing managers unwilling to move him. Keep an eye out for these managers if they get off to a poor start. They may panic, realizing their best bet is to sell low rather than hold through another offseason. Chubb seeing the other side of 27 years old may be a benefit in this case.
Kenneth Walker is now getting his shot with the injury to Penny. He came into the season as the 15th-ranked running back and 41st overall after going early in many rookie drafts. He has now moved up to 12th-ranked running back and 31st overall. After not seeing more than 36% of snaps through Week 4, the Penny injury allowed him to see 58% in Week 5. He was super efficient, garnering 11 yards-per-carry on 8 rushes but seeing no work in the passing game.
While we can’t judge on the limited sample size, there is no question this is what all his owners were waiting for. He is currently valued slightly under his fantasy rookie draft capital. As such, he may be worth an add if you believe his upside is available in this new-look Geno-led offense. If you are not sold on the player, you may be able to look to pivot to an older Kamara or Cook or slide down to a struggling Etienne, who may be undervalued.
Jacobs came into the season as the 26th-ranked running back and 74th player overall. He was entering the last year of his contract as Vegas had declined the fifth-year option. Vegas added Zamir White, drafting him in the fourth round. With a chip on his shoulder, he has moved up to 21st-ranked running back and 62nd player overall. Through Week 5, he is the fourth-ranked running back on the season in PPR formats. He is seeing huge workloads, increasing from 60% at the start of the season to 89% in Week 4. Outside of Week 2, he has averaged over 5 yards per carry and only has 3 touchdowns on the season, all coming in the last two weeks.
He is currently way undervalued for his production profile. It will likely remain tough to make a trade with the most recent success skewing owners’ mindsets. As such, he is definitely worth an add if you can acquire him at this price. The only word of caution would be where he finds himself next year.
Top 3 Most Notable Decreases In Value
Pitts is having a rough start to 2022 after finishing sixth overall at the position in his rookie season. With only one touchdown in 2021, many believed that if he could repeat his rookie season with some touchdown progression, he would find himself as the TE3 behind Kelce and Andrews. However, with even worse quarterback play than an aging Ryan, Mariotta has been unable to unlock any of Pitts’ value. Pitts’ PFF rating of 72, while down from the prior year’s 80, is still solid. Many controversies were developing in Atlanta’s lack of game planning for him. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith stated that “Kyle’s a huge part of our offense…It’s not fantasy football.”
Coming into the year, Pitts was the top tight end and ninth overall player in dynasty value. He has since slid to second at the position behind Andrews and 13th overall. While it may be enticing to see the 22-year-old with his entire future ahead of him, his performance in 2022 ranks 24th at the position. With so few high-end players, it is astonishing to see him this far down the leaderboard. Worse yet, his snap share has fallen from around 90% in the first two weeks of the season to the mid-60s in Weeks 3 and 4. He then missed Week 5 with a hamstring injury. At his current price, he would need current production to support it. It seems more likely that we will see his value continue to fall. I would hold off as I would much rather have Andrews, who is trading at similar prices.
Najee came into the season as the second-ranked running back and fourth overall player. After an abysmal start, he has fallen to sixth at the position and 16th overall. After a rookie season that placed him third at the position in PPR formats, he has fallen to 30th in 2022. His PFF grade has dropped from 71 to 61. Najee has yet to reach 100 all-purpose yards in a game and has only reached 4.11 yards per carry in one game. He recently saw his workload go to Warren in the fourth quarter in a Week 5 blowout loss to the Bills.
Nearly all of his value above his fantasy draft capital has been lost. However, even as an older player for his experience level, he remains in a rookie contract with two more years guaranteed. I would have to imagine that his production will increase if the quarterback play can pick back up. The receivers are there to help keep pressure off defenses loading the box. The question appears to be, do we want to look to acquire Najee at this point or wait in the hopes that his value continues to fall? I think there may be more room to fall as the quarterback play remains shaky at best.
If I told you that a rookie running back would finish 13th at the position in PPR formats and follow that season up with a 12th-place finish, I would imagine you would have this player as a top-25 dynasty player without a doubt. By comparison, another third-year player D’Andre Swift who currently ranks seventh overall, began his career with 18th and 15th-place finishes (albeit on slightly fewer games). There would be no reason to believe that this player would lose his starting job to a third-round rookie. Well, through two games, Robinson has managed 26 rushes for 82 yards for a “clear” lead-back takeover of 3.15 yards-per-carry.
Gibson’s value continues to plummet in what seems like one of the most unique scenarios in history. His snap share has fallen to around 30% after starting the season around double that. After beginning the preseason as the 44th-ranked dynasty player (18th at the position) in what seemed even too low at the time, he has fallen to 81st (28th at the position). It seems clear the Commanders have no interest in utilizing Gibson, and it’s unclear exactly why. Yes, he had a fumble in the preseason and led the league in 2021. However, on a per-touch basis, he has a 1.2% rate over his career, exactly in line with Swift. I doubt the lions would even contemplate sitting Swift, who arguably has a better backup in Jamaal Williams.
Is Gibson a value? Not for his current production. An acquisition of Gibson at this point will be in the hopes of a trade or better landing spot in 2024, which is a dangerous game to play. At best, he has higher-end handcuff value in case of a Robinson injury. He may be worth a second-round pick, but even that could be a little rich for his outlook. It likely only makes sense to go after him if you are coming off a rebuild and have leftover draft capital for a high-variance outcome.