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 backup 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 % change in value for each player. All scoring discussions will utilize the full-point PPR format. 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.
Prior articles have focused on the top-tier players. Young running backs continue to trend up the boards as the largest moves. Injuries continue to derail value significantly. This week, I want to move further down the board to look at players who are worth less than a first-round pick.
Top 3 Most Notable Increases In Value
With the injury to Zeke, Pollard received a spot start in Week 8 and put up 33 points. In the three games where Pollard saw more than 50% snap share, he is averaging just shy of 17 PPG. That is up from the 13 PPG he is averaging over the season. It’s been clear for years that Pollard puts up big numbers when he gets opportunities. However, these opportunities continue to be few and far between. Now at 25 years old, the young running back aspect of his value is fading. The Cowboys continue to reiterate that Zeke is the lead back when healthy. It appears the market is hoping again that Pollard will take over the backfield. However, there is no guarantee the Cowboys don’t select another running back in an upcoming draft. It seems they believe Pollard can’t lead a backfield on his own.
I believe he is appropriately valued at the current price, landing around rookie pick 1.12. KTC has him as a late 2024 pick as well. He is RB18 on the season and finished 28th last year. With the off chance that he gets lead-back duties or at least a heavy split, it will be tough to find this output elsewhere. If you can get him for a mid-second, I would buy, but I wouldn’t pay a late first. AJ Dillon may be in a better spot, and if you are winning now, Fournette is an option at this price point. Both players are much lower with KTC. A couple of spots further up the board are Dobbins and Sanders, who are already lead-backs and below Pollard in KTC. I don’t believe Pollard is a screaming value; however, he is a pivot candidate. There is definitely value all around this price point to move to, regardless of your team’s dynasty position.
Justin Fields has started to put up big fantasy numbers on very poor NFL stats. His PFF sits at 63, which is in line with last year’s 64. His 7 passing touchdowns to 6 interceptions is a dismal ratio. A lot of comparisons are being made to Hurts. Through eight games of his sophomore season, Hurts had 10 passing touchdowns to only 4 interceptions. He also had five games with over 30 completions to Fields’ Week 8 season high of 17 completions. Hurts had 5 rushing touchdowns to Fields’ only 3. Midway through their second NFL season, it’s safe to say that Hurts was the much more effective quarterback. At that point last year, there were questions about whether Hurts would even have longevity in the NFL.
If Fields doesn’t begin to show he has passing ability, this may be a very short-term bet and a risky acquisition. With top-5 upside, I still believe it is worth the gamble if you can acquire him at a low enough price. Ironically enough, he fits both a win now and potentially a long-term bet which is rare. KTC has him as an early second. I would be willing to pay a low-end second or early third. If you are desperate for a quarterback and/or like the player, it may be worth the risk to go up to a mid-second or even knowingly stretch to an early second. He doesn’t appear to be a value now at this price.
Dulcich came into the season behind Albert Okwuegbunam, who had put up some very gaudy points per route run numbers the season prior, albeit on limited opportunities. The Broncos traded away Noah Fant in the Russ deal, which opened up the ceiling for Albert O. The Broncos then went on to draft Dulcich in the third round, raising speculation on who the future tight end of the Broncos would be. There was talk that Dulcich was outperforming Okwuegbunam in training camp. However, Dulcich picked up a hamstring injury shortly after that. During his injury, Albert O. fell off the depth charts after a poor start to the season. His snap share fell from 67% to not playing by Dulcich’s return in Week 6. Okwuegbunam tallied only seven catches in five games.
Dulcich returned in Week 6 as the clear TE1 for the Broncos. He has since put up nearly 12 PPG in his first three games. At a price still below a third, I believe the market has him overvalued. KTC has him up to an early second which seems very aggressive off of three games. If you can acquire him for a third, he is worth the gamble. The anemic Denver offense will be frustrating to watch, but he has demonstrated his long-term upside value potential.
Top 3 Most Notable Decreases In Value
Keeping with the Broncos theme, we have Sutton, who benefited in value in the preseason for the Russ deal. That bet paid off early, as Sutton started the season strong with five solid weeks. However, the last three weeks have been a disaster. Sutton has only had 6 grabs with no touchdowns. The poor play by Russ is deeply affecting Sutton’s ceiling, and he has fallen off to borderline unplayable. He is 33rd on the season at the position as Jeudy is continuing to out-target him of late.
All of the value he had accrued on the season has been lost, and he is back to preseason value. This is one of the tougher spots to be in. If he can play at his potential, he is way undervalued. If the last few weeks are any indication, he has very little value, and you should sell. At 27 years old, he is still young enough, but if this season is a bust, I am not sure I want to be holding a 28-year-old receiver who had one top-24 finish that’s now in his rearview mirror. KTC has him at around a 2024 1.12 or 2.1. If I can get that price, I would be willing to sell and see if you can get a younger receiver to rebuild with.
Waller has been plagued with injuries. In the two seasons he played 16 games, he finished second and third, proving his upside is there. However, he saw 11 of 17 last year and has effectively missed three of seven this year. Of the four games he has played, he has only seen six targets a game on average. That was closer to his floor in the seasons he has been successful.
At a price of a mid-second and with the tight end position allowing for aging gracefully, I think there is still some value to be had. KTC has him valued very similarly. However, there are likely many frustrated owners willing to cut bait with him at this point. I am not sure he still has top 5 upside with Adams there, but if not, it’s close. I would rather trade down for the aforementioned Dulcich plus or Njoku. For not much more, you can move up to Goedert if you are win now. Waller looks like he may be falling into the wasteland of mediocre talent at the position, and it doesn’t make sense to pay for another mediocre talent. If you can get value and trade across positions, it may make more sense to do so and then acquire low-end shots on a tight end. Bellinger is young and has carved out a role. Otton is beginning to do so as well. Flyers on these types of players may be your best bet if you have the roster space to play with.
Cooks has remained a reliable, undervalued receiver. He has missed a shockingly few games in his career. Outside of missing the end of his rookie season, where he likely would have finished in the top 24, he has been top 24 every year except 2019 of his 8-year career. This year he is on the outside looking in as both age and poor quarterback play may be catching up to him. At a price of a third-round pick, I would be interested in acquiring him as a depth piece. KTC has him valued as a mid-second which is a bit more than I would want to spend, although relatively negligible. Currently, I see him more as a hold than a buy-or-sell candidate.