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 nine” 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.
Top 3 Most Notable Increases In Value
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR SEA
There has finally been a lot of movement in the rankings as analysts who have not updated their rankings all offseason have begun to catch them up. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is coming into the year as the 12th-ranked dynasty wide receiver. Seattle drafted him 20th as the alpha WR of the class. Seattle appears to be a great landing spot as Lockett is older, and JSN will complement DK Metcalf’s more physical frame by playing in the slot.
While not having the breakaway speed that could put him in a class all his own, Smith-Njigba is a strong route runner and displayed his talents in the preseason before his wrist injury. He is back at practice and not placed on the injured reserve, so his return should be imminent. Garrett Wilson said that between himself, Chris Olave, and JSN, JSN was the best of the three at Ohio State. That’s high praise from two rookies topping 1000 yards in their rookie season.
KTC has him relatively unchanged over the last month but up from his late spring pricing when the draft occurred. His price remained at the consensus 1.03 with a potential 1.02 upside. He is appropriately valued at 1.03 and should continue to be drafted behind Gibbs. The value of first-round RBs has been outsized positionally from a historical point of view. I wouldn’t pay a premium for him based on his strong preseason play.
Nick Chubb, RB CLE
Chubb is coming into 2023 as the 10th dynasty-ranked running back. That is a high rank for a soon-to-be 28-year-old back. He finished sixth among RBs last year in PPG, just behind Saquon. Expectations are high with Hunt no longer in the backfield, and his 60% snap share is likely headed much higher. There is an opportunity to expand into the passing game, and his efficiency remains elite as a runner.
KTC has his price up during the offseason as no clear backup or committee has emerged. At a mid-first and early second, his price is steep but fair for a contending roster. He has a strong chance to be the RB1 if he remains healthy and sees the increase in snap share that is expected. Much of his value will be determined by the strength of the offense and whether he will see enough scoring opportunities to ratchet up his fantasy point total.
James Cook, RB BUF
James Cook is coming into the year as the 22nd-ranked dynasty running back. He finished 58th in PPG last year in a role that never really materialized. His efficiency was above average with +.3 fantasy points against expectation (PAE) and fantasy points against expectation omitting scoring (YAE). However, he was sold as a receiving back on a high-flying offense. With only 21 receptions, the upside has yet to materialize. Damien Harris will surely take some carries away from Cook, especially the more valuable goal line touches that Allen doesn’t vulture from the backfield. However, it appears Cook is set to be the lead back and will have the opportunity to make good on his upside potential in his sophomore season.
KTC has him priced at a late first. While this price may be high, it may be worth the gamble for a young starting RB on a strong offense. I have him valued closer to a very early second. I would jump on the opportunity to get him at that value.
Top 3 Most Notable Decreases In Value
Jonathan Taylor, RB IND
Jonathan Taylor has found himself in the Colts purgatory and has fallen to the 6th-ranked running back in dynasty. His first two seasons were way above expectations, as he put up an RB1 finish in year two. It’s tough to garner much from last year as he battled injuries on an inept offense. His efficiency numbers took a nose dive. It’s possible he holds out all year, but while the Colts are stubborn, it’s also in their best interest to pay and extend him or trade him away so he isn’t lost to free agency. I have not heard anything concerning from an injury perspective, and thus, if and when he finds the field, he should continue to outproduce most backs.
KTC has him priced between an early to mid-first. I believe this is a robbery if you can obtain him for this. At 24 years old, he should have a large enough window to outperform his peers for many years. This is another classic case of the market overreacting to news. We see this with injuries, as was likely the case with Javonte Williams and JK Dobbins last year. It is tougher to take the gamble while in a contending window, but for those rebuilding, this is a prime opportunity to build value.
Kenneth Walker III, RB SEA
Walker took a hit this offseason with the surprising draft acquisition of Zach Charbonnet and is currently the 12th-ranked dynasty running back. He finished 14th in PPG in an offense he took over by Week 5. This was not an opportunity-based role, as he outperformed expectations by +.9 points per game. Time will tell what this role will look like, but the offense should be strong again this year, with Charbonnet and JSN helping to add depth.
KTC has him priced between an early to mid-first, just below Jonathan Taylor. This is an appropriate price but one I would rather spend on JT. This could be a solid trade option for JT and mitigate the risk Walker faces with Charbonnet. Wherever Taylor ends up, likely, he will not be faced with any real chance of a committee.
Jameson Williams, WR DET
Jamo fell to the 34th dynasty-ranked wide receiver after being suspended for betting while at the Lions’ facilities. With injuries in his first year, he will be over a third of the way through the 2023 season, having seen only 9 targets in the NFL. With WR1 of his class upside, he has yet to showcase much of it while the rest of his class excels. However, his only rush and reception each went for 40+ yards, with the reception being a touchdown. This big play ability is what fantasy owners are hoping to see more of in 2023. His limited sample size saw inefficient play posting -.8 PAE and -.4 YAE. 2023 will be a make-or-break year for his value.
KTC has him priced at a very late first. I like him at a very early second. It seems the market hasn’t reduced much due to his suspension or poor play last year. There are likely some fantasy managers out there who are frustrated with his lack of time on the field and would consider reshuffling the deck for an early second.
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