Most fantasy seasons are officially over, but we still have some new information to break down. That said, let’s dive right into the Top 10 dynasty football takeaways from Week 17.
Takeaway #1: CeeDee Lamb Is a Tier 1 WR
With a 40.2-point performance in fantasy championships, I’m ready to put CeeDee Lamb in the Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase tier. Lamb has improved every season in the NFL and is officially averaging 23 PPG in 2023. The Cowboys have a very good quarterback in Dak Prescott, and it’s a great situation overall.
Considering that Jefferson and Chase weren’t able to increase their dynasty value this year, Lamb should be in that top tier. For years, dynasty owners have been talking about the ceiling of Lamb, and we may not have even seen it yet. It’s going to be hard to top 23 PPG, but Lamb has shown he has the talent to do so.
CEEDEE LAMB 92-YARD TD pic.twitter.com/SOupvEfKaE— Dallas Texas TV (@DallasTexasTV) December 31, 2023
Takeaway #2: Justin Jefferson Leaps Patrick Mahomes?
When I checked KTC for this article, I noticed that Justin Jefferson is being drafted over Patrick Mahomes. In a Superflex format, this makes no sense. Even if you’re low on Mahomes, which you shouldn’t be, the earliest you can rank Jefferson is 6th. Having an elite quarterback is just too valuable in a Superflex league.
Now, this doesn’t make much sense either, considering Jefferson is averaging 17.5 PPG in his last three games. Don’t get me wrong; those are still some great numbers, but it’s a major knock against Mahomes as opposed to a bump for Jefferson. Even though Mahomes has struggled, betting against the most talented player in football is never a good idea.
Takeaway #3: Jayden Reed Ends 2023 on a Tear
Jayden Reed has quietly been having one of the best rookie wide receiver seasons in the NFL. Reed is averaging 13.5 PPG and coming off a great stretch of games. If Jordan Love can continue to play well, I have high hopes for Reed.
In the past three weeks, Reed is averaging a remarkable 21.5 PPG. Reed was a second-round pick, so he also has good draft capital, which is always encouraging. I wouldn’t overreact and call Reed elite, but he’s shown the upside to be a fantastic receiver in the future.
Takeaway #4: Kyren Williams Was a League Winner
If you could get Kyren Williams on your fantasy team for cheap, there’s a good chance you won a championship. Williams was one of the biggest league winners, averaging an absurd 21.2 PPG out of nowhere. After suffering an injury in week six, Williams came back, averaging 24 PPG for the rest of the season. Let’s not forget Williams had 30 points in most owner’s championships.
The only question for Williams’ long-term is his draft capital. Williams was a 5th-round pick in 2022, which isn’t great, but we’ve come to see that no running backs have job security anyways. With the new running back landscape, backs aren’t getting signed to long-term deals, no matter how good they are.
Takeaway #5: Championship Hero: DJ Moore
Despite playing with Justin Fields, who didn’t look great as a passer in 2023, DJ Moore produced 17.3 PPG. If you had Moore in your championship, he rewarded you with a massive week. In Week 17, Moore had 30.9 points on nine catches, 159 yards, and a touchdown.
Moore is obviously a great dynasty asset and should be valued extremely highly for the future. The Bears locked up the number one overall pick, and anyone with a share of Moore should be hoping for a new quarterback. Fields is a great player due to his rushing upside, but it limits the weapons around him.
DJ Moore, my goodness. Ball tracking ability: A+++pic.twitter.com/ouJnZ8N2Wz— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 31, 2023
Takeaway #6: Playoff Choker: Austin Ekeler
Coming into the 2023 season, Austin Ekeler was being drafted as a surefire top-five running back. According to KTC, Ekeler was ranked as the RB11 in August despite his old age. Unfortunately, Ekeler fell off in a big way in 2023, dropping to 13.3 PPG.
Ekeler was bad all season, but if you thought he could clutch up for your championship, you were wrong. In Week 17, Ekeler had his worst game of the year, scoring four points against the Broncos. If you were counting on Ekeler even as an RB2 this past week, you suffered a significant setback in your championship goals.
Takeaway #7: Playoff Choker: James Cook
James Cook helped fantasy teams in the playoffs, scoring 36.1 points in Week 15. That said, if you got out of the semi-finals with Cook scoring 5.4 points, count yourself lucky. However, if you were depending on Cook once again, he was only able to score 5.4 points in Week 17.
I will say Cook improved his dynasty value in 2023 and showed a ton of improvement. Cook averaged 14 PPG on the year, up from 6.6 PPG last season. That said, Cook was widely inefficient, taking 16 carries for 48 yards in Week 17. The receiving work didn’t help either, as Cook caught one pass for negative four yards.
Takeaway #8: Joe Flacco Was a Phenomenal Waiver Wire Pickup
Assuming you’re playing in a Superflex format, Joe Flacco was an unbelievable waiver wire pickup. In fact, even if you play in a 1QB format, Flacco was a league winner. From Week 13, Flacco averaged 21.8 PPG, which is good for the QB2 finish in that span.
Flacco looked amazing, turning back the clock with all his talented weapons. Most importantly, Flacco came up clutch in Week 17, scoring 22.7 points. Grabbing Flacco as your QB2 in a Superflex league could have been the sole reason you won a championship.
Takeaway #9: Michael Penix Jr Dominates on the Big Stage
With Washington advancing to the college football championship, Michael Penix Jr will continue to rise. Penix was unbelievable against Texas, throwing for 430 yards and two touchdowns. Every single throw Penix made was in a bucket, and I was impressed with how well he moved in the pocket. Not to mention that Penix showed off elite arm talent, fitting balls into tight windows.
The college football playoffs can be massive for draft stock, and Penix should be a first-round pick with this game. I expect Penix to go in the late first round due to concerns about his health and age, but I’m all in on him. Betting on injuries is never a good idea, and Penix broke out a year prior with much worse weapons.
Michael Penix Jr my goodness— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 2, 2024
Takeaway #10: J.J. McCarthy Isn’t That Good
Michigan won the Rose Bowl, and J.J. McCarthy played alright, but he’s nothing special. McCarthy had decent stats, throwing for 221 yards and three touchdowns, but everything was given to him, and he didn’t create much out of structure. McCarthy’s decline has been real; during his last five regular-season games, he’s had one touchdown and one interception.
I don’t care how you slice it; those numbers are awful for any draft prospect. It also doesn’t help McCarthy that he saw a decrease in production the moment Connor Stalions resigned. Either way, McCarthy wasn’t able to show out, and he proved why Penix needs to be taken over him in the NFL draft.