The time has finally come fellow nerds, the final article of the 2017 regular dynasty season. As I stated before I will throw together a playoff article to cover what we learned during the dynasty playoffs after the championship games. As sad as I am for the dynasty season to be almost over I’m equally as excited to cover the rookies for next season. It’s been an up and down season and I look forward to keeping this series going for next season. I hope you all enjoyed this during the season and I do appreciate the feedback I get from it whether positive or negative. Let’s dive into what was week 13 in the NFL from a dynasty perspective.
- Team Notes
I wanted to throw a few team stats and player notes around the league now that the regular season for dynasty is over. Felt these were important because you can’t make or miss the playoffs yearly in a dynasty league without truly knowing how or why. We start with the Saints offense and we all are aware of the frustration of owning Drew Brees in dynasty this season and how badly it has affected our season. The Saints for the better part of a decade with Drew Brees have been a passing offense this isn’t breaking news and it’s the sole reason Brees has been so dependable in dynasty over that span. In the past ten years the Saints offensive passing touchdown percentage has been as high as 81% and never lower than 63%. This season it’s at an all time low of 47% which has all but killed Drew Brees value this season and hurt the production of stud WR Michael Thomas. On the flipside the PPR points put up by Ingram and Kamara already are better than the output of 26 of 32 NFL teams a year ago. The Saints and Brees seem headed for a contract dispute this offseason and with the emergence of the running game it’s possible the two part ways it’s something to keep an eye on. Next team up is the Chiefs one of the oddest stories of the 2017 season. The Chiefs came out of the gate explosive as Alex Smith was the QB1 for most of the first half of the season. The fall off has been crazy and one of the most head scratching things I have ever seen in recent memory. Through the first month of the season the Chiefs had six rushing touchdowns and in the past two months have none. Star rookie Kareem Hunt hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown since week three against the Chargers. This is really unexplainable for an Andy Reid offense and something that we will have to break down this offseason depending on how the team finishes in the fantasy playoffs. Smith almost is guaranteed to not be in a Chiefs uniform in 2018 with Spencer Ware returning this will be an interesting team to break down in the offseason. The Bills offense has never been a fantasy juggernaut for dynasty leagues but this season seemed to be an extra letdown. The Bills passing offense has taken another step back with Tyrod Taylor working under his third offensive coordinator in three seasons in Buffalo. Tyrod has never been a high volume passer but he has always produced fantasy points in 2017 it has been really bad under Rick Dennison culminating with Tyrod being benched for Nate Peterman who then throws five interceptions on fourteen passes. The Bills traded for two new WRs in Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin after trading Sammy Watkins in the offseason. The Bills charted 99 targets to WRs Zay Jones and Jordan Matthews have only produced 50 receptions and 573 yards. I can’t stress enough how unproductive and just terrible this is. From a dynasty standpoint the Bills offense seems headed for a huge makeover in 2018 and with the weapons they have there has to be dynasty production coming from this unit next season with a new quarterback almost a guarantee at this point. The Last two stats are player related but it speaks volumes of their respective teams. First up is Russ Wilson who is a front runner for NFL MVP this season. Wilson accounts for over 70% of the Seahawks offense this season and to relate it to dynasty he has not finished lower than the QB9 since his week six bye. Wilson has no running game or offensive line to speak of and has been one of the most reliable QBs in dynasty all season long. The flipside of this is Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons offense. Reigning NFL MVP has in one word been pretty bad for dynasty in 2017. Ryan who finished as a Top 8 QB in nearly 60% of his games last season has failed to reach a top 8 QB performance this season. The drop off from this offense after the departure of O.C Kyle Shanahan has been alarming. Ryan has joined the discussion of one of the biggest disappointments of dynasty QBs this season.
- Shut It Down
I have touched on this point in previous articles the art of the shutdown cornerback in the NFL is something to keep in mind. I have always been a huge believer in start your studs strategy in dynasty. As I have covered the 2017 season both doing dynasty and redraft articles every week it’s time my philosophy changes. There are so many stats and data pieces to use week to week from Next Gen NFL stats and PFF grades that we can utilize to help make our lineup decisions every week. I urge you to use them as I have started that this season and it’s something that I will continue to do from now on. There are four CBs I considered as shut down that shadow WRs this season as a dynasty owner you need to be aware of. Xavier Rhodes is first up in week 13 he shadowed Julio Jones who not only is one of the best WR in the game but was coming off a 250 yard game in week 12. Rhodes shadowed one of the game’s best in last weeks matchup on 74% of his routes and limited Julio to 2 catches for 26 yards on five targets. Rhodes has been solid majority of the season and a CB to keep on your radar when you have WRs matching up against him in the future. Heading into week 13 Jalen Ramsey was one of the five CBs with a minimum number of snaps in coverage that hadn’t given up a touchdown. That changed in week 13 but hasn’t affected how good Ramsey has been this season. Ramsey allowed 2 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown to T.Y Hilton on Sunday while shadowing him on 84% of his routes. Ramsey and A.J Bouye have been dominant for most of this season and as long as this Jags defense stays together this has to be on dynasty owners radar in the future. The highest graded PFF corner is Casey Hayward who has been a shutdown corner for most of the season. Heyward hasn’t allowed an 100 yard game all season only OBJ and Josh Gordon have had 85 yards on him all season. It took Gordon 11 targets and one spectacular catch on the sideline to do this and let’s not kid ourselves as dynasty players we all saw how unique of a talent Gordon is in 2013. Of the top five PFF graded games for a CB this season Hayward has three of the top five. I’m not sure how good Hayward will be in coming years but for the time being he has put opposing WRs on notice. Last man up and one of the most underrated is Patrick Peterson. Peterson has been a shutdown corner in almost every season outside of the season he was diagnosed with diabetes and had weight issues. Simple stat that defines how good Peterson is and nothing else needs to be said. In 2017 Peterson has shadowed WRs in 11/12 games his per game averages are 0.9 receptions, 2.4 targets, 17.9 yards per game.
- WR Facts
I have some stats for my fellow dynasty nerds that you might know by now but still feel I wanna share. Five WR takeaways after week 13.
Keenan Allen – First Player with 10 receptions, 100 yards and a touchdown in three straight games in the past fifteen seasons.
Dez Bryant – Outside of his rookie season he has averaged 17.2 PPR points per game with Tony Romo compared to 13.1 PPG with Dak Prescott.
Devin Funchess – Post K.B trade has averaged 18.4 PPR points per game which projected over a full season would be good enough for WR5 this season.
Antonio Brown – As of this guy needs any more hype but he leads the NFL in yards, receptions and is tied for the lead in touchdowns. He’s good!
2017 Rookie WRs – Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross all drafted in the top 10 of rookie drafts have combined for 31 receptions and zero touchdowns in 2017. John Ross finishes the season with negative fantasy points.
- Dynasty Hits : RBs
I stuck with the RB report for most of the season pitting zero RB strategy vs the bell cow backs but it seemed kind of repetitive after awhile. Throwing out some RB facts every week seems like it’s more informative for the readers and gives you more facts to use to help out your strategy and thought process which ever way you personally play the game. Let’s start off with Leonard Fournette who has been a top 12 RB all season has struggled as of late. Since returning in week 10 only 21% of Fournette’ carries have gained at least five yards, the nfl average is 33% in this span his yards per carry are 3.27. In Fournette’ defense here he does play on a very one dimensional offense and has faced eight or more men in the box on 53% of his runs which leads all RBs. Jordan Howard another stud RB who has ranked as a top tier RB for most of the season is in a slump himself. Game flow has something to do with this for sure but before the week 9 bye Howard averaged 22.1 touches, 92.5 yards per game, 0.5 touchdowns in one of the most one dimensional offenses in the league. Since that bye Howard has averaged 13.3 touches, 57.8 yards and 0.25 touchdowns. Howard is just not used in the passing game and being a two down thumper effectively hurts his dynasty value going forward. In a better offense I think Howard still puts up RB1 numbers but first of all John Fox isn’t the greatest coach for a workhorse RB and the lack of outside WR this season has forced teams to stack the box on the Bears running game all season long. Game flow is hard to figure out in dynasty from year to year look at Todd Gurley just a year ago many left for dead because of how terrible the Rams offense was and we fast forward to 2017 where Gurley finishes the fantasy regular season as the RB1 in PPR leagues. Gurley is on pace for 203 yards from scrimmage on a high powered rejuvenated Rams offense. Last RB to cover is Derrick Henry who has been hot. The Titans offense has let down many dynasty owners and as much potential as this offense has it’s been crippling to dynasty owners. Mariota has yet to have a 20+ point QB week through the 12 games and Demarco Murray has again limited the potential of emerging star Derrick Henry. Henry has only 125 carries on the season while averaging 5.0 YPC and scoring four touchdowns is still relegated to backup to DeMarco Murray. However in the past month Henry has seen his team share of carries go for 33%, 35%, 46& and in week 13 50%. This is encouraging news and as much as I believe Mike Mularkey holds back this potentially high powered offense as a dynasty owner you have to be encouraged for Henry’ value.
- Target Data To Target In 2018
It’s dynasty fantasy football so we are always looking ahead or should be at least. I recently put out some players to look into acquiring before the offseason and now I broke down some target data to help key on players I definitely am looking to acquire going into next season if possible. Some of these players you have a better chance of acquiring in future dynasty startup drafts than through trade but regardless hope this helps your process of evaluating players for the 2018 season.
Marqise Lee – Has seen nine or more targets in 6/12 games this season. Interesting with such a below average passing offense and Allen Robinson likely returning next season. Speculation of a possible Eli Manning/Coughlin reunion who knows what that could do for the value of Jacksonville’s WRs. Emergence of Lee and Dede Westbrook to pair with Robinson could make for some tough decisions for dynasty owners in 2018.
Devin Funchess – I’ve been high on Funchess since he came into the league and in 11/12 games this season has seen six or more targets. Carolina likely drafts depth at WR in the draft but Funchess is a sure thing to return as the Panthers number one outside threat.
PPR RBs – CMC (90), Lev Bell (82), Carlos Hyde (78), Alvin Kamara (75), Duke Johnson (69) and Todd Gurley (66) are the top PPR running backs in targets. Game flow changes from season to season but all of these guys are special talents and catching passes is a big part of their offensive skill sets. Use these numbers when evaluating these backs heading into 2018. Hyde and Gurley are the only two I would be concerned about as far as impactful regression next season.
Sammy Watkins – I wrote a piece covering Watkins preseason trade to the Rams and pointed out how I thought 2017 would be a learning curve for him. The Rams offense has been efficient all season and while scoring at will Watkins has only averaged 5 targets per game. This season both Robert Woods (5.8) and rookie WR Cooper Kupp (6.5) have averaged more targets per game. Depending on how Watkins contract is handled I could see him becoming a huge part of the Rams passing offense in 2018 if he stays.
DMT and Manny Sanders – DMT has averaged 8.8 targets per game with a total of 106 on the season and he currently sits as WR24 in PPR leagues and Sanders averaging 6.6 targets has 79 on the season as the WR49. Despite horrendous QB play in Denver there is upside here in 2018. Yes both players will be a year older but almost guaranteed there is a new QB there next season and one who can hopefully complete passes this is an excellent buy low scenario for both players.
Alright guys it’s been a fun regular season covering dynasty for you. I look forward to dropping some more dynasty content after the playoffs finish up and I will be doing player spotlights and dynasty rookie work all offseason. Appreciate the love and if you will all check out all the work we are putting in for the dynasty community here at DynastyNerds.com as always follow me on twitter and chat dynasty anytime. Go get those dynasty championships the time is now!