Analysis

Dynasty Stock Report for NFL Week 17 Fantasy Football

Welcome to the dynasty stock report, where we evaluate polarizing players to see whether their stock rises or falls. In fantasy football, we’re dealing with small samples, where any situation can change in the following year. Each league is different, and each manager values their players differently. 

The goal of these dynasty stock articles is to use the recent or season-long data as a guide on how to value players. Should we buy, sell or hold these players? How do these players compare historically? Let’s dive into three players seeing their dynasty stock rise or fall in 2022. Feel free to reach out if you have a suggested player to analyze. 

Dynasty Stock Up

James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills

Age: 23.3

It’s been quite a roller coaster ride for Cook’s dynasty stock. Cook entered his rookie season with the buzz around the receiving potential for the Bills. The narrative stemmed from the Bills nearly signing J.D. McKissic, which led to the Commanders matching the deal to keep him in Washington. Cook’s usage went up and down in the rushing and receiving game, which became difficult to trust. Part of the reason for Cook’s dynasty stock rising involves the increased usage and Devin Singletary being an unrestricted free agent in 2023. 

dynasty stock

Since Josh Allen entered the league in 2018, he has targeted running backs at the highest rate in 2022, with 6.6 targets per game versus 5.6 in 2021. The receiving production followed with 4.5 receptions and 35.4 receiving yards to the running back position. Among players with 50 rush attempts, Cook ranks first in yards before contact, tied with Jeff Wilson and D’Andre Swift. Cook also posted above-average advanced stats, with 2.7 yards after contact (No. 26) and a 15% evasion rate (No. 32). Per TruMedia, the Bills rank first in yards before contact (YBC) and third in offensive EPA/G, indicating Cook’s metrics aren’t fluky, though his team context matters. 

Historical Comparisons, How To Play It?

With the limited rushing and receiving usage, Cook’s historical comparisons don’t excite us. As a rookie, Cook averaged 2.8 rushing EP/G and 3.1 receiving EP/G. The closest comparisons include DeAndre Washington, Ito Smith, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James. Those running backs flashed in limited roles as part of committee backfields. Another player that compared similarly with name value is C.J. Spiller, though he had first-round draft capital. Washington might be the peak comparison with three RB1 weeks to close out the 2019 season while the Raiders gave him a healthy rushing and receiving workload. 

When Cook’s value cratered earlier in the season, it warranted a buy-low opportunity. However, we know running backs can be fickle, especially since the Bills could re-sign Singletary, bring in free agents and draft a running back to muddy Cook’s outlook. Also, Nyheim Hines remains under contract through 2024 with a backloaded deal. There’s a scenario where Cook takes on Singletary’s role if/when he leaves, and they mix in Hines into a committee backfield.

Another situation involves Cook performing like late season Singletary in 2021 with a week-winning workload. Consider shopping Cook in the offseason to evaluate his dynasty stock. I’m leaning toward selling rather than holding, though we’ll want a piece of the Bills’ offense. 

Dynasty Stock Up

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos

Age: 23.7

If there’s one player I can’t quit, it’s Jeudy. The Broncos rank 30th in offensive EPA/G, but their fourth-ranked defensive EPA/G keeps them in games. Even on one of the worst offenses in the NFL paired with a struggling Russell Wilson, Jeudy flashed WR1 potential and performed better than Courtland Sutton. Jeudy battled ribs and ankle injuries in 2022 but averaged 18.3 PPR/G in half of his games. Sutton isn’t far behind with 16.2 PPR/G in 50% of his matchups. 

dynasty stock

Jeudy and Sutton possess different skill sets and roles, so it’s difficult to compare. However, Jeudy’s dynasty stock rose based on the underlying metrics. Jeudy garnered a 21% target share (No. 35) and had 5.9 YAC per reception (No. 10). He has a 60% Weighted Targets Per Route Run (No. 30) tied with Terry McLaurin.

After two brutal seasons from an efficiency standpoint, Jeudy ranks 21st in FPOE/G at 2.2. In 2020, he ranked 227th and 196th in 2021. Jeudy has turned the air yardage into receiving production with an 0.8 Receiver Air Yard Conversion Ratio (RACR) plus the receiving touchdowns.

Historical Comparisons, How To Play It?

Some intriguing historical comparisons for Jeudy include Robert Woods, Rashod Bateman, Curtis Samuel, D.J. Chark and Christian Kirk. We’ll toss out Bateman since he hasn’t played in Year 3 and battled injuries. Kirk posted a WR26 season in Year 4 (2021) and peaked in Year 5 as WR13. Being in a Doug Pederson offense with Trevor Lawrence elevating his game in Year 2 helps. Woods also took time to develop into a consistent option until Year 5 and beyond. Like Kirk, Woods needed a team change from the Bills to the Rams to an offensive environment that helped him thrive in Years 6-8 as a borderline WR1. 

Chark battled injuries, but Samuel might be a fair comparison. Although Jeudy doesn’t provide the rushing usage like Samuel, the career arc feels reasonable as a WR2 or WR3 in Years 3-4, with another WR2 season in 2022. Part of the comparisons to Woods, Kirk and Samuel also includes the slot role. However, Jeudy has only lined up in the slot for 15.4 routes per game (No. 24) compared to Kirk (No. 4) and Samuel (No. 5). 

Given Jeudy’s age, skills and production, I would acquire him since his dynasty stock could rise even higher. At this point, Jeudy’s dynasty stock should overtake Sutton, or at least in a slight tier above the older receiver. Starting in 2024, the Broncos will start feeling Wilson’s cap hit, if not sooner. Jeudy is under contract through 2023, so there’s a chance he lands elsewhere for his age 25 season. Think of a reasonable scenario of Samuel with the upside of Woods in a better offense for Jeudy. 

Dynasty Stock Down

Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

Age: 25.2

From one of the worst offenses to the worst offense in the NFL in terms of offensive EPA/G, we find the Colts’ top receiver with their dynasty stock down. Pittman came off a WR18 season in Year 2 with the expectation he’ll be a volume-based WR2 with WR1 potential. Several of Pittman’s underlying metrics look similar with a 26% target share, but the air yards fell, evidenced by the 6.8 air yards per target (No. 98). In 2021, Pittman averaged 9.8 AY/T (No. 66).

Pittman’s efficiency also fell from 1.1 FPOE/G (No. 45) to -0.9 (No. 200) in 2021. Often we’ll find some of the best fantasy quarterbacks with efficient passing numbers. However, Matt Ryan averaged a dreadful 5.5 adjusted yards per attempt (No. 33). Sam Ehlinger’s AY/A at 4.1 was even worse, so it’s hard to blame much on Pittman when the quarterback play hit rock bottom. Where we find optimism involves Pittman’s 14.8 EP/G (No. 15), which improved from 12.9 (No. 23) in 2021. That indicates Pittman’s role and usage remained steady, and there’s a potential bounceback if he pairs with a league-average passer.

Historical Comparisons & How To Play It?

Since 2010, Pittman’s closest comparisons include Sutton, Michael Floyd, Michael Crabtree and DeVante Parker through their first three years in the NFL. Davante Adams is an upside comparison, though he broke out in Year 3 as WR9 after WR74 and WR67. If the Colts sign an improved quarterback, we could see a path to Crabtree-like production as a high-end WR2 with WR1 upside. 

Pittman has shown the ability to earn targets. He’s one of 14 receivers with consecutive seasons of a target share north of 25% since 2015, per TruMedia. The current active leaders with two or more seasons include Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, D.K. Metcalf, Pittman, Tyreek Hill, Diontae Johnson and DJ Moore. That’s an elite grouping, and Pittman warrants buying with his dynasty stock slightly down. 

One big question involves the quarterback. A few potential free-agent quarterbacks include Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones and Jimmy Garoppolo. With Derek Carr benched, there’s a chance he becomes an intriguing option. We’ve witnessed flashes from all these quarterbacks, though their offenses partially contribute to their success or failure. 

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

In a recent 2023 NFL Mock Draft, The 33rd Team projected the Colts to draft Will Levis, QB from the University of Kentucky after transferring from Penn State. Levis sits at 6-foot-3-inches, 222-pounds with some decent but not mind-blowing college production.

He ranks 67th in passing yards per game and 31st in yards per attempt. However, he has a 70.4% On-Target% (No. 84) and 6.6 AY/A (No. 66) amongst quarterbacks with 100 pass attempts, per Sports Info Solutions. 

On film, Levis can make a variety of throws at different levels of the field. He showed mobility to move around the pocket and add a rushing element, with an average of 283 rushing yards in his first three collegiate seasons. Levis averaged 2.7 yards after contact per attempt (No. 29) over the past two seasons as a rusher. With most of the talk surrounding Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, Levis’s profile fits into the NFL as a passer with mobility. 

WATCH: Will Levis Is Real Deal

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