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Dynasty Stock Report for NFL Week 18 Fantasy Football

During the past few days, it’s been difficult to find the motivation to write, given the circumstances with Damar Hamlin. In each update, we seem to have slight positive news, but we’ll continue to send positive thoughts to the Hamlin family and hope for a full recovery.

We’re closing out the 2022 season with another 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

Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington

Age: 22.8

Since the beginning of Dotson’s rookie season, he has scored touchdowns at a potentially unsustainable rate. His dynasty stock rose during the past several weeks as WR19 in PPR since Week 13, including two WR1 performances. Dotson’s 20.6% touchdown rate ranks third among receivers with at least 30 targets behind Christian Watson (21.9%) and Mecole Hardman (20.7%).

While the touchdowns boost Dotson’s efficiency with 2.3 FPOE/G (No. 21), he only garners a 15% target share (No. 61). Even Dotson’s 16% targets per route run (No. 120) and 1.38 yards per route run (No. 102) don’t provide confidence. However, he has the downfield role with 14.4 air yards per target (No. 7) and nearly matches Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin in red zone targets.

dynasty stock

Samuel has nine targets with McLaurin at eight and Dotson at seven. Unsurprisingly, Dotson scored five touchdowns on his seven targets, while Samuel and McLaurin tied with two scores. We can’t predict touchdowns, and hopefully, Dotson’s volume will increase in Year 2. Dotson performed slightly better with Carson Wentz at quarterback versus Taylor Heinicke

With Wentz, Dotson averaged six targets, 3.5 receptions, 44.2 yards receiving and 13.1 PPR/G. His volume and productivity dipped with Heinicke as he averaged 3.8 opportunities, 2.2 receptions, 37.2 yards and 8.4 PPR/G. Meanwhile, we know the opposite remains true for McLaurin with Heinicke since McLaurin averaged nearly 14 PPR/G with Heinicke and under 10 PPR/G (9.9) without him during the past two seasons. 

Historical Comparisons

As a first-round pick out of Penn St., Dotson peaked as a senior with 1,182 yards receiving and a 43% Receiver Dominator. Based on his size, speed and production, Dotson compared closely to Baylor products in Kendall Wright and Corey Coleman. Dotson ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, translating into a 33rd-percentile Speed Score. When including the NFL data, we have an intriguing group of historical comparisons

Given Dotson’s age, receiving EP/G, weight and draft capital, he compares closely to Marquise Brown, Donte Stallworth, Titus Young and Tavon Austin’s rookie seasons. Outside of Young, the other receivers make sense as smaller players with first-round draft capital. Austin peaked in Year 3 as WR26, though part of his value came via rushing opportunities. From Year 2 to Year 5, Austin averaged 43.8 carries and 269.5 yards rushing. Brown is the peak comparison as he progressed to WR36 in Year 2 and WR20 in Year 3. 

How To Play It?

McLaurin is under contract through 2026 with a potential out in 2025. The 33rd Team projects the Commanders to draft quarterback Anthony Richardson out of the University of Florida in the first round. Richardson is an athletic quarterback with a dual-threat ability, evidenced by his 2,549 yards passing and 654 yards rushing with more than 400 yards rushing in 2021. Richardson aside, Wentz is under contract through 2024 and possibly keeps Dotson’s dynasty stock afloat heading into Year 2. 

Regardless, expect quarterback troubles with the Commanders, so it might be bumpy if Dotson’s touchdown efficiency dips without a significant gain in volume. Although he’s behind the 2022 rookie class of Garrett Wilson, Treylon Burks, Chris Olave, Watson and others, Dotson’s dynasty stock has gone up over the past four games with a target share of 22% or higher. It doesn’t hurt to shop Dotson via trade in case someone buys into a Year 2 leap, which is typically when receivers add target volume. Expect a potential breakout season in 2023, but temper expectations as a WR3/4 with boom potential.

 

Dynasty Stock Down, Then Up

Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles

Age: 23.5

In recent history, it raised red flags when a player suffered an Achilles injury. That’s likely still the case, but Akers has finished the season strong with more than a year removed from the injury. D’Onta Foreman also performed in the second half, though it’s been about 4.5 years since he suffered an Achilles tear. Since Week 13, Akers compiled the fourth-most fantasy points (PPR) amongst running backs behind Christian McCaffrey, Jerick McKinnon and Austin Ekeler

At one point earlier in the season, Akers’ dynasty stock fell to a low point when trade rumors swirled. Darrell Henderson and Akers took turns leading the team in carries, making it a frustrating backfield to trust. During the first six weeks of the season, Akers led Henderson in Rush% (53% to 37%), though Henderson bested him in snap share (63% to 35%). Henderson had the edge in target share (8% to 2%) despite an underwhelming amount of opportunities per game, with Akers at 10.2 and Henderson at 7.7. 

The Rams waived Henderson after Week 11, and it took Akers a couple of weeks to garner a heavier workload. It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride for Akers, but his value rising after having barely any value in the middle of the season. Let’s peek at the historical comparisons for Akers.

Historical Comparison & How To Play It?

It’s challenging to compare Akers to other players with the Year 2 injury, though he came back earlier than expected. Based on rushing and receiving EP/G, Akers compared to Chris Wells, Jonathan Stewart, Kerryon Johnson and Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s first three seasons. Injury aside, Stewart might be the ideal comparison because he posted RB2-type numbers in four of his 11 seasons. Johnson’s career became derailed by injuries, and Edwards-Helaire underperformed based on the team context and expectations. 

dynasty stock

We’re dealing with small samples, but the underlying metrics look the best since Week 13 for Akers versus earlier in the season and his rookie year. Akers created a similar amount of yards before contact as a rookie with better yards after contact and the ability to evade tackles. Even the percentage of carries that went for zero or fewer yards fell several points. Since the Rams have been aggressive in trading away their draft picks, they only have a second and third-round selection in 2023 plus four picks in the final two rounds. 

The Rams likely bring in other running backs via the draft or free agency, which would hamper Akers’ dynasty stock. Given the strong finish with the advanced stats supporting it, attempt to shop Akers during the offseason. There’s also a scenario where the incoming backs pose little threat and Akers’ metrics as a rusher look even better over time with a chance for a slight increase in receiving opportunities. I would lean towards trading Akers away or have realistic expectations as an RB2 similar to Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette, though the latter two have a longer track record.

 

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Since we discussed Dotson and the NFL Mock Draft 1.2 projecting Richardson to go to the Commanders, let’s do a mini dive. The University of Florida produced several exciting young offensive players recently like Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and Dameon Pierce.

Toney and Pierce entered the league with underwhelming college production but flashed on film and in small bursts. With Toney, injuries and off-the-field issues impacted his consistency. For Pierce, he landed in a situation with projected volume in his favor. 

Richardson’s College Data

Richardson is 6-foot-4 inches, 236 pounds, per Sports Info Solutions. He ranks 21st in Points Earned Per Play, 51st in adjusted yards per attempt and 136th out of 166 qualified quarterbacks in On-Target% (min. 100 pass attempts). As a rusher, Richardson averaged 53 yards rushing per game (No. 16), 3.7 YAC/Att (No. 5) and a 39% broken plus missed tackle per attempt (No. 1). He posted near-elite advanced stats as a rusher during the past few seasons. 

The college data shows Richardson struggles as a passer, especially under pressure with an 80.4 IQR with six or more pass rushers, though it’s a small sample. Admittedly, I’m not a college football expert or a film grinder, so I’d lean on The 33rd Team’s Scouting Department, which includes former NFL scouts.

On film, he shows the ability to win with his legs, but he does struggle with accuracy. During the past few years in the NFL, we’ve witnessed quarterbacks like Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields and others show the QB1 upside as a rusher and develop as a passer.

Not saying Richardson takes the same path since Hurts and Fields produced for more than one college season. For rookie and start-up drafts, Richardson’s dynasty stock will soar but temper expectations to begin his NFL career.

WATCH: Jets Should Draft Richardson?

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