Dynasty/Devy values: Fantasy risers and fallers in college, NFL
Similar to redraft leagues, dynasty and devy fantasy football leagues see stock fluctuations throughout the season. However, they are not always as obvious, since these fantasy owners are playing both a short and long-term game. This series will examine some dynasty and devy options who are emerging or fading as a result of injury, performance, or opportunity.
Dynasty stock up
While still showing the inconsistencies typical with a rookie tight end, Kittle has also shown some recent flashes. He has managed a 20-plus-yard reception in each of the last two weeks after a long of 14 yards through the first three games. The speed from the combine (4.52 40-yard dash) is evident on the field and the 49ers are finally starting to use it. He is eighth overall in routes run at the position and 12th in targets so there may be even more upside in the coming weeks.
(It’s PFF Fantasy’s Free Content Week. Keep up with all the offerings here.)
In an unexpected development, Funchess actually has 10 more targets than Kelvin Benjamin through five games. The post-Greg-Olsen-injury surge has Funchess targeted 27 times in the last three weeks along with three touchdowns. He ranks ninth among wide receivers in PPR fantasy points during the three weeks while Benjamin ranks 30th. Now, if Funchess could catch a few deep passes (0 for 5 this year), the yardage will see a spike.
Over the last two weeks, Jones has largely had the backfield to himself. Injuries to Ty Montgomery and fellow rookie Jamaal Williams have given Jones the chance to shine. In that time, he is 10th in running back fantasy points and sixth in rushing yards gained. Jones’ seven forced missed tackles on runs are tied for sixth and his elusive rating is 13th over the last two weeks. While he may struggle to get receiving work when Montgomery returns, Jones should be the primary runner and a legitimate double-digit touchdown threat.
Granted, this is digging deep, but there is reason to be bullish. Looking around the league, there continues to be a dearth of quarterback talent with a fair number of starters past the age of 35. While the last two rookie classes have helped, there are plenty of opportunities for a player like Brissett to compete for a job. Unfortunately, he has two more years (after 2017) left on his contract, so it would require the Colts to make a trade. Right now, Brissett has the ninth-highest accuracy rate when accounting for drops and other non-targeted throws. There is a good chance a quarterback needy team approaches the Colts this offseason.
Devy stock up
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Any time a running back in a Power-5 conference is averaging more than 10 yards per carry, he’s worth a second look. Love leads the position in 15-plus-yard runs (23), has broken the most tackles on runs (45), and is fourth in yards after contact per attempt (5.6). There are concerns around pass protection and his ability in the pass game, not to mention his 196-pound frame, but Love has the ability to be a day-two NFL draft pick and a complementary option.
Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
Criticized for his size (6-foot-0, 177 pounds), Pettis is becoming a bigger part of the Washington offense in recent weeks. He has 21 receptions in the last two weeks after 15 in the first four games, becoming Jake Browning’s top option. Yes, he had 15 receiving touchdowns in 2016, but that was with John Ross occupying secondaries with his blazing speed. Now, Pettis could see similar attention to high-volume players like Zay Jones or Cooper Kupp when the draft comes around and may become a second receiver option on the right team.
Dynasty stock down
This series has piled on Browns position players and unfortunately, it is happening again. While Duke Johnson has looked fantastic, Crowell has not eclipsed four yards per carry in any game this season. His yards after contact per attempt is down over a full yard (from 3.2 to 2.0) and he is ranked 39th of 49 qualified players in elusive rating. The Browns offense is a mess and Crowell does not have the talent to rise above it. If he manages a big game, sell quickly.
Already a bad season, it ends for Conley after he ruptured an Achilles in the Chiefs’ Week 5 win against the Texans. Despite running the 21st-most routes among wide receivers, he was targeted just 16 times and never saw the end zone. It was obvious that despite the strong season from Alex Smith, the trust wasn’t there between him and Conley. His skill set — check out his athletic profile — does not mesh with the current offense. There may be a chance he could emerge if/when Patrick Mahomes takes over, but enough tape is available on Conley and it doesn’t look good.
This is a slight drop but deserves a mention. Howard only has nine targets on the season despite seeing 63 percent of the offensive snaps. That is largely a result of running routes on less than 40 percent of his offensive plays, focusing more on blocking. Meanwhile, Cameron Brate has nearly twice the snaps in route and is averaging a half yard more per route run. Like most rookie tight ends, Howard needs time, but the team is willing to be patient enough where his contributions may be a season or two away.
A fine rookie season where Boyd caught over 50 passes has faded into an underwhelming sophomore campaign as he struggles to see targets. He has just nine targets through four games played with a steep decline in snaps played (from 68 percent to 46). Boyd is clearly the slot receiver with 95 percent of routes in that position, but those 72 routes only rank him 29th among slot options. With John Ross still needing a few weeks, Boyd has some time to wow the coaches, but it is hard to see a scenario where the team gives him the chance to do so.
Devy stock down
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Samuel’s performances had been strong, but a bad lower-leg fracture likely ended his season just three games in. To that point, Samuel had accumulated 15 receptions and three touchdowns while accumulating better yards per route run than fellow draft prospects Calvin Ridley and Auden Tate. The size is there (6-0, 215 pounds) and has surprising quickness with the physical traits to beat up on cornerbacks. The injury will be a concern for NFL teams and if the surgery recovery drags on, he could take an even bigger draft stock hit.
Qadree Ollison, RB, Pittsburgh
This could be a tale of redemption, but for now, Ollison lands on this list. Best known as the running back who played for Pitt when James Conner was fighting cancer, he did have a 1,000-yard rushing season in 2015. Ollison this year was expected to threaten that number again, but slipped behind Chawntez Moss on the depth chart and hadn’t seen double-digit carries in any of the last four games. Moss is suspended indefinitely, which should give Ollison another chance, but star safety Jordan Whitehead is also moonlighting in the backfield and actually has led the team in rushing yards the last two games. At 6-2 and 230 pounds, Ollison has the build to handle a full workload, but it’s unclear if the team gives it to him.