Dynasty fantasy football players often view the regular season as a time for their hard work in the offseason to finally pay off. The 16 weeks of meaningful action from September to December are simply the proving grounds for their trades of aging veterans, draft pick swaps and sneaky additions of training camp standouts. There are still plenty of edges to exploit in the regular season, though.
Here are the biggest dynasty risers and fallers heading into Week 14 and whether you should buy or sell the changing values.
Riser: WR Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
The loss of Dak Prescott has torpedoed the Dallas offense and dashed any hopes that it could take advantage of playing in the NFL's weakest division. Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Gallup have all felt the effects of Prescott’s absence.
|WR||PPR Points w/ Prescott||PPR Points w/o Prescott||Change|
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Prescott posted an 80.4 passing grade in his limited action, 10th among quarterbacks (min. 100 attempts) through 13 weeks. The Cowboys as a whole have earned a 71.7 passing grade on the year because of the combined efforts of their backups to sabotage the league’s best receiving trio. With the offense crumbling, the team's overall target volume has come down. Interestingly, Gallup is the only receiver who has seen more targets.
|WR||Targets w/ Prescott||Targets w/o Prescott||Change|
The ability to draw targets is undoubtedly a measure of talent. DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill and Michael Thomas all win in vastly different ways but share one thing in common: they rack up targets. Gallup’s ability to get on the field and beat defenders to the extent that his quarterback throws the ball his way tells us he's talented. It also says there is a chance that, once Prescott returns, the receiving split between the three may not be so clear.
The sample size of all three playing with Prescott is fewer than five games. Gallup will be just 25 years old next year, and the offense should turn around the moment Prescott steps back on the field. Gallup is the cheapest way to buy into the offense and offers far more upside than Cooper and Lamb backers will admit.
Faller: WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Things haven’t been the same since Lockett went for 200 yards versus the Cardinals in Week 7. He has not topped 70 yards once since that explosion while hauling in just one touchdown in the past six weeks.
The problem? D.K. Metcalf‘s greatness. Following Week 7, Metcalf completely took over as the No. 1 receiver in Seattle.
|Air-Yard Share||Target Share|
Metcalf’s 82.6 receiving grade has him ranked 21 spots higher than Lockett among receivers, and his 2.24 yards per route run puts him 32 spots above his teammate (both min. 30 targets). Despite seeing equivalent target volume on the year, Metcalf has been vastly more efficient. Lockett is a phenomenal secondary receiver for Russell Wilson, but the split since Week 7 and Metcalf’s efficiency make one thing very obvious: He is the No. 1 receiver in Seattle (and in dynasty), and Lockett is a distant No. 2.
Riser: TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
Kmet was on track for something of a redshirt rookie campaign heading into Week 10. But since then, he’s been targeted 13 times while running a route on 58.7% of his team’s dropbacks. Over that same span, Jimmy Graham has run a route on 38.9% of his team’s passing plays and has seen a measly seven looks through the air.
Graham was playing a significant role and drawing targets for the majority of the year, so Kmet’s ability to dethrone him is notable. Kmet wasn’t an awfully impressive prospect, peaking at 515 receiving yards in his junior season at Notre Dame. However, the Bears owe Graham $10 million next year — none of which is guaranteed. He’s unlikely to be in Kmet’s way in 2021, and Chicago currently leads the league in pass percentage. Kmet could emerge as a weekly PPR option next year if he continues to break out in the final weeks of his rookie season.
Faller: RB Todd Gurley II, Atlanta Falcons
There’s simply nothing left worth chasing from a fantasy perspective with Gurley. His 58.3 running grade ranks 73rd among running backs, and his 2.59 yards after contact per attempt ranks 47th (both min. 30 attempts). Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said earlier in the week Gurley is currently dealing with a knee injury and was limited to third-down and red-zone duties.
Ito Smith played two more snaps than the veteran in Week 13, as Gurley is inefficient and his team is now choosing to further limit his workload. He is not under contract for 2021 and may be stuck waiting for a team to call weeks into next season before accruing any fantasy points — similar to former Falcons back Devonta Freeman this season. Freeman’s current value is what we should project Gurley for next year. Think about what Freeman is worth, and take anything equivalent to that in trades before free agency opens next year.
Riser: WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills
Davis has simply produced whenever given the chance. John Brown has missed four games this season, and Davis has averaged 11.4 fantasy points per game in those weeks — even posting three WR2 finishes in the past four weeks.
Most TD receptions by rookie WRs:
1. Chase Claypool – 8
2. Justin Jefferson – 6
3. Tee Higgins – 5
T-4. CeeDee Lamb/Gabriel Davis – 4 pic.twitter.com/P0o6Jobpox
— PFF (@PFF) December 6, 2020
The Bills spent fourth-round draft capital on a player who broke out in his second year of college football and hit 1,241 receiving yards in his junior season at UCF. Now, he’s producing as a rookie. It shouldn’t be a surprise when Davis pushes Brown for his role as early as the end of this season.
Faller: TE Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns
Since returning from his appendectomy, Hooper has been a non-factor for the Browns' offense. He has topped out at three catches for 33 yards despite Cleveland hanging 41 points on the Titans and 27 on the Jaguars.
Of Baker Mayfield‘s 592 yards over his previous two games, Hooper has accounted for 6.3% of that production. He can be dumped for speculative assets like Kmet or Albert Okwuegbunam for teams that don’t need his middling PPR production in the playoffs this year.