| Highlighting a few key risers and fallers,
the Dynasty Dashboard assists in keeping you on top of
player valuation changes as they are developing. Further, a deep
sleeper or largely overlooked player worthy of consideration for
a spot on your roster will also be identified each week. Keep an
eye on the dashboard and drive your team toward dynasty league success.
Peterson - During a Week 16 win over the Washington Redskins
last season, Adrian Peterson sustained a major knee injury; tearing
his ACL and MCL and also damaging his meniscus. It was a significant
injury that in past eras could have been a career-ender. Even in
the current era, this type of injury should have at least made 2012
largely a lost season for ďAll Day.Ē Yet, amazingly, this has not
been the case. Peterson has benefited from modern medicine as well
as superior genetics. The curtains have not closed on his career
and 2012 hasnít even proven to be an intermission. Peterson has
rewritten the typical script after such a devastating injury, and
while his story is clearly well past the opening act, it is far
from its conclusion.
Adrian Peterson's recovery from knee surgery
is nothing short of remarkable.
Heading into preseason activities this year, it was unclear if Peterson
would be able to ready his body for opening day. Reports were generally
positive and Peterson himself appeared resolute in his commitment
to play Week 1, but still, it just didnít seem humanly possible.
However, as we all know, Peterson did in fact play on opening Sunday
and he shocked the world by rushing for 84 yards and 2 TDs on 17
carries. He was back, maybe not at 100%, but close enough; mind-blowingly
close. At that point, Peterson had proven that he was worthy of
being firmly planted in the second tier of dynasty RBs, behind only
a small group at the top. And for a few weeks after his first game,
he continued to play at a high-level, but perhaps a small notch
below what he had previously established as the top of his game.
In the last four weeks, Peterson has upped his play and is averaging
157.3 rushing yards and 1.3 TDs per game, with an average of 7.7
yards per carry. He has been on an absolute tear recently. Petersonís
total rushing yardage over the last four games is his second highest
in any four-game stretch during his already special career. Number
one on this list was back in his rookie season and includes the
game in which he set the NFL all-time single-game rushing yardage
record (296 yards). Peterson has been putting up numbers as good
as ever in the last month or so and is now atop the NFL leader board
in rushing yards this season, with 1,128 in only ten games. In my
view, he has clearly climbed back into the first tier at RB. It
was a small climb for him to make, but yet very significant. I donít
know if Peterson is super-human or what, but the way heís
bounced back from his knee injury is nothing short of remarkable.
Dwyer - In his last three games played, Jonathan Dwyer
has averaged 95.0 rushing yards per outing. During that span, he
gained an impressive 5.4 yards per carry. His involvement in the
passing game has been minimal, but Dwyer is proving that he can
be a productive NFL runner when given the opportunity. For as long
as Mendenhall is on the sideline for Pittsburgh, Dwyer should continue
to contribute heavily, although, admittedly, this might not be much
longer (with Mendenhall expected back this week). While Dwyerís
top gear leaves is far from special, he is surprisingly light on
his feet for a big-bodied back. He is a capable RB that can be effective
between the tackles, but make no mistake about it, he is not Jerome
Looking down the road, Pittsburgh could explore many different avenues
for their backfield. Mendenhall is an unrestricted free agent in
2013 and each of Redman and Dwyer are restricted free agents the
same year. It is not written in stone at this point that Mendenhall
is the teamís long-term answer, and if it turns out he is
not, there is a real chance that Dwyer could carve out a significant
role next season and beyond. However, there is simply no telling
what may happen since there are so many things in motion. What we
do know at the moment is that Dwyer is playing well after a slow
start and some nagging injuries this season. In my view, his play
has opened the door for him to at least get a handful of touches
per week even when Mendenhall returns to action. After Dwyerís
dynasty stock plummeted early in the season, it has bounced back
in recent weeks.
Williams - For several years now, DeAngelo Williams has
proven to be a dynamic playmaker for the Panthers. Even last season,
serving in a clear RBBC situation, Williams was able to post 836
yards with 7 TDs on the ground, while averaging an exceptional 5.4
yards per carry. However, things are not going as planned for the
veteran RB this season. He is averaging well under 4.0 yards per
carry this year, something he has never done before, and is not
having the overall impact that he typically does. Looking back through
his game logs, I discovered that Williams has not had a 100-yard
rushing game since Week 5 of 2011, and previous to that it was Week
11 of 2009. His days as a big-time fantasy producer have seemingly
come and gone. The window is open only a brief time for the huge
majority of RBs and this looks to be the case for Williams as well.
In the last four weeks, Williams has rushed for only 80 yards and
1 TD on 25 carries. His workload and production have each left much
to be desired. Williamsí role is clearly shrinking for the
Panthers while his cohort in the backfield, Jonathan Stewart, is
seeing a moderate uptick in workload. While the situation in Carolina
still appears to be a committee, Stewart is now the definite lead
back. Williams may not be phased out altogether this season, but
with his workload and production decreasing and with his age getting
ever closer to 30, his value is falling fast. Iíd recommend
selling him in most dynasty formats, but my hunch is that there
is little interest for Williams. Teams that currently have him on
their roster will probably have to ride it out and hope things improve
noticeably for the once studly RB.
Blackmon - Leading up to the 2012 draft, there was a
lot of optimism surrounding Justin Blackmon. He had a great collegiate
career and appeared to be well suited for the transition to the
NFL. Despite lacking elite speed for his position; his athleticism,
playmaking ability and overall polished game made him the top WR
in the draft class. In dynasty circles, Blackmon was often considered
the #2 prospect behind Trent
Richardson. There was the hope that a landing spot such as St.
Louis could allow Blackmon to quickly develop into an impact player.
Unfortunately, that didnít happen and Blackmon ended up in a far-less-favorable
Jacksonville offense. His stock dipped modestly, but with talent
trumping situation, it didnít slip all too much.
Fast forward to current date and it is now clear that Blackmon has
slipped considerably down dynasty rankings boards. In nine games
played, he has registered 26 receptions for 250 yards and 1 TD.
This has him on pace for less than 450 yards during his rookie campaign.
The Jaguars are starved for WR production and Blackmon simply hasnít
delivered. In the meantime, the sole bright spot in the receiving
corps has been second-year wideout Cecil Shorts out of Mount Union
College. In recent weeks, Shorts has emerged as the teamís
primary playmaker in the receiving game. All of this must be discouraging
news for Blackmon owners. However, as is often said, ďpatience
is a virtue.Ē The 22-year-old WR may simply need more time
to adjust to the NFL game than was previously expected. His situation
isnít ideal in Jacksonville, but it could improve in the next
couple of years, and even if it doesnít, Blackmon will still
have plenty of opportunity to emerge as a fantasy factor.
Stash in the Glove Box
Alexander - The San Diego passing game has not produced
like we’ve come to expect it to with Phillip Rivers behind
center. There has been a lot of talk about Rivers’ throwing
mechanics, the state of the Chargers offensive line and the quality
of the receiving corps (with Vincent Jackson now in Tampa Bay).
I’m not certain which area is most deserving of the blame,
but there is probably enough to go around. In 2010, the Chargers
ranked 2nd in the league with 282.4 passing yard per game. In 2011,
the team was 6th in the league with 276.6 yards per game. So far
this year, San Diego is at 16th with 229.0 yards per game. The air
attack has definitely been less effective this season.
The aforementioned loss of Vincent Jackson left a gaping hole in
the Chargers receiving group. Robert Meachem was brought in to help
fill the void and serve as the team’s primary downfield threat.
Unfortunately, the former Saints wideout, and first round pick,
has played well below the expectations that many had set for him.
But when Meachem was limited due to a recent hamstring injury, Danario
Alexander had his number called and ended up being quite productive
in his opportunity.
In his last two games played, Alexander had reeled in 8 passes for
195 yards and 1 TD on 10 targets. He is looking like the deep threat
that the team has desperately been looking for this season, but
fantasy owners shouldn’t get too carried away. Don’t
get me wrong, while I believe there is plenty of reason to be excited
about Alexander’s upside, his track record of injuries should
serve to temper a good amount of the enthusiasm. The talent and
opportunity might be there for the 24-year-old WR, but until he
can string together several solid games without flaring up his knee
issues, he is little more than a stash player with a very high ceiling.
That said, Alexander is absolutely worth taking a shot on at this