| 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.
Myers - The Oakland Raiders have a dynamic RB in Darren
McFadden. However, with the implementation of the zone-blocking
scheme this season, McFadden and the ground game have largely been
underwhelming. When you couple this with the fact that Oaklandís
defense is yielding a high number of points most weeks, it should
come as no major surprise that the team is passing a ton. Through
the first eleven weeks, the Raiders are 2nd in the league with 417
pass attempts and they rank 29th with only 224 rushing attempts.
While I believe that the Raiders would probably like to be more
balanced on offense, situation and circumstance has necessitated
a large dosage of passing.
With the heavy reliance upon the air attack, there has been a lot
of opportunity for various receivers on the Raiders to step up and
make an impact. And with injuries sidelining some of their primary
options at various points this season, lesser known commodities
have had their moments to shine. Surprisingly, one of the most consistent
performers in the receiving group has been the TE, Brandon Myers.
The former Iowa Hawkeye has logged 50 catches for 554 yards and
3 TDs on 67 targets. Myers has performed very well this season.
He currently ranks 7th in fantasy points per game at TE (using FFToday
standard scoring). Seemingly out of the blue, Myers is on pace for
11 games with 5 or greater receptions. If he reaches this mark,
it will be the most in a single season by a Raider since Charlie
Garner posted 12 games with 5+ receptions back in 2002.
Myerís ceiling is probably limited, yet he has clearly made
a march up the dynasty rankings board at his position, particularly
in PPR formats. He has proven to be a great value option for teams
that nabbed him early this season. Considering how well he has performed
recently, it is a head-scratcher as to how he has largely evaded
the radar of many team owners. Myers isnít a player Iíd
want to rely on long-term, but this season his production easily
makes him a weekly option for starting.
Shorts - In last weekís Dynasty Dashboard, I briefly
mentioned that Cecil Shorts was emerging as a playmaker for the
Jaguars. With Justin Blackmon failing to live up to expectations
this year, prior to blowing up for 236 yards and 1 TD this past
week against the formidable Texans defense, it was Shorts that was
consistently making plays for the team in the air attack. While
Shortsí numbers season-to-date may not look overly impressive on
their surface, a little bit of digging helps reveal that there is
more than meets the eye. From Weeks 7 through 11, Shorts has posted
437 receiving yards and 3 TDs. These stats help put him at 8th in
fantasy points per game at WR among those that played in 3 or more
games during that stretch (using FFtoday standard scoring).
The 24-year-old WR out of the University of Mount Union has been
red hot in the last month and dynasty owners should be taking notice.
Shorts doesnít have the same level of pedigree as his WR counterpart
in Jacksonville, but he is undeniably a significant producer for
the team. Elite size and speed arenít tools he has to work
with, yet he is a very fluid WR with good instincts. And while his
upside may not be off the charts, his fantasy value has been steadily
climbing. Not even the poor QB play in Jacksonville has held him
down in recent weeks. Shorts makes a solid WR3 or WR4 for a typical
dynasty team, despite Blackmon being the more desirable long-term
asset on the Jags by a substantial margin. Also worth noting, with
Jacksonville recently placing Laurent Robinson on IR, Shorts and
the other receivers on the team should see a small boost in opportunity
for the remainder of the season.
Stafford - Coming off of his huge 2011 season, many considered
Matthew Stafford to be a top 3 dynasty QB. Heís a former number
1 overall draft pick with a big arm. Plus, Stafford has a truly
elite WR to work with, in Calvin Johnson, and operates in an offense
that allows him to sling the ball at a high frequency. Aside from
running/scrambling ability, Stafford has seemingly everything else
checked off of the list for things you want to see in your fantasy
QB1. Yet, despite all of this, his stock has edged downward in the
last two months. Stafford might not be the difference maker at QB
that most fantasy owners had thought him to be entering this season.
After eleven games played, Stafford is on pace to throw for 4,988
yards with 20 TDs and 15 INTs (assuming 16 games played). The yardage
number is very nice, but the low TD pace is astonishing, particularly
when you consider the fact that he threw for 41 last year and has
a TD-scoring beast like Calvin Johnson at his disposal. Overall,
Staffordís play hasnít been quite to the level it was
at last season and his stats reflect such. And although his somewhat
disappointing numbers have obviously contributed to his recent downshift,
they are not the sole reason that his dynasty stock has cooled modestly.
Two rookie QBs and another well-respected QB have performed superbly
this season and have leapfrogged Stafford on my rankings list. Iíd
easily take RGIII, Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan over Stafford today.
And for teams that are playoff caliber, Iíd even place Brady
ahead of him. Of course, for the squads that are trying to stay
young or flat out rebuild, Stafford is clearly more desirable than
the quarterback in New England. My general point is that Stafford
is no longer in the top 3-5 at his position and now seems more firmly
situated in the 6-10 range. His upside is still huge, but he has
undeniably lost some of the luster he had only a few months ago.
Maclin - Leading into this season, I had Jeremy Maclin
pegged as a player with a substantial likelihood of blossoming into
a low-end WR1 in fantasy football. There are many reasons to like
the Philadelphia wideout. At only 24 years old, he is still relatively
young. Further, he plays in a productive offensive system and has
proven to have the skills necessary to post big stats during the
times when he has been fully healthy. The main thing that has held
him back, in my view, has been on the health front. And since some
of that stuff has been fluky, I believed that 2012 would be the
year that Maclin would take the next step forward. Unfortunately,
if heís taken a step this year, it has been in the wrong direction.
Jeremy Maclin's status as a WR3 is on thin
Through Week 11, Maclin has put up 36 catches for 449 yards and
4 TDs, ranking him as the 40th highest-scoring WR that has played
5 games or more this season (using FFToday standard scoring). For
fantasy teams that have been starting him for the bulk of the season,
this type of production simply hasnít gotten the job done.
Surprisingly, while DeSean Jackson has performed better than his
counterpart at WR in Philly, neither player has been great this
year, statistically speaking. The teamís passing attack as
a whole has fallen off a slightly this season, and with the Michael
Vick-injury-induced change to Nick Foles at QB, the team is still
struggling to dial things in through the air.
In the end, I still believe that Maclin has the potential to be
a perennial 1,000-yard receiver. However, he has yet to reach that
mark a single time during his young career, and it doesnít
look like it will happen this season either. Although his stock
is cooling, there is still an outside chance that Foles will figure
things out and give the passing game the kick start that it sorely
needs, which would ultimately help Maclinís numbers. Admittedly,
Iím not that optimistic at this point. At the moment, Maclin
is positioned somewhere around the WR3 level in typical 12-team
dynasty leagues, but I still think he could quickly transition into
an upwardly mobile player.
Stash in the Glove Box
Toon - We have reached the point in the season where
more and more dynasty owners are ready the throw in the towel on
2012 and start looking primarily at the future. Digging up deep
sleepers with high upside potential can be critical in order for
some of these struggling teams to begin to turn things around. Obviously,
there are other more important avenues for improving a team, but
deep waiver wire excavation can be fun and occasionally unearth
a hidden gem. The odds of this occurring are pretty low, admittedly,
yet it’s still a worthwhile endeavor. In this vein, I recommend
taking a hard look at an unheralded Saints WR, Nick Toon.
Selected in the 4th round of the 2012 draft, Toon landed in an interesting
situation with the Saints. The rookie WR has good size and was a
solid route runner in college. He clearly isn’t a speed burner
that will stretch the field for his team, but he does have a skill
set that could serve him well as a possession receiver. Patience
will be key, as he could eventually flourish in New Orleans if things
break favorably for him. The Saints have a prolific passing game
and even with Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston serving as the team’s
top two threats through air, there still is plenty of opportunity
for another receiver to have an impact. While a foot injury has
made Toon’s rookie season a complete wash, he may get a real
chance to carve out a role as soon as next season. I believe that
Toon makes a great stash candidate for rebuilding teams, particularly
in larger leagues or those with deep benches.