| 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.
Jackson - In Week Six’s 38-10 thumping of the Chiefs,
Josh Freeman and the Buccaneers posted 328 yards and 3 TDs through
the air. Freeman did a decent job spreading the ball around, but
the two primary beneficiaries of his throws were Mike Williams and
Vincent Jackson. Williams pulled in 4 balls for 113 yards and 1
TD and Jackson posted 4 grabs for 66 yards and 2 TDs. Overall, Williams
and Jackson are getting much more love from their QB than the other
receivers on the team. This WR duo has combined to log an average
of 7.0 receptions for 140.4 yards and 1.4 TDs per game (in five
games played). Among all WR duos in the league, Williams and Jackson
rank 10th in receiving yards per game this season and 2nd in receiving
TDs per game. While I don’t mean to imply that they’re a dominant
duo, they clearly have been very productive thus far in 2012.
Focusing on Jackson, his dynasty value has slowly been on the rise
in the last few weeks. When he signed as a free agent in Tampa Bay
this past offseason, his stock dropped moderately. Landing on a
team with Freeman as his QB and a with head coach that presumably
wanted to lean substantially on the ground game, Jackson’s
situation was seemingly downgraded vs. what he had in San Diego.
However, the “downgrade” has not had much of an impact
at all on the former Charger. He’s still putting up the type
of numbers that his owners have grown accustomed to over the last
several years. Using FFToday standard scoring, he currently ranks
9th in points per game at the WR position. Jackson has clawed his
way back up dynasty ranking boards and I believe he has settled
somewhere in the mid-high WR2 range (in standard 12-team dynasty
Ridley - There has been a lot of talk about the Patriots
offense lately, with the bulk of the chatter centered around the
nature of their no-huddle approach and their use of two-TE sets
vs. multiple WRs. An interesting thing that is largely being glossed
over right now is a modest, yet significant, shift in the run-pass
balance for the team. Through the first five weeks of this season
New England ran the ball nearly 51% of the time, but with Week Six’s
58 pass attempts against Seattle, the season average now stands
at 47.2%. In 2011, the Patriots only ran 41.7% of the time, with
that figure at 47.2% in 2010 and 44.0% in 2009. So far in 2012,
New England has been a bit more dedicated to the run than their
3-year average. There is some life in their ground game and specifically
the legs of Stevan Ridley. Most fantasy owners have probably already
The Pats are counting on their running
game in 2012.
Ridley has now grinded his way to five 15+ carry performances in
six weeks, including three consecutive in his last three games.
The last Patriot to log three consecutive weeks in a given season
with 15 or more rushing attempts was Laurence Maroney back in 2007.
New England has long been a pass-first team and has struggled to
find a consistent threat running the ball. At this point, it is
looking like they may have found a solution with Ridley. Aside from
some ball-security issues, Ridley has performed very well this season.
He’s 5th in the league with 524 rushing yards and has punched in
4 TDs. The second-year player out of LSU is now an integral part
of the Patriots offense. Teams are so focused on Brady and the air-attack
that the ground game has been something available for Ridley and
the Pats to exploit.
No one knows exactly what the future holds for the New England offense
with Belichick and McDaniel pulling the strings, but it looks like
Ridley has carved out a nice role for the foreseeable future. His
dynasty stock has clearly shot up in the last two months. For team
owners that are considering targeting Ridley in a trade, they will
have to bring a legit offer to the table in order to even get a
hint of interest. It’s been a long time since the Patriots
have produced a true stud RB for fantasy owners, and while the jury
is still out on whether or not Ridley can reach that level, he has
at least proven capable of producing more than merely mediocre fantasy
numbers, particularly in non-PPR leagues.
Little - In the preseason, I wrote about Greg Little
being a player whose physicality and upside appealed to me as a
dynasty owner, but that he was also a player that had more question
marks surrounding him entering his second year than he did his first
year. A couple of the bigger concerns that I highlighted were the
arrival of Josh Gordon in Cleveland and Little’s unsure hands. Well,
as it turns out, these question marks are starting to being addressed
for Little, and not in a positive manner. While Gordon has not yet
developed into Weeden’s go-to receiver, he has established himself
as the team’s primary downfield threat. The rookie WR out of Baylor
has posted three TDs in his last two games, two of which were 50
yards or greater. And then there is the matter of dropped passes
for Little. This issue continues to plague him and may eventually
land him on the sidelines if he is unable to rectify it.
In six games played this season, Little has posted only 14 receptions
for 169 yards and 1 TD. The Browns clearly are desperate for WR
production and Little has had a tremendous opportunity to emerge
as a difference maker for the team, but he has dropped the ball,
both figuratively and literally. Dynasty owners shouldn’t
cast him into the scrap heap just yet, as there is still time for
him to right the ship, but the outlook for Little isn’t pretty
at the moment. If you already own him, you should view Little as
a hold since the trade market is probably ice cold for the young
WR. Park him at the end of your bench and cross your fingers in
the hope that things start going better for him as we get deeper
into the season.
Vick - Do you remember how magical the 2010 season was
for Michael Vick? After taking over for an injured Kevin Kolb in
Week 1, he went on to post some huge numbers in only 12 games played.
He had 3,018 yards passing with 21 TDs and only 6 INTs along with
676 rushing yards and 9 TDs on the ground. Vick had a phenomenal
season that earned him a $100 million contract with the Eagles and
undoubtedly helped many fantasy owners win their league’s title.
Unfortunately, 2011 was definitely a letdown coming on the heels
of his special 2010 campaign. It’s not that his play fell off precipitously,
it just wasn’t as sharp as it was the year before. There were huge
expectations for Vick and the Vince Young-proclaimed “Dream Team”
Eagles, and they simply didn’t live up to them.
So far in 2012, it’s been a mixed bag for Michael Vick. The
good news: Vick has not yet missed a game and has thrown for 300+
yards in three out of his six matchups. The bad news: Vick has already
thrown 8 INTs and has registered 5 lost fumbles. Further, there
have been reports that Vick could be a goner in Philly after this
season if he is unable to lead the team to the playoffs. Ultimately,
Vick is a 32-year-old QB that takes a lot of big hits and relies
more on his athleticism to get by than his football IQ. Although
he still has huge upside and skills that can electrify, I think
there is more than enough reason for concern. Vick’s dynasty
value is waning, but his owners should be looking to stick with
him for the time being. However, it is advisable for all Vick owners
to have a legitimate backup or at least a young up-and-comer waiting
in the wings.
Stash in the Glove Box
Foles - Being that I just identified Michael Vick as
a “downshifter” and mentioned the recent buzz that the
veteran QB could potentially be cut loose after this season if the
Eagles continue to struggle and don’t reach the playoffs,
it should come as little-to-no surprise that I am earmarking Nick
Foles as a great stash candidate. If your league has reasonably
deep rosters, then I recommend looking at acquiring the rookie QB.
Foles is probably on the radar of many dynasty owners, but his blip
should be more pronounced for Vick owners and any teams that lack
quality QB depth. There is a lot to like about Foles, particularly
when you take into consideration his bargain-bin pricing.
Foles is a big QB that has better-than-average arm strength. He
was an effective starter for the Arizona Wildcats for the bulk of
three seasons. Entering the NFL, he wasn’t considered one
of the elite prospects at his position, as evidenced by his 3rd
round draft position, yet he reportedly can make all of the throws
needed at the pro level. Mobility and inconsistent mechanics are
a couple of his weaknesses, although, presumably the latter can
be improved upon with the assistance Andy Reid’s staff in
Philadelphia. Since Foles is already sitting at #2 on the depth
chart for the Eagles, there is a decent chance he’ll see some
action this season, potentially filling in for a banged up Vick.
It’s a big if at this point, but if Foles gets a chance to
play regularly for Philly, whether this season or next, he could
really put up some nice numbers. The team has a favorable offensive
system in place and an abundance of weapons for a QB to utilize.