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Matt Ball | Archive | Email | Follow me on Twitter
Staff Writer

Dynasty Dashboard
Week 9

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.


Doug Martin - Entering the NFL as a rookie this season, most analysts believed Doug Martin landed in a favorable position in order to make a relatively quick impact. Many saw Martin as a player that had the potential to blossom into a do-it-all RB that could play all three downs. His well-balanced skill set made him an ideal candidate for this type of role. The only real roadblock he was facing earlier this season came in the form of big-bodied RB, LeGarrette Blount. However, that roadblock ended up being easily passable for Martin. Two weeks into the regular season and the rookie out of Boise State had cemented his role as the top dog in the Tampa Bay ground game.

Although Martin received a heavy workload over the course of his first few games, his play was merely solid and not special. He wasn’t breaking many big gainers and his overall stats left much to be desired. With the numbers that fellow rookie Alfred Morris was churning out weekly and the flashes of brilliance that Trent Richardson had displayed, some Martin owners may have been feeling disappointed only three weeks ago. But, as is often the case in the NFL, things change quickly. As it stands today, Martin is a clear “accelerator” in dynasty leagues.

In the last three weeks, Martin has averaged 155.7 yards from scrimmage per game and 1.0 TD. During that span, he has also averaged 5.1 yards per carry. These are numbers to be excited about. And while two of his three big games in this stretch came against struggling run defenses, his performance last week against the Vikings should serve to silence a good number of his critics. Based on the way that Martin is being utilized by the Buccaneers and the groove he now seems to be settling into, I believe he is blossoming into a low-end RB1. The recent loss of Carl Nicks could hurt this season, but Martin’s future appears bright.

Randall Cobb - For quite a while now, Cobb has been rising up rankings boards at WR. Right out of the gate this season he made a sizable splash in Week 1. Unfortunately, he followed that up with a couple of relatively quiet games and with Greg Jennings supposedly past his hamstring issue, it appeared as though Cobb’s role would be somewhat limited in the near term. However, Jennings hasn’t been able to stay healthy this year and in recent weeks Cobb has proven that he is too special of a player to leave on the sideline for extended periods.

In the last five weeks, Cobb has averaged 6.2 receptions and 77.2 yards from scrimmage along with 0.8 TDs per game. Using FFToday standard scoring, this is good enough to put him at 13th in points per game at WR. This places him ahead of the likes of Wes Welker, Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald. While the Packers have a wealth of quality options to catch passes, Cobb is proving to be among their very best. He has game-breaking capabilities and is simply a guy that they need to get the ball to several times per game. It is occurring in a variety of ways, but the team is definitely doing a solid job in getting him the rock lately.

While Jennings should return to action in a few weeks, it is looking more and more like Cobb’s role on the team is solidified. Certainly, a healthy Jennings will cut into the production of all of the other Green Bay receivers, yet I wouldn’t expect Cobb’s numbers to plummet. Based on the glowing comments that Aaron Rodgers has made about him in the last month, the young WR is a big part of the team’s plans going forward. His skill set and football acumen make him a great weapon for Rodgers and the Packers to utilize. Dynasty owners that have Cobb on their roster have to be very excited about how the former Kentucky Wildcat has developed.


Fred Davis - In only 12 games played in 2011, Fred Davis put up some very good numbers; 59 grabs for 796 yards and 3 TDs. This was good enough to put him at 5th in points per game at the TE position (using standard FFToday scoring). Entering this season, the RGIII upgrade at QB seemingly had the potential to catapult Davis’ statistics to the next level. His production last year was remarkable considering the likes of Rex Grossman and John Beck were slinging the ball for the team. Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out very well for Davis, and now, after an Achilles injury, he is an obvious “downshifter.”

Davis was put on IR by the ‘Skins after Week 7 and while his injury is definitely a contributing factor to his recent slip down dynasty rankings boards, there is more to the story than simply an injury. With the Shanahans largely redesigning the team’s offense around the skill set of Griffin, the TE position is being utilized differently than it had the last couple of seasons. Washington has implemented variations of the spread offense and Griffin is throwing a lot of bubble screens to WRs on the outside. And, of course, the heavy dosage of carries that Morris is seeing also has impacted the general flow of the offense. Succinctly put, the offense has changed and Davis and the Washington TE’s are seeing less opportunity. Last year, Davis averaged 7.3 targets per game compared to only 4.4 this season. Until I see the RGIII-led Redskins send more passes the way of their TEs, I’ll remain bearish on Davis.

Steven Jackson - Since 2005, the St. Louis ground game has pretty well been controlled by one person; Steven Jackson. Previous to this season, the veteran RB had reeled off seven consecutive 1,000-yard rushing campaigns. On top of those impressive figures on the ground, he has always been productive in the air attack as well. In 2006, Jackson registered an impressive 90 catches for 806 yards and 3 TDs. Over the last several years, Jackson has been one of the safest and most consistent producers at the RB position for fantasy owners to have on their roster. A few missed games and relatively modest TD numbers are the only things that have kept his fantasy value down in recent seasons.

Now at 29 years old, things are beginning to change for Jackson. With Jeff Fisher now the head coach for the team, the Rams have implemented a plan of attack that limits Jackson’s usage to some degree in order to keep him healthy and potentially prolong his usefulness. First-year RB, Darryl Richardson is being put to work as a change-of-pace back and is getting a significant handful of totes each week. He and Jackson seem to complement each other well, but in the end, the rookie is undeniably cutting into Jackson’s touches. In 2010 and 2011, Jackson averaged 21.9 touches per game. So far this season, he is getting his hands on the ball only 15.0 times per game. With a shrinking role, an aging body and a generally sluggish Rams offense, Jackson’s dynasty stock is trending noticeably downward. Despite his name recently being bandied about in trade rumors, Jackson isn’t a guy that offers a lot of fantasy upside at this juncture of his career.

Stash in the Glove Box

Ricky Stanzi - I think it’s pretty clear by now that the Kansas City Chiefs are a mess. During the television broadcast of their loss against the Raiders on Sunday, it was mentioned that the Chiefs have not led for even one second during regulation so far this year. This must be a truly sickening factoid for Chiefs fans to stomach. After seven games played, the team has a dismal 1-6 record, with their sole win coming via an overtime defeat of New Orleans in Week 3. The Chiefs have been bad in many facets of the game, so there is definitely enough blame to go around, but one of the key areas where they have struggled is at quarterback.

Matt Cassel began the season as the team’s starting QB. He put up some decent passing numbers initially, but struggled with turnovers; throwing 3 INTs and losing 3 fumbles in his first three games. Cassel lost his job when he was sidelined by a concussion in the second half of a Week 5 clash with the Ravens. At that point, Brady Quinn got the nod. While he didn’t exactly play well, Kansas City stuck with Quinn until a concussion knocked him out of Week 8’s tussle with Oakland. So, Cassel, now fully recovered from his earlier concussion, was put back into action against the Raiders. Unfortunately for him, he proceeded to throw one more INT and lose one more fumble in less than one full game of play. To me, it looks like neither Cassel nor Quinn is the long-term answer at QB for the Chiefs.

Enter Ricky Stanzi. The former Hawkeye is now in his second year in the league, but has yet to see any regular season action. While he has most of the measurables that you look for in an NFL QB, he is still a big question mark for the team. Frankly, I don’t claim to know if Stanzi has enough ability to make the most out of a potential opportunity, should his number be called in coming weeks, but I do believe there is a decent chance he could see the field before the season is wrapped up. At some point, the Chiefs will throw in the towel on the year and they will have to more closely examine some of their younger players to see if they have any untapped ability languishing on their bench. This all bodes well for Stanzi and makes him a worthy stash candidate, particularly in large leagues and those with deep benches.