| 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.
Wilson - From a real world, NFL perspective, Russell
Wilson is having a tremendous rookie season. In 12 games played,
he has led the Seahawks to a 7-5 record while throwing for 2,344
yards, 19 TDs and 8 INTs. He has an impressive 95.2 passer rating
for a rookie. This tops fellow rookies Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill
by a substantial margin. Further, in the last 20 years, only two
rookie QBs have posted a higher passer rating than Wilson’s 95.2
(with a minimum of 10 starts at the position); Ben Roethlisberger
in 2004 (98.1) and Robert Griffin III this year (104.4). Make no
mistake about it, despite his play being eclipsed by RGIII and Luck
in many regards, Wilson is having a very special rookie season.
Yet despite all of his NFL success, Wilson’s fantasy impact
has been far less significant for the bulk of the season. He has
not been a player that fantasy teams could rely on for much more
than a bye week filler. Lately, however, Wilson has turned things
up a notch. In the last five weeks, he ranks 7th in fantasy points
per game at QB (using standard FFToday scoring). These are the type
of numbers that give him much more relevance in the world of fantasy
football. His efficiency as a passer and ability to run have positively
impacted his fantasy production, despite his relatively modest passing
While I have doubts as to whether or not he can continue the recent
pace of fantasy point production, since it largely hinges on him
playing at an ultra-efficient level, I am impressed by the progress
he’s made recently. If the offense is opened up more for him
going forward, his value could climb considerably, yet Wilson’s
fantasy upside probably doesn’t rival that of RGIII or Luck.
Overall, his dynasty stock is moderately rising and Wilson now appears
to be a mid-level QB2 with decent upward mobility.
Gordon - Coming into this season, I was cautiously optimistic
that Greg Little would emerge as the clear top threat in Cleveland’s
aerial assault. My primary concerns were Weeden at QB along with
the case of the dropsies that Little suffered from in 2011. Yet,
in general, I thought he had the type of skill set that could allow
him to develop into a difference maker in the league. However, so
far, this has not come to fruition and Little’s relatively pedestrian
season has been significantly overshadowed by the play of rookie
WR, Josh Gordon.
When you step back and look at Gordon’s numbers this season
from afar, they look solid, but lack the desired wow factor. Although,
when you dial in on his play over the past two months, they begin
to appear considerably more impressive. If Gordon played a 16-game
season at the rate he’s produced in his last 8 games played,
he’d end up with 54 receptions for 1,106 yards and 10 TDs.
That type of a rookie season would have dynasty teams circling him
liked crazed hyenas trying to snatch him away from the opposition
in the offseason.
Overall, I believe that Gordon has shown observers enough to get
excited about. He is evolving into more than a one-trick pony that
is merely the recipient of a couple of deep bombs per contest. The
young WR is bringing more to the table, as evidenced by the fact
he has seen 7 targets from Weeden in each of the last three games.
It is becoming clearer each week that Gordon is currently Cleveland’s
best playmaker at WR. Obviously, his upside will be tied to the
play of Weeden, and that could be a limiting factor, but Gordon’s
stock is rising nonetheless.
Bush - Around a year ago at this time, it looked like
Reggie Bush was finally realizing his full potential and becoming
more than just a runner that could make plays on the outside or
via the passing game. He finished the 2011 season in a remarkable
fashion, logging over 500 rushing yards in Week 13 through 16. For
the fantasy owners that leaned on him in their playoffs, Bush rewarded
them bountifully. His future was looking bright in Miami, as he
no longer appeared to be a gimmick back and he was well past his
drama with the Kardashian clan.
Reggie Bush's stock is on the decline.
Entering this season, I found myself still a tad skeptical that
Bush could pick up where he left off at the end of 2011; red hot.
However, after watching his huge game Week 2 vs. Oakland, my skepticism
quickly melted away and I was firmly on board with Bush as an impact
player. Unfortunately, I was hasty with my evaluation, and since
Week 2, Bush has been a mediocre-at-best RB for dynasty teams to
be starting on a weekly basis. He has only the single 100-yard game
this season, and even more troubling is his declining involvement
in the passing game with Tannehill now behind center for the Dolphins.
While Bush still has an outside chance of posting 1,000 rushing
yards this season, his stock is now on the decline in dynasty leagues.
2012 hasn’t been a bust of a season, but it hasn’t been to the level
it needed to be in order for Bush to lockdown his role with the
Dolphins going forward. The veteran RB is an unrestricted free agent
next season, and with Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller waiting in
the wings, Miami could easily move on from Bush and save a considerable
amount of money by handing the reigns to the ground game to their
young duo. Admittedly, I have no real insight on this situation
and am just speculating on matters, but it wouldn’t surprise me
to see the team part ways with Bush after this season.
Manning - Last year was a huge one for Eli Manning. Of
course, the Superbowl win contributed to the specialness of the
season, but from a fantasy perspective, his stats made the season
superb as well. Manning posted a career-high 4,933 passing yards
in 2011. On top of that, he registered the second highest amount
of passing TDs of his career, with 29. Last year was actually the
third in a row where he went for 4,000+ yards and 27+ TDs through
the air. Eli Manning has blossomed into a consistent fantasy producer
and one that dynasty teams can comfortably rely on as a mid-level
QB1. He’s been good enough to keep his team owners competitive at
the QB position for a typical week; no small task.
With all of the weapons that the Giants have on offense, coupled
with the trust Manning has earned from his head coach and offensive
coordinator, he seems to be well positioned to continue to post
big numbers into the foreseeable future. Yet, here he is, finding
his way onto my “downshifters” list. A small portion of his slide
is due to his uncharacteristically poor production during his last
five starts, but there is more to it than his stats alone. There
is a crop of young QBs that are more desirable long-term assets,
in my opinion, and this group has cruised past him in the fast lane.
On top of that, there are still guys like Brees and Brady that make
more sense for contenders than Manning does. Further, the re-emergence
of Peyton Manning is something to consider as well. I believe that
the Manning brothers are situated in the same tier currently, both
being valued by me as low-end QB1 types in standard leagues.
Stash in the Glove Box
Jenkins - With Jim Harbaugh on board as the head coach
in San Francisco, the 49ers embarked on a new era last season. Right
out of the gate, the team seemed to play with a little more attitude
and confidence. The defense obviously was special, but the offense
became efficient, centered around the run game with Alex Smith being
asked to play smart and limit turnovers. It has been a recipe for
success. And while the passing game hasn’t been the focal
point on the offensive side of the ball, it has been respectable
with Smith behind center that last season and a half. However, even
though the team added some capable deep threats at WR this past
offseason, the downfield dimension was something that the offense
still sorely lacked.
With the move to Colin Kaepernick at QB, the passing game has become
more of a wildcard. Obviously, the second-year player out of the
University of Nevada, Reno is not as polished as Smith, but he has
a stronger arm and appears less hesitant to pull the trigger on
deep passes. With this aspect of the offense improved, the air attack
has considerably more upside potential. In general, this is good
news for San Francisco receivers, but particularly those that have
the ability to stretch the field such as rookie WR, A.J. Jenkins.
The young wideout exhibited good straight-line speed and the ability
to separate while playing for the University of Illinois.
As the 49ers first round pick this year, it may be disappointing
for Jenkins’ dynasty owners that he has struggled to see the
field this season. But people shouldn’t be too quick to write
him off as a bust. Jenkins is inexperienced and found himself in
a crowded San Francisco receiving corps this season. The odds are
high that he’ll see much more action next year and beyond.
Randy Moss is an unrestricted free agent in 2013 and Mario Manningham
is the year following. While many analysts had Jenkins graded as
a 2nd or 3rd round NFL talent, the Niners took him late in round
one and he’s going to get a chance to prove his worth. In
my view, he is a very good receiver to stash or consider as a possible