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Dynasty

Dynasty Buy/Sell/Hold Report #4

By C.H. Herms 10:13pm EST 12/15/22


Whether your league has a trade deadline or not, this time of the season is optimal for taking stock of dynasty rosters and looking ahead to 2023.

With only 3 weeks remaining in the fantasy season, check out this list of players worthy of acquiring, moving on from or holding onto until further notice.


BUY Jared Goff, QB, Lions

Why would anyone want a bridge QB on a team still undergoing a rebuild? Because the efforts of Goff, and the Lions as a whole, have gone a lot better than expected in 2022.

In many ways, this year was a last-ditch effort for the former #1 overall pick to avoid falling into the dreaded ex-high-capital QB limbo à la Marcus Mariota and Baker Mayfield. With a potential out in his contract in 2023, anything less than quality output would earn Goff a possible flier opportunity as a guy who keeps the seat warm for a few games while a rookie waits in the wings at best.

Thus far, Goff stepped up to the plate and then some. He ranks 15th in fantasy points per game (16.3) and QB12 overall in 2022, in addition to being tied with Justin Herbert in deep ball completion percentage (40.4%), good for 13th in the NFL according to Fantasy Data. Moreover, Goff boasts a 5.0% TD rate this season, his highest total since 2018 with the Rams, per Pro Football Reference.

His performance this year may not only propel the Lions to a surprise potential playoff berth, but more importantly, earn him the opportunity to remain the starting QB in Detroit (or elsewhere) beyond 2022. Dynasty managers looking to go the cost-effective route in superflex leagues would be wise to check in on Goff regardless of what uniform he’s donning going forward.


BUY Jahan Dotson, WR, Commanders

Lest we forget, the 1st-round Penn State product opened his inaugural campaign as the WR28 in PPR with a 14% target share through Week 4. The Carson Wentz-led Commanders’ offense looked to Dotson in the red zone with great frequency, showing off the highpointing skills of 5’11 wideout.

Unfortunately, hamstring injuries sidelined the rookie for an extended period, and since returning in Week 10, he only holds an 11.8% target share with Taylor Heinicke under center. That said, last we saw the Commanders, Heinicke looked Dotson’s way plenty against the Giants in Week 13, converting 9 targets into 5 catches, 54 yards and a score.

Perhaps it took some time for Heinicke and Dotson to build rapport with one another, but given what we saw in early weeks and how favorably we view the talented rookie long-term, it stands to reason that this may be the lowest his dynasty value will be for quite some time.

Lost in the sea of a talented rookie receiver class, Dotson is trending in the direction of a post-hype sleeper with plenty of room to improve upon the small sample of success we have to point at. Five TDs in 8 games ain’t nothing.


SELL Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Patriots

Make no mistake: this sophomore back is a red-hot dynasty asset that does not turn 25 years old until February. That said, there are a handful of reasons why managers outside of an immediate win-now window should be looking to move on from Stevenson.

The Patriots’ track record of sticking by RBs for extended periods is not strong. Per Football Database, New England has had 6 different rushing leaders since 2014 and have not had a back record 3 consecutive years as the leader in yardage since Corey Dillon from 2004 to 2006. HC Bill Belichick has a tendency to cycle through RBs and let players walk at the conclusion of their rookie contracts (see: Damien Harris, the Pats’ rushing leader from 2020 to 2021, set to become a free agent following this season).

Moreover, the distribution of touches in a Belichick backfield is historically irritating from a fantasy perspective. Stevenson is the first Patriots player to secure over 50% of RB carries in a season since Sony Michel did so in 2019 (57.6%). Michel narrowly crossed that threshold with a 50.7% share in 2018, but a true bellcow back has not emerged from this backfield since 2016 when LeGarrette Blount secured a massive 72.9% share in 2016.

What helps Stevenson’s dynasty case is the similarity in his profile/archetype to Blount, and his effectiveness in the receiving game (18.4% target share, ranking fifth among all RBs in 2022 min. 5 targets). There is a slight chance he is capable of bucking historic trends, but that is not guaranteed by any means.

Sometime between now and the beginning of the 2023 season will be the ideal time to sell Stevenson at peak value. With many of the long-time, high-ranking dynasty stalwarts such as Derrick Henry aging out of elite relevance and the influx of young talent soon entering the league (i.e. Bijan Robinson of University of Texas, Jahmyr Gibbs from Alabama), Stevenson’s RB1 value in this current dynasty market is a touch out of common consideration.


SELL Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles

After a disappointing 2021 season that saw Sanders score nary a touchdown, the former 2nd-round pick is exploding this season en route to what will likely result in an RB1 finish by year’s end. Sanders has eclipsed both the 200-carry milestone and the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career, and as Sanders stares down free agency, this is a prime time to flip the RB to a contending team.

Beyond the fact that Sanders is getting up there in dynasty age (26th birthday coming in May), it is far from guaranteed that a team will utilize him the way the Eagles have lately. Over the first 2 seasons of his tenure as a professional, Sanders averaged 12 carries a game, a stark contrast to the 15.8 he is averaging currently. On top of that, Sanders has seen a dropoff in his receiving game involvement, going from 4.1 targets per game in his first two seasons to the 2.28 he averages in the last 2 seasons.

This type of deployment is antithetical to what many expected of the former Penn State back entering the league based on his prospect profile and begs the question of how much HC Nick Sirianni’s system is responsible for this breakout. Will other teams be capable of getting this type of output from him?

The most ideal situation for Sanders is returning to the Eagles on a contract extension, and even then, his statistical output in 2022 is extremely likely to regress in future seasons. Sanders has pushed well beyond the median bounce-back managers hoped for entering this year. Getting out while you still can makes the most logical sense in this circumstance. The outlook is too opaque to muster any semblance of confidence in RB1-level viability.


SELL Nico Collins, WR, Texans

Credit where credit is due, the 2nd-year wideout overtaking Brandin Cooks as the Texans’ #1 WR has been a pleasant surprise. Since Week 10, Collins is the sneaky WR36 overall in PPR, averaging 12.2 points per game. As the Texans franchise continues to build forward in a post-Deshaun Watson world, a new QB is likely on the horizon, potentially coming in the form of the 1st overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.

A Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud upgrade over Davis Mills? Sign me up. Should Collins expand on his 24.7% target share and 34% air yards share among WRs he’s enjoyed of late, we could be looking at a sleeper target in 2023 and beyond.

The only problem with this picture is that trusting a traditional ‘X’ receiver with a limited skill set, potentially looking at a shift to catching passes from an inexperienced QB under center and a probable likelihood that the Texans will continue to add higher-ceiling pieces in the near future just does not add up to dynasty greatness.

Collins is a fun story from 2022, but ask yourself: Will this get better? Probably not. If waiting until the Texans undoubtedly trade Cooks away in the offseason to sell in the inevitable “NICO COLLINS SZN!!!” hype window is your vibe, have at it. Still, it is important to remember that this is likely the peak of what Collins will be in dynasty. Finding a reactionary manager in your league(s) that will swap a slumping asset for Collins+ should not be too difficult.


HOLD Travis Etienne, RB, Jaguars

Oh Etienne, what a tease. Despite an early-season stretch of quality performances from James Robinson, the sophomore RB slowly took hold of the Jags’ lead job by Week 5, exploding for 18 PPR points per game and an RB8 overall showing through that span into the team’s bye in Week 11. The Jaguars traded Robinson to the Jets, Etienne found his footing as the standalone workhorse, and everything is hunky dory, right?

Well, recent times have been unkind to the former Clemson product as evidenced by him cratering back down to earth as the RB60 overall following the bye. A foot injury sustained against the Ravens in Week 12 may be a contributing factor/possible explanation for this slump. But regardless, the likelihood dynasty managers could move Etienne for fair value, even if they wanted to, is remarkably low.

As such, there is no choice but to hold Etienne; and honestly, is that such an awful thing? After missing the entirety of the 2021 season with a Lisfranc injury, has Etienne really been all that bad? There is enough of a sample size to suggest that his role in the Jaguars' offense is safe and that he is more than capable of producing at a high level for fantasy purposes. Wave off the opportunists and the swindlers. Do not be so easily scared.


HOLD Khalil Herbert, RB, Bears

As surprising as it may be to learn, Herbert still currently leads Bears RBs in total yards (643) and yards per game (64.3) despite not playing since Week 10 due to a hip injury.

With David Montgomery set to become a free agent at the end of 2022, the Bears could very well end up trusting the 2nd-year back with lead duties moving forward. It would appear to be a wise move for the franchise, too. Herbert ranks 4th-best in Football Outsiders’ RB DVOA in 2022, with the 15th-highest breakaway rate (5.6%) in the NFL among RBs, according to Fantasy Data.

In each of these statistical measures, among myriad others, Herbert bests his counterpart Montgomery. All of that being true, there are still looming concerns hanging over his head. What are the chances the Bears add competition to the backfield to shoulder a sizable portion of the workshare with Herbert in the offseason, whether through the draft, re-signing Montgomery, or otherwise? That potential for that reality is frighteningly realistic.

As flashy as Herbert has been in spurts, he is a former 6th-round pick and the Bears are playing much better than early results showed in 2022. With the ascendance of QB Justin Fields as a budding superstar, what is standing in GM Ryan Poles’ way from adding a higher-capital player to the backfield to accelerate progress?

Additionally, it is a widely-enough-held opinion among dynasty managers that Herbert is all but entitled to the throne as the Bears’ workhorse. Trading him away if you are that manager in your league, or looking to acquire Herbert from the person who holds that belief, feels like a lost cause teetering on the brink of being wholly moot. The window to buy or sell Herbert has come and gone, and now there is no choice but to hold.


HOLD Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Browns

Peoples-Jones is a model of middling consistency in 2022. Logging only 2 games this year under double-digit PPR points since Week 4, he ranks as the WR16 in PPR following the Browns’ bye week in Week 10.

However, the underlying data beneath Peoples-Jones’ 2022 production does not suggest there is much stability. The 4th-year wideout ranks 48th in PPR points per game (10.2), 39th in air yards share (28%) and 42nd in target share (19.4%) despite being 9th in route participation percentage (89%) among all receivers this season (min. 5 targets). This information brings to question the sustainability of his production long-term.

Inversely, Peoples-Jones ranks 34th among 79 qualifying WRs in yards per route run and 40th in Pro Football receiving grade. Plus, Deshaun Watson, in theory, should shake off the rust of being away from football for nearly two seasons and regain his high-end form at some point. In the past, Watson has performed well with a big-bodied receiver who can thrive on the deep balls (remember Will Fuller V?).

It is certainly fair to say that a possible explanation for some of the shakiness is a byproduct of fielding passes from Jacoby Brissett for the majority of 2022. Moving forward with Watson at QB and given the smattering of positive output we’ve seen from Peoples-Jones this season, he is a logical wait-and-see for dynasty managers still on the fence.


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