01 Oct Dynasty Snapshot: Week 4
This is the point in the fantasy season where the trade juices get flowing between managers. Teams are figuring out if they are contenders or pretenders and making aggressive roster moves to set their squads up for success. The players that I discuss here are commonly being considered in trades, whether the fantasy manager is frustrated with their lack of production or cashing in after a hot start. I suggest that you hold onto them for now and here is why. Dynasty Snapshot: Week 4
If I had to vote on a “league winner” through the first three weeks of the season, it would be Mike Williams. After struggling to find consistency throughout his career, Williams is going into Week 4 as the second-best receiver in all of fantasy and he was drafted as a WR4/5. We’ve seen flashes of greatness from Williams, but even his strongest supporters couldn’t have imagined a start THIS hot for the former Clemson Tiger.
There is a lot of talk about Williams being a “sell” candidate. Likely because of his history of injuries and disappearing acts, which I understand will make most skeptical about his long-term outlook. This isn’t just a fluky streak though, we should continue to expect this level of production from him going forward. He’s playing a new role in the offense that allows him to see more short-to-intermediate targets instead of the constant low-percentage, downfield shots that he got in the past (Average Target Distance has dropped from 14.8 in 2020 to 8.3 this year).
Playing in a contract year, Williams is looking for a big payday in 2022. He will either be extended by the Chargers, which ties him to Justin Herbert long-term, or become a highly coveted free agent and find a new team that could feed him like a clear alpha. Either way, his dynasty outlook is bright, so don’t be so quick to ship him out, and enjoy the production from the 26-year-old wideout.
If you ask most fantasy managers about David Montgomery’s 2021 performance so far, you likely won’t get an enthusiastic response. Ever since he put up 108 rushing yards against the Rams in Week 1 (first 100+ yard rusher against the LA defense since 2019), he has underwhelmed in back-to-back weeks. This might lead you to believe that the old, mediocre “Monty” is making a comeback, but don’t abandon ship yet! There are signs that point to better days ahead for the third-year back.
First off, he is dominating the backfield touches in Chicago. Montgomery is Top 10 among all running backs in snap share, carries, and opportunity share. Even though he doesn’t have much receiving yardage to show for it, he remains involved in the passing game. Backup, Damien Williams was expected to be a threat to Montgomery’s volume, but he has been a non-factor for the most part. Montgomery has out-targeted Williams 8-to-3 over the last two weeks, with Williams not seeing a single carry in Week 3. According to Expand The Boxscore, Montgomery has racked up 42.3% of his team’s total yardage. That is the fifth-highest mark among all skill position players.
Obviously, the offense as a whole has some issues to work out (like getting rid of Head Coach Matt Nagy). If Montgomery maintains his current workload, the Bears only need to perform as an average offensive unit for him to repeat as a fantasy RB1. This week against the dreadful Detroit defense should be a “get right” game for them to find some momentum.
Typically, when a perennial Top 15 fantasy wide receiver gets a significant quarterback upgrade, it should be “wheels up” on elite WR1 production. So far, Robert Woods has been on the outside looking in while new LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has quickly latched onto Cooper Kupp as his favorite target. Kupp’s 33 targets are second-most in the league, dwarfing Woods’ 19 targets on the year. It seems like Kupp has separated himself as the clear alpha of the offense, but that does not mean we should give up on Woods being productive.
Woods’ current 20.4-percent target share is the lowest that he’s seen since joining the Rams in 2017. In the previous three seasons, he averaged a 23.5-percent target share. On the other hand, Kupp is currently sitting at a 35.5-percent target share which absolutely blows his career-high of 23.6-percent out of the water. These two are bound to see regression towards their usual rates, especially as defenses increase their focus on Kupp who looks unstoppable right now.
Kupp is a major beneficiary of Head Coach Sean McVay’s horizontal passing game which often schemes the primary slot receiver (Kupp) into wide-open looks, allowing him to do plenty of damage after the catch. He has struggled at times against man coverage, so I expect the Rams to start seeing more defenders playing close to the line of scrimmage and manning up the receivers. If this becomes the case, Woods could easily begin to shift the targets back into his favor, as he is the more complete receiver and can beat man coverage better than Kupp.
Fire Sale Player: This is a player who has little long-term fantasy appeal, so any spike in production or value (a good game or player in front of them gets injured, for example) look to move them immediately in a trade
Davis was a Dynasty Darling at one point last season. The fourth-round pick out of UCF had a knack for making flashy plays and catching touchdowns from Josh Allen as a rookie, which gained a lot of attention in fantasy circles. He has been an afterthought this season though – clearly behind Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, and even Dawson Knox.
We should have seen this coming, as he only had more than four catches once last season. His production was also propped up by an 11.3-percent touchdown rate (more than double the 5.37% average of all receivers with 60 or more targets in 2020). Any opportunity you get to use him as a trade piece should be taken. Some folks will hold out hope for a third-year breakout, but I wouldn’t bet on his profile.
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A hardcore St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan, Andrew found a passion for football via the St. Louis Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf”. He works in IT sales during the day, but much of his free time is spent obsessing over his Dynasty teams.