Dynasty Stock Watch: Fantasy News to Monitor (March 29)


Welcome to the Dynasty Stock Watch, a weekly article where I address the changes in the dynasty fantasy football landscape. This will help managers stay current on the most recent headlines, while also allowing us to look at player and team trends to stay ahead of the curve.        


Elijah Moore Trade 

Last offseason, the big question was whether it will be Elijah Moore or Garrett Wilson as the Jets’ top wide receiver. We got our answer quickly, with Moore taking a backseat — Moore didn’t out-target Wilson for the first time until the Jets’ 10th game last year (and only 4-3 then), with Wilson having 33 targets to Moore’s 21 through the first three weeks. This was a bit surprising, as Moore was coming off a reasonably impressive rookie year where he caught 43 of 77 targets for 538 yards and 5 scores (with 5 rushing attempts to boot) despite battling injuries. His 1.75 yards per route run and 5 missed tackles were not overly impressive, but his 204 yards after the catch were promising. Moore had an impressive five-week span as a fantasy asset in Weeks 10-14 of his rookie year where he produced high-quality numbers, with 100.3 of his 138.2 PPR points coming in this span. 2022 was a complete dud, as he only averaged a mere 5.5 PPR points a week and only topped 10 points twice, in Week 12 (when he scored his only touchdown of the season) and Week 14.

After a March trade, Moore is now on the Browns and set to have a more significant role in an offense. We can hope to see something similar to that five-week span as a rookie. Last season, the Browns did see a dip from 33 pass attempts per game to 28 when Deshaun Watson took over in Week 13, but this offseason they have been vocal about transitioning to a more pass-heavy attack. The move to bring in Moore only helps reinforce that point. He will slot in as the secondary receiver behind Amari Cooper and should garner a significant target share and potentially quality fantasy production. Moore has a chance to revive his fantasy stock for his managers. I would not be looking to sell but rather hold him in the hope we get that high-end potential he flashed.

Could Damien Harris Be the 2023 Jamaal Williams? 

Damien Harris to Buffalo is a potentially juicy signing. Few running backs improved their fantasy stock in free agency, but Harris’ landing spot could be a home run. The Bills have been lacking a runner with physicality (other than Josh Allen) for a while now. In his time in New England, Harris topped 2,300 scrimmage yards and 20 rushing touchdowns with his physical running. He has over 1,300 career yards after contract and 68 forced missed tackles. Harris is also only one year removed from an impressive 15-touchdown campaign. That’s almost certainly an outlier year, but Harris is set up for red-zone success in the explosive Bills offense.

In Buffalo, Harris will split attempts with potential second-year breakout running back James Cook, but Harris will still have standalone value. There is a chance we see both Harris and Cook finish as top-24 running backs in 2023 if the Bills do shift away from running the ball with Josh Allen as often — something they have been hinting at a few years now. This will be key around the goal line, where Allen saw 12 attempts in 2022. Harris only saw 4 such attempts in New England but converted on 3 of them, per the FTN Stats Hub. Harris has battled injuries throughout his career, missing 30 games in four years and never playing a full season. So health will be a huge factor in his success, but if he is healthy, there’s a chance Harris becomes a touchdown monster much like Jamaal Williams in 2022. I’m buying into Harris for the right price. Just don’t overpay, as this is just a one-year deal that is unlikely to be renewed. 


DJ Chark/Adam Thielen the New 1-2 in Carolina 

The Panthers just keep adding playmakers to the offense to aid their incoming rookie quarterback. The latest two are DJ Chark and Adam Thielen. Thielen was recently released from Minnesota after his second straight season of decline. He produced the lowest yards per reception of his career (10.2), and his 716 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns were his lowest since his injury-plagued 2019 when he only played 10 games. The advanced stats get even worse — he set career lows in yards per route run (1.08) and yards after the catch per reception (2.3). Even with all that, though, he is an upgrade for this wide receiver group and likely slots in as their third option behind Chark and Terrace Marshall. That should give Thielen some fantasy value as a streaming option, albeit an unexciting one. 

Adam Thielen Fantasy Football Dynasty Stock Watch

DJ Chark is coming off a solid bounceback campaign after his 2021 ankle injury, posted 502 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns in 11 games for the Lions. He had his best season on contested catches, pulling down 50% of his contested targets. Goff averaged a 103.6 passer rating when targeting Chark, the second-best mark of Chark’s career behind 108.4 in his Pro Bowl season of 2019. With a lackluster supporting cast in Carolina, it is likely Chark is relied on heavily, leading to a ton of opportunity. The biggest question will be can Chark return to his 2019 form where he posted his only 1,000-yard season, or whether we get the Chark of late that has fallen short as a fantasy asset. That makes him a buyer-beware asset this offseason — the reward could be huge, but it’s just as likely the floor drops out on you. 

JuJu a Patriot

In his first (and only) year in Kansas City, JuJu Smith-Schuster was a quality fantasy starter most weeks, finishing with seven weeks over 10 PPR points and averaging over 11 points per game. He topped 100 targets for the third time in his six seasons and had 933 yards, his career best outside of his 1,426-yard 2018. On the flip side, Smith-Schuster continued to struggle to find the end zone for the second straight year, with a mere three scores, less than impressive in an explosive Chiefs offense. He saw 371 snaps (57.9%) on the perimeter, the first time in his career he’s been outside the majority of the time—his previous high was 39.8% in his rookie year of 2017. As a result, his 1.68 yards per route run was his highest since 2018, and he produced 488 yards after the catch.

With the move to New England, he joins a far less explosive offense that only threw the ball 57.75% of the time last year, 17th in the NFL (the Chiefs were eighth at 61.48%). They also ranked bottom 15 in the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2022. Neither of these is great news for a player who has struggled to find the end zone. It is likely he slides into the Jakobi Meyers void and is a semi-weekly starter for your fantasy team based on matchups.

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