The 2023 season marches on. We are nearly a third of the way through and – as dynasty gamers know – the market changes fast. Player values shift dramatically with weekly performances, injuries, signings and trades. What were highly sought after assets in the offseason see their values go in the tank, and others with little to no value just a few short weeks ago are now soaring. It is time for an in-season check on players rising up the dynasty ranks after five weeks of play and those hemorrhaging value.
We want to keep a pulse on values in dynasty in order to move in the market and maximize value. Therefore, we are going to identify value shifts that present opportunities to execute transactions in dynasty. Injured players are obvious fallers, but just identifying hurt players like Nick Chubb and J.K. Dobbins whose futures are uncertain is not very helpful for decision-making in dynasty. Instead, we focus on players whose values have fallen due to other factors such as poor production or uncertainty in their team situations. For both risers and fallers, we also identify dynasty moves that can be made due to the value shifts.
Sam LaPorta stepped into an effective Lions offense as the No. 2 pass-catcher behind Amon-Ra St. Brown. LaPorta was reportedly one of Jared Goff‘s favorite targets in the pre-season. Goff has continued to look his way in the regular season. LaPorta trails St. Brown by only three targets (31 vs. 34) after five games (St. Brown missed Week 5). That renders LaPorta’s per-route Target Rate (26.2-percent, No. 4) on the level with St. Brown’s (29.7-percent). Jameson Williams joined the team in Week 5 and will take some targets, but LaPorta’s underlying metrics are strong, especially for a rookie tight end. He is No. 2 among all tight ends with 2.35 Yards Per Route Run and has accumulated 108 (No. 2) Yards After Catch.
T.J. Hockenson [2022, w/ the Lions]
+ 74% route share
+ 16.8% target share
+ 16.7% air yardage share
+ 1.97 YPRR
+ 10.9 XFP/G
+ 12.2 FPG
Sam LaPorta 
+ 70% route share
+ 19.5% target share
+ 19.9% air yardage share
+ 2.47 YPRR
+ 10.0 XFP/G
+ 14.4 FPG
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) October 10, 2023
The Move: Hold LaPorta. He is the TE1 thus far in his rookie season. He was an early second round pick in the NFL Draft with a 79th-percentile College Dominator Rating and has the ability to become the next great elite tight end. Those are difficult to replace.
De’Von Achane is just who we thought he was and probably worth whatever you can pay for him. All of our offseason dreams about him being turned loose in the spacious Dolphins’ offense have come true. Don’t overthink it – Achane has real life track speed and is running through monstrous gaps in Mike McDaniels’ motion-based scheme. Raheem Mostert is 31.5 years old, nearly ten years older than Achane, and the Dolphins’ offense is apparently capable of producing ten touchdowns in a game. As if it needed to get any better, Achane is No. 1 in Juke Rate (45.7-percent).
The Move: Buy in on Achane now, if you can. He is a league-winner, and an exciting asset for years to come in the Dolphins offense. He may just be acquirable since he suffered a knee injury in Week 5.
Nico Collins came into the league as a prototypical X receiver in the mold of Tee Higgins. He was a third-round pick out of Michigan in the 2021 Draft and was incorporated into the Texans offense in his rookie season. He posted solid Target Share (19.1-percent) and Target Rate (24.3-percent) numbers in 2022, his second season, as well as a 66.7-percent (No. 2) Contested Catch Rate. The Texans’ offense and quarterback play held him back. C.J. Stroud has unlocked Collins’ potential early this season. As the Alpha in Houston, he has made another jump in Target Share (20.8-percent) and Target Rate (26.7-percent) this season, and thus far has accumulated a screaming 3.57 Yards Per Route Run (No. 4).
The Move: If you have held Collins for the last year-plus, it’s quite possible he is your WR5 or WR6 in dynasty. Get younger and stock up on draft capital by trading Collins for Trey Palmer plus a first- or second rounder.
C.J. Stroud was, many times, the third quarterback taken in rookie drafts entering the 2023 season. He may just end up better than the others in his draft cohort, Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson. He has been thus far. Stroud has yet to throw an interception in the NFL and has averaged 292.2 yards per game in his first five starts. That is quite the start for the rookie. Stroud has been pushing the ball downfield, too. He is No. 3 in the league with 8.2 Adjusted Yards Per Attempt. He also has a True Passer Rating of 98.8, good for No. 9 among QBs.
On Sunday, Texans QB CJ Stroud will return to Mercedes Benz Stadium for the first time since December 31, 2022. In that game he went:
🔻34 rush yards
Against the undisputed best defense in the country. pic.twitter.com/2tGKk1AOzx
— andrew🍊Stroud ROTY (@Shitpost_Astros) October 7, 2023
The Move: Hold Stroud in Superflex, unless you can get a king’s ransom. Or tier down to Justin Fields and see if you can get an additional pick. Fields is a more volatile asset but has rushing upside. You could also add an asset to Stroud to get up to Joe Burrow, who is a more proven asset and has better weapons.
Jahan Dotson got off to a blazing start in his rookie season with seven touchdowns in 12 games. He was one of the off-season’s hottest trade targets, a second-year receiver who was getting a supposed upgrade in new OC Eric Bienemy and QB Sam Howell. Howell is a risk-taker – completing 12 Money Throws (No. 1) but has thrown 10 Interceptable Passes (six of which have been picked off). He has not been aggressive getting the ball downfield. Howell is No. 29 in Adjusted Yards Per Attempt at 5.0. He is also spreading the ball around to the short area targets, like his tight ends and slot receiver Curtis Samuel. Dotson is still second on the team in targets, but only 60-percent (No. 91) of the targets have been considered catchable through four games.
The Move: Buy low on Dotson. His value is tarnished due to his low production, but he carries round one draft capital and a nose for the end zone.
Coming into the season, Garrett Wilson was a top-5 WR in dynasty. That was largely based on his no longer having Zach Wilson as a quarterback. Garrett Wilson‘s production has been muted this season with Zach back under center. Wilson has not scored more than 16.30 fantasy points in any one contest this season, and there is not much confidence things will get better without a change at QB. For those reasons, Wilson is far more attainable than he was just six short weeks ago. He is winning on 57.5-percent (No. 7) of his routes. He just needs a QB who can get him the ball. Remember – when Joe Flacco and Mike White were the quarterbacks last season, Wilson averaged 11.4 targets, 72.8 receiving yards and had two two-touchdown games. With Zach Wilson last season, he averaged seven targets, 43.6 yards and did not score.
There is still some residual hype for Kyle Pitts although he is stuck in a miserly Falcons offense that is No. 29 in Pass Attempts Per Game. Pitts is surprisingly the top target-earner on the team with a whopping 32 targets in five games. Pitts has only 18 receptions, however, and 7.7 (No. 17) fantasy PPG. That’s because the targets are coming from Desmond Ridder and only about half (52.4-percent) of them are even catchable. Jonnu Smith has five less targets than Pitts, on fewer snaps, but has 21 catches and 8.7 (No. 13) fantasy PPG. What is happening? As long as Arthur Smith is in Atlanta and they are playing with replacement-level talent at QB, Pitts is not even startable.
Looking at target share, route participation, aDot, pass block %, air yards, and WR route %, these tight ends are top 10 in…
— Andrew Cooper (@CoopAFiasco) October 10, 2023
The Move: There are still Pitts truthers out there, especially since he “broke out” in Week 5 with seven catches for 87 yards. Try to sell Pitts for a tight end who will produce this season and/or accrue value in the years to come. You may still be able to add an asset to Pitts to acquire Travis Kelce from a rebuilding team, or trade Pitts for Dalton Kincaid-plus, Sam LaPorta, or Luke Musgrave-plus, plus.
In just five short weeks of action, the dynasty markets are moving. We gain leverage in dynasty by paying attention to the value shifts and making moves as values rise and fall. We can buy into some of the depreciating assets and accrue value for future seasons or even later this season. Garrett Wilson could still be a league-winner this season, for example. We can also maximize value by selling high on some of the assets whose values are peaking. Dynasty Risers and Fallers will come out monthly during the season and we will check in on these and more player values.