Fantasy Football Shark Tank: Episode 2

by Matty Kiwoom · Dynasty Leagues

Welcome to the latest and greatest arena where fantasy football takes thrive or die. A place where fantasy football propositions can gain validity or be thrown by the wayside. This is the first installment of the Fantasy Football Shark Tank.

The NFL Combine has come and gone. Some rookies saw their stock rise and others were not so fortunate. Episode two will feature fantasy football takes that involve members of the 2022 rookie class. Has a running back catapulted himself into top 10 dynasty consideration? Did a wide receiver perform so well that he is now a Day One pick in the NFL Draft? Welcome to the Fantasy Football Shark Tank.

Take No. 1 – Christian Watson is a First Round NFL Draft Pick

Small School Athlete

Coming out of North Dakota State, Christian Watson was not initially thought to be a top wideout prospect in the 2022 class. He played all four years at NDSU and did not have impressive surface statistics. His highest reception total was 43 and he never surpassed 1,000 receiving yards. Throw all of that out of the dang window. The wideout is a baller and he is a perfect example why surface stats are not the end all be all. 

Taking a look under the hood, Watson pops in multiple metrics. He has a 44.0-percent (90th-percentile among qualified wide receivers) College Dominator Rating, aided by his 18.6 (88th-percentile) College YPR. The NDSU offense was not a pass happy attack. Which explains why he did not rack up the stats. His 58 targets accounted for 42-percent of his team’s total. He was the only wideout in college football to record a 40.0-percent or higher College Dominator rating with a 40.0-percent or more College Target Share. He’s a far better player than his surface stats initially suggest.

Combine Performance

By now the fantasy football world knows that Christian Watson dominated the Senior Bowl practice week. And now with the NFL Combine in the rear view mirror, the wide receiver’s draft stock is still on the rise. Watson has officially been listed at 6-4 and 208-pounds. Close to his NDSU measurements, and a massive positive in the eyes of NFL talent evaluators. When the lights came on, Watson performed. With scouts, executives, and Cody Carpentier watching, he proved that he was an incredible athlete. In short, he melted faces.

Christian Watson Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

There isn’t much left for Watson to prove this draft season. He looked great at the Senior Bowl and his workout metrics were off the charts. The dynamic playmaker can be a Deebo Samuel lite in the NFL. Perhaps an “athletic Cooper Kupp?” He will get first round draft capital in the 2022 NFL Draft. And fantasy football team builders better plan accordingly.

To The Fantasy Football Shark Tank

There haven’t been many players who have seen their draft stock value rise as much as the North Dakota State Bison has. His performance at the NFL Combine provided more helium, causing his value to go up even more. Cody Carpentier talked about his play in Mobile.

Cody: Christian Watson really showed out at the Senior Bowl. 6-4, 211-pounds with blazing speed, he was the biggest riser at the position.”

There have been 11 wideouts selected in round number one over the past two drafts. Many NFL mock drafts have as many as six going in round one this year, including PlayerProfiler’s. According to the NFL Draft Index, there is a good chance six receivers go on day one. Watson is currently ranked as the WR7 in the 2022 rookie class. Can he leapfrog one wide out in the eyes of an NFL franchise? I’d say yes.

Investing confidence in this take is a no brainer but I can’t go all in. 85-percent Confidence.

Take No. 2 – Kenneth Walker is a Top 12 Dynasty RB

Dominant 2021 Season

The Michigan State running back put together a phenomenal 2021 campaign. Kenneth Walker finished his junior season with 263 rush attempts for 1,636 rushing yards, and added 19 total tuddies. His 1,636 rushing yards was the second-highest total in the nation. In 66-percent of his games played, the Spartan ran for 125 yards or more. Against ranked opponents KWIII averaged 131.3 rushing yards and two touchdowns. That includes a 25 yard, zero TD performance against OSU. Kid was dominant.

Speaking of dominance, Walker finished 2021 with a 50.2-percent (99th-percentile) College Dominator Rating. That mark is the best in the 2022 class by 6.3-percent. He also accounted for 75 MSU first downs, fifth-highest in the NCAA. And it continues to highlight his ability to perform at a high level. Walker destroyed college football this past year and will do it in the NFL as well. 

Combine Performance

Kenneth Walker showed up in Indy and did not disappoint. He weighed over 200-pounds and is in the 75th-percentile for BMI. His workout metrics were encouraging. The tailback ran a 4.38 (98th-percentile) 40-yard dash, tied for the second-fastest time from the running back position. He posted a 114.7 (96th-percentile) Speed Score. Productive 2021 season, check. Good showing at the Combine, check. The Michigan State tailback is built like a slightly taller D’Andre Swift

Kenneth Walker Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile w/ College Stats

All that is left for Walker is his Pro Day and the NFL Draft. Once he performs the 3-cone drill and the shuttle at the MSU Pro Day, we will get a clearer player comp. And when the back gets day one or two draft capital, he will be locked in as a top 12 running back in dynasty

To The Fantasy Football Shark Tank

Kenneth Walker could very well be the number one running back selected this April. He checks the boxes to be a successful back at the pro level. His one glaring red flag is his pass-catching ability.

The tailback recorded 19 receptions throughout his entire career. In 2021, he saw a 5.0-percent Target Share. Having low receiving totals are not a death note on his ability to perform in the pass game at the next level, but it is a concern. 

Currently, Walker is the No. 17 running back in dynasty according to PlayerProfiler’s Dynasty Deluxe rankings. (Dynasty Deluxe is unquestionably the BEST dynasty football tool in the universe). Moving Walker all the way up to 12 would not be an easy task. Travis Etienne and Saquon Barkley rank No. 12 and No. 13, respectively. He should not be taken over either of those players.

For that reason… I’m OUT!

Wrap Up

Christian Watson has exceeded all expectations so far this draft season. He put himself on the map by killing the Senior Bowl. The wide receiver further elevated his stock value with his excellent performance at the NFL Combine. If the NFL continues the current trend of taking five or six wide receivers in round one, Watson could very well end up being one of them. 

Kenneth Walker proved that he is a stud running back prospect. He racked up over 1,600 rushing yards in his only season at Michigan State. But listing him as a top 12 running back in dynasty is too tall of an order. Can he get there? Sure, but right now…no way. 

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