Week 13 is in the books, which means that we’re at a crossroads for fantasy players. Some are looking toward the playoffs. A select few are doing what’s needed to get the title. But at least half, maybe more, are looking toward the next season, especially in dynasty. This is a crucial part of the season as you evaluate your roster and look for stashes. As we head down the stretch of the regular season, I will be more focused in this space on stashes and values. We’re in it for the long haul, which means thinking ahead strategically.
As will be the case throughout the season, I’ll be taking stock of what we’ve learned each week. I’ll be offering one player per position—QB, RB, WR, and TE—who improved their stock, and one who saw their stock slip. For those trying to win now and those playing the long game, it’s crucial to pounce at the right time. So, without further ado, here’s Week 13 of the Dynasty Stock Watch.
Stock Up: Gardner Minshew, Philadelphia Eagles
About: This isn’t a dig at Jalen Hurts. I’ll admit Hurts has looked better than I thought, and I’ve come around to the idea he should get another season as the starter to prove himself. This is a recognition that the quarterback position is a struggle, and Minshew is still a player that looks like he’s worth a shot. He stepped in for an injured Hurts on Sunday and thrived. It was the Jets, but Minshew looked good, reminding folks of why people were high on him once upon a time. He finished 20-for-25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns. More than a few teams need to consider the quarterback position this off-season, and not everyone will get a player in the draft. Veteran options like Minshew will be in demand…somewhere. He’s worth a stash.
Stock Down: Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos
About: This isn’t about me being a bitter Broncos fan. Well, it’s not just about me being a bitter Broncos fan. Teddy is having a career year, and despite that, his team isn’t good enough. He’s not using the players around him, and the Broncos can’t win big games. We saw this last year in Carolina, too. At this point, Bridgewater is a solid veteran backup, a player that can come in and be serviceable in short stretches. He’s not a starter. Teams will view him accordingly this off-season, and it’s time for fantasy players to moderate expectations, too.
Stock Up: Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
About: There was plenty of excitement about the rookie from North Carolina heading into the draft. Williams’ landing spot was appealing, too, but it was a question of touches with veteran Melvin Gordon in town. Gordon is in the final year of a contract, and we got to see what life without Melvin might be like Sunday night. Despite a tough matchup and little passing production, Williams rushed for 102 yards on 23 carries and caught six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. He looks like a three-down rushing threat and one of the best finds from the 2021 Rookie Draft. Your buy window has likely slammed shut.
Stock Down: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
About: I’m not a hater, but it’s time to get honest about Zeke. My podcast partner advocated selling a couple of seasons back, and if you haven’t yet, now might be the time. Zeke hasn’t been terrible, but he’s often looked like the second-best running back on his team. Maybe it’s the nagging injuries, maybe it’s the advanced mileage, but he’s not the same dominant player he once was. Touchdowns are helping prop up his value in 2021, but he’s only had two games with 100 yards this season and only three with 75 yards or more. That’s not a good sign. His yards per game have slipped to less than 64; the fifth straight year, his yards per game has declined. It’s time to maximize return while you can.
Stock Up: Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: Someone on Twitter mused about why A.J. Brown is always ranked so much higher in dynasty than Johnson. My first thought was that he had drop issues last year and seemed to have a few roadblocks on his team, including receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, who led the Steelers in receptions and yardage in 2020. With Juju out, Johnson has thrived this year despite a middling pass offense. The Steelers have a big question about quarterback moving forward, but there is no question Johnson is a premier weapon. He has 120 targets, catching 76 passes for 914 yards and six touchdowns already. And that’s having missed a game. Johnson is tracking for career highs in targets, receptions, yardage, and touchdowns, increasing his yards per game and catch percentage over last year. He deserves to be regarded as a top dynasty receiver.
Stock Down: Corey Davis, New York Jets
About: Davis signed a big free-agent contract with the Jets and has been OK at times, but it doesn’t appear as if he’s going to take the leap. While Elijah Moore continues to gain traction in the offense and with rookie Zach Wilson, Davis is out of the lineup. Now he’s out for the rest of the year with an injury requiring season-ending surgery. He concludes his first season with the Jets having seen 59 targets, catching 34 for 492 yards and four touchdowns. He was limited to nine games. Those hoping he might take the leap and by THE guy in New York need to moderate expectations.
Stock Up: Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings
About: We’ve seen Conklin have some good games this season, and now with Adam Thielen ailing, he seems in a prime position to end the season strong and gain traction heading into 2022. Conklin is TE15 on the season, ahead of names like Noah Fant, Cole Kmet, and Tyler Higbee. I like him as a potential stash and a guy that could have a sneaky role in 2022 despite the presence of Irv Smith, Jr.
Stock Down: Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys
About: Hope has sprung eternal for Jarwin for a few years, but if it happens, it won’t be with Dallas. Dalton Schultz filled in admirably in 2020 and has developed into a Top 12 option at tight end in 2021. Meanwhile, Jarwin has seen 15 targets, catching 10 for 90 yards and two touchdowns. At this point, I’m not even sure he should be rostered unless TE handcuffs are a thing.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. For more from him, check him out on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.