The NFL’s regular season is rapidly drawing to a close. In addition, unless your league wants to test the limits of sanity, the fantasy season is in the books. If you won the title, take a few days to bask in the glory. If you didn’t, the plans for 2022 are likely already in the books. Each week we learn a bit more about the players and their future, but it’s what we do with that information that counts. That’s why the Stock Watch is here!
As will be the case throughout the season, each week I’ll be taking stock of what we’ve learned. I’ll be offering one player per position—QB, RB and WR—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 important to pounce at the right time. So, without further ado, here’s Week 17 of the Dynasty Stock Watch.
Stock Up: Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
About: Jimmy Garoppolo has had a great 2021 campaign, to the point where it was fair to start getting concerned about No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance. Thanks to Jimmy’s thumb injury, Lance got a chance to impress on Sunday, and he did. Lance went 16-for-23 for 249 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, rushing for 31 yards on eight carries. He currently sits as QB10, assured of a Top 12 finish this week. In his first start, Lance seemed to be little more than a running back that sometimes passed. In this start, he got to make some throws and took advantage, giving a glimpse into the future for San Francisco and bringing some late season hope to those who drafted Lance high in rookie drafts this year.
Stock Down: Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team
About: Around the mid-point of the season, I thought Heinicke had played well enough that he’d get a chance to be THE Guy in 2022. Washington was looking solid and seemed to be tracking toward the playoffs. The team is now 6-9 and out of the running. Heinicke has been fine, throwing for 3,299 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. While he’s certainly a quality backup capable of starting, it seems clear Washington will look elsewhere for a new face of the franchise in 2021.
Stock Up: Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
About: It appears the Bills might have found their running back. After spending most of the year in a slog with Singletary, Zack Moss, and Matt Breida alternating carries, Singletary has taken the lead and done it in style. He’s seen at least 12 carries in the past three games, rushing for 235 yards and four touchdowns. Is it short-lived? Perhaps. But Singletary seems to have taken a firm lead in the current group. It’s worth watching this off-season to see if the Bills make a move, but Singletary has emerged from 2021 looking like the best bet of the Bills’ backs.
Stock Down: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
About: We’ve seen Zeke’s production dip over the past few years but seeing nine carries for 16 yards and one reception for 14 yards in a crucial December matchup should have managers pressing the panic button. He still has some name value, if you can move him for something, I’d do it now. The Cowboys have been great this season but Zeke hasn’t been the reason why, which doesn’t bode well for an aging back on an expensive contract.
Stock Up: Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
About: The Bears have plenty of questions heading into the 2022 season, but it seems they might have found their future at receiver in Mooney. Allen Robinson is playing on the Franchise Tag and after an under-whelming 2021 season, he’s likely headed elsewhere. But Mooney has built on a strong rookie campaign, seeing 124 targets and catching 69 passes for 929 yards and four touchdowns. This has come despite erratic quarterback play and a middling offense. Hopefully both those aspects improve in 2022, and if they do Mooney could be poised for a huge Year 3.
Stock Down: Antonio Brown, Free Agent
About: Perhaps you saw Brown’s exit from the Buccaneers’ game with the New York Jets on Sunday, which also proved to be his exit from the team. No one has ever doubted Brown’s talent on the field, but his increasing erratic behavior and antics have made the cost too high. I echo Tom Brady’s sentiments in hoping that Brown gets the help he needs. But I see no reason to keep him on my dynasty roster.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL Fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can see more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.