One week into the NFL season, there are already names we can discuss when it comes to players that have increased and decreased their value. In a world of overreactions, there is always the chance that another fantasy football manager fears a player that struggled in Week 1 will continue to play poorly.
When opportunity comes knocking, we have to answer. Let’s keep our heads level, our ears open, and take a look at some of the risers and fallers from Week 1 of the NFL season. There may be some opportunities to buy low and sell high already this year.
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Dynasty Risers After Week 1
Romeo Doubs, WR, Green Bay Packers
Even though WR Romeo Doubs was on a snap limit in Week 1, he was able to have a strong Sunday for the Green Bay Packers. The second-year receiver caught four of five passes for 26 yards and two touchdowns against the division rival Chicago Bears.
Doubs’ impact was extra beneficial to the Packers with Christian Watson out for the game with a hamstring injury. Doubs seemed to have a strong connection with his new quarterback, Jordan Love, and that chemistry could build into more success in the future.
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Doubs was hobbled with injuries throughout his rookie season and he wasn’t able to make a significant impact. But in six games where the wide receiver saw 80% or more of the Packers snaps, he finished with 232 yards and three touchdowns.
With the Packers’ targets wide open for the taking in this offense, this was a promising start to the year for Doubs. If you are a Doubs owner, you can only hope this progress will continue and turn Doubs into a consistent starter for your fantasy team as 2023 rolls on. Having a 23-year-old wide receiver that is heavily involved in his team’s offense is always a good thing.
Rashid Shaheed, WR, New Orleans Saints
Second-year wide receiver Rashid Shaheed had an up-and-down 2022 campaign. But with turnover in New Orleans, Shaheed came into Year 2 with the opportunity to have an impact and build chemistry with his new quarterback, Derek Carr.
And in Week 1, he did just that. Shaheed was able to haul in five catches on six targets for 89 yards and a touchdown in the New Orleans Saints’ opening win over the Tennessee Titans. The touchdown was the only non-field goal of the game and ended up being the difference in a close contest.
Shaheed being targeted six times and finding pay dirt is great news for his owners. While the Saints still have Chris Olave and Michael Thomas rostered, Shaheed was a significant part of the Saints’ offensive output. If he continues to see targets, he could be a reliable player for fantasy managers in 2023.
Still at 25 years old, Shaheed’s stock is on the rise in fantasy leagues. If he can reproduce this showing in Week 2, he will become a sought-after asset in all of your leagues. Shaheed’s stock is trending up.
Dynasty Fallers After Week 1
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
There is no easy way to deal with this one. J.K. Dobbins, one of the most promising running backs in the 2020 NFL Draft class, has been hobbled with injuries ever since joining the league. And just when it seemed that Dobbins would finally be able to break out as he entered the season fully healthy, the fourth-year back tore his Achilles tendon in the Baltimore Ravens’ Week 1 win over the Houston Texans.
This is really unfortunate news for Dobbins’ managers who have hit another roadblock with the running back. With Dobbins missing the rest of the season, he will have missed 43 of the Ravens’ 67 regular season games at the end of the 2023 campaign.
In dynasty, health plays a major factor in your players’ long-term value. If a player is injury prone, other managers will want nothing to do with them. Dobbins’ stock, which seemed like it was leveling back out heading into this year, is now falling to an all-time low. And with the back turning 25 in December, it is a long shot that his value will ever return to anywhere near where it was entering this season.
Dobbins will have to rehabilitate and come back strong in 2024 (and prove he can stay healthy) before his stock will rise again. But this could be the end of the back having significant dynasty value in his career.
Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Somehow in a win, the Baltimore Ravens ended up with two players on our list of dynasty fallers. Third-year receiver Rashod Bateman has been another Raven that has never been able to get everything to fully click. Like Dobbins, Bateman has been hobbled by injuries his whole career.
While there are still some big-time Bateman fans out there, each passing day causes more of them to give up the fight. And Sunday’s contest may have had a few more managers turn in their fan club card.
Bateman was only in on 39% of the Ravens’ offensive snaps in Week 1. He saw three targets, catching all of them for 35 yards. But it was, once again, a low scoring effort from him.
Meanwhile, rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers was all the buzz in Baltimore. His NFL debut saw 10 targets go his way. Flowers was able to catch nine of these passes for 78 yards. He played 84% of the Ravens’ offensive snaps.
The reality is there’s a new weapon in Baltimore and Lamar Jackson is going to utilize it. Bateman has been coming back slowly from a foot injury from a season ago that may have limited his time on Sunday. But seeing only 39% of the Ravens’ snaps and getting only three targets (while star tight end Mark Andrews wasn’t even playing) does not bode well for the third-year pro.
Bateman will need to have some significant usage and will need to stay on the field this year for his stock to rise in dynasty. This was not a good start to 2023 being that year.
Dynasty Buy Low Trade Targets
Christian Kirk, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars were able to fight for a road victory against the division rival Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Trevor Lawrence was 24 for 32 with 241 yards and two touchdowns in the contest. Unfortunately for Christian Kirk, only three of those 32 passes came his way.
Lawrence targeted Calvin Ridley 11 times in the contest and Zay Jones seven times. In fact, Kirk had only the fifth-highest target share on the team, also behind Evan Engram and Travis Etienne. But that is why there is an opportunity to buy low now.
Kirk is still only 26 years old and is on a great offense in Jacksonville. He also has a giant contract that will keep him in Duval through 2025.
On top of this, Kirk had a ton of success a season ago with Lawrence. He was sneakily the WR11 on the season in standard and 0.5 PPR leagues (WR12 in full PPR). He has great chemistry with Lawrence and has an opportunity to produce while in Jacksonville.
Coming into the year, Kirk was already valued much lower than his finish in 2022. With a slow Week 1, his managers may want to move the wide receiver before his value dips. Seeing Ridley as the main Jaguars target may have them panic selling. And I will be buying the dip where I can.
DJ Moore, WR, Chicago Bears
It was all ugly in Chicago on Sunday. Another Chicago Bears loss to the hands of the rival Green Bay Packers. Another offensive performance to forget about.
But this time it was supposed to be different. Justin Fields had a new weapon in his offense in DJ Moore. And he was supposed to be the key to unlocking Fields in Year 3.
Yet, Moore was only targeted twice in the Bears 38-20 loss. He caught both passes for 25 yards.
Justin Fields threw the ball 37 times, yet Moore only saw two of those passes. He was well covered by the Packers’ defense, but his targets will need to change for the Bears to find any success in 2023. The team knows that Moore is going to be an essential part of their offense and they can’t afford to waste his talents.
Moore is still only 26 years old. In his first five seasons, he had three in which he eclipsed 1,200 yards from scrimmage. He is an offensive weapon and has the ability to score fantasy points. But his managers may be getting tired of waiting for his big games to come.
Having a tough first game in Chicago and playing for an offense that is not known for fantasy producers has Moore’s stock dropping. But I am buying in. He has several top-20 WR seasons to his name. And he will absolutely get more involved in Chicago as the season moves along.
I’d be trying to buy DJM for pennies on the dollar while I can.
Dynasty Sell High Trade Targets
Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Your rookie wide receiver has 15 targets and 10 catches in his first NFL game, and I am telling you to sell? Yes, if the price is right.
Puka Nacua was the biggest beneficiary of Cooper Kupp missing the Los Angeles Rams’ season-opening win against the Seattle Seahawks. Matthew Stafford targeted Nacua like he does Kupp and the receiver was able to rack up 119 yards receiving on the day.
So, why should you sell a rookie with a huge game like this? Basically, it comes down to probability. Nacua was a relatively unknown player on an offense full of weak passing options. Catching 10 passes is fantastic, but Puka would never have seen a target share this high if Kupp were playing. Opposing defensive coordinators will have a game plan for the rookie moving forward.
Nacua was a fifth-round pick and the 20th wide receiver selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. His debut was great, but it is extremely rare for receivers drafted where Nacua was to have exceptional careers. For every Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs, there are thirty “who’s that guy?” wide receivers.
Nacua has gone from being undrafted in a great number of dynasty rookie drafts leading into the season to being a player you could move to acquire a future second-round pick. This happened overnight.
The story is fun and you can dream that you hit the jackpot with little investment. But the reality is that things can come back down to Earth very quickly if Nacua is targeted like a typical fifth-round pick. I would move him if you can get a solid return now; especially before Kupp returns this season.
Find that over-aggressive manager and see what they think about the rookie. You may end up with some nice draft capital next year for a player that only flashed in Week 1.