We are through two weeks of the 2023 regular season. We have seen surprises, disappointments, and everything in-between in our dynasty fantasy football leagues.
Every week, it is great practice to keep an eye on whose stock is rising and falling in dynasty leagues. Buy-low and sell-high opportunities come all the time, and understanding a player’s current perceived worth is essential for managers.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some risers, fallers, and players that could be involved in trades after Week 2.
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Dynasty Risers After Week 2
Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams
A week ago, I had wide receiver Puka Nacua as a “sell high” in dynasty football. One week later, his value has only risen further.
While his NFL debut was a phenomenal 10 catch, 119-yard performance, Nacua was able to set NFL records in Week 2. Nacua totaled 147 yards on 15 catches, a record number of grabs for any rookie in NFL history. Nacua also became the record holder for most catches in the first two NFL games of a player’s career with 25. This is no fluke anymore.
Nacua has been targeted 35 times in two games. Cooper Kupp has never seen 35 targets in two games. Antonio Brown saw this many targets in a two-game stretch just once in his career (37 targets in 2015).
While we may have been able to chalk up the first week of Nacua’s career as a great performance based on opportunity alone, Week 2 shows us this was not all chance. There is a serious connection between Nacua and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Even when Kupp returns to the offense, Nacua seems to have a role set for the Rams. His value has only gone up higher in Week 2, something many of us were not expecting.
If Nacua continues to perform the way he is now, he will be one of the biggest surprises in dynasty football history. Until we see different, Nacua continues to be a riser on our dynasty lists. The question is how high this rise will go and if the shoe is going to drop.
Dynasty Fallers After Week 2
Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans
In 13 games started in his rookie season, Dameon Pierce had 939 rushing yards, 165 receiving yards, and five total touchdowns. He was a breakout running back right away in the NFL and seen as an asset for many dynasty managers.
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But the 2023 season has not looked the same for Pierce. In Week 1, Pierce saw 11 carries for 38 yards. He added two receptions for nine yards. Many chalked this up to Pierce facing a tough Baltimore Ravens defense to begin the year.
But in Week 2, Pierce carried the ball 15 times for only 31 yards against an average Indianapolis Colts run defense. With only 69 rushing yards and 13 receiving yards in two games, Pierce is one of the biggest disappointments so far in 2023. His average yards per carry is 2.65 yards, and he has only been in on 46% of the Texans’ offensive snaps.
Pierce went from being the bell cow in a young offense to being a running back splitting carries in Houston. And the carries Pierce is receiving result in inefficient outcomes. His stock has dwindled significantly in just two weeks of his sophomore campaign.
Until he turns things around with a strong performance and good efficiency numbers, Pierce is a player that is falling down dynasty rankings. It will be hard for his stock to return to where it was at the end of 2022 if his play doesn’t shift dramatically and quickly.
Dynasty Buy Low Trade Targets
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Any savvy dynasty manager will not be looking to move Ja’Marrr Chase after two lackluster weeks in the 2023 season. But there are always a few managers out there that try to sell at the first sign of trouble. If that panic button has been pushed, it is time to capitalize.
Chase is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, even though this season has started slowly. He is arguably a top-three dynasty asset in non-Superflex or 2QB formats. While the start of the year has been rough, Chase is not a player I would ever avoid acquiring. His talent is off the charts. Players of his caliber do not come along all that often.
With a slow start to the season, it can’t hurt to kick the tires and see what a fantasy manager wants in return for Chase. The manager likely has a team that has struggled the first few weeks of the year with Chase in their lineup. If they are looking to sell off the wide receiver, you could offer a series of picks and young prospects to land the superstar.
Chase is not an asset that should be able to be acquired very easily. The low point for him will not last long. If you want to try to make a stab at acquiring one of the best assets in dynasty, the time to strike is now. The talks may go nowhere, but it never hurts to try.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
2023 has started very slowly for Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs, who missed most of training camp and the preseason due to contract negotiations, has only rushed for 46 yards in the first two games of the 2023 season.
But one thing that has me interested in Jacobs is his use in the passing game. While he has only had seven receptions so far this year, he has totaled 74 receiving yards. These numbers encourage me to think that Jacobs will continue to be involved catching the ball in the Raiders’ offense. The rushing yards will come. And if they are coupled with receiving yards, Jacobs could have another stellar fantasy season.
While the rushing totals are low for the start of the year, Jacobs is not completely foreign to starting off slowly in the NFL season. While 15.5 fantasy points (0.5 PPR) in two games isn’t exciting, Jacobs had only 16.4 points through two games in 2022. And then he went on to score 301.8 total points on the year, good enough to finish RB3 on the year.
Couple this with the fact that Jacobs missed most of the preparation time going into the year, and you can understand that there is plenty of upside for Jacobs. I am betting on the running back (who is still 25) to continue to breakout as the season progresses and to be a reliable asset in the late season and fantasy playoffs. For this reason, I am buying him while his value is down.
Dynasty Sell High Trade Targets
Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons
I have some serious concerns when it comes to Drake London and the Atlanta Falcons’ offense. The first week of the 2023 season saw London only getting one target in a Falcons win over the Carolina Panthers.
Week 2 was an increase in volume with London getting targeted seven times. He turned that into six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.
While London is only in his second year in the league and had a good second week of the 2023 season, the Falcons do not seem committed to feeding targets London’s way. The Falcons’ offense is littered with talent; namely running back Bijan Robinson and tight end Kyle Pitts.
Head coach Arthur Smith has never committed to focusing on one player in his offense. The team spreads out the ball evenly and works to manage the clock in their offensive game plans.
While London is coming off a solid Week 2, I am going to put him on the trade block in the leagues where I have him. If another manager is willing to pay up for London, I am at the point where I would move away from him to gain pick stock and youth.
London still carries a big name and high fantasy value. I am willing to get off this roller coaster now before the next hill on this ride. London is too volatile of an asset for me to feel comfortable about his value moving forward. If I can sell him now at a higher value, I am willing to do so.
Kyren Williams, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Kyren Williams has had a fantastic start to the 2023 season. In two games, he has totaled 104 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards, and four total touchdowns.
And now rumors are swirling that the Los Angeles Rams are looking to trade away running back Cam Akers, who was believed to be their starter entering the year. This would seemingly leave the backfield wide open for Williams to take over.
But my concern with Williams is the team that he is rostered on. The Rams have not had a consistent starting running back for several years. Their offense, led by head coach Sean McVay, has always been focused on the passing game first. With Matthew Stafford throwing to Kupp and rookie breakout Nacua, the Rams will always have a large amount of stress in the passing game.
Williams seems like he could be the starting back for the Rams for some time. But it is always hard to tell in this offense. Williams came out of nowhere this year as a second-year running back. I’m not completely convinced this is his job for the long haul. It may just be his until another option presents itself.
Coming off an enormous game where he had 100 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, many managers would likely have interest in Williams. I will try and sell him while his value is high, believing that it will come back down to earth in the coming weeks. Who knows — Williams could be the next starting running back for the Rams for the foreseeable future. But I just believe that his value is near a peak right now.