The fantasy football season is rapidly passing us by. We’re in the final stretch of the year, which means it’s time to look in the mirror about your season with a critical eye. Dynasty managers especially need to know when to buy or sell.
It was a big week for playmakers across the board. Several running backs, in particular, are popping at the right time of the year, so be aggressive with your convictions.
Dynasty Risers After Week 12
Kyren Williams, RB, Los Angeles Rams
He won’t win the MVP, but Kyren Williams has proved himself to be the lead back for the Los Angeles Rams franchise for the coming years. Before missing four games with an ankle injury, Williams had four top-nine finishes in six games. Immediately upon his return, Williams finished as RB1 for the first time this season.
Williams’ impact on the Rams’ rushing game can’t be understated. When he’s on the field, his success rate surpasses the rest of the team by 10%, proving his vision and contact balance are difference-making qualities compared to replacement-level backs. Sean McVay has no reason to invest in the position this offseason, which gives Williams a massive boost.
Rashee Rice, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Finally, after seeing glimpses of Rashee Rice’s upside with the Kansas City Chiefs, he put it all together against Las Vegas in Week 12. Rice finished as the WR3, producing eight catches, 107 yards, and one touchdown on 10 targets. He set career highs in receptions and yards, as he exploded for 24.7 points in PPR leagues.
This came after Rice fell out of most lineups over the last month. While Rice is far from a lock to be in your lineup from here out, his upside was established when Kansas City needed him most. This development bodes well for Rice’s long-term value.
Dynasty Fallers After Week 12
Zach Charbonnet, RB, Seattle Seahawks
We’d been waiting to see whether Zach Charbonnet could work into Kenneth Walker III’s workload, and he finally saw more than six carries in each of the last two games as Walker suffered an oblique injury. In his 29 carries and 10 receptions, Charbonnet totaled 94 rushing yards and 33 receiving yards. That’s not encouraging for his long-term prospects.
Charbonnet was up against San Francisco in Week 12, so the competition was as good as it gets. However, if Charbonnet can’t be explosive or consistent enough to outplay Walker, his ceiling will be no more than a matchup-based Flex option. We need to see more from Charbonnet by the end of the season.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Not only is Diontae Johnson stuck in a bad offense with a struggling quarterback, but his effort came into question in Week 12’s win against Cincinnati. Whether his unwillingness to fight for a Jaylen Warren fumble was purposeful, Johnson’s future in Pittsburgh looks bleak. His production doesn’t match his contract, and the Pittsburgh Steelers need more explosiveness moving forward.
There’s time for his season to turn around. Johnson had a WR6 effort only four games ago and returned from injury to produce two other top-23 outputs. He may become a bigger priority in the offense without Matt Canada around. However, he could also disappear more as his future becomes clearer.
Dynasty Buy-Low Trade Targets
Travis Etienne Jr., RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Of course, as soon as I had proclaimed Travis Etienne Jr. as one of the three best dynasty backs after a four-week run with consecutive top-five finishes from Week 5 through Week 8, he stumbled after the bye week. From Week 10 through Week 12, he finished as RB39, RB25, and RB20.
It’s far too early to proclaim Etienne anything but an elite long-term asset. He’s in a great offense with room to improve and on a temporary dip in production. See if you can nab him from less optimistic managers.
Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
Most managers won’t sell low on someone like Davante Adams. He’s too proven as an elite talent, and the Las Vegas Raiders’ future likely includes a new quarterback. It would be silly for a manager to panic after his fifth finish as WR31 or worse this season.
However, some will be concerned about where Adams will play in 2024, his age (he turns 31 in December), and his inconsistent production this year. Look to pry him away from queasy owners for less than a premium pick, and then enjoy as Adams ages gracefully.
Dynasty Sell-High Trade Targets
Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Fantasy managers who may have grown frustrated with Tony Pollard have been rewarded in the last two weeks. Pollard finished as RB12 and RB6 in that span, ending his three-week drought of being a backup-caliber performer. However, with foes like Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Miami coming, there’s no guarantee that will continue.
Pollard’s hitting free agency at a tough time this coming offseason. He’ll need a strong finish to the season to earn a multi-year deal ahead of a solid draft class of backs. I’d look to offload Pollard now if you haven’t already.
Zay Flowers, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Selling right now on a 2023 first-round pick might seem asinine. Maybe it is. But Zay Flowers has been anything but a major factor in the Baltimore Ravens’ passing game despite the unit throwing the ball more, hiring a pass-first coordinator, and needing a WR1 to emerge.
The reality is that Baltimore will likely never be a high-volume passing game by nature. Lamar Jackson is fantastic at what he does, but the Ravens are unlikely to target Flowers more than eight times a game on average. While his WR6 finish was fantastic in Week 12, he had only 25 receiving yards, so his receiving and rushing touchdowns are harder to bank on continuing.
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