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Dynasty Stock Watch Grades: Weeks 14-17

Have players like Hunter Renfrow and James Conner hit their ceiling?

I’m putting a bow on my 2021 Dynasty Stock Watch series by recapping my picks. Please be sure to check out my review of Weeks 6 to 9 and Weeks 10 to 13. Once you finish reading this article, then it’s officially the end of the dynasty season, so we can immediately start the 2022 dynasty season.

Let’s ring the dynasty stock watch opening bell:

Week 14

  • QB Aaron Rodgers (Win-Now/Rebuild/Superflex: HOLD)
  • WR Davante Adams (Win-Now: HOLD, Rebuild: HOLD)
  • QB Taylor Heinicke (Win-Now: HOLD, Rebuild/Superflex: HOLD)
  • Tight Ends

We still don’t know where Rodgers and Adams will end up next season or how it might play out: both stay, one goes or both go. The larger point of this evaluation from back in early December was to not get caught up in the media swirl. There was all that drama from Rodgers’ vaccine status and while the subject certainly induces clicks, it just shouldn’t factor into your on-the-field and dynasty opinion of the guy. I’ll still hear out offers for both, but you shouldn’t be humoring any discounts for either player. As we stand now, I trust both players understand the importance of winning and will not jump to awful situations just for a change of scenery or pay raise. If they leave, it will be a plus situation that should not hurt their fantasy value—fingers crossed.

Heinicke worries me the more I think about it. Wouldn’t it just be so lazy for Washington to roll out practically the same offense from the past two seasons? But, wouldn’t that also be true to form and exactly what the Washington Whatevers do? Heinicke is still scrappy and inconsistent. The NFC East isn’t that good, which keeps up the illusion that Washington is contender-adjacent. I like holding Heinicke in superflex, but I’m going to downgrade him to a sell in win-now and 1QB formats.

I continue to believe that just as late-round QB draft strategies should be the de facto method of fantasy drafting, the same mantra should be used to target late-round tight ends. A strong finish from Mark Andrews makes him the highest-scoring PPR TE by a modest 1.3 points per game over Travis Kelce. The position tightens up a bit in 0.5 PPR scoring, yet still the position is a bit top-heavy. Considering you could’ve pursued Dalton Schultz (third-most points, fifth PPG) or Dawson Knox (eighth-most, ninth PPG) off the waiver wire or as a throwaway add-on to a bigger trade, it’s hard to justify overspending on a young second-tier option like Kyle Pitts or T.J. Hockenson. You swing for the fences, you might strike out.

My 2022 Evaluation:

  • Rodgers: HOLD/HOLD (B+)
  • Adams: HOLD/HOLD (B+)
  • Heinicke: SELL/HOLD (C-)
  • Tight Ends (B)

Week 15

  • WR Hunter Renfrow (Win-Now: HOLD, Rebuild: HOLD)
  • WR Jerry Jeudy (Win-Now: SELL, Rebuild: SELL\
  • WR Marquise Brown (Win-Now: BUY, Rebuild: HOLD)

Renfrow should be a buy but it’s tough to make an offer on a player after a career season. Like Cooper Kupp, there’s an argument for and against why he could repeat such a big jump in production. Regardless, there’s always an implied risk of a come-down. The reason I ultimately feel Renfrow leans more towards a buy is because of the way he scores his points. He appears to be the next great PPR receiver. There is consistent production in guys who rely on receptions and yardage. His big year came at the expense of the big follow-up season we were expecting from Darren Waller. All that said, there’s still room for improvement in this offense that could come from a legit WR1. This passing attack probably overachieved (sixth-most passing yards), but an underperforming ground game could provide plenty of room for growth next season. That would bring about improved efficiency, fewer three-and-outs, improved third-down conversions and more frequent trips to—and scoring while in—the red zone. Even if you don’t fully trust Renfrow’s ceiling, you have to appreciate his PPR floor.

Dec 26, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) celebrates his touchdown catch during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 26, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) celebrates his touchdown catch during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

You are probably late to the Jeudy roast if you are still looking to sell. The Broncos were so underwhelming that any offseason moves could actually improve Jeudy’s draft value. A big veteran QB addition or an offensive-minded head coach could stir up interest in the entire offense. Many would even argue that he is a buy-low after such a disappointing season. I get all that, but I’m not buying. I would need a Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers signing to even consider making this a hold because I think so little of the team’s management. Jeudy’s price is still so inflated that I can’t even recommend rolling the dice that good things happen to this team after I trade for him. I’ll take what I can get and move on.

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My ideal scenario played out for Brown. When written ahead of Week 15, the former Oklahoma Sooners receiver was more than a month removed from his last 100-yard game. He was held without a touchdown from Weeks 9-18. Since this Week 15 article, Brown had one decent game (Week 15, 10/43/0) and three duds (5/44/0, 3/28/0 and 3/27/0). I expect his value to flatline and possibly take a dip should the team opt to take another receiver in the first two days of the draft. I’m not sure what news or favorable spin could improve his value. Ultimately, Brown is a best ball fantasy player. It’s a tough pill to swallow to start him every week, even as a WR2. If he’s your WR3 or flex play each week, I can live with him because that means you’ve got a couple stud receivers ahead of him who will presumably provide more steady numbers. I think this season proves to be Brown’s floor given Lamar Jackson’s missed games due to injury, which is why I would test the waters on buying him if he’s the right fit for my team. I’m giving him an upgrade to BUY/BUY from BUY/HOLD.

My 2022 Evaluation:

  • Renfrow: HOLD/HOLD (B+)
  • Jeudy: SELL/SELL (A)
  • Brown: BUY/BUY (B)

Week 16

  • QB Deshaun Watson (Win-Now: HOLD, Rebuild/SF: BUY
  • 2022 1.01 Rookie Pick (Win-Now: SELL LATE, Rebuild: BUY NOW
  • RB James Conner (Win-Now: SELL, Rebuild: SELL)

The controversy surrounding Watson hasn’t really gone anywhere—the risk remains the same. But we’re still talking about a player who will turn 27 early in the 2022 season who proved capable of being a solid QB1. As stated ahead of Week 16, if I don’t have a top 10 QB in redraft or only one top 15 QB in 2QB, Watson is a firm buy for me. If you’re a win-now owner, you’re sitting pretty. Unless he retires, Watson will be priced as a top 10 QB in dynasty with room to grow. Situation matters should he play elsewhere, but his value can really only improve since there isn’t an offense in the NFL less enticing than the Texans.

The 2022 1.01 is creeping up and now that the season is over, you’ve probably missed the value-buying window. That said, do we have a clear-cut 1.01? No, I don’t believe we do. I mentioned two players back in Week 8 (OSU WR Garrett Wilson and ARK WR Treylon Burks). Burks, to me, seems to be the slight favorite with ISU RB Breece Hall not far behind. As draft evaluations improve, more news comes out and of course, we eventually see these guys at the combine, rookie picks will only slowly and steadily increase. My recommendation remains the same, but we’re drawing closer to hold as the NFL draft approaches.

Arizona Cardinals James Conner

Conner finished the 2021 regular season with 18 total touchdowns and I’ll buy you a beer if he comes within five of that total next year. Touchdowns comprised about 42% of his fantasy scoring – or put another way, about 7.5% of his touches went for touchdowns. Those are Mt. Everest-sized percentages and just flat-out unrealistic for a guy who isn’t a workhorse, borderline-MVP type running back. If Jonathan Taylor scored a TD on 7.5% of his touches, that’d be 28 touchdowns instead of the 20 touchdowns he delivered this season. Long story short, it was an incredible year from Conner given the expectations, but I don’t believe lightning will strike twice. He could very well have a good 2022, but he would be fortunate to finish his career with 18 more TDs.

My 2022 Evaluation:

  • Watson: BUY/BUY (B+)
  • 2022 1.01: SELL/BUY (B)
  • Conner: SELL/SELL (A+)

Weeks 17 and 18: Sorry folks, the Christmas and New Years’ holidays kept my wisdom from reaching you. And remember, there is no offseason in dynasty! I’ll be back when the day is new, and I’ll have more ideas for you. And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about—I will too.

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