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Columns - Magazine

Dynasty Hot Sheet: Week 12

by Ryan McDowell

The Hot Sheet looks at which top players are excelling, and which ones are struggling on a week-to-week basis. Following the latest on-field trends can make our weekly lineup decisions easier, while allowing dynasty players to always understand the current value of players around the league.


The value of the players mentioned on the Hot List is rising, thanks to their performance on the field. On the other hand, Cold List players are struggling, and losing dynasty value as a result.


Hot List:


1)  Patrick Mahomes, QB KC


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Eight: QB5

Week Nine: QB4

Week Ten: QB13

Week Eleven: QB1


There’s not much more than can be said about Chiefs second-year QB Patrick Mahomes. As if what he had accomplished in the first ten games of the season wasn’t enough, Mahomes put on a show and posted his second WR1 game of the season. That is actually surprising since he’s running away with the overall QB1 crown for the season but the first-year starter does have eight games as a top ten fantasy quarterback. Mahomes’ dynasty value is obviously climbing as well. He’s being valued as the QB1 there too and could climb as high as the second round of dynasty startup drafts.


2)  Aaron Jones, RB GB


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Eight: RB17

Week Nine: RB28

Week Ten: RB5

Week Eleven: RB3


After finally earning a full workload in Week Ten, Packers second-year RB Aaron Jones responded with a breakout performance. Considering the frustrating usage patterns by HC Mike McCarthy over the past couple of years, many fantasy owners were not ready to crown Jones as a dynasty riser. Jones then went out and improved on that play in Week Eleven, finishing as the RB3 for the week. Jones’ play has all but eliminated RB Jamaal Williams from the game plan as he saw only one touch last week. With age and huge upside, Jones is already being considered as a top 12 dynasty RB by many and has equivalent value to other second-year backs like Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook


3)  Phillip Lindsay, RB DEN


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Seven: RB13

Week Eight: RB12

Week Nine: RB24

Week Eleven: RB4


In Week Eleven, the Broncos had their full backfield back in action as rookie RB Royce Freeman returned from injury. That could’ve meant fellow rookie RB Phillip Lindsay would take a step back as his role slightly declined. Instead, Lindsay enjoyed his best statistical game of the season as the Broncos shocked the Chargers. Lindsay finished as the RB4, scoring a pair of touchdowns for the first time in his career. Lindsay’s rushing efficiency was as impressive as ever, averaging 7.2 yards per carry. He’s kept that number above five yards per tote in seven of ten games this year. Typically, dynasty players are slow to value undrafted players highly but Lindsay has been the exception. He’s cracking the top twenty dynasty backs for most, closing the gap on many of the highly-drafted backs in his rookie class, who happen to be struggling as Lindsay shines. 

4)  Jonnu Smith, TE TEN


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Seven: TE28

Week Nine: TE9

Week Ten: TE6

Week Eleven: TE9


Already pegged for a potential breakout season, expectations for second-year TE Jonnu Smith got out of control when veteran TE Delanie Walker suffered a season-ending injury back in Week One. Things did not go as planned. The Titans Offense was terrible and QB Marcus Mariota was in and out of the lineup. Smith caught one or fewer passes in each of the team’s first six games, finishing as the TE39 or later each week. The past three games, Smith has reminded dynasty players why he was stashed on so many rosters, creating new season-highs by the week. Smith has three straight finishes as the TE9 or higher and is the TE9 overall during that span. Smith is just one of many first and second-year tight ends that have eventual every-week starter upside. He could be considered a top 15 dynasty tight end after his recent hot streak, though a Walker return in 2019 would squash that. 


5)  Gerald Everett, TE LAR


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Eight: TE30

Week Nine: TE14

Week Ten: TE13

Week Eleven: TE3


Speaking of high-upside young tight ends, the Rams have been getting second-year TE Gerald Everett more involved in their high-powered offense as of late. Everett, who drew comparisons to TE Jordan Reed when former Redskins coach Sean McVay drafted him in 2017, has scored three touchdowns in his past two games and was one of the stars of the “game of the year,” the Rams and Chiefs Monday nightery in Week Eleven. As a cog in one of the league’s best offenses, Everett has a huge weekly ceiling which lifts his long-term dynasty value. Like Smith, he is creeping into that top 15 dynasty tight end range. 


Other Players Considered:Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks, Josh Reynolds, Robert Woods, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Russell Wilson, Davante Adams, Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Vance McDonald, Leonard Fournette, Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Trey Quinn, Cam Newton, Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay, Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, Ezekiel Elliott, Julio Jones, Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards, Melvin Gordon, David Johnson, Drew Brees, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Tre’Quan Smith, Michael Thomas, Josh Adams, Stefon Diggs


Cold List: 


1)   Evan Engram, TE NYG


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Seven: TE22

Week Eight: TE7

Week Ten: TE16

Week Eleven: TE11


The numbers above might not warrant a cold list spot but when you factor in the expectations for sophomore TE Evan Engram, that is the end result. After finishing as a top-five fantasy scorer as a rookie, dynasty players expected a repeat this year. The only problem is that the Giants had WRs Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard back at full strength and also drafted all-purpose weapon Saquon Barkley. Engram’s production has suffered greatly. Engram is just the TE2 for the season, which was impacted by his early-season injury which cost him multiple games. After quickly claiming the TE3 dynasty rank last year, Engram has taken a step back as fellow sophomore TEs George Kittle, O.J. Howard and David Njoku have closed the value gap. 


2)   DeSean Jackson, WR TB


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Eight: WR19

Week Nine: WR60

Week Ten: WR27

Week Eleven: WR48


Veteran WR DeSean Jackson couldn’t have had a better start to the season, serving as the obvious deep threat for the Buccaneers’ high-scoring offense and finishing as the WR3 and WR10 in the first two games of the season. Since then, the Buccaneers have flip-flopped starting quarterbacks at will and Jackson has only one weekly finish inside the top 25 receivers. Dynasty owners had all but given up on Jackson’s value over the offseason and as we speed towards another offseason, that is once again the case. He’s currently barely worth a roster spot. 


3)   Demaryius Thomas, WR HOU


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Seven: WR46

Week Eight: WR65

Week Nine: WR37

Week Eleven: WR95


Expectations were high for veteran WR Demaryius Thomas when he was dealt from the Denver Broncos to the Houston Texans. While Thomas would no longer claim the WR1 role, the clear upgrade at quarterback and the gap left by the season-ending injury to WR Will Fuller seemed to spell great things for Thomas and his fantasy owners. In his first game as a Texan, QB Deshaun Watson sent out of his way to force the ball to DT early on, and he recorded two catches on his first drive with the team. Entering Week Twelve and two games into his tenure, those were the last passes he caught. Thomas went away for the remainder of that game and didn’t make a single catch last week. Fighting for a playoff spot, Watson clearly trusts rookie WR Keke Coutee more at this point and this offense can’t support three fantasy pass-catchers, especially with WR DeAndre Hopkins commanding such a high target share. 



4)   Austin Ekeler, RB LAC


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Seven: RB23

Week Nine: RB46

Week Ten: RB60

Week Eleven: RB27


Entering the season, dynasty players were torn on the outlook of Chargers backup RB Austin Ekeler. Some, including myself, viewed him as a player who possessed standalone value, meaning regardless of the status of RB Melvin Gordon, Ekeler could produce fantasy points. Others thought of Ekeler as only a backup, who could possibly be replaced by newly-drafted RB Justin Jackson. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Ekeler proved flex-worthy early in the season, finishing as an RB2 or higher in four of his first five games. In his five most recent games, Ekeler has accomplished that just once as Gordon fully takes control of the backfield. I’m holding firm on my standalone value opinion but Ekeler’s once rapidly-growing value has certainly slowed down. 



5)   Sterling Shepard, WR NYG


Recent Weekly Fantasy Finishes:

Week Seven: WR8

Week Eight: WR57

Week Ten: WR28

Week Eleven: WR65


We’ve already discussed second-year TE Evan Engram but he is not the only victim of the Giants key offseason decisions, namely the addition of the superstar back Barkley and the choice to stick with veteran QB Eli Manning for another season. Shepard has mixed in a couple of huge weekly performances, including WR9 and WR8 finishes but his lack of consistency from a fantasy perspective has been maddening. Shepard has five games outside of the top 40 fantasy wideouts and is the clear third option, at best, in this Giants passing game. 


Other Players Considered: Sammy WatkinsJimmy GrahamRyan Fitzpatrick, O.J. Howard, Blake Bortles, Eric Ebron, Deshaun Watson, Alex Smith, Adrian Peterson, Matthew Stafford, Devin Funchess, Dak Prescott, Alex Collins, John Brown, Michael Crabtree, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Dalvin Cook, Jordan Howard