Welcome to the Dynasty Three & Out, where each week, we’ll focus on three players gaining value and three others losing dynasty value based on the latest news and performances on the field.
Note: Any dynasty ADP referenced in this article can be found at dynastyleaguefootball.com
Donte Moncrief, WR IND
After missing several weeks due to a shoulder injury, WR Donte Moncrief is back in action and quickly reminding us all why he was a favorite of the dynasty community this off-season. Moncrief immediately regained his spot as a featured option in the Colts offense and through his two games back, he’s averaging over seven targets, and has totaled just under 100 yards combined. The best news for Moncrief and dynasty owners is Moncrief’s usage when it’s time to score. Moncrief has found the end zone in each of his two games since returning from an injury. In Week Eight, those numbers were good enough to make him the WR25 on the week and pending the Monday Night Football showdown, he currently sits at WR22.
In our off-season dynasty ADP data, Moncrief peaked at a value of 22 overall and despite missing some time this year, his current November ADP is 25, meaning he’s maintained his value even when out of the lineup. As a young WR in an above average offense and paired with one of the best quarterbacks in the game, the future looks bright for the former Ole Miss star. As long as he can stay on the field and off the trainer’s table, Moncrief should be valued among the 20 wide receivers, if not even higher.
Eric Ebron, TE DET
Lions TE Eric Ebron is another player who has dealt with injuries this season, but now looks like a weekly fantasy starter. Ebron was healthy for the first month of the season, posting weekly finishes of TE4, TE20, TE11 and TE22, a game he was forced to leave with the previously mentioned injuries. A bad knee and ankle cost Ebron three games before he made his return to the field in Week Eight against Houston. In his two games back, Ebron has seen more than any Lions player other than WR Golden Tate and has caught seven balls in each game. His 92 yards in Week Nine against the Vikings marks a new career high.
Ebron was seemingly written off by many dynasty owners early in his career after he failed to live up to his lofty first round draft position. As we know though, young tight ends are often very slow to transition to the NFL and it seems Ebron is now coming into his own. He has weekly finishes of TE7 and TE6, pending Monday Night’s game.
The best thing about Ebron right now is that he is still relatively inexpensive in dynasty leagues. His off-season ADP topped out at 91, but is already up to 78 overall for November. While his value is clearly increasing, he can likely be acquired for a fellow TE and a second round draft pick.
Melvin Gordon, RB SD
It’s obvious that sophomore RB Melvin Gordon is enjoying a breakout year and his dynasty owners couldn’t be more pleased. After using a likely very early dynasty rookie pick on Gordon, he was a huge disappointment during his rookie season, being outplayed by veteran pass-catcher Danny Woodhead and failing to score even one touchdown.
This year has been a complete turnaround for Gordon, who has seen a large majority of the backfield work after an early season ACL injury to Woodhead. Gordon has 11 touchdowns to lead all running backs after adding another pair of scores in Week Nine. This scoring production was not enough for some fantasy players though, who still felt uneasy when looking at Gordon’s yardage statistics and yards per carry, which has often been under 3.5 per game. Over the past two weeks, Gordon has quieted all doubters, posting over 400 total yards against the Broncos and Titans with yards per carry marks of 4.8 and 6.1.
Still just 23 years old, Gordon has a strong case to head up the second tier of dynasty RBs behind the top quartet of Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley. I could even see some preferring Gordon to Gurley at this point, but more on that later. Gordon’s off-season dynasty ADP was usually in the sixth round range, but he’s now already moved up to 30 overall with room to grow.
Jeremy Maclin, WR KC
Entering Week Nine, Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin was questionable to play due to a groin injury. While he was ultimately ruled active, the veteran aggravated the injury early in the game and never returned. Today we learned this injury could keep him out of action moving forward. This is just the latest in what has been a very disappointing season for Maclin.
After posting a WR18 week in the season opener, catching five passes for 63 yards and a score, Maclin has been a non-factor in fantasy leagues, routinely finishing outside of the top 50 fantasy scorers at his position.
If a young player struggles, dynasty owners can get through it and see some upside. When we see this from a 28-year-old, the concern is that it’s the beginning of the end. Maclin was typically a fourth round startup pick last off-season and that had to feel like a very safe play given his back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons and his status as the focal point of the Chiefs passing game. That has come crashing down now and his value is quickly fading away.
I certainly don’t think Maclin is done. In fact, this could be a very good time to throw a future draft pick at the frustrated Maclin owner in your league, but his time as a WR1 for an NFL time may be coming to a close.
Jerick McKinnon, RB MIN
When Vikings RB Adrian Peterson went down with a serious knee injury in Week Two, dynasty owners went crazy scrambling to acquire young, explosive RB Jerick McKinnon, who was in line to be the team’s new lead back. McKinnon has already had a bevy of supporters thanks to his impressive metrics and Combine workouts, but he’s never shown what he can do on an NFL field. After six weeks without Peterson, he still hasn’t.
The Vikings have used a timeshare of McKinnon and power runner Matt Asiata and they’ve now begun to work in former Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman, who led the team in rushing in Week Nine. McKinnon missed the previous game with an ankle injury and may not have been fully healthy, carrying just seven times for eight yards.
Outside of Week Four, when he scored his lone touchdown on the season, McKinnon has not been fantasy relevant at all. He finished as the RB12 that week, but beyond that, his best rank is a RB38 performance in Week Five. Now that this backfield is a three-headed monster, it is nearly certain that the Vikings will be looking for a new every down back this coming off-season, assuming they do part ways with Peterson. I would expect the team to keep McKinnon around and he’s worthy of a stash at the end of dynasty rosters, but there is nothing to be excited about for McKinnon’s future.
Todd Gurley, RB LA
This one stings, but it is apparent that the immense talents of RB Todd Gurley are being wasted on this current Rams roster. Blame for this has been placed on the QB play of Case Keenum or the many questionable coaching choices of HC Jeff Fisher. Regardless of exactly what the issue is, it may not matter, because none of these factors look to be changing anytime soon. The Rams are reportedly still in talks with Fisher about a contract extension and the coaching staff has been hesitant to move away from the veteran Keenum. Even if they do replace him with top overall pick Jared Goff, it is not easy to be confident in his ability to change the offense soon enough to save Gurley’s season.
As for Gurley’s performances, they’ve been abysmal. He’s yet to crack 100 rushing yards in any game this season. In fact, the closest he came was an 85-yard game back in Week Three against Tampa Bay. He’s scored a trio of touchdowns on the season and if you play in PPR leagues, he’s actually been somewhat reliable, thanks to his involvement in the passing game. Over the past five games, Gurley is averaging over four receptions for 37 yards per game, adding over seven fantasy points to his total.
As you might have guessed, Gurley was a hot commodity over the off-season months after his promising rookie season. He usually cost dynasty owners their first round pick in startup drafts and even after his struggles this year, he’s still among the top 12 overall players, based on November ADP data. This tells me the price for Gurley will not be low enough to create many trades. The dynasty owners who already have him are not willing to “sell low” and their competitors can’t stomach paying the high price for a player barely hanging in the top 20 fantasy scorers at his position.