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Dynasty Risers & Fallers (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Jon Helmkamp
Oct 21, 2020

2020 has been a ludicrous cacophony of misfortunate events, full of injuries, scheduling changes, underperformers, and random players bursting onto the scene. The market, in many ways, looks very different from how it appeared six weeks ago, and, as a dynasty manager, it is your job to stay apprised of how things have moved. Let’s survey the scene and take a look at some players who are rapidly moving in either direction in dynasty rankings.

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Risers

Chase Claypool (WR – PIT)
Chase Claypool seemingly came out of nowhere in Week 5 and posted the single highest fantasy point total by a wide receiver in any game so far this season – just how we all drew it up. At 6’4″ 238 lbs with a 4.42 40-yard dash, Claypool is an imposing receiver with good speed at his size. He saw 11 targets in that Week 5 victory to JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s five. In Week 6, he came back down to earth some, but still posted a healthy 74 yards – the third time in five games that he has eclipsed that threshold. How the Steelers distribute their targets going forward will be something to watch, especially when a healthy Diontae Johnson is in the mix, but we’ve seen the raw talent and size that makes Claypool a fascinating dynasty asset – especially knowing the Steelers could potentially move on from Smith-Schuster after this season. 

Ronald Jones (RB – TB)
One of the most polarizing starting running backs in the NFL this offseason, Ronald Jones has been looking very, very good. It’s time to embrace him, y’all. He’s currently the RB12 in PPR scoring, has three straight games of 100+ rushing yards, has at least two receptions in every game this year, and has seen 60 of 73 team rush attempts over the last three weeks. Granted, Leonard Fournette has been injured, so seeing how he factors in when he comes back healthy will be something to watch, but the usage, efficiency and production make it hard to take Jones off the field right now. The overall RB3 over the past three weeks deserves your attention.

Fallers

Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE)
The Browns are finally winning – well, they were, before the Steelers absolutely shellacked them last weekend – but it hasn’t been because of Baker Mayfield. Currently the QB26, Mayfield has yet to eclipse 17 fantasy points in any game this season and has failed to throw for over 200 yards in four of their six games. This is a team that wants to lean on the run game, and they’re running it at the second highest percentage (50.14%) of any team in the NFL, behind only the Baltimore Ravens. When given the opportunity, Mayfield is not executing. He’s currently 30th in yards per attempt (6.4), 30th in catchable pass rate (72.4%), 17th in Total QBR (67.9), all despite having Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry leading a receiver group that is averaging 1.62 yards of separation per target, seventh best in the league. It’s not a good look. A lack of efficiency and opportunity has the arrow pointing way down on the outlook for Baker Mayfield.

Tyler Higbee (TE – LAR)
Hey, remember that one time Tyler Higbee went on an insane run down the stretch of the 2019 season and many people were clamoring for Higbee to be the next breakout tight end for 2020? Well, other than a monster performance with three touchdowns in Week 2 against the Eagles (and come on, it’s the Eagles), Higbee has done essentially nothing. Higbee has 12 targets over the last four weeks, totaling 128 yards and zero touchdowns. Big time yikes. Not only has he been underwhelming, but running mate Gerald Everett saw the same amount as targets as Higbee last week (4). I hope you sold after the three TD performance because his value plummeting. 

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