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Dynasty Risers & Fallers: Christian Watson, Isiah Pacheco, Brandin Cooks (2022 Fantasy Football)

Nov 14, 2022
Christian Watson

With apologies to fans of the hardball and its history, football has become America’s game. The proof is in the viewership each and every Sunday. Not only does the NFL dominate America’s fandom, but it’s also spreading overseas. This week, the NFL made it all the way to Munich for its first game in Germany. Fans in attendance were treated with a breakout performance by a dynasty riser featured in this very column.

 

Here in the States, we were also treated to some special performances. Which ones led to a bump in dynasty rankings? Let’s find out.

Risers

Christian Watson (WR – GB)

Any time a rookie dazzles us with three touchdowns he’s bound to be a riser, but there’s more to it with Christian Watson. The Packers have been wanting to get Watson more opportunities, but his untimely and unfortunate injuries have prevented that. On Sunday, however, Watson played 54 snaps, trailing Allen Lazard by nine but besting Sammy Watkins by 33. Although Romeo Doubs was out, it’s encouraging to see Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look to feature him. His eight targets, four catches, 107 yards, and three touchdowns are all career highs, but his 25% target rate on the season stands out. That kind of target rate colliding with an offense that’s desperate for playmakers to step up results in a big day for Watson, and a big jump in the dynasty ranks.

Rachaad White (RB – TB)

I identified Rachaad White as a riser back in week 5 as he was becoming more involved in the Buccaneers’ offense. His usage didn’t increase from there but remained steady with seven touches in every game in weeks 4-9. Fast forward to week 10, White received the first snap of the game and would go on to tote the rock 22 times for 105 yards. He and Leonard Fournette were rotating every series until Fournette left with a hip injury late in the third quarter. It’s unclear how serious of an injury it is, but either way, White appears likely to have a big role in the offense going forward. He’s averaged over four yards per carry in three of the last four weeks, while Fournette has been held below three yards per carry in three of the last four. White also handled 20 of 25 snaps after Fournette went down, so we can expect workhorse usage if the hip injury forces Fournette to miss time.

Isiah Pacheco (RB – KC)

Isiah Pacheco started for the Chiefs the last few weeks, but it didn’t make much of a difference. On Sunday, it made a big difference as he handled 16 rush attempts for 82 yards, both of which are career highs for the rookie. Jerick McKinnon cleaned up the pass work, leaving Clyde Edwards-Helaire with four snaps, two targets, and zero carries. The three-man committee has transformed itself into a two-man show, with Pacheco handling nearly all the early down work. Only two other carries were distributed to running backs, one of which was to the fullback, Michael Burton. Pacheco’s stock is going way, way up.

Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR – CLE)

On Sunday, Donovan Peoples-Jones led the Browns in targets with nine, catching five for 99 yards. He’s topped 70 yards in five of his last six games and has cleared 50 yards in seven of nine games. The only thing missing from DPJ’s resume this season is a touchdown, but the usage and yardage totals are there. He’s seeing targets at all levels of the field, but his ADOT of 12 entering Sunday blends perfectly with Deshaun Watson who is set to return in three weeks. He’s developed good chemistry with Jacoby Brissett and is worth the investment for his production now, but it could find another level with Watson under center.

Fallers

Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU)

The fact that Brandin Cooks wanted to be traded was the worst kept secret in the NFL, which eventually spilled into the public eye after the Texans failed to ship him out at the deadline. After missing last week’s game, Cooks returned to a lightened workload compared to what he’s used to. He played the WR2 role, taking a back seat to Nico Collins, and ran just five more routes than both Chris Moore and Phillip Dorsett. He finished the game with four catches and 37 yards and while he did have a touchdown called back, it’s a far cry from his usual target dominance. He’s stuck in a bad offense with a diminished role, under contract for two more seasons after this, and is nearing 30 years old.

Robbie Anderson (WR – ARI)

Not that Robbie Anderson was oozing with dynasty value, but there was some optimism that a fresh start in the desert could kick him into gear. That does not appear to be the case as he went without a single target on Sunday playing behind AJ Green. Through four games with the Cardinals, Anderson has seen seven targets that have resulted in one catch that went four yards in the wrong direction. He’s literally produced negative yardage since becoming a Cardinal, which has come with Marquise Brown sidelined. If he can’t make an impact now, it’s not going to happen this season, and possibly beyond.

Cam Akers (RB – LAC)

Perhaps Cam Akers’ return to the Rams a week ago was enough to spur a glimmer of hope in his stock. If you were of that opinion, I’m sorry to report that Kyren Williams‘ return from IR was enough to turn the lights out on Akers. Williams, who has been out since week 1, operated as the team’s third-down back while seeing some action on early downs. Although Akers had six carries for 22 yards, his 10 snaps were behind Darrell Henderson‘s 35 and Williams’ 16. Even if Henderson doesn’t light it up, Sean McVay trusts him. The offense is nowhere near good enough to support three running backs and it’s a bad sign to see a fifth-round rookie coming off IR instantly working ahead of Akers.

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Chad Workman is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from him, check out his Twitter at @tweetsbychad.

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