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An important aspect of fantasy football is getting ahead of the curve in player values. Dave Kluge has listed and highlighted some players who show a change in value and lets you know what to do with them in Week 12's "Three Up, Three Down" article.
After finishing 2021 as PPR’s RB14, Damien Harris’s 2022 season has been a massive disappointment. His fantasy production last year was propped up with 15 touchdowns, a pretty unsustainable number. But through Week 11 this year, Harris has just three scores. He is currently the RB43 in PPR scoring. To provide some context, he has been injured, dealing with a hamstring injury and a subsequent illness that caused him to miss games or be limited. But he was back on the field last week and was his usual and productive self. Despite toting the ball just eight times, he racked up 65 yards. He also caught both of his targets for 28 yards. PFF graded him as the third-best rusher of the week. Meanwhile, his backfield mate Rhamondre Stevenson struggled to do much on the ground. Stevenson garnered 15 carries but only amassed 26 yards. He salvaged his day with 56 receiving yards, catching all six of his targets. But only Melvin Gordon was graded are a worse running back on the day. This backfield has the makings of a frustrating committee. While Stevenson’s abilities as a pass-catcher give him a higher ceiling, Harris is seeing enough work to justify RB2 or flex consideration. The next few weeks will be against stout opponents; Jets, Vikings, and Bills. But to close out the season, the Patriots has four favorable matchups against the Cardinals, Raiders, Bengals, and Dolphins. Harris is not a player you should give up much for outright, but he makes for a solid trade throw-in that plenty of fantasy managers are looking to get rid of. After his injuries, he might even be available on your waiver wire. Make no doubt about it; Stevenson is the more valuable of the backs in New England. But Harris’s role will provide weekly production, and he has massive contingent upside in the event of an injury to Stevenson. Considering he was a cut candidate just last week, his value has seen a huge boost from Week 11's outing.
Beyond this season, who knows what value Isiah Pacheco will hold? A seventh-round rookie, Pacheco has elite athleticism but struggles with the nuances of the running back position. He regularly runs into his own linemen and misses wide-open holes. Despite his inefficiencies, the Chiefs have expanded his role seemingly every week. Pacheco is a thick back with explosive speed and power. His 4.37 40-yard dash ranks inside the 99th percentile for running backs. He benched 27 times at the combine, putting him in the 93rd percentile for strength. And when he hits a hole, he passes the eye test with flying colors. He’s got quick and active feet and has the strength to plow through defenders. After a carousel of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, and Pacheco this season, the Chiefs seem to be putting more confidence in the rookie toward the season’s end. Edwards-Helaire was knocked out with an ankle sprain that could sideline him for a few weeks. While Pacheco probably doesn’t absorb much more in the passing game, he will see the bulk of the carries going forward. Over the last two weeks, Pacheco has racked up 189 passing yards on 31 carries. He should continue to be the lead back on one of the league’s most explosive offenses. If he can start to find the end zone, Pacheco has all the makings to be a fantasy football league winner.
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