"I think I need to rebuild." The words make every dynasty player raise an eyebrow. As my Footballguys Dynasty Show co-host Christian Williams wrapped up our college football live stream on Saturday night, I immediately dove into his roster. Ever the opportunist, one player stood out to move off a rebuild: J.K. Dobbins.
I made an offer.
It was not an auto-accept situation. My package played to Christian's interests, offering Colts receiver Josh Downs, a favorite of Christian's, Browns running back Jerome Ford, and a 2nd round pick for Dobbins.
"I'll think about it."
Sunday mornings are hectic. Finalizing weekly rankings. Setting lineups. There are way too many lineups. The Footballguys Live Start/Sit Show. Then, I rush my eight-year-old to cheerleading, attempting to be a supportive parent while still sneaking an eye on breaking injury news. Frankly, I had forgotten about the offer.
Then the news hit.
"J.K. Dobbins was helped off the field with a leg injury." Shortly after, "the injury is a torn Achilles." Season over. Likely career-altering. Then, the Sleeper notification.
"Trade offer declined."
Christian could have accepted. It would have bailed him out of a significant bind. I have seen it before. Major injury news hits. A trade offer is accepted. Often, the person making the offer was either late to pull the outstanding trade or life got in the way. Usually, the result is a debate in the league chat about whether the deal should stand.
People can play fantasy however they want. Want to be ruthless and cut every edge possible? A good league has someone wearing a black hat.
But a successful league is an ecosystem.
Dynasty leagues especially thrive on collaboration and the ability to execute trades. The early season is one of the best times to execute trades. The league is plugged in. We have results to drive action. But remember, when panicked league mates want to get a deal done, they are going to the person they feel treated them fairly.
Assess the situation on your roster and be decisive. Quick movement can get you off a falling knife or beat league mates into a buy-low position. Proactively send fair offers (ish, we still want to win) and hit your league with quick counters.
Leaguemates always remember.
A wide-open division saw some surprising results in Week 1. Their quarterbacks are all facing questions. Can you place this production?
Deep Dynasty Watch List
Identifying players rostered in less than 50% of Sleeper dynasty leagues.
- RB Justice Hill, Baltimore (21% Sleeper Rostered) - Dobbins is the most unfortunate situation from Week 1—an NFL career filled with tough breaks and now a significant uphill battle. The Ravens will likely split work between Gus Edwards and Hill, but Edwards is already widely rostered (76%) as the assumed backup. Hill struggled to accumulate yardage but received two goal-line opportunities, converting both, and has more polished receiving skills. Also, keep an eye on rookie Keaton Mitchell. He landed on preseason IR, but the talk is his injury should not be considered severe.
- WR Josh Reynolds, Detroit (39% Sleeper Rostered) - Reynolds established himself as the second receiver in the Lions' offense, playing 70% of the snaps in Week 1 and recording 80 receiving yards. He has played with Jared Goff since 2017, and the two have a comfort level. From Weeks 3-5 in 2022, Reynolds averaged 9.3 targets, 6.3 receptions, and 89.7 yards. His physicality is needed in the receiver room even after Jameson Williams returns from his six-game suspension.
- WR Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams (47% Sleeper Rostered) - Atwell missed his rookie season in 2021 and struggled with availability to start 2022. By the time he was ready, Matthew Stafford's season was over, and with it, the Rams' passing attack. But in Week 1, with both healthy, the Rams' passing attack thrived in the absence of Cooper Kupp. Atwell's speed allows him to attack vertically, and he is a threat to score on any play. But his game is more than just vertical speed; he does not shy from contact despite a small frame and can create after the catch.
- TE Durham Smythe, Miami (9% Sleeper Rostered) - We knew Smythe had a lock on the Miami tight end job. But no one thought it meant much. Smythe was one of the biggest surprises of Week 1, garnering seven targets with three receptions for 44 yards. Tight end has been decimated across the fantasy landscape, and Smythe offers a very cheap entry point into one of the most explosive offenses in the league.
- WR Calvin Austin, Pittsburgh (47% Sleeper Rostered) - Diontae Johnson is looking at a multiple-week absence, and the Steelers offense is looking for answers. Austin made his NFL debut after injuries knocked him out of his rookie season, and he responded with six receptions on six targets for 37 yards. His speed brings a different element to the Steelers offense, and he can carve out a role even with Johnson back. It's a must-stash now in deep bench leagues, but it should be noted Allen Robinson ran more snaps and saw more involvement.
- WR Kendrick Bourne, New England (30% Sleeper Rostered) - Bourne emerged from an ambiguous New England receiver room to lead the team with 11 targets, a 20.37% target share, and score twice on six receptions for 64 yards. He is one of the longest-tenured Patriots skill players, having spent the last two seasons with quarterback Mac Jones. Bourne can establish himself as a season-long presence in a team without a true top-receiving option.
- RB Patrick Taylor, Green Bay (2% Sleeper Rostered) - Aaron Jones was dinged up against the Bears, and the Packers allowed Taylor to close out the game. A.J. Dillon struggled hard, gaining just 19 yards on 13 attempts. Taylor is an add in deep leagues, but at 25, his upside is low, and it is more a speculative hold waiting to see how long Jones will be out, if at all. Also, keep an eye on undrafted rookie Emanuel Wilson.
Stats Of The Week
- WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati / QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati - Higgins became the 12th player in NFL history to see eight targets and not record a catch. Two other Bengals (Carl Pickens and Chad Johnson) are also on the list. Meanwhile, Joe Burrow played his worst career game, recording his lowest career completion percentage at 45%, lowest passer rating at 52, and lowest yards in a game at 82.
- Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco - 152 rushing yards - McCaffrey became the 35th 49er to record at least 152 rushing yards and the third to do it in Week 1. The total was the fourth highest of McCaffrey's career. His 65-yard touchdown run was the second-longest of his career.
- Tua Tagovailoa, Miami - 466 passing yards - Tagovailoa recorded the fifth 466 yards or more passing game in his career. This was his second game hitting that number; the first time was in Week 2 in 2022 against Baltimore. Dan Mario has three games above the number in his career.
- Tyreek Hill, Miami - 215 receiving yards - Hill tied the second-best game of his career at 215 yards. It was the fourth time a Dolphin receiver hit that number and the first since Brian Hartline in 2012.
- Justin Jefferson, Minnesota - 9 receptions / 150 yards - Jefferson recorded his seventh career nine-catch, 150-yard game on Sunday. The only player with more in that span is Tyreek Hill, who recorded his eighth game hitting those thresholds on Sunday.
Splitting backfields into key categories based upon snaps and opportunities (rushes plus targets). In week 1, we will run through the whole league. Moving forward, only movement between categories will be highlighted. (A quick note: while carries may be similar, backfields that fall into a Committee with a Lead over a straight Committee saw wide disparities in snap counts.)
Continue reading this content with a ELITE subscription.
An ELITE subscription is required to access content for Dynasty leagues. If this league is not a Dynasty league, you can edit your leagues here.
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, NBC Sports EDGE