Sunday Morning Huddle: Week 13

Trevor Bucher

Let’s face it, there’s an enormous amount of information out there on Sunday mornings. We’re not going to waste your time by repeating the news and notes about who’s in or out this week, since that’s really not what you visit us for. We’re also not going to do another article on starts or sits this week – we already have the personalized lineup advice for you on the premium content. Again, there are 100 places you can go for that, so no reason to repeat ourselves or others.

The Sunday Morning Huddle goes through each game and states what we’re looking to see from a dynasty perspective. One player will be picked from each team who has dynasty value tied to the game – players at a pivot point where their value could increase or decrease based on opportunity and performance.

Accountability Corner

As something new, I want to add some accountability to my calls that I make each week in this column. I don’t have a good way of defining whether a player’s value truly went up or down in a given week yet, so the results I am listing are based on my personal opinion. For example, Matt Moore didn’t had much value to begin with, but he certainly torpedoed whatever he had left by not doing well against the Patriots.

Total hit percent for Week 11: 73.1%

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TeamPlayerValue callReasonPlayer Pivot?Actual Result
BuccaneersDoug MartinValue downWildly inefficient given his workloadYesValue down
FalconsJulio JonesTrue PivotLow output this season, weak defense vs. WR, ceiling game opportunityYesValue up
BillsZay JonesValue upMore consistent production trendYesValue up
ChiefsKareem HuntTrue PivotCeiling game opportunityYesValue down
PanthersGreg OlsenTrue PivotReturning from injury, team landscape changed drasticallyYesValue down
JetsRobby AndersonValue upConsistent production, opportunity to carve out long term roleYesValue up
BearsAdam ShaheenValue upPlaying well lately, rapport with rookie QB could mean long term valueYesValue down
EaglesJay AjayiValue upImproved efficiency with new team, could extend career health-wiseNoValue even
BrownsCorey ColemanValue upGreat production when healthy, production here would be in a tough matchupNoValue even
BengalsJoe MixonTrue PivotGame script favors him, but has failed to capitalize to dateYesValue up
TitansCorey DavisTrue PivotProduction vs. opportunity gap, weak defense vs. WRNoValue even
ColtsDonte MoncriefValue downBarely involved in offense, question marks long termYesValue down
DolphinsMatt MooreValue upOpportunity due to injury, could retain role because Jay Cutler is bad anywayYesValue down
PatriotsRob GronkowskiTrue PivotOther tight ends are surging, Patriots rolling without him GronkingYesValue up
SeahawksJimmy GrahamTrue PivotOn a production role, struggled vs. 49ers early this seasonNoValue even
49ersCarlos HydeValue upConsistently good this season, outstanding vs. Seahawks in first gameNoValue even
JaguarsDede WestbrookValue upDid OK in first game, continued involvement should move him upYesValue up
CardinalsAdrian PetersonTrue PivotInconsistent production, offensive game plan should go through himNoValue even
BroncosPaxton LynchTrue PivotWeak defense, favorable game script, first start of 2017YesValue down
RaidersJared CookTrue PivotWeak defense vs. tight end, inconsistent production throughout seasonYesValue down
SaintsAlvin KamaraValue upContinued excellence, value ceiling not yet reachedYesValue up
RamsJared GoffValue upPlaying well this season, going against a top defense, opportunity to move upYesValue up
PackersJordy NelsonValue downLost season after Rodgers injury, age 33 season when he comes backYesValue down
SteelersBen RoethlisbergerTrue PivotFinally broke out in 2017 last week, needs to continue to not move back downYesValue up
TexansLamar MillerTrue PivotLast man standing for team, great evaluation period to see him as feature backNoValue even
RavensJoe FlaccoValue downBarely worth rostering, not peforming and cannot lift up his teamYesValue down



I’m old enough to remember when Stefon Diggs was the man to own in the Minnesota passing game. Adam Thielen is taking over, and I’m not sure he is going to let go of that. The longer this hierarchy continues, the lower the dip in Diggs value.

Returning from a concussion, Devonta Freeman faces a stout Vikings defense. Between the effectiveness of Tevin Coleman and the Vikings defense, maybe Freeman is in more of a timeshare this week. And maybe the team keeps that timeshare going forward if it works.


With just one down week since week six, Marvin Jones has been on a tear. Now he gets to face a tough Ravens secondary. So, how does that end? Let’s pay close attention. I think he can really solidify his value with another strong outing here.

Owning 4.88 yards per carry this season and double digit fantasy points three of the last four weeks, Alex Collins might just be putting his stamp on the Ravens backfield for a longer term than originally thought. If he can keep the streak alive against the Lions, I’m ready to consider him for another value bump.


How about Rex Burkhead? The dynasty community was on him entering the season, but an injury derailed those plans. Finally healthy he is proving to be what we thought he could be. As long as this keeps up, his value is trending upward.

Nothing to see here. Another week, another Zay Jones write up. He is simply recovering value back to where he was valued around rookie draft time, but he is doing it with his play on the field. Also, the dude can apparently levitate. So who wouldn’t want a piece of that action?


This week is pretty identical to CJ Beathard’s first start for me. Now we get to see what Jimmy Garoppolo can do and what that means for his value. The team is bad, the offensive coaching is presumably good. Maybe it’s a wash and he can be there long enough to turn into something good for your dynasty team.

Could the real Jordan Howard please stand up? Sometimes great, sometimes terrible, that’s his modus operandi lately. The Bears are favorites and the 49ers give up big points to running backs, so I think it will be of particular concern if he does do great here.


Is it cheating for me to pick Eli Manning as the Broncos player to watch? Maybe my editors won’t notice. [Editor’s note: I can’t imagine Manning being benched for Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch… But then again, I couldn’t see him being pipped by Geno Smith. Regardless, Denver needs a change.] The Broncos quarterbacks underwhelm but the rest of the team is still pretty solid. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are being wasted in the final years of their prime right now. Continued further poor performance at quarterback can only increase the conviction with with the Broncos pursue Eli this off-season, and therefore he may be the man with the most to gain.

DeVante Parker started the year with a huge value bump when Jay Cutler wouldn’t stop throwing him the ball. The problem is that Parker never had much fantasy production to show for all of the targets, and now he’s starting to get even less production. Even more worrying – less targets. So what do we do with him? Watch him closely and hope for the best, that’s what.


From one Bay to another, this game should be interesting. While Jameis Winston was out, OJ Howard began to ascend to consistent fantasy relevance. Does that continue with Jameis back or does he go back to the well with Cameron Brate?

Davante Adams really came into his own last year, and with Brett Hundley at the helm he has been the man. Going against a rough Buccaneers secondary, he will likely continue this trend. I’m pairing up this choice with last week’s selection of Jordy Nelson – who continues to both struggle without Aaron Rodgers and age. Adams could conceivably been the #1 in Green Bay as soon as a few weeks ago.


Moving closer to the off-season, and therefore the return of Deshaun Watson, we need to turn our attention to guys with ascending roles on the team that could explode with a real quarterback. CJ Fiedorowicz fits the mold, and he’s averaging over five targets the past three games.

I have a problem. I can’t stop writing about Corey Davis. If, a few short months ago, you had told me he would have 20 receptions through 12 weeks I would have laughed you out of the room. That’s our reality now, although he did miss time. The fact is he just isn’t what we thought he would be in his rookie season. That gives me pause for his future.


Picking players to write about for the Colts is hard. Everything will change when (if?) Andrew Luck returns. Anyway, keep watching Jack Doyle. He’s good. He can still move up in value if he keeps this up.

Leonard Fournette hasn’t been the same since injuring himself in week six. In a game where the team is heavily favored, does he return to form? Heavy favorite status should lead directly to heavy involvement for Fournette. Failing to capitalize here will be a value down for the rookie.


That escalated quickly. What’s up with Kareem Hunt? Is his lack of production indicative of his own performance, or rather that of the overall team around him? Smarter people than me may have the answer to this, but I’m still in evaluation mode. Last week he tanked it what should have been a good matchup, so all eyes are on him for a rebound this week or he begins to slide.

Who should we keep asking? The answer is none other than Mr. (Robby) Anderson. Read that in your best Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith from The Matrix voice. On a team with little certainty out into the future, his performance lately will go a long way towards guaranteeing his future role. That’s valuable as a team retools. Plus, maybe he actually is Neo.



He’s baaaaack! Josh Gordon is back for the Browns, and for a floundering team that can’t really hurt. How long will he play? Who cares! His value will go up or down, like it always does, so let’s watch and see what happens. He may or may not still be good at football after such a long layoff.

Hunter Henry disappeared from the fantasy stat sheets for a while in the middle of the season, but exploded back last week. Now he gets to tee off against a team that is consistently terrible at defending tight ends. I’m prognosticating a big week and a big value up for the young guy.


Quietly among the best rookies this year is Cooper Kupp, who also gets to play alongside the surging Todd Gurley with Jared Goff at the helm. The injury to Robert Woods seems to be opening up more opportunity for Kupp, and he looks poised to take a career WR2 trajectory. Not bad for a fringe 4th/5th round rookie pick back in May.

With recent chatter that Blaine Gabbert could be the guy at quarterback going forward, all eyes should be on him. What can he do this week? So far he has been pretty decent from a fantasy perspective, but it remains to be seen if he can sustain that. This team is built to win now, and he has to show that he can be a part of that winning.


Don’t look now, but Devin Funchess is operating and producing like his team’s number one wide receiver. He had his share of detractors, for valid reasons, but the past month has earned him some validation. In a divisional battle against a tough defense, what we want to see is the big man step up. If he keeps producing, he earns more trust from his team and from us.

What do we make of Michael Thomas? He had a fantastic rookie season, but has fallen off this year. While he’s only had one clunker, he also hasn’t had a game where he really blows up. I’m at the point where I’m ready to consider him a true pivot, as he could begin moving up or down depending on what he does.


The Giants haven’t been good this year, but benching Eli Manning for Geno Smith hurts. Expect production to drop for everyone, but in the meantime at least we can evaluate Smith’s value with the Giants. If he actually does well, we obviously move him up. Or this could be his last starting opportunity. This is most definitely a risk vs. reward proposition for both the Giants and dynasty owners.

Increased or decreased opportunity is a great place to look for pivot points for player value. Seth Roberts fits the bill better than pretty much anyone but Geno Smith this week. With Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper out, Roberts is the only wide receiver regularly receiving opportunities left. What can he do with an increased role?



This should be interesting. The position that the Seattle defense is weakest against is tight end, and Zach Ertz is coming off of his best game of the year. Can he parlay the situation into another huge outing? If so, he can definitely move up. As long as he doesn’t faceplant, his value floor is safe.

Coming off of a down week, Doug Baldwin is in my crosshairs this week. Philadelphia leaves plenty of opportunity for opposing passing games. Can Baldwin rebound in the targets and production department in a solid matchup? Or is Paul Richardson actually ascending?



Most Steelers aren’t particularly susceptible to value swings, but Juju Smith-Schuster is the outlier. His ascent to value is relatively recent and based on a limited sample size. Coming off of injury, how involved is he? Have we just been seeing his ceiling, or is his floor sizeable as well?

It happened! Joe Mixon finally broke out with a big game last week! Great. So, was that the outlier? So far, statistically speaking, it is. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a new trend, though. We need to keep an eye on this to see if a new trend is forming.


TeamPlayerValue callReasonPlayer Pivot?Actual Result
VikingsStefon DiggsValue downAdam Thielen has taken over the passing game
FalconsDevonta FreemanValue downCould be going into a more even timeshare with Tevin Coleman
LionsMarvin JonesTrue PivotRidiculous production streak, tough secondary to face
RavensAlex CollinsValue upFantasy production consistency
PatriotsRex BurkheadValue upProduction trend
BillsZay JonesValue upProduction trend
49ersJimmy GarropoloTrue PivotHis value was already pretty high, now we get to see what he can do
BearsJordan HowardTrue PivotInconsistent production, going against a weak defense as a favorite
BroncosEli ManningTrue PivotBroncos quarterback play is terrible, hurting value of skill players
DolphinsDeVante ParkerTrue PivotDeclining fantasy production, opportunities beginning to wane
BuccaneersOJ HowardTrue PivotIncreasing production with backup quarterback, Jameis returning
PackersDavante AdamsValue upOperating as WR1 and producing, Jordy is aging and not producing
TexansCJ FiedorowiczValue upIncreasing role and production, moving closer to DeShaun Waton's return
TitansCorey DavisValue downLow production for his opportunity, riskier asset moving forward
ColtsJack DoyleValue upConsistent production
JaguarsLeonard FournetteTrue PivotPoor production since injury, heavy favorite in a good matchup
ChiefsKareem HuntTrue PivotTanked in a good matchup last week, can he rebound to good form?
JetsRobby AndersonValue upContinued performance
BrownsJosh GordonTrue PivotBack after a long time, is he still good?
ChargersHunter HenryValue upHigh ceiling player, very weak defense against tight ends
RamsCooper KuppValue upConsistent production, quietly a very good rookie
CardinalsBlaine GabbertTrue PivotCould be the guy going forward, but can he help team win now?
PanthersDevin FunchessValue upOperating as WR1 and producing, tough defense in a divisional rival
SaintsMichael ThomasTrue PivotConsistent production, but high floor with low ceiling
GiantsGeno SmithTrue PivotRisk vs. reward proposition
RaidersSeth RobertsValue upOpportunity spike without Crabtree and Cooper
EaglesZach ErtzValue upProduction spike, weak point in opposing defense is tight end
SeahawksDoug BaldwinTrue PivotComing off of a down week, defense weak against passing game
SteelersJuJu Smith-SchusterTrue PivotValue increase is recent, what is his floor?
BengalsJoe MixonTrue PivotBroke out last week, new trend or outlier performance?


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