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Sunday Six Pack: Week 17

What are some dynasty storylines to pay attention to this weekend?

David Montgomery

The fantasy football community lost a great person recently when Mike Tagliere of FantasyPros passed away from COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated against the disease. His shocking and sudden passing has left a huge void behind the scenes in the industry and he leaves behind a beautiful family, including Tabbie (Mike’s wife) and their children, Alyssa (18) and Jonathan (4). Many have rallied to support the Tagliere family and there’s a GoFundMe account set up to do just that. If any of you feel the calling to give, there are few people better to support than “Tags.” He will be missed!

This Sunday Six Pack is a traditional article at DLF and a part of our content strategy for over six years. As always, we will cover six dynasty-relevant storylines to watch on the Sunday slate of NFL games. I’m honored to be here every week, putting my spin on this series. Most excitingly, it’s become a two-part article this year! Every Monday, my Hangover article will drop, reviewing my six-pack based on what happened on Sunday. I know this is championship week, but I want to make sure to continue to provide actionable dynasty information, whether you’re alive in the title game or not. So let’s jump into it.

David Montgomery’s Future

Montgomery has had a weird 2021 season. He missed four games with a knee injury, but otherwise, he served as the Bears’ clear lead back. Khalil Herbert stepped in admirably when Montgomery was out, and I believed at the time he was about to force a committee backfield. However, that has absolutely not been the case.

Chart courtesy of DLF Player Splits App.

As you can see, in the seven games Montgomery played, Herbert has essentially just been a backup. He has more in common with Alexander Mattison than Tony Pollard, as the Bears seem to prefer to use Montgomery as a workhorse when he’s healthy. Herbert is, therefore, a pure handcuff option.

But even though Herbert doesn’t appear as if he’s a threat to Montgomery, it’s not like Montgomery has been excellent this season.

Chart courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Montgomery has similar carries and receptions per game to 2020, almost identical actually. But he has fewer yards per carry and yards per target than last year. Even though Tarik Cohen has been out all season, Montgomery hasn’t held down the star RB1-type fantasy role he had down the stretch in 2020.

This week, the Bears face the Giants, where I expect all Montgomery managers will start him as an RB1 option. Fair or unfair, dynasty managers remember playoff performances more than others, both good and bad. So his fantasy output this week will be critical for his future dynasty value, especially as he turns 25 this off-season and has the final year of his rookie deal in 2022.

Gabriel Davis’s Re-Emergence

Until recently, I wasn’t impressed with Davis’ 2021 performance.

Chart courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

In 2020, Davis emerged as a rookie, taking the third receiver spot behind Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. But, of course, the entire Bills’ offense took off last year, as Josh Allen had a massive leap in his third season. Davis managed to score an impressive seven touchdowns on his 35 receptions for 599 yards, and it seemed like he was on course to become the Bills’ second receiving weapon moving forward.

However, that failed to come true in 2021. Diggs and Beasley remained the clear top two targets, while free-agent signing Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Dawson Knox jumped ahead of Davis in the pecking order. Therefore, Davis has fewer yards and receptions per game than last year, even though he had a year of NFL experience under his belt. He became a part-time player, rarely hitting a 50% offensive snap share.

In the last two games, though, Davis suddenly received a new opportunity. Sanders suffered a knee injury in week 14, and Davis got a full-time role in the Bills’ offense. He set yearly highs in targets and receptions in both games, totaling ten catches, 128 yards, and three touchdowns. It’s unclear if Sanders will return for week 17, but either way, I hope Davis finally has become the receiving weapon he appeared to be as a rookie. The Falcons are a cupcake matchup, so this week is an excellent chance for him to make an impression. No matter what happens, I expect him to gain value from his December DLF ADP value of WR70 and 155.5 overall.

The End of Myles Gaskin

I think it’s time to accept the end of Gaskin as a true dynasty asset. In week 15, the Dolphins turned to Duke Johnson as their workhorse back, giving him 22 carries, which he turned into 107 yards and two touchdowns. By contrast, Gaskin only had ten carries, although he managed to gain 54 yards on those touches. He was a late addition to the gameday roster that week coming off the COVID-19 list, so I thought it was possible the Dolphins simply eased him back in.

However, in week 16, it only got worse for Gaskin. Phillip Lindsay also returned from COVID-19, and he became the second back behind Johnson. Johnson and Lindsay had 13 carries each, while Gaskin only had three. It seems like the Dolphins want to find any excuse to move away from Gaskin, although it’s not clear exactly why.

Gaskin was still the RB38 and 108 overall in December’s DLF ADP, but he will not stay at that value for long at his current pace. I expect little from him this week against the Titans, and it’s not like the Dolphins have a reason to make changes to their offense, as they’re on a seven-game winning streak. The Dolphins wanted Javonte Williams in the 2021 NFL Draft, and they will find their actual starting running back this off-season, in either free agency or the NFL Draft.

Foster Moreau’s Opportunity

Moreau has been a mixed bag for fantasy football this season.

Chart courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

He saw some playing time in the first three games as the second tight end behind starter Darren Waller, as the Raiders ran a 12 personnel offense. However, they began to involve slot receiver Hunter Renfrow as a full-time player after week three, moving them to 11 personnel. But in week seven, Moreau had his chance to shine when Waller missed the game with an ankle injury. He stepped up, playing every offensive snap and catching all six of his targets for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Unfortunately, the Raiders didn’t see enough from Moreau in that game to give him a more significant role. As a result, he returned to a minimal role in the following three games, totaling one catch for 19 yards and a touchdown in those contests. At that point, I believe the Raiders decided that they were better off mainly using 11 personnel and deploying Moreau to help with blocking, at least when Waller was healthy.

But in week 12, Waller suffered a season-ending knee injury. Moreau immediately stepped directly into his every-down role, but he isn’t the same fantasy force Waller is or even anywhere near it. He totaled 16 receptions for 182 yards in those five games, averaging 3.2 receptions and 36.4 yards per game.

With Waller now officially out for the year, Moreau now has a chance to make one final impression over the last two games against the Colts this week and the Chargers next week. The Raiders drafted him in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, so 2022 is the final year of his rookie deal. I doubt the Raiders re-sign him, but he’s playing for a contract on another team. Tight ends often break out later in their careers, and he only turns 26 years old in the 2023 off-season.

Jaret Patterson’s Last Chance

I loved Patterson as a preseason rookie sleeper, especially once he made Washington’s opening 53-man roster as a UDFA. I had little confidence in JD McKissic to retain his pass-catching role from last season, and I didn’t think Antonio Gibson was a true workhorse back. Also, if Gibson or McKissic faltered, Patterson would be able to step into their roles, giving him a good shot to see the field. Washington didn’t keep any other significant running backs, showing their confidence in Patterson.

Oddly enough, Gibson and McKissic failed to live up to expectations, yet Patterson still hasn’t done much. McKissic suffered a season-ending concussion in week 12, while Gibson has struggled with various nagging injuries throughout the season. But even though Gibson has dealt with limitations, he still has 237 carries, leaving few for other running backs. Patterson has 50 carries for 188 yards and a touchdown so far this year, mostly just seeing spot duty.

But now, Gibson will miss this week’s game against the Eagles with COVID-19. Patterson will therefore draw his first NFL start, and he will likely see most of the backfield touches. Jonathan Williams and Wendell Smallwood may mix in, but this game represents Patterson’s opportunity to put himself on the dynasty map. If he shines, he could earn a role next year as Gibson’s complement or at least his backup.

Brevin Jordan: Future Star Tight End?

Considering the Texans are a mess of a franchise, I seem to discuss them frequently in these Six Pack articles. I’ve talked about Davis Mills and Nico Collins a couple of times, but I haven’t yet gotten to the Texans’ fifth-round rookie tight end Brevin Jordan. I loved Jordan as a college prospect, and I couldn’t believe he fell to the fifth round. Even though the Texans are a terrible offense, they have no great options at tight end, leaving the door open for Jordan to claim a role early in his career.

He caught four passes each of the last two weeks, totaling 82 yards and a touchdown on those receptions. Of course, he hasn’t found fantasy relevance just yet, but he’s just a rookie tight end who’s only 21 years old. Perhaps, he can build on his recent success against the 49ers this week and emerge as a premium dynasty tight end stash. No matter what, though, I’m looking at Jordan as a late-round flier this off-season.

Sunday Six Pack: Week 17
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Seizures
7 months ago

Antonio Gibson “failed to live up to expectations” this season, despite being the RB10 in my leagues, an improvement from last season, when he was RB17.

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