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Dynasty Fantasy Football Regression Trends: Week Seven

Which players are not living up to expectations? Who has been overperforming? We break it down.

Darnell Mooney

Welcome! This is a weekly series where we look at player regression trends week by week.

Throughout the season I collect weekly data and post it on a sheet here.

Enough preamble, nerd up!

Last Week

Let’s look at the results through the player list this week. It feels important to show the results now and again instead of just linking you to the entire list and displaying the average table.

Even allowing for DK Metcalf’s injury, we still only hit on one wide receiver this week, as the position simply refuses to pay off its volume again. However, It does feel like we’ve turned a corner when you consider that Curtis Samuel did bounce back to WR25 from WR77 the week before, making Darnell Mooney our only real disappointment.

We improved overall at both running back and tight end, however.

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Allowing for our notes, last week we hit a season-high hit rate on the set list, which is nice. Adjusted for injuries, bye weeks, and our notes, we only had one real miss: Travis Etienne. While many had waited for his takeover, the sudden departure of James Robinson from the offense entirely was not something we could have seen coming.

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We improve, and progress. Last week has given us even more lessons and I think highlighting those players who our filters are likely confused over for understandable reasons is the way forward.

Onwards!

Should Produce More Moving Forward

Below is the list of players who drastically underperformed last week despite having starter-level volume this season. In theory (despite our week two to five results!) these players should bounce back and produce higher fantasy points moving forward.

Darnell Mooney, WR CHI

Well, should I stand up for the wide receiver with a walking meme-generator at quarterback (traveling to London this week), Courtland Sutton? Diontae Johnson, who’s been underperforming with top 12 volume all season? CeeDee Lamb, in a worse matchup than the one his team just got run over by last week, or Deebo Samuel, who is now out with an injury?

I guess I’ll take the player currently ranked outside the top 85 in points per game.

The Chicago offense finally seems to have recognized (and accepted) how its quarterbacks can succeed and have leaned into it. Unfortunately, that mostly involves not passing much.

Despite this, Mooney has seen close to a 3% target share increase over the last three weeks. This week they face Dallas who have allowed more fantasy points to the wide receiver position – and less to the running back position – than their New England opponent last week.

Mooney has had two targets inside the red zone over the last two weeks, which isn’t many, I’ll grant you. But he has yet to catch a touchdown this season and he’s involved enough in the offense we should expect him to at some point. Since the recent team’s improvement, this week’s matchup is the best they had for that. So why not? If you’re struggling to find a starter, this might be the first and best chance to roll Mooney off your fantasy bench.

Kareem Hunt, RB CLE

Hunt has seen a decrease in his touches over the last three games (10.6 opportunities versus 18 over the first four). He’s also seen fewer red zone opportunities (five rushing attempts over the last three weeks, 13 over the first four). on top of that, in week eight they, face Cincinnati who have allowed more rushing yards and fewer receiving yards to the position than Baltimore (whom they faced last week).

That’s all bad. But I like to make things difficult.

The reason I’m listing Hunt, however, is that Cincinnati has allowed two receiving touchdowns to the running back season so far, which is two more than Baltimore. Nick Chubb (while excellent) has not had a target inside the 20-yard line this season. My hope is this window makes room for Hunt’s specific role in this matchup.

TJ Hockenson, TE DET

All three of the tight ends in this list are regular starts in most leagues. While Hockenson’s increased volume and production over the last three weeks is largely due to his week four monster game, his overall target share has been higher than his season-long average. This week Detroit plays Miami, who have given up two passing touchdowns to the position this season as well as the third most points to the tight end position this year and the eighth-most yards. Hockenson could be in for one of those blow-up games in week eight.

Won’t Produce Next Week

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At this point, I don’t feel I have to be specific. We hit these.

Both Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Shuster are on bye this week, so they won’t be on the list next week. In which case, I want to mention now that Smith-Schuster is on a two-game hot streak and his utilization in the red zone has increased (seven targets inside the 20-yard line over the last three weeks, having only had two the previous four). He is a difficult start and should be started as more of a top 36 wide receiver, not a locked-in top 24. However, there is a positive signal going into the bye week.

Kenneth Walker is a locked-in top-12 start at this point in 2022. However, he is more dependent on the game script than some running backs based on his usage, and his 28 points in week seven shouldn’t be considered his median benchmark. While his 5% targets share doesn’t make receptions impossible, nor his 0 targets last week likely to be an every-week occurrence, it does limit his upside in more pass-heavy games… if the Seahawks ever do that.

Anyway, that’s about all I have time for this week. Let me know what you think, and I’ll see you next week.

Peter Howard
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Dynasty Fantasy Football Regression Trends: Week Seven
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