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Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings: Cornerstone Report, Week 16

We continue our look at young players in the spotlight.

Dameon Pierce

Welcome to the Cornerstone Report where we will check in on the young players in football (2023-eligible college players, rookies, and sophomores) each week! As the hottest commodities in dynasty and devy, these players can make or break your teams in the future.

Here are some of the top headlines and reports for the future of the league…

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR Ohio State skipping the College Football Playoff to enter the NFL

Coming into this season, JSN was highly anticipated as the next elite WR prospect in college football. Dynasty owners expected huge numbers after seeing him put up 347 yards and three touchdowns in the Rose Bowl last season. Unfortunately, a bad hamstring injury kept him off the field and faltering when he even attempted to play. This resulted in an opt-out of the College Football Playoff announced this past week to get healthy and prep for the NFL. Is a season with only five receptions enough to be a first-round pick? Time will tell.

Tank Bigsby, RB Auburn and Devon Achane, RB Texas A&M declare for the draft

NFL Draft declarations have slowed down, but two major RB names emerged this week. Bigsby had a tremendous true freshman season, looking like the next NFL bellcow. His efficiency got worse over the last two years, but the talent is still there to be a fantasy contributor. The off-season will be key for him as speed and athleticism may not be his strength.

Achane, on the other hand, does not get near the recognition he deserves. Potentially challenging to run in the 4.2 range, he has huge upside as an NFL weapon. He led the Aggies in rushing this past season with a full workload, while also racking up receptions. Achane could be the third RB off the board in the NFL Draft and should be on radars.

Dameon Pierce, RB HOU slowed down by injury

After an exciting start to the season, Pierce had been on a scoring drought with seven straight games without a rushing TD. That was rectified this week against Dallas as the Texans remained competitive, but unfortunately, injury struck. An ankle injury forced him to exit the game in the fourth quarter and ultimately was diagnosed as a “mild high ankle sprain”. Expect Pierce to be sidelined for much of the fantasy playoffs, and this could lead to the Texans drafting a running mate with Pierce for next season.

Jameson Williams, WR DET looks healthy on a long TD

Williams increased his snap count from 11% to 19% this past week, showing his health is improving. More importantly, the Lions are drawing up plays for him as evidenced by a 41-yard TD reception in the game. Williams flashing that downfield ability and potential is huge for fantasy owners moving forward.

Brock Purdy, QB SF outduels Tom Brady

After successfully filling in for Jimmy Garoppolo after his injury, there was trepidation about Purdy’s first start going against Brady and the Buccaneers. Surprisingly, Purdy looked like a real pro commanding the 49ers’ offense. The team went up 35-0 until a late Buccaneers score kept the shutout away. He did it all, throwing, running and finding ways to keep manufacturing first downs. Mr. Irrelevant might just have an NFL starting future down the line.

Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE TEN emerging as a major weapon

Jonnu Smith emerged for the Titans years ago as a versatile TE weapon, and the team may have their next one in Okonkwo. He has improved his reception total over the last four weeks, and catching all six targets for 45 yards and a touchdown was huge for the Titans’ offense. The Maryland rookie is flashing the speed and athleticism that makes him dangerous. He will be a nice sleeper TE for next season.

 

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Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings: Cornerstone Report, Week 16
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Chad Gorick
3 months ago

Great stuff Shane, I’m wondering about your take at this time on:
1) considering Bijan as the 1.01, who do you see as the 1.02 in Superflex?
2) does Purdy supplant TLance as the QB1 in SF?
thanks!

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