Dynasty Trending Observations: Cam Akers on the Block, Jerome Ford on a Rocket

Michael Moore

If your league has a traditional 14-week regular season, then your season is already 15% over. That’s plenty of time to assess where your team stands when it comes to the playoff chase and if you need to be a buyer or seller. Below are some of the biggest developments from week two and what you should do about them.

Bear(s) Down

While the focus of this particular stat is the (already) impressive career of Justin Jefferson, it also shines a light on a particularly dismal fact. Not only do the Chicago Bears have a horrible track record when it comes to receivers but, unfortunately for current dynasty managers, that record appears to not getting better anytime soon.

The trio of DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, and Chase Claypool were supposed to elevate Justin Fields‘ passing game this season. Coupled with the effort put into the off-season to improve that part of the Chicago offense, fantasy managers were expecting a lot more than they got in week one. Instead, they got more of the same with Fields averaging a measly 6.5 yards per attempt through the first two games and has been picked off three times.

Moore, the big name acquired in the same trade that saw Chicago sell the first overall pick, caught just two balls for 25 yards in week one although he had a good bounce-back game in week two with his first 100-yard game of the year. And Claypool, who the Bears traded a second-round pick last year for, didn’t catch a ball after seeing just two targets in week one and totaled just three receptions for 36 yards in week two, salvaging his game with a score.

But the fantasy stats for the receivers have done nothing to instill confidence that Fields will be able to support them consistently.

Dynasty Impact: Any hope that dynasty managers had of these receivers of turning it around, particularly Moore, has been muddled through the first two weeks. Their value was already on the decline heading into the season as the Bears would naturally not be passing as much as a lot of other teams.

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Expect those values to decline even further. Claypool and Mooney were barely hanging on to fantasy relevance anyway.

Moore is the one who could potentially hamper several dynasty teams in their playoff hunt. After recording three straight 1,000-yard seasons in Carolina, he took a step back in 2022 with just 888 yards. Of course, the Panthers weren’t very good so it was assumed that Moore’s decline was a symptom of the issue instead of the problem. And not to say Moore is the issue in Chicago but if he was already slowing down in a bad situation last year, he’s not going to get better in another bad situation. Moore is a hold for now while his dynasty managers hope for the best.

Space Cam

On one hand, it’s not all that surprising that Cam Akers is in this position. The former second-round pick had a decent rookie season, topping 600 rushing yards and scoring twice while in a timeshare with both Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown in 2020. 2021 was supposed to be a breakout year but was injured in the off-season and barely played, seeing his most time in the Super Bowl that year. He was then on his way out in 2022 until injuries forced him to play more than Sean McVay probably would have liked. Akers ultimately ended the season with 786 yards and seven touchdowns and was nothing more than an RB2 in fantasy terms heading into the 2023 season. That assessment quickly changed after he ran the ball an impressive 22 times for an unimpressive 29 yards and one touchdown which finally led him to being a healthy scratch in week two. Now comes word that he’s on the outs (again) and find a new home sooner rather than later.

Dynasty Impact: When (if?) Akers finds himself on another team, dynasty managers will surely have a vested interest.

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Already on the RB2/3 line, Akers was a part of several dynasty teams’ playoff hopes. Now he (and his dynasty managers) will be lucky if he ends up starting another game. The timing is what makes this worse. If it happened in the off-season or when cuts happened, there could have been some openings on other teams before the season officially started. But teams have already finalized those plans and won’t need Akers’ services unless the injury bug strikes. Granted, it already has for a few teams (Giants, hello) but Akers would need to make up a lot of ground in a short amount of time to be fantasy-relevant. If you’re a current Akers manager, the best you’ll do is trade him to a dynasty team that also gets hit by the injury bug. Just don’t expect a big return.

Ford Game

Jerome Ford’s stock was on a steady incline heading into the season. The Browns had fully committed to him being the main backup to All-Pro Nick Chubb after letting former backup Kareem Hunt leave via free agency and bringing no competition via the draft. It was a big leap of faith as Ford totaled only eight rush attempts in his rookie season. That faith was rewarded after the gruesome injury Chubb suffered in week two. Ford came on in place of Chubb and promptly notched a 100-yard rushing effort and even added three receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown.

And while the tweet above is more applicable to redraft leagues, the sentiment is the same. Ford is about to cost a whole lot in your dynasty league. But what happens after you potentially acquire him?

Dynasty Impact: Ford’s fantasy arrow is pointing straight up now that he’s the starter. He’s surrounded by good players who will draw attention away from the run game. If he has more games like he did in week two, he’ll be on the RB1/2 for this season and help several dynasty teams make the playoffs. Using the DLF Trade Finder, you can see how much Ford was going for before the injury. It wasn’t chump change and won’t be feasible now that he’s the starter.

He could also supplant Chubb for the starting job next year. Consider that Chubb could provide significant savings to the Browns if he were cut and will be coming off a major leg injury (his second after suffering one in college). Ford is on his rookie contract for two more seasons after this one at a vastly reduced rate. Offering a first-round rookie pick for Ford may be a stretch but a second-round rookie pick and then some? Completely reasonable especially considering the dearth of running backs out there that are contributing meaningfully to fantasy teams. Seek out the Ford manager in your league and start the process of acquiring him.

michael moore
Dynasty Trending Observations: Cam Akers on the Block, Jerome Ford on a Rocket