Dynasty Blueprint: 5 Takeaways From Week 13

Ryan McDowell

Editor’s Note: Ryan debuted the Dynasty Blueprint term all the way back in 2014, focusing on his personal dynasty strategy and philosophy. He introduced ideas like punting running backs and the now-common productive struggle. This series expands on the original, providing an in-depth look inside his dynasty mind.

This is my personal weekly Dynasty Blueprint. This article and all of the content on DLF is for you, the reader. The goal is to make you a better dynasty player and bring home some titles. Hopefully, this will help you reach that goal.

DYNASTY FIVE

Here are the five dynasty-related stories that have my attention coming off of another week of NFL action.

The Demise of an RB1

This has been a difficult season for Chargers running back Austin Ekeler. When you’re a 28-year-old back, a stretch of poor play, as we’ve seen from Ekeler this year, could be a sign that the end is near. After a Week One ankle injury, Ekeler missed a month and was clearly showing lingering signs when he returned in Week Six, posting games of RB25 and RB38. Ekeler appeared to have gotten past the injury in Week Eight as he began a string of three straight top-six performances. Those three games now appear to be a fluke as Ekeler has been outside of the top 30 fantasy backs in each of the past three weeks. With the Chargers’ offense falling apart, it is difficult to see this turning around in the season’s final month.

A year ago, we saw the dynasty value of Saints back Alvin Kamara plummet following a disappointing season, although he was also dealing with some off-field issues that eventually earned him a league-imposed suspension. Even without that factor, I expect Ekeler to follow a similar path in the coming months of our ADP. I expect Ekeler, currently the RB9 per November DLF ADP, to fall outside of the top-20 dynasty backs by March. I would suggest selling while you can, but it might already be too late.

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And the Rise of a TE1

Back in Week Seven, Cardinals veteran tight end Zach Ertz suffered an injury that eventually landed him on the injured reserve list. Beginning in Week Eight, second-year man Trey McBride has quickly ascended the tight end ranks, and deservedly so. In the six games since Ertz’s injury, McBride has finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end five times, including three times as a top-two scorer. This week, the Cardinals parted ways with Ertz, eliminating any nonsensical concern that the team would go away from using McBride as their top tight end. McBride is even the TE7 on the season despite seeing inconsistent playing time through the first seven weeks of the season.

Dynasty managers have been quick to push rookies Sam LaPorta and Dalton Kincaid up rankings and ADP and McBride should be right alongside them as they climb. The young trio, along with TJ Hockenson and Mark Andrews, make up my top-five dynasty tight ends.

McBride entered the league a year ago as the TE1 in his class but fell out of favor for dynasty managers when he couldn’t overtake Ertz for playing time. With a strong prospect profile, adequate draft capital, and now a high level of production, McBride has the makings of a long-time TE1. While there are some uncertainties about the Cardinals’ offense moving forward, it does appear that quarterback Kyler Murray will be back in 2024 and McBride will have the opportunity to serve as a top-two option in the Arizona passing game.

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mark j. rebilas-usa today sports

Nico and the Dell

Exciting rookie receiver Tank Dell entered Week Thirteen questionable to play due to a nagging calf injury. Dell was able to start the game but late in the third quarter, had his leg rolled up on in a goal-line play. Dell went down as both teams showed concern for the player. That’s never a good sign. Eventually, Dell was carted off and later diagnosed with a fractured fibula, which landed him on injured reserve. Even if he’s able to return, this injury essentially ends Dell’s season as a fantasy asset. It’s obviously a disappointing end to an electric start to Dell’s career. Currently the WR19 based on total fantasy points, Dell averages 16.5 per game. His size will likely continue to be questioned, but I expect him to continue to climb dynasty rankings and ADP. Don’t be surprised if he’s a top-20 dynasty receiver and top-40 overall player to begin the dynasty offseason.

Dell’s departure on Sunday opened the door for his running mate, Nico Collins, to enjoy a career day. Collins caught nine of 12 targets for 191 yards and a touchdown. Pending Monday Night Football, Collins is the WR3 for the week. That’s his fourth WR1 game on the season. Still just 24 years old, Collins could join his teammate Dell as a dynasty WR2 in our upcoming ADP release.

Even More Injuries

Ugh, this is the least enjoyable part of this series and it is seemingly required each week. Along with Dell, we witnessed injuries to a handful of other fantasy-relevant stars in Week Thirteen. Jalen Hurts and Puka Nacua both left their respective games with injuries but were able to return. They should be monitored over the coming days but will presumably be good to go for next week. Amari Cooper, Derrick Henry, and Derek Carr were each forced from their games with head injuries. While that is certainly serious, the trio could be back on the field next week.

Kenny Pickett suffered a lower-leg injury and will reportedly miss “a couple of weeks.” The Steelers offense has continued to struggle even after making a coaching change two weeks ago. The insertion of Mitchell Trubisky under center should only make things worse as the fantasy playoffs approach.

Commanders back Brian Robinson suffered a hamstring injury and was quickly ruled out. Never a good sign, the expectation is that Robinson will miss multiple games, though Washington is on bye in Week Fourteen. Antonio Gibson saw most of the work following Robinson’s departure but rookie Chris Rodriguez could also play a larger role moving forward. He’s worthy of a waiver wire add this week.

Packers wide receiver Christian Watson was enjoying his best game of the season as Green Bay upset the Chiefs. Unfortunately, late in the game, Watson suffered what appeared to be yet another hamstring injury. Watson has flashed his ability through his first two seasons but has been plagued by leg injuries as his dynasty value continues to roller coaster up and down.

Finally, the lone bright spot in the Patriots offense limped off the field early in Sunday’s contest. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson suffered an apparent high-ankle sprain, which often results in multiple missed games. The Pats face the Steelers on Thursday to kick off Week Fourteen, making the nearly impossible even more difficult. Don’t expect to see Stevenson over the next couple of weeks. This means we can just ignore the Patriots altogether and they close in on a possible first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Evans is Inevitable

Mike Evans went off, again. Evans finished with seven receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown on his way to his fifth WR1 game of the season. Evans also eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the tenth straight year, extending his own league record. Evans, along with 31-year old Keenan Allen have been obvious trade targets for contending teams and strong pivots from the idea of buying Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, or Stefon Diggs. Evans is currently the WR7 on the season, while Allen is the WR2, yet they remain cheaper than the trio of Kupp, Adams, and Diggs.

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FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

The longtime DLF readers might remember this from my time penning the weekly DLF Dynasty Newsletter. Essentially, this area will offer me an opportunity to share whatever dynasty-related topic is at the front of my mind this week.

A new month brings new dynasty ADP here at DLF. While the full data is not ready to be posted, I do have enough to share a sneak preview. Here are the first two rounds of December’s DLF 1QB dynasty ADP.

ROUND ONE:

Pick Player Team Position ADP
1.01 Justin Jefferson MIN WR 1.0
1.02 Ja’Marr Chase CIN WR 2.25
1.03 CeeDee Lamb DAL WR 2.75
1.04 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET WR 5.25
1.05 AJ Brown PHI WR 5.5
1.06 Bijan Robinson ATL RB 5.5
1.07 Tyreek Hill MIA WR 7.75
1.08 Christian McCaffrey SF RB 8.0
1.09 Jahmyr Gibbs DET RB 8.5
1.10 Garrett Wilson NYJ WR 9.5
1.11 Breece Hall NYJ RB 11.5
1.12 Jaylen Waddle MIA WR 13.0

 

ROUND TWO:

Pick Player Team Position ADP
2.01 Chris Olave NO WR 13.5
2.02 Travis Etienne JAX RB 15.5
2.03 Brandon Aiyuk SF WR 16.75
2.04 DeVonta Smith PHI WR 17.25
2.05 De’Von Achane MIA RB 18.5
2.06 Stefon Diggs BUF WR 20.0
2.07 DK Metcalf SEA WR 20.0
2.08 Jonathan Taylor IND RB 20.0
2.09 Jordan Addison MIN WR 20.75
2.10 Puka Nacua LAR WR 21.0
2.11 Michael Pittman IND WR 24.0
2.12 Tank Dell HOU WR 26.25

 

ryan mcdowell
Dynasty Blueprint: 5 Takeaways From Week 13
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Lewis Snow
Lewis Snow
2 months ago

Injuries…. just when I thought it could not get any worse when I lost Burrow and Andrews a few weeks ago… lost Robinson, Dell and Taylor again. All In a matter of 3 weeks !! Not looking good for the playoffs now.

William Barkman
William Barkman
Reply to  Lewis Snow
2 months ago

I wouldn’t go to Vegas anytime soon!

John Stearley
John Stearley
2 months ago

All due respect, suggesting we sell Ekeler after 99% of league trade deadlines is a little late to the party. An article like this before the season or at least before his decline was obvious would have been more valuable.

Ed Geis
Ed Geis
Reply to  John Stearley
2 months ago

Also due respect, if you working to sell Ekeler already, Ryan wasn’t giving you info you didn’t have. He also mentioned it was probably too late, but good idea to call him out on it.