Dynasty Trending Observations: Rookie RB Battle, Trevor Lawrence Looks Lost and Cooper Kupp Bounces Back

Michael Moore

It’s the fantasy playoffs, so if your dynasty team is still playing, you’re busy focusing on starting lineups. But if you’re not in the playoffs, you’re already looking ahead to your lineups for next year. The players and developments below could be playing a part in those decisions.

Jump the Run

An argument could be made that Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs is on the exact trajectory that was expected of him. After being selected 12th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, he entered our DLF rankings as a top-ten running back. He’s steadily climbed those rankings thanks to an impressive rookie season that has seen him total nearly 800 rushing yards, nearly 300 receiving yards, and eight total touchdowns through just 12 games. Those numbers would be impressive enough for a full season let alone three quarters of one. He’s currently a top-ten running back in fantasy scoring and shows no sign of slowing down.

Bijan Robinson, on the other hand, has been a disappointment relative to the expectations thrust upon him. He has similar numbers to Gibbs – 801 rushing yards, 323 receiving yards and seven touchdowns – and is a top-15 running back in fantasy scoring. But a top-15 finish is not what dynasty managers who took Robinson first overall paid for.

And yet, Robinson is considered the better dynasty asset but, as the post above asks, will it last?

Dynasty Impact: Robinson started the season as the clear choice for top rookie back and rightfully so. He was taken four spots higher and was widely touted as the best running back prospect in years. Gibbs’ selection was a surprise as no one mocked him that high if they even had him in the first round. So that’s where they stood as the season started.

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And even though their seasons have been statistically close, their value still isn’t quite even. In Gibbs’ case, he’s in a solid situation with the Lions where he’ll have good coaching, good players, and a stable environment. That’s not the case for Robinson who, at a minimum, will have a different quarterback next year if not a different coach. If the latter ends up happening, it could be for the best as current Falcons coach Arthur Smith has baffled real-life and fantasy analysts alike.

For now, it’s fair to consider Gibbs and Robinson as equals when it comes to dynasty value. They have both flashed the talent that prompted NFL teams to take them so high, so don’t let a current Gibbs dynasty manager convince you he’s better than Robinson and vice versa.

The Last T-Law

The sequence of events in the post above could be a microcosm of Trevor Lawrence’s career. The talent and vision to seemingly take that next step before falling flat. It has led to some frustration with Lawrence dynasty managers that could lead to some of them moving on after this season.

Case in point, in some ways, Lawrence is progressing, as shown by his statistics on the field. He’s averaging more passing and rushing yards per game than ever and his yards-per-attempt average is a tick higher than last season. But his 18 passing touchdowns are not only disappointing but put him on track to finish with only 22 or two less than last year. He’s also already surpassed last year’s eight interceptions already with ten. On the season, he’s been a fringe QB1 when it comes to fantasy scoring.

Much like Bijan Robinson above, it’s certainly not the kind of fantasy numbers dynasty managers paid for when Lawrence entered the league. But unlike Robinson, we’re into year three of the Trevor Lawrence experiment and the results don’t seem to be getting any better.

Dynasty Impact: After improvement from his first to second seasons that saw Lawrence throw for over 4,000 yards and double the number of touchdowns he threw, he’s taken a noticeable step back. His dynasty value does not reflect that yet but it will once the season is over.

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For current Lawrence dynasty managers, it’s time to re-evaluate as his situation in Jacksonville doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. Head coach Doug Pederson isn’t going anywhere and the players around Lawrence are (were?) supposed to be good including former Pro Bowler Travis Etienne.

If Lawrence was leading your 1QB dynasty team, a change is in order. If he’s your QB2 on a superflex team, there’s no need to panic but you could still be on the lookout for an upgrade in the off-season.

Kupp Runneth Over

Cooper Kupp’s 2023 season has been quite the roller coaster.

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First, there were the four weeks he missed recovering from an injury. When he did return, he notched two 100-yard games before going on a cold streak that saw him fail to top 50 yards for six weeks straight. But Kupp dynasty managers are riding high again, turning in 100-yard, one-touchdown games in each of his last two contests and just in time for the fantasy playoffs. For Kupp dynasty managers, it’s a reward for holding on to him this long. Ever since his All-Time season in 2021 that saw him reach nearly 2,000 receiving yards, he’s been injured half the time. Luckily he’s produced the other half that he’s been healthy but can his managers count on that going forward?

Dynasty Impact: Using the DLF Trade Analyzer, Kupp is currently worth a mid-first-round rookie pick. That will probably change in the off-season as he (and quarterback Matthew Stafford) get a year older and a new class of receivers enter the league. However, would Kupp be worth a late first-round rookie pick or second? Yes. If he were to enter the 2024 season healthy, he would still be producing 100-yard games and helping your dynasty team that’s in win-now mode. Now if you’re a team that is on the younger side and looking to stockpile picks? Kupp is a good candidate to net you some of those.

michael moore