The first week of the 2022 NFL season is in the books and it was as good as we anticipated. There were comebacks, overtime games, and some electric Quarterback performances. Everything one could hope for in week one and we’re just getting started. In this article, I’m going to take a look at a couple of the more impressive performances over the weekend, and some of the not-so-impressive. I’ll also be diving into how they project the rest of the season as well as their current dynasty value.
As if people couldn’t get any more excited about Gabe Davis, he finished with 4 receptions for 88 yards and a long touchdown. It is the exact type of game fantasy managers were looking for when they drafted him as a top 30 Wide Receiver this past year. The talent has always been apparent with Davis, but he was never able to carve out a consistent role. This is partly due to the presence of Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders in previous years. Both are gone now and Davis operated as the clear number two option with a 98% snap percentage.
Davis will likely be a hard target to acquire in dynasty leagues at this point. His value was already extremely high, and with a performance like that, he’s only going up from this point. I haven’t updated my rankings yet, but he will likely check in somewhere around WR30-35 in my next set of dynasty rankings. He checks in much higher in most redraft rankings, but I still prefer the talent of players like Amon Ra St. Brown and Darnell Mooney.
Week one couldn’t have gone worse for Cam Akers and dynasty managers. He finished the game with only three rushing attempts compared to Darrell Henderson’s 13. It’s possible Akers is not entirely healthy, however, it’s worth noting he took a full workload eight months ago during the Rams playoff run. Worse yet there was no indication from the Rams that this would be the case going into the game. Henderson was listed as the co-starter but still figured to operate behind Akers. Fantasy managers won’t be able to trust Akers in line-ups unfortunately unless this workload split changes.
In dynasty leagues, it will be nearly impossible to sell Cam Akers at this point. His value will have cratered after this game, and all you can do is hold and hope circumstances change. He’s still very talented and not far removed from an Achilles injury. Henderson wasn’t overly effective either so it’s not out of the realm of possibility he could take this backfield over shortly. Nonetheless, this was a horrible week for Cam Aker’s dynasty stock, and managers should be looking at other options in week two.
Drake London was a big riser for me over the weekend. His performance was especially impressive considering he hasn’t practiced much over the last few weeks after being injured in the preseason. London caught 5 passes for 74 yards, both a team-high for the day. Going forward you can expect him to be a boom/bust WR3 who should improve over the course of the year. His fantasy performances will likely depend a lot on Marcus Mariota though. He will struggle in some games which means London will have some boom and bust performances.
I have him firmly as a top 15 Wide Receiver in dynasty leagues with the potential to move up even further. His success with Mariota makes you salivate at what he could do with one of the top Quarterbacks in next year’s draft. Despite their impressive effort in week one, the Falcons are still likely to end up with a top 5 pick in next year’s draft. Unless I’m a competing team and receive an offer I can’t refuse I’ll be holding London in all leagues as he has a very bright future.
The only other person in contention with Akers for the fastest-dropping dynasty stock. If Etienne can’t seize the lead-back role with James Robinson only nine months removed from an Achilles injury, I’m concerned he never will. Robinson looked fantastic and gave the coaching staff no reason not to give him a substantial workload either. Etienne also had a bad drop that could have led to a touchdown, and a fumble as well. It’s really hard to rank him as more than an RB3 and a flex option next week against the Colts.
Etienne’s dynasty value is also in danger as well. He was being ranked as a fringe RB1 according to many dynasty analysts coming into this season, and will likely have a hard time living up to that billing. Like Akers, he will nearly be impossible to trade without taking a substantial loss in value compared to what you spent to acquire him. So I will be holding him, and hope that this was an outlier week. The potential is still there in a bad offense to have a similar role that D’Andre Swift held with the Lions in 2021, so he still checks in as the RB15 in my dynasty rankings.
Another hype train that went off the rails quickly, Lance struggled mightily in Chicago. To be fair the weather conditions were atrocious, and Fields struggled equally as much throwing the football. Nonetheless, Lance completed less than 50% of his passes and did nothing to silence those that questioned his passing ability. He clearly has a ton of upside but will need to take a step forward to keep the chatter down. Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the team and has had success at the highest level in this league. The media isn’t the concern here but the players in that locker room are. Many have won with Garoppolo in the past and if Lance continues to struggle it’s hard not to picture some rumblings going on within the team.
Lance is still a top-tier Quarterback in dynasty leagues due to his potential, but that’s what it is potential. He’s hard to trust as more than a high-end QB2 option in week two given his lack of passing upside. It’s never a good strategy to sell players after a poor performance, but Lance had enough supporters this off-season that it could still be possible. If someone still has him firmly ranked as a top 10 dynasty Quarterback, or if you could add a small piece on top of him for an elite option, I would certainly consider it. His dynasty value will drop quickly if he doesn’t show improvement.
You can follow Emerson on Twitter @Dynasty_Analyst to keep up with his work. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles from our great Dynasty team, coming soon. Remember to tune into the 5 Yard Dynasty livestream every Tuesday at 8pm (GMT or 3pm EST).