Each Friday I will be walking you through some week 7 Dynasty buys and sells highlighting the players you should be targeting and shifting in your dynasty Leagues. If you are ever looking for prices and trade value be sure to check out my survival kit
Two weeks ago on the podcast, I went all-in on Patterson as a must buy to compete this year. Well, I’m back to double down on that opinion. Patterson is a journeyman Receiver and Kick returner who has been a disappointment as a former 1st round pick. If you remove him being one of the greatest kick returners of all time he is likely considered a huge bust. However, to start this season he has been on a tear and the Falcons finally seem to have unlocked his potential in year 8 of his career.
Patterson is currency sat as the RB10 or WR13 depending on how you’re valuing him. That is also taking into consideration that he has already had his bye week. In points per game, he’s the RB3 and WR5! So why aren’t people all in? Because we are naturally cautious creatures and are not wanting to believe in an 8th-year breakout.
I truly believe that the Falcons have unlocked Patterson and instead of trying to pigeonhole him into a specific role, they are instead using him as a moveable piece all over the offence. Looking purely at plays in which Patterson has either run the ball or run a pass route. Patterson has been in the backfield 61%, in the slot 12% and out wide 23% (he even lined up at tight end 3% of the time). Patterson can literally line up anywhere on the field on any given play and he has shown that he is not a nuanced route runner but he can use his size to win on slants and back shoulder fades from out wide.
Does volume resolve Regression?
The general consensus is that Patterson has been so efficient on limited usage that he will likely see regression. I don’t disagree with this. Patterson is currently leading the league in targets per route run at 40% the second highest is Davante Adams at 34%. Patterson also has an unsustainable TD rate of 16% through the air.
However, the Falcons will likely realise what they have in Patterson and start using him more often. Patterson currently has an opportunity share of 40% whilst Mike Davis is at 50%. That will likely skew towards Patterson as the season moves forward. Patterson is also only participating in 34% of routes. If both of those numbers increase the inevitable regression will be outweighed by the increased opportunity volume. Furthermore, Whilst Patterson has a high TD rate in the receiving game he is only at a 2.4% TD rate on the ground which could also increase.
Two weeks ago I said I’d trade any 2nd round pick for Patterson and I still believe that is about the fair price. You may have to pay a bit more to tempt him away from his current owner. I would be comfortable paying around 2 2nds if I’m a contender and Patterson can push me over the top. I think a 1st may be a bit rich but if you’re likely to be competing for the title I could be convinced to pay that price.
Another player coming off a bye who could be undervalued is Elijah Mitchell. The 49ers Backfield is an absolute mess every season. They churn through four or five backs every year and it’s a nightmare for fantasy. So why do we even bother trying to worry about the backfield? Because it is a fantasy goldmine! Last year if you took the RB that had the most carries in every single game they finished as the RB3. This backfield has the potential to be league winning without the cost of a top 10 Back.
So if this backfield could be league winning why not take a flyer on the very affordable options that could lead this backfield. So far this season it appears that Elijah Mitchell is the preferred back since the Mostert injury. Mitchell saw the bulk of the work in weeks 1 and 2 before missing two weeks due to injury. Whilst he was out Trey Sermon performed admirably. When Mitchell returned however he slotted straight back in as the lead back with a 66% snap share. The 49ers have then had their bye and everyone seems to have forgotten about Mitchell.
Mitchell is a rookie in a great offence for RB production who is likely to see two-thirds of the workload. Yet you can probably acquire him for a 2nd currently. To me, that is a market inefficiency that needs to be taken advantage of. Yes, Trey Sermon was a higher draft pick than Mitchell. However, the 49ers are showing us what they think of the field. Mitchell is the back to own in San Francisco.
Normally when you’re in a rebuild the consensus opinion is to sell off all your ageing players for either rookies or draft picks. Whilst I agree that can be a good method to rebuild. I maintain the ideal rebuild strategy is to identify depreciated assets and buy them at their lowest point. Enter Brandon Aiyuk. In August Aiyuk was the WR16 (per DLF.com ADP). He was coming off a fantastic rookie season and was being considered a future cornerstone to build your dynasty franchise around. Aiyuk then caught the wrath of Kyle Shanahan and plummeted in value after a slow start. I recently ran a poll on Twitter around his value and the consensus was around a 2nd.
As mentioned above the 49ers have just had their Bye week. I still believe that Aiyuk is the most talented WR in that offence and that is despite Deebo currently being on pace for a top 5 WR season. IF Aiyuk bounces back after the buy and recoups some of his value he is likely doubling or tripling his value in a matter of weeks. It is a risky play as Aiyuk could go the way of Dante Pettis and disappear from relevancy. However, when you’re rebuilding these are the types of calculated risks you need to take. If it doesn’t work out all you’ve lost is a lottery ticket of a 2nd round pick that has around a 25-35% chance of hitting.
Manny Sanders has long been a favourite of mine. He was one of my favourite targets in his last season with the Steelers. And he has outproduced his value for many years. Coming into the season I added plenty of shares for essentially free after he signed as an afterthought in Buffalo. So this is really painful to type but I honestly believe he is a sell right now. Currently, the WR23 on the season Sanders has been largely buoyed by a high TD rate. Sanders has caught a TD on 16.7% of his receptions. Whilst that is high it’s not unsustainable. The largest reason I believe he is a sell is that I believe this offence is going to shift more towards Stefon Diggs. Also, Emmanuel Sanders is 34 years old. You’re unlikely to have another opportunity to recoup any value on the asset. I wouldn’t just give away Sanders or probably even sell him for a draft pick as you’re unlikely to get anything more than a 3rd for him. However, If you can add him as the final piece in a larger deal that may be the way to move forward.