#TrendingNow - Dynasty Risers and Fallers Week 16

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Well ladies and gentleman, we have finally made it. The last week of the fantasy football season is here (for a majority of owners anyway). If you are still setting a lineup this week, congrats on your success. You are either playing for a championship or playing for the first pick in next year’s draft. I would rather have the championship, but the first overall pick could be a nice consolation prize depending on how your season went. With all that being said though, the fantasy football season is emotionally draining. I think we should all toast to making it through with our sanity.

For those who are reading this article, thank you for your continued support this season. My first season at Rotoballer has been great and I am looking forward to what lies ahead. As we head into the offseason soon, I’ll be switching my focus to other articles so you can begin prepping for the 2018 season right away. I’ll be wrapping up the season in two weeks with a #TrendingNow article that reviews the entire season and an article that breaks down where I was right and wrong (hopefully more rights in that article.)

With that being said, it’s time to wrap up 2017. Learn from your mistakes, celebrate your accomplishments and enjoy time with friends, family and loved ones. This includes fantasy football as well. Forget about that awful trade you made (I made a few), celebrate that league title (hope I have a few) and tell fellow owners you appreciate the competition. It’s time to look forward and prepare.

Editor's Note: Our Premium DFS Research - including DFS cheat sheets, game-by-game breakdowns, expert lineups, and matchup ratings - is only $9.99 through the Super Bowl! Sign Up Now!

 

#TrendingUp

Keelan Cole (WR, JAX)

It seems like the Jaguars have been in the news for all the right reasons this season. Instead of laughing at a franchise that has done just enough to stay away from being the Browns, we are applauding their excellent drafting and free agency acquisitions. Even after the loss of Allen Robinson, the Jaguars offense was able to push forward and be more than just good. The Jaguars are sixth in the NFL with 5154 yards of total offense and fifth with 374 points. For as good as the defense has been, the offense has been right up there with far less recognition.

Leonard Fournette has received the most attention from the Jacksonville offense, but the receiver core may be one of the more underrated groups in football. No one is going to reach 1,000 yards this season, but how many owners banked on Keelan Cole being second in receiving yards on the team? With the injury to Marqise Lee, there is a potential he could miss the final two weeks of the season. If that is the case, Cole would only need 95 yards to pass him as the leading receiver for the Jaguars.

To be completely honest, this guy was not on my radar until a few weeks ago. I had completely missed him and was unaware of what he had been doing. Until this past week, Cole only averaged 1.92 receptions per game, but was averaging 32.38 yards per game. The yards per reception are outstanding for Cole. After seven catches for 186 yards in Week 15, Cole now leads the NFL with 19.0 yards per reception. It will be interesting to see how he is utilized in 2018, and that mostly depends on whether Robinson will be returning to Jacksonville. Cole is currently playing in the slot, but these numbers sound more like DeSean Jackson playing on the outside. He is a guy I want on my roster heading into next year with the way this offense is trending.

 

Isaiah Crowell (RB, CLE)

Isaiah Crowell has been a roller coaster with my emotions this season. I loved him before the season and thought he was a RB1 potential. After what I saw the first few weeks of the season, I had to fall off the bandwagon and move on. Now I am right back on and thankful he will be a free agent at the end of the season. Nothing has frustrated me more this season, then the Browns use of Crowell. It is inexcusable how the Browns have just completely abandoned the run at times this year. Nothing against DeShone Kizer, but when you force a rookie QB to throw the ball more than 31 times a game, it’s going to be trouble. Hue Jackson had a great opportunity to build his offense around Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. this season and let Kizer build confidence. Jackson and the Browns coaching staff have to be the worst in football. I’m not even a Browns fan and I hate them.

Crowell has seen a late season resurgence regardless of his workload. Since Week 7, Crowell has averaged 5.69 yards per carry on 88 rushes. Even Ezekiel Elliot, who has been suspended for six weeks, has more carries this season than Crowell. Last Sunday, Crowell only had one carry after a 59 yard run in the second quarter. Yes, you can make the argument that when the Browns fall behind they can’t run it and the Browns typically fall behind quite often. Cleveland does have the eighth most pass attempts in the league with the lowest completion percentage and lowest passer rating. The second to last place Broncos passer rating of 73.0 is 12.3 points higher than the Browns. Did the Cowboys lean or Dak Prescott or Elliot last year? I am not comparing the players to each other in any way, but it’s easy to see what type of game plan works best with a young, unproven QB. Jackson gave up on the run way to quick this season and it hurt the team and Crowell.

The good news for Crowell and his owners remains pending free agency. The RB free agent class could be flooded this offseason and that scares me a little, but he will sign somewhere. As long as it is anywhere but Cleveland, he will be much better in 2018 than he was in 2017. Wouldn’t Crowell look great in a Patriots uniform replacing Dion Lewis? Probably not going to happen, but as a Crowell owner myself, I can dream.

 

#TrendingDown

Orleans Darkwa (RB, NYG)

Raise your hands if you bought into Paul Perkins. It seemed like the perfect recipe for him to offer RB2 return. He was going to get the work, he had a ton of weapons around him and a veteran QB at the helm. It lasted all of four extremely disappointing weeks. In Week 5, Orleans Darkwa took over the backfield duties and turned out to be a pretty good option for fantasy owners that handcuffed Perkins or jumped on Darkwa while he was still on waivers. He was a big boost for some mid-season, but since then, he hasn’t been even a flex option.

Between Week 6 and Week 11, Darkwa finished with four performances of 70 or more rushing yards. That is pretty impressive considering the Giants offense has been a dumpster fire a majority of the season. Since Week 11 though, Darkwa has been less effective each week. He hasn’t averaged three yards a carry in four weeks and during those four weeks, only one team was in the top ten of rush defense. Wayne Gallman has fared much better in the same matchups, averaging more than four yards a carry in three of the four contests. When word started to circulate that Perkins would be on the way out of the lead back role, many thought it would be Gallman taking over.

Over the course of the last four weeks, Gallman has out snapped Darkwa 109-82. In addition to being more successful on the ground, Gallman has been more successful as a receiver as well. The last two weeks Gallman has caught 13 of 16 targets for 80 yards. Darkwa has scored the touchdowns, but the Giants are giving the volume to Gallman. Gallman is an all-around back that will head into 2018 as the lead runner. Odell Beckham Jr and Brandon Marshall will be healthy, Sterling Shepard will have another year under his belt and Evan Engram will have matured as well. If the Giants can fix their issues on the offensive line, Gallman could be the return you wanted from Perkins, but in 2018.

 

Danny Amendola (WR, NE)

After Danny Amendola caught 85 passes for 689 yards in his second season, I thought he was going to be the next great receiver for the Rams. Ever since that season though, it has been one injury after another. After the Rams moved on from Amendola, the Patriots were waiting and ready to sign him. Amendola is in the middle of his healthiest and most productive season yet at age 32. With 101 receiving yards over the next two weeks, Amendola will have a new career high in receiving yards. That could be coming to an end soon though.

Amendola’s contract is up after the season and he will hit free agency heading into his age 33 season. The market for 33-year-old receivers doesn’t appear to be lucrative these days. I don’t anticipate the Patriots spending money to re-sign Amendola at the end of the year. Julian Edelman will return after a knee injury and will have one year left on his contract. The Patriots traded for Phillip Dorsett as well for depth. The Patriots also have Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan to go with them. After dealing with all the injuries they had this year, the Patriots will likely carry more depth, but unless Amendola is willing to accept near league minimum and a reduced role, he won’t be back.

Leaving Tom Brady and the Patriots behind for another team, no matter who the team is, will be a downgrade. For dynasty owners, you can probably move on from Amendola now. With an offseason full of unpredictable outcomes for Amendola, it’s hard to buy him right now. Like I said, landing in a situation better than New England is going to be difficult. If it takes a majority of the off-season for a deal to come through, you will have wanted to fill your roster by that point. Even if he does stay in New England, there are plenty of other options available to you.

 

More 2017 Dynasty League Strategy