Welcome to the Dynasty Watch. For those of you playing in deep dynasty leagues, this is where we’ll help you keep track of some bench stashes. These are players who have a small chance of becoming regular contributors, but for the few that do, we’ll try and help you beat your league-mates to the punch.
Nick Mullens (SF) — It’s only a game and a half, but so far Mullens has proven capable of filling in for Jimmy Garappolo. After going 8 for 11 for 71 yards and an INT in his mid-game Week 1 debut, Mullens completed 25 of 36 passes for 343 yards and a TD in his Week 2 start. The UDFA is humming along at a 70% completion rate and seems comfortable operating Kyle Shannahan’s offense in Garappolo’s stead. Garappolo seems likely to miss a few more starts.
J.J. Taylor (NE) — It’s almost laughable how Bill Belichick toys with our hearts when it comes to his backfield. Almost. After a 4/48 Week 1, Taylor saw 1 touch for -1 yards in Week 2, only to then rush 11 times for 43 yards in Week 3 on a 22% snap share. What is clear is that Belichick is using the rookie enough to consider stashing him. Taylor is also returning kicks, with 80 yards in 4 attempts.
JaMycal Hasty (SF) — Hasty - who the 49ers protected on the practice squad - got the call in Week 3, seeing his first game snaps. Hasty rushed 2 times for 9 yards and caught his lone target for 9 yards. He’s still the 4th RB on this team, but the 49ers seem to think he could be a valuable asset in the future.
La’Mical Perine (NYJ) — Perine is still barely involved in this offense, but he did double his usage (14% to 33%) from Week 2 to Week 3. He rushed 7 times for 24 yards and caught both of his targets.
Jordan Wilkins (Ind) — Wilkins was the change-of-pace back (28% snap share) for rookie Jonathan Taylor for the second week in a row, leapfrogging Nyheim Hines. Wilkins rushed 9 times for 39 yards, catching his only target for 6 yards. Wilkins is in line to be the lead back should Taylor miss time.
Darrel Williams (KC) — With Clyde Edwards-Helaire the clear lead back in KC, Williams seems to have a firm grip as CEH’s handcuff. Both he and Darwin Thompson played a handful of snaps, but Thompson lost a fumble on one of his few opportunities.
Devontae Booker (LV) — Booker has no value outside of the primary backup to snap-monster Josh Jacobs, but for the second time in three weeks, Booker exploded with the few opportunities he did get. After turning 7 touches into 52 yards in Week 1, Booker rushed 3 times for 31 yards (10.33 YPC) in Week 3. Still showing plenty of juice, Booker remains in a great role as the direct backup in a run-heavy offense.
Darnell Mooney (Chi) — Although Mooney gave back the starting job to Anthony Miller in Week 3, the 5th-round rookie still managed 5 targets on a 62% snap share. He caught 2 of those targets for 19 yards, but that’s not the good news. The good news is Nick Foles is now throwing him the ball instead of the inconsistent/inaccurate Mitch Trubisky. It might not be Mooney SZN until 2021, but these are invaluable reps he’s getting this early in the season.
Gabriel Davis (Buf) — Davis was supposed to be more of a 2021 stash, but he keeps forcing his way into the lineup. The slot specialist saw a spike in usage, targets, and production in Week 3. Davis turned 46 snaps (74%) into 4/81.
Damiere Byrd (NE) — Although Byrd didn’t pile up production in Week 3, he did play almost every snap. He caught all 3 of his passes for 27 yards (9 YPC), but the Patriots only threw it 28 times, electing instead to ride Rex Burkhead to victory.
Justin Watson (TB) — Watson missed Week 3 with a shoulder injury but is practicing this week. With Chris Godwin (hamstring) likely out for a week or two, and Scotty Miller dealing with a few injuries (hip, groin), Watson could see some action if he’s healthy enough to get on the field.
Cedrick Wilson (Dal) — After playing a total of 7 snaps in the first two games (failing to register a single stat), Wilson blew up in Week 3 to the tune of 5/107/2 on 24 snaps. Considering the shootout they were in and the beat-up Seattle secondary, this might just be a one-week fling. How backup snaps shake out between Wilson and Noah Brown will be important to watch in case the Cowboys lose 1 of their top 3 wideouts to injury.
Quintez Cephus (Det) — Kenny Golladay returned to the lineup in Week 3, planting Cephus back on the bench, but it was a good two-game audition for what Detroit hopes to be the replacement for Marvin Jones, Jr. in the coming years. In those 2 games, Cephus caught 6 of 13 targets for 98 yards.
K.J. Hill (LAC) — One way to spot a potential breakout player is if the team uses them in the return game early in their careers. T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown, and Tyreek Hill come to mind. Hill is still just a deep stash, but besides making an appearance as a punt returner in Week 3, Hill also caught his first pass for 15 yards. He received 4 targets in total on 46% of the snaps. That’s a major jump in usage, though it’s likely just temporary as Mike Williams continues to deal with a handful of injuries.
Isaiah Ford (Mia) — Ford continues to operate out of the slot, but played just 27 of 61 snaps in Week 3. He caught both his targets for 14 yards.
Jalen Guyton (LAC) — Guyton caught 2-of-3 targets for 23 yards, maintaining his minimal but steady involvement in this offense. With Mike Williams seemingly always dealing with an injury (shoulder, hamstring), Guyton may get more opportunities this year. His real value might not come to fruition until 2021, though.
Robert Tonyan (GB) — Tonyan has a TD in back-to-back games. After catching 2 of 3 targets for 25/1 in Week 2, Tonyan caught all 5 of his targets for 50/1 in Week 3. Tonyan again started while TE Josiah Deguara was sidelined with an injury, playing at least 60% in each game. Rookie TE Jace Sternberger is hovering around 20-30% usage.
Harrison Bryant (Cle) — Bryant found the end zone in Week 3, catching 1 of his 2 targets for a 3-yard score. The 2020 4th-rounder played 40 of 63 snaps and seems entrenched in the TE2 role behind Austin Hooper (David Njoku is on I.R.). Although it would probably take a Hooper injury for Bryant to be fantasy relevant this season, Bryant could be a major factor in this offense in a year or two.
Jordan Akins (Hou) — Through 3 games, Akins has 11 catches on 12 targets for 122 yards. He’s still splitting production with veteran Darren Fells, but the 2018 3rd-rounder is likely the future at TE for Houston.