For Part II of this series, click here.
In this two-part series, we will take a look at every NFL team and examine the dynasty outlook for select players on those squads. It will not be an exhaustive list, but it will give dynasty general managers some actionable advice about how to make their dynasty teams better.
There is a real chance that Zach Moss will be the primary ball carrier for the Bills by the end of this year. While Devin Singletary was able to outproduce Frank Gore last season, there is doubt that he will outshine the sturdier and more powerful Moss, especially in goal-line situations. Moss is also a better pass protector at this point in his career, which will probably help him to get snaps over Singletary. Buying low on Zach Moss and selling high on Singletary in dynasty leagues feels like the correct move.
Tua Tagovailoa is going behind Joe Burrow in both rookie and startup drafts and that is a mistake. Burrow is good in his own right and will be the day one starter for his team on an offense that has more of the personnel in place that it needs in order to have success. Still, this is dynasty football, so looking at the long-term outcomes of these players is the measuring stick. When examining their raw skills, it is clear that Tagovailoa is more accurate and evades pressure with movement more regularly, two things that are predictive of a more prolific career. Also, it may be better that Tagovailoa is sitting behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for at least part of the season. We often underrate the value of mentorship that an older quarterback offers.
New England Patriots
Cam Newton is going to make a comeback with the Patriots. There is little evidence to suggest that his injuries in the last two years are indicative of a chronic problem. Even if Newton ends up not being the physical wonder we have seen in years past, Bill Belichick’s ability to scheme an offense that plays to Newton’s strengths should not be underestimated. The bargain-basement window on Newton is closed, but there still may be an opportunity to buy at a discount before the season starts.
New York Jets
There are some talented players on this team, but the organizational instability makes it hard to want to invest in anyone. Adam Gase’s personality seems to be one that rubs many players the wrong way. It is difficult to envision a scenario in which things turn around and the Jets are wildly successful. Dynasty general managers should probably abstain from investing in skill players from that team for the time being. Instead, wait until Gase is fired, see who his replacement is, and then reevaluate if guys like Denzel Mims, Le'Veon Bell, and others are worth buying at low points of value.
More general managers are attuned to the fact that the Ravens are going to be a juggernaut offense for years to come, but there are still some opportunities to get important shares. In rookie drafts, J.K. Dobbins is consistently going off the board after Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor. He could end up being the best back of the three, but being in a committee with Mark Ingram II to start his career is tamping down his value. It is much easier to trade into the top three to five to secure the overlooked Dobbins than to deal for the 1.01. Mark Andrews took a leap forward last year, but could still increase in value by becoming the top tight end of 2020. Marquise Brown is now firmly on the radar but still seems undervalued in dynasty trades. Miles Boykin has been tossed aside after a forgettable rookie year, but there is plenty of room for him to emerge as the X receiver and help this offense develop another element. Devin Duvernay is a relatively cheap and versatile flier to take in rookie drafts. An injury to any of Brown, Boykin, or Chris Moore could propel him into a role that makes him fantasy relevant this year.
Joe Burrow does not possess many of the limitations that Andy Dalton did. In particular, that may open up things for Joe Mixon to have a career year. Mixon has played well, even with the weight of mediocre quarterbacking holding him back. Imagine what will happen when Burrow can threaten with his legs and with downfield passing in a way that Andy Dalton just physically could not manage. It is going to open up the playbook and allow Mixon to not be the sole focal point of the defense. Mixon has held his dynasty value well through these tough years, but there may be a frustrated owner out there whom you can coax into selling Mixon to you.
Nick Chubb is still undervalued. Partially, that is because Kareem Hunt is still on the roster and there was enough of a split in the opportunity when Hunt ended his suspension that general managers feel it will eat into Chubb’s production potential going forward. What has to be considered is that the Browns have shown all the signs that they intend to make this team revolve around the run. They brought in Kevin Stefanski, who successfully implemented this run-heavy mentality in Minnesota. Then they signed mauler Jack Conklin and drafted Jedrick Wills Jr., who is a better run-blocking prospect at this point in his development. They also signed fullback Andy Janovich. The intent is to run the football much more often. This could play out so that Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are over 1,000-yard rushers on the same offensive unit.
The dynasty assets on this team outside of rookie Dionte Johnson took a value tumble when Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the year. It is an excellent time to buy low on the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and even Ben Roethlisberger if you have a need at quarterback in your league. In particular, Smith-Schuster going back to primarily slot work is great news. It is going to be much harder to defend him there and it is where he will do his best statistical work. We should see this team rebound in a big way with competent quarterback play.
This is a team on the decline and one that we want to stay away from for dynasty purposes. Thankfully, DeAndre Hopkins was traded out of this situation, but dynasty assets Deshaun Watson, Brandon Cooks, and David Johnson are in major trouble in terms of losing some value this year. Bill O’Brien’s decisions to mortgage future draft picks and make anger-based trades are beginning to catch up with him. O’Brien also does not seem to realize just how much Hopkins did to make this offense functional. Cooks is a good player, but he does not win in the same ways as Hopkins. While Hopkins is able to use his physicality, Cooks relies more on speed and route-running to gain separation. In contested situations, the reality is that Cooks just is not going to be as proficient. Sell high on these assets while there is still time to get out.
In contrast to the Texans, the Colts are a team that is on the rise and have appealing options to target at the skill positions. Jonathan Taylor is highly regarded in dynasty formats and rightly so. He is a great pairing for this physical and athletic offensive line that will grind down opponents over the course of the season. Philip Rivers is a great bridge option for teams in need of a stopgap signal-caller. T.Y. Hilton is older and seems to have increased injury risk with his age, but his skill set is a perfect fit with what Rivers can still do. Hilton is a nice buy if you are contending and need to shore up one of your starting wide receiver spots. We also could see Micheal Pittman and Paris Campbell gain value this year with a more experienced option under center. Jack Doyle and Trey Burton are sneaky buy options for teams that need tight end help. In particular, Burton has familiarity with Frank Reich’s offense from their time together in Philadelphia. If he can stay healthy, he may enable the offense to go to 12-personnel looks more often and could be utilized more than general managers think.
It is hard to put a positive spin on this team situation. Sigmund Bloom had it right when he said that this franchise is a zombie that is just there for other teams to beat up. There has been some recent excitement in the dynasty community about investing in Gardner Minshew or Leonard Fournette. Unless one is acquiring those players at well below market value, there is no reason to buy. Fournette is likely losing his third-down duties to Chris Thompson and is headed to a new team next year when his contract expires. While Minshew’s late-round emergence makes for a nice Cinderella story, his statistical output is not going to place him anywhere near the top echelon of fantasy quarterbacks this year or in future years with the Jaguars.
Corey Davis is not a bad receiver. There just seems to be a variety of factors that are keeping him from achieving fantasy relevance. The lack of rapport between Davis and Tannehill hurts him immensely. Also, Davis is an exceptional downfield blocker, one that has sprung Henry for big gains with his effort. While that is great in real football terms, it does nothing for fantasy purposes. Perhaps Davis needs a new team fit to reach his potential. Barring an extension, it appears he will have the chance to test free agency after this season. We very well could see a career path like Micheal Crabtree’s, where his best fantasy work is not with the team that drafted him. Buying while his dynasty stock is at an all-time low seems like a savvy move.
There is a lot of dynasty community excitement surrounding the team and all its offensive weapons. Drew Lock playing competently as a rookie has opened the door for optimism. Melvin Gordon III, Noah Fant, Cortland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and perhaps even K.J. Hamler are all moderate-to-high valued dynasty assets. New Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur has shown promise in terms of getting the most out of players with limitations (such as Kirk Cousins and Daniel Jones), so the excitement may be warranted. Still, a common thread runs through this collection of talent, which is that they are all skilled players, but perhaps valued more than they should be. This does not feel like the correct time to buy these players, because their upside is priced into their value more than their downside. Despite having Offensive Line Coach Mike Munchak to hide some of their deficiencies, this remains one of the worst offensive lines in football. Also, John Elway has made grave mistakes as a GM and could be on his way out the door, which could drastically change the construction of this team in short order.
Kansas City Chiefs
While Clyde Edwards-Helaire is an exciting player, he does not warrant the 1.01 pick, even with a plush situation. Edwards-Helaire is not a player that has the build or the acumen to be a three-down back. The top pick of every rookie draft needs to be reserved for a complete player, one that is not likely to have to split his workload with others long-term. That is simply not Edwards-Helair’s prospect profile.
Las Vegas Raiders
We will likely see a quarterback change from Derrick Carr to Marcus Mariota at some point in the year. If Mariota is healthy, there will be a slight uptick in production. It will not be on the level of what happened when Ryan Tannehill swapped with Mariota, but it could mean better days ahead (at least for this year) for exciting dynasty prospects like Josh Jacobs and Bryan Edwards. In particular, Edwards is very affordable. He is going in the third round of most rookie drafts and could emerge as the primary receiver for this offense sooner rather than later.
Los Angeles Chargers
This is an intriguing team in the sense that it has a lot of new pieces and we do not know exactly what each will offer. Shane Steichen is a first-time offensive coordinator. That ended up working out okay for the Tennessee Titans last year with Arthur Smith, but it always creates an air of mystery as to what the tendencies will be. We are likely to see Tyrod Taylor open the season, but chances are good Justin Herbert will take over at some point in the year. Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry should see target volume, but the quality of that volume remains to be seen. It will also be interesting to see how Austin Eckler and Justin Jackson divide rushing responsibilities. Jackson’s role should increase, meaning he is undervalued and Eckler is overvalued currently.