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The regular season is coming to a close, and with it, the last chance for dynasty valuation fluctuations before the offseason NFL roster movement. Footballguys takes a moment to recap the season and has you covered on movement within dynasty rankings heading into Week 18.
Question of the Week
Time to humble brag. What was your proudest dynasty moment of 2023? It could be a trade that worked out tremendously or a league win that means something to you.
This was the first year I've taken a full rebuild roster to the championship. In a home league, I started the teardown in the middle of year one after some startup draft misfires. I was able to flip my roster into premium young assets by year three. I made aggressive deals and churned my roster. The championship feels better when it was difficult to attain, and my roster looks like it'll be competitive for half a decade after the complete teardown, giving me a positive return on investment for the near future.
In my main dynasty league, I embraced the need to rebuild, so I've started to move on from my older players with some talent left and focus on getting younger with an eye on the future. I'm still determining if I'll be able to brag until I see what I do with the picks and players yet - fingers crossed.
In my local keeper league (not quite dynasty, but closer to it than redraft), I had a team that was probably good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to win, so after a mediocre start, I decided to focus on next year and made three solid trades that gave me additional picks next season. I still have multiple keeper options, giving me two players in the top 25 for next year, and I have eight picks in the first five rounds.
I have been in four of the last five Super Bowls in my favorite league of many, winning two. It is a full IDP salary cap dynasty league with very aggressive managers. I chose to talk about this one not to brag about my successes but rather about why I believe I have been successful. It is harder to stay on top than to get to the top. The reason for this is due to the complacency that inevitably sets in when you have finally achieved the glory of winning the title in the league you most covet. In this league, my start-of-the-year roster featured the following players as "starters": Russell Wilson, Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Mark Andrews, and T.J. Hockenson. It is important to note that the only player of this elite group (except only Cook, as far as elite status goes) who played in my Super Bowl was Justin Jefferson, who also missed time at a crucial point in the season. Objectively, if you look at this set of players, one would assume this is a death sentence for league-winning hopes. A few weeks into the season, I knew that the weak point was my team's Quarterback and Running back positions, so I targeted high-upside players while mortgaging some future assets to keep my Super Bowl window open. To start, I traded rookie Wide Receiver Marvin Mims for Running Back Jaylen Warren in a one-for-one trade. This was before Warren was declared the starter and was likely more of a flex option than an every-week starter. Looking back, this was a slam dunk deal for my team, but I needed one more running back, so I traded a third-round pick for James Conner, who may be the most underappreciated "good" player in Fantasy Football. The pick compensation was nominal compared to what he achieved, especially in the Super Bowl week for me last week (These two combined for 45 this past week in a league where 200 is about average). I had a different urgency for quarterback and rolled with Russell Wilson and Kenny Pickett throughout the season, trying to rely on the roster I had. As we know, the elite players I mentioned were hurt or bad, and I inevitably lost my Super Bowl because I needed to start Easton Stick and Jonnu Smith (Combined for 7.5 points). This was, however, my proudest accomplishment in Dynasty leagues this past season. Taking a team that had no business being competitive due to various injuries and getting within 12 points of winning three of the last four titles because I continually tried to improve my situation is a lesson we all, myself included, can learn from. "It ain't over till it's over"!
Perusing my in-season dynasty trading database, this trade stands out for strategy and future planning purposes:
Mid-season, I dealt Josh Jacobs, Terry McLaurin, and Deebo Samuel for JaMarr Chase. I was a strong contender then, but I wanted to consolidate and insulate for the future. I dealt three weekly starters at the time, but with Jacobs entering free agency, McLaurin lacking a ceiling in his career, and Samuel a hybrid player who may age more like a running back than a wide receiver in coming years, this was a possible short-term sacrifice for a long-term gain. I ended up earning a bye; Jacobs was RB18 in PPG from then on, McLaurin was WR36, and the lone short-term sacrifice was losing Samuel, WR4 post-trade. However, Samuel was only WR26 in PPG over the two weeks of playoffs (with a bye).
Raheem Mostert was still available in the fourth round of the staff dynasty league. Only rookies and discards on deep rosters were available. My rookies are a work in progress, but Mostert got me into the playoffs, narrowly missing the first-round bye. The quality of available players, such as Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams, who were also available, shows that late-round picks can win seasons. Mostert was a proven name just sitting there.
Y'all need the dev team to chime on in this for the new staff dynasty superflex leagues ;-)
(Simon leads website development at Footballguys. In the 2023 offseason, the staff launched two superflex dynasty leagues. Simon and developer Sean Sernasie were the two champions.)
My proudest moment was creating our version of the Dynasty Show here at Footballguys and doing personalized dynasty consultations for our subscribers. It's been a blast getting consumer feedback on the product that we have out, and the screenshots of all the winning teams that our listeners have sent us make it all worthwhile. If you have listened to our show, thank you, and we look forward to providing 2024 rookie content as the off-season progresses to help you continue to build your dynasty teams.
(The show can be found here!)
Jordan Love, Green Bay
Christian Williams: After his rollercoaster 2023 season, Jordan Love is firmly in the "probably good" camp. He concluded the season as the fantasy QB5, eclipsing 300 fantasy points and finishing strong. From Week 9 on, Love completed 67% of his passes, threw for 2351 yards (2nd in the NFL during that stretch), and 19 touchdowns to just three interceptions. Love needs more consistency, but with the quarterback position looking murky for so many, the 25-year-old Packers starter should be moving up.
Will Grant: I agree with Christian that Jordan Love deserves an upgrade. Since week 15, Lamar Jackson has been the only quarterback to put up more fantasy points. While Love only averages 7.59 yards per attempt in that period, he has stayed clean with seven passing touchdowns and no interceptions. Love also has two rushing touchdowns during that same period. He has shown poise in some challenging games under pressure and has the Packers one win away from making the playoffs. His entire pass-catching crew has two or fewer years of experience, and as the team becomes more comfortable with each other, the results are starting to show.
Chad Parsons: Jordan Love ended up at QB9 in my offseason update for dynasty valuations. He finished at QB6 in aPPG for 2023, essentially in his first year with playing time in the NFL. This is very reminiscent of Aaron Rodgers. Love's comps are very strong to point to more strong QB1 finishes in his career. Also, this was with the youngest wide receivers and tight ends around him in the NFL, all on rookie contracts. Luke Musgrave and Christian Watson notably missed significant time. I expect to be higher than the market on Love throughout the offseason.
Russell Wilson, Denver
Will Grant: Russell Wilson's time in Denver appears to be ending. He was very publically benched for the final two games of the season for Jarrett Stidham after losing three of his last four games leading into week 17. Wilson's base salary will more than double next season, with significant increases for the remainder of the deal. He's 35 years old and will enter his 13th season next year. It's possible that he could move to another team and regain a starting role, but it's more likely that Wilson will be an NFL backup next year, dramatically reducing his value to your fantasy team.
Justin Fields, Chicago
Matt Montgomery: There is a Quarterback controversy in Chicago. It is more cut and dry than people may think it is there. Yes, having the #1 overall pick is exciting, but are we 100% certain that the Bears would be "better" with a different Quarterback? The Bears don't have a Justin Fields problem; they have a weapons problem, and that pick will be worth a pretty penny. If they can move down just far enough with it and take Ohio State Wide Receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. while also acquiring future capital, we could, and should, see Justin Fields ascend into elite territory within the next few years. The Bears need to surround him with weapons while he is still cheap!
Andy Hicks: Since Fields returned from injury, the Bears have won five of their last seven games. Fields has only been a borderline fantasy starter, but what could happen in the off-season becomes less clear now. He is under contract next year, but the Bears have the number one overall pick and another likely top-10 selection. Do they select a new coach and quarterback or stick with Fields and Matt Eberflus?
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh
Andy Hicks: Rudolph has put together back-to-back wins with a strong emphasis on the passing game. The results are no interceptions and a strong connection with George Pickens. Now what? He has at least one more game before he hits free agency, and a solid week 18 performance vaults his name into the list of potential 2024 starting quarterbacks. It was a massive leap from where he was three weeks ago.
Brock Purdy, San Francisco
Kevin Coleman: Purdy is currently sitting at QB9 in fantasy points per game this season, averaging 18.7 points. He's playing in a perfect system for a quarterback and has a talented roster around him. As long as he plays under Kyle Shanahan, he has a safe floor and is a perfect target for dynasty teams looking for a solid QB2 who can help them win next season.
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