Where does Justin Herbert rank among QBs in dynasty?

Is the Chargers QB Justin Herbert an elite dynasty QB?

By: Jeremy Trottier

Oregon QB prospect Justin Herbert broke onto the NFL landscape in 2020, becoming the Pepsi Rookie of The Year as well as the NFL Offensive Rookie of The Year.  This was also a hugely welcome surprise, or even an expected surprise to dynasty owners of the rookie phenom, as he put up some fantastic stats and even broke the rookie passing TD record with 31 touchdowns.  Just as a refresher midway through the offseason, Herbert had a statline of the following:

  • 15 games played (15 started)
  • 595 passing attempts for 396 completions (66.6% completion rate)
  • 4336 passing yards, 31 passing TDs, 10 interceptions
  • 55 rushes for 234 yards and 5 touchdowns

Overall, an extremely viable statline for one of the youngest quarterbacks in the league last year.  With that in mind, should dynasty owners be expecting a sophomore slump?  Or should they expect him to continue this trajectory and put-up stat lines of epic proportions?  In this article, we will cover what should be expected from Herbert as well as why it should be the case, taking into consideration roster changes and scheduling for the season.

Roster Changes

Some of the biggest moves by the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason have been on the defensive side of the ball, such as drafting Asante Samuel Jr, bringing in Kemon Hall, and exercising the fifth-year option on Derwin James.  However the Chargers have definitely brought in some new offensive potential for Herbert to work with in 2021.  The first of which being previous Saints TE Jared Cook, who is a phenomenal receiving tight end and despite a fumble in the 2020 playoffs, has been relatively secure with the ball over the span of his career.  With the loss of Hunter Henry at the tight end spot, bringing in a veteran presence with solid hands and who knows a division rival (played for the Raiders previously to the Saints) inside and out is a solid choice.  

Another offensive addition of huge note is tackle Rashawn Slater, a starting OT since his freshman season who has the versatility to play either RT or LT successfully.  Protecting your franchise QB is a huge deal, as we saw with the Bengals and Joe Burrow last season, so investing in a premier offensive tackle such as Slater to likely protect Herbert’s blindside is a very smart decision.  Slater is one of the better O-line prospects in the 2021 class, as he has a very good frame that has solid fluidity both laterally and vertically into blocks, and is able to muscle his way into defenders, driving them back and away from the pocket.  

Division Strength/Strength of Schedule

One of the biggest things mentioned when looking towards team, and player, success is who they have to play during the season as well as how good those teams are.  In 2021, the Chargers strength of schedule is ranked 17th hardest, making it one below average.  The average record of all the teams they will play is 0.493 (49.3%), which means the average team they will play had more losses than wins last season.  

This also factors in their divisional opponent the Chiefs twice (as they play twice a year) which drags the average up, since they were 14-2 last season.  The Chargers having one of the easier schedules in the league while still having the outlier that is Kansas City twice on it means their schedule should be even easier outside those two games.  

Final Prediction 

Overall, Justin Herbert according to most things around him, should either perform at the level he did last season or better.  This means dynasty owners should either be keeping him on the roster if they have him, or looking to trade for him if possible, at the moment.  His value is probably the highest it will be as of this moment however, just due to age, so if you can trade him away for a huge return that you deem worth it after all this, then pull the trigger.

How to win your dynasty rookie draft

The ultimate guide to dynasty rookie draft

By Levi Ellis

Much like the real NFL draft your dynasty rookie drafts are not won or lost in the first and second rounds  You win your rookie drafts with the mid to late round picks.  Over the years players like Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, James Robinson, George Kittle, Dak Prescott and many, many more were drafted in rounds three or later.  I view the rookie draft like playing the lottery.  The more lottery tickets you have the higher the odds of hitting the jackpot.  My strategy has always been to acquire as many draft picks as possible (considering roster size limitations) and draft as many players as I can.  If you draft ten players for example you are a lot more likely to find a few superstars than if you just draft three or four players.  If your league allows, take advantage of expanded roster sizes during the offseason to draft and hold as many rookies as you can and as the offseason progresses you will have a better idea of which players to hold and which players to drop or trade.  Let’s take a look at a few guys that I have been targeting in my rookie drafts this year in rounds three or later.

Quarterbacks

One of my favorite players in this year’s draft is Kellen Mond.  Mond is way down the quarterback list in this year’s draft and often goes overlooked however I love his long term potential.  He landed with the Vikings and they are absolutely loaded with offensive firepower, they are well coached and their current quarterback Kirk Cousins only has two years left on his deal.  Mond reminds me a lot of Dak Prescott.  He’s an ascending player who has progressed each and every season and his best football is still ahead of him.  

Another quarterback I like in this tier is Kyle Trask.  Much like Mond Trask was drafted by a team that has a lot of offensive weapons, a great coaching staff and an aging quarterback.  Typically when a team drafts a quarterback for the future to succeed an aging veteran it rarely works out however I believe this could be one of the exceptions.  Trask is a smart and solid football player who will be learning from the best.  He is worth a mid round pick if you have the roster space to hold him for 2-3 years.

Running Backs

A running back that had an up and down college career that I really like this year is Chuba Hubbard.  Hubbard lands in a situation viewed by most as undesirable however I feel completely differently.  We saw last year what an average talent running back can do in this system when given the opportunity, Mike Davis.  I believe Hubbard’s talent is superior to that of Davis and I also believe that the coaching staff may manage Christian McCaffrey’s workload moving forward to prevent the wear and tear that likely led to last season’s injuries.  I also have concerns if McCaffrey will continue to be as durable as he has in the past or if the workload from college and his early NFL career may have caught up with him.  

With this guy I could just say where he landed and it would make my point.  The guy I’m talking about is Elijah Mitchell and he was drafted in the sixth round by the San Francisco 49ers.  The depth chart may look congested right now but a couple of these guys could easily be gone by next season (Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson).  A few also have significant injury risk (Mostert, Sermon and Wilson who’s hurt right now).  Kyle Shanahan has proven throughout his career that he doesn’t care when or if a player is drafted in order to win the starting running back job and Mitchell appears to be a great fit for this offense.

Wide Receivers

A wide receiver that is flying way under the radar is Tylan Wallace.  Wallace is under the radar primarily because of where he was drafted, Baltimore Ravens.  Unfortunately, Wallace has a lot of competition in Baltimore with holdovers like Hollywood Brown and Devin Duvernay and the newcomers Sammy Watkins and first round draft pick Rashod Bateman.  On top of that Baltimore is a run first team but I think they are a team that intends to aggressively grow their passing next season.  I am a believer that Lamar Jackson will improve as a passer and now has the weapons to do so.  Wallace likely won’t make an impact as a rookie but by year two or three I think he will be a consistent producer.  Watkins isn’t a long-term solution for Baltimore and I don’t believe Hollywood is a number one wide receiver.  One scout compared Wallace to Steve Smith with high praise on his aggressiveness when the ball is in the air.  I’m willing to roll the dice with a third or fourth round pick to potentially draft a player with Steve Smith type of talent.

Another wide receiver who is flying under the radar due to circumstances is Amari Rodgers.  There is no doubt in my mind if Aaron Rodgers was a sure bet to remain in Green Bay this season Amari Rodgers would be a second round pick.  This player is full of talent and could easily be the number two wide receiver this year.  If Aaron Rodgers returns, big IF, then Amari Rodgers is a tremendous value this year and could push to receive the second most targets on the team trailing only Davante Adams.

One of the easiest ways to find value in the draft is to draft players that are widely overlooked due to their landing spot.  This next guy fits that category just as much as my previous two if not more.  That player is D’Wayne Eskridge.  Eskridge was a second round pick this year for the Seattle Seahawks.  The reason he continues to be overlooked is because Seattle already boasts one of the top wide receiver duos in the league with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.  I want you to think back a few years when the New Orleans Saints drafted Alvin Kamara while already having Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson.  We all know how that worked out so do not let the situation prevent you from drafting great players.  Also keep in mind that in college Metcalf struggled with injuries so if that were to happen again Eskridge would likely receive additional targets.

Tight Ends

A guy that was flying under the radar until a few days ago is Noah Gray.  Gray was drafted in the fifth round and is the best pure backup tight end on the roster.  He’s a player I’ve been scooping up in most of my leagues in the later rounds.  I don’t anticipate a large role for him this season but Kelce is 31 and can’t play forever.  The Chiefs also have the best quarterback on the planet and one of the brightest offensive minds in the game in coach Andy Reid.  It typically takes a few years before tight ends produce but he’s worthy of a later round pick.

The last player on my list is tight end Tre McKitty.  McKitty was drafted in the third round to the LA Chargers.  Throughout college McKitty was primarily used to be a blocking tight end and while that isn’t exactly what we want to hear in fantasy, he is very athletic and Justin Herbert is one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the league and this roster does not currently have a long term answer at tight end.  If McKitty can develop he could be the starting tight end on a high powered offense.

Remember the key to winning your rookie draft is to treat it like the lottery and grab as many lottery tickets as you can.  Good luck!

3 sleeper quarterbacks to target In dynasty

Get In While Everyone is Still Sleeping

By Jesse Moeller (Twitter: @JMoeller05)

What is a sleeper? (No, not the phenomenal fantasy football app.) We hear the term tossed around by various writers and podcast hosts. It has become the go-to word to describe a player or players we perceive as having more value than the market. It does not matter to me what term you use to describe these players. I want you to stop sleeping on the players below, as the value they have to your team is worth far more than the cost of acquisition.
Now all these players have a risk to them. If they did not, the price on them would be considerably higher than it currently is. It is the trade-off when trying to find the next “Sleeper.” What I enjoy about these players is the current ADP/price. Having risk already built-in makes them tremendous value because you are not spending premium draft capital to acquire them.

Without further ado, let us take the plunge on these sleepers.

Jalen Hurts – (QB14 ADP – 1QB: 97 SF: 29)

If anyone will finish the season as a top-five quarterback currently going outside of the top twelve, it is Jalen Hurts. Hurts is the definition of a Konami Quarterback, as he possesses that elite trait for fantasy football dominance at the position. If you want to read up on how vital the Konami Code is for quarterbacks, there is a fantastic thread from @MiKeMeUpP that breaks it down in detail. (P.S. it’s everything in quarterback scoring)

Run Forest, Run!

To break it down to simple arithmetic, rushing yards for quarterbacks are worth 2.5x more fantasy points. That’s right! They are gold for fantasy production from quarterbacks. I’ll list an example of two separate quarterback performances from week 14 to highlight the discrepancy. We will also use traditional four points per passing touchdown scoring.

Phillip Rivers was 19 for 28, had 244 yards and two passing touchdowns. Rivers totaled 17.8 fantasy points.

Jalen Hurts was 17 for 30, had 167 yards and one passing touchdown. Hurts totaled 19.3 fantasy points.

The difference was Hurts rushed 18 times for 106 yards! It saved the day for Hurts when his passing did little in terms of fantasy points.

Floor Raiser

Not only does rushing boosts a quarterbacks ceiling, but it also raises the floor for a quarterback. Know how many times Hurts rushed in his four starts in week 14-17 last year? 46 times, meaning he averaged over 11 attempts per game in his starts. He totaled 272 rushing yards in those four games for an average of 68 rushing yards per game. That is a boost of 6.8 points that the statuesque quarterbacks do not provide. We in the fantasy community love Konami Quarterbacks for this reason. They raise both the floor and ceiling with the rushing ability.

Carson Wentz The Broken QB

The Eagles this year are not projected to be a great team. Las Vegas has the W/L odds set at 6.5 wins for them. Vegas is telling us that they do not currently believe in the talent on the roster. One of those concerns is the offensive line, who was killed by injury as they led the league in different starting lineups with 14 last year. I’m afraid I have to disagree with Vegas because Wentz was the issue, not the line. He held onto the ball for 2.97 seconds per attempt. 6th worst in the NFL. Wentz and is also not the elusive quarterback he was earlier in his career. It led to a disaster for the entire offense in 2020 as Wentz ended leading the league with 50 sacks in just 12 games! It was an odd sight to watch games with Wentz seeing ghosts on the field copious times. If his first read did not develop, Wentz would develop “happy feet” and frantically try to leave the pocket that the majority of the time led to a sack.

The Eagles line was not the problem that many thought it was. Wentz was the biggest issue in Philadelphia for the offensive problems last season. It will be difficult for Jalen Hurts to be as bad as Wentz was last year. Don’t just take my word for it, the statistics paint a picture of how truly awful Wentz was in 2020.

Mr. Splash Play

Jalen Hurts put up unbelievable statistics during his college career.
That seems to be the forgotten part about Hurts because he was a second-round pick that almost everyone in the NFL routinely scrutinized the moment the selection happened. Hurts put up one of the greatest seasons we have seen from a college Q.B. during his one season at Oklahoma in 2019. He joined Lamar Jackson and Johnny Manziel as the only quarterbacks in college football history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.

I thought Hurts posted a 52% completion percentage during his rookie season? He did that while posting an absurd 13.8 yards per completion, which was number one in the league, besting DeShaun Watson by over one yard. At the same time, throwing to the likes of Alshon Jeffrey, Quez Watkins, Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham, and the rookie Jalen Reagor. Not necessarily a whose who of top-level wide receiver talent. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Hurts lead the league in time to throw at 3.11 seconds. It makes sense with that receiving core Hurts would continue to wait and see the play develop, as the group does not give you much hope outside of Reagor if you are an Eagles or Jalen Hurts fan.

The Bright Side

In the offseason, the Eagles jettisoned the past his prime Alshon Jeffrey in favor of Heisman-winning rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith who landed in the perfect situation to step in and be the day one alpha. This move also allows Reagor to play the slot, which he is much more suited to play. With Sanders, Smith, Reagor, and Goddert as his playmakers and a fully healthy offensive line, the team will not look the same as the one that ended 2020.

Hurts will never be a hyper-accurate quarterback in the NFL, though he is more than capable of being a plus passer. Starting his rookie season as a backup, he was ill-prepared, treated as the backup, and not expected to compete for the starting job in the same way all other top rookie quarterbacks are during a pandemic. Hurts was then thrown into the fire with very little preparation and proved to the NFL that he is a capable starter. This year it will be up to Hurts and Nick Sirianni to continue his progression to take the next step forward and become a franchise quarterback the Eagles hope he can be.

I am planting my flag on Jalen Hurts, becoming the next fantasy stud quarterback. Get him while his price is still attainable in redraft and dynasty leagues. Here are a few DLF trades that articulate that point below.
(1QB) Hurts for Mecole Hardman & 2021 3.05
(SF) Hurts & 1.08 for 1.04 & 1.13
(1QB) Hurts, 3.03 & 4.10 for Wentz & Hilton
(SF) Hurts for 2022 1st
(SF) Hurts & Mike Davis for Cousins & 2022 3rd

Ryan Tannehill – (QB13 ADP 1QB: 150 SF: 27)

It has been quite the offseason for Ryan Tannehill, Go back two weeks, and the fantasy football community was wondering who Tannehill would pass to besides A.J. Brown (Myself included). Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis departed in free agency, and there was brief talk of Anthony Firkser as a top twelve tight end this year. Don’t worry if you do not know who Firkser is, as he is a player who has spent a higher percentage of snaps on special teams than on the offense in his three-year career. There was also late-round hype for Josh Reynolds, as the assumption was one or both of them would get some of those vacated targets. (Peter Howard is shaking his head in disgust.)

The Super Group

If you have not seen the recruitment video Brown made for Julio, it’s a thing of beauty. Everything officially changed on June 4th, with the Titans sending a second and fourth-round pick for Julio Jones and a sixth-round pick. One scary group of skill players as Henry, Julio, and AJB are the best trio since the Rush, aka the Holy Trinity. Defenses are going to have an exceptionally troublesome time trying to figure out who to defend. Move up to stop Henry with eight in the box, and Julio or A.J. Brown will torch the single coverage. Worry about the pass catchers outside with six in the box, and Henry will have space for another 100+ yard day. Sure seems like a damned if you, damned if you don’t scenario for defenses this season.

Efficiency King

Tannehill has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league during his tenure with Tennessee.

There are numerous statistics to show how good Tannehill was in 2020. He was Top 10 or better in the following:

Yards Per Attempt – 6th

Adjusted Air Yards/Attempt – 4th

Air Yards – 9th

Catchable Pass Rate – 5th

EPA – 3rd

Total QBR – 4th

True Passer Rating – 2nd

Fantasy Points/Dropback – 2nd

Given that Julio Jones is now on the team, what do you think will happen to Tannehill’s overall statistics? His presence on the team will make the job easier for everyone, particularly Tannehill, as Julio was 3rd in the league in Yards/Route and Yards/Target. Julio managed to put those stats up while dealing with injuries the majority of the year. Presenting a healthy Julio with a more accurate passer will both reward him and Tannehill in 2021. The phrase wheels up seem entirely appropriate for both the rushing and passing attack.

Secret Weapon

The often forgot part of Tannehill’s game is his rushing ability. He is a former wide receiver who put up over 800 yards as a freshman at Texas A&M. He used that athleticism to his advantage this past season as 20% of his fantasy points came from rushing. He ran it 43 times for 266 yards and seven touchdowns. That is a whopping 68.6 points that if you remove those points drop him from QB7 down to QB13 on the season. That is the equivalent of falling from the elite tier to a run-of-a-mill quarterback in fantasy. The difference cannot be undersold, even with a quarterback such a Tannehill, who does not run at the same level as Lamar, Kyler, and Hurts. Those rushing totals can put you over the edge in a close weekly matchup. As mentioned with Hurts earlier, it boosts the floor of every performance, keeping your quarterback usable every week, even if they put up a bad passing performance.

Let us Look at some of the deals that Tannehill went for the last week on DLF.
(1QB) Tannehill & 2023 5th for Ronald Jones & 2023 3rd
(SF) Tannehill, Najee Harris, Irv Smith for Theilen, 1.09 & 22 1st
(SF) Tannehill, Amari Rodgers, Schwartz for Jalen Hurts
(1QB) Tannehill & 2022 3rd for Brandin Cooks & 2022 4th

What these deals show me is that Tannehill is easily attainable and currently undervalued by the community. He is only 32 years old and still has many years of high-level production ahead of him. Please go out and acquire him. You can thank me when he guides your team to the playoffs in 2021.

Kirk Cousins – ( QB22 ADP 1QB:199 SF: 61 )

I am once again making a case for Kirk Cousins to be the quarterback you are targeting late in drafts. I made my first ever fantasy thread on Kirk Cousins back in January, and everything I said then still holds up. His value was QB22 in startups at the time, and it’s nice to see his value still low on the spectrum. He is a quarterback that will continue to outproduce his acquisition cost, which is how you accumulate value.

The Future is Now

The Vikings did spend a 3rd round pick on Kellen Mond out of Texas A&M this year. Before the panic sets in, Spielman was quoted saying with a chuckle, “Kirk’s our starting quarterback. There’s no competition there.” The Vikings drafted Mond as a potentially high upside backup, who only completed 59% of his career college passes. He possesses the athletic upside of a Konami quarterback, but there are questions on if he has the accuracy to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Kirk Cousins will be the starting quarterback of the Vikings as long as he is under contract. A much more likely scenario is that the Vikings let Cousins go in free agency after the 2022 season. Captain Kirk is giving a minimum of two seasons of backend QB1 or high-end QB2 production in fantasy.

Sharpshooter

Cousins has been one of the more accurate quarterbacks in the league during his tenure with the Vikings. His numbers are off the charts, and it shows up on his end-of-season stat lines. Cousins has used play action to his advantage better than almost anyone in the NFL during the last three seasons. It sets up Cousins in a position to win. When given a clean pocket, he destroyed defenses and was ranked 2nd in the NFL last season at 81.7%. Cousins managed to finish top 10 in the following categories as well:

Passing Yards – 8th
Air Yards – 7th
Passing Touchdowns – 6th
Air Yards/Attempt – 3rd
Accuracy Rating – 10th
True Completion % – 9th
EPA – 8th
True Passer Rating – 6th

Throwback Player

Hurts and Tannehill both provide the rushing upside that Captain Kirk does not. He has never run for more than 179 yards in a season, and no one will confuse him with the Trey Lance’s of the world on a football field. What Cousins does is give you a delightful floor play week in and week out, and when given the proper game script, will have massive peaks. Cousins scored over 20 points in ten games last year, meaning 62.5% of the time, you have an excellent chance to win your weekly matchups. The defense expects to have another down year in Minnesota, so the passing game should be cooking like a Tater Tot Hotdish on an October Sunday. (Look this dish up, it looks incredible.) Cousins’ efficiency allows him to succeed on less than 550 passing attempts, even with lower passing attempts. Something said mainly about Konami quarterbacks. You either need to have the rushing ability or efficiency to make up for the passing volume. Cousins has the efficiency year in and year out.

Here are some of the latest DLF trades involving Cousins. What a doozy the first trade is. That is selling extremely low on him or practically any other starting quarterback in the league. If I could make that deal, I would make it ten out of ten times.
(S.F.) Cousins & 2022 2nd for 1.13
(2QB) Cousins for Wentz & 2022 2nd
(1QB) Cousins for Curtis Samuel
(1QB) Cousins for Zach Wilson
(1QB) Cousins for 2022 3rd

Thank you for taking this journey with me. Ideally, I persuaded you of at least one of these quarterbacks to acquire this offseason.

Dynasty WRs you should trade for now

Dynasty WRs to trade for

By Calvin K (Twitter: @Calvin_SGF)

The dynasty offseason is in full swing, and excitement for the fantasy season is building as we head into June. There does tend to be a lull in league trading around this time, but if you’re in a league with committed managers, they’ll usually be willing to hear trade offers at any time of the year.

There are always differences in how certain dynasty owners value certain players, but as always, there are also players who are generally being valued too low by the consensus. It is important to really keep in mind, however, that someone can still have the same thought process on a player as you, and in that case, it’s important not to overpay. In this article, I’ll be analyzing three WRs you should trade for now (if possible) in dynasty.

1. Courtland Sutton (Denver Broncos)

Usually, young alpha WRs will cost a truckload in dynasty, however, Sutton is one who has been completely overlooked ever since his injury. Sutton inexplicably fell many spots in startup ADP after the ACL tear last year without a significant change in situation. Yes, the injury presents a mild concern, but all accounts say that Sutton is rehabbing well, so it really doesn’t justify any rankings drop at all in my eyes.

The main argument used against Sutton is the fact that Drew Lock is Denver’s QB. Lock was wildly inconsistent last year, but despite how it may seem, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing for Sutton’s value. Sutton’s efficiency is unlikely to be elite due to the bad QB play, but his target share can be.

Bad QBs tend to rely on their alphas, which could turn Sutton into an Allen-Robinson type player (at least in terms of target share). 150 targets is not outside the realm of possibility for Sutton, and his athletic ability will allow him to make plays that many WRs can’t. Sutton’s WR23 FantasyPros consensus ranking isn’t totally atrocious, but it makes it clear that he isn’t being valued like a true alpha, and at 25 years old, he’s well worth the current price that he’s going for.

2. Kenny Golladay (New York Giants)

Many people in the fantasy industry are not happy about Golladay’s signing with New York, which is understandable considering that the Giants haven’t exactly had an electric passing game in recent years. However, that shouldn’t deter you from trading for Golladay in dynasty, as his WR21 FantasyPros ranking likely won’t ever get lower.

Daniel Jones hasn’t been a very accurate QB in the first two years of his career, but he definitely has the arm talent to throw deep passes. Golladay is excellent at getting open and making big plays, so if Jones can take a step up next year, the pair will be a match made in heaven. Jones will have every opportunity to improve in 2021, and Golladay could end up being a Stefon-Diggs-type player for New York, one who puts their QB’s career on a new trajectory.

The addition of Saquon Barkley will also force many defenses into stacking the box to stop him, leaving Golladay and other receivers open one-on-one. Jones’ receiving corps has been painfully average over the last two years, and the Giants were aware of that fact and made sure to address the need. Jones will likely need to lean on Kenny G as he continues to get used to the NFL, and Golladay, like Sutton, has the potential to garner an elite target share. If he can pair a massive amount of targets with at least some form of deep-ball efficiency, the sky would be the limit for his fantasy value, which is why you should trade for him now at his back-end WR2 price.

3. Tee Higgins (Cincinnati Bengals)

Lots of Higgins managers were upset by Cincinnati’s selection of WR Ja’Marr Chase with the #5 overall pick in the draft. However, that frustration could allow dynasty managers to get a stud at a cheaper-than-usual price. Higgins’ WR19 FantasyPros ranking is still pretty high, but there are many rankers who have placed him as a back-end WR2, or even a WR3. Yes, the Chase pick hurts him in the long-run, but that still doesn’t justify that kind of a drop.

Chase is expected to immediately compete for targets in Cincinnati’s offense, which is certainly a hinderance that keeps Higgins from unlocking a true top-five fantasy ceiling. However, given how much Cincinnati threw the ball last year, he still definitely has the potential to be a WR1 in fantasy. A.J. Green has departed from the Bengals after a 104-target season, so he will open up more opportunities for the WR corps overall.

QB Joe Burrow’s targets are likely to be nearly exclusive to Chase, Higgins, slot WR Tyler Boyd, and RB Joe Mixon. There is plenty of volume available for all of these guys, especially considering that Burrow was on pace for 699 passing attempts in the nine games he played before his injury in 2020. Using his 65.3% completion percentage from last year extrapolates that to 456 completions, leaving plenty of room for Chase and Higgins to both have big seasons. Burrow’s completion percentage should also go up with another great WR on the team, even if you cautiously assume only a 1% bump for this year, the completion total goes up to 463.

Those numbers may seem high, but it’s basically what Burrow was going to do last year, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t keep them up. If he does, there should be lots of targets available for all of the four main pass catchers, so trading for Tyler Boyd in dynasty wouldn’t be a bad idea either if you accept that his ceiling is no longer in top-12 territory. Higgins, however, does have that ceiling, so if you can capitalize on a concerned dynasty manager, the benefits should be well worth it in the long run.

Dynasty: 3 TEs Over 28 Years Old to Target

Tight ends you should target over 28

Dynasty fantasy football is a haven for ageists. Everyone is always looking for the next big thing and superstars are often overlooked or underrated strictly because of their age. Conventional thinking says that you should avoid older players in you are rebuilding and acquire them when you are a contender.

You are probably thinking that I am about to tell you to ignore that thinking. Well, I am not. Not exactly, anyway. Perhaps a differing approach is merited when it comes to tight ends.

The position is so top-heavy that having a leader at this spot will separate your team from the pack to a much greater extent than most other positions. This is obviously due to positional scarcity. Despite fantasy managers’ annual excitement that ‘tight end is really deep this year,’ in fact, it is not. Age is nothing but a number, and in this case, likely not the most significant number.

Travis Kelce

When speaking of tight ends, the conversation always begins with Kelce, and rightfully so. He has caught at least 83 passes for the past five seasons, twice topping 100 receptions. He is the only tight end to have multiple 100 catch seasons in NFL history.

Kelce is truly in a class of his own. He has been the leader at tight end every year since 2016, in PPR formats. 2020 was among his best yet, as he hauled in 105 catches, tallying 1416 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged seven receptions per game and carried a 25% target share.

Tied to one of the league’s best and brightest at quarterback, in Patrick Mahomes, Kelce still has a bright future at 31 years of age. A tremendous athlete, he made defenses pay after the catch with 641 yards after reception. A tight end who can create his own fantasy points is a rare commodity.

Youth be damned, Kelce will still offer you arguably the greatest positional advantage in fantasy football. This season, he scored 9.6 PPR points more than the third-leading scorer at tight end.

Darren Waller

If the Kelce choice was a no-brainer, this one is almost its equal. Waller also topped 100 receptions last season, however through week 16, when most fantasy seasons end, he had 98.

His nine reception output in week 17 got him to triple digits. Waller will be turning 29 shortly after the 2021 season commences, but he too, like Kelce, is coming off his greatest campaign to date.

Compiling 1078 yards and eight touchdowns on his 98 receptions, Waller finished comfortably as the second leading tight end scorer. Though he trailed Kelce by just over four points per game, he still finished 5.5 points ahead of the next closest competitor.

Sporting a staggering 27.9% target share enabled Waller to average 6.5 catches per game. Another comparable figure between he and Kelce is the yards after the catch. Waller had 523 of them. The two, plus George Kittle, were the only tight ends who averaged greater than 30 yards after reception. Just a step down from the cream of the crop, Waller still brings a tremendous weekly advantage to your tight end slot.

Zach Ertz

Coming off the worst season of his career, choosing Ertz seems a lot less obvious. He is 30 years old and just equaled his rookie season for fewest receptions in a year.

Moreover, only 33 of his career low 36 receptions counted in a typical fantasy season, as the final three were week 17 totals. So, why target Ertz? First, his value has never been lower. A clunker of a season will do that to a player. Next, it sounds quite likely he will be given his walking papers in Philadelphia.

According to numerous NFL sources, the Eagles have received interest from multiple teams and a trade appears imminent. This can only come as a boost to his fantasy value. An interesting rumor is that he could be reunited with Carson Wentz in Indianapolis.

While both players struggled in 2020, it should be remembered that they exhibited great chemistry in the two seasons prior. Combining 2018 and 2019, Ertz made 201 catches for 2064 yards and 14 touchdowns. If he can return to anything close to those numbers, he will be well worth the cost to acquire. He maintained at least a 24% target share in each of those two years.

While his most recent season could be considered evidence that his skills are in decline, it should be noted that he struggled through injuries during the course of the year. Certainly more of a wild card than a lock, Ertz is effectively a low-risk, high-reward type of gamble.

While the Irv Smiths and Cole Kmets of the world enamor your league mates with their youth and potential, the smart money is on proven results. If you can get beyond age bias, there is value in the mature tight end market.

Dynasty: Over the Hill or Undervalued? Three Running Backs You Can Get at a Discount On Due to Their Age

Buy These RBs Now!

By: CJ Krause

Just because a Running Back is past his prime doesn’t mean he is all but useless for fantasy. Here are some undervalued older Rbs that you can get below their value to help you in 2021.

Melvin Gordon

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Once a first-round dynasty pick just a few years ago, Gordon is now seeing his ADP fall to the 7th to 8th round. This is AFTER a RB14 finish in 2020. Yes, he is turning 28 and on the last year of his deal in Denver. BUT for a winning team to lock up one of the few expected workhorses for 2021 – especially at a discount – is key. Now do not get me wrong, I feel he is more of the high end RB2 rather than an RB1. However, with Lindsay likely leaving in free agency, we can almost guarantee Gordon’s workload will increase, raising his floor and adding stability to any roster.

Raheem Mostert

Mostert has been the most productive back for the past few years for the 49ers – when he’s been healthy. That is a fact. BUT the healthy part has been few and far between. I highlighted Jeff Wilson and Jamycal Hasty in previous articles because you just want the running back in a Kyle Shanahan system, PERIOD. Now Mostert is turning 29 and it’s unlikely we can predict a full season from him (because he has never completed one). But, for the games he is in, he is a must start. Being on the last year of his deal with the 49ers, expect him to be run into the ground. So take the discount, but have a backup plan.

Damien Williams

This one is more speculative, seeing as Damien opted out of the 2020 season due to Covid concerns. Therefore, we do not know what he will look like with a year off of football. Last time we were expecting Dwill, we all thought he would be splitting carries with incoming rookie, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Now, I do not think there is a chance in hell that Damien overtakes CEH for lead role. BUT inside the best offense in the league and Clyde’s lackluster goal line efficiency, there is a lucrative role available that he could take over. In 2020, CEH had 28 rushing attempts inside the red zone, but only converted 3 into touchdowns. Damien, on the other hand, had only 15 rushing attempts in the red zone in 2019, but converted 3 of them into touchdowns – almost doubling CEH’s efficiency. Damien is almost free in drafts, trades and is possibly on your waiver wire, so go check for him. You can expect RB2/flex play potential from him week-to-week, with RB1 upside if anything happens to CEH.

Follow me on Twitter @KidFlashFF.

Three Quarterbacks Over 30 to Target in Dynasty

Dynasty QB targets for 2021

By: Teddy Ricketson

There are obvious differences between redraft leagues and dynasty leagues, but one overarching “stat” that is discussed a lot in dynasty is the age of the players. Now, everyone can have different strategies in dynasty whether you are all-in on winning now or if you are building for a future dynasty, but in either case, there is going to be some value with QBs that are “over the hill” playing in their age-30 season or later. Here are three QBs that I believe will defeat Father Time long enough to give your team a boost:

  1. Matthew Stafford- Los Angeles Rams

The biggest trade of the “offseason” so far saw Matthew Stafford head to sunny Los Angeles in a blockbuster trade between the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams. We all knew that Stafford was one of the toughest guys in the NFL, and for the first time in a long time, he is going to have a supporting cast on both sides of the ball that will alleviate pressure on him.

This season, throwing to the likes of Marvin Jones Jr, Mohammed Sanu, and Danny Amendola for his receiving corps, Stafford finished as QB15. He completed 64.2% of his passes for 4,084 yards, 26 TDs, and 10 INTs. On the Rams, Stafford will have two top-25 fantasy WRs in Robert Woods (WR12) and Cooper Kupp (WR26). He does get a downgrade at TE going from TJ Hockenson (TE5) down to Tyler Higbee (TE17), but this Rams offense had Josh Reynolds as their third WR option finish as WR61, 10 spots higher than the Lions second WR last season.

Stafford is going to have more chances to succeed and hopefully not play from behind as often with the Rams defense getting him the ball back. The Lions defense gave up the most points in the league last season, and the Rams gave up the fewest and the Rams had twice as many INTs as the Lions did. There is hype around Stafford on a new team, so give it a few months for it to die down, but I do think you can get him cheaply and he is poised for a QB1 season.

2. Ryan Tannehill- Tennessee Titans

Ryan Tannehill had the same number of rushing TDs as Lamar Jackson last season. Obviously he didn’t have nearly the yardage on the ground, but Tannehill is coming off of a season where he set career highs in passing and rushing TDs. The question mark for Tannehill is how deep his supporting cast will be this season as both Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith are Free Agents, but he we know he will have the RB3 in PPR scoring Derrick Henry and the WR14 AJ Brown out there to help him try and stay hot.

Tannehill finished as the QB7 on the season with 3819 yards, 33 TDs passing, seven INTs, and he added 266 yards and seven rushing TDs on the ground. His best game of the season came in Week 15 against the Lions as he went 21/27 for 273 yards, three TDs, 0 INTS, and three rushes for 21 yards and two touchdowns for a total of 37.02 fantasy points. He finished as the QB9 (min. nine games started) in a points per game basis so while the Tennessee Titans still have some pending free agents, use his turning 33 right before the season as leverage for a QB that still has solid years to give your squad.

3. Kirk Cousins- Minnesota Vikings

Say what you will, Kirk Cousins is really, really good at handing the ball of the fantasy’s RB2 Dalvin Cook. All jokes aside, Cousins finished the season as a QB1 finishing 11th with 306.2 fantasy points. Cousins is surrounded by talent so despite the criticisms he is given, he is still going to be a viable QB option if you were someone who was hoping that Cam Newton to the Patriots was going to be a thing. In superflex leagues, two-QB leagues, or in desperate dynasty roster situations, give me Cousins.

Cousins completed 67.6% of his passes for 4,265 yards, 35 TDs, and 13 INTs. In QBs with at least 500 passing attempts, he was second to Deshaun Watson in average completion distance at 8.1 yards meaning when he is completing passes, it is further down the field and for a guy that completed 349 passes, that is a good indicator for potential success.

As discussed with the other two QBs on this list, Cousins has about a good as a supporting cast as any. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen finished as the WR6 and WR10 respectively, and then there’s ole RB3 Cook in the backfield too. Kyle Rudolph is fantasy irrelevant, but Irv Smith Jr. showed flashes of promise as a young tight end in the game. There are trade rumors swirling around Cousins, but if he stays put, I like him to finish as a QB1 this upcoming season and you can easily make a case to whoever has him in your league to get him cheaply.

Honorable Mention: Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders)- Carr turns 30 next month so technically does qualify for the age stipulation, but even with finishing as the QB13 this season, I believe he doesn’t make the jump high enough to be worth pursuing, but if you have assets to spare he wouldn’t be a bad target.

Dynasty Fantasy Football: How to Build a Team

How to build a team in dynasty fantasy football

By: Joe Mason @JosephMason94

After years of playing redraft leagues, I went into every draft the same: hammer running backs early and figure the rest of your team out later. I found I tended to end up reaching for RBs just so I can grab two studs early rather than playing the draft board properly. When I started playing in my first PPR dynasty league, I made the mistake of not altering my draft strategy and paid the price for it. 

Your startup draft is the best way to build your team how you wish and then you can always trade for guys you were not able to snag later. Depending on the format of your league, targeting certain positions early in the draft or via trade can help you build a foundation for your team that can help you build a dynasty. Let’s dive in! 

PPR

Point Per Reception 1QB leagues have been the most popular dynasty format but lately, Superflex has been giving PPR a run for its money. If you are looking for a more balanced league half-point per reception leagues are the way to go, but PPR is more fun and who doesn’t like high-scoring games?

The key here is to target players in good situations who are heavily targeted. In 2020 in standard scoring, the point per target was 1.1 compared to 0.6 per rushing attempt. That number drastically increases in PPR formats, jumping the point per target to 1.7. 

Wide receivers need to be valued higher than running backs except for RBs that are targeted more than 5 times per game. Last year there were only four that were targeted this heavily in the passing game: Kamara, McKissic, Ekeler, and McCaffrey. Also, WRs tend to have longer playing careers than their RB counterparts so you can get more relevant fantasy years out of them. 

WRs as a whole end up scoring more points than RBs due to the majority of their points come in the form of targets. In the top 100 PPR scorers in 2020, the WR12 finished at 35th compared to the RB12 which finished at 58th. If you aren’t able to own one of those top 5 pass catching options at RB, you are better off stacking up depth at WR, especially in a 3WR heavy league. 

Superflex 

This may seem like an obvious answer, and yes, it is quarterbacks, but I hope I can provide a couple items that can help you decide between one player and another you are considering. For those of you who don’t know, a superflex league has a starting position that can be QB/RB/WR/TE. Basically, it is a 2QB league.

Some ask, “why don’t you just add a second QB spot rather than a superflex spot?” Assuming you are in a twelve-team Superflex league, there are only 32 starting QBs at a time and if you need to start two, that means there are only 8 other starters available. Once bye weeks hit, the superflex spot allows for some flexibility. If you thought RBs were scarce, Superflex makes QBs the scarcest position, and therefore the most valuable. Supply and demand am I right?

Quarterbacks have the longest shelf life of the four fantasy positions and based on fantasy scoring, they score the most points. If you can own two QB1s on your team, this gives you a tremendous advantage over your weekly opponent. In 2020, Jared Goff finished as the QB19. He scored more points than the RB7 which was Jonathan Taylor. (Assuming 4pt passing touchdown scoring) A similar result happened last year with Jimmy Garoppolo a QB2, scored more points than Nick Chubb a RB1. 

If your league has 6pt passing touchdowns for QBs, I would without a doubt go QB/QB as your first two picks in your draft if you can snag two QB1s. The spread for QB points to any other position is superior. Lamar Jackson finished at QB10 in 6pt passing touchdown scoring last year. He had more points in PPR than Alvin Kamara, the RB1. 

Your league format dictates a lot of the player value, but knowing which position you should build around can help you become a better dynasty player and keep you near the top of your league year in and year out.

Dynasty Fantasy Football: Building Your Squad

Dynasty: Top 6 Flex Players Under Age of 23

Here are the top dynasty flex players under 23

By: Adam Martin

Jonathan Taylor (Running Back for the Indianapolis Colts)

Jonathan Taylor has had a great season for a rookie running back and is in a great situation with the Colts. Taylor rushed for 1,169 yards from 232 attempts during the 15 games he was involved in. Only Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook rushed for more yards this year. Not only was his yardage impressive but he also rushed for 11 touchdowns and an average of 14.5 points per game.

Not only has Taylor had a great rookie year but he also has a bright future at the Colts. Although he doesn’t do much in the passing game he does own the rushing side of it. Nyheim Hines does not offer the strength of Taylor and so will not eat into his attempts. Also, with Phillip Rivers as quarterback the run game will always play a significant role.

Antonio Gibson (Running Back for the Washington Football Team)

Antonio Gibson is another rookie running back that has shown he can do it in the NFL. His rushing yards might not have been amazing at 795 yards but his 11 touchdowns is impressive. He has also shown that he can be part of the passing game by adding another 247 yards to his overall total in 14 games. He has averaged 11.9 fantasy points per game which would be great for your flex position.

Gibson also is in a great position at the Washington Football Team. He is the main guy at running back for this team and that wont change anytime soon. They currently have J.D McKissic, Peyton Barber and Lamar Miller but none of them will concern Gibson’s workload.

J.K Dobbins (Running Back for the Baltimore Ravens)

J.K Dobbins might not have been the best rookie running back but his stats are very impressive. Dobbins rushed for 805 yards over 15 games and he got nine touchdowns from only 134 attempts. 

He didn’t do loads in the passing game but still managed to gain another 120 yards. He averaged 10.0 points per game which is a solid amount for a rookie and you would expect that to increase next year.

The biggest positive for Dobbins is that he is in a great situation for the next few years. Baltimore is a well known run first team and Dobbins is now their number one guy. 

For the first half of this year Mark Ingram was playing but that has changed. Also, Baltimore has Lamar Jackson at quarterback and with him running the ball as well it provides misdirection. This is something that will help Dobbins in the long run.

Justin Jefferson (Wide Receiver for the Minnesota Vikings)

Justin Jefferson had a superb rookie year for the Vikings breaking the receiving record for a rookie. He amassed 1,400 yards from 125 targets finishing the number six wide receiver for the season. 

Only Stefon Diggs and Deandre Hopkins had more yards this season. Also, he managed to get seven touchdowns which is a decent total for a rookie receiver. Another positive is that he averaged 11.6 points per game showing he would be big for your team.

Also, Jefferson is in a great position for many years to come at Minnesota. He has a quarterback who although not great is capable of making big plays. Along with that he has another quality receiver in the team that takes the defence away from Jefferson. Adam Thielen only had 925 yards but he had 14 touchdowns showing the opposition he is still a threat. This can only be a good thing for Jefferson and his future with the Vikings.

CeeDee Lamb (Wide Receiver for the Dallas Cowboys)

CeeDee Lamb had a good first year in the NFL but is someone you want in your flex position for the future. Lamb managed to amass 935 receiving yards from 111 targets which tipped him into the top twenty. He also managed to get five touchdowns in a team that struggled throughout the season. He averaged 9.0 points per game showing that he was decent but there is scope for improvement.

Lamb is in a really good situation at Dallas due to the team’s strong offensively minded team. The main reason you would expect Lamb to improve next year is the comeback of star quarterback Dak Prescott. 

Dak only played five games due to his injury and him playing all year will be a big positive for Lamb. Also, in a similar story to Justin Jefferson, Dallas have other quality receivers who will cause defensive problems. This is another big plus for Lamb.

Tee Higgins (Wide Receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals)

Tee Higgins is another wide receiver who had a good rookie year and will be great for your flex spot. Higgins received 908 yards from 108 targets and also six touchdowns. 

Higgins averaged 8.0 points per game which is a bit low but he has loads of potential. He finished as the wide receiver 28 for the season and with a quarterback like Joe Burrow you would expect him to improve.

Another positive for Higgins is that fellow receiver, A.J Green, is a free agent this year and “does not look likely to stay in Cincinnati”. This is great for Higgins as not only can he see more targets but also he has another quality receiver already there in Tyler Boyd. 

Tee Higgins is worth picking up and putting in your flex and will get better as his relationship develops with Joe Burrow.

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