For most football fans, It’s the NFL offseason. If you play dynasty fantasy football, you already know: there is NO offseason. In the “Dynasty Exchange,” I’m going to be looking at various dynasty topics, such as players I think are over or undervalued in the dynasty landscape, some often-overlooked elements that can help turn your team into a perennial champion, or what roster moves we need to make to be in the best possible shape come Week 1.
In this edition, the focus is …
Marquise Goodwin is a player I began acquiring in the middle of last season. With his strong performance in 2017, so far it has been a great investment for my dynasty rosters. I was able to get him at the beginning of his rise, but what does that mean for his value at his current ADP? Am I ready to sell or am I buying more shares?
After being drafted in the 3rd round by the Bills in 2013, Goodwin made little impact in the NFL until 2016 — his final year in Buffalo. It also coincided with his concentrating more on football. In July 2016, he missed out on qualifying for the Olympics on the track, and this appears to have led to him focus solely on his football career. Taking this into account, the last two seasons have been a huge step in the right direction, with a combined 85 receptions after only 20 total in his first three seasons as a pro. With his new-found dedication, we may see continued growth from Goodwin.
In 2017, he posted new career bests across the board and it wasn’t particularly close. He doubled his previous season best in yards with 962 yards, averaging 17.2 yards per reception. Although he finished with just three touchdowns, scoring was a team-wide problem for the 49ers who had only 31 TDs on the season.1
SO, WHAT CHANGED IN 2017?
Goodwin’s increased role last year came from a combination of things:
- He moved to a new team with an offense led by Kyle Shanahan.
- Pierre Garcon was lost for the season to a neck injury.
- Jimmy Garoppolo arrived in the Bay area after a trade with the New England Patriots.
While Goodwin may never be a true No. 1 wide receiver, he can be a league winner in 2018. The best reason is for optimism is what we saw from him last year. Shanahan became head coach of the 49ers after leading the Falcons to the seventh-highest scoring offense in NFL history. Shanahan has a reputation for being among the most creative offensive minds in the league. To go along with that, the 49ers traded for Garoppolo in the middle of the 2017 season. I mentioned Goodwin’s season stats at the top, but after Garoppolo became the starter in Week 13, it was obvious that the chemistry between the pair developed rapidly.
Goodwin’s Opportunity Outlook for 2018
There was concern early in the offseason that the 49ers may look to add Allen Robinson or Sammy Watkins in free agency, that didn’t happen. They did however give up the 59th and 74th picks to move up to 44th overall and select Dante Pettis. While the 49ers have put significant draft capital behind Pettis, he profiles as a No. 3 receiver in this offense, whose biggest impact in 2018 is likely to be on special teams. I currently have Trent Taylor projected to start ahead of him at slot receiver. In 2017, Taylor finished third among rookie wide receivers with 43 catches, behind only Cooper Kupp (62) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (58). He should be able to build on this rookie success with a full-year catching passes from Garoppolo. Considering what the team has invested in Pettis, they will want to see what he can do, but he will likely start in a competition with Taylor.
Outside of these options, Goodwin’s competition for targets is fairly limited with George Kittle and Aldrick Robinson making up the rest of the receiving corps, along with free-agent running back acquisition Jerick McKinnon. In terms of target distribution, Garcon and Goodwin should lead the way.
The Return of Garcon
Goodwin’s usage certainly increased after Garcon’s season ended, so how will Garcon’s return affect Goodwin’s outlook? While Garcon will likely be the WR1 on the roster and should garner the largest share of team targets, his return will also benefit the offense and in turn Goodwin by pulling away defensive coverage. Garcon is certainly a target hog: since 2009, he ranks sixth in targets among receivers with 969. However, his teammates have also had success across from him. In three seasons in Washington, Garcon played across from another player with a similar profile to Goodwin’s: DeSean Jackson. Jackson and Garcon played 39 games together, and Jackson’s numbers were strong in those games — he averaged a full-season pace of over 1,100 yards and six TDs. Goodwin has a good chance to do something similar in 2018.
Can Goodwin Return Value?
While his ADP is rising, he is still undervalued. I have him as my No. 30 WR in dynasty. On average, he is the 56th WR off the board, generally as an 11th- or 12th-round selection in startups. If he can carry on where he left off in 2017, he’ll have a featured role with the potential to be a top-24 WR in 2018. He recently signed a three-year contract extension ($20.3 million with $10 million guaranteed) that will keep him in San Francisco until 2021. It’s possible we’ll look back on this offseason as the last buying window for Goodwin in dynasty.
With Garoppolo under center, the Niners had the highest FG-to-TD ratio in the league. This obviously isn’t ideal, but they did score points on an impressive 62 percent of his drives. They moved the ball downfield well but struggled to punch it in. Shanahan’s offense is complex, but with a second offseason to implement it, we should see the 49ers regress to the mean in terms of team TDs. If this is happens, Goodwin’s fantasy production should increase. Something in the realm of six receiving TDs — Jackson’s full-season pace when playing opposite Garcon — should be well within reach. We have seen a glimpse of what may be to come with Garoppolo throwing to Goodwin, but his value could truly take off as he heads into his age-28 season.
So, see who owns him in your leagues, test the water, and if the opportunity is there, get him on your dynasty roster.
In each “Dynasty Exchange,” I will be looking at players I think are over or undervalued in the dynasty landscape, along with some dynasty strategy. If you have players or dynasty related topics you’d like to see me discuss, let me know in the comments below or via @Overtimeireland or Overtimeireland@gmail.com .
- They scored only 15 passing TDs — which tied with the Browns for 28th in the NFL. (back)