Here’s the last installment of 32 players whose dynasty fantasy football value has cratered.
8. Tony Romo, QB, DAL
There were good reasons for optimism regarding Tony Romo’s 2015 season. I’m not sure there are many for 2016. Going on 36, his collarbones aren’t getting any younger. In 2015, before succumbing to injury, his per-attempt efficiency was just 0.05. That ranked 35th among QBs with 100 or more attempts. It’s also a big drop from last year’s 0.32, and his career 0.21. Was Romo in decline even before injury? Next let’s take a look at Dallas’ roster. After historically brittle Darren McFadden there’s not much at RB. Dez Bryant just had foot and ankle surgery – again. Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley probably aren’t the wide receivers you’re looking for. Jason Witten is getting old fast, and there’s no good replacement in house. Dallas has big time question marks at every offensive position. Combined with age, health, and his own potential decline, I’m staying away.
7. Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
I laid out the full argument for fading Lynch back in November. The only thing that’s changed since then is that things seem to be strained between Lynch and the Seahawks. That’s not necessarily new. But it does make it less likely Lynch returns next year. If he’s not in Seattle, then what? The market for injured 30 year old running backs is not robust.
6. Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
Does this section even need to be written? Here’s Manning’s adjusted yards/attempt over the past three seasons: 9.3, 8.1, 5.0. Ouch. That 5.0 AYA puts him right between Nick Foles and Ryan Mallett for the season. Is Denver going to commit $19 million to a 40 year old QB who throws like Mallett and was not only injured but benched for Brock Osweiler? And who may or may not have a performance enhancing drug situation to address in the future? The only way Manning has any future value is if he gets healthier at age 40 than he’s been at ages 38 and 39, gets and keeps a starting job, and overcomes the marked decline he’s shown over the past two seasons. Not happening.
5. Jordan Cameron, TE, MIA
Cameron ranked just 19th in tight end targets this season, and since his breakout 2013 campaign, his targets/game have declined each year. Cameron’s usage also declined over the course of last season.
Probably because of this.
At least he managed to stay healthy this year, something he failed to do in any previous NFL season.
The Dolphins currently are $2.4 million over the cap for next year. There are other players more likely to be cut, but it’s possible that Cameron could be too. Doing so would save Miami $7.5 million against the cap. Cameron is two years removed from his one good season, and has a long injury history. Count me out.
4. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
Notice a theme with my RB selections? Charles is another 30 year old RB coming off a major injury. Although Kansas City has plenty of cap space next season, they could cut Charles with impunity and save over $5 million. The Chiefs were able to get plenty of rushing production from bargain-priced backs Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware, so they don’t necessarily need Charles. They could spend that money elsewhere. It’s more likely that they keep Charles of course. But is it likely that Charles is a workhorse back? When Andy Reid arrived in 2013, Charles averaged over 17 rushing attempts/game. Over the past two seasons that number fell to just 14. There was frequent talk prior to last season about getting Knile Davis more involved in the offense. Why wouldn’t we expect Kansas City to “preserve” Charles by limiting his workload? Old for an RB, and the team doesn’t seem to need him to be a feature back. Pass.
3. Jimmy Graham, TE, SEA
I already made this argument here. The short version: old, devastating injury, low volume offense. I’m out.
2. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, CAR
I think it’s fair to say that Benjamin had a better-than-many-expected rookie season, at least from a fantasy perspective. But he wasn’t a particularly good real life WR.
About as productive a target as Jerricho Cotchery. Okay. Then there’s the fact that Benjamin was a better fantasy asset in defeat than in victory.
Now let’s consider that rookie Devin Funchess, albeit limited in his own right, was in some respects a better receiver as a rookie than Benjamin.
Here are my thoughts heading into 2016: Benjamin’s limitations as a receiver probably didn’t get better after sitting out a year due to a major injury. When he returns he’ll have competition for targets from Funchess. And insofar as Carolina could be a better team next year than they were in 2014, Benjamin’s garbage time opportunities are likely to dissipate as well. There looks to be an awful lot of pressure on his target volume, and there are still significant questions about his health and skill. Sayonara.
1. Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
Yep, I went there. I realize this might be considered the hottest of hot takes. So full disclosure: yes, I’d like to have Dez Bryant on my dynasty team. But only if his price was many times less than it is now. I think his future is not as rosy as it is assumed to be. First, there’s the QB situation which I discussed earlier. Then there’s Bryant’s own health. I know other players have returned to be productive after a Jones fracture. But Bryant suffered other injuries in quick succession, likely as a result of rushing back. He was scheduled to have additional surgery on both his foot and his ankle last week. It’s fair to consider Bryant a significant injury risk going forward. Albeit in a limited season, Bryant’s 2015 was the worst of his career from an efficiency perspective. Turning to the Sim Score App, Bryant’s 2016 isn’t shaping up that well from a production standpoint either.
Like I said, I’d take Bryant on a dynasty team only at a significant discount, and I would aggressively sell him if I owned him. I realize that’s probably a very minority opinion. But I think there are so many good, young WRs that you could replace Bryant’s production – and then some – by moving him for multiple other pieces.