This is the first article in a new, two-part (BUY and SELL), monthly series called Dynasty Stock Market that discusses which players I am targeting, avoiding, or trying to unload from my Dynasty rosters.
As the offseason rolls on, be sure to check the Dynasty ADP App in order to help gauge the current market value of players. If you are in a Dynasty league on MyFantasyLeague.com, please make sure the word DYNASTY in in your league name so that it is counted in our data.
Some important dates to remember are the NFL combine February 23rd, the beginning of free agency March 15th, and the NFL draft April 28th. Be sure to keep up with our super scout Jon Moore (@TheCFX), The Oracle (@MattFTheOracle), and the rest of the RotoViz prospect and scouting team to learn about all the rookies before your leaguemates. If you are participating in a Startup draft for a new Dynasty League, this primer by high stakes Dynasty player Jacob Rickrode (@ClutchFantasy) is fantastic.
If you have specific Dynasty trades, or questions about strategy/player values, always feel free to reach out to your favorite Rotoviz writer at any time, either through the site, or on Twitter. If you are looking for contract information, we use and recommend Rotoworld.com and overthecap.com.
PRE-FREE AGENCY: BUY UPSIDE, LIMIT DOWNSIDE RISK EXPOSURE
Doug Martin lit the fantasy football world on fire last season, finishing as the PPR RB5 despite being drafted as RB26, after some massive busts such as Alfred Morris, Andre Ellington, Joseph Randle, and C.J. Spiller. Diligent RotoViz subscribers knew this might happen, after it was foretold by The Contrarian here; and, everyone reading this already owns Dougie on their Dynasty team, because they listened to Justin Winn back in March.1
I am personally holding Martin at least through free agency, unless I am blown away by the other side’s offer. Even as an unrestricted free agent, I don’t feel there are any realistic landing spots that could dramatically reduce his value. The way to take advantage, in my opinion, is by acquiring Martin’s teammate and #ZeroRB archetype, Charles Sims.
Helping to keep Sims’ price depressed, is speculation that the Buccaneers will re-sign Martin, as Justin Beetz of the Sports Illustrated-affiliated site The Pewter Plank, explained earlier this month:
“Doug Martin comes first to mind when speaking about players that Buccaneers should definitely think about resigning (sic) to their team for next season. Both the Bucs and Martin have already vocally expressed interest in keeping the relationship going and have even stated they already begun contract negotiations.”
NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling reported last summer that the only reason Martin stayed in Tampa prior to last season, the last on his rookie contract, was the arrival of then offensive coordinator, and newly named head coach, Dirk Koetter. I actually think that despite the Bucs likely improving next season behind a more experienced Jameis Winston, allowing Koetter to stay committed to a power running offense, it would be best for everyone if Martin moved on to a team that would use him in a three-down capacity. Despite a gaudy 75 percent catch rate and 6.2 yards per target2, the Bucs could only muster 44 targets for Martin, which was only 63 percent of what receiving dynamo Sims got.
According to RotoViz’s Fantasy Points Over Expectation App, Sims was the sixth most efficient (above expectation) with his targets for all running backs that had at least 25, and the third most efficient for all running backs that had at least 50. Chucky’s3 0.57 FPOE per target was also a massive outlier, dwarfing his teammates.
You can probably acquire Sims right now for a random second round rookie pick, or a veteran player of similar value, especially if the person holding him does not own Martin. With his role as a high-volume, high-efficiency receiver likely secure regardless of free agency moves or injuries, Sims has the kind of floor and upside combination that makes him an ideal buy at this time of year, and at this point in his career – especially in best ball leagues.
MATT JONES (JAMISON CROWDER, NILES PAUL, CHRIS THOMPSON)
Go home, Alfred Morris. We’ve seen enough.
When Scot McCloughan took over as Redskins’ General Manager last season, the expectation was he would slowly dig them out of the hellhole that is Dan Snyder’s toxic relationship with the Shanahans. Ideally, the Redskins would eventually resemble the 49ers and Seahawks juggernauts that McCloughan built through savvy drafting of offensive line and defensive talent, creating run-first, punch-you-in-the-mouth, bully football teams. A healthy Jordan Reed, a competent Kirk Cousins, and the bricks of the NFC East’s old guard crumbling around them, made the rebuild seem as unnecessary as Robert Griffin posing with a life size statue made out of whatever passes for meat at Subway.
Winning the division and baskets of fantasy championships4 probably shut the window to buy low on Reed forever, and quarterback has become a bit of a tricky temptress, so I’ll let @LakeTwoQBs handle the Cousins’ buying/selling advice. Two of McCloughans first four draft picks, however, wide receiver Jamison Crowder, and running back Matt Jones, should still be very fairly priced.
DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are both entering the final season of their contracts, will both turn 30 this year, and are leftovers from the pre-McCloughan front office. Jackson continued his battle with soft tissue injuries this year, playing in only 10 games, and converting just 30 of his 49 targets into catches, both by far career lows after never having fewer than 45 catches or 87 targets in a season. While Jackson may come back for one more year in Washington, and be fairly valued and useful from a fantasy and real life perspective, the writing is almost certainly on the wall for Garcon. After another year almost identical to 2014, Garcon has done nothing to show that his 2013 outburst was not a fluke, and that he deserves the $7.5M he is owed this season if Washington wishes to keep him.
|Year||Catches||Targets||Catch Rate||Yards||Yards per Target|
What sticks out looking at the this offense from last season is Reed’s 114 targets and 11 touchdowns, Garcon’s 111 targets and six touchdowns, Cousins’ five rushing touchdowns, and Morris’ one rushing touchdown on 202 attempts:
-Of Reed and Garcon’s combined 17 touchdowns, only 6 of them were from further away than 8 yards.
-Other than Cam Newton or Jameis Winston, no quarterback had as many rushing TDs as Cousins.
-Of 21 running backs who had at least 185 attempts, Morris is the only one to have fewer than three touchdowns.
I also believe that Reed will lose snaps to the more well-rounded Niles Paul, who was ahead of Reed on the depth chart prior to breaking his ankle in the preseason, and might be on your Dynasty league waiver wire right now. Of course, staying healthy seems anything but assured for Reed, a guy with multiple hamstring injuries, multiple quad injuries, and multiple concussions in just the last three seasons.
With half the division going through coaching and front office tumult, and no obvious indicator that Jones will not be the primary back on this team next year and beyond, there doesn’t seem to be much argument against paying the current asking price. At 6 feet 2 inches, 230 pounds, Jones is a size/speed freak most comparable to Le’Veon Bell, and one of only 16 rookie running backs in the last 30 years to record 400 rushing yards, 300 receiving yards under the age of 23.
I would have no issue offering a low 2016 first round rookie pick for Jones, or something similar to the deal I just made with BroJackson.com’s Kenny Darter, giving up Jerick McKinnon, 2016 3.12, and a 2017 3rd for Jones. If you hold or acquire Jones, it’s worth asking about Chris Thompson, who has more standalone value on a Morris-less Redskins than people realize. (Note: this last section could be copied and pasted almost word for word about Jacksonville, and T.J. Yeldon is a strong buy for all the same reasons, albeit a lot more expensive.)
Don’t forget about the impending free agent they call Black Unicorn. Even though he will turn 29 years old in March, tight ends tend to fight off the age cliff a bit longer than wide receivers, and much longer than running backs. Since being exiled from Dallas four seasons ago, Bennett has never had fewer than the 80 targets or 53 receptions he had this year in only 11 games. His 16 game pace of 77 catches would have been fourth among all tight ends, and his 16 game pace of 116 targets would have been fifth. Prior to last season’s wide receiver-less disaster, Jay Cutler and Bennett absolutely cooked in Marc Trestman’s offense:
Uncertainty over landing spot, age, and an injury shortened season of limited efficiency are basically everything that you could ask for to depress a player’s value. It probably won’t take more than a random second to acquire Bennett right now from his owner who is probably looking to bail.
In a tight end premium league (1.5 PPR points for just TEs), I acquired Bennett and Lorenzo Taliaferro this week for Tevin Coleman. While I am intrigued by Coleman for the future, I thought cashing in that kind of potential value for the potential of return-to-prime Bennett production was worth it. With the current dearth of TE talent,5 it seems highly unlikely that Bennett will not find himself in a fortuitous, high usage situation (Baltimore? Atlanta? San Diego? I’ll take one of each, please).
BRIAN QUICK AND KENNY STILLS
No, you have a problem. I’m not advocating trying to acquire either of my 2015 crushes for any kind of real capital, but rather getting them thrown into larger trades as add-ons, or offering a random late pick in hopes that their owners will take anything they can get.
Brian Quick barely saw the field this year (or any other year) and as a result will probably cost you next to nothing, if that. He may finally escape Jeff Fisher’s deranged leadership through free agency, and everything we loved about the athletic and efficiency freak is still true. We think. Pretty sure. Anyway, read this, and this, and this, and this… if you want to be reminded what a childlike wide-eyed optimism looks like.
Joe Philbin, Dan Campbell, Bill Lazor… a/k/a a bunch of people who are not Adam Gase. Greg Jennings should be gone next year, and one would hope Gase realizes that Stills can do things Jarvis Landry can only dream about, and Rishard Matthews needs a cheat code in Madden to pull off. Someone in Miami saw what then 22 year old Stills did in 2014 and thought he was worth trading a high capital draft pick for, and I’m pretty sure that person is right. Pretty sure. Almost positive.
- Editor’s note: I’m so sorry I liked Ellington. -CK (back)
- for perspective, Le’veon Bell and Matt Forte in their careers both have a 77 percent catch rate, Bell 7.1 yards per target, Forte 6.5 (back)
- yeah, I call him Chucky, and I’m going to need you to start doing the same (back)
- Per @BenGretch, no TE or QB scored as many fantasy points as Reed or Cousins in Weeks 14 through 16 since at least 1999, respectively. (back)
- Remember that we are a year removed from future first ballot hall of famer Charles Clay getting the third most guaranteed money for a tight end of all time. (back)