Welcome back to another edition of DLF’s Weekly Impact Events. Last week Ryan McDowell was kind enough to step back into his old role as the head news anchor, and he did a stellar job. Per usual, Ryan set a high bar for my return.
I (and hopefully many of you) enjoyed fireworks with my family this week, but the fireworks were not contained in the skies. The dynasty community was rocked by another superstar wide receiver being arrested. A different star wide out wants his independence to seek a trade, and yet another teams deep threat is being rumored to cash in on capitalism and receive a contract extension.
Josh Gordon, WR CLE
News: Gordon was charged with a DWI after blowing a .09 in North Carolina. This was (at least) the third time Gordon had an incident end up on the desk of Rodger Goodell.
Analysis: It’s starting to seem as if this kid cannot stay out of the principle’s office. Determining whether Gordon can get his life together is beyond my pay grade. Unless you know the guy personally, you simply do not possess the capability to quantify the chance of Gordon seeing an NFL field again. This doesn’t mean we cannot discuss his value.
We do know when Gordon is on the field, he enjoys a natural skillset which only a few wide receivers possess. We know if he were not a risk for further suspension, Gordon would be a top five dynasty asset. We know the Cleveland Browns are unlikely to see Gordon play a single snap in 2014. When we attempt to judge what this information means in terms of dynasty value, we’re left with one question. “Do I believe Gordon will get the help he needs to deal with his substance abuse issues?” As I mentioned, we can’t accurately answer that question. Gordon will likely come with a price tag of a future second or third rookie pick. If you have the roster spot available, and the extra pick to do so, trade for Gordon. He can win you a championship in a few years. If you’re an owner who likes to avoid risk, I won’t blame you for traveling a different path.
For a more in depth look on this troubled receiver, check out “Flush Gordon?” by our own Ken Kelly.
Jordy Nelson, WR GBP
News: The Green Bay Packers are reportedly attempting to get Nelson signed to a long term deal “sooner rather than later.”
Analysis: When you talk about overlooked and underappreciated dynasty assets, Nelson has to come to mind. The guy was essentially a WR1 in 2013 as he finished just outside the top twelve. As Jarrett Behar and I discussed on the DLF Dynasty Podcast, Nelson would be a great receiver in any city with any quarterback. This was made evident last year as he posted admirable numbers with the musical chair quarterbacks in Green Bay. If he signs a long term extension with the Packers, it only solidifies his value by pairing him with years of elite quarterback play.
Andre Johnson, WR HOU
News: Johnson told NFL reporter Ian Rapaport he’d like to play football for a team other than the Houston Texans.
Analysis: This isn’t rocket science. Johnson has never played for a Super Bowl caliber team in his career, he turns 33 years old today and wide receivers don’t exactly age gracefully. Johnson want’s to play for a contender while he can still perform at a high level. The Houston Texans aren’t necessarily a contender, so they could conceivably benefit from trading their aging receiver. Johnson’s contract is the proverbial wrench in the spokes, as many teams don’t want to take on the financial responsibility of a 33 year old receiver. This is a situation to monitor, but Johnson’s quarterback situation can’t get much worse. If he were to be traded to a team like the Carolina Panthers, his value, albeit short term, would improve.
Joique Bell, RB DET
News: Bell has been medically cleared for training camp after being held out of mandatory mini camps.
Analysis: The Detroit Lions have a unique situation at the running back position as their top two players could likely start for numerous other teams. Bell is considered a “back-up”, but the dynasty community is well aware of his value to a fantasy team. He played through injuries in 2013 and finished as the PPR RB14. With Reggie Bush approaching the dreaded age of 30, Bells role could actually increase.
Robert Griffin III, QB WAS
News: According to the Redskins offensive coordinator, Sean McVay, Griffin “looks like he is exactly what he was in the 2012 season.”
Analysis: McVay went on to blame the knee brace for slowing Griffin down last year, which is probably fair. Much of Griffin’s game was built on olympic caliber speed. The ligaments in a knee can fully function while still being tight or uncomfortable for an athlete. It is very likely Griffin was slowed by the knee brace and by the knee itself. Many dynasty owners fall victim to recency bias when determining the value of football players. Griffin finished the 2012 season as the QB4 in points per game despite being a rookie. The only quarterbacks to score more fantasy points per game were Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. It’s amazing what one bad season and a knee injury can do to someone’s dynasty value.
I sincerely hope everyone had an enjoyable Independence Day weekend. Make sure to get your time in with your family now, because football is a mere three weeks away. Let me say that one more time folks. In just over three weeks, we will be watching the first preseason game of the 2014 season. This is prime season for you dynasty fans. Make sure to get as much dynasty knowledge in now. Once the season starts, it’s more difficult to acquire “sleepers” or “breakout candidates”. Use this time to scour the archives at DLF, and make sure to use Twitter or the DLF forums to gain the edge over your competition. I know I can speak for everyone on the DLF team when I say, we are here to help you win championships!
Follow me on Twitter: @KarlSafchick