I’m sitting down to write for the first time since August and it feels great to put the proverbial pen to paper. The Impact Events series was one which didn’t work well during the season since most of our articles covered what would be considered news. During the off-season, though, many of our writers concentrate on strategy, ADP and specific players rather than the weekly news.
Now that we are officially in the off-season (we just had our first Sunday without professional football in months), you can count on Impact Events to detail the weekly event which affect your dynasty team. I usually have a lesson or two I like to convey with my weekly piece, so you get a bit more than just the ole boring news.
This week’s lesson is understanding risk management. Many of us considered Josh Gordon as one of the top assets in dynasty following his amazing 2012 season – with good reason. Gordon caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in only 14 games. If you’re considering only the numbers, Gordon should have been a top pick in most dynasty startup drafts. There were reasons to justify passing on Gordon, as we now know.
How do we learn from our mistake of overvaluing Gordon? We need to strive toward properly valuing risk. There’s obviously no exact template for valuing risk; you just must be aware of it.
Greg Hardy, DE CAR
[inlinead]News: All domestic abuse charges against Hardy have been dismissed. Hardy was convicted by a judge last summer, but the prosecution could not successfully gain the cooperation of Hardy’s ex girlfriend to pursue charges.
Analysis: Hardy is undeniably one of the best edge rushers in the game, but he obviously carries risk. While these charges have been dismissed, you have to assume him to be at risk for other legal problems. There’s another form of risk he carries with him. Hardy spent 15 games on the commissioner’s “exempt list,” but that does not guarantee he will be available week one of 2015. We’ve seen the commissioner make up rules as he goes along, so it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities that Roger Goodell would suspend Hardy again.
If healthy, and available to play, many in the IDP community (myself included) would label Hardy a top five defensive end. Considering the uncertainty of his playing status, though, I’d feel more comfortable drafting him as a back end top ten player.
Reggie Bush, RB DET
News: Ex NFL star Darren Sharper was recently accused of multiple counts of rape. Bush was named by Sharper’s co-defendant as having spiked champagne drinks at a Las Vegas club. Bush’s lawyer has since denied the allegations.
Analysis: These are merely allegations, but considering way the league operates, you do not need to be convicted of a crime to be suspended. If Bush’s name continues to be brought up in a negative light, the Detroit Lions could opt to release him. Considering that Bush is no longer the back we saw in Southern California, he does not hold leverage to stay on the team. The lead back role should belong to Joique Bell this coming year, so even if Bush keeps his nose clean, his dynasty value is minimal.
Le’Veon Bell, RB PIT
News: Bell was sentenced to 15 months probation and faces a two game suspension stemming from his DUI arrest back in August.
Analysis: While the league is no longer as strict on pot (which Bell was found in possession of on the same August night), it has become more strict on DUI arrests.
As a dynasty owner of Bell, you should be pretty happy with his 2014 season and his subsequent market value gain. There’s no other running back I’d rather have, but that doesn’t mean Bell doesn’t come with some danger. Not only does Bell probably have to serve a two game suspension, but one more mess up and that suspension increases exponentially. Suspension isn’t the only uncertainty in Bell’s value, he also suffered an ACL injury in week 17, sidelining him for the Pittsburgh Steelers only playoff game.
Most savvy dynasty owners tend not to put all of their proverbial eggs in one basket when it comes to the running back position. Running backs tend to age quickly and are more susceptible to injury compared to the other skill positions. If I were a Le’Veon Bell owner, I’d attempt to trade him for one of the elite wide receivers to ensure the safety of my investment.
Duron Carter, WR IND
News: Carter did not receive the $100,000 signing bonus he was seeking.
Analysis: This is the time of year where many names get a boost in value simply for being in the news. The son of former NFL great Cris Carter may just be one of those guys. After failing to be drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, seemingly for character concerns, Carter saw plenty of success in the CFL. Many dynasty owners thought NFL teams would be lining up to sign Carter to a respectable deal, yet the Indianapolis Colts seemed to be his only suiter, and they didn’t give him anything more than a base salary.
The Colts can cut Carter whenever they please with little to no financial ramifications. If you were lucky enough to grab him off of waivers in your league, capitalize by selling him to someone who is willing to pay for name value. According to Ryan McDowell’s January ADP data, Carter is being drafted as the WR55 ahead of plenty of receivers I’d prefer over him. I’d imagine his trade value may be even higher in certain leagues. Remember, risk comes in many forms, and in this case, the risk may be Carter just can’t play football competitively in the NFL
This hasn’t exactly been the most new packed week of all time, but the news presents a natural theme. You need to know exactly how much of a liability each individual player holds on your dynasty roster. In the end, if the risk is justified, and you’re confident you’ve worked it into the price, then the player is worth it. In the example given earlier with Gordon, was his risk justified? There were players with comparable skill sets being drafted behind Gordon after the 2013 offseason. Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, Dez Bryant and others could be considered just as skillful, with much less of a chance of missing games due to suspension.