DLF’s Weekly Impact Events

Karl Safchick


In last week’s reboot of Impact Events, I talked about risk. I explained how to evaluate and act on risk, but ultimately, the ability to assess risk is completely up to the individual. If you believe the juice is worth the squeeze, don’t let me tell you otherwise.

There was one thing missing from last weeks piece, though. I talked about the proverbial squeeze, but not about the juice – the other side of the “risk” coin. This week I’ll examine the concept of reward.

Peyton Manning, QB DEN

News: According to Sports Illustrated and multiple other sources, Manning should be back in Denver next year. Some details still need to be ironed out, though.

Analysis: Talk about the ultimate reward. A team in search of a championship and possibly the best quarterback of our time, if not ever, are the ultimate marriage.

Let’s focus on the dynasty aspect of this, though. Is Manning a risk? Is he a reward? Every player holds risk and reward in dynasty. You can borrow the scales from Lady Justice to determine which trait a player holds, or you can simply look up Ryan McDowell’s ADP data from February. Manning is being drafted as the QB13, after Jameis Winston! If that doesn’t scream “reward” to you, seek out Anne Sullivan because you may have hearing problems.

In the DLF Writers Only mock, I drafted Peyton Manning with the 160th overall selection, but he actually fell further in another draft, lasting until pick 171.

Randall Cobb, WR GB

News: According to an ESPN Packers reporter, Cobb is seeking $9 million per year.

Analysis: If this is true, we know what this squeeze is, $9 million, but what’s the juice? Cobb hauled in 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014, but his contribution doesn’t end there. Cobb was effective in the return game earlier in his career, and he continues to lineup in the backfield in certain packages. Cobb is quite simply the most valuable slot receiver in the league, and if I were his agent, I’d be asking for more.

[inlinead]What does this mean for his dynasty value, though? Honestly, this seems like a reasonable asking price, so I’m assuming Ted Thompson will pay. If Cobb stays in Green Bay, his value stays in tact, along with that of his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. If for some reason Cobb lands in another city, I do not believe his value is gone. He is an amazing receiver who, if he catches on with an accurate quarterback, can post thousand yard seasons and flirt with ten touchdowns every year.

Jerick McKinnon, RB MIN

News: According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the back injury that ended McKinnon’s 2014 season required surgery which he is within two weeks of completing.

Analysis: For those of you who follow my work closely, you know I’m not one to overpay for the athletic freaks in dynasty. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather a player be tall, fast and agile, but far too often, dynasty owners spend for traits rather than ability. This doesn’t seem to be the case with McKinnon. He’s being drafted as the RB27, rounds after equally unproven players like Latavius Murray, TJ Yeldon and Duke Johnson. According to our friends at playerprofiler.com, McKinnon is one of the most athletically gifted players in the game.

As I stated earlier, there’s always risk with every player. McKinnon’s biggest risk factor is the possibility of Adrian Peterson returning to pre-suspension form, and claiming the workhorse job in the Vikings’ offense. There is a distinct possibility of that very scenario coming to fruition, but this is dynasty fantasy football. Peterson probably won’t be around forever. Even if 2015 isn’t McKinnon’s year, he may be extremely valuable next off-season.

Zach Mettenberger, QB TEN

News: According to the Nashville Tennesseean, early indications are the Tennessee Titans plan on taking a non-quarterback with the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, presumably leaving Mettenberger alone atop the depth chart.

Analysis: I’m not going to attempt convincing you into offering a crazy trade in which you’d acquire Mettenberger for your first born, but there is some intrigue. Many draft scouts graded Mettenberger much higher than the sixth round pick in which he would later be drafted, and any time a team shows faith in a player, I listen. Even the Titans.

The only risk I can see in adding Mettenberger to your dynasty team, is the roster spot he’d occupy. In bigger leagues, I’d suggest checking the waiver wire. In smaller leagues, simply keep an eye on him. He may not be worth a spot in 20 roster spot leagues. In 2QB leagues, though, you should probably price check him. If the Mettenberger in your league thinks Mariota is bound to wind up in Tennessee, capitalize. Worst case scenario, the Titans draft a top quarterback and you can cut Mettenberger with minimal pain. There’s a good chance you end up with a starting quarterback next season, though.

Chris Johnson, RB FA

News: The New York Jets declined Johnson’s bonus. He will become a free agent on March 10.

Analysis: Johnson’s days as an elite running back were over long ago, but his future as an NFL contributor may be over now, too. This may be one player who simply is not worth the proverbial squeeze. I’m not confident Johnson is on a roster opening day, and in his own words “I don’t even be in the game.”

The name of the game is risk/reward. You buy low, you sell high, you try to score more points than your opponent. Some players are great, but do not deserve the dynasty price tag they’ve been given. I gave Josh Gordon’s 2014 offseason price as an example of this last week. I’ve seen it time and time again, an owner (or multiple owners) will become infatuated with a player and be willing to pay any price for them. This isn’t The Godfather. You can’t make everyone an offer they can’t refuse and expect to compete. You need to make reasonable offers for the right players, and if the reward doesn’t outweigh the risk, you sell.