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Dynasty

What, Me Worry?

Manning

Should we be worried?

First the good news, the hardest week to project and predict success for is in the books. Going forward, we have the benefit of information on our side. We now have some idea of the way teams plan on riding the horses we’ve hitched our fantasy wagons to. Players like Tyler Eifert, Keenan Allen and Marcus Mariota had tremendously encouraging days, which will boost their dynasty stock going forward. This article isn’t about them. It’s about the players we had high hopes for who completely missed the mark. Let’s take a look at some of these players and decide how we should handle them going forward.

Calvin Johnson, WR DET

After not playing a single preseason snap, it appeared as if Megatron’s armor was a bit oxidized. Hopefully, yesterday’s performance was the product of he and Matt Stafford needing more work to get in sync. There are a few things that trouble me, though. For one, he was checked by Brandon Flowers most of the day. I think Flowers is a very underrated cornerback, but he’s still eight inches shorter than Calvin. With an advantage like that, you’ve got to give the big guy a chance to win a few jump balls. They never did. Let’s take the worst case scenario and say Calvin has lost a step. I still see no reason he can’t make a living running the same underneath concepts Keenan Allen roasted the Lions defense on all day long. The next month offers little in the way of hope, as the Lions will face the Vikings, Broncos, Seahawks and Cardinals defenses in succession. Both Calvin and Stafford are in for a challenge each and every week. What will we be saying about this great receiver in a month’s time?

John Brown, WR ARI

DLF & FanDuel bring you DLF Premium for free!I have always felt that as Carson Palmer goes, so goes John Brown. Well on Sunday, that wasn’t the case. Things got off to a promising start, with Brown snagging four catches for 46 yards in the first quarter, with a touchdown to boot. Then, like so many kids in their early 20’s, he got lost on Bourbon Street and didn’t turn up until it was time to catch the plane back home. Or at least that’s how it seemed as Brown didn’t have another catch for the rest of the contest. For his part, Carson went on to throw for 307 yards and three touchdowns. This outcome doesn’t entirely surprise me, as just last week I was having a conversation about Brown’s 2015 outlook,and stated that he would likely have a bunch of games with this sort of stat line, with 3-5 really big games mixed in between. Problem is, I thought yesterday would be one of those big games, against a beleaguered Saints secondary missing Keenan Lewis and Jairus Byrd. The worst thing a player can be in fantasy football is bad. The second worst thing a player can be is inconsistent. Until Brown proves to be a dependable contributor week in,and week out, it’s difficult to get excited about inserting him in your lineup. Maybe we should hold off on the “Smokey Brown” moniker, and just call him “Johnny Best-Ball” for the time being.

Melvin Gordon, RB SD

If you listen closely, you can hear a subtle drum beat of “I told you so’s” coming from the anti-Gordon crowd. In a head-to-head matchup with fellow rookie running back Ameer Abdullah, Gordon turned in far from a breakout performance, tallying just 51 yards on 14 carries, with another three receptions going for 16 yards. Meanwhile, Danny Woodhead displayed his playmaking ability with over 60 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns on the day. I, for one, was encouraged by what I saw from Gordon. For starters, he ran hard, refusing to go down on initial contact. He was left in on a number of passing downs, and pulled in a solid number of receptions. The San Diego offense looks to have a number of weapons to spread the ball around to, but Gordon is the best runner on the team, hands down. It won’t be long before his relentless effort starts turning those “three yards and a cloud of dust” runs into a broken tackles and a foot race. I own Gordon in a dynasty league, but he’s probably tied for third on my depth chart with Gio Bernard and Bishop Sankey right now. Looking at the Chargers upcoming schedule, I hope to break him out of moth balls in week five when the Bolts host the Steelers. From there, he has a nice stretch of games – @Green Bay, home against Oakland, @Baltimore and home against the Bears, where I think he could begin to really assert himself as a dependable asset.

Peyton Manning, QB DEN

We’ll tread lightly here, as we all remember just how finished Tom Brady looked early last season before getting his act together and winning his third Lombardi. It’s hard not to feel a sense of impending doom with Manning, however. He hasn’t just looked off going back to the end of last season, he’s looked shot. When we consider the neck injury, accompanying finger numbness, along with the quad injury which was blamed for last year’s collapse, how can you not feel this may actually be the end for the great #18? There have been small hints dropped by Manning in press conferences about the struggles they are having adapting to Gary Kubiak’s new scheme. We know John Elway and Manning went back and forth this off-season about negotiating Peyton’s salary down to help the team create cap space. One wonders what could have happened if Manning played hardball. Would the Broncos have moved on and started the Brock Osweiler era? Was there any validity to the rumors of trade talks between the Broncos and Houston Texans? Week two will be a massive challenge for Denver as they face the Chiefs who got off to a flying start by demolishing the Texans. The Kansas City Defense undoubtedly smells blood in the water, and will throw everything, including the kitchen sink at Manning. The outcome of that game could go a long way toward determining Denver’s level of patience with their struggling star, especially considering this team is otherwise built to win right now. For my money, this is the most fascinating match up of week two and we get to see it first.

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Mo Brewington

Mo writes about IDP & Salary Cap Leagues. He also covers the Philadelphia Eagles for TheEaglesWire.usatoday.com
Mo Brewington

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Oddball456

    September 16, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Nice piece, curious why you selected John Brown to discuss. 14.6 points in a ppr (on 7 targets) seems like a decent point total for him, how did that “completely miss the mark”?

    I would think someone like Allen Robinson, who has been talked up all off-season but posted just one catch for 27 yards (on 6 targets), would fit into this article better.

    • Steve Wyremski

      September 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Need to give Allen Robinson another week, in my opinion.

      We expected more, but Josh Norman is an extremely underrated corner and it was a rough matchup. I expect him to have much more success in week 2 against the Dolphins.

      • Smashmouth Mo DLF

        September 16, 2015 at 11:19 am

        Spot on Steve. The only thing that would shake me from my position on Robinson would be more nagging injuries. Aside from that, he should start to really apply his size/play making ability soon. He needs time though.

    • Dookmariot

      September 16, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Felt the same thing. I suppose it might be a worry if you were expecting WR1 numbers from Brown, but I don’t think even his biggest supporters were realistically planning on that. As a low WR2-high WR3, he’s going to be fine.

    • Smashmouth Mo DLF

      September 16, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Totally fair point. My disappointment with Brown is that he has all the talent needed to be a transcedent player in this league. With all of the Antonio and Marvin comps, I’m looking for him to be more of a chain mover who AZ counts on sustain the offense. Right now it’s hard to see him as much more than a deep threat. My hope is that they begin to channel more of the passing offense through Brown. He is hands down the best playmaker on that team. Especially considering how disappointing Michael Floyd has been, I’m really looking for Brown to take the next step

  2. Wiggles

    September 16, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I’ll include Andre Johnson in the list. I could be wrong but I think he could be more Nicks than Wayne at this point in is career.

    I just sold him and a 4th for Brandon Marsh and a 3rd.

    • Smashmouth Mo DLF

      September 16, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Good point. I like that trade. It stinks that Andre spent so much time on a hopeless team. I hope he has a good run left in the tank.

  3. Mike Lowenthal

    September 16, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Don’t forget about Frank Gore too. Man, he looks like a complete bust in the early goings.

    • Smashmouth Mo DLF

      September 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

      I’ve been grabbing Josh Robinson in a few leagues this week. Just in case…

  4. Bryce Duzzi

    September 16, 2015 at 10:26 am

    This is a strange list for a dynasty website. If you are relying on Peyton in Dynasty you are a win “right now” team. You have no illusions of long term success. Calvin Johnson is an old 29 but his performance doesn’t have you hitting the sell button quite yet. Here are some players more deserving of scrutiny:

    Ryan Tannehill – What the hell? 1 TD? Against the Redskins at home?
    Blake Bortles- Are we sure he is going to be good? I would also start worrying about OJ.
    Charles Sims- If you are reading this it is already too late…
    Joique Bell- Joique To a The World, Abudullah has come!
    Cody Latimer – Where have you gone?
    Sammy Watkins – Settle In for a long winter. His talent is undeniable but his production won’t match.
    Teddy Bridgewater/Charles Johnson- That crash you heard was the hype train derailing into one of Minnesota’s pristine lakes.
    Andre Ellington-You should have sold last year.
    Allen Robinson – An earlier comment pointed this out. But ARob’s success is directly tied to Bortles. See supra.
    Josh Hill – Hahah. I am kidding. Just wanted to see if you were still reading.

    These are some of the names that popped up this past offseason who have more impact from a dynasty perspective whose week 1 was troubling.

    • Dookmariot

      September 16, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Latimer really surprised me. If he’s still 5th on the WR depth chart this week, I’m thinking he becomes wasted space on a dynasty team’s bench.

    • Smashmouth Mo DLF

      September 16, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Tannehill, Teddy, and Allen Robinson are the only guys on your list that interest me, and I’m big on letting young guys play through their struggles. I think Tanne and Teddy just ran into defenses who were out to prove something.

      The others you listed – I have already moved on from, as guys I have no faith in, as far as making my teams better. That’s my own preference, I’m sure you can find writers who disagree. Sims to me is not an NFL RB. Joique is the classic headache of a player who I love to see my opponents draft. I’d rather take a chance on a player with upside like Karlos Williams, and deal with that headache with the potential of a really high ceiling if I’m right. Sammy Watkins is a great talent, but I stay away from WRs with shaky QBs. I like Dorsett’s upside more than Moncreif. Wasn’t a fan of Moncreif’s effort going back to Ole Miss. Gimme a little guy who thinks he’s 6’4″ over a big guy who plays like he’s 5’10”. I traded Ellington in any leagues I owned him in this spring, based on a lack of commitment from Arians. Now as you see them sign Chris Johnson, and draft David Johnson it’s starting to play out.

      Josh Hill! I’m still here! I brought into Josh Hill until I saw Watson’s usage in the pre-season. Broke my heart, and about 8 of my MFL 10 rosters as well!

    • Ken Kelly

      September 16, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      That’s a solid list! It’s amazing how many names we can all come up with after just one week. I think the reason why players like Manning and Calvin are on the list is because if you’re in a “win now” mode, you ARE worried because you may not be a contender when you thought you were – that’s dynasty suicide.

      Thanks for the additions! That was a nice add to the comments!

      • Bryce Duzzi

        September 17, 2015 at 7:16 am

        Thanks Ken!

        Just wanted to touch on some other players that were omitted.

        I don’t like to include rookies on a list like this because I feel they get one freebie season. If you drafted Nelly A, you aren’t turning around and selling for 10 cents on the dollar.

        Lamar Miller – I agree. He ran the ball 13 times last week and was targeted 1 time. 14 touches in a 17-10 game at home. Borderline criminal under usage. This leads me to believe that Philbin either doesn’t like Miller or does not know how to use him. I would suggest buying low on Miller in the hopes that he signs somewhere else. Think Chris Ivory. Loads of talent who inexplicably was never given a chance to be a workhorse.

        LeSean McCoy – Nicknames are for winners. I hope you are reading this and negotiating McCoy sale at the same time. McCoy was at his best when he was breaking runs outside, letting the defense over pursue than used his superior agility, acceleration and speed to find holes. He is not a guy you run into the line 20 times a week. I think the longer this season goes on, the more people will not be able to excuse the lack of production.

        As to the Vikings, I didn’t include AP because it was his first game back. I was dissapointed in Bridgewater and Johnson because the 49er DST was not supposed to be good this year. The O-Line in Minny may be a bigger problem then anyone realizes.

        Other guys I didn’t include: Michael Floyd (coming back from injury); AJ Green (blew out Oakland – production not needed); Golden Tate; Jeremy Maclin (we all kinda knew this was going to happen); Isaiah Crowell (12 carries for 20 yards – are we 100% sure TRich didn’t sneak back?)

        Where one door closes another opens. If you believe in a certain player, now is the time to try and buy low. It’s a fine line between potential/ceiling and unrealized potential/ceiling. Just be careful out there!

    • srj

      September 16, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      I think that Tannehill was on the road but still…. One that you missed in that same game was Lamar Miller

  5. Alex

    September 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Brady has one four Lombardi’s… Not three. 🙂

    That being said, if we were to evaluate our players on week one production, we would be trading OBJ for Keenan Allen. The only player on this list to be legitimately worried about is Peyton but any good dynasty player who owns Peyton should already have a plan B set up.

    • Mo Brewington

      September 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Yeah I read that Brady error and lost it! My bad.

      The thing about Calvin, and Peyton in particular, but also Brown, is that these aren’t just one week issues. They are continuations of patterns from last season that we hoped would have been solved going into 2015. With Calvin and Brown, the conventional wisdom this offseason has been that each of them were in for big years. But in the first outing they each kind of fell short of expectations.

      You are absolutely right, there is no reason to write off any player, or team after one week. But there’s plenty of reason to question if what we’re seeing is just a blip on the radar, or a sign of a trend.

  6. Stefan Byramji

    September 16, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Agree with Bryce and others, but caution that it’s only 1 game. If we want to overreact, add:
    Isaiah Crowell
    Dereck Carr (if he was considered good enough to make this list)
    Nelson Agholor (only 1 game, but Gordon made it…)
    Jameis Winston (see Agholor above)
    Doug Martin
    LeSean McCoy
    All Eagles running backs

    • Smashmouth Mo DLF

      September 16, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Except Agholor, the others are guys who already had major red flags, IMO. Is anyone with Derek Carr or Jameis expecting those guys to win you a title this year? They’re young QBs who need time. Heck man, Carr only has 2 weapons. Doug Martin is a flier, a 3rd or 4th RB you’re hoping can have some good weeks. Not a guy I’ve built around. Peyton owners have to hope he’s a Championship QB right now. I wouldn’t fret over marginal players like Crowell. I’d just cut them.

  7. Psycho Dad

    September 16, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Just picked up Brandon Coleman to replace Allen Robinson in this weeks lineup. ( dropped Scott Chandler ) my opponent has Breeze this week. Too early for Robinson benching ?

    • Mo Brewington

      September 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Robinson doesn’t have a great match-up this week, going against Brent Grimes. Depending on your other WRs, I’d definitely consider sitting A-Rob.

  8. Joseph Copenhaver

    September 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    I would add LeSean McCoy to the list of guys I’m worried about. Sure he was banged up (maybe this will be the norm bc of the mileage) but he didn’t look too good, Karlos ran with much more juice, and he lost the GL TD to AD. I don’t own him in any leagues but I would be looking to move on.

    • Mo Brewington

      September 16, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Oh yeah. Good one. I dealt Shady and Kelvin Benjamin for Megatron and 1.04(Mariota)….So you can see part of my Calvin Johnson fear right there

  9. Sugbear65

    September 16, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I gotta disagree on the John Brown call myself. This is the season he turns into an elite WR. But that doesn’t mean he has to be Antonio Brown in the 1st week of the season. He started of the game hot, catching his 1st 4 passes, 1 for a TD. After that Palmer tried to get others involved too, but Brown could have had a couple more big plays that were prevented by either a Jonny on the spot defender or just bad luck. While its not nothing, I would like to see more than 7 targets, I’ll grant u that. But I’m encouraged by what I saw and in no way did Sunday make me waver on my Brown love. Although if u do know anyone hitting the panic button on Smokey, I would strike now and buy him. Though this is the first place I’ve seen anyone say they are disappointed in what they’ve seen.

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