Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
Everything about Matt Ryan’s 2016 season was clearly an outlier. It’s incredible that the dynasty fantasy football community didn’t see the drop off in 2017 coming. He set career bests in 2016 for passing yards (4944), touchdowns (38), touchdown percentage (7.1%), completion percentage (69.9%), interception percentage (1.3%), yards per pass attempt (9.3), and virtually every other relevant quarterback statistic. It was a truly spectacular season. But then 2017 happened and now apparently Matt Ryan is awful at football.
Or is he just the old Matt Ryan, which is still an incredibly viable fantasy asset?
If you take Ryan’s 2017 and put it right next to 2015 you wouldn’t be able to guess which one was which. Matty Ice eclipsed 4000 yards, threw about twenty touchdowns, and posted nearly identical passing efficiency numbers in both 2015 and 2017. The real Matt Ryan didn’t go anywhere in 2017. In fact, he just came home. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing because most dynasty owners don’t see it that way.
Just last off-season Matt Ryan’s DLF average draft position reached as high as pick 93. Now you can draft him after the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, a 40-year-old Tom Brady, struggling Derek Carr, an unproven Patrick Mahomes, and even a 39-year-old Drew Brees. Yes, Matt Ryan is somehow the QB18 in dynasty right now That’s worse than Ryan has ever really finished (in most formats). The time to buy Matty Ice is now.
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Yes, Matt Schaub is still in the NFL. It feels like a lifetime ago that Schaub was throwing passes to Andre Johnson on the old terrible Texans teams. Schaub isn’t worth your attention, even in most superflex formats. The 36-year-old backup is on a contract with the Falcons through the end of 2018 for next to nothing. After that, Schaub may be done in the NFL.
Devonta put together his worst season in recent memory, but it’s not the end of the world (at least for him). Freeman got himself a real deal big money contract that binds he and the Falcons together through (at the very least) 2019 and quite possibly through the end of 2022. So even though Freeman struggled to stay completely healthy and wasn’t quite as consistent or efficient his long-term future is secure.
Many want to believe that Freeman somehow regressed in 2017, but that didn’t look to be the case. Tevin Coleman got some more work in the passing game instead of him this past season, but overall Freeman’s efficiency numbers were right about career average for him. His overall numbers just looked a little down after missing a couple games.
Devonta’s ADP has still maintained relative stability (around the end of round two in startups) even amidst a down year and injury concerns. How? I have no idea. With the influx of brand new sexy rookie running backs coming in, you would think Freeman’s value should drop. But I think the dynasty community finally adequately and appropriately values a player. Again, how? It’s simple. Tevin Coleman will be too expensive to re-sign after 2018. Devonta Freeman is locked up for a long time in a healthy offense. He is an above average talent. Still, some owners will sell looking for more.
As I already mentioned, Tevin Coleman’s time as a Falcon may be coming to a close in the near future. Why? For starters, Freeman’s contract is really stupid expensive. In fact his 2019 salary cap hit is nearly $7 million dollars. If you’re unfamiliar with average running back salaries, that would put Freeman in the top five salaries at the position in 2018.
The Falcons will not be able to afford to keep Tevin Coleman after his contract expires this year. He would warrant at least $4 million per year given his resume. That would tie up way too much capital in the running back position.
This is actually a great thing. Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman sap each other’s fantasy value. There is no reason anyone should want Coleman to stay with the Falcons unless (God forbid) you’re actually a Falcons fan (like me).
And the best part about Coleman’s current dynasty value (if you believe in his talent) is that if you have the patience to wait just one season you can get a future RB1 candidate for the price of a decent back-end RB2. He’s being selected as the 19th running back off the board right now in startup mock drafts, and once the new rookies come into play he’ll be going even later. Wait until this summer when all of the rookie hype ensues. Then strike and go acquire Tevin Coleman.
Welcome to the part of the depth chart that no one should really care about! Terron Ward is a restricted free agent this off-season, but it’s highly unlikely the Falcons even attempt to retain him. Ward could easily be out of the league after this season or buried even further on another team’s depth chart. Ward has flashed some change-of-pace talent at times but only played 74 snaps this past season.
Terrence has logged six career offensive touches. None of those were in 2017. He’s now an unrestricted free agent. Bye.
The dynasty community collectively has been treating Julio like he didn’t just drop his fourth consecutive season with more than 1,400 receiving yards.
“But he only had one good game this whole season! *OTHER LOUD AND EMPTY COMPLAINTS*”
No. You are incorrect. Julio Jones caught multiple passes in every single game this season. He logged at least 54 receiving yards in 14 of 16 games. Julio (the GOAT?) caught at least five passes in 11 of 16 games. He logged at least 91 receiving yards in seven of 16 games. I’ll stop alternating similar facts now, but you get the point. Julio didn’t have many “destroy your league” weeks in 2017, but he was a consistent (more than you think) and trustworthy fantasy producer who defeated the toughest matchup a defense threw his way every week.
If your league forgets that Julio has averaged 95 yards per game throughout his already quite-illustrious career then, by all means, go destroy someone in a trade and enjoy the spoils of your plunder.
Julio’s ADP (already down below tenth overall right now) will likely continue to drop as he nears the age cliff of 30 whereby all dynasty value is immediately drained from the soul of even the greatest dynasty assets.
At this point in Mohamed Sanu’s career, he is what he is. Sanu has never surpassed 800 yards or five touchdowns in a single season. He’s only caught more than 60 balls in a season once (this past year). Sanu is a flex play in fantasy with virtually no upside. Yet somehow he’s set to rake in $7.4 million for the second straight season in 2018. He’s technically on contract with the Falcons through 2020 but is an easy cap casualty after this upcoming season. Mohamed Sanu is a dynasty trade trap. He offers virtually no upside and no promise of any significant future. His ADP in the mid-120 is just lazy and a horrible value.
It’s funny to look back at how crazy-hot Gabriel finished the 2016 season and compare that to how virtually useless he was to the Falcons in 2017. Gabriel caught 27 passes for 472 yards and six touchdowns in his final eight games of 2016. He caught just 33 passes for 378 yards and one touchdown in 16 games in 2017. And now he’s an unrestricted free agent. It’s a shame, but he may never find a fantasy-relevant home again.
Justin Hardy is a cheap WR4 that gets the job done when called upon. After his rookie contract expires, Hardy likely finds himself unemployed shortly thereafter. Don’t go fishing for something that isn’t there.
Marvin Hall could find himself on the active roster with the Falcons in 2018 because he’s so cheap, but that’s about it. Hall provides no upside or chance a significant future.
Andre Roberts is nearing 30 years old and hasn’t been consistently relevant for several years. He’s an unrestricted free agent and will likely not return as a Falcon.
Williams was a fun cheap fill-in option for worst-case scenario injury situations, but that’s all. He’s also an unrestricted free agent and will likely hop from team to team for a couple of years before he exits the league.
Hooper has only been in the league for two years now and many dynasty owners already forget that he was the default TE2 in the 2016 rookie class. It’s funny what one colossal tight end class in 2017 did to completely throw a wrench into value at the position. Hooper can be had as the TE14 in startup drafts, and probably cheaper via trade. He’s only 23, but Hooper could continue to present back-end TE1 upside for years to come.
Levine Toilolo is not worth a roster spot unless you play in a deep TE-premium league. He’s on contract with the Falcons through 2019 but could be cut to save some cash after this season.
Saubert is not worth your attention, but will at least be retained by the Falcons through 2020 for his price tag and blocking ability.