Top Ten Dynasty Fallers

Michael Zingone

Every year there are players who disappoint us. Whether it be the hyped up second-year player who fails to meet expectations or the top 20 dynasty asset who has a lackluster season, players fall in dynasty value every season. The 2019 season was no different. Here, we will leverage the DLF Data Analytics tool to explore the top ten dynasty fallers in the 2019 season.

Often, analysts will point to a change in ADP or rankings as a mark of a value change. This is a good method of evaluation, but it is just the first step. A simple comparison of the ending ADP and the beginning ADP is not enough to get a true value change. For example, a player who fell from ADP 130 to ADP 170 absolutely saw a value decrease, but it is less impactful than a player going from ADP 30 to ADP 60.

The DLF Data Analytics page leverages a player’s ADP and ranking from a previous month and utilizes the DLF Trade Analyzer algorithm to better indicate a player’s true change in value. In the list below, you won’t simply see the players who lost the most ADP spots but rather the players who actually lost the most value. So, without further delay, here is the list of the top ten biggest dynasty fallers from August 2019 to January 2020.

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David Johnson, RB ARI

A first-round pick in both seasonal and dynasty leagues this off-season, there are serious questions about whether Johnson will ever be a useable fantasy asset again. A combination of lackluster performance, injury, and Kenyan Drake’s emergence leaves the once highly coveted running back in a state of dynasty purgatory. Having recently turned 28 years old with an unclear future, it’s no wonder dynasty players have dropped Johnson significantly in their valuation. If you believe he will have a bounce back in 2020, now is certainly the time to get him on your team.

Antonio Brown, WR

While Brown may be out of the league, he’s certainly not been out of mind with his activity on social media. Every passing day, it appears less and less likely that the once superstar wide receiver will ever take the field again. Personally, I would not recommend drafting him this off-season in new dynasty startups, and if any leaguemate would trade even a future third round pick, I would get him off my team. His days as a dynasty asset appear done.

Brandin Cooks, WR LAR

The Rams offense as a whole took a big step back this season, and Cooks was the odd-man out. While concussions through the season did him no favors, even when he played he did not appear to the focal point of the offense he once was. Still, he had previously put up four consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and turns just 27 years old in September. However, with five known concussions in his six-year career, dynasty players are certainly – and reasonably – concerned about Cooks’ longevity in the NFL. He may need to prioritize his own health sooner rather than later. While he is a good buy-low, barring health, he’s certainly not the WR2 in dynasty he once was.

Le’Veon Bell, RB NYJ

Bell was a first-round redraft pick in many leagues in 2019, and the veteran running back largely disappointed. Playing 15 games this season, he finished as fantasy’s 16th ranked running back, scoring only four total touchdowns. The positives for Bell’s 2019 season were that he was still active in the passing game – catching 66 passes – and that the main reason holding him back from RB1 numbers was touchdowns. However, Bell was largely ineffective on the ground, and his situation in unknown heading into 2020. The Jets will reportedly look to trade their veteran running back this off-season. Heading into his age 28 season, Bell’s dynasty value will only go down from here, but his production could bounce back in 2020.

Todd Gurley, RB LAR

Another Los Angeles Ram to make the list, Gurley’s value decline was somewhat predictable. After news broke last off-season about his knee condition, dynasty players became wary of the star running back’s long-term viability. Nonetheless, he put together a good season, finishing as the RB14 in fantasy football. On the back of 14 touchdowns, however, it remains to be seen if he has another RB1 season in him. Heading into his age 26 season with a his second-worst catches and yards per carry in a season, there are certainly questions about Gurley’s dynasty value. A fourth-round valuation seems appropriate, and his top-30 dynasty days are likely over.

James Conner, RB PIT

Conner is one of the toughest players to value heading into the 2020 off-season. On one hand, the entire Steelers offense should get a pass for having to play with bottom-five quarterback play for essentially the whole season. On the other hand, he was largely ineffective and consistently got injured throughout the season. While dynasty players have devalued him heading into the 2020 off-season, he seems like a player who will rise in value again as the off-season progresses. With little competition in the backfield and the return of Ben Roethlisberger, Conner is poised as a bounce-back candidate for 2020. Turning 25 in April, I expect him to rise into the third-round in startups come the summer time. He is my buy-low target on this list.

TY Hilton, WR IND

Part of Hilton’s falling value isn’t on him. After Andrew Luck’s surprising retirement, the veteran wide-out was certain to fall in dynasty value with uncertainty at the quarterback position. Even still, his 2019 season was a disappointment. At 30 years old, he averaged just over 50 yards per game and averaged 11.1 yards per reception, both of which were career lows. Jacoby Brissett is a fine quarterback, but he will not buoy Hilton’s value as he ages into his 30s. I expect his value to continue to fall throughout the off-season, and if dynasty players can still muster up a first-round pick in trade value, that seems like a slam-dunk.

Melvin Gordon, RB LAC

As the year started and Gordon was holding out for a new contract, fantasy players had no idea when he would return. Hiss holdout lasted only four games, but he did not get the contract he was looking for from the LA Chargers. With Austin Ekeler’s emergence, the Chargers will very likely not bring Gordon back in 2020. His production in 2019 was down from previous career highs, but the veteran running back still has a lot to bring as a lead running back. A good bet to catch 50 passes and score double digit touchdowns every season, Gordon’s ceiling is still an RB1 in fantasy football on a yearly basis. However, questions about his landing spot and age (turning 27 in April) have dynasty owners wary to invest in him for the long-haul. His value may continue to fall, but his production should be solid for the next two season at the very least.

Zach Ertz, TE PHI

Ertz was commonly listed as a sell candidate heading into the 2019 season, but his production didn’t match the label. He finished as fantasy’s TE4 in points per game, behind just Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Austin Hooper. He saw at least ten targets in six games this season and was a focal point of the Philadelphia offense. Still, dynasty players are down on the veteran tight end heading into 2020 in large part because of Dallas Goedert’s emergence as a threat to his production. After their week ten bye, Goedert never saw fewer than six targets in a game. Having recently turned 29, Ertz should still have plenty of solid seasons left for dynasty players. His value fall is a bit surprising, and he makes for a good buy-low.

Corey Davis, WR TEN

The Titans offense saw plenty of dynasty risers in 2019, including AJ Brown, Derrick Henry, and Ryan Tannehill. Lost in all the value increase, however, was the former top-five pick Davis. After a mini-breakout in 2018 fueled mostly by volume, he fell out of favor in both Tennessee and in the hearts of dynasty players. It’s unlikely that he ever sees a rebound in value, but there’s certainly a chance that with a new system he can rise back to dynasty WR3 territory. Even still, I wouldn’t hesitate to hit the reset button and package Davis for a promising young prospect in the upcoming draft.

michael zingone
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