Twitter Observations: Season’s Greetings

Michael Moore

It’s hard to believe but we have real, live NFL action to watch. We already have one game in the books and will have 15 more over the course of this weekend. It feels good after the summer we’ve all had. Of course, it also means our dynasty seasons are underway and the clock starts on either building a playoff team or just plain re-building. Below are the Tweets that shaped those decisions this week.

A reminder: This space will be dedicated to an assortment of things we find on Twitter and what it means for our dynasty teams. Most fantasy tweets undoubtedly have a redraft slant to them but we’re here to talk about the dynasty implications.

Battering Rams

Ugh. The dreaded C-word when it comes to fantasy football. One would think the Rams had a plan when they released Todd Gurley earlier this off-season but it appears they’re going with the shotgun approach. At first glance, it would appear rookie Cam Akers has the inside track. He’s the highest-drafted between himself (second round), Darrell Henderson (third round), and Malcolm Brown (undrafted) and, by all accounts, is the most talented. But currently, the Rams own website lists Brown as the starter and this comes after the Rams blocked the Lions from signing Brown last year, matching Detroit’s offer sheet of $3.3 million for two years. So while Akers has the draft capital, Brown has the financial commitment.

Dynasty Impact: The selection of Akers may seem like it would have answered this question but it definitely doesn’t. He’s in the same position as Darrell Henderson was last year as the shiny new toy of the offense and look how that turned out. Henderson barely saw the field and averaged less than four yards per carry in his rookie season. And the listing of Brown atop the depth chart may be veteran favoritism but if he gets off to a hot start, there’s nothing stopping the Rams from sticking with him. This is a situation to avoid as all three have the talent or have shown flashes of the talent to be a viable dynasty back.

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Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

That sound you hear is fantasy hearts fluttering at the prospect of Will Fuller finally realizing the unrealized potential he’s had the last four seasons. The eight receptions he had in the season opener are tied for the second-most of his career while the ten targets were the sixth most in a game. More importantly, they came in the first post-DeAndre Hopkins game for Houston. The target share referenced above was Hopkins-like and is a great sign for Fuller’s 2020 prospects. Of course, it’s just one week and it’s hard to forget Fuller’s injury history. He’s played in just 42 of a possible 64 games since entering the league in 2016 which means Fuller dynasty owners will be holding their breath every time he takes a hard hit or lands awkwardly.

Dynasty Impact: Fuller’s talent is undeniable. He’s averaged 14.3 yards per reception for his career and was averaging at least six targets per game in the games he actually played. Removing Hopkins from the equation leaves a ton of opportunities for more targets which means more yards for the big-play Fuller. However, it doesn’t mean Fuller is a dynasty building block.

It is debatable if injury history is relevant to any player but the fact remains Fuller hasn’t played in even 15 games in a whole season and hasn’t played in more than 12 since his rookie season. And while the Texans did pick up his fifth-year option, he hasn’t re-signed as of yet which leaves his future in doubt. If Fuller has a few more good games, I’d look to sell for the late-round first or early-second pick he’s currently worth.

Elementary, My Dear Watson

While the above Tweet doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to fantasy scoring, it does show that Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes are more alike than we think. Mahomes certainly had the best season that either of them ever had – and possibly one of the best ever in 2018 when he threw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns – but last year they both threw 26 touchdowns, Watson doing it in 15 games, Mahomes in 14. They’ve both averaged more than eight yards per attempt for their career, more than 250 yards-per-game for their career and are now locked in to their teams for the foreseeable future.

Dynasty Impact: While Mahomes is widely considered as one of the top two dynasty options at quarterback, Watson is never ranked that high. But why not? He’s just as young and has consistently put up mind-boggling fantasy numbers his entire career. This week was no different as Watson started the 2020 season throwing for 253 yards and nearly eight yards per attempt again and without the previously-traded DeAndre Hopkins.

Currently, Watson’s dynasty ranking is fifth with our dynasty rankers behind a handful of younger options but he’s still just 25 (as of this month) and will be the Texans quarterback for a long time. Using our DLF Trade Analyzer, Watson is currently worth a mid-first round rookie pick. By comparison, Mahomes is worth the first or second pick. If you’re in the market for a franchise quarterback for your dynasty team and don’t want to mortgage the future, Watson is a fine choice.

Above-Average Joe

While the naming of captains is largely symbolic, it also means a team has complete faith in a player’s ability. So for Joe Burrow to be named a captain in his rookie season means his team is seeing something that makes them believe he can lead them. Couple that with the talent around him and it’s not hard to see Burrow as a fantasy QB1 right out of the gate. He has an RB1 in the recently extended Joe Mixon; he has a veteran Pro Bowler in AJ Green; an ascending talent in Tyler Boyd; and the Bengals got Burrow his own receiver with their first pick of the second round in Tee Higgins. The stage is set for Burrow to break out.

Dynasty Impact: Even though Burrow is already a top-ten dynasty quarterback according to DLF’s rankings, he’s still extremely affordable. He’s worth roughly a mid-second round rookie pick or, from a player perspective, a Ronald Jones or Raheem Mostert in 1QB leagues. For superflex leagues, his value is exponentially higher, costing a top-four rookie pick. This despite Burrow going first in several superflex rookie drafts.

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If you’re a current Burrow dynasty owner, he’s a strong hold. And if you’re not, there’s not much time left to acquire him before his value shoots up.

michael moore