Welcome to DLF’s Dynasty Aftermath. This staple article is our longest running signature piece as we have a little fun after a tough week at the Dynasty League Football office. You’ll find this article will review the week’s happenings in a variety of ways and help set you up for the coming weeks as we spin around the league in the way we know best. Expect it each and every week.
I’ve written this column for over fifteen years and I really do enjoy it. I love combing through the stats of the week, putting together ridiculous lineups, picking MVPs/LVPs and discussing things to worry about.
That’s not all.
I also really love sharing little bits of my life with the community of DLF and picking a theme for this column each week. You really never know what you’re going to get. In fact, I’ll reserve the right to change my theme ideas if something cool happens like my friend peeing their pants at the Goodwill. If you missed one this year, click below:
December 27, 1996. This is a date that will live in my mind forever as the date I learned I had no mystical kung-fu powers.
You see, that day was the day I turned 21. My family was kind enough to take me and one of my friends (not Brian Calliope) to Las Vegas. I had never been there and it seemed like a rite of passage.
After arriving in Vegas, we walked the strip, ate dinner, then started going from casino to casino and overindulging in just about every way we could. Before we knew it, it was shockingly 3:00 in the morning (we learned there aren’t clocks in casinos, folks) and we decided to call it a night. My family had done the same hours before because they weren’t idiots.
That’s when it happened.
As we were strolling down the Las Vegas strip, three guys passed us and said something to my friend that really isn’t even repeatable. It was in that moment three things popped into my head:
1.) He was going to say something back.
2.) We were not sober.
3.) This was not going to end well.
All three of those turned out to be true.
My friend did say something back. I don’t even remember what it was, honestly. We turned around and kept walking. The next thing I knew, coins were flying in the air (back then, the slot machines actually gave out coins and we had cups full of them). My buddy had been sucker puched in the back of the head and as they say in the fighting world, “it was on.” Unlike myself, Justin (my friend) was a bit of a tough guy. He immediately grabbed the “sucker puncher,” threw him to the ground and demanded he call himself a B&tch. To me, this was both unnecessary, but also weirdly impressive at the same time. The most amazing thing is the guy did it.
At that point, everything turned in a really bad way.
One of the other three strangers was wearing a pair of cowboy boots and kicked Justin square in the head. To this day, I have no idea if those were “Justin” boots, but I always imagine they were because I’m a fan of irony. As the blood starting rushing from his head and nose, the guy he threw down got up. Yep, it was three against one as Justin’s night was complete. And there are three things you need to clearly know about that moment:
1.) I had never been in a fight in my life
2.) There was nobody around to help (Vegas was a little slower then)
3.) I had watched The Karate Kid and Bloodsport both several times
If you’ve never been in a fight before, you tend to focus on the third item there. I had always wondered just what would happen if I was in a scrap. Could I crane kick an assailant like Daniel LaRusso? Could I channel my inner Van Damme and envision the Kumite? Did I, in fact, have mystical kung fu powers that had never been unlocked.
The conclusion to all of those questions was answered with an emphatic “no.” In the end, I was able to throw around 50 punches and unlike Sugar Ray Leonard, I believe I landed two and those were more of the “glancing blow” variety. I, on the other hand, was beaten to a pulp. A fun twist to the story came when one of the assailants yelled, “cops” as the police were bearing down and the instigator of the fight ran into the road and was hit by a taxi. I found out later he was fine and even made ammends with the other guys at the hospital later on that night.
Fun side note: I saw the police officer who drove me to the hospital (my friend had to go by ambulance, but was released later) on an episode of Las Vegas COPS later on. And none of this is made up.
There are three things I learned that night:
1.) Fighting is stupid, mostly if you can’t win.
2.) The Las Vegas strip in the 90s was not a great place to be alone.
3.) When you have black eyes and a face that’s swollen, you get lots of free stuff post-fight. We scored free buffets, free show tickets and a ton of stuff from our hotel just for getting our asses kicked. That was an unexpected bonus.
So, what can we take from this story when it comes to fantasy football? Just like you don’t have mystical kung-fu powers, you cannot magically predict the perfect lineup. Don’t get cute. Don’t outsmart yourself. Don’t read something from a beat writer and play someone just so you can look like a genius – it doesn’t work out and you might even get hit by a taxi. And yes, I know that last part makes no sense. It was very dramatic and makes my point, though.
Here we go…
Week Four Fantasy MVP
Over the first three weeks, Joe Mixon was an absolute disaster as he’d posted fewer than 30 total fantasy points in the first three weeks combined. He gave his owners some hope on Sunday as he erupted for 151 rushing yards, six catches, 30 receiving yards and three touchdowns. While there’s no way to predict what’s going to happen in the upcoming weeks, Mixon just had to have a good game to avoid some serious doubt about what his year was going to look like.
Week Four Fantasy LVP
This is what I had written on Sunday: What in the world has happened to AJ Green? After his one-catch, three-yard performance, he has a grand total of 14 catches for 119 yards on the season. He used to do that in a week. After he was unable to secure a long-term contract with the Bengals, they franchised him and it’s pretty clear this is going to be his last season with the Bengals. At this point, it’s fair to wonder if this is going to be his last year in general.
And NOW, I HAVE to change it to this: Calvin Ridley has been a fantasy revelation all year and was averaging over 115 receiving yards per game, en route to being a dominant force in fantasy leagues this year. On Monday night, he had no catches. None. How is that even possible? There’s one thing I can clearly guarantee, though – this could be the last chance you’ll ever have to buy him at a reasonable price if an owner in your league somehow things his start was a fluke. And I don’t guarantee many things. Imagine if you were up by 20 or more last night with Calvin Ridley against Robert Tonyan. Wow.
The Unbeatable Lineup of the Week
QB Dak Prescott DAL = 502 passing yards, 12 rushing yards, four touchdowns, one INT
RB Joe Mixon CIN = 151 rushing yards, six catches, 30 receiving yards, three touchdowns
RB Dalvin Cook MIN = 130 rushing yards, two catches, 16 receiving yards, two touchdowns
RB Melvin Gordon DEN = 107 rushing yards, two catches, 11 receiving yards, two touchdowns
WR Odell Beckham Jr. CLE = 73 rushing yards, five catches, 81 receiving yards, three touchdowns
WR Amari Cooper DAL = 12 catches, 134 receiving yards, one touchdown
WR DJ Chark JAX = Eight catches, 95 receiving yards, two touchdowns
TE George Kittle SF = Fifteen catches, 183 receiving yards, one touchdown
The Underdog Lineup of the Week
QB Teddy Bridgewater CAR = 276 passing yards, 32 rushing yards, three touchdowns, one INT
RB Latavius Murray NO = 64 rushing yards, one catch, 19 receiving yards, two touchdowns
RB Antonio Gibson WAS = 46 rushing yards, four catches, 82 receiving yards, one touchdown
RB Mike Davis CAR = 84 rushing yards, five catches, 27 receiving yards, one touchdown
WR Tim Patrick DEN = Six catches, 113 receiving yards, one touchdown
WR Tre’Quan Smith NO = Four catches, 54 receiving yards, two touchdowns
WR Scotty Miller TB = Five catches, 83 receiving yards, one touchdown
TE Robert Tonyan GB = Six catches, 98 receiving yards, three touchdowns
The Disappointing Lineup of the Week
QB Jared Goff LAR = 200 passing yards, one touchdown
RB Austin Ekeler LAC = 12 rushing yards, one catch, two receiving yards
RB JK Dobbins BAL = 16 rushing yards, one catch, one receiving yard
RB Kenyan Drake ARI = 35 rushing yards
WR AJ Green CIN = One catch, three receiving yards
WR Marvin Jones DET = One catch, nine receiving yards
WR Calvin Ridley ATL = No catches
TE Tyler Higbee LAR = Three catches, 21 receiving yards
I’d be worried if I was playing against Dak Prescott. He’s only on pace to throw for 6,760 yards.
I’d be worried if I was relying on Hunter Henry.
I’d be worried if I was still holding on to Danny Amendola.
I’d be worried if I owned Michael Gallup. Cooper and Lamb are more consistent.
I’d be worried if I was still not a believer in James Robinson.
I’d be worried if I was counting on Darius Slayton.
I’d be worried if I was still counting on that big Mike Williams breakout.
I’d be worried if I thought Joshua Kelley was going to shoulder the load all to himself with Ekeler out.
I’d be worried if I was still doubting Chris Carson.
I’d be worried if I was starting Daniel Jones. That team is a mess.
I’d be worried if I missed the window to buy Justin Jefferson.
I’d be worried if I thought Austin Hooper was out of the woods.
I’d be worried if I owned Julio Jones. I can’t imagine we see him again until he’s 100%.
I’d be worried if I owned TY Hilton. Wow.
I’d be worried if I was still undervaluing Allen Robinson.
I’d be worried if I thought Jimmy Graham was going to be a consistent threat.
I’d be worried if I was starting Nick Foles. He is what he is and that’s a streaky player.
I’d be worried if I thought I had the Rams backfield figured out.
I’d be worried if I thought Odell Beckham Jr. was done. That was fun to see.
I’d be worried if I didn’t think Kareem Hunt was going to carry some fantasy teams with Chubb out.
I’d be worried if I owned Kenyan Drake. Wow, he’s the bust of the year so far.
I’d be worried if I owned DJ Moore. The offense just doesn’t suit him right now.
I’d be worried if I didn’t think Carson Wentz was tough.
I’d also be worried if I thought Carson Wentz can make it through this season if that’s the way their offensive line is going to play, regardless of his toughness.
I’d be worried if I expected consistency from Will Fuller.
I’d be worried if I still owned JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
I’d be worried if I owned Chris Herndon.
I’d be worried if I owned David Johnson. He’s just not the same guy.
I’d be worried if I owned OJ Howard. Tough injury to come back from.
I’d be worried if I owned Preston Williams. This has been disappointing.
I’d be worried if I didn’t think Jamison Crowder could still help me even on an awful team.
I’d be worried if I thought I’d read this entire column this year without a mention of Christine Michael.
I’d be worried if I owned David Montgomery. He just looks very ordinary.
I’d be worried if I owned Mark Ingram. Not a good look this year in the Baltimore backfield.
I’d be worried if I owned Dwayne Haskins. He was better this week, but his leash is short.
I’d be worried if I passed on Brandon Aiyuk.
I’d be worried if I was expecting big things from Dawson Knox.
Bonus Section: The Rookie Top 20
1.) Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB KC (64 rushing yards, three catches, 27 receiving yards)(Previous Ranking: 1)
Solid, but not incredible so far.
2.) CeeDee Lamb, WR DAL (Five catches, 79 receiving yards, two touchdowns) (3)
He’s quickly emerging as a “set it and forget it” fantasy player.
3.) Jonathan Taylor, RB IND (68 rushing yards, one catch, 11 receiving yards) (2)
I’m just going to say it. He’s been anointed as the “next big thing” a little too early for my taste.
4.) JK Dobbins, RB BAL (16 rushing yards, one catch, one receiving yard) (4)
His usage is a mess right now. He’s a strong hold, but nowhere near your starting lineup.
5.) Jerry Jeudy, WR DEN (Two catches, 61 receiving yards, one touchdown) (5)
Had his night saved with a nice touchdown grab. May have his stats dampened by poor quarterback play for a bit here.
6.) D’Andre Swift, RB DET (22 rushing yards, four catches, 30 receiving yards, one touchdown) (6)
Nice to see him involved a little more this week.
7.) Cam Akers, RB LAR (13 rushing yards) (8)
DNP, but looks good for this upcoming week. Needs to make an impact right away to maintain this ranking.
8.) Justin Jefferson, WR MIN (Four catches, 103 receiving yards) (9)
Back-to-back monster performances for Jefferson.
9.) Tee Higgins, WR CIN (Four catches, 77 receiving yards) (13)
That makes a second nice outing in a row for Mr. Higgins as well.
10.) Henry Ruggs, WR LV (10)
11.) Jalen Reagor, WR PHI (8)
12.) Laviska Shenault, WR JAX (Five catches, 86 receiving yards, five rushing yards) (10)
He’s quietly having a great start to his career.
13.) Antonio Gibson, RB WAS (46 rushing yards, four catches, 82 receiving yards, one touchdown) (12)
Had himself a very nice week against a tough Baltimore defense.
14.) Michael Pittman, WR IND (13)
15.) Brandon Aiyuk, WR SF (Two catches, 18 receiving yards, 38 rushing yards, one touchdown) (14)
You can tell he’s a serious playmaker. He has room to rise on this list in the coming weeks.
16.) Joshua Kelley, RB LAC (Seven rushing yards, three catches, 26 receiving yards) (16)
A rough outing this week for Kelley, but he’ll have a major chance to shine with Ekeler on the shelf.
17.) James Robinson, RB JAX (75 rushing yards, four catches, 32 receiving yards)(17)
It was disappointing Robinson didn’t find the end zone, but this was yet another fine performance for the fast riser.
18.) Joe Burrow, QB CIN (300 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception) (19)
You can simply tell when a quarterback has “it.” He does.
19.) Bryan Edwards, WR LV (18)
20.) Denzel Mims, WR NYJ (20)