Dynasty League Football


Sunday Six Pack: Week Seven

We cover another six storylines ahead of a crucial Sunday of football for dynasty leagues.

CeeDee Lamb

This is my favorite time of the year, as it combines two of my favorite things – Halloween and Football. Ghosts and monsters decorating yards, the cool, crisp autumn air, the crunch of leaves underfoot, and Sundays in front of the TV. 2020 has been a bit of a House of Horrors on (and off) the field, with gruesome injuries, ghosting stud players, and entire teams disappearing unexpectedly. Here are six creepy stories I’ll be following this weekend.

The Phantom WR1

Let’s get in our fancy time machine and travel back to 2018. JuJu Smith-Schuster exploded for 111 catches, over 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns. For many sharp dynasty folks, he became the number one wide receiver in fantasy, and perhaps even the top asset in the game. But things have been slowly sliding downhill ever since.

So why has Smith-Schuster ghosted so many of his owners in 2020? Things looked promising in the first couple of games, but he’s scored under ten fantasy points in two weeks straight. Those are not WR1 numbers, and not the kind of production you expect from a former top asset. How concerned are you about him? Are you tossing dirt on his grave, or hoping for a resurrection of value? His ADP is showing a tiny blip downwards, but will it continue?

The odd thing is that the Steelers themselves are still getting the job done, Smith-Schuster has just been invisible at times. And now that Chase Claypool is stealing the spotlight, is there any room left? We’ll have to keep a close eye (or maybe a third eye) on this one.

A Duo of Zombie “Assets”

Speaking of resurrections, there are two rusty old wide receivers making news of late. Dez Bryant is apparently destined to return from an early grave to join the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Bryant has been out of the league since an Achilles injury derailed his time with the New Orleans Saints in 2017. Bryant is now 31, and honestly looked to have lost a step in his latter years with the Cowboys. He’s still really big and the Ravens’ wide receiver group is rather uninspiring. It would be nice to get star QB Lamar Jackson a big, physical target like Bryant.

Not to be outdone, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed Antonio Brown. (And our own Ken Kelly is all over the dynasty impact of this move.) AB has had incredible ups and downs both on and off the field, but now he finds himself on a pretty stacked roster in the bay. Rumor has it Tom Brady himself played a role in his return, so you have to imagine they plan to try to use AB. Yes, there are the proverbial “a lot of mouths to feed” in Tampa Bay, and there’s a fair chance that it will be hard to pick the right starter every week. But if TB12 wants to get AB the ball, AB will get the ball. Right? Now we won’t see much this weekend on either front, but I’ll be watching that Tampa Bay offense and wondering where AB might fit.

Is it Time to Bury the Cowboys Receivers?

The Cowboys are now 2-4, sporting the Red Rifle Andy Dalton at QB, and what was once the best offensive line in football is sinking towards the bottom. Injuries have devastated this offense, and the Cowboys don’t have a defense that can hold them up. The silver lining here is that they still do play in the sad NFC East, the current poster child for “division winners shouldn’t automatically get higher seeds” argument. They also have a shot to try to work out some kinks against the perpetually woeful Washington Football Team.

Team record aside, what about the fantasy situation? Well, Ezekiel Elliott has quietly scored the second-most points at RB this season in fantasy, behind only Alvin Kamara. If anything, maybe they lean on Zeke even more. The Cowboys also have the eighth-ranked tight end in Dalton Schultz. He isn’t flashy, but his floor has been pretty good, and outside the stud tight ends out there, a good floor is what you hope for.

Wide receiver is where I’m feeling a little more worried. Dak Prescott was having a career season at QB, and that season is now over. Dalton was able to feed AJ Green to quite a few top seasons, but that was a long time ago. In his first start for the Cowboys, he didn’t do a thing. Most of the points scored through the air were in garbage time. What will we get out of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb for the rest of the season? Can Dalton perform better than he did last week? I’m about as confident in that as all the counselors surviving a summer at Camp Crystal Lake.

For Whom Le’Veon Bell Tolls

I’ve been a believer in Bell for a long time, longer than I should have been. I thought his talent was enough to overcome a bad situation with Adam Gase and the New York Jets, but my faith netted me only tricks, no treats.

There are two questions here that need to be answered. First, was the situation the problem, or does Bell just not have that much left in the tank? I really believe the former was the true limiting factor. Bell’s success as a runner was much more about patience and vision, and neither of those things is subject to age or wear IMO. He suffered in a dismal offense with a half-dead offensive line. I don’t know of any back who could have sustained success there.

The second question, however, will hopefully start to be answered this weekend. Just how much will Andy Reid use Bell? I think at a minimum he takes all the backup work away from Darrel Williams and crew. In my opinion, this will become the classic two-man committee, with Clyde Edwards-Helaire getting the brunt of the work, and Bell both spelling CEH and perhaps getting more of the goal-line work, where CEH has been a little suspect.

Now I am a Bell supporter, so I say go get him if you can. Here are some 12-team, single-QB, 1 PPR trades for Bell from DLF’s Trade Finder:

Frankenstein’s Monster and the San Fran Backfield

Well, it’s once again time for the “next man up” for the 49ers backfield. It’s frightening how quickly San Francisco is going through running backs. I thought perhaps after last season they could settle down and live with a single guy, but then injuries started to happen. Kyle Shanahan just can’t seem to land on a player who will both stay healthy and stay productive. The newest starter from the crowded running back room/infirmary of Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Jeffrey Wilson Jr is the undrafted rookie JaMycal Hasty. He’s had a whopping 11 carries for 46 yards this year, but now finds himself in the top dog role. What are his chances of success?

There honestly is not yet a whole lot of content on Hasty. He didn’t make the cut for a rookie profile here, but I did find his player page from the draft via NFL.com. An interesting note here is how Lance Zierlein describes him as a fit for a zone-based attack. Well, welcome to the Shanahan offense. It also sounds like he’s a decent receiver, another important hallmark for a Shanny back. In the little film my assistant Igor was able to dig up, I saw a player with pretty good vision, decent speed, but not a lot of shiftiness. It does look like he can find the right hole, but maybe not make many guys miss through lateral moves.

Still, he will get the work, and in the end, that’s what really matters.

To Pull the Plug or Juice it Up

Moving into week seven, you should start to get serious about your playoff and/or championship chances in each of your leagues. It’s been a brutal year with injuries and that other little issue, but it’s almost time to make a call on the future for each of your squads.

Now, answering this question relies on quite a few individual criteria, so I can’t give blanket advice. But there are a few things you should keep in mind. Do you have an aging squad that needs to try to hold on for this season? Are you .500 or lower but in a weak division with a shot to still make it to the dance? Is it even worth it to make the playoffs if you don’t have a real shot at the championship? There are a lot of things to consider. Luckily for all of us, we’ve had really smart guys like Brian Malone here at DLF to pen articles like this one to help make those decisions.

For me, I probably always hold on longer than I should, it’s one of my failings. But it’s part of my strength as well, as I’m almost always trying to win it all, and I have plenty of championships to show for it. (As well as quite a few duds, of course!) Anyhow, think seriously about your squad’s chances as the points roll in this weekend. You might want to pull the plug on a few monsters and sell the parts for next year. Or perhaps it’s time to try to harvest some non-contenders for your own useful bits. Have a great football weekend, and Happy Halloween!

Sunday Six Pack: Week Seven
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Scott Klusty
2 years ago

I’m suspicious of Juju’s knee. I suppose it also could be that Juju does not fit the Steeler’s long term plans though I doubt this. I think he is hurt and the knee is nagging him but not enough to put him on the shelf. The flip side is he could be fresh for the latter half of the year. I keep going back to the knee though.

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