Hey, loyal Dynasty League Football universe. I’ll be answering your mailbag questions this off-season and couldn’t be more excited to do so.
The off-season is when dynasty league managers get to sit back and relax… Wait. That’s completely incorrect. The off-season is when we refine our strategies, look back at the year past, the year to come, and everything in between. For this week’s questions, I asked the Twitterverse for some help. Going forward, you can send your questions to the DLF Mailbag. Let’s dig in!
What’s the breaking point when you leave behind a player’s college evaluation for what they’ve done as a pro. (Obviously the current example is St Brown’s late season dominance, but there are players who both succeeded wildly compared to their college numbers & some who flopped.) pic.twitter.com/4GlvSsrjhV
— Zac Reed (@tacitassassin13) January 15, 2022
For the sake of brevity, I’m going to focus on wide receivers. Wide receivers get one year to produce before I’m ready to move on. There are a couple of reasons for this. A couple of the sharpest people in the industry have reviewed this question from both a production and a value perspective. Peter Howard has found that wide receivers who don’t break out by their second season typically aren’t going to. Drew Osinchuk has found that a dip in ADP after a wide receiver’s rookie season portends doom and gloom for that player.
When a player needs to be an outlier to be a fantasy asset, it’s time to move on. And while Peter may have found wide receivers can still break out after a bad first season, I prefer to move a player too early instead of late once their value has completely bottomed out.
For example, let’s look at a couple of trades that involved rookie bust Jalen Reagor from made in December 2020. If you were willing to cut your losses towards the tail end of a dreadful rookie season trading, Reagor could have netted you a future first-round rookie pick, Melvin Gordon, or even Terry McLaurin.
Let’s compare that to some trades made involving Reagor in December 2021. Reagor has become a throw-in or someone you move for a spot starter.
If a rookie wide receiver doesn’t produce, he’s likely to see his ADP take a hit, which are both precursors for busts, so be prepared to move off these players as soon as their rookie seasons conclude.
On the opposite end of this spectrum are players with lower draft (NFL and fantasy) capital that hit in year one. Amon-Ra St. Brown is the current example. I want at least two consecutive seasons, with increased production in the second year, before buying into a player like St. Brown. Perhaps I’ve been burned by too many Darius Slaytons, Preston Williams‘s, Tre’Quan Smiths, but I have trust issues regarding production coming from unexpected sources.
Should Jalen Hurts be considered a top 8 dynasty QB?
— Kyle Senra (@SenraSays) January 15, 2022
No, Jalen Hurts should not be considered a top eight dynasty quarterback. Though I loathe rankings, the top seven (in some order: Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray) of dynasty quarterbacks are set. Then you have players with more draft capital attached to them who were drafted last year that I would rank ahead of Hurts, including Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields. You could also argue that Zach Wilson, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson should all be ranked higher than Hurts.
There are a couple of concerns with Hurts. First, the out-sized percentage of fantasy production that he piled up from rushing touchdowns in 2021. To be exact, 18.32% of Hurts’s fantasy points came from rushing touchdowns, compared to 4.48% for Lamar Jackson.
Another concern is how real football will affect Hurts in fantasy football. Simply put, Hurts is not good enough as a thrower to be a long-term starter in the league. He lacks arm strength, accuracy, doesn’t lead his receivers, doesn’t process quickly enough, and makes poor decisions.
Don’t be fooled by his overall increased accuracy percentage, which was built on easy, low-risk throws. The Eagles gave up on throwing into the middle of the field after week six because Hurts just doesn’t possess the ability to throw in tight spaces.
Jalen Hurts is out here shooting fadeaway jumpers into the middle of the field when trailing 24-0.
Rough day for Hurts and the Eagles offense.
— Derek Tate (@DTater4) January 16, 2022
All of Hurts’s faults were on display in the Eagles playoff loss to the Buccaneers.
— Jake Hatch (@JakeHatch19) January 16, 2022
Hurts was a part of leading the Eagles to the playoffs, but to do so, the Eagles had to run for 175 yards in seven consecutive games – they were the first team to do so in the past 36 years. When the Bucs stacked the box and decided the Eagles were not going to win due to the rushing attack, Hurts just couldn’t do enough the make them pay. I believe Hurts has done enough to get another season as a starter, but he’s not a player I’m betting on having any long-term value or success.
Talk about Hunter Renfrow, finished at WR 10 overall and WR 18 in ppg. DLF has him ranked at WR 48, also just saw him go WR 26 in a SU. What say you?
— Shawn (@therealmcg1) January 15, 2022
Perusing the DLF dynasty wide receiver rankings, Hunter Renfrow is the WR48, despite finishing as a mid-WR2 in 2021. I count at least ten receivers ranked higher who I prefer Renfrow over. Renfrow is still overcoming the stigma of having late-round draft capital (fifth-round pick in 2019), middling college production, and not being very athletic. All of those are legitimate reasons to knock a player as a prospect, but after three seasons I think we can all agree that Renfrow is greater than the sum of his parts.
Renfrow took full advantage of the situation in Las Vegas this year. He saw his target share increase after Henry Ruggs was released, and in games that Darren Waller was unable to play. But even in games when he shared the field with one or both of those players Renfrow still commanded a 20.6% target share. Focusing just on the games Renfrow played without Waller – since Ruggs will never play football again – we can see if had a significant impact on Renfrow’s production. In per game scoring, he was the WR11 in games without Waller, and the WR33 in games when Waller was able to go.
Giving the devil his due, Renfrow commanded targets and took advantage while the higher drafted, more well thought of prospect from the 2020 class – Bryan Edwards – continued to bust despite having an opportunity to reverse his fortunes. But it’s clear that Renfrow benefited from Waller missing time last year. Because you can’t predict injury, I’m going to assume that Waller is able to return to his customary role in 2022, relegating Renfrow to the second option in the Raiders offense. Long-term, I expect consistent WR3 production from Renfrow with WR2 (low-end) upside. That’s just my opinion though, of more importance is what the market thinks. If you are able to find a trade partner who values Renfrow as a WR2 or better, then trade him to them, otherwise he’s a player I’ll hold and bank on his production for my WR3/flex positions.
Thank you for reading. I can’t wait to dig into your questions over the next few months. Remember at DLF there is no off-season, and we will be here every day to help you shape your dynasty rosters.
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