We are in OTA season which means more rookie drafts. The trades will pick up too which means your 2022 player evaluations are due. Below are the tweets that caught our attention this week and should catch yours too.
"There's way better execution than you'd think for a whole bunch of new guys together."
– Coach Reid on the Chiefs' new-look receiver group. He said the work that Patrick Mahomes and the new guys got done in Texas several weeks ago has been evident
— Matt McMullen (@KCChiefs_Matt) May 26, 2022
For all the talk of how the Tyreek Hill trade would affect Hill and Tua Tagovailoa, not nearly as much discussion was made of how it will affect Patrick Mahomes. After all, Hill has been 1A when it comes to the Chiefs’ pass-catching receiving order (Travis Kelce is 1B) and now he is off to a new city. In his place, the Chiefs have taken the shotgun approach to fill the receiver room.
Instead of a high-priced or elite talent coming in to replace Hill, they’ve signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to a prove-it deal, signed away Marques Valdez-Scantling, and chosen Skyy Moore in the second round of the NFL Draft. There are old friends Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon there too. So what’s Mahomes’s dynasty outlook after all these changes?
Dynasty Impact: Mahomes’ ‘demise’ has been greatly exaggerated. No matter who the receivers are in Kansas City, he can still make the throws. The playbook will stay the same and instead of just two pass-catchers seeing 100-plus targets, you could have two to four players seeing 75-plus each. The receivers won’t have much individual value but all of that will be fed from Mahomes.
The only real threat to Mahomes’ reign as dynasty’s top quarterback is Josh Allen. I would personally take Mahomes but it’s splitting hairs at that point. But don’t let anyone try to say he should be ranked any lower. If you’re a Mahomes manager, you may get low-ball requests from other managers. Don’t do it. He will still light it up and give you a positional advantage over every other team in your dynasty league.
Don’t judge my choices without understanding my reasons..
— Diontae Johnson (@Juiceup__3) May 30, 2022
It’s the off-season which means it’s the season of cryptic tweets from players (possibly) unhappy with their contracts. Diontae Johnson made news last week when he didn’t report to the (in)voluntary OTAs, presumably over his desire for a new contract. He eventually did show up but it’s not surprising that Johnson would be interested in a new deal as he enters the last year of his rookie contract. He’s slated to earn just $2.8 million. That would be less than Steelers kicker Chris Boswell which should put that number in perspective.
Johnson has gotten better every season of his professional career, topping 1,000 yards last year to go along with eight touchdowns. Fantasy-wise, he was a low-end WR1.
Dynasty Impact: Unlike the Mahomes advice above, I would consider selling high on Johnson. For a former third-round pick, his dynasty value is about maxed out.
He’s a borderline WR1 when it comes to dynasty ADP. But he’ll be 26 this season and will have either a rookie quarterback or retread veteran throwing him the ball. And that’s if he stays in Pittsburgh which, as we saw with other unhappy receivers this off-season, isn’t a given. I would look to trade him, assuming you can get fair market value.
Book of David
The #Browns and franchise tagged TE David Njoku have reached an agreement in principle on a large new 4-year, $56.75M contract extension, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. He gets $28M guaranteed at signing on the deal that averages $14.1875M per year, the fifth highest paid TE.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 27, 2022
Few players have had the roller coaster David Njoku has had when it comes to dynasty value.
Drafted in the first round of the actual NFL Draft, Njoku was a top ten dynasty tight end for the first two seasons of his career (in terms of dynasty ADP) until an injury kept him out of most of his third. By then, the Browns had signed Austin Hooper to a then-record contract for a tight end and Njoku was seemingly done in Cleveland. He was, at times, third-string in 2020, seeing just 29 targets all season despite playing in 13 games. But 2021 was different. Hooper was falling out of favor and Njoku upped his numbers to 53 targets, 36 receptions for 475 yards, and four touchdowns and finished as a top-20 fantasy tight end.
Dynasty Impact: Njoku’s arrow already would have been pointing up heading into 2022. His new contract guarantees him a pretty long leash when it comes to the offense. Out are Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham with only veteran Amari Cooper a real threat to targets, at least initially.
But factor in the arrival of Deshaun Watson and Njoku has all the tools to become a fantasy TE1. Granted, we don’t yet know how much Watson will play this season but he’ll be there for the long-term and so will Njoku. If you’re targeting Njoku for your dynasty team, you might wait until the punishment is handed down to Watson as the entire Browns offense will take a hit. But don’t wait too long as Njoku could quickly fill the void of fantasy-relevant tight ends.
Saints WR Michael Thomas isn’t practicing yet in OTAs, but he’s rehabbing with the team and expected back by training camp. Meanwhile, QB Jameis Winston is already back on the practice field less than 7 months after tearing ACL. https://t.co/D5z3Qja7tY
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) May 26, 2022
It wasn’t all that long ago that Michael Thomas was dynasty’s top receiver. As recently as 2019, he totaled nearly 150 receptions, over 1,700 yards, and ten touchdowns. Of course, he was healthy that season and still had Drew Brees at quarterback. In the two years since that record season, he’s played just seven games, seen Brees retire, and has a new head coach after Sean Payton’s retirement. In short, the Saints of 2019 look a lot different than the Saints of 2022. And so does Thomas.
Dynasty Impact: At his peak, Thomas would be worth multiple first-round rookie picks and then some. But now, you’d be lucky to get just one.
If you can get a first for Thomas – this year or next – you should do it. I’d also trade him for any of those players, even the older ones. Thomas is coming off a major injury that cost him a lot of time. He also has the pleasure of having either Jameis Winston or Andy Dalton at quarterback, neither of which are close to Brees when it comes to accuracy. Get out from any Thomas shares while you still can.
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