We do a weekly Ask DLF show every Tuesday at 9 PM Eastern on DLF’s YouTube Channel. Every week, we answer live dynasty questions and love doing it, especially with how interactive the live chat is. Of course, make sure to like the video and subscribe to the channel so you can be a part of this experience in the future.
However, the chat has become so active that we rarely actually answer all the questions in full detail. Still, we don’t want to let the people down, especially those who tuned into the live show. Therefore, we decided to do this article series, where we will provide written answers to some of the lengthier questions or the ones where we had to cut the answer short.
Let’s jump into this week’s first question!
There was some interesting NFL news on the day we recorded the show, as Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL. Of course, that leaves a decent hole at the tight end position for the Buccaneers. Now, they only have veteran Cameron Brate and rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft as significant options at the position.
While Brate is a decent player, he hasn’t provided much fantasy value recently.
As you can see, he’s averaged fewer than 20 yards per game in the previous four seasons. He lost work to OJ Howard in 2018 and 2019 and then Gronkowski in 2020 and 2021. I don’t see Brate offering much more than replacement value for the Buccaneers or fantasy managers, especially since he turns 31 years old before the season opens. His best years are clearly behind him.
The Buccaneers spent two draft picks on tight ends this year, Otton in the fourth round and Kieft in the sixth round. Kieft is nothing more than a blocker, but Otton has some upside as a receiver.
He totaled 91 receptions, 1,026 yards, and nine touchdowns during his college career at Washington. In 2020, he led the team in all receiving categories, which is impressive even in a four-game sample size. I’m not saying that Otton is guaranteed to do anything in the NFL, but he’s now the clear rookie TE4 behind Trey McBride, Jelani Woods, and Greg Dulcich.
In contrast, I believe Russell Gage can be a fantasy difference-maker in 2022. He’s the WR65 in DLF’s June ADP, which seems far too low. Currently, I rank Gage as WR58 in my dynasty rankings, but even that ranking doesn’t reflect his short-term upside.
In redraft formats, I have Gage as the WR37 right now, but that could change based on Chris Godwin’s health. Tom Brady had one of his best career seasons in 2021, accounting for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns on a career-high 485 completions and 719 attempts. No matter his weapons, I believe Brady will produce in 2022, leaving the door open for players beyond Mike Evans to put up good fantasy numbers.
Additionally, Gage signed a three-year, $30 million contract with $20 million guaranteed this off-season. He turned 26 years old in January and has shown improvement throughout his career, despite playing in the Falcons’ offense.
He has increased his yards and receptions per game every season of his career, peaking in 2021 after Calvin Ridley left the Falcons’ offense. He finished as the WR38 in 2020 and 2021, although he put up his 2021 finish in only 14 of 17 games. Given the current situation, I rank Gage as the WR37 for redraft purposes, but that assumes Godwin remains mostly healthy. In any weeks Godwin misses, I expect to rank Gage as a low-end WR2 play.
Silence of the Lamb – 12-team superflex: Cooper Kupp or 1.08 and 2023 first?
I almost always select at least one dynasty trade for this weekly article to highlight the DLF Trade Analyzer.
In this case, both Addison and I disagreed with the analyzer’s assessment. I understand the desire to move Kupp, but he should return more value than the 1.08 and a 2023 first-rounder. According to DLF’s SF rookie ADP, the 1.08 is Kenny Pickett, which seems reasonable. But Pickett and a 2023 first-rounder feels short for Kupp, who produced a difference-making season last year.
However, it’s important to note that Kupp recently turned 29 years old, and he will not gain any more dynasty value with time. The Rams gave him a three-year, $80 million extension, but even that deal only has ironclad guarantees through 2024. If your dynasty team is rebuilding, I don’t mind trading Kupp for a first-rounder this year and a 2023 first-rounder, especially in a superflex league where that 2023 first may be a star quarterback. I’d prefer to get a top-six pick this year, as I want a prospect like Treylon Burks or Jameson Williams to give up on Kupp’s production.
To me, there’s no comparison between Freiermuth and Kmet. They’re almost the same age, and each has second-round draft capital, but that’s where the similarities end.
Freiermuth averaged 9.48 fantasy PPG as a rookie, while Kmet only managed 7.13 fantasy PPG in his second season. Interestingly, Kmet had more volume than Freiermuth in 2021, with 93 targets compared to 79. Both players turned their targets into exactly 60 receptions, but Freiermuth scored seven touchdowns compared to zero for Kmet.
However, the most significant difference between Freiermuth and Kmet is that Freiermuth produced as a rookie. Any rookie tight end production is exceptionally rare, especially 60 receptions and seven touchdowns. I suspect that if Kyle Pitts did not exist, dynasty managers would think even more highly of Freiermuth’s 2021 output, as it’s one of the better rookie tight end performances in recent years.
Right now, Freiermuth is the TE9 and 94.33 overall in DLF’s June 1QB ADP, while Kmet is the TE13 and 126.67 overall. I rank Freiermuth one spot higher in my rankings at TE8, and I have Kmet down at TE15. Given their overall values, I would recommend drafting Freiermuth in a startup draft at his current price, but Kmet would be a hard fade for me.
Kent Puterbaugh – Michael Pittman Jr ceiling?
Pittman took a second-year leap in 2021, becoming the Colts’ top receiving weapon.
Despite playing with Carson Wentz, he caught 88 of 129 targets for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns last year. No other Colts player had more than 40 receptions or 400 yards, and they only added second-rounder Alec Pierce to their receiving corps for the 2022 season. While I like Pierce as a prospect, he won’t provide competition for Pittman, especially not in his rookie year.
Last year, Pittman finished as the WR18, but he only was the WR28 in fantasy PPG with 13.92. He also faded down the stretch, as the Colts’ coaching staff lost faith in Wentz to throw the ball.
He exceeded 20 fantasy points in four of the first eight games, peaking at 30.6 PPR points in week eight. However, he failed to cross that threshold in any of the final nine contests, serving as more of a mediocre option. The Colts leaned on star running back Jonathan Taylor over that stretch, reducing the output from their receiving options.
The Colts traded for Matt Ryan this off-season, who should represent an upgrade over Wentz as a passer. I believe Pittman can take a further step forward in year three, considering he only turns 25 years old during the season. I can’t see him becoming a top-five fantasy wide receiver, but he has low-end WR1 upside. He must have at least that upside to justify my ranks of WR18 in dynasty and WR17 in redraft.
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