It’s been a wild end to the fantasy season, but as dynasty players know, the season never really ends. The calendar changes, and we all start planning for the year ahead. Below are some Tweets that you should bookmark as we enter the off-season.
Throw in the Howell
Washington QB Sam Howell will start Sunday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2023
The Washington Commanders have been streaky this season. From losing four straight to start the season 1-4 to then winning six-of-seven to take their record to 7-5 to going winless in their next four, they currently sit at 7-8-1 and were just eliminated from the playoffs. The streakiness was apparent in their quarterback play as well as Carson Wentz, who started the season under center, has gone an uninspiring 2-5 in his seven games as a starter while backup veteran Taylor Heinicke at least led the Commanders to a 5-3-1 record. All told, it resulted in another playoff-less season. However, it does mean the Commanders can see what they have in rookie quarterback Sam Howell if only one game’s worth.
Howell appeared to be one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s rookie class but fell to day three and the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Furthermore, he couldn’t crack the top two on the depth chart all season until the season finale, when the games didn’t matter anymore.
Dynasty Impact: The dynasty prospects of Howell aren’t bright, and Washington will surely be in the quarterback market in the off-season, whether it’s through the draft or free agency. But Washington does have a promising group of skill position players, from Pro Bowl receiver Terry McLaurin to rookie running back Brian Robinson to first-round pick Jahan Dotson. Whoever is the starting quarterback in Washington next season will have plenty to work with.
And while that’s good news for the future starter, what do we do with those current Commanders? Despite the disappointing season, the dynasty values of those players have held or improved compared to the beginning of the season.
This trio should be targeted early in the off-season when their values would still be reasonable. If and when they upgrade at quarterback, it will only grow their values.
Update: #Cardinals QB Kyler Murray probably won’t be ready for week 1 of the 2023 season after knee surgery, per HC Kliff Kingsbury
— JPA (@jasrifootball) January 4, 2023
Few people will be more excited to see the 2022 season be over than Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. After the team made the playoffs last season – their first appearance in over five seasons – and Murray earned another Pro Bowl selection, expectations were sky-high in 2022. But it wasn’t meant to be, as the Cardinals currently sit at 4-12 while Murray, as noted in the Tweet above, is recovering from a torn ACL. Even before the injury, Murray was having a down year. He averaged the lowest passing yards per game of his career (215) and recorded his lowest yards-per-attempt, beating his previous worst by almost a yard (6.9-6.1). Between the injury and the performance, it’s not a surprise that Murray’s dynasty stock is down.
Dynasty Impact: This is a big off-season for the Cardinals. Not only is head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s job in danger, but Arizona will seemingly be on the lookout for a backup quarterback to start the season.
As for Murray, it wasn’t long ago he was knocking on the door of joining the league’s (both real and dynasty) elite quarterback tier. The combination of his passing stats and his ground game made him a top fantasy quarterback, no matter the scoring system. But this season was a down year, and it has Murray dynasty managers if he’s in their long-term plans. Currently, DLF has him as our eighth-ranked dynasty quarterback. An argument could be made that the two quarterbacks immediately behind him – Trevor Lawrence and Dak Prescott – should be ahead, putting Murray on the QB1/2 line.
There are too many unanswered questions surrounding Murray to know what to do with him in dynasty leagues. Will he be back on time? Who will his coach be? What’s the supporting cast look like? It’s fair to say Murray’s fantasy value isn’t immune to his surroundings, so all those questions will have an effect. For now, he’s a hold.
Fields of Dreams
Justin Fields will miss Week 18 with a hip injury, per HC Matt Eberflus
He falls just 63 yards short of the QB rushing record pic.twitter.com/cRox0X4wlJ
— PFF (@PFF) January 4, 2023
It might be a disappointing end, but the 2022 season has been a rousing success for Justin Fields and his dynasty managers. As the Tweet mentioned above, he finished just short of setting a quarterback rushing record while still throwing for over 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns despite missing three games of the recently created 17-game season.
What’s even more impressive is considering the supporting cast Fields had to work with. Sure, David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney are decent fantasy options, but nothing that will blow the doors off. Fields had to take over the Chicago offense and did so on the ground and through the air. And while it’s possible the Bears could go in another direction at quarterback thanks to a top-three pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, they’re better off keeping Fields and building around him.
Dynasty Impact: Despite being the fourth quarterback taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, Fields might end up as the best of the bunch. He and Trevor Lawrence are the only ones who have left no doubt about the starter on their team while producing both fantasy and real-life results. Securing that role and torching defenses in the process have led him to become a top-10 dynasty asset.
Some may question if Fields can produce long-term. But if he can produce QB1 numbers despite missing a game or two, he’s a player you’ll want to target, whether it’s in a 1QB league or Superflex. The Bears can only add players around him that would help his situation.
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