It is NFL Combine season, which means dynasty leagues are starting to ramp up. Which players stay, which players go, and which players you target in rookie drafts are all at the forefront of our minds now.
Below are a few of the most talked about tweets this week and what they mean for your dynasty team.
49ers GM John Lynch says they might have to look at the veteran QB market this offseason, despite already having Trey Lance and Brock Purdy. pic.twitter.com/QDFcpL5jsE
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) February 28, 2023
For a player who has seen just 262 professional snaps over the last two seasons (not to mention just 30 pass attempts his last season in college), Trey Lance sure has seen his share of drama. When he was originally drafted in 2021, the thought of Lance having to fight off a seventh-round quarterback just to keep his job would have been unthinkable but we’re here. He enters his third season in a legitimate quarterback battle.
Dynasty Impact: For now, Lance has the inside track on Brock Purdy thanks to the latter’s injury suffered during the NFC Championship Game. Lance is further along from his ankle injury and should be ready to roll to start the 2023 season. Despite the lack of playing time, he is still well ahead of Purdy when it comes to dynasty value.
Lance already had a stellar supporting cast when he started the 2022 season and it’s only gotten better with the midseason trade of running back Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers have All-Pros at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Whoever starts at quarterback in San Francisco will have no excuse.
Purdy is too risky right now to do anything when it comes to dynasty leagues. But Lance, despite being considered a fringe QB1, still represents value. According to our DLF Trade Analyzer, he can be had for an early first-round superflex rookie pick. There isn’t a generational talent at the position in this year’s draft (at least an obvious one) which makes Lance a better option. I would kick the tires on him while it’s still early.
Mike McCarthy: Kellen Moore wants to light the scoreboard up, I want to run the damn ball. https://t.co/Qut7gb78E2
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 2, 2023
Oh boy. Never mind the fact that we don’t yet know which running back will be ‘running the damn ball’ in Dallas in 2023, the fact that head coach Mike McCarthy is pushing this is troubling. All the Cowboys’ offense did under now-former coordinator Kellen Moore finished in the top-six in scoring three out of the last four seasons. They also led the league in offensive yards twice in that span. This makes his comment seem like he’s trying to fix a problem that didn’t need fixing. A lot will happen between now and the season opener but whatever it is, it doesn’t look good for the Dallas offense.
Dynasty Impact: Obviously, the most impacted player in this scenario will be quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys ranked 11th in pass attempts over the past three seasons. In the two seasons that Prescott was healthy while also playing under Moore, he threw for at least 30 touchdowns and 4,400 yards while firmly entrenched as a QB1 in fantasy leagues.
There’s also receiver CeeDee Lamb, who is coming off his best professional season. He topped 100 receptions, over 1,300 yards, and scored nine times. A legitimate WR1 in fantasy leagues, Lamb saw the fifth-most targets last season with 156. The offense may funnel more through Lamb next year so he can keep those numbers up but the thought of fewer pass attempts in Dallas doesn’t bode well.
This off-season looks like the perfect time to sell high on both Prescott and Lamb. You may not get the same return as you would have if Moore had stayed on as coordinator but you should still expect plenty. Both Lamb and Prescott should garner first-round rookie picks and then some (in superflex leagues in Prescott’s case).
The Jaguars are expected to franchise tag Evan Engram per @AdamSchefter
The tag for tight ends is $11.345M 💰 pic.twitter.com/2Cl4bAhOvO
— PFF (@PFF) March 2, 2023
Evan Engram is set to (relatively) cash in on a rebound season in Jacksonville. After moving on from the team that drafted him 23rd overall in 2017, Engram took a one-year prove-it deal to rebuild his value. He did that by totaling 73 receptions for 766 yards – both career-highs – and scoring four times on his way to being a top-five fantasy tight end.
For Engram dynasty managers, his career has been a roller coaster.
Engram’s rookie year was similar to his most recent, finishing as a top-five fantasy tight end. The future looked bright as he looked like he was on his way to elite status. But injuries cost him five games his sophomore season then eight more in his third and he never regained the production he was capable of in New York. Thus the reason they declined their fifth-year option from his rookie contract and let him walk via free agency.
Engram made the right choice in Jacksonville for the 2022 season. What about the 2023 season?
Dynasty Impact: Engram’s rebound was a great story – both in real life and in fantasy circles – but he will be hard-pressed to not only match his production but keep up with others at the position.
First the production. Engram had to fight with only Christian Kirk and Zay Jones for meaningful targets in the Jags’ passing game. But they’re expected to have former Second Team All-Pro receiver Calvin Ridley in the fold for 2023 which will immediately siphon away targets. Granted, the cost to acquire Ridley was low but he’s also capable of being a team’s top target and should step into that role immediately in Jacksonville.
Then there is this year’s draft class. The crop of rookie tight ends will be light years better than in 2022. Case in point, there was exactly one tight end taken in the first 72 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft. By comparison, in Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft of the first round, he had four tight ends going in the first 29 picks! And while all four probably won’t be taken there, it speaks to the depth at the top of the position this year.
All of this is to say Engram just won’t be as valuable in dynasty leagues as he was in 2022. If you can move off of him now, I would.
- Dynasty Twitter Observations: Ezekiel Elliott Moves on, Aaron Rodgers Wants to - March 20, 2023
- Dynasty Twitter Observations: Trey Lance Ascending, Cowboys Descending? - March 6, 2023
- Dynasty Twitter Observations: Patrick Mahomes Solidifies (Dynasty) Legacy, Hope for Kyler Murray? - February 19, 2023