Welcome to DLF’s Dynasty Aftermath. This staple article is our longest running signature piece as we have a little fun at the Dynasty League Football office. This article typically reviews the week’s happenings in a variety of ways and helps set you up for the coming weeks during the season. However, I wanted to do something different this year and bring it back during the off-season at some critical moments to provide some perspective and advice.
I’ve written this column for the past sixteen years and I love it. I enjoy combing through the stats of the week on Monday night, putting together ridiculous lineups, picking MVPs/LVPs and discussing things to worry about. That’s not all. I also really love sharing observations, little bits of entertainment or some stories with the community of DLF and picking a theme for this column each week during the season. You really never know what you’re going to get.
The Academy Awards were last night and I’m personally glad it’s over. First, Brendan Fraser finally won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in a movie I haven’t seen called The Whale. This is total vindication for Fraser after he was snubbed for his roles in all three The Mummy movies, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, George of the Jungle, and most importantly, 1992’s epic creation of Encino Man. I mean, seriously, what does a man have to do? Fraser played an unfrozen caveman who returned to life to re-enter society and do impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. I’m sorry, but he showed his range back in 1992.
The second reason I’m glad it’s over is because Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t win. Now, before you get super mad and cancel your DLF subscription, I get it. The movies are really cool visually. However, I honestly feel like some of the plot lines are based on drunken dares.
James Cameron was known for some epic movies, including The Terminator (double points for me for referencing that movie twice in this article somehow), Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic. If you haven’t seen any of those, they are about time traveling bodybuilding robots, household spies, well, aliens, and a ship that sinks because they built it without the ability for it to steer. Titanic was the big one for Cameron as it made a zillion dollars in the movie theaters and forced me to play that stupid Celine Dion theme song at a skating rink every Friday night during the couples skate.
With Cameron a zillionaire, I simply picture him sitting around with friends one night and bragging about how he could make any kind of movie a hit. The drunken friends dare him to make a film with giant blue people who ride teradactyls and have sex with their ponytails. He accepts the dare, pitches it to a film company, and the rest is history as we get Avatar.
Thirteen years pass. Another party ensues. The same group, feeling like there’s no way lightning could strike twice, get hammered again and dare him to make not ONE, but THREE sequels to the film, with the first sequel dare forcing him to somehow tie in Titanic with Avatar and have the stars of the show sinking on a ship. Cameron, being the show-off he is, takes the dare and we get Avatar: The Way of Water, or as I call it, Avatar: The Way of Titanic. The only thing missing was Celene Dion becoming a blue person herself and singing “My Heart will Go On” as a blue Leo DiCaprio sinks to the bottom of the ocean with those giant whale things.
I’m glad it didn’t win. I actually think the second Avatar is worth watching, but not if you’re in it for any kind of plot. It’s visually stunning, but so is dropping acid and watching SportsCenter, so I don’t think it was worth it. Regardless, this has to tie into fantasy football, right? Right!?!
Well, hear me out.
The reason I talked about Avatar is because we’ve seen it before…just like we’ve seen March and April before many times in our lives. There are some simple truths dynasty managers need to understand right now:
1.) This is the worst time to trade for a running back
2.) If you’re going to move your rookie picks, you’re hitting the sweet spot to do so as they’ll lose value after the draft
The running back position is the most volatile right now. While you may think you’re sitting on 4-5 starters, things can change rapidly during free agency and the NFL Draft. When teams add receivers, it typically doesn’t take value away from existing ones on their roster. Running backs are completely different. For example, you may think Rachaad White is a lottery ticket. Sure, he could start for Tampa Bay next season. However, what if they were to add Bijan Robinson in the draft? There are a number of running backs who look great at the moment, but could also lose a ton of value in the coming weeks – this list includes Devin Singletary, James Conner, JK Dobbins, D’Onta Foreman, David Montgomery, Joe Mixon, Javonte Williams, D’Andre Swift, Dameon Pierce, Isiah Pacheco, Cam Akers, Raheem Mostert, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Miles Sanders, Rachaad White, and Brian Robinson. Sure, many of those players will be fine. However, free agency and the NFL Draft is sure to throw a big-time monkey wrench into some of their values, so this is a time to trade them away, not trade for them.
Second, the NFL Draft always brings a massive level of excitement and anticipation…until it actually happens. What I mean by that is your rookie picks all look like gold until players fall in the draft or go to undesirable locations. For example, what if Bijan Robinson gets drafted by the Ravens to pair with Dobbins. Are you as excited as you would have been if he was taken by the Eagles? What if Jaxon Smith-Ngiba goes to Miami with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle? Are you as excited for him as you would have been if he was taken by, say, the Panthers?
Point is, all months are not created equal and just like Avatar, we’ve seen this before. Respond accordingly.
Let’s get to the year-end rundown!
Dynasty MVP of the Year
To me, the MVP last year was none other than Travis Kelce. The fact is, he had over 100 points more than the 2nd best player at the position, creating a clear and ridiculous positional advantage each and every week. Yes, he’s getting older. However, a 110/1,338/12 season carried a ton of managers straight to a dynasty title. He’s the most dominant player at his position and it really isn’t that close.
Dynasty LVP of the Year
In 2021, Colts running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 1,811 yards, caught 40 passes for another 360 yards, and scored 20 touchdowns to solidify himself as the 1.01 in virtually any start-up draft. Last year, Taylor’s 861 rushing yards, 143 receiving yards and four touchdowns simply killed dynasty teams. While he’s poised for a bounce-back season, this was catastrophic and stunning, to say the least. Yes, he dealt with injuries, but he wasn’t the same player at the beginning of the year, either.
Fantasy Rookie of the Year
Speaking of running back injuries, Breece Hall suffered a late season torn ACL that could be considered the most disappointing injury of the season in fantasy leagues. While his counting stats of 463 rushing yards, 19 catches, 218 receiving yards, and five total touchdowns aren’t exactly something to write home about, you could clearly see Hall was a star in the making. Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Drake London could all be considered here as well, but I’ll stick with the player I still have ranked over all of them.
Dynasty Rookie LVP
Treylon Burks was supposed to be this amazing swiss army knife of a receiver who took over for AJ Brown and became an instant superstar for the Titans. Well, that didn’t happen. Burks struggled through the preseason, dealt with nagging injuries, and only recorded 444 receiving yards and one touchdown on 33 catches. While he’s also poised for a big second year, the Titans quarterback situation may not be settled and he simply didn’t look like a difference maker for most of the season – it just wasn’t enough for a player likely taken in the top five, or even top three of last year’s rookie drafts.
Player Who Gained the Most Value
This is a tough one as it could really go to Geno Smith, Justin Fields, Jaylen Waddle, or a host of other players. I’ll go with Tony Pollard, however. Pollard has proven to everyone outside of Dallas that he was the best running back on the roster until this season. After this year, there’s no doubt with anyone on the planet. Pollard has made Ezekiel Elliott into mostly an afterthought and he has RB1 upside moving forward. He honestly has the talent and opportunity to be the overall RB1 next year, though players like Austin Ekeler and Christian McCaffrey will certainly have something to say about that.
Player who Lost the Most Value
I was going to go with Alvin Kamara, who has legal trouble and is coming off an awful season, but it’s hard not to go with Kyle Pitts. A year after posting a 68/1,026/1 season for the Falcons, Pitts caught just 28 passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns in ten games. Yes, injuries played a part in his poor performance. Yes, the quarterback play in Atlanta has to take part of the blame as well. However, there’s just no valid excuse for the brutal play we saw from him compared to expectations. Many had Pitts as the overall top player in dynasty leagues and he’s dropped all the way down into the 30s at this point. If you’re a believer, this is the time to buy.
The Unbeatable Lineup of the Year
QB Patrick Mahomes KC = 5,250 passing yards, 45 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
RB Austin Ekeler LAC = 915 rushing yards, 107 catches, 722 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns
RB Christian McCaffrey SF = 1,139 rushing yards, 85 catches, 741 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns
RB Josh Jacobs LV = 1,653 rushing yards, 53 catches, 400 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns
WR Justin Jefferson MIN = 128 catches, 1,809 receiving yards, nine touchdowns
WR Tyreek Hill MIA = 119 catches, 1,710 receiving yards, seven touchdowns
WR Ja’Marr Chase MIN = 87 catches, 1,046 receiving yards, nine touchdowns
TE Travis Kelce KC = 110 catches, 1,338 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns
The Underdog Lineup of the Year
QB Jalen Hurts PHI = 3,701 passing yards, 760 rushing yards, 35 touchdowns, six interceptions
RB Tony Pollard DAL = 1,007 rushing yards, 39 catches, 371 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns
RB James Conner ARI = 782 rushing yards, 46 catches, 300 receiving yards, eight touchdowns
RB Rhamondre Stevenson NE = 1,040 rushing yards, 69 catches, 421 receiving yards, six touchdowns
WR DeVonta Smith PHI = 95 catches, 1,196 receiving yards, seven touchdowns
WR Christian Kirk JAX = 84 catches, 1,108 receiving yards, eight touchdowns
WR Zay Jones JAX = 82 catches, 823 receiving yards, five touchdowns
TE Evan Engram JAX = 73 catches, 766 receiving yards, four touchdowns
The Disappointing Lineup of the Year
QB Russell Wilson DEN = 3,524 passing yards, 277 rushing yards, 19 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
RB Alvin Kamara NO = 897 rushing yards, 57 catches, 490 receiving yards, two touchdowns
RB D’Andre Swift DET = 542 rushing yards, 48 catches, 389 receiving yards, three touchdowns
RB JK Dobbins BAL = 520 rushing yards, seven catches, 42 receiving yards, three touchdowns
WR Brandin Cooks HOU = 57 catches, 699 receiving yards, three touchdowns
WR Diontae Johnson PIT = 86 catches, 882 receiving yards, zero touchdowns
WR Darnell Mooney CHI = 40 catch, 493 receiving yards, two touchdowns
TE Kyle Pitts ATL = 28 catches, 356 receiving yards, two touchdowns
I’d be worried if I didn’t have any draft picks for this upcoming year.
I’d be worried if I though Alvin Kamara was going to avoid a suspension.
I’d be worried if I thought Aaron Rodgers was going to magically save the Jets.
I’d be worried if I thought Jakobi Meyers was going to be worth the money he’s going to get.
I’d be worried if I thought the Bills were content with their running back situation.
I’d be worried if I was trading for running backs right now in my dynasty league. (see above)
I’d be worried if I wasn’t looking to at least see what kind of value my rookie picks had right now. (I said LOOK UP)
I’d be worried if I hadn’t seen Encino Man.
I’d be worried if I missed out on Justin Fields.
I’d be worried if I thought DJ Moore was going to go nuclear. Sorry, just don’t see it in Chicago, despite Fields.
I’d be worried if I didn’t know if I was a contender or a pretender for next season already.
I’d be worried if I had Matt Corral as my developmental quarterback. Oops.
I’d be worried if I had given up on Trevor Lawrence.
I’d be worried if I thought Jalen Hurts still had something to prove.
I’d be worried if I didn’t notice how good TJ Hockenson was at the end of the year.
I’d be worried if I was blue and had an exposed ponytail when I went out on the town.
I’d be worried if I was counting on Michael Thomas.
I’d be worried if I thought Najee Harris was out of the woods.
I’d be worried if I was building my team around D’Andre Swift.
I’d be worried if I was counting on that again from Geno Smith.
I’d be worried if I missed out on Garrett Wilson.
I’d be worried if I needed consistency from Amari Cooper next year. I will continue saying it.
I’d be worried if I still had hope for Carson Wentz.
See you soon!