Dynasty League Football


Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Draft Prep and Aging Running Backs

We open up the mailbag and answer your questions as we approach the 2023 NFL Draft.

Welcome back to the DLF Mailbag, the preeminent mailbag in all the dynasty fantasy football land. This year I’ll be answering questions from you via Twitter, Discord,(if you haven’t joined our Discord now is a great time to do so), or the old-fashioned way (via email). We’re creeping closer and closer to the NFL Draft, with the combine and all the data points it provided us now in our rearview. The mock drafts we will see in the next few weeks hold more water than the ones held pre-combine. With the Bears and Panthers pulling off a blockbuster and Aaron Rodgers traded, all the off-season puzzle pieces are beginning to fall into place and the dynasty season is on fire, so keep your questions coming!

QB Rankings Pre-Draft 

In case you missed it, there was some news this week regarding the 2023 quarterback S2 Cognition scores. Specifically, CJ Stroud had a lot of words spent on him regarding this test, since he reportedly scored an 18%. What is the S2 Cognition test? Matt Barrows of The Athletic provides a detailed breakdown, but the simplified answer is it “measures how quickly and accurately athletes process information.”  It’s a pretty important, and apparently, very predictive test concerning quarterbacks. No one who scored poorly on this test has gone on to NFL success. These scores are supposed to be confidential but per Bob McGinn, Stroud’s test score was significantly worse than every quarterback tested in this class. 

“Some other total scores in the class of quarterbacks this year were 96% for Fresno State’s Jake Haener, 93% for Kentucky’s Will Levis and Brigham Young’s Jaren Hall, 84% for Houston’s Clayton Tune, 79% for Florida’s Anthony Richardson and 46% for Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker.”

Over the past two to three weeks, there’s been lots of chatter that Bryce Young, who scored a 98% on the S2, is going to end up being the first quarterback selected, and he’s now my QB1 of the class. Stroud is still, for now, the consensus choice for 2 overall (though there are also rumblings the Texans don’t love anyone in this class, so he’s my QB2, Richardson is my QB3, and Will Levis is my QB4). The final piece to this puzzle is the actual NFL Draft starting this Thursday. It’s possible Stroud’s leaked S2 scores are false, and the Panthers take him at first overall – if that does happen, he’s back to my QB1. However, if the Panthers pass on Stroud and he falls in the draft, I withhold the right to move him behind Richardson. 

Trade Alert

This league has a couple of fun caveats – it’s ten teams, which generally means you want more hammers on your roster, but it is also a “start 11,” which dictates  you be concerned with depth as well. My initial reaction to this question is to take the Waddle and pick side, as Brown and Waddle are around the same age and their production has been similar over the past two seasons. I turned to the DLF Trade Analyzer and it also leans the Waddle side, if ever so slightly. 

I am a bit concerned with Waddle’s splits without Tua Tagovailoa, as he’s averaged 5.7 fewer fantasy points per game with someone else under center than Tua. My concerns about Tagovailoa’s future are well-known based on his extensive injury history as well.

If Tagovailoa misses time in 2022, it should be Mike White instead of Skylar Thompson replacing him and White is a much more competent quarterback. Presumably, Waddle would see a less dramatic drop in scoring. The players are close enough that getting a 2024 1st is forcing me to take the Waddle side of this deal. The flexibility that pick provides, as an asset to cash out on during the 2023 season if things break right, or means to bolster your roster next year, is too much to pass on. 

What Matters the Most

It should almost go without saying that in a Superflex league, I’d prefer to be ranked among the top three at the quarterback position. If I’ve constructed my roster perfectly, I’m rostering two top eight-dynasty quarterbacks. 

The next most important position for me is not a position at all, it’s draft picks. I always want to be highly ranked in draft capital as it provides more flexibility than players when it comes to making trades. Players have actual faults and limitations, whereas draft picks have nothing but infinite upside. Make no mistake, you’re going to need to make trades in-season either due to injury or other managers bulking up their rosters. The more picks you have, the more flexibility it affords. Start accruing 2024 and 2025 rookie picks now, and move them in-season when other teams start to fall out of contention. 

Wide receivers and running backs are pretty even for me. The reasons for each position differ, though. At wide receiver, I want two to three elite players and am fine if the rest of my receivers are nothing more than threshold receivers. In terms of running backs. I want elite players (without paying elite prices), I’m content to sit in the middle/back of the league in “strength” if my depth is elite. Pulling up the rear would be the tight-end position. 

Aging Running Backs

Unless someone is willing to take a veteran running back off your hands for a rookie first round pick, your best bet is to just hold onto them, for now. And when I say rookie first rounders, I’m willing to accept 2025 picks if someone’s offering. Trading these backs straight up could net you another, younger running back, but it might be one like Tyler Allgeier who you’ll have to hold your breath through every Atlanta Falcons draft pick on Thursday. You can also try to pivot from the older backs to wide receivers, (the manager who snagged Brandon Aiyuk is my new hero) but usually those wide receivers would fall into the JuJu Smith-Schuster range at the position. 

Even when the season starts (and points matter) it’s unlikely that aging running backs will see an increase in trade value, so you might need to make a move quickly to move them off of your roster. 

Enjoy the draft!


Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Draft Prep and Aging Running Backs
Click to comment
5 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
To Top