While most redraft leagues have their annual drafts this weekend, dynasty players have been done with their drafts for weeks or months. But the preseason can affect both, with dynasty teams finalizing the roster they hope takes them to a championship. Below are a few of those trending topics that could determine your fate.
Fish or Cut Bait
Miami has interest in making a deal, but a handful of other teams also have inquired, according to Barry Jackson.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 23, 2023
The news that Jonathan Taylor has formally requested a trade wasn’t unexpected as he has been unhappy for most of, if not all, the off-season. But now that the cat is officially out of the bag, we know some of the teams that have inquired about Taylor’s services. We got a preview of those teams during the brief Dalvin Cook sweepstakes with Cook ultimately ending up in New York. Miami were involved, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they are also connected to Taylor.
The thought of adding Taylor to a team that already showcases playmakers like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle is scary. But what does it mean for the current Dolphins running backs? Admittedly, Miami could use a boost after finishing the season with the sixth-worst rushing yards-per-game last season with just 96. They already added De’Von Achane in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft but adding Taylor would blow the competition there away.
Dynasty Impact: The Dolphins might have been peeping the latest DLF running back rankings as they search for an upgrade at running back.
Current starter Raheem Mostert is 31 and entering his ninth professional season, an eternity in running back years. Jeff Wilson Jr is 27 and entering his sixth season but is coming off a career-high 176 carries between his time in San Francisco and Miami. Both backs were solid in small doses last season but their age and longevity also explain why their dynasty ranking is so low. Enter De’Von Achane who has the best outlook of all three thanks to being just 21 years old. But a shoulder injury in preseason forced Miami, and Achane’s dynasty managers, to tap the brake.
Enter Taylor who would not only take over as the starter but could be a bell cow in the process. If Miami, or any team, meets the Colts’ asking price of a first-round pick, that team would essentially be forced to play him as much as possible to get a positive return on that swap. But whether Taylor ends up in Miami or not, the whole backfield is one to avoid for dynasty purposes and can’t be relied on for your dynasty team.
Bucking the Bronco
Marvin Mims' offseason:
1. With first draft pick in charge of #Broncos, Sean Payton trades up for Mims in Round 2
2. KJ Hamler (pectoral, heart issue) done
3. Tim Patrick (Achilles) done
4. Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) sidelined https://t.co/hMCNhaGFk9
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) August 24, 2023
The start of the off-season in Denver was so promising. After a highly disappointing 2022 season that saw the newly acquired Russell Wilson completely faceplant, the Broncos made quick work of head coach Nathanial Hackett before he could even finish the season. Enter former Super Bowl-winning coach Sean Payton to become the latest savior of the Rocky Mountains. He was already inheriting a talented offense but one that needed a lot better coaching. The likes of Jerry Jeudy, Cortland Sutton, Greg Dulcich, Javonte Williams, and more were all trending up when it came to their real-life and dynasty stock.
But then the injuries started, some of which are mentioned in the post above. Two former dynasty favorites – KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick – were forced out due to injury; another tweet indicates Javonte Williams will need to be ramped up to start the season; then the Jeudy injury this week. That leaves Courtland Sutton and Marvin Mims, truly the last two healthy receivers left, to start the season at full strength. What does it mean for their dynasty value?
Dynasty Impact: Surprisingly, the player who seems to be more undervalued right now is Sutton.
He’s had exactly one season where he notched 1,000 receiving yards which was also the only season he finished as a top-40 fantasy receiver. But if he can get a handle on the receiver room in a Payton-led offense, he could easily surpass 1,000 yards again. Mims is a wild card. He was the top pick of the new Denver regime but not originally slated to be this high on the depth chart. Now injuries have forced the Broncos’ hand and Mims will see plenty of action early in his career. This is both a gift and a curse for those who drafted Mims in rookie drafts. If he balls out early, they’ll have a steal on their hands. But if he doesn’t, they can already consider the rookie pick used on him a sunk cost.
Colts starting skill players
QB Anthony Richardson
HB Deon Jackson
WR Michael Pittman Jr.
WR Alec Pierce
WR Josh Downs 👀👀
TE Drew Ogletree
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) August 25, 2023
Having multiple good, young receivers on your team to help your new franchise quarterback may be a good thing for the Colts in real life but it can be a nightmare for dynasty managers of those players. Neither of the three – Michael Pittman, Alec Pierce, and rookie Josh Downs – have separated themselves that much from the other. Pittman and Pierce are both former second-round picks while Downs was a third-round pick in this year’s draft. But while Downs has less draft capital than the other two, he was brought in under the current regime as opposed to the old.
Downs is also entering the offense at the same time as Anthony Richardson and rookie receivers paired with rookie franchise quarterbacks drafted the same year typically have a strong connection. Then again, Pittman has averaged about 1,000 yards per season over 2021 and 2022 and is the undisputed lead dog in that receivers room.
Dynasty Impact: Pittman is ahead of the others when it comes to dynasty value and it isn’t particularly close…for now.
Pierce might have had a chance to catch up if it wasn’t for the drafting of Downs this year. Downs will forever be linked to Richardson which means he could easily pass Pierce in the pecking order as soon as this year. For the cost, Downs would be the one to target. But if you’re in win-now mode, Pittman is still the man.
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