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Dynasty Trending Observations: What-Ifs for Jonathan Taylor, Cooper Kupp Banged Up?

We look at some players in the dynasty spotlight this week.

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We made it! We are officially entering week one of the 2023 season. Our dynasty teams have had several changes this off-season, all in the hopes of bringing home a championship. Even these last few days have seen twists and turns that could affect your roster, a few of which we analyze below.

Pack It In

That would have been a fun one. There have been several known suitors for Jonathan Taylor‘s services since it became known that he wanted to be traded. The Dolphins were the most vocal and an obvious fit as their running back depth is not exactly elite. The emergence of the Packers as another interested party is a surprise but after review makes a lot of sense.

AJ Dillon is a free agent after his rookie contract expires this year. Aaron Jones, the current starter, is under contract next year but the Packers can save nearly $5 million if they cut him when the season ends. It would help the fortunes of the Packers to add as many playmakers as possible around new starting quarterback Jordan Love as he enters the first year of the post-Aaron Rodgers era. Nonetheless, that era will at least start with Jones and Dillon in the backfield.

Dynasty Impact: While the trade didn’t happen before the season started, it certainly doesn’t close the door on a deal before the trade deadline in October. And it wouldn’t even matter if the Packers are in contention or not. If they are, adding a weapon like Taylor can only help their playoff chances. And if they are not in contention? Trade for him, re-sign him, rest him, then hope for a big bounce-back next year when the Packers running back room could look completely different.

And whether Taylor arrives or not, it looks like the room will look different anyway. Both Jones and Dillon’s dynasty value has steadily declined as both have yet to shake the other when it comes to snaps and touches.

Both can be viewed as low-end starters for your dynasty team this season but beyond that is a huge question mark. Dillon is a free agent, having yet to be re-signed. Jones will turn 29 before next season and could easily be cut and save the Packers money. In both cases, they’re hard to trust beyond 2023. If your dynasty team gets off to a slow start this season, absolutely put them on your league’s trade bait and see what you can get for them.

Empty Kupp

Uh oh. Nagging hamstring injuries are annoying enough but those concerns are exacerbated when they happen to a 30-year-old receiver coming off surgery. Cooper Kupp was very recently considered an elite dynasty receiver. Just two years ago, he put together one of the best fantasy seasons of all time with 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. At the time of his injury last year, he was a top-five fantasy receiver again totaling 75 receptions for 845 yards and six touchdowns in nine games. But then he suffered a high ankle sprain that was bad enough to require surgery and that was it for his 2022 season.

With a full off-season to recover, there was hope that Kupp could return to his WR1 status. His dynasty value was certainly trending that way.

But this latest news will temper those expectations until we can see Kupp on the field.

Dynasty Impact: The Kupp situation for dynasty managers is an interesting one. There’s no doubt that he can produce when he’s on the field. But he’s coming off a major injury and now another that will keep him off the field for the foreseeable future. He’s also 30 and due to start slowing down anyway.

Using the DLF Trade Finder, he’s currently valued as an early first-round rookie pick for next year. If Kupp is producing for you this season and you’re in playoff contention, you have no reason to trade him. But if you find yourself treading water with Kupp on your team, I would make that trade mentioned above. Next year’s rookie class of receivers should be very good including top prospect Marvin Harrison Jr. Nonetheless, you’ll want to get out from having Kupp before it’s too late.

Inside Cobb

Back in March, when Mecole Hardman originally signed with the Jets, there was hope that he could carve out a role that was more fantasy-significant than in Kansas City. Despite playing with the best fantasy quarterback of all time, Hardman never cracked the top 50 when it comes to fantasy receivers during his Chiefs career. But New York gave him hope even before the arrival of Aaron Rodgers.

Of course, that was before the arrival of Rodgers’s friend and former teammate Randall Cobb entered the picture. Ironically, once the Rodgers trade to New York was official, Hardman’s days as the starting slot receiver were numbered. Cobb has Rodgers’ trust and nothing short of Cobb suffering a serious injury would prevent him from starting. That leaves Hardman to be a gadget player as he won’t come close to cracking the starting lineup over 2022 Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson and Rodgers’ other receiving buddy, Allen Lazard.

Dynasty Impact: Whatever ascension that Hardman’s dynasty value had in the summer can safely be wiped away.

Hardman is barely cracking the top 100 as far as dynasty receivers and, now that he’s lost the starting slot position, can be cut or included as a throw-in. As for Cobb, if you’re in a deep PPR league that starts four-five receivers, Cobb is a cheap option for this season. Rodgers will look his way and could contribute slightly to your dynasty team.

Dynasty Trending Observations: What-Ifs for Jonathan Taylor, Cooper Kupp Banged Up?
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Andy Cook
20 days ago

Everyone, what are your thoughts on this trade offer: Taylor and a 2nd for Gibbs? Given JT age and situation which side do you prefer? Calc says it’s fair but I lean toward wanting a bit more motivation than a mid-late 2nd… lmk!

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