The Dynasty Fantasy Football Impact of Jonathan Taylor’s Contract Extension

Ken Kelly

The off-season for Colts running back Jonathan Taylor was anything but normal. After a dominant 2021 season that featured 1,811 rushing yards and an ascension to the top spot in dynasty rankings, Taylor had just 861 yards and four touchdowns in 11 games last year, leading to questions about his long-term durability and effectiveness. Things got much, much worse when Taylor took exception to comments made by Colts owner Jim Irsay in regards to the value of running backs this Summer. After a four-week absence to start the season due to an ankle injury (more specifically, Taylor holding out for a new contract and taking a stand against Irsay), the Colts surprisingly caved and rewarded him with a whopping three-year, $42 million extension. It’s a stunning turn of events for Taylor and in dynasty leagues as this relationship seemed beyond repair. It also affects the dynasty values of some key players in 2023 and beyond. Let’s re-shape the landscape and re-assess some dynasty value.

Jonathan Taylor, RB IND

The Colts eased Taylor back in on Sunday, giving him just six carries and one target on the day that he turned into 34 scoreless yards. This workload will undoubtedly increase in the weeks to come as Taylor attempts to establish himself again as one of the NFL’s greatest running backs. Time will tell here as we wait to see if he can get all the way back to his dominant form but his contract will ensure he remains the key cog in this offense and the Colts will give him all the touches he can handle.

The only real question with Taylor is going to be his health. If he can round back into form, it’s hard to imagine he can’t get all the way back to his dominant self considering the fact he’s only 24 years old. The Colts could keep him fresh by giving upstart veteran Zack Moss more work than Taylor’s backups usually get but you don’t give someone $26.5 million guaranteed and make him the third highest paid running back behind Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara to have him work in an even timeshare. Chances are we see vintage Taylor in a few weeks. As such, his status as our RB5 and a first round dynasty selection to be set in stone once again.

jonathan taylor dynasty

Zack Moss, RB IND

The Colts paid Taylor because? Moss was fantastic again today with 165 rushing yards (7.2 yards per carry), two catches, 30 receiving yards and two more touchdowns. He now has 445 rushing yards on five yards per carry on the season and has proven to be more than capable of carrying the load for an NFL football team. This is going to be a very interesting case study to follow as Moss’ week-to-week value is going to tank now that Taylor is back. However, he could be a very attractive trade candidate moving forward as this is the last year of his contract. Savvy dynasty managers are likely going to try to find a way to get him as a “throw-in” on a trade moving forward with the thinking an NFL team could very likely sign him this off-season to be their starter. Hmm. Interesting.

zack moss dynasty adp co

Trey Sermon, RB IND

Sermon was a dynasty darling once upon a time but his career has been a mess since he flamed out in San Francisco. After leaving Philadelphia, some thought a new lease on life with the Colts would help resuscitate his value. That wasn’t the case, even with Taylor out for a month. With Taylor and Moss locked in as the 1-2 punch for the Colts, it’s hard to see a roster spot being used on Sermon in most leagues.

Evan Hull, RB IND

Hull missed out on a golden opportunity as well with Taylor gone. Unfortunately, he landed on IR and has been mostly an afterthought. He could still carve out some value down the road but it’s hard to see much value with him moving forward. He honestly looks like a late round rookie pick who just may not hit.

Current NFL Running Backs

The Taylor contract is good news for the likes of Gus Edwards (Baltimore), Tony Pollard (Dallas), Aaron Jones (Packers), Rachaad White (Bucs), Miles Sanders (Carolina), Kyren Williams (Rams). and a whole host of other running backs out there. Had Taylor been traded, this could have spelled doom for a number of players who are currently holding on tight to some dynasty value. With him returning to the Colts long-term, dynasty managers who have these (and some other) veteran running backs can breathe easy.

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