Dynasty Decision: DK Metcalf

Richard Cooling

We all know the pain of holding onto that stud player too long as their production evaporates and your once highly-priced asset becomes worthless. There are also plenty of cases of players being sold expecting that decline only to continue defying the odds. This series will examine what you should do as players approach these decision points.

DK Metcalf, WR SEA

Metcalf has long been held up as a dynasty superstar. He was once the overall dynasty WR1, and while he has never disappointed, he hasn’t always lived up to the lofty valuations. Now he is heading into his second contract, and there are potentially some questions about the quarterback position in Seattle. Should we be looking to get out of Metcalf?

Previous Performance

Since Metcalf stepped into the league, he has been an imposing physical freak who can win because of his size and athleticism alone. However, as he has developed in the league, he has broadened his route-running from a straightforward route tree as a rookie to a much more diverse range of routes over the last few years.

As a rookie, he stepped in and commanded over 100 targets and finished as the overall WR33 for fantasy. He followed this up with an incredible sophomore campaign as the overall WR7 and climbed to the lofty heights of overall dynasty WR1. However, since then, he has posted three consecutive WR2 seasons despite a similar target volume.

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Situation and Usage

Metcalf finds himself in a situation that could undergo some significant change over the next 12 months. Tyler Lockett is aging and could find himself gradually drifting off into the sunset. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, last year’s first-round pick, is expected to take on a larger role during his sophomore season. The entire offense is currently resting on the shoulders of Geno Smith, who is in the second year of his three-year extension; however, the Seahawks can save money by moving on from him after this season. Overall, it has the potential to be a fantastic offense, but it could all come crashing down very quickly if Geno Smith disappoints, Tyler Lockett begins to age, and Smith-Njigba doesn’t take the step forward.

The expectation for Metcalf, however, is unlikely to change. He will command north of 100 targets as he has done through every year of his career. He will be used downfield and outside the numbers. Because of this, his game will always be slightly boom and bust, but it means there is always the potential for blow-up week-winning performances.

Contract

Metcalf signed a three-year $72m extension in 2022. It was a brilliant piece of business from Metcalf, allowing him to double dip into free agency during his prime. He will be able to command another huge contract before he’s 29. 2024 will be the penultimate year of his deal, and with only $11.5m of the $29.5m cap hit guaranteed, there is a chance this season is his last year playing on the contract. The expectation would be for Metcalf to sign an extension after this season; otherwise, the Seahawks risk losing him.

Only 26 years old, there shouldn’t be any concern about locking up Metcalf for another three or four years. Furthermore, with several high-profile superstars at the position due to sign contracts imminently, it could behoove the Seahawks to get an extension done sooner rather than later, as the price for an elite receiver will likely explode over the next 12 months.

ADP and Trade Value

He is the WR23 in April ADP and the 36th overall player in one quarterback ADP. The trade analyzer has him worth 2024, 1.07 in a superflex league, or 1.04 in a single-quarterback league. Recent trades are below:

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Conclusion

Metcalf is a player I have been consistently below consensus over the past couple of years. I have always felt he is an expensive version of Tyler Lockett, who has produced similar numbers at a fraction of the cost. He gets overhyped because he is a height, weight, and speed freak, and people want to project stardom onto him. I believe he is a solid, reliable WR2 who will have some ups and downs throughout the season but will likely finish as a top-24 wide receiver in 2024 and beyond. Once he signs his extension, it will offer him some security, and the long-term quarterback situation will likely be resolved over the next 12 months. He is also only 26 years old, so he has at least four if not five, seasons of peak production left. As with AJ Brown, people are looking to move on because they’re aging without realizing how young they still are.

Metcalf is a player I would be looking to acquire as a player on a contending team. His current ADP is below where I expect his output to be, and as mentioned, he isn’t aging out anytime soon. He will unlikely give you WR1 production, but as your third or even fourth receiver, he gives you a safe floor with an explosive ceiling.

As a rebuilding team, I would be happy to move off of Metcalf, but only if I can get an overpay. Even if you’re in a deep two-year rebuild, he will still be relevant and have plenty of production left when you’re ready to compete again.

Metcalf was often overpriced and overhyped, but in dynasty, he has now reached a point where his value has declined. He is now undervalued, which is the perfect time to strike.

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