My Dynasty Off-Season: Independence Day Q&A

Ken Kelly

Well, that was fun. Another year is in the books and hopefully you hoisted a dynasty league championship. While the games are great and results are obviously important, this is actually my favorite time of year. Yes, I actually enjoy the off-season more than actual fantasy football. I love breaking down the NFL Draft, evaluating rookies, re-establishing the veteran dynasty fantasy landscape and giving you all as much information as I can in order to be prepared for the beginning of the upcoming year.

This year, I’ve been posting a regular series – My Dynasty Off-Season. This series is intended for me to pull back the curtain a bit and share what I’m doing in terms of team building, roster evaluation, player assessments, trade possibilities, value changes or anything else I’m thinking of. My hope is this series helps guide you through your off-season and helps you be in position to win again next year.

With today being Independence Day in the United States, I decided to ask myself some 4th of July-themed questions and offer some of my own personal insight. After all, I can’t really get mad at questions I asl myself, right!?! Hope everyone who celebrates Independence Day has a great one today. Be safe out there!

Let’s get to it!

1.)  Who would you most want to declare your independence of this off-season?

Who’s asking these questions? This seems silly.

Regardless, anyone who has read any of my work over the years knows I’m a huge University of Washington fan. Needless to say, this is going to come as a surprise to many of you when I say I’d actually declare my independence from Rome Odunze. This has nothing to do with him being a great player – I think he’s going to be. However, dynasty teams are built on value and his trajectory seems relatively predictable to me. As such, he’s on exactly zero of my dynasty teams at the moment, despite my love for him as a player.

Let me explain.

Odunze is quite likely going to be the third or fourth option behind DJ Moore, Keenan Allen and possibly Cole Kmet this upcoming season. And he’s going to do that in an offense led by a rookie quarterback. Should Caleb Williams struggle (which is nearly inevitable for a rookie quarterback), Odunze is going to have a hard time maintaining his current WR17 status as the season moves on. In my mind, the play here is simple – wait until rookie fever wears off and pounce on Odunze right around the trading deadline at a bit of a discount.

Could all of this backfire? Of course it can. Odunze is more than capable of being a star from day one. However, there is something very obvious to me here – at WR17, his value is already baked in. In other words, there’s no premium here by paying market price as you’re already paying top dollar for a player and absorbing all the risk right now. I’d much rather wait until a window opens up later to grab him at a much more palatable price. If I miss out, I would have paid top dollar anyway so there really wasn’t much to gain.

2.)  On a scale of one to five hot dogs, how would you rate each position of the NFL Draft?

Well, this another weird question. What is this, amateur hour? Oh well. I’ll assume one hot dog is poor and five hot dogs is stellar.

Quarterback = Three Hot Dogs

This is a class I like for the most part but I have a hard time looking at it and not wondering if some of these players were reaches in the draft. Caleb Williams should be good in time but I don’t see him in the mold of Patrick Mahomes at all. To me, he’s more of a QB1/2 but not an elite option. I’d take CJ Stroud over Williams in a heartbeat.

Jayden Daniels is my favorite boom or bust pick in the entire draft. I believe his true ceiling is higher than that of Williams but the bust possibility is also pretty evident here. Still, much like Anthony Richardson last year, he’s pretty tantalizing.

I see Drake Maye, JJ McCarthy and Bo Nix as good options, with Maye obviously leading the charge here. I just don’t love his supporting cast and that gives me pause. To me, Michael Penix actually looks like a bit of a bargain as he’s slipping way down into rounds three or four in conventional drafts. I’d rather take position players over the others and grab Penix late.

In short, this is a “three hot dog” class as there’s some solid upside but few sure things.

Running Back = Two Hot Dogs

This was clearly a weakness in this year’s draft. Jonathan Brooks and Trey Benson are both solid prospects, though Benson is going to have to wait his turn it seems. I like Jaylen Wright but question just how many touches he’s going to get in Miami early in his career. To me, I see this class as being stronger later as you can take some solid dart throws at players like Braelon Allen, Isaac Guerendo, Tyrone Tracy and even Blake Watson. Still, this was not the best year to need a running back for your dynasty team and a two-dog class for me.

Wide Receiver = Five Hot Dogs

Many have said this could end up being a historically great class of dynasty wide receivers and it’s hard for me to argue. Marvin Harrison Jr, Malik Nabers, and Odunze make up a pretty stellar top three but a consolation prize of someone like Xavier Worthy, Brian Thomas, Ladd McConkey, Keon Coleman, Ricky Pearsall, Xavier Legette or Adonai Mitchell doesn’t look too bad, either. In short, I’m selling the farm for Harrison, trying to pay market value later for Odunze and targeting Adonai Mitchell later in my rookie drafts. This is a five-dog class for sure, though. Soak up those buns and go to town here!

Tight End = Two Hot Dogs

The only reason this class isn’t equivalent to a vienna sausage (look it up) is the presence of Brock Bowers. I’ve been adamant he’s being taken too highly in a rookie draft but it’s also hard not to see him and think he’s an elite-level prospect. The rest of the class is sketchy, at best. I’m just not a fan.

3.)  Who has the biggest chance to be a dud this upcoming season?

Last of the ridiculous questions. I need a new person to interview myself.

Nobody ever wants to buy the big bottle rocket and have it fail to launch. To me, I still see Travis Etienne as a player being taken too highly. Ranked as our RB6 at the moment, he’s going higher than players like Saquon Barkley, De’Von Achane, Kenneth Walker, Josh Jacobs, James Cook, D’Andre Swift and a whole host of other player who I see as all relatively equal. The Jaguars are on record saying they want to decrease his workload next season and while he’s very talented, he’s never been a difference maker. Getting fewer touches doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Etienne seems like another player whose value just can’t really be seen as anything else other than having its upside already baked in, leaving too much risk for me.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Independence Day. Let’s hope Will Smith doesn’t need to rescue any of us from the aliens!


ken kelly