Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
Kirk Cousins (ADP: 159.7, QB 11.7)
Cousins had a rough year, according to fantasy Twitter. What started out as a promising season – with three out of four top-ten finishes – quickly turned to concern. Through weeks one to 16, he finished outside the top 12 no less than five times. However, his upside – as a mostly throwing quarterback (with little rushing upside) – was always top 12 then top five. By the end of the season, he finished tenth in the number of games inside the top 12.
While it may have felt disappointing, Cousins put up strong starter production for the quarterback position in fantasy. More worrying was the team’s change in style after week ten. They turned away from the passing game and the return of Dalvin Cook saw a sharp decrease in Cousins’ QBR, with only two finishes over 70 after that time. However, I think given his 30 point fall in ADP since July last year, we can profit from a top 12 player at a value in dynasty. At 30 years old, he could easily play for five seasons or longer at this level.
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Trevor Siemian (ADP: 207.25, QB 48)
At one time, Siemian was a potential starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to live up to the potential of his own “rags to riches” story. He was soon faded and released by the team. Finding himself behind a high-contract starter, Siemian perhaps offers above-average handcuff value in a 2QB league.
Dalvin Cook (ADP: 26.5, RB 11)
It’s always a good idea to try and acquire running backs with the potential to be the next top-five player at the position, especially if they are being drafted outside of that rank. However, I think his raw ADP tells more of the story. At 26.5 overall, the people clearly know about this potential. He won’t come cheap and in trades, I imagine, we will have to overpay if anything. However, Cook really does have an all-around skill set and if his usage when healthy last season continues, he can easily pay off both his draft and trade price right now. I think he’s a target in dynasty. He has fallen close to 14 spots in overall ADP since August last year.
Latavius Murray (ADP: 160.83, RB63.29)
Murray is underrated. 2018 saw him fill in for Cook for the second straight year, or part of it, in a very solid fashion. In 2017 he put up 842 rushing yards on 216 attempts, and he managed three games over 20 fantasy points in PPR before Cook’s return. That’s not to mention a very solid 578-rushing-yard season. He has a capped ceiling even as a handcuff but he shouldn’t be underrated as a spot starter or fill-in on bye weeks. Even when Cook is on the field, he has a strong red zone presence. However, he’s hard to buy sell or hold in dynasty and has the most value to whoever is running-back-deprived in your league, or whoever has Cook on their team.
Ameer Abdullah (ADP: 223.33, RB80.86)
I didn’t even know the former star second-round pick had washed up on the Vikings’ depth chart last season until I went to look. Abdullah still has all the traits of a big-play running back and a high-level receiving back in the NFL. However, at this point in his career, you are rostering him in the hope he makes a dynamic single play or single game splash so you can flip him on any value jump. He’s hard to hold on most rosters at this point unless it’s a choice between him and possibly Mike Boone.
Mike Boone (ADP: NA, RB NA)
Boone is so deep he doesn’t have any ADP information. But he has a solid rushing skill set and the potential to fill in for Cook or Murray if either were unavailable. He’s not dynasty-relevant at this point, however.
Stefon Diggs (ADP: 23.17, WR11.33)
An underrated aspect to the decline in receiving production after the Vikings bye in week ten is the continued dominance in targets for Diggs. After week ten, Diggs topped over 23% of the team’s targets no less than four times, and three of those were over 29% (top-12 players at the position average around 21 to 22% over time). He also went over ten fantasy points in PPR the same number of times and over 20 three times. In short, the return of Cook did nothing to stop the opportunity and production flowing to Diggs. No matter what’s to come in the future, I think Diggs is a locked-in top-12 player even in the first two rounds of ADP.
Adam Thielen (ADP: 23.5, WR13.5)
Thielen was setting records through the first eight weeks of 2018. While the drop in targets was worrying with the return of Cook, one thing is certain: Thielen got game. What’s more, the offense is capable of sustaining two top-24 players. As the larger aDot (average depth of target) player, he also has upside in any given week. The team seemed a lot more effective when it was relying on the passing offense. With many worried about his age (at 28, with a late start to his career, I think three years is a conservative estimate for how long he will be relevant), Thielen’s current value is likely below his current ADP in many leagues. I think it’s a good off-season to speculate on a proven talent with hard-to-predict (or rely on) concerns surrounding him in dynasty. He is easily worth any mid-to-late round first round pick, and I don’t think that value is off the table in many places.
Laquon Treadwell (ADP: 234.17, WR82.67)
Treadwell, the former 2016 first-round pick, showed some positive signs in 2018. But unlike Mike Williams, he was unable to convert it into significant production. His target share never came close to breaking higher than 15%. In an offense with two dominant and talented receiving options, it won’t get any easier moving forward.
Entering his fourth year in the NFL, he enters the doldrums of wide receiver breakouts. Since 2000, only 20 wide receivers have broken out with a 1,000-yard season after their third year, and almost all of them have been players drafted outside of the first round. The exception is Kenny Britt who broke out to that level in his eighth season. The idea here is that first round picks get the opportunity to break out earlier but then die off quicker if they don’t. Treadwell’s complete disappearance in his first year could help extend this deadline. However, given his situation, I think he is someone I’d be happy to trade away in dynasty if someone else wants to take the chance.
Kyle Rudolph (ADP: 144.5, TE11.43)
Targets go to talented players even in crowded situations. Unlike the wide receivers outside of Diggs and Thielen, Rudolph continues to earn an above-average role for his position on the Vikings. He’s maybe not a sexy pick, but he is a good one. Drafted inside the top 12 players at the position, he is an easy choice in later rounds. The position itself has a few standouts and then a mass of players capable of catching a touchdown on any given week. Rudolph averaged five targets a game in 2018 with a 14% target share (21% through week 14 to 16). He’s a firm hold unless someone is willing to overpay, and a shining value in drafts at a humdrum position.