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.”
The Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl in 18 seasons in 2018, but unlike many other playoff teams and their counterparts in the big game, they don’t have many appealing dynasty assets on their offense.
Tom Brady (FEB ADP: 190.50, QB21)
Brady isn’t what he once was, but he’s still one of the league’s better quarterbacks. He’ll be 42 years old next season, but he continues to maintain that he wants to play until he’s 45 — and it looks like he actually may be able to. Reports from New England are indicating that an extension may be happening soon, and his style of play lends itself to a relatively smooth aging curve.
The Patriots leaned on a heavier reliance on the running attack to keep him fresh in the back half of the season, and will probably continue to do so going forward. Brady will forever be a buy for contending teams, and his advancing age should only make him even cheaper.
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Brian Hoyer (FEB ADP: N/A, QB N/A)
Hoyer is under contract for one more year and should have a secure job. Barring a Brady injury, he’s not worth a roster spot in dynasty leagues, though, regardless of format.
Danny Etling (FEB ADP: N/A, QB N/A)
Because this year’s quarterback class is generally considered pretty weak, there’s a chance Etling could stick on the roster as a developmental quarterback behind Brady. However, if they draft one in the first few rounds, Etling will be gone. He is also not worth a roster spot.
Sony Michel (FEB ADP: 33.17, RB15)
People seem to forget that Michel missed the bulk of the preseason, so his slow start this year should have come as no surprise to those that were paying attention. As mentioned in Brady’s blurb above, the Patriots have begun to shift to a more run-centric offense to preserve Brady, and Michel has been one of the main beneficiaries. He’s a very good running back in an offense that gives their running back plenty of scoring opportunities.
As good as Michel’s late-season (and postseason) surge was, there are a couple causes for concern here. One, he’s had injury issues in the past, and his knees flared up again this season. However, arguably the larger concern is his involvement in the passing game. This was considered one of his strengths at Georgia and was assumed to be one of the reasons they elected to take Michel ahead of his teammate Chubb, but Michel was targeted just 11 times all season and caught only seven passes. If he’s just a glorified LeGarrette Blount, that’s okay, but his price tag is rising awfully high to be a completely one-dimensional player.
James White (FEB ADP: 82.17, RB32)
White is one of the NFL’s best pass-catching running backs, and he continues to improve as a runner as well. Because of the turnover at the wide receiver position this coming season, White will likely be heavily relied upon as a pass catcher once again in 2019. It would be foolish to expect a repeat of the first half of the 2018 season in which he was one of fantasy’s best backs, but he should have FLEX value going forward.
Rex Burkhead (FEB ADP: 232.83, RB88)
Burkhead is a versatile player who can do everything well – except stay healthy. The coaching staff trusts him, as evidenced by his usage in the playoff run, but the fact that he can’t be relied upon is one of the reasons the team pursued Michel in the draft last season.
Burkhead will be 29 years old next season and is under contract for one more season. He’s somewhat of a roster clogger without an injury to the players ahead of him on the depth chart, but you can’t really drop him because of the value he’d have if he was healthy at the same time Michel were to get hurt.
Jeremy Hill (Free Agent) – (FEB ADP: N/A, RB N/A)
Hill had been left for dead by dynasty owners before signing in New England last offseason, but he looked great in the preseason before tearing his ACL. He dropped a few pounds and looked significantly quicker, but is now working to rehab his knee as he enters free agency again. He’ll likely have to settle for a one-year deal at a reduced price, but he may be cheap enough to return to New England. While I’m rooting for him to come back healthy, Hill is not someone I’m really interested in for dynasty purposes.
James Develin (FEB ADP: N/A, RB N/A)
He’s probably the best fullback in the NFL and will score a touchdown or two here or there, but he’s not worth a roster spot.
Julian Edelman (FEB ADP: 78.33, WR39)
The 32-year old Super Bowl MVP continues to impress. After returning from a torn ACL and a four-game PED suspension, he consistently performed as a high-end WR2 and finished the year as the WR12 in points per game. Despite only playing 12 games, he caught 74 balls for 850 yards and six touchdowns, while adding another 107 yards rushing.
Plenty of people don’t like him, and I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be in New England for, but for as long as he’s playing in Brady he’ll be worth buying in dynasty leagues. I’d pay any 2019 second rounder for him if I was competitive.
Josh Gordon (Restricted Free Agent) – (FEB ADP: 199.83, WR82)
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me…
Everyone knows the Gordon story by now. Good on him for taking time away from the game to focus on his mental health and depression, which are the two obvious factors contributing to his addiction and off-field struggles. There will always be dynasty players who have no desire to have Gordon anywhere near their teams due to his unreliability, and that’s fine. But he showed that he can still contribute at a high level this year in limited action.
Gordon caught 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games for New England. His lone reception in Cleveland also went for a touchdown. Gordon was one of the rare receivers to land in New England without the benefit of a training camp, learn the offense, contribute, and gain Tom Brady’s trust in a few short weeks. He wasn’t as productive as people his 2013 season in Cleveland, and he likely never will be again. But he’s shown he can still play, which brings us to this:
Gordon’s value bottomed out after his most recent suspension, but it’s already rebounding. If you think he may return, as I (optimistically) do, now is the time to buy him. There are reports that he may be reinstated this summer, which would allow Gordon to rejoin the team and benefit from offseason activities with his team.
Braxton Berrios (FEB ADP: 234.00, WR109)
I would be very surprised if Berrios made the team next season. As a New England fan, I’m shocked he’s being drafted at all in startups. If anyone in your league thinks he’s worth anything, let them have him.
Chris Hogan (Free Agent) – (FEB ADP: 237.17, WR112)
Hogan faceplanted this season and completely fell out of sync with Brady after a couple of decent seasons in New England. As a free agent, I’d expect Hogan to resurface, but at 31, his days of fantasy relevance are probably behind him.
Cordarrelle Patterson (Free Agent) – (FEB ADP: 238.50, WR118)
Belichick was the first to try Patterson in a number of different ways, and he had a surprisingly decent season. Unfortunately, he’s not a refined enough receiver to be worth a whole lot no matter where he lands, and would be best served on a team with a creative coach that would be willing to scheme plays to his skill set. If he also gets the chance to get a few carries a game, that would boost his value significantly.
Phillip Dorsett (Free Agent) – (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
These three players above are impending free agents, and at this point, I’d be surprised if any of them returned to the team. Dorsett, the former Colts first-round bust, has developed well over the last two seasons and improved greatly as a route runner this season. Because of his age, athleticism, and former draft capital, some team will likely look to sign Dorsett as a third receiver. If he returns to the Patriots, he’s someone I’d have interest in. For now, he’s someone I’m strictly keeping an eye on.
Matthew Slater (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Slater is a roster lock and one of the best special teamers in the league, but hasn’t caught a pass since 2011 and only has one catch in 11 seasons. He has no business being on any dynasty teams.
Riley McCarron (Free Agent) – (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Cody Hollister (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Damoun Patterson (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Darren Andrews (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Each of these players is a long shot to make the roster, barring a surprise or standout training camp performance. None are worth a roster spot.
Rob Gronkowski (FEB ADP: 119.00, TE10)
Gronk has dealt with an unfathomable amount of injuries throughout his career, so it’s natural that he’s thinking about hanging up his cleats and retiring for good this offseason. While the common thought is that he will retire, there’s a chance he could return for one more season. He wasn’t fully healthy all season, but showed in the playoffs that he can still be a difference maker on the field. If you’re willing to take on a lot of risk, he could be a strong buy before he announces his decision.
Dwayne Allen (FEB ADP: N/A, TE N/A)
Allen is a terrific blocker but has no value otherwise, whether on the Patriots or not. His cap hit this year is over seven million dollars, so he’ll likely be a cap casualty.
Jacob Hollister (FEB ADP: N/A, TE N/A)
The Patriots had high expectations for Hollister entering this season. With Edelman’s suspension looming, Michel’s early-season injury, and Gordon still in Cleveland, New England was counting on Hollister to be a contributor as a pass catcher this season. Unfortunately, recurring injuries kept him on the shelf for most of the year. He’s a good athlete and is worth a stash, and without knowing Gronk’s situation, is worth a stash.
Stephen Anderson (FEB ADP: N/A, TE N/A)
Anderson and Hollister are likely battling for the same roster spot, since they’re similar athletes with similar skill sets. I’d give the early edge to Hollister, due to his familiarity with the offense.
Ryan Izzo (FEB ADP: N/A, TE N/A)
Izzo is a good blocker who could potentially replace Allen if he’s released.