Dynasty Values and Moves to Make | AFC North State of the Union

by Dan Williamson · Featured
Dynasty value

PlayerProfiler is home to the very best dynasty rankings and tools in the industry. Our Dynasty Deluxe package includes complete Dynasty Rankings, Rookie Rankings, Trade Analyzer, Draft Planner, Mock Drafts, and more. Check it out. This article focuses on the Dynasty value of key offensive players and moves to make in the AFC North. This is the Dynasty State of the Union: AFC North!

Cincinnati Bengals

GM: None (Mike Brown: Owner, Duke Tobin: Director of Player Personnel)

Coach: Zac Taylor

Salary Cap Space Available:  $59.4M (4th most)

Draft Slot: 18th

Draft Picks: 1.18, 2.18, 3.18, 4.18, 5.18, 5th (comp), 7.18, 7.18, 7th (comp)

Unrestricted Free Agents: Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Irv Smith, Drew Sample, Trayveon Williams

Exclusive-Rights Restricted Free Agent: Jake Browning


Almost nothing went right for Joe Burrow and the Bengals in 2023. The good news is they have one more season before Burrow’s cap hit goes from $29 million to $46 million, so there is a good bit of cap space available this year. The offense may look different from the past couple of years, though, as the team will need to make decisions of some sort on most of the skill players.

In 2023, Burrow endured a calf injury which limited him through the first several weeks of the season. Then shortly afterward, he tore a ligament in his wrist which ended his season.  He also had a torn ACL in his rookie year. Yet he’s the QB6 in the PlayerProfiler rankings. A look around at other popular dynasty ADP/rankings confirms that’s the consensus across the industry. I’d be looking to pivot down to something like Trevor Lawrence and a ‘25 1st, which is a deal that can be had according to this poll:

At that value, I think Burrow is a sell. If you want to hold him, I get it, but timely pivots like this are how juggernaut teams are built.

Backup QB

Burrow’s backup, Jake Browning, is an interesting player for dynasty gamers. He’s an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, which means all the Bengals have to do is give him a qualifying offer (at the league minimum salary), and he has to sign that deal if he wants to play. The Bengals can (and probably will) exceed the minimum in their offer to keep him happy, but the point is that no other team can sign Browning. The ONLY way he’d be available is in a trade, and with the current state of QB play in some franchises, they might be very tempted to make the Bengals a quality offer. This makes Browning a hold, at minimum.

Running Back

A lot of people in the dynasty community seem to be treating Joe Mixon’s release as inevitable, but they seem to be forgetting that Mixon already restructured his deal, trimming about $4.5 million off his salary for 2024. While the Bengals could save $6.1 million against the cap by cutting him, his $8.85 million cap hit is certainly not egregious for a team that considers themselves to be firmly in a Super Bowl window. I’m holding Mixon because even if he gets cut he’s got a solid chance to land on another contender. I’d even kick the tires on buying him for contending teams.

Conversely, there’s plenty of excitement around Chase Brown. There’s definitely a path for him to shoot way up the dynasty rankings, but I think it’s a rather unlikely one. That path would require Brown to shove Mixon aside somehow, as well as beat out any other competition the Bengals might add. I’m looking to cash out on Brown shares while the narrative around him is irrationally rosy.

Wide Receiver

Two of the top three WRs for the Bengals could be moving on to other teams. Only Ja’Marr Chase is firmly locked in for 2024, while Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are free agents. Ja’Marr Chase is a solid hold at his current WR3 overall value. We might wish that his scoring output was a little less boom-bust but 20-plus point games win weeks in PPR dynasty and Chase has plenty of them.

Tee Higgins is a near lock to return to the Bengals given that they want him back. They also have plenty of cap space to sign him and they have the franchise tag to fall back on if they can’t come to an agreement on a contract. Tyler Boyd has slipped from a playable flex option to a roster-clogger on the downside of his career. If he’s on your team, you can hold and hope for a better landing spot, but I’d let him go for half a sandwich. Andrei Iosivas and Charlie Jones won’t gain much value unless the Bengals stiff Burrow by failing to add weapons this year. That seems highly unlikely.

Tight End

One place the Bengals could make a splash in free agency or the draft is at TE. Irv Smith predictably failed to add any value whatsoever to the offense last year, to the point that journeyman Tanner Hudson was borderline playable due to the lack of other viable options. Hudson is a restricted free agent that will probably see his value nuked before Day Two of the NFL draft draws to a close.

Dynasty Transactions

Buy: Joe Mixon (contenders)

Sell: Joe Burrow, Tyler Boyd, Chase Brown

Hold: Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Jake Browning

Baltimore Ravens

GM: Eric DeCosta

Coach: John Harbaugh

Salary Cap Space Available:  $13.65M (19th most)

Draft Slot: 30th

Draft Picks: 1.30, 2.30, 3.30, 4.30, 4th (comp), 5.30, 7.10, 7.30

Unrestricted Free Agents: Odell Beckham, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Nelson Agholor, Josh Johnson, Tyler Huntley, Devin Duvernay


Maybe Joe Flacco is elite. After all, he was the last QB to take full advantage of a savage defense and elevate the Ravens to a Super Bowl win. Lamar Jackson and company will look to finally take the next step in 2024 with a similar philosophy, but different skill players. The Ravens have some cap space and a full complement of draft picks, so they should be able to replace the talent they’re losing in free agency.

Jackson is an elite fantasy asset, full stop. He’s a buy if you have a Brinks truck full of assets and, if you already roster him, you should have diamond hands. Let’s waste no more time belaboring the obvious. The Ravens do have a decision to make at backup QB, though, with both Tyler Huntley and Josh Johnson hitting free agency. It seems likely that Huntley could be brought back on a team-friendly deal, but perhaps the Ravens will want to kick the tires on someone new.

Running Back

JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards are both free agents this year. Dobbins is heartbreak personified for both his NFL team and his fantasy manager. Injuries have absolutely shredded his career and it’s fair to wonder how much athleticism he’s lost after tearing his Achilles in Week 1. He’s a sell for whatever return you can get, unfortunately.

Gus Edwards is a hold. We know what he is. It’s not impossible for the Ravens to bring him back, but he’s more likely to be a two-down punisher elsewhere in 2024. Justice Hill is a strong hold, as the only healthy RB on the roster right now. Keaton Mitchell is also a hold. He flashed impressive burst in 2023, but 2024 might be a lost year, recovering from a late-season ACL tear. He will likely be shoved down the depth chart by whoever the Ravens sign to lead their backfield. We’ve all got visions of Derrick Henry ending up in Baltimore and I don’t need to tell you what that would do to his value.  Signing Henry would also torpedo the value of every other Ravens RB.

Wide Receiver

Rashod Bateman, the Ravens first round pick in 2021 has failed to deliver on the promise he once had. There’s not a lot of volume in this passing offense to start, so there’s not much reason to hold. That is unless you plan to stash him until he’s a free agent in 2025. Zay Flowers may have fumbled away a Super Bowl berth for his team, but he certainly hasn’t fumbled away the WR1 job in Baltimore. He’s a great buy, especially if his current manager is nursing a grudge against him.

Odell Beckham seems unlikely to return to the team, given the Ravens have bigger fish to fry with their available cap money. At this point, he has so little value he’s just a hold in hopes he can pull an Adam Thielen act somewhere. It’s likely the Ravens add WRs and one of them may have some cachet associated with their name. Unless they can push Flowers aside, however, there’s not much hope for additional dynasty value here.

Tight End

Mark Andrews is one of a handful of true difference-makers at TE I’m still buying, especially coming off of a down year due to injury. He’s the first or second option for Jackson in the passing game and he’s an extremely efficient producer of fantasy points any way you want to slice it. Isaiah Likely is not a drag on Andrews’ targets either. Likely has been unplayable when Andrews is playing, but fills in for him nicely anytime he’s out. See below.

Dynasty Transactions

Buy: Lamar Jackson, Zay Flowers, Mark Andrews

Sell: Rashod Bateman, JK Dobbins

Hold: Justice Hill, Keaton Mitchell, Gus Edwards

Pittsburgh Steelers

GM: Omar Khan

Coach: Mike Tomlin

Salary Cap Space Available:  -$15.7M (25th most)

Draft Slot: 20th

Draft Picks: 1.20, 2.20, 3.20, 4.19, 4.20, 6.20, 7.20

Unrestricted Free Agents: Miles Boykin


The Pittsburgh Steelers have famously never had a losing season under Mike Tomlin in his 17 years as head coach. It’s impressive, but also means the Steelers have had to get very good at retooling on the fly, rather than having a year or two at rock bottom which allows for a more thorough rebuild. This year, it will be more of the same as the team is currently $15.7 million in the hole on their salary cap. They can easily turn that cap shortfall into a surplus by releasing a handful of veteran players on bloated contracts. The number one offseason issue, though, is going to be finding better quarterback play.


Kenny Pickett doesn’t pass the eye test as an NFL starter. Despite being 14-10 as a starter, the Steelers have won in spite of him rather than because of him. Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada was fired in-season but plenty of blame for poor offensive results also falls at Pickett’s feet. The Steelers seem determined to find a different starting QB, so Pickett’s future appears to be as an NFL backup. The selling window is already closed on him. Mitchell Trubisky is not expected back with the team. Mason Rudolph started the last five games for the Steelers and looked at least marginally better than Pickett. He’s still a sell though. It’s a sure bet the Steelers’ starting QB for 2024 is not yet on the roster, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether that starter will come via trade, free agency, or the draft.

Running Back

New offensive coordinator Arthur Smith loves to run the ball. His teams have finished in the top-three for rushing attempts and yards in three of the five years he’s been in control of an offense, and outside the top-10 only once. That’s good news for Najee Harris. The bad news is that other than when he had access to Derrick Henry, Arthur Smith has favored dividing the workload fairly evenly between his top RBs. For Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren, 2024 will be very similar to 2023, making both of them holds in dynasty.

Wide Receiver

Big changes could be coming at WR for 2024 as both Diontae Johnson and Allen Robinson are on bloated contracts with immediate cap savings of $10 million apiece if cut. Robinson’s best days are now tiny specks in the rear view mirror and, at this point, he’s just clogging dynasty rosters. If the Steelers are interested in keeping Johnson around, they’ll almost certainly ask him to take a pay cut. Johnson could also be an interesting trade chip to a team with plenty of cap space (such as the Chicago Bears) as part of a package for, say, Justin Fields.

There’s not much good news in store for George Pickens, though, even if the Steelers’ offseason moves leave him as the unquestioned Alpha WR. Arthur Smith’s top receiver has never gotten more than 117 targets in any of his five years running offenses, and his teams have ranked in the bottom quarter of the league for pass attempts in four of those years. For reference, Pickens peaked at 106 targets last year. We can forget about him taking a major leap in the WR rankings as long as Smith is running the offense. Hold on Pickens. Sell on Calvin Austin and any other WRs in this offense.

Tight End

Pat Freiermuth is also a hold. Arthur Smith used TEs plenty in Atlanta, but not so much in Tennessee. It’s reasonable to expect Freiermuth to rebound to his 2021-2022 pace of fantasy production, but that’s already baked into his dynasty price. Darnell Washington probably isn’t going to progress as a receiver beyond occasional goal line flips.

Dynasty Transactions

Buy: None

Sell: All other WRs

Hold: Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth

Cleveland Browns

GM: Andrew Berry

Coach: Kevin Stefanski

Salary Cap Space Available:  -$19.5M (26th most)

Draft Slot: 23rd

Draft Picks: 2.23, 3.23, 5.01, 5.22, 6.23, 6.30, 7.08

Unrestricted Free Agents: Kareem Hunt, Joe Flacco, Harrison Bryant, Marquise Goodwin, Jakeem Grant

I keep waiting for Cleveland to change the name of their franchise to the Charlie Browns. If it wasn’t for bad luck, they’d have no luck at all. Nevertheless, they still found a way to make the playoffs and actually looked like they could be a dangerous team before Lucy (the Texans) yanked the ball away. Their Super Bowl window is still open, but there’s a good bit of duct tape involved in keeping it that way. They have a $19.5 million dollar hole to climb out of on their salary cap, which is definitely possible, but could damage their depth.


One reason they’re in such a big salary cap hole is Deshaun Watson’s whopping $64 million cap hit, which is about $45 million more than last year. With over $200 million in dead money remaining on the deal, there’s no clean way to solve it without adding void years onto the end of the deal. The front office may choose to do that.

Unless Watson can suddenly regain his form as a top QB in the league, the Browns will be fighting an uphill battle for the next three years, at least. But despite that (or maybe because of it), I’m buying Watson as the current dynasty QB21. That’s about the bottom of the barrel for QBs guaranteed to be starting all year barring injury. Watson has some solid weapons in the pass game and a good offensive system in which to play.

Running Back

Nick Chubb had a great run as the starting RB in Cleveland, but that run may be over due to the twin terrors of injury and a bloated contract. The Browns say they still want him on the team, but the reality of the situation will make it difficult for them to hold true to their word. Regardless of what the Browns do, he’s a sell in dynasty. RBs past the age apex and coming off serious multi-ligament knee injuries are poor bets to regain their previous form. Kareem Hunt is a free agent and will be 29 in the 2024 season. He’s averaged less than 10 points per game in PPR leagues over the past two years, so there’s nothing of interest remaining for dynasty gamers. Jerome Ford is a solid hold, though. He looked pretty good last year getting the majority of the work. The Browns will add competition. Their cap situation and a plethora of late draft picks suggest they’ll be adding a complementary piece rather than a true challenger for the throne.  Pierre Strong is a capable backup and definitely worth holding, too.

Wide Receiver

Amari Cooper seems to age like fine wine. He’s found a nice fit in Cleveland. While he’s never going to be the elite WR we once hoped he could be, he’s reached the point of his career where his production outstrips his cost. He’s a solid WR to put in any lineup. Contenders should be buying. Elijah Moore is the next-most recognized name in this WR group but he’s now played three years without breaking out. Sell, or risk having him clog your roster. The lesser WRs here (Cedric Tillman, David Bell, Mike Woods, and Jaelon Darden) are unlikely to get enough volume to break out. Bell, Woods, and Darden are all sells at whatever price you can get. Tillman is perhaps worth holding another year, but if I could get a future 3rd for him, I’d probably take the liquidity of the pick over Tillman.

Tight End

David Njoku is one of those rare TEs that should finish 2nd on the team in targets. TEs in that club often finish in the top-six of the position if they stay healthy all year. As the TE11 in our dynasty rankings, I’d definitely look to buy him if possible. Free agent Harrison Bryant could find himself in a better situation if he signs elsewhere and he should be basically free, so if you have a spare roster spot in a TE-premium league, pick him up and see what happens.

Dynasty Transactions

Buy: Deshaun Watson, Amari Cooper, David Njoku

Sell: Nick Chubb, Elijah Moore, Kareem Hunt

Hold: Jerome Ford

See Dan Williamson’s AFC South State of the Union report here: Dynasty Fantasy Football Moves to Make: Dynasty State of the Union – AFC South