Articles

Dynasty Leagues

In the Red Corner: Mike Evans, In the Blue Corner: Keenan Allen

by Lucas Mir, June 12, 2021

Mike Evans is an elite talent, which is always valuable in fantasy football. But his ceiling is capped while Tom Brady is the signal caller for the Buccaneers and with Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown running routes alongside him. He’s only getting older, and with rumors of Brady signing an extension in Tampa, his long-term dynasty situation is worrisome.

Keenan Allen was discounted heading into 2020 due to questionable QB play after Philip Rivers’ departure. Little did we know Justin Herbert would take over as signal caller and break the rookie record for passing touchdowns despite not playing Week 1. The sky is the limit for Herbert, and Allen is tied to him for the remainder of his career in LA.

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In the Red Corner: Trey Lance, In the Blue Corner: Justin Fields

by Josh Danzig, June 10, 2021

When Trey Lance does become the starter, he will inherit a young skill player core, an effective run game, and a spectacular offensive line. A dream for any young quarterback and any dynasty owner. Additionally, there’s no secret what Kyle Shanahan has been able to do for the careers of his quarterbacks. His offensive creativity and Lance’s raw skillset is a recipe for a potential high-end dynasty QB1.

The Bears aren’t exactly the 49ers in terms of landing spots for dynasty quarterbacks. Last season, they had a -9.18 (No. 27) Supporting Cast Efficiency rating and an 85.9-percent (No. 16) Protection Rate. While we’ll always love Andy Dalton for his awesome 2015 stretch, we saw what he failed to do with a stacked arsenal in Dallas. Justin Fields should be expected to start within the first few weeks of the season.

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Ezekiel Elliott and the Fallacy of the Buy Low Running Back

by Jakob Sanderson, June 9, 2021

Ezekiel Elliott has been a fantasy stud since entering the league, but his performance slipped badly in 2020. Using PlayerProfiler’s advanced analytics, one would realize he had an average 23.3-percent (No. 23) Juke Rate, but ranked outside the top 50 qualified running backs in True Yards Per Carry, and outside the top 40 in both Yards Created Per Touch and Breakaway Run Rate.

Over his last four starts of 2020, Elliott averaged just 59-percent of the team’s snaps. If that holds or improves, he will still provide fantasy value as the primary option in a high scoring offence. But reduce his once-dominant volume and he profiles closer to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chris Carson, or Mike Davis in 2021. He would be a third round player at a first round redraft ADP.

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In the Red Corner: Amon-Ra St. Brown, In the Blue Corner: Dyami Brown

by Aditya Fuldeore, June 1, 2021

A top Pac-12 WR at USC, Amon-Ra St. Brown has the tools to become a starting receiver and brings his physicality to an appreciative Dan Campbell in Detroit. Among a WR corps with Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams at the helm and lacking an alpha, he can easily see a large Target Share immediately. He fits in as a contested catch receiver, especially with Jared Goff, who had 34 (No. 9 among qualified quarterbacks) Danger Plays and 22 (No. 12) Interceptable with the Rams last season.

At North Carolina, Dyami Brown played with Dazz Newsome and Michael Carter, two players who had shallower target depth averages with Brown operating as the deeper receiver. Now with Terry McLaurin (12.9 yards per reception in 2020, No. 47) and Curtis Samuel (11.0 yards per reception, No. 82) drawing targets and attention underneath, Brown will be able to stretch the field for Washington as well.

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In the Red Corner: Travis Etienne, In the Blue Corner: Najee Harris

by Matt Babich, May 29, 2021

Age-adjusted production matters, and Travis Etienne has been the man since he was 19 years old. His production profile is nothing short of prolific. He followed his impressive freshman breakout season with two straight years of at least 1,600 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns. Playing with Trevor Lawrence capped his College Dominator Rating at 25.7-percent (54th-percentile among qualified running backs), but he was efficient with his lighter workload.

While not as talented of a receiver as Travis Etienne, Najee Harris did prove he is also capable of producing in the passing game at the NFL level with his 43-reception, 425-receiving yard, and 13.4-percent (90th-percentile) College Target Share senior season. With a 5.8 (68th-percentile) College YPC average, Harris was less efficient than Etienne, but his 30.9-percent (70th-percentile) College Dominator Rating (a much more predictive metric for running backs) checks in significantly higher.

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Dynasty Debate: Trey Sermon vs. Michael Carter

by Alex Johnson, May 26, 2021

Though he joins a crowded backfield, Trey Sermon’s one-cut and go running style fits the San Francisco offense well. He played in a similar outside zone scheme in college, and will have an opportunity to carve out a role as the team’s grinder back, with upside to be the high-volume, early-down and short-yardage guy.

The Jets were a prime landing spot for a rookie running back and they chose to go with Michael Carter in the fourth round. The 5-8, 201-pounder joins a backfield without any defined roles. Carter, a one-cut and go type back, is an excellent fit in the Kyle Shanahan-style offense that Mike LaFleur will be operating.

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In the Red Corner: D.J. Chark, In the Blue Corner: D.J. Moore

by Chase Vernon, May 25, 2021

Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew should never be compared. Minshew will forever be a legend, but there’s a reason he was picked in the sixth round. To think he is the best quarterback D.J. Chark has played with at the professional level makes the arrival of Lawrence so much sweeter.

D.J. Moore doesn’t belong as a deep threat. Although he wasn’t terrible at the position, signs pointed to him belonging as the short to intermediate route runner. Last year he had 10 (No. 2) drops, a 75.9-percent (No. 94) True Catch Rate, and a 50.0-percent (No. 38) Contested Catch Rate; all were significant drops from his 2019 marks. Using Terrace Marshall on the outside would allow Moore to get more work in the slot.

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In the Red Corner: Jaylen Waddle, In the Blue Corner: DeVonta Smith

by Will Barrett, May 22, 2021

Jaylen Waddle to the Dolphins is an interesting landing spot. He’ll be competing with Will Fuller, DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki for targets. No doubt a crowded offense for him to break out in, but he does have a connection with Tua Tagovailoa. Still, he doesn’t have an alpha profile, and his Best Comparable Players aren’t exciting either, with John Brown being his most favorable.

When you think of a player both film grinders and analytics gurus can enjoy, DeVonta Smith definitely doesn’t come to mind. Yes, Smith was a great college player, but his weight is the big issue. A listed weight of 170-pounds certainly warrants skepticism. Only a couple players come to mind when you think of successful lightweight receivers: Marvin Harrison and Chad Johnson. When it comes to weight, he is undoubtedly an outlier.

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2021 Rookie Tight End Landing Spots and the Fantasy Implications

by Neil Dutton, May 20, 2021

It should come as no surprise that the rookie tight with the best chance of being fantasy relevant in 2021 is Kyle Pitts. Shocking, I know. But when a team makes a player the highest-drafted tight end in NFL HISTORY, you have to assume that they have a plan to use him. The defense did not appreciably improve from the woeful unit it was last year, and should once again rely on Matt Ryan’s arm, which is good news for Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and of course Pitts.

Brevin Jordan joins a crowded tight end room, with players like Jordan Akins, Kahale Warring and Ryan Izzo for company. But the turbulent nature of the Texans means we don’t know who will be tasked with sending the ball their way in 2021 and beyond. Jordan could emerge as this year’s Chris Herndon. An unspectacular prospect who was able to post decent fantasy production as a rookie. But betting on anything positive emerging from the Texans at present is a gamble I would not like to take.

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Post-2021 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers – Chicago Bears Edition

by Al Scherer, May 14, 2021

There are no other WRs like Allen Robinson on Chicago’s roster. He’s 6-2, 220-pounds. He’s fast – with a 103.2 (78th-percentile among qualified wide receivers) Speed Score, athletic – with a 129.8 (87th-percentile) Burst Score, and he has a 10.28 (91st-percentile) Catch Radius. Their other receivers – Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, Darnell Mooney and newcomer Dazz Newsome – are older, tiny and/or late-round special teams candidates with average-at-best measurables.

Andy Dalton is a 34-year old, now average-at-best QB on a one-year deal. Per Pro Football Reference, he hasn’t been in the top half of QB rankings in the last four seasons. He doesn’t run. We could look further into his metrics but it really doesn’t matter. If Dalton starts all 17 games and/or Nick Foles has to come in, the GM and head coach will be fired and the new coach will not move into 2022 with Dalton at the helm.

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