- There may be no bigger enigma in dynasty leagues this off-season than Arian Foster. When healthy, he’s a top-notch running back. The problem is keeping him on the field. If he can, his role in new coach Bill O’ Brien’s offense should will result in a lot of fantasy points.
- Thanks to new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi’s time in New Orleans, the Lions are expected to look a lot like the Saints. In his time there, the Saints’ offense finished no worse than sixth. Grab any Lion you can before the 2014 dynasty season begins.
- The Bucs have done an about-face on Mike Glennon’s outlook with the team. He’s now expected to compete for the starting job and could possibly be the quarterback of the future. With the new-look offense in Tampa, he’s worth a stash and could be a decent buy-low candidate. He currently ranks 31st on DFFC’s dynasty quarterback rankings.
- Giants tight end Adrian Robinson is in a make-or-break season as he’s been left alone at the top of the depth chart. If new offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo’s previous team is any indication, the tight end position will be pretty important. Robinson is the epitome of a buy-low candidate.
- Texans running back Arian Foster was a full participant in mini-camp. Foster could be a decent buy-low candidate for those scared off by his injury history. There are still red flags but Foster as a high-end RB2 would be ideal.
- The Bucs are not hiding the fact that they’d like to trade quarterback Mike Glennon. Of course, the signing of Josh McCown was the first indicator and this week’s draft could be the nail in the coffin for Glennon’s time in Tampa. Look for quarterback-needy teams like Minnesota or Cleveland to at least ask.
- Christian Ponder dynasty owners can probably cut the cord as Minnesota is going with Matt Cassel as their starting quarterback and could even use a high pick this week on another.
- Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo isn’t 100% yet after tearing his pectoral muscle. Mayo is a legit LB1 when healthy but you may want to hold off looking into him until he’s healthy.
- Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor is recovering from hip surgery and could miss most of the pre-season. Chancellor took a back seat to Earl Thomas in the Seattle secondary last season but is still a DB2 when healthy.
- Texans running back Arian Foster is good to go for 2014 after back surgery. With Ben Tate gone to Cleveland, and Foster sitting out a month, Foster should rebound to be a low-end RB1. Now, how long he remains there is to be determined.
- Speaking of Texans running backs, Houston signed former Giants running back Andre Brown to back up Arian Foster. Brown is a decent backup option and should be one of the more valuable number two’s in the league.
- In other injury news, Colts receiver Reggie Wayne should be good for 2014, too, after tearing his ACL. However, Wayne is 35 and is not as valuable in dynasty leagues unless you’re in win-now mode.
- The Panthers signed receiver Jason Avant who, currently, is the number two receiver in Carolina. The Panthers will certainly draft one receiver and, possibly, more. Avant’s dynasty stock is only as good as position on the Panthers depth chart.
- The Ravens signed recently cut receiver Steve Smith over the weekend. It should be a non-impact move as Smith’s value in dynasty had sharply decreased and isn’t expected to increase in Baltimore. It’s also not expected to affect Torrey Smith or Dennis Pitta’s value.
- At the opposite end of the impact spectrum, Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Broncos. His value should be at an all-time high heading in to 2014.
- The Patriots signed receiver Brandon LaFell to a short-term deal. He’s expected to compete with Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins for catches. You shouldn’t expect much from LaFell in dynasty.
- Speaking of Patriots receivers, they re-signed Julian Edelman. Edelman’s dynasty value wouldn’t be higher anywhere else and he should continue to be a WR2/3.
- In free agent running back news, the Browns signed Ben Tate who will be penciled in as the starter heading in to 2014. Tate only signed a two-year deal so he has limited time to prove his worth.
- In non-free agency news, Arian Foster has been medically cleared by his doctors after a season-ending back injury. He could be a decent buy-low candidate to pick off from those scared off by Foster’s injury history. You shouldn’t rely on him as your RB1 in dynasty but would make an excellent RB2.
- Seahawks tight end Zach Miller re-worked his contract to stay with the team. Luke Willson dynasty owners might have to wait a little longer to cash in on the dynasty hold.
- The Broncos have confirmed that receiver Eric Decker will hit the market which will significantly decrease his dynasty value, even if he signs on as a #1 receiver somewhere else.
- Texans running back Arian Foster is looking good coming off another surgery. Reports are he should be good to go for training camp, making him a potential buy-low candidate for those teams tired of his injury history. While not banking on Foster as a RB1, he’d be an ideal RB2.
- Packers coach Mike McCarthy is hopeful that tight end Jermichael Finley will be back. Ironically, Finley’s injury could increase his chances of coming back on a ‘prove it’ deal with Green Bay. It also decreases Brandon Bostick’s dynasty stock.
- Rams running back Isaiah Pead is nothing more than a special teamer according to GM Les Snead. His dynasty value is through.
- The Cardinals are hoping to retain linebacker Karlos Dansby which would be a boost for them and Dansby’s dynasty value. Dansby was a top five linebacker in most IDP leagues so anything that would allow him to repeat that success, like staying with the team in which he achieved it, would be ideal.
- In other linebacker news, Thomas Davis’ option has been picked up by the Panthers, insuring he’ll continue his comeback with Carolina. He filled up the stat sheet with 120-plus tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions. He still has LB1 productivity.
- Lions running back Mikel Leshoure will have a clean slate with new coach Jim Caldwell even if he ended up fourth on the depth chart at the end of the year behind Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, and Theo Riddick. Leshoure is a long shot to be a contributor this year but could be a decent taxi squad prospect.
We roll on with your dynasty questions. If you have a question, be sure to email us at dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail(dot).com. In the meantime, Chris asks:
“Should I give up Gio and Flacco to get Russell Wilson, Arian Foster, Stevie Johnson, Shonn Greene, Dennis Johnson, and #14 pick in this years deep draft.
Never a fan giving up the best player in a deal but this one I’ll admit has me scratching my head…
.5 PPR, 12 team, and my team is capable of winning now. Eli and Flacco are my only current QB’s, Stevie would be my WR4, Greene and Johnson would have roster spots on my squad also. Your thoughts with limited info?”
While I tend to agree with your assessment of not wanting to give up the best player, I think this might actually be worth it. Let’s break it down by position:
- Getting back Russell Wilson is a huge upgrade over Joe Flacco. At just 25, Wilson is still reaching his prime and is surrounded by good, young talent. Flacco just turned 29 and, while he’s surrounded by talent as well, is now under a run-first offensive coordinator. And I don’t believe the difference between upgrading to Russell Wilson from Joe Flacco is superseded by the downgrade of…
- Giovani Bernard to Arian Foster. Bernard is a 22-year old coming off a rookie season in which he had over 1,000 total yards and 50 catches. He should take on an even bigger role going forward and could be a top five running back in dynasty leagues for at least a few years. But running back is one of the most replaceable positions in football, both dynasty and in the NFL. And it’s not like you’re getting scraps in exchange as you’ll be getting an Arian Foster that’s still at the top of the Houston depth chart. Adding his backup in Dennis Johnson means you’re trading for an entire team’s running game instead of just one player. Adding Shonn Greene is fine for depth but his addition is inconsequential.
- Adding Steve Johnson is not a bad addition either, especially if he makes it as your fourth receiver in a 12-team league. However, be sure to temper your expectations as he’s already 27 and the Bills have a couple good, young options behind him in Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin. He also is likely to be cut after 2014 when the Bills could save over $8 million.
- However, I think this trade still favors you thanks to that 14th overall pick. This year has an extremely deep draft in several positions including quarterback, receiver, and tight end. Adding that extra pick could allow you to take a young running back to replace Bernard while still adding a young skill position player.
There you have it. Without that draft pick I might reconsider but adding a potential difference maker, in addition to upgrading your quarterback position, makes this trade work to your advantage.
Remember to send your questions to dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail(dot)com.
- Texans running back Arian Foster is, apparently, back. He totaled 198 yards on the day. Meanwhile, Ben Tate 10 carries compared to 20 for Foster. He also only averaged 1.2 yards YPC. Now is the ideal buy-low time on Tate since he’ll be moving on to greener pastures next year.
- Rams quarterback Sam Bradford had a very efficient day with 75% of his passes completed for only 117 yards but with three touchdowns. I still don’t see Bradford being a long-term fantasy starter but he could be a very good QB2.
- Rams rookie running back Zac Stacy had a productive day with 79 yards on 18 carries. He added two catches for 11 yards. So far, he’s been the Rams most productive running back and should keep the starting job for a while.
- Rams rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree had a breakout game with 10 tackles, a pass defended and an interception returned 98 yards for a touchdown. Paired with Robert Quinn and Chris Long, he should be a solid contributor for a good Rams defense for years to come.
- Houston running back Arian Foster is looking more like his old self again. I still wouldn’t trust it for dynasty purposes beyond this year and would try to get value for him now.
- Meanwhile, fellow running back Ben Tate had 4.0 YPC and continues to show he can produce as well. He’s a guy to target and she’s sure to get a starting job somewhere next year.
- Unfortunately, the DeAndre Hopkins train has been slowing down as he only had four receptions for 23 yards for a second straight disappointing week. Hopkins will still be fine and now might actually be a good time to try to pick him off.
- For San Francisco, running the ball worked again (shock) as Frank Gore had 81 yards on 17 carries. Gore still has another year on his contract and I just can’t see anyone taking his place before then. Sorry all you Marcus Lattimore/Kenall Hunter lovers.
- The receivers in San Francisco are just…bad. And until Michael Crabtree comes back and they improve the position as a whole, Colin Kaepernick will suffer as well. I trust the brain trust to upgrade the receivers in the off-season and Kap will be fine.
- 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman continues to do this thing with 13 more tackles. He might be the best linebacker in dynasty IDP leagues.
- 49ers rookie safety Eric Reid continued his good play with eight tackles and a pass defended. He should be a good one for a while.
- The Texans made a point to give it to Arian Foster who had 27 carries and six receptions. Backup running back Ben Tate had only seven carries and one catch. Don’t be deterred – Tate will still get his. Now would be a perfect opportunity to pick him off for your dynasty team next year.
- On the other side of the field, neither of Seattle’s young running backs saw the field a lot either. Robert Turbin had just three carries while Christine Michael had nothing. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus in Seattle as to who is the heir apparent to Marshawn Lynch. Be cautious with both.
- No Seattle receiver has separated themselves as far as targets. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice each had five, while Doug Baldwin had four. That is a situation to avoid for now and later.
- Houston Tight End Garrett Graham had five catches on six targets. While three years younger (27) than incumbent Owen Daniels (30), Graham won’t get nearly as many looks unless Matt Schaub attempts 49 passes every game.
- Houston linebacker Whitney Mercilus busted out with 2.5 sacks. The 2012 first rounder started the season as the starter and should be looked at on the waiver wire if you’re low on sacks.
Almost to that three-day weekend ya’ll.
- MJD looks like he’s good to go this year in Jacksonville. He is coming off injury but that hasn’t stopped him before.
- While Houston running back Arian Foster appears ready to go for Week 1, this will be a make-or-break year for Foster dynasty owners. No runner has more carries the last three years and there have been multiple signs of a break down. Dynasty owners should have a contingency plan in place.
- The fact that Dolphins coaches are talking up Daniel Thomas means little. Lamar Miller is the running back now and, possibly, for years to come.
- Montee Ball has (finally) been elevated to first team status in Denver’s running game. Keep an eye on it as coach John Fox is known to love committees (see: Williams, DeAngelo; Stewart, Jonathan) but Ball may have more early impact that previously thought.
- Dallas defensive end Anthony Spencer has been cleared to begin running again. Spencer will be in his first year as a defensive lineman opposite DeMarcus Ware.
That’s it for now.