Dynasty Experts Q and A: 2016 Preseason Week 2

Each and every week we will ask our dynasty experts several questions regarding fantasy football. Our expert panel will answer anything you throw at them. We’ll look at buy-low and sell-high players along with trade questions we receive during the week from our followers as well as other general dilemmas and draft questions. Here we go:

1.) With momentum increasing for Trevor Siemian as the starting Denver QB does that change your value on Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders? Better, worse or unchanged?
Luke Grilli – NO. NO. NO. NO. GAH this hatred for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders is really starting to piss me off. Maybe I’m still salty because I couldn’t even trade Demaryius for rookie pick 2-4 in my rookie draft last night (salary and contract issues are the ONLY reason why I was considering the move) or maybe I’m just sick of all the DT and Emmanuel hate I have seen floating around the internet. AHEM…people…NOODLE ARMED PEYTON MANNING and Brock Osweiler (who was benched for noodle armed Peyton Manning) was throwing these guys the football, yet they caught a combined 181 balls for 2,439 yards and 12 TDs. Will their numbers dip a bit with Trevor Siemian, Mark Sanchez and/or Paxton Lynch throwing them the ball, sure, but they aren’t magically turning into lackluster fantasy football players. Pick them up on the cheap and laugh your way to the bank.

Brian Hawkes – No. Peyton was one of the worst QBs in the NFL last year, and we still saw good production from Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. With Denver’s current QBs offering less experience, I think it’s fair to assume the playbook might be reduced from Manning’s arsenal, but the production we see from Demaryius and Emmanuel should remain comparable to what we saw last year.

Josh Johnson – I still think Demaryius will be okay but I would caution people against using a high pick (earlier than round 7) on Sanders. Demaryius rocks and his talent stands by itself. Sanders best commodity is playing alongside Demaryius. Somehow Sanders found over 1,100 receiving in 2015. That can likely be chalked up to Denver QBs (mostly Peyton Manning) anticipating his routes. Who ever the bleep is slinging for Denver he will not hit the ground running with such execution skills. So unless you league rewards for yard per catch, you need to make sure Sanders is nothing more than your WR3.

Mike Krafick – This does not change anything for me because I don’t buy into the Siemian hype, even if he starts week one I do not expect the Denver coaching staff to give him a long leash with Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch waiting in the wings.  Either way, one thing that I’ve learned over the years is that you do not need to have elite QB play to put up elite fantasy numbers as a WR (Hopkins in 2015, Gordon in 2013 are perfect examples).  I’m still expecting DT to be a low end WR1 based on the volume of targets that he’ll see and Sanders to finish up as a low end WR2 or high end WR3.

2.) Which, if any, Raven’s WR do you expect to be fantasy relevant in 2016?
Luke Grilli – I’m a Mike Wallace fan. He’s really good at running straight really really fast and catching the ball (more often than not). You know who is really good, maybe one of the best in the league at throwing really far down field? Joe Flacco. Wallace was never a good fit in Miami or Minnesota, but he will be a great fit in Baltimore.

Brian Hawkes – Man…this depends on your definition of fantasy relevance…We should see significant passing attempts from the Ravens in 2016 as they led the league in attempts in 2015. Marc Trestman also has a history of leaning towards the pass. That being said, there are targets and production out there for the taking in Baltimore. As far as which receiver is fantasy relevant?…I think the answer may be several: Aiken, Smith Sr., and Wallace. But, I’m afraid it’s not likely that we see significant production from any one player. Aside from Trestman’s 2013 Bears team that featured Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall where both wide receivers saw over 140 targets, Trestman’s offenses typically spread the ball around and involve the running backs and tight ends. This trend could lead to several wide receivers in the 600 – 900 receiving yard range, and challenging start/sit questions each week as you guess which wide receiver is likely to have a big game.

Josh Johnson – Might I put a few chips in the Kamar Aiken basket. I can understand that he is easy to forget about amongst Mike Wallace, Steve Smith Sr. and the former first round pick Breshad Perriman. Yet, when the brown stuff hit the fan last season (and Baltimore put 20 players on IR) Aiken emerged as a dependable target. He is not flashy but you gotta imagine with the rest of bunch either old or injury prone Aiken could be the most consistent (like a 7 receptions for 75 yards type of player). Let’s face the hard fact that Baltimore has no start-every-week options (besides maybe ILB C.J. Mosley). Aiken, as boring as it sounds could be the Ravens top target getter assuming Smith is not healthy for the full 16 game slate.

Mike Krafick – Kamar Aiken is the guy I want to own in the Ravens passing game, he had 5 or more receptions in each of the final 9 games of the 2015 season.  Mike Wallace will have a few big games but good luck figuring out when to start him, unless I’m in a best-ball league I have zero interest in owning Wallace.  Perriman is off the PUP list now and could have a chance to get on the field in 2016 but I really don’t trust him to stay healthy, he’s a nice stash with big upside but I would not want to have to start him until I saw some production from him.  Steve Smith is a WR that could give you a nice floor in a PPR league but I’m not willing to bet on a 37 year old player coming off an Achilles injury.  I expect the Ravens to be in the top 5 in pass attempts this year and Aiken could see 150+ targets, to me he’s the safest bet and the only player that I’d be interested in at their current ADP.

3.) Who’s the ‘cuff to own if you have Frank Gore rostered?
Luke Grilli – TBD. I don’t think the Colts currently have Frank Gore’s backup on their roster. There will be roster cut downs and a guy like Ronnie Hillman could see himself as Frank Gore’s back up and potentially produce solid fantasy numbers.

Brian Hawkes – I’m not sure he’s on the Colts roster…but when we do identify the handcuff, he’s worth a roster spot. In looking back at the past 20 seasons for age 33 running backs or older, we see that Gore approached the absolute ceiling for an aging back in 2015, with 967 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. Most impressive, however, was the fact that he stayed healthy and started all 16 games. Since 1996, only one running back over age 33 has started all 16 games in a season (Emmitt Smith, 2002). History tells us Gore will not stay healthy for a full 16, and the Colts are one of the highest powered offenses in the NFL. If I was to speculate on a player the Colts may have interest in – it might be a castoff from the deep stable of Seahawks’ running backs, Alex Collins. Collins was drafted in the 5th round and is due little guaranteed money as a result. With Christine Michael doing “Christine Michael in August” type things, he’s firmly secure on the Seahawks’ roster; Rawls, Michael, and Prosise (3rd round pick) are likely to stay on roster. That leaves Collins on the outside looking in. Why would the Colts have interest in Collins?…Jemal Singleton – that’s why. Singleton joined the Colts coaching staff as running backs coach this year, following a successful campaign as the Arkansas Razorbacks running backs coach in 2015. Collins was hugely successful under Singleton in 2015, rushing for 1577 yards and 20 touchdowns – in 12 games. I’ve got a hunch Singleton may give his former player a huge endorsement if he finds himself on the waiver wire. 

Josh Johnson – I honestly believe Jordan Todman runs with a similar style to Gore. Robert Turbin is a third down back and not a handcuff. Josh Ferguson is the back up to the third down back. When the Colts draft Samaje Perine or Dalvin Cook then I will consider rostering a Colts RB other than Gore.

Mike Krafick – I agree with Luke on this one, we don’t know who the handcuff is for Frank Gore yet but I do expect them to add someone.  Here’s the thing though, I’m probably not interested in owning that player in fantasy anyway.  The Colts will be a pass heavy team with a healthy Andrew Luck, for now the Colts backfield is an avoid for me.

Do you have any burning questions you want us to answer for next week’s Q&A?  If so send them to [email protected] and if your question is used in the weekly article you’ll receive a $5 discount towards a Gold or Silver DFW Insider membership.