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Each and every week of the NFL season we will ask our dynasty experts five questions. Dan Heins and Jeff Melbostad make up this week’s expert panel and 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 along with other general dilemmas. Here we go:

 

1) Julio Jones put up a ridiculous 11 catches for 259 yards and a touchdown in week 14 and has a 93/1428/6 stat line appearing in 13 games. Still, he injured his hip and while it’s not clear how serious the injury is at this time, are you concerned about Julio’s propensity to get injured in terms of dynasty? Do you buy into the “injury prone” label and is it enough of a concern to impact his value?

Dan Heins: Julio has always concerned me. Even since the Bama’ days.  I am a believer in the proneness of injury and it can be for any number of reasons.  In Julio’s case, I believe it is simply the way he plays.  He has a propensity to injury his lower body and it typically has to do with hits.  Knowing how to “fall”.  How to avoid serious hits, how to do those subtle things that keep the real hits from sinking in are important. Others have bad “technique” like running with your head down (Early DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews).  Sometimes its just a “physics thing”.   If you are Adrian Peterson your force is almost always greater than the tackling force.  The impact is lessened due to the the greater force being transferred to the tackler.  It’s why a player like AP or Emmitt Smith can play substantially longer than others.  This is certainly not a “proven” theory, but it’s one I am very confident in.  So yes, I do believe in injury prone players and that it can be for any number of reasons.  Including poor nutrition, bone density, etc. 

Jeff Melbostad: Julio Jones is about as sexy a dynasty player as there is.  He’s big, fast, strong and has great hands.  He’s a dynasty owners dream in that he’s a prototypical WR1 with a very good QB and, at age 25, is young enough that he’ll hold big time value for a long time to come.  I can understand some being concerned about his injury history.  He’s only played a full season once in his 4-year career, but played in at least 13 games (still going in 2014) in 2 of the other 3 seasons.  Obviously, 2013 was the bad year where he re-fractured his foot (the same one they found needed surgery at the NFL combine in 2011).  Still, that’s more of a “freak” injury in my book.  If it were a knee, hamstring or something more likely to act up again I’d have more concern.  I’m not a big believer in the injury prone label.  I think injuries are largely a product of circumstance and that sometimes they hit one player harder than others.  There are exceptions to every rule but I believe that, for the most part, the chances of a player being injured in the future have less correlation to the fact that a player has been injured in the past than many of us think.  For those reasons I don’t let Julio’s injury history dissuade me at all as a dynasty owner.  He’s securely in my top 5 at both the WR position and overall.

 

2) It’s been confirmed that the infamous Cleveland QB Johnny “Football” Manziel will finally get his starting job in week 15.  What are you expecting from him both long and short term?  What would you do with Brian Hoyer if you owned him?

Dan Heins: I expect him to kick ass both short term and long term.  He’s a tough kid and he’s one of a kind.  He’s a fantasy dream and I can’t wait to see what he can do.  Look out for Cleveland if they sneak into the playoffs.  The league hasn’t seen anyone like this kid since Fran Tarkenton and there really is not way to prepare for what he brings to the table.  

Jeff Melbostad: I’ll start by saying I’m very excited to see what Manziel can do on the field.  I’m a believer in his talent and his moxy.  I’ve recently heard him compared to Russell Wilson, I think largely due to size and style of play.  While I think Wilson is certainly Johnny’s highest possible ceiling, he has the talent and smarts to get there should he apply himself properly to his craft.  I am concerned about his work ethic a bit but as long as he produces on the field that won’t be an issue.  I expect him to struggle here and there but to make big plays with both his arm and his legs.  He’s a fantastic QB to own in fantasy football because he’s a dual threat and is sure to put up points in multiple ways.  I expect him to be a solid QB2 this year but long term think he’s a good bet at mid to low end QB1 value.

 

3) Name one player at each skill position (QB, RB, WR, TE) that you feel has greatly OVERACHIEVED based on fantasy points through week 14.  Tell us where you expected them to finish in 2014 and how you value them going forward in dynasty.

Dan Heins: 

QB: Big Ben. Dude went back to back 6-TD-games on this season. It’s an exception, not the norm. Big Ben is a good FF QB and one I have no problem with in a QB rotation with say Jay Cutler or Tannehill, but he’s still a low-end QB1, high-end QB2. Not a top 5 option

RB: Justin Forsett is the obvious answer here. Right place, right time. Perfect skill set and running style for the right offense. I expect a 1-2 year extension for Forsett with 2-3 million on it. Dude has earned it, but is not a top 10 back.

WR: Emmanuel Sanders is a solid to above average WR. He’s down right lethal with Manning in Denver. Manning can retire or hit the wall anytime. Buyer beware.

TE: Antonio Gates is on borrowed time at this point. He still runs a mean route though. The crafty vet paid dividends this year, but the writing is on the wall.

Jeff Melbostad:

QB: Ben Roethlisberger is a guy I’ve always liked owning in fantasy football.  He’s a steady, consistent low-end QB1.  In 2014 he currently ranks as the 4th best QB in the league.  Those who value him as such are setting themselves up for disappointment.

RB: C.J. Anderson is producing at an extremely high level and ranks 2nd only to LeVeon Bell in PPR fantasy points over the last 6 weeks.  Still, that Denver backfield could shake out any number of ways when Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman return.

WR: Mohamed Sanu was thrust into the starting lineup when Marvin Jones went down.  He was thrust into the #1 role when A.J. Green went down.  He produced as if he belonged… for a while.  His production has slowed lately and he’s not a long term starter.  He’ll return to a #3 WR role in future years, making him an inconsistent player to own.

TE: Delanie Walker was lights out to start 2014 and while he’s cooled lately he still should finish the year as a top 10 fantasy TE.  I don’t feel he’ll keep that up in future years. He’s a solid TE2 in my book.

 

4) Name one player at each skill position (QB, RB, WR, TE) that you feel has greatly UNDERACHIEVED based on fantasy points through week 14.  Tell us where you expected them to finish in 2014 and how you value them going forward in dynasty.

Dan Heins: 

QB: Cam Newton really had a lost season. I am hoping that this little “rush” of J-Stew will give the offense a little more balance and identity going next year. He is starting to turn it on. One more good WR to compliment Kelvin combined with Olsen and Cam should be a top 5 QB again next year.

RB: McCoy has definitely been a let done. He was supposed to be the that huge advantage at the position for owners this year and he was barely a RB2 most of the year. I expect Shady to be just fine. He should be a top 5 back again next year.

WR: Brandon Marshall. Ugh. I owned you everywhere Bmarsh. Oh how tragic. Bmarsh is a stud. Chicago and Cutler sucked. Marshall will do anything and everything to be in tip top position to be a stud next year as well, although his window is slowly starting to close as well.

TE: Jordan Reed. What a horrible let down. That offense just never got going this year. I expect him to stay where he is. How do you get any consistency with 97 different QBs? Reed has solid long-term value.

Jeff Melbostad:

QB: Colin Kaepernick has been as big of a disappointment as there is at QB.  He’s a very talented player but I’m starting to doubt he can fully put it all together.  I’ve soured on him dramatically and think his underachieving 2014 season (QB18) is more trend than mirage.

RB: Doug Martin just isn’t the same running back we saw as a rookie.  I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong, but he’s been outplayed by a journeyman and a rookie.  There’s still hope for him to rebound at age 25 so I’m not giving up.  Maybe a change of scenery can help him get back into the RB2 conversation.  He’s a free agent in 2016.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald has disappointed greatly due to injuries and inconsistent QB play.  I still feel Fitz is a top tier NFL WR and can be a solid starter on your fantasy team as well.  He could well be in for a change of scenery and a new team in 2015.  The right landing spot could put him securely back on everyone’s radar.  Age concerns are overblown as 31 is far from the end for WRs.

TE: Eric Ebron was one of the more highly touted TEs coming into the league in recent memory.  He was supposed to be a dominant force landing in a potent passing offense.  He has been a non-factor in his rookie season, but that should mean little to his dynasty value.  I still believe this kid has a bright future and would be looking to buy low on him if possible.

 

5) Name two 2014 rookies that have yet to break out whom you still believe in and explain both when and why you think they’re likely to reach their full potential.

Dan Heins: Devonta Freeman and Cody Latimer are two guys that will definitely be more involved in 2015. I was hoping Freeman would pop earlier than he has. He’s a great pass catcher. If he can be effective between the tackles at all, he can beat out Sjax next year. Latimer just needs to work with Manning this offseason, and watch out. 

Jeff Melbostad: I’m still a very big fan of Austin Sefarian-Jenkins at TE for the Tampa Bay Bucs.  He’s a mammoth sized man at 6’5″ and 262 lbs and possesses rare speed (4.6 forty) and finesse for such a big man.  In that Tampa offense with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson getting all the attention he’s bound to be a good touchdown target and a solid option in the passing game.  I think he’ll eventually translate well to a low-end TE1.  Get him while he’s not producing.

The other guy I like, who hasn’t broken out just yet, is actually on the same NFL team.  RB Charles Sims wasn’t my favorite back coming out in the draft I’ll admit but he’s grown on me.  Doug Martin is clearly not the same running back he was in his rookie season and Tampa is forced to look elsewhere for RB production.  Sims was injured for much of the year but now has an opportunity to show what he can do.  The team is struggling and needs to look to the future so I fully expect them to get him involved and assess what they have in the 3rd round rookie.  Keep a close eye on him.

 

Do you have any burning questions you want us to answer for next week’s Q&A?  If so send them to [email protected].