Finding the right information (maybe a cheat sheet?) to help you build the perfect fantasy football dynasty can be very similar to drinking from a fire hose. Yes, the off-season is a lot of fun. Everyone has their go-to few sites that pump out quality dynasty content all throughout the off-season. But then it happens. The redraft noise starts to hit in June. In July everything starts to be about single-year #basic leagues. By August it seems that all of the top sites are calling their “sleepers” who are really just guys you have known about since January.
As dynasty owners, the number of questions we’re faced with on a weekly basis is insane. Every snap, injury, reception, touch, and transaction can have implications extending for years to come. Finding as much helpful information in one place (like a cheat sheet) at the right time can be a real lifesaver.
And that’s what I always wanted. I just wanted simple advice that I could apply every week based on the mayhem that just wrapped up from the previous NFL week. So that’s where this article comes in. This “Dynasty Cheat Sheet” is designed to cover as many players as possible with some practical “do this now” advice to help you build a sustainable dynasty.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the ninth edition of the Dynasty Cheat Sheet.
Cheat Sheet Player Values
Deonte Thompson – It’s crazy to think that this guy has been in the NFL since 2012. Deonte’s probably just about free, but may at least offer some flex value in deeper leagues for the remainder of 2017. He’s already put up two games with at least four catches and 81 yards. Be the guy that picks him up or adds him in a trade as a throw-in.
Matt Forte – This possible Hall of Famer still has some left in the tank to give. If his knee holds up Forte could be a league-winning flex play. He’s still seeing tons of work in the passing game (24 targets in the last four games). If the Jets decide to feed their best runner he’ll see an even healthier workload late and costs next to nothing.
Christian McCaffrey – It looks like the Panthers may have finally figured out that the running back they selected with the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft this spring is actually their best playmaker. McCaffrey likely won’t see 15 or more carries every week, but if he sees close to that we’re looking at a top-10 RB just about every week. Buy “high” before that price never comes down again.
Devonta Freeman – Freeman has been one of the most durable and trustworthy options over the past couple seasons. His touches haven’t gone anywhere for the most part. The buy low window is still open for now. I’ve seen him get thrown in to “upgrade” at WR. Go fishing with his price. It may be just a mid-first round rookie pick right now.
Corey Davis – I don’t think the dynasty community is ready for what’s about to happen with Corey’s stock down the stretch this season. He was being eased back in last week in snaps (75%) and targets (5). Expect him to see around 80% or more of offensive snaps and 7-9 targets each week moving forward. Right now is the last chance to buy low.
Javorius Allen – Don’t look now but Buck is a solid RB2 in fantasy footbal this season. Thanks to Alex Collins’ success in between the tackles people haven’t noticed Allen for the most part. He’s still viewed as a rental so the price to acquire him could be around an early 2018 3rd in rookie pick value. That’s not bad at all for a consistent flex to help you grab a championship.
TY Hilton – I seriously saw someone ask, “Who would you prefer in dynasty, Emmanuel Sanders or TY Hilton?”, this week. LOL! How about now? TY has been a boom bust play at times throughout his career, but I really hope you bought low. With Andrew Luck’s future still uncertain Hilton will have another buy low window open in a couple weeks.
CJ Fiedorowicz – The Texans tight end that grabbed 54 passes for 559 yards and four scores in just 15 games last season is set to return soon. In TE-premium leagues he is a must-buy type player. Before he was injured FiGOATowicz grabbed four passes for 46 yards in week one. Expect back end TE1 production at times from this stud that’s still pretty young.
Joe Mixon – The Bengals finally realized that Joe Mixon should be their feature back. The backfield is clearly Mixon’s to lose moving forward. Mixon’s price in many leagues has still yet to drop very much, but keep fishing for the right deal. In the right league Mixon won’t even cost a mid-first rookie pick right now.
Marqise Lee – I’m old enough to remember when people thought USC wide receivers couldn’t make good pros. Ha! Good times. The future of Allen Robinson is definitely at least questionable. Lee has been the clear WR1 for the Jaguars in his absence averaging more than seven targets per game. The upside in that role is obviously limited, but if you want a solid flex on a Jags discount then Lee is your man.
Mike Evans – It was clear that Mike Evans would see a slight decrease in targets from his 173 in 2016, but Evans is clearly a top 5 startup draft pick any way you want to slice it. He’ll miss a week with a suspension, but then he’ll return to his nine or ten target per week upside immediately thereafter. If his owner is frustrated with the suspension see what you can do this week. Guys like Evans seldom have a dip of any kind in price, but there might be a slight opportunity now.
Alvin Kamara – Kamara has now seen in between 11 and 16 touches for five weeks in a row. He’s averaging six targets per game and scored four times in that same span. Over the past few weeks his price has risen exponentially. I’ve seen a ton of deals paying premium for him. I’m a believer in Kamara’s future, but wait for some touchdown regression before you whip out the wads of cash.
Robert Woods – If you’ve been reading this cheat sheet or listening to the Dynasty Life podcast you would have already bought Woods a couple weeks ago. Again, remember how awful USC wide receivers are in the pros? Ha! Sorry. Baseless biases are just amusing. Give him a couple weeks without a touchdown and then attempt to buy for low level flex prices again.
Evan Engram – It’s time to admit that Evan Engram is currently and will likely always be the best tight end from this year’s loaded tight end class. Engram has at least four catches in every game but one this season. Yes, Odell Beckham Jr. will return next year, but that will only shift coverage away from Engram. You’re looking at a TE1 for the next 10 years. If your league hasn’t come to this realization yet then stop reading this (and then come right back) and go trade for him right now.
CJ Anderson – There really isn’t much to like about CJ Anderson in dynasty anymore. He will still likely have a big game or two down the stretch this season, but don’t be fooled. There is an out in his contract for 2018. The future is completely uncertain. Trade him away if given just about anything of value.
Carson Wentz – Wentz is playing out of his mind in 2017. He’s throwing a touchdown pass on 7.9% of his passes (league best in 2016 was 7.1%). Those kind of numbers are simply not sustainable in the NFL. However, Carson Wentz needs to be considered a TOP FIVE dynasty quarterback. He has a top offensive line, good wide receivers, tight ends, and decent running backs now too. Wentz has a real shot to return top five quarterback value over the next few years. Value him that way.
Adrian Peterson & Larry Fitzgerald – Both of these Hall of Famers are both fantastic 8-week rental players. Don’t let someone ask for even a late second round rookie pick, but they both could help you win from the flex. Adrian Peterson is less than 150 yards away from breaking into the top 10 for rushing yards all-time. Larry Fitzgerald is only about 200 yards away from third all-time in receiving. They’re going to get fed down the stretch to hit those milestones comfortably.
Josh Doctson – It looks like the dynasty community may have abandoned Doctson too soon. Doctson has at least 39 receiving yards or a touchdown in each of his last four games. That’s not crazy production, but it shows growth. Doctson’s price is still probably in the mid-round startup pick range. See if you can get him for a 2018 2nd or so.
Kareem Hunt – Most teams are going to hold on to Kareem Hunt for dear life. And this may seem crazy, but what if you traded Hunt away for two solid options at WR or RB? He may bounce back just fine, but that’s just a question to ask yourself if you own Hunt right now. What if? Would that help you win the championship right now and not hurt your future? If so, see if his value is still in the first round startup range. The value in return could surprise.
Jared Cook – If anyone is to blame for Amari Cooper’s horrible season besides Amari it’s definitely Jared Cook. Cook hasn’t seen the end zone much, but he has 39 catches for 499 yards in just nine games. He may have finally found a productive home. The price to acquire Cook is still likely fairly insignificant. Throw a rookie third out there.
Kenyan Drake – Even though Drake fumbled he still found a way to be productive for the Dolphins last week. Nine carries and six receptions isn’t going to give you RB1 numbers, but it’s clear who the Dolphins prefer at the position. Many believe he’ll be replaced next year, so his price is still fairly low. I’m buying all of the Drake.
Cheat Sheet Simple Strategies
No cheat sheet is complete without some practical things that can help you accomplish your dynasty goals today.
Right now many of your league mates are still super focused on this season. You don’t have to lose sight of this year if you’re still competitive, but do yourself a favor and start researching rookies for the 2018 NFL Draft if you have not already. Getting one step ahead of your league mates on this is crucial to winning rookie drafts year in and year out. Then next year start a month earlier. And so on and so forth. Each year it becomes easier and you improve your process.
As I’ve been saying for weeks, keep trading for picks as long as teams will let you buy for depressed prices. The tipping point in value is coming very soon.
Get rid of your rental players that are about to retire or don’t present any chance for increasing value during the off season if you can afford to. Even if you’re competitive, but won’t be starting those rental players often, look to sell. That’s almost always a good decision in setting up your future.
And that’s all folks. Week nine of the Dynasty Cheat Sheet is in the books. Feel free to ask questions or suggest players and topics on Twitter @FF_TravisM. This cheat sheet is for you. Let’s build your dynasty all season long!