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Dynasty Cheat Sheet – Fifth Edition

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.

Sound familiar?

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 fifth edition of the Dynasty Cheat Sheet.

Cheat Sheet Player Values

Chris Hogan – Hogan is not going to finish with 16 touchdowns, but he could definitely sustain his pace of seven targets per game.  Hogan is both a great sell-high based thanks to his touchdowns and a solid WR2 for this season’s purposes.  Don’t expect his price to stay very high long-term, but enjoy the production for now.

Doug Martin – The Buccaneers actually eased Doug in this past week with a low 36% share of the team’s offensive snaps (26 for him in total).  However, he carried the ball 13 times and was targeted three times on that small share.  Doug is due for a huge season.  Ride this wave or buy before the price reaches new heights.

Jarvis Landry – Can we please start treating Landry like the absolute PPR beast that he is?  In a week where the Dolphins combined for 92 yards Jarvis still grabbed five passes for 44 yards and a score.  No, Landry will never be a trustworthy WR1, but invest with confidence if you’re looking for a long-term WR2 that has never caught less than 84 passes in a season.  He’s on pace for 120 catches now.  Stop overthinking things with this guy.

DeMarco Murray – DeMarco’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.  He was plagued by a hamstring issue in camp and a few games already this season.  Murray (for the 1000th time) is still the guy in Tennessee as long as he is here.  Derrick Henry has a bright future, yes.  And in the short-term, so does Murray.  Stop twiddling your thumbs and go buy a guy whose usage will only increase given his health and the return of Mariota looming.

LeSean McCoy – McCoy has ONE MORE touch than Kareem Hunt this season.  The sad part is that he also has 307 fewer total yards and ZERO touchdowns.  That is destined to change in the near future.  I’ve seen people panic-selling.  STOP IT.  Ride his solid locked in usage down the stretch for a championship.  Don’t sell low.

Joe Mixon – Joe Mixon logged another 15 touches this past week.  I keep seeing trades that are valuing Mixon as a lowly flex-level talent.  One day the Bengals will have an offensive line and the owners that held onto Mixon will rejoice and dance together.  Make sure you get your invite to that party.

Elijah McGuire – In November of 2016 I had McGuire as a top-24 rookie for 2017.  Why?  He is arguably the best pass-catching back in this rookie class, runs with decisiveness and vision, and boasts above-average pro speed.  Now only his competition for significant work is Bilal Powell and the ghost of Matt Forte.  Don’t overthink this.  His price is still around a rookie third or late second at worst.  You know what to do.

Ricardo Louis – As an Auburn fan I love to see Ricardo finally finding some success.  I’m not surprised by it at all though.  Ricardo put up the most ridiculous NFL Combine of the past three years for a wide receiver just last year.  He always possessed the physical talent; he just needed targets.  Over the past two weeks, Ricardo has 10 catches on 17 targets for 135 yards.  He was dropped in a couple of my 14-team leagues just a couple weeks ago.  You can still nab him for a late rookie third or the equivalent because he’s a Browns WR.

Devin Funchess – There has been a segment of the dynasty community pushing for Funchess over Kelvin Benjamin for a while.  Now it seems there’s something to that, but don’t buy for the current inflated price that assumes he’ll maintain WR2 appeal for the long haul.  Christian McCaffrey still has more targets than him, and fully healthy Kelvin isn’t going anywhere.

Eric Ebron – The time has finally come where the dynasty community admits that Eric Ebron is not a TE1.  The position is disgusting as a whole, but let’s not act like that makes Ebron a good option.  The latest Dynasty League Football average draft position data has him at TE16.  That’s still pretty generous.  Through five weeks we’re looking at a guy with 12 catches.  There are 110 players with more catches than that.  No, this is not a “buy-low” window.

Matt Breida – Hopefully you already owned this freak athlete as a handcuff to Carlos Hyde if your rosters are deep enough.  Carlos Hyde had been listed as “questionable” at various times prior to this week.  It’s very possible Hyde was not completely healthy (imagine that) this past week.  Shanahan has talked about using a “hot hand” approach at RB, but still, expect to see a lot of Hyde.  Get Breida as a throw-in on a deal before his price is quite a bit steeper.

Marlon Mack – I talked about him a little bit on the Dynasty Trade Calculator podcast this past week.  Mack is the best running back on the Colts and it isn’t close.  You’re going to wish you bought low when Luck returns.  An impatient owner may be looking to “sell high” off of last week’s 9 for 91 and a score.  Pursue with aggression.

Hunter Henry – Last year’s 8 touchdowns on just 36 receptions was clearly not repeatable.  That much is obvious.  However, don’t give up on Hunter Henry yet.  His snaps have risen from a sad 39% in week one to 75% this past week.  Now that Antonio Gates has the touchdown record for tight ends locked up he can ride off into the sunset.  That should mean great things for Henry moving forward.  Hunter has his detractors, but he should be valued as a back-end TE1.

Evan Engram – The best tight end in this class now has his team’s target share to himself for the most part.  Don’t expect him to absolutely go bonkers since teams will be keying on him and Sterling Shepard (when healthy).  But don’t kid yourself.  Evan Engram is really just a monstrous wide receiver and a TE1, easy.  Go buy yourself a share at his currently inflated price with confidence.  I generally don’t recommend this, but Engram may never be cheaper.

Adrian Peterson – He’s not worth an add.  Don’t let the AP owner in your league convince you otherwise.  Peterson hasn’t averaged four yards per carry in a game since 2015.  He has next to zero experience or record of success running out of shotgun (which Arizona does with frequency).  Don’t.

Amari Cooper – I just saw him be traded for Tom Brady and a throw-in pick in a one-quarterback dynasty league.  His value is at an all-time low.  You cannot sell him right now.  Don’t do it.

Cheat Sheet Simple Strategies

No cheat sheet is complete without some practical things that can help you accomplish your dynasty goals today.

If you are 5-0 it’s time to start making your final moves to posture yourself to win the championship.  Add a couple cheap flex-level veterans like Larry Fitzgerald, Rishard Matthews, or Frank Gore for cheap.  Maybe trade your late first for one more solid WR2 option.  You are going to the playoffs whether you like or not.

If you are 4-1 or 3-2 you need just three or four more wins to make the playoffs.  You could accidentally make that happen just by submitting a lineup every week.  Don’t blow your team up and try to tank now.  It’s too late for that.  Also, if your team is a legit contender, don’t sell your whole future away trying to match up with the top team(s) in your league.  All you have to do is make it to the playoffs.  From there, anything can happen.

If you’re 2-3 you do need to make a drastic move if you want to attempt to make the playoffs.  Don’t kid yourself.  The rest of this season is going to be a grind if you want to squeak into the playoffs somehow.  It’s also the perfect time to fold and plan for next year if your team has no business in the playoffs.  Picks are still cheap right now.  Go get yourself a few.

If you’re 1-4 or 0-5 you are basically eliminated.  Admit it.  Make moves for the future.

I mention this every week, but it wouldn’t be a dynasty cheat sheet without it.  Keep buying picks, no matter what.  They’re only going to remain cheap for a few more weeks.

And that’s all folks.  Week five 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!

He’s married to his beautiful wife, Kelsey. Purdue University Class of 2011. Boiler Up! Lives in Nashville, TN. Titans fan (sympathetic gifts accepted). Works on music row by day. Writes about fantasy football by night. He plays club ultimate frisbee because it’s awesome. He longboards to work because he can. Find him on Twitter @FF_TravisM.

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