Dynasty fantasy football enables its owners to balance a long term view of valuations with the short term result of the current fantasy season. The best dynasty owners strike a balance between profiting from player value fluctuations and fielding a winning roster.
In some cases, increases in value were predictable market corrections (for example, Charles Clay, discussed below). Others are sharp spikes in value with questionable sustainability (Todd Gurley).
Additionally, Week 1 is the height of overreaction. Dynasty owners spent eight months evaluating, drafting, trading and crafting their rosters. Some owners let it all fly out the window by overreacting to one week of on-field results. Keep your wits and capitalize on this dynamic rather than fall into it.
With these balancing acts in mind, here are some players to explore selling high after NFL Week 1.
Let’s start with the obvious.
In my Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Preview, I asked what kind of RB workload split would occur between Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware. That went out the window when Ware tore his PCL and LCL on August 25th. Hunt became the team’s clear RB1.
Then the Chiefs traveled to the Patriots last Thursday to kick off the NFL season. The whole country watched this one game to end the long offseason. Against the Super Bowl champs. Vividness bias and recency bias are both at work here to skyrocket Kareem Hunt’s value. His rookie ADP was 1.08 in August:
Pick your dynasty RB…
— Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) September 8, 2017
That said, Hunt looks decisive, quick and strong.
Kareem Hunt with nice footwork and then just runs a guy over pic.twitter.com/P6eLZHumXt
— Ben Baldwin (@guga31bb) September 8, 2017
He shows a natural ability to extend outside his body for the catch.
Kareem Hunt tracking and adjustment to football. pic.twitter.com/aAM2iFgt7d
— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) September 8, 2017
And brings PPR utilization and functional speed.
Wow. Alex Smith to Kareem Hunt for a 78-yard touchdown. That fumble from the opening possession is long behind him. pic.twitter.com/NizdL5JN5L
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 8, 2017
It is possible that Hunt’s value may never be this high again so owners owe it to themselves to shop him. I would not sell for less than a top three rookie pick or the value equivalent to a young, top ten RB. Otherwise, hold and enjoy the production.
Todd Gurley turned in a top 6 fantasy RB performance in Week 1 with his 19-40-1 rushing and 5-56-0 receiving lines. Those 20.6 fantasy points are in line with his best performance (21.0 points in Week 3) from all of last season.
He looks strong and determined on his TD run.
Rams take a 17-3 lead over the Colts after this Todd Gurley 5-yard TD run. pic.twitter.com/lgNbyGtQW0
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 10, 2017
The 2.1 ypc is an obvious cause for concern. Digging deeper, we also see:
Per https://t.co/Ahna5dqQ2R NextGenStats, Todd Gurley faced 8+ defenders in the box just 10.5% of his carries. Down from 25.5% in 2016.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) September 11, 2017
I question the Rams’ OL and whether game-script will continue to favor Gurley. QB Jared Goff looks improved and the Rams coaching staff appears to be an upgrade from 2016, but I suggest shopping Gurley to see if an RB needy team is willing to pay up based on these positives.
Charles Clay was a hot dynasty offseason acquisition target who produced a 4-53-1 line on 9 targets in Week 1. Clay is the beneficiary of Buffalo’s new, TE friendly OC Rick Dennison and of 335 vacated targets from 2016. That’s 73% of last year’s total team targets (459) gone. As long as Clay stays on the field, he should build on his 87 targets from 2016 and has a visible path to TE1 production.
Also encouraging is the goal line usage that resulted in his TD.
Tyrod ➡️ Charles Clay#TulsaFB ➡️ NFL
— Tulsa Football (@TulsaFootball) September 10, 2017
In Charles Clay’s last four games with Tyrod Taylor, he has 32 targets, 22 receptions, 262 yards and 5 TDs.
That said, dynasty perception of Charles Clay is not as a TE1. This may be a case where perception needs time to catch up with production. I suggest holding Clay for a few weeks to enable the mainstream dynasty community to adjust their perception. Then sell.
I literally own Sam Bradford in all of my QB premium dynasty leagues. I have already sent out offers in one league where I also have Jameis Winston and see Bradford’s case being similar to Charles Clay’s. Many people joke that Bradford is bad. He is not bad at all, but it may take time for his market value to catch up to his production.
Minnesota travels to Pittsburgh in Week 2. Bradford is unlikely to duplicate his 27-32-346-3-0 line but I expect him to sustain success throughout the year. That 84% completion rate is not from check-downs. His six completions of 15+ yards are more than he had in any game in 2016. His supporting cast and coaching staff are talented. And the quality of this throw is hard to describe.
— Josh Cohen (@jco3215) September 12, 2017
In 2QB or Superflex leagues, owners may be willing to pay for Bradford now. I suspect, however, that perception will continue to depress his value. Some dynasty owners may discount his Week 1 performance due to a suspect New Orleans defense. Whether from historical or recent perception, we may need to hold Sam Bradford until sustained production changes minds and market value catches up.
Any other players you are strongly selling after NFL Week 1? Disagree or have comments on Hunt, Gurley, Clay or Bradford? Find me on Twitter at @threedownhack. I’m always looking to talk ball.