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 eighth edition of the Dynasty Cheat Sheet.
Cheat Sheet Player Values
Jeremy Maclin – At this point in Maclin’s career he’s nothing to get super excited about, but he’s worth grabbing for flex depth. He’s likely just rotting on some non-competitive team’s bench. Go steal him for cheap.
Kenny Stills – Stills was on here last week because of his boom-bust flex value. This past week he logged 10 targets to lead the team in receiving. Long-term Stills won’t be an every week starter, but he may have a more consistent role than his dynasty price would imply.
Mohamed Sanu – Sanu has finally started seeing some consistent work in an NFL offense. He’s averaging about seven targets per game and has at least four catches in five of six games that he’s played. Sanu’s name actually depresses his price in most cases. He could easily help fill the flex out most weeks in deeper leagues.
Bilal Powell – You should have sold Bilal Powell months ago if you own him. The second he shows any sign of life you’ll want to move him. There is absolutely zero chance that the Jets let he or Matt Forte lead their backfield in 2018 and neither present any value to your dynasty roster.
Adam Thielen – It only took eight weeks, but Thielen finally hit pay dirt. In most leagues his price is still at worst a late first round rookie pick despite his utter dominance this season. If you like free money trade for the WR with at least five catches in every single game this year.
Josh Gordon – Woo! Finally! Josh Gordon has returned to save the day! Probably not. If you held on this long it’s going to hurt to sell him, but you may want to. There’s an owner (or two, or three, or four) in every league that still believes Josh Gordon is the same WR he was in 2013. Don’t be that guy.
Kelvin Benjamin – It seems the entire fantasy community loves to hate Kelvin. And now he’s a Buffalo Bill? He’s dead right? Nope. The Bills got tired of trotting out the worst WR corps in the league every week (thanks to Zay Jones) so they did something about it. Kelvin could easily plug in and garner seven targets (or more) per game on an offense that was just force-feeding that same number to Zay Jones.
DeAndre Washington – The 2016 running back class was pretty brutal as far as athleticism goes, but DeAndre Washington looked like a gem coming out. While I believe in his talent, it’s likely time to sell for scraps. The Raiders run a disgusting committee most of the time. Sell his “PPR upside” to somebody since he just grabbed eight catches.
Jack Doyle – Ladies and gentleman, say hello to the best wide receiver on the Indianapolis Colts, Jack Doyle. Obviouly that’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek, but Doyle has been fantastic in a season that has been far from desireable for the Indianapolis Colts. He already grabbed 59 catches, 584 yards, and five scores in 2016. Now he’s getting better? Doyle’s price still treats him like he’s a backup fantasy TE, but that just simply isn’t the case. Go get him.
Joe Mixon – It’s nice to see the Bengals commit more to Mixon, but his production just still isn’t there. Some of his owners may already be losing faith with all of the other rookie success happening. The Bengals offensive line won’t be the league’s worst forever and Mixon’s had at least 10 touches in every game this year. Do a price check in your league.
Melvin Gordon – I don’t care what his yards per carry says. Melvin Gordon has averaged 22 touches per game over the past two seasons. He’s found the end zone 20 times in that same span. Hate all you want. Melvin will easily be a top 18 dynasty startup pick next spring. Value him accordingly.
ALL Patriots RBs – Ha! Good luck with that.
Tre McBride – It’s great to see my old neighbor doing well for Chicago. It was only three catches for 92 yards, but McBride looked like the best wide receiver on the team this past week. He could easily see an uptick in targets with a WR corps that now has just Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy, and Tanner Gentry remaining. Pick him up and see what happens. Great player to help churn the bottom of your roster.
Mark Ingram – Since Adrian Peterson’s departure (three weeks ago) Mark Ingram has averaged 27 touches per game. Again, he’s still only 27 years old, but his price treats him like he’s a mid-round startup pick. There’s a great chance that he finishes as a top seven running back in fantasy this year. Move a couple middling younger pieces and grab him.
Jimmy Garoppolo – I hate the Patriots. They just added a top-40 pick in 2018 for a player they couldn’t keep past this year. But that’s enough of that. Once Jimmy figures out the playbook this can only mean better things for Garcon, Hyde, and Kittle. The other 49ers don’t matter. In superflex his price is likely a mid-first rookie pick.
Jay Ajayi – The expectations here are definitely a mixed bag, but the move from Miami’s putrid offense to Philly’s (arguably) league best can’t be a bad one. Ajayi could be the final piece of the puzzle as the Eagles have already found immense success through the air. Do we really think a 30-year-old free-agent-to-be LeGarrette Blount and some roster-clogging talents are really going to slow Ajayi down for long? Hint: NO.
Devin Funchess – For those of you counting, Kelvin Benjamin has already had three games with more than Devin’s ceiling in receiving yardage (70 yards) this year. Funchess is still 23. He could continue to develop and find some relevance in the flex, but DO NOT invest in Funchess like he’s going to be anything more than Kelvin Benjamin. He can’t separate, get yards after the catch, or do basically anything you want from a real lead wide receiver.
OJ Howard – Surprise! Cameron Brate is still the TE to trust in Tampa for now. Howard’s snap count has been hovering around 63% all year, but that hasn’t turned into a high number of targets. Another buy window has just opened as Howard followed up his only decent showing of the season with a 16-yard dud.
Will Fuller – He has 13 receptions and SEVEN touchdowns. That’s unbelievably impressive and fun to talk about, but the drop in production is coming very soon. With Watson out things could absolutely crater for him. He’s a solid hold. The price you would pay now would not return production in 2017. The price you would sell wouldn’t be fair given his projected future.
Russell Wilson – When Russell Wilson is on top of his game he’s one of the best in the business. Everyone talked about Deshaun Watson’s numbers from this past week, but missed that Russell Wilson’s were better. There’s an argument to be made for Wilson as the QB1 in dynasty. You could bring home a king’s ransom for him via trade in superflex leagues.
Alfred Morris – I guess he’s the guy you want to own in Dallas? The Cowboys will likely split the work rendering all options fairly useless in comparison to consensus expectations.
Jamison Crowder – It looks like the Redskins finally remembered who their best receiver is. Jamison Crowder’s price got out of hand over the summer, but he’s attainable now. It may feel like a buy-high to grab him now, but it may be the lowest you’ll ever get him again.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – The most fun player in football is also pretty good at catching, running, and scoring. This 20-year-old stud will still be just 25 years old when Antonio Brown turns 34. He’s already a flex play with a fantastic ceiling to come in the future.
Marvin Jones – Three games in a row with six receptions is pretty nice. It turns out Marvin might have a future as a healthy flex play after all. Wait for a down week or two to pursue regardless of whether you’re competing or not.
Demaryius Thomas – It’s insane that DT has 59 targets and zero touchdowns to show for it. The Broncos have struggled as a whole on offense this season, but Demaryius is still on pace for over 1000 yards. He’s still a great buy. His abilities are clearly still there. Let’s just hope Brock or Trevor figure their crap out soon.
Kareem Hunt – The drop to reasonable production was always going to come with Kareem. Anyone who thought otherwise was kidding themselves. Don’t panic though. The touchdowns aren’t coming right now, but the opportunity is still amazing. Kareem will likely settle somewhere in the second round of startups next spring. Treat him that way.
Cheat Sheet Simple Strategies
No cheat sheet is complete without some practical things that can help you accomplish your dynasty goals today.
November is the last month that future rookie picks still feel intangible to most dynasty owners. Make sure you acquire some 2nds or even 3rds (especially 2019) while they’re still super cheap.
Changing your mentality in trades and roster construction can be quite difficult if you play in leagues of varying sizes and formats. If you’re in a 14-team (or more) league it’s extremely important to build proper depth with solid matchups for the playoffs. Possessing the right flex plays can set your team apart. If you’re in a smaller 10 or 12-team league then you’ll probably want to make a move for one more blue chip player to ride in your flex to separate you from the other good teams. It may seem simple, but making trades that make sense for your league size and starting lineup construction in Novemer wins you championships.
If you’re not competitive at this time then keep turning over the bottom quarter of your lineup as often as possible via trade and waiver acquisitions as the season winds down. If that lands you even one better future flex play it will be worth it. Don’t give up just because you’re out.
And that’s all folks. Week eight 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!