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 seventh edition of the Dynasty Cheat Sheet.
Cheat Sheet Player Values
Tyreek Hill – It’s probably time to start treating Tyreek like a top 15 wide receiver. He’s grabbed at least four catches in every single game this season and might be the fastest player in the league. Buy him while his price is still all over the place. He’ll be a top 25 start-up pick next spring.
DeAndre Washington – Washington has been pretty disappointing considering his original rookie hype, but now has a huge opportunity to prove his talent. DeAndre has fantastic athleticism and ability to catch passes. Expect flex-level production and move for him at that rental price knowing he could earn a longer term opportunity.
Jonnu Smith – Jonnu has already been on the field for 57% of the Titans snaps this season. He will be the heir to Delanie Walker’s throne. You can still buy cheap over his bye week. If he goes off due to an absent Delanie you’ll wish you bought yesterday.
Duke Johnson – Duke has 457 yards and three touchdowns on just 60 touches this season. Isaiah Crowell has 395 yards and ZERO touchdowns on 104 touches. Even the Browns can’t screw this up too much longer. Duke’s efficiency may decrease, but his role should only improve if the Browns are smart (BIG IF).
Tevin Coleman – The Patriots game showed what should normally happen to players who see just 37% of their team’s offensive snaps. Coleman has been outrageously efficient for the majority of his career, but when you’re banking on his ceiling to find flex value that’s just bad process. I hope you already sold high long ago.
Dion Lewis – Patriots running backs are always a gamble. Dion Lewis is no different. His touches have increased, yes. He may be the “safest” option in New England. However, that does not make him a safe buy. I’d be looking to sell if I held on this long. Dion’s only eclipsed 35% of the offensive snaps once this season.
OJ Howard – Howard doubled his production on the season with his performance against the Bills. His price had become somewhat depressed with the success of Engram making him look bad by comparison. But we need to realize fellow teammate and tight end Cameron Brate still saw more targets than him. Wait for a better buy window or hold onto him knowing he’ll continue to grow.
Jordan Matthews – Zay Jones might be the worst starting wide receiver in the NFL. All you need to know is that Zay has seen 32 targets and caught seven of them. Jordan Matthews has struggled with health early on this season, but the Bills are absolutely desperate for some competent wide receiver play. JMatt is still the same guy that scored 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Go buy him right now.
Kelvin Benjamin – This is the first year Kelvin Benjamin hasn’t scored a bunch of touchdowns. Buy low while the masses convince themselves Devin Funchess is worth something. Benjamin’s efficiency has improved quite a bit this season and is still averaging about seven targets per game.
Mitchell Trubisky – How many more games in Trubisky’s career do you think he’ll throw just seven passes? The truth of the matter here is that Trubisky has a lot of growing to do, but the Bears will give him every chance to succeed. He’s a fantastic target, especially in superflex.
Mark Ingram – Ingram is still somehow just 27 years old. He’s not some aging veteran. Ingram could very well be the most productive running back in the NFL down the stretch in 2017 with a fantastic workload. He’s averaged 28 touches in the two games since Adrian Peterson’s departure. It might cost you more than it did a few weeks ago, but if you want a game-changing feature back that can catch passes then Mark Ingram is your guy.
Aaron Jones – When I started writing about Aaron Jones back in January I had no idea he would already be in a starting running back role this early. Jones was always better than Jamaal Williams and it isn’t close. It looks like he’s even better than Ty Montgomery as well. Wait for the inevitable down week coming thanks to Hundley’s limitations and pounce with confidence.
Allen Hurns – The Jaguars passing offense goes through Hurns and Marqise Lee almost exlusively right now. Hurns was left for dead this past off-season after an injury-riddled 2016, but that was unfair. Hurns has at least three catches in every game of 2017. He may never be even a trustworthy WR2 option, but his value in the flex is undeniable. The price won’t be too high if you need a nice depth piece.
Marlon Mack – It’s about time Mack started out-snapping Frank Gore. As Gore’s 34-year-old body begins to let him down in the back half of this season expect to see a lot more Mack. The Colts will surely want to see what they have in Mack before diving back into the draft next spring. Most people treat him like a rental “knowing” the Colts will draft his replacement next spring. Go fishing for a value here.
Larry Fitzgerald – Fitz may be a top five wide receiver all-time, but even he probably won’t be able to overcome Drew Stanton’s inept quarterback play. However, if Carson returns right as the playoffs begin Larry could help you win a championship. Buy him for a pack of gum and a paper clip and hope for the best to end the season.
Robert Woods – He is who we thought he was. Robert Woods has been a low-upside flex play for his entire career. However, if your league requires multiple flex starters consider Woods a fantastic value to help buoy your team’s floor. Woods has now logged three games in a row with five catches for at least 59 yards. He’ll cost you nothing.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – It’s hilarious that compiling 173 yards in five games makes you a TE1 candidate, but that’s the world we live in. ASJ has been peppered with targets since coming back from his brief suspension. The 25-year-old is likely both a great sell-high candidate and a safe back end TE1 to believe in.
Kenny Stills – I love Kenny Stills for what he is in fantasy. He’s your homerun hitter that you plug in to the flex when you’re facing a superior team and you need to close the gap. Kenny will either give you one catch for 13 yards or a timely touchdown or two to help win a week (like weeks 2, 6, and 7). That type of player is underrated in fantasy. Every team needs a couple options like that to choose from when you need to swing for the fences.
Carlos Hyde – Hyde plays for a bad team. It’s sad, yes. But that hasn’t stopped him from finding consistent fantasy relevance. Hyde has at least 77 total yards from scrimmage in every game but one in 2017. If the 49ers ever find a competent quarterback Hyde could be a top five back. I am still seeing Hyde “sold high” in places. You’d be surprised how cheap that “high” price still is.
Jason Witten – The year is 2152. Jason Witten has just caught his 10,000th career reception from Tony Romo IV to win Super Bowl whatever it will be that year. Witten costs next to nothing, but still catches one-handed touchdowns up the seam against players who could be his children.
Joe Mixon – What do you do when a player runs seven times for 48 yards in the first half? You make sure that he doesn’t touch the ball in the second half at all. Mixon has been the perfect trade target all season long for the future. That hasn’t changed. The Bengals will eventually figure out who their best players are.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – Thanks to Martavis being Martavis it looks like JuJu will see an even greater role moving forward. Don’t expect much out of any Steelers WR2 though. If you’re buying JuJu just prepare yourself to wait a couple years for consistent production. The good news is that he’ll still just be 25 when Antonio Brown turns 34.
CJ Anderson – Even when the Broncos get blanked CJA totals 60+ yards. It’s easy to buy low with his contract future being a question mark and his quarterback play being suspect. He still likely gives you the cheapest RB2-with-upside value out there.
Hunter Henry – Henry’s snap count has grown from 39% in week 1 to at least 75% three weeks in a row now. He’s also seen 20 targets in the last three games. Henry is a TE1 in any and all formats. Treat him like one.
Cheat Sheet Simple Strategies
No cheat sheet is complete without some practical things that can help you accomplish your dynasty goals today.
Talk to every owner in your leagues that are currently seeded to finish just barely in or out of the playoffs. Ask about their first round rookie pick(s). They all think their teams can still come back from 3-4 and 4-3 to win it all. They’re also probably wrong.
Take a good look at the bottom quarter of your roster that you never start. Move them all for picks or young players one injury away from relevance. You can do this with confidence as a contender or bottom feeder. The potential positive impact from that type of overhaul will surprise you (now and later on draft day).
Avoid zero or negative value moves down the stretch here as you position yourself for the playoffs. What do I mean by that? Don’t cut player(s) you can trade. Don’t make drastic trades that improve one “position of need” only to destroy where you are strong. And don’t trade injured studs to try and “make a push” only to regret it in January.
And that’s all folks. Week seven 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!