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 fifth edition of the Dynasty Cheat Sheet.
Cheat Sheet Player Values
Carson Wentz – It looks like it may be time to properly readjust and include Wentz in the conversation as a QB1 option for the future in dynasty. Last season it seemed he just couldn’t finish drives with touchdowns. This year he’s already nearly eclipsed his 2016 total in touchdowns already. If Jeffery and Ertz stick around for a while don’t be surprised if we see Wentz average 4000 yards and 30 TDs over the next several seasons.
Christian McCaffrey – How many running backs have at least 50 targets so far this season? You guessed it; just one. McCaffrey actually ranks tenth in the entire league in targets right now. It seems he is a running back by name only. If the season ended today he would be a top 10 RB in PPR formats. If he ever adds more carries McCaffrey is going to be an absolute fantasy monster. Don’t expect to acquire him for anything less than round three start-up value.
Jarvis Landry – This is your weekly reminder that Jarvis Landry is good at what he does. Keep buying Jarvis if you want a sneaky league winning player that costs less than his productive contemporaries. He’s ranked fifth in targets across the NFL with ONE FEWER GAME PLAYED than anyone else ahead of him.
Devonta Freeman – Freeman was being taken safely inside the second round of new drafts this past off-season, but has yet to look like that type of back in 2017. The entire Falcons offense has seemingly regressed, but so has Devonta’s opportunity. He’s only averaging about two catches per game which have immensely lowered his weekly ceiling in fantasy. The Falcons recently invested heavily Devonta’s future. They won’t let his talent go to waste for long. Use this as a buy-low window.
Jordan Howard – It’s great to see Mitchell Trubisky get his first win as the Bears starting quarterback. But don’t let that distract you from the fact that Jordan Howard just carried the ball 36 times last week. He’s back. There can and will continue to be arguments concerning his actual talent level, but Howard’s current opportunity screams RB1. Treat him as such.
Alex Collins – The former Arkansas Razorback is the new grinder for the Ravens’ putrid offense. Outside of his 30-yard scamper Collins was averaging 3.1 yards per carry. He’s a plodding placeholder and no more. Don’t let anyone tell or sell you otherwise. Javorius Allen is the back to own (if there is any) in Baltimore.
D’Onta Foreman – It would be easy to glance at the box score and think that Foreman actually had a decent game against the Browns. That’s not really what happened though. Just like Alex Collins, Foreman saved his game with one easy breakaway for 39 yards. His other 11 caries went for 20 yards. Lamar Miller is still the guy in Houston. Use the fake stat line as a sell-high or as a way to acquire Lamar for cheap.
Ricardo Louis – Louis led Browns wide receivers in targets for the third week in a row. Ricardo’s ceiling is capped as long as he’s in Cleveland, but his athleticism wins him individual matchups all game long every week. The potential is there and he costs essentially nothing.
Brett Hundley – The only logical reason Hundley would have been owned in your league is if you play in Superflex or two-QB leagues. Now is not the time to go buying into Aaron Rodgers’ understudy. He will most definitely continue to struggle and kill the value of all Packers’ assets. He is only worth acquiring if you’re looking to sell immediately to a (very) QB-needy team.
Adam Thielen – *sings* “I’ve got a Thielen…woo…hoo…that this might be the receiver to buy. Yeah, this might be the receiver to buy…” *stops himself* Yes, indeed. Adam Thielen is the WR buy of all WR buys. I don’t generally encourage “buying high” but the price is still very reasonable in most cases for what you’re getting. Thielen received 13 targets against Green Bay. It turns out 2016 was no fluke.
Mark Ingram – I wish I could remember who said it this past week, but it apparently took a 32-year-old RB screaming at Sean Payton to make him realize what he had all along. Mark Ingram carried the rock 25 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns in the Saints first game this season without Adrian Peterson. Many owners have undervalued Ingram so long that his value is still depressed. He’s a solid productive hold that might just win you a league championship.
Marvin Jones – Marvin has quietly seen a massive increase in targets over the past two weeks. Through the first four weeks, Jones only saw a total of 18 targets. The past two he combined for 22. Marvin could be a sneaky league-winning flex for you down the stretch. Go grab him for a second round rookie pick or the equivalent.
Dion Lewis – While Dion Lewis is healthy he may just be the Patriots back to own. It shouldn’t even cost you a second round pick or so to grab him in most leagues. If Dion can muster even a portion of the magic he did just a couple seasons ago look out. Dion is another sneaky flex play that might be the perfect puzzle piece to fill out your roster down the stretch.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – ASJ was absolutely robbed of a touchdown this past week so that Tom Brady could get his gold star for most regular season wins by a quarterback. But! The bright side is that even after missing two games he’s nearly on pace to finish the season as the Jets’ receiving targets leader. He’s one of the safest TE1 options in the league until proven otherwise.
George Kittle – The 49ers are on a mission to earn a top draft pick next spring, but don’t let that scare you. Kittle has 11 catches in the past two weeks. Beathard will continue to find his second option in Kittle every week. The upside is absolutely disgusting, but Kittle offers every-down availability. Kittle cost you next to nothing to buy. Don’t sell him short though. He could easily develop into a consistent TE1 with a legitimate QB at the helm as soon as next season.
Chris Thompson – Say it with me. “Chris Thompson: RB1.” That’s the world we live in. If the season ended today Thompson would finish as your RB6 overall. Thompson’s overall usage implies that he is more Tevin Coleman than he is Devonta Freeman though. There will be some inevitable drop in efficiency, but that doesn’t mean that Chris Thompson can’t help you win your championship in the flex.
Adrian Peterson – So it seems that I was wrong on Adrian Peterson. He has something to prove, and apparently, his drive and tenacity haven’t left him at age 400 or whatever he is. AP is the perfect dynasty asset. “What did he just say?” Yes, you heard me. The perfect dynasty asset is both a great sell and buy depending on a given team’s situation. He won’t cost you virtually anything but provides a safe floor given his opportunity. Value him similarly to Frank Gore and have fun.
Cameron Brate – Last but definitely not least on this week’s cheat sheet is the tight end that dynasty left for dead prior to this season. OJ Howard is clearly going to take some time to figure things out as most young tight ends do. In the meantime, Brate is a sneaky league-winning flex play and TE1 to be reckoned with. Go buy him knowing what he is. Brate has a definite expiration date that may come sooner than you’d like, but the weekly production can’t be denied at this point.
Cheat Sheet Simple Strategies
No cheat sheet is complete without some practical things that can help you accomplish your dynasty goals today.
Throughout this week’s cheat sheet I’ve mentioned several players as “sneaky league winners” intentionally. League-winning players by definition should not be your team’s studs. Every playoff team in your league has a handful of obvious blue-chip players. Finding the right sneaky league winning flex plays mid-season is part of what sets the great fantasy owners apart from the good ones. Go buy yourself a handful of cheap options that may qualify before soon to be eliminated teams raise the prices.
Believe in what we’ve seen up to this point in the season. By this time most players have amassed a necessary sample size to adequately project expectations for the remaining games this season. Forget where you drafted someone this summer. Forget what you thought you knew about a player, an offense, a scheme or anything else. If there is new evidence it’s well past time to adapt and proceed accordingly with confidence.
And as always, buy picks. Yes, I said it again. Buy picks right now. As the expected final standings begin to take shape, the true expected values of 2018 rookie draft picks will also. Assets that have a more definitive value quickly become more difficult to acquire.
And that’s all folks. Week six 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!