With training camps opening around the NFL it’s about to get very noisy around here. Dozens of players will be in the best shape of their life, second-year players will be “finally getting it” while veterans will look like they’ve “not lost a step”. I joked last year that we may have been better off if we’d just ignored everything from last year’s camps (remember when Ja’Marr Chase couldn’t catch?) and I was only kind of joking.
The hope is that very little news in August moves the needle in Dynasty, because August news that moves the needle is usually bad news. This kind of ties into our first question so let’s jump right in.
Training camp stashes
As a rule, if I’m going to stash someone I would like to be able to tell a story in my head about how they become a Fantasy starter. And as a rule, it’s easier to tell that story about running backs than it is about wide receivers and tight ends. This goes for the entire offseason, but especially in August.
But the math is slightly different for rookies. Because we haven’t seen these guys on the field, there can be a wide range of opinions in August and a wide range of potential outcomes. Danny Gray may be just as close to starter production as Jerrion Ealy or Kevin Harris. Just make sure you know the bet you’re making if you choose to roster receivers over running backs and have a good case as to why you’re stashing them, be it their talent or their situation (I’d prefer the former).
To be specific, I do value Gray higher than Harris or Ealy right now.
Start-up advice for first-timers
First off, if you’re going to reach on Pitts, you probably need to take him in Round 1. Second, I just refreshed my top 150 last week, so check that out.
Now that we covered the basics, get ready for a wild ride. Every Dynasty start-up is different but a league with nine first-time players is going to really be something. You never know going into the draft how many teams are going to build towards win-now and how many will focus on youth. I’m guessing your league will be more win-now, so I’d be ready to build for the future. Just don’t be set in that plan until you see how things go.
I really like for my team to tell a congruent story. For instance, I took Derrick Henry followed by two rookie receivers earlier this summer and then had to write an article saying how much I hated it. Once you get through your first three to four picks you should have a good idea of what type of team you’re building then move those types of players up in your rankings moving forward.
Win-now running backs
It’s not a bad time of year to kick the tires on your favorite win-now running back. Because anyone holding these aging backs is starting to sweat about what happens if there’s a preseason injury. Then again, that same framing is a good argument to wait until Week 1 to make the trade. In other words, don’t offer full price in July or August.
In a bubble, I value these backs in this order: Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott. According to the rankings over at Dynasty Trade Calculator, I’m highest on Henry and Jones relative to cost. Henry is also the only one I have ranked higher than Fantasy Pros consensus rankings.
Assuming you’re actually one of the top teams in the league, I would offer a 2023 first for Henry. If I had to throw in a third I would probably do that as well. But. I would only make this deal if I truly thought he was the final piece. And I’d angle to add another veteran in the same deal.
Tyreek Hill’s Dynasty value
Hill is one of the toughest wide receivers to rank in both redraft and Dynasty. On the one hand, he’s one of the most efficient wide receivers of all time and he’s still technically in his prime. On the other hand, he’s downgrading from Patrick Mahomes to Tua Tagovailoa and by next year we’ll be asking if we should downgrade him because of his age.
I’ve settled on Hill at No. 11 in redraft and No. 22 in Dynasty as of late July. But I do think his value could be as volatile as anyone’s the first month of the season. If he gets off to a hot start, he’ll be viewed as a top-5 wide receiver once again. If Jaylen Waddle is seeing more targets and there’s drama in Miami, Hill could be headed further south in the rankings.
If I’m a contender, I’m holding but not buying Hill. If I’m rebuilding I would at least be checking the price.