We didn’t even have to wait until the NFL Draft for dynasty Fantasy Football player values to start fluctuating. A few straggling free agent signings were exactly what everyone needed as a small appetizer for this weekend’s events. There will be plenty more value busters coming with the influx of draft prospects.
Beast Mode by Ludacris
“Uh, if rappers want it, they can get it. Flow tighter than four fat b*****s sittin’ in a Civic. My flows are unimaginable, Hannibal Lecter shit. Eatin’ emcees for breakfast.”
Marshawn Lynch is making his triumphant return to the NFL with the Oakland Raiders. While the rumor has been around for a few months, the Seahawks (who owned his rights) and the Raiders agreed on terms Wednesday. It is a great spot for Lynch, who is from Oakland and steps immediately into a high-powered offense. We haven’t seen Beast Mode since 2015, and he wasn’t particularly effective as he battled through injuries and played just seven games. His running style makes him a breakdown risk, especially when you factor in his previous NFL workload. Even if he is not the Lynch of a few years ago, though, his landing spot makes him an instant RB2 with obvious upside for more than that. In redraft, he’s a candidate to be over-drafted. I’m selling in dynasty.
This obviously puts a damper on DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard, two intriguing spark plug types. The second-year backs will focus on earning leftover touches and passing game work this year. Both offer long-term intrigue, but neither projects as a three down back. Washington has the upper hand in that area, while Richard is more explosive. Keep both rostered, but do not expect much trade interest outside of maybe a Lynch owner inquiring.
House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals
“Well, I got one foot on the platform. The other foot on the train. I’m goin’ back to New Orleans. To wear that ball and chain.”
In a surprise to some, including probably Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson signed a two-year deal with the Saints this week. It is expected to be a full-blown timeshare but you cannot feel good if you are an Ingram owner. Yes, he had to split carries with Tim Hightower last season, but Peterson is a much higher profile ball and chain to run with. Still, Ingram holds steady as an RB2 for both 2017 and dynasty purposes, but he’s never had that monster season we’ve been waiting for and this signing pretty much guarantees it won’t happen this year. Who knows what the Saints are getting in Peterson, who is 32 years old and has touched the ball more than 2,700 times in his NFL career. He missed all but three games last year because of injury and was out for 15 games in 2014 thanks to questionable parenting tactics.
Ingram dynasty owners have been through this before. His NFL career got off to a slow start and he’s battled numerous injuries that have held back his stat lines. This is just another bump in the road. Unfortunately, it is also a reality check that he is never likely to blossom into a reliable RB1. I’m holding Ingram if I already own him, but he’s not a player I am targeting in trade. Owners should smartly want to hold off and not sell him at a discount, even if they are secretly concerned about the signing. The asking price should start at multiple second round rookie picks or a back end first rounder. Peterson owners should be pushing him towards nervous Ingram owners immediately. It is time to capitalize on your aging stock before it’s too late.
Dr. Greenthumb by Cypress Hill
“Out from the lab, no need for rehab. If I can’t drive then call me a cab.”
Martavis Bryant was conditionally reinstated by the NFL this week. Bryant is a game-changing talent on the field, with an envious size/speed combination and a propensity for finding the end zone. He owns a career yards per catch average of 17.3 to go along with 14 TDs in 21 career games. For a player that has been in the league three years, that is not a lot of games played. And that is the problem with Bryant. He was suspended for four games to start the 2015 season and subsequently all last year for failing or missing drug tests.
His dynasty stock has to make you nervous, because another failed test could doom him for another season or possibly forever. He’s a Top 15 talent at the position, but the risk is not for everyone. Bryant’s return to the field lifts the entire offense, which seemed to struggle at times in 2016 without him. Consider him a strong WR2 option, but the ceiling is the roof if he can curtail his affinity for weed. Speaking of that, is it too much to ask for Josh Gordon to be reinstated now as well?
Enjoy the NFL Draft. And this classic parody song, Mr. Upside from BradyFan83.