2QB Dynasty April Musings

Anthony Morelli

The 2016 Fantasy season is still in its infancy with the combine behind us and the April 28th NFL draft ahead of us.  It’s been a long winter without much new to talk about, but for those in the 2QB dynasty fantasy football world, there’s already plenty of things to chew over.  Who goes first in dynasty rookie drafts, Laquon Treadwell the wide receiver from Ole Miss or Ezekiel Elliott, the running back from Ohio State?  Does Josh Doctson from TCU get ahead of either of them?  And which NFL team will draft those three?  Do you even want to draft in 2016 or trade back to what is considered by some in the industry to be a stronger class next year? I’m just now coming back from a self-imposed vacation where I focused on finishing my college degree and spent a lot of time with family and friends.  Now it’s time to warm up the laptop and microphone and start putting down my thoughts on this draft class and the upcoming year.  I hope you’re as intrigued as I am by the moves in the NFL and want to start looking over spreadsheets and your existing teams and planning your next trade.  Here are some of my musings that I’ve been chewing over in the offseason to get started on 2016!

My wife and I have never really had a true yelling and screaming argument. Well… Not yet, anyway.  But she has told me that one thing that really frustrates her is when I go completely black and white and propose the most ridiculous examples that have little to do with the discussion at hand.  She complains about the vet bills so I say, “Well, give them away or put them down if you can’t handle paying for it.”  Or she has a bad day at work so I say “Well just quit, then.”  She says that this isn’t helpful and doesn’t address her concerns at all.  I recently explained this to her in fantasy football terminology.  I said I wanted her to get to the other end of the argument and agree with it.  Then the solution to her question is somewhere in between her complaint and her agreement where she doesn’t want to go to that extreme, and only then can she can start determining her “center value” for the problem.

The same is true for our player values.  What would you accept for Matt Ryan in a 2QB dynasty league?  1.06 straight up for him?  Of course not.  That’s way too low.  What about the 1.02 plus three 2017 1sts?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’d take that trade if I had two other quarterbacks already.  Then it follows that your fair value of Matt Ryan is somewhere in between.

Your offers to others are like this value hunt.  You don’t know what that person’s value of that player is, but he or she already possesses him and must have paid a pretty penny for him so it’s probably higher than yours.  If you offer on the low end, it might get declined without comment.  Go back and offer again if they don’t counter.  Try to keep pulling at that string until they provide you their value.  It might be higher than you want to pay, but at least you’ll know what both parties could agree on as a fair compromise value before you and the other owner accept or decline.

Another thing I think I’ve been thinking over is the rookie wide receivers in any dynasty format. I keep hearing that their quarterback matters, their system matters, the coverage matters and coaching matters.  I tend to throw all these over my shoulder and absolutely forget about them.  What’s their catch percentage in their last college season?  I like my wide receivers to be tall and in the 205-225 range running a 40 in the 4.40 range or better.  Everyone does.  But the thing that matters is their catch percentage.  You know that internet meme of “You had one job!”  It couldn’t be truer.  When a wide receiver is thrown a ball, nothing else matters.  It’s right there in your title.  You’re a receiver.  Go catch the damned ball.  I don’t care if you have one guy on you or three.  I don’t care if you are running this route or that.  I don’t even care if you’re five yards from the line of scrimmage or 50.  You had one job.  Catch.  The.  Ball.  If balls bounce off your hands, you can’t run a route or you get buried in coverage, flailing your arms while getting dragged down by a cornerback and a safety; you will almost assuredly not be able to do it better against NFL coverage.

What does that mean?  It means I’m higher on Josh Doctson and Sterling Shepard (both over 73% catch rate) than I am on Michael Thomas (less than 67% catch rate).  I’m still higher on Davante Adams (75%) than I am on – hot take alert – Kelvin Benjamin (62%).  Who did the Panthers draft to cover the other side of the field from Benjamin?  Devin Funchess, also at 62%.  So how did Kelvin Benjamin’s rookie season go?  50% catch rate.  Devin Funchess also caught less than 50% of balls thrown his way last year.  Would this improve dramatically when they’re both healthy and on the field at the same time?  Maybe.  But doubtful.  Oh sure, there are exceptions like Odell Beckham and Allen Robinson who only caught around 65% of their targets in their last college season.  But some people still think Darrius Heyward-Bey is a great late round flyer even though his current career catch rate is less than 50%.  They’ll just never learn, I guess.

The league’s starting quarterbacks are really hard to finger straight out of college, even for professional NFL scouts. Brady is a good example, going in the later rounds of a draft.  So are Derek Carr (4th pick in the 2nd round in 2014 – after Johnny Manziel) and Andy Dalton (3rd pick in the 2nd round in 2011 – after Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert).   Kirk Cousins was drafted in the 4th round in 2012.  You might not think of these as the top players, but they have the starting job.

So how do you draft quarterbacks to try to hit on a starter in 2 quarterback dynasty?  Drink in all the fantasy information that you can.  Listen to interviews of the players to find out which ones are snappy and eager to learn more, and which ones are “just happy to be here” and feel they already won the MVP just for showing up.  If you’ve read my articles in the past you could probably guess I’m still high on Garrett Grayson who was drafted by the Saints in 2015.  He had opportunities to get on the field last year and learn the ropes behind Brees while never really getting out from under the “redshirt” tag.  His interviews before the 2015 draft spoke of intelligence and hunger.  I can’t wait to see if he gets a shot at the starting role this year or next.  This year, Wentz and Lynch interest me, depending on their landing spots.

If you don’t nail the college kid right out of school, there’s nothing wrong with spending a second round pick for Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith or Tyrod Taylor.  With starting quarterbacks so hard to find, teams will keep starting caliber talent in any way they can.  If they can’t keep them (like Brock Osweiler or Robert Griffin III) for whatever reason, they will eventually surface elsewhere.  Thinking of taking a shot on a riskier option?  Offer a late second or early third rounder for Mike Glennon.  It may be another year till he can go get that big contract, but he will get his chance sooner or later, and whichever NFL team pays up for him will already be a believer.

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