- NBA DFS: Better Late than Never
- 2017 Fantasy Baseball Busts
- Fantasy Baseball: Staff Relief Pitcher Rankings
- Kyle Schwarber: Fantasy Superstar or Bust?
- Fantasy Baseball: Auction Draft Strategy
- 2017 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
- 2017 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
- NBA DFS: Targets for 3/20
- Fantasy Baseball: Staff First Base Rankings
- Fantasy Baseball: Staff Catcher Rankings
Fantasy Football: Second Half Dynasty Risers & Fallers
Now that the 2016 fantasy football season is in our rearview mirror, let’s discuss some Risers & Fallers in dynasty value over the second half of the season. In each case we’ll take a look at their 2016 performance and offer a brief look at what may lie on the horizon.
Jordan Howard (CHI): A 5th round draft pick by the Chicago Bears in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jordan Howard has seen a meteoric rise in dynasty value over the course of the season. Entering the year as a backup, Howard quickly seized the starting job after Jeremy Langford went down with an ankle injury. Never looking back, he rushed for 1313 yards and 6 touchdowns for the season at a very robust 5.2 yards/carry clip. Even more impressive, he was able to amass 7 100+ yard rushing games from week 4 on, even though the Bears were near the bottom of the league in total rushing attempts.
Howard finished the year as the PPR RB10, averaging 15.5 fantasy points/game, and in terms of ADP, Howard has climbed to the RB9 on Dynasty League Football’s January 2017 ADP.
With both Jeremy Langford and Kadeem Carey still on their rookie deals in 2017, it would be a shock if Howard does not remain the clear-cut starter for the Bears next season, with the added bonus that the Bears are unlikely to focus on upgrading the RB position, either through free agency or the draft, due to the cost controlled players they already have on the roster and their pressing needs at other positions. At a position that experiences significant turnover, Jordan Howard does not have many question marks surrounding him, cementing his value as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 for the foreseeable future.
Tyreek Hill (KC): Quite possibly the most explosive player in the league with the ball in his hands this year, Tyreek Hill burst onto the scene as a dynamic playmaker. Serving as a jack of all trades, Hill put up 6 receiving TDs, 3 rushing TDs, and 3 return TDs. Lined up both on the outside and in the backfield, Hill finished the year with 61 receptions and 860 yards of total offense. An in-season waiver wire pickup in almost all but the deepest dynasty leagues, Hill finished the year as the PPR WR19, averaging 13.4 fantasy points/game. In terms of ADP, Hill has seen a rapid rise, being drafted in the late 5th/early 6th round of DLF’s January startup mock drafts.
Looking to next season Hill’s fantasy production is overly dependent on big plays and long touchdowns, making him a prime regression candidate in 2017. Also, at 5’10 and 185 pounds, he may be a man without a position, requiring Kansas City coaches to consistently scheme ways of getting him the ball. With Travis Kelce dominating the middle of the field, a healthy Jeremy Maclin on the outside, and either the return of Jamaal Charles or the potential for a running back addition early in the 2017 NFL Draft, will the Chiefs continue to prioritize touches for him?
Doug Martin (TB): Signed to a 5 year, $35.75 million contract last off-season, Martin became one of the highest paid running backs in the league, and was a top 50 dynasty startup pick heading into the season. After suffering a hamstring injury in Week 2, and then a re-aggravation prior to Week 7, Martin ultimately did not return to the lineup until Week 10.
The injury did impact his ADP, dropping him a full 1-2 rounds in midseason startup mocks. Unfortunately for dynasty managers rostering Martin, the worst was yet to come. After being a healthy scratch in Week 16, the NFL suspended Martin for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, reportedly triggered for testing positive for Adderall.
The response from dynasty managers has been strong and swift, with his DLF January ADP coming in at 102 overall (RB32), no longer anywhere near the top 12 running back selection he was to start the season.
The suspension leaves Martin with a rather cloudy outlook in 2017. Not only is he suspended for the first 3 games of the upcoming season, but shortly after the suspension was announced, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the suspension voids all guaranteed money from Martin’s $7 million base salary for 2017.
After a career worst year (averaging a paltry 2.9 yards/carry) and hampered by injury, it would be no surprise for Tampa Bay management to take the opportunity provided by the suspension to walk away.
With a deep running back class in the upcoming NFL Draft and a number of other potential veteran running backs on the free agent market this summer, projecting where Martin will be playing next year, along with what his role will be, are both difficult propositions.
Brandon Marshall (NYJ): Entering the season as a late 3rd round dynasty startup pick, Brandon Marshall had his worst statistical year in over a decade, finishing with 59 receptions, 788 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns. By midseason, his dynasty value had dipped, but his stats the 2nd half of the year led to an even more significant decline in value. Known for being a monster in the red zone, Marshall only had 1 touchdown from Week 6 on.
Dynasty players noticed and Marshall’s January ADP on DLF has fallen to 95 overall (WR52). Although he didn’t miss a game until Week 17, Marshall was hampered by knee, foot, back, hip, and shoulder issues all season.
The Jets offense didn’t do Marshall any favors either. Between the atrocious quarterback play of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, and Geno Smith, and the ability for defenses to key in on Marshall due to the lack of other weapons in the passing game, almost everything that could have gone wrong for Marshall did. Due an non-guaranteed $7.5 million in 2017, Marshall’s future as a New York Jet is definitely in limbo, as the team may decide to move on from the soon to be 33-year-old wide receiver.
This would be the ideal scenario for his dynasty value, as Marshall would likely pursue a deal with a team that has a competent, veteran quarterback. However, even if the Jets were to hang on to Marshall, the team is likely to seek an upgrade at the quarterback position and the potential return of Eric Decker would help provide Marshall room to operate.
So now that we’ve discussed the circumstances surrounding each player heading into the off-season, are you buying or selling these players at their current ADP?
* All dynasty ADP referenced courtesy of Dynasty League Football and the great work of Ryan McDowell. Give Ryan a follow on Twitter @RyanMc23
* All performance statistics referenced from NFL.com
* All contract/salary information referenced from Spotrac.com