It’s been a strange start to the fantasy season for Quarterbacks. Perennial QB1s Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees disappointed. Meanwhile, streaming QBs Alex Smith, Sam Bradford and Trevor Siemian all put up big games, finishing in the top 5 scorers at the position. If you’re living that Late Round QB life in your redraft leagues, you’re having a great time. But what is the impact all of the Week 1 action (and inaction) in superflex dynasty leagues?
Let’s start by checking in on our Week 1 superflex dynasty trade recommendations:
Buy: Dak Prescott
Dak showed up decent in the box score, but faces arguably the best secondary in the league in Denver in Week 2. Next week might be a good time to kick the tires if Aqib Talib shuts down Dez Bryant and the Cowboys take a step back.
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Sell: Jameis Winston
The Bucs didn’t play in week 1, and will face the Bears in week 2. Winston should have a huge week. Party on.
Hold: Nathan Peterman
Tyrod Taylor’s still the starter, but the Bills don’t get to play the Jets every week. Patience, grasshopper.
Avoid: Brissett & Tolzein
Scott Tolzein was awful, and Jacoby Brissett was just named the Week 2 starter. With just one week in the Colts system and a terrible offensive line, it’s likely not going to be pretty, you’ll be glad you sat this one out. Your FAAB bucks are now worth more.
Stash: Josh Dobbs
Nothing to see here. Landry Jones is still the backup, and Big Ben is still upright (for now). Feel free to drop if you need the roster space.
Now, onto week 2!
Buy Andy Dalton
After TNF’s scintillating Week 2 matchup between the Bengals and Texans, we have two straight games of Bad Andy Dalton on the books in 2017. And boy, were they bad. There’s a lot to unpack about the state of the Bengals organization, but we’ll steer clear of the whole mess for now.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Primetime Andy Dalton meltdown. Remember that Thursday night game in 2014 where the Bengals got blown out by Browns? Dalton posted a passer rating of 2 (yes, 2), and a completion percentage of 30.3%. Dalton is notorious for abysmal performances in nationally televised games, and this Thursday’s performance is the opposite of Christmas coming early for his fantasy owners.
Despite a few scattered calls for AJ McCarron on Twitter (seriously?), Marvin Lewis, for however long he remains head coach, stands behind his QB. The Bengals doubled down on this stance by firing OC Ken Zampese and promoting Dalton’s QB coach, Bill Lazor (of the Chip Kelly coaching tree) to run the offense. There is good reason for optimism after this move:
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Dolphins were a legit decent offense in first year under Bill Lazor. Heavier pass volume, safe, less efficient. Ran efficiently with Miller pic.twitter.com/U5lnywAt7U
— Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) September 15, 2017
Dalton is better than his Week 1 and Week 2 performances showed. If anything, these recent stinkers should depress his price as one of the cheapest starting QBs with a proven high end QB1 ceiling (2013 QB5 finish) in Superflex leagues.
I expect him to bounce back this season in a retooled Bengals offense, and anticipate several solid years of fantasy production – albeit with occasional putrid primetime performance – are in his future. Just embrace it, and don’t start Dalton when the sun goes down.
Sell Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor is a hard asset to move right now, and his sell window seems to be closing. We talked last week about how Taylor’s days as the starter in Buffalo are numbered, and as a result, his reliability as a weekly producer of fantasy points for your Superflex spot is in question. But given the shockingly bad early performances by previously steadfast starters like Dalton, Carson Palmer and Eli Manning, chances are, several other owners in your league may be in the market for a QB production as panic sets in – and Taylor finished as QB6.
Unlike Eli and Carson, who may be put out to pasture by their teams soon, there’s optimism that Taylor could land in another, more fantasy fertile situation in 2018. The grass-is-greener hope of a starting gig with a new team, the strong “TyGod” brand equity and his konami code-enabled rushing floor all contribute to make his perceived value higher than it probably should be for a QB who isn’t a shoe-in for a starting role next season.
In the QB-starved climate of today’s NFL, I find it slightly concerning that Buffalo, with no real strong Plan B at QB (unless you’re #TeamPeterman), remains unconvinced that Taylor can be a productive long-term starter for their organization. Despite the offseason blurbs pining for a Tyrod trade to Denver, Houston or Jacksonville, sometimes the NFL tells us things that we might rather ignore or deny. I wouldn’t be surprised if he landed as a backup somewhere rather than as a starter. Or a Mike Glennon-esque stop-gap role. Speaking of…
Hold Mike Glennon
Mike Glennon was *this close* to engineering a gutsy comeback against last year’s NFC Champions the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. While he’s not the future of the Chicago Bears franchise, as was the hope early this offseason before Bears GM Ryan Pace traded up to draft UNC QB Mitchell Trubisky at #2 overall, if he can build on that momentum, he may be able to buy himself some time in the league.
If Glennon is able to put together a string of decent games as a lame duck, he may find himself with a Josh McCown or Brian Hoyer-like opportunity to build a journeyman career with short-term starting roles for a new team (or three). While these types of players won’t command a king’s ransom in trade value, they have value as spot starters or as bye week fill-ins, especially in deeper leagues with several flex spots.
After losing Jameis Winston to a surprise week 1 bye, I popped Glennon in my superflex spot, and ultimately ended up winning my Week 1 match. That kind of emergency tactical support can end up being more valuable than a random 3rd or 4th round pick with a low percentage chance at hitting. If you’ve got the roster space, keep him around, because you never know where he’ll end up.
Avoid Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco is often touted as an underrated, cheap Superflex starter, and may be a tempting speculative purchase with the thought that his recent back injury woes may be depressing his current value. Resist the temptation. In Flacco’s best fantasy season by far, (2015), he only ranked QB19 in PPG (21.6 PPG) – and his weapons and offensive line have only gotten worse since then.
It’s also worth noting that while the Ravens were the most pass-happy team in the league in 2016, we have gotten an early indication that the 2017 season figures to be drastically different. Greg Roman, previous architect of the supremely run-heavy Buffalo offense in 2016, is now managing the run game in Baltimore, and in Week 1, the Ravens ranked #1 in the league in percentage of rushing plays vs. passing plays (70%/30%) per Rich Hribar’s Week 2 Worksheet on Rotoworld.
Flacco has had a fairly limited ceiling even with a high volume of pass attempts, and it’s hard to imagine that changes for the positive if the Ravens take the air out of the ball moving forward. I believe his current superflex dynasty value “as a locked in, franchise QB starter” is inflated beyond the production he provides your team on a weekly basis, and the limited ceiling he offers. An easy avoid at his current price.
Follow me on Twitter at @Dan_McD.