Players On The Decline In Dynasty (Fantasy Football)

May 11, 2017

The Colts drafting Marlon Mack spells trouble for Gore’s future

Based on a variety of factors such as age and diminishing production, all players inevitably fall suspect to a depreciation in value. The key is to pinpoint an ideal time frame in which to sell such a player before their value ultimately becomes extinct in the fantasy football trade market. Below, I have identified five players that match this exact criteria. In order to remain ahead of the curve, it is recommended to trade these individuals in dynasty before each is no longer considered a desirable asset.

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Brandon Marshall (WR – NYG)

After a disappointing 2016 campaign in which he accrued 59 receptions for 788 yards receiving and three touchdowns, those invested in Brandon Marshall are banking on a comeback season with the New York Giants in 2017. On paper, a transition from one side of New York to another appears to bode well for the 33-year-old’s fantasy outlook. However, it is important to remember that the wide receiver is coming off of his worst statistical campaign since entering the NFL in 2006. Given his lack of production last year with the New York Jets, it is fair to wonder how much gas Marshall has left in the tank.

From a dynasty perspective, Marshall is undoubtedly a depreciating asset. While his recent two-year, $11 million contract may alleviate short-term retirement concerns, it also presents a window to sell high due to a favorable landing spot. While Marshall now has the opportunity to succeed in a fantasy friendly offense, it is possible that he also receives a decrease in target share in the process. Odell Beckham’s role is secure, but Sterling Shepard and his corresponding 105 targets from 2016 could limit Marshall’s ceiling as a member of the New York Giants. After all, Marshall has thrived on volume in his career to this point based on the fact that he has seen no fewer than 105 targets in a single season outside of his rookie campaign. An increase in touchdown output could alleviate such concerns, but it is hard to refute the fact that Marshall is no longer the premier weapon on an NFL team.

Frank Gore (RB – IND)

Remarkably, Frank Gore has managed to register at least 1,000 yards rushing in five of his last six seasons. Over that span, he has missed a total of zero regular season games. In addition, Gore has earned a minimum of 250 rushing attempts in each campaign since 2011. Given the ample amount of NFL teams that now employ a committee approach to the running back position, Gore’s consistent role has been an invaluable asset in fantasy football circles. The problem surrounding his dynasty value is his age and mileage in the NFL, as he is set to turn 34-years-old this month before entering his thirteenth season in the league.

After the Indianapolis Colts selected Marlon Mack out of South Florida in the fourth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, it also became clear that Gore is set to face backfield competition in the imminent future. Those that currently have shares of Gore in dynasty should make it a priority to trade the declining asset to an owner that selects Mack in rookie drafts, as his trade value continues to depreciate.

Julian Edelman (WR – NEP)

Given his consistent role in New England’s offense, it may come as a surprise to find Julian Edelman listed in this article as a depreciating asset. A legitimate factor to consider while assessing Edelman’s dynasty value is the newfound presence of Brandin Cooks in New England. That, coupled with the fact that Edelman is entering a contract year clouds his long-term value in the NFL and fantasy.

Another issue surrounding Edelman that is often overlooked is durability, as he has been active for a full sixteen-game season just twice across his eight-year career. Based on the fact that the wide receiver will be 31-years-old before the 2017 regular season begins, this offseason could represent an ideal window to sell shares before it’s too late. Outside of his breakout 2013 campaign in which he registered 105 receptions for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns, Edelman has been a volatile commodity in fantasy.  Over the past three years, he has exceeded 1,000 yards receiving in a season on one occasion. Due to an uncertain target share and added competition in New England, Edelman is best viewed as a declining asset in dynasty formats.

Larry Fitzgerald (WR – ARZ)

Following up on a campaign in which he led the NFL with 107 receptions is a daunting task for Larry Fitzgerald. A WR11 finish last season in PPR formats demonstrated that Fitzgerald can be relied on as a productive fantasy contributor regardless of his age. The issue remains that the wide receiver has a limited shelf life remaining in the NFL, as he is set to turn 34-years-old this August.

A farewell tour could be in store for Fitzgerald as he approaches his fourteenth professional season in 2017. With that situation being a realistic outcome, those that own dynasty shares of Fitzgerald are now forced to make a difficult decision. The first option is to hold onto the Pittsburgh product, as he has recorded consecutive seasons with a minimum of 100 receptions and 1,000 yards receiving. On the other hand, it is also logical to sell Fitzgerald to a contending team in a dynasty league before the wide receiver retires altogether. The answer to this dilemma is subjective and ultimately boils down to roster construction, but it is clear that Fitzgerald is a depreciating asset nonetheless.

Delanie Walker (TE – TEN)

Based on his career production, it appears as though Delanie Walker’s 2015 campaign is an outlier in comparison to his annual output. Remember, that season he registered 94 receptions for 1,088 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Consider that outside of that campaign, Walker has never surpassed 65 receptions or 900 yards receiving in a single year during his career.

Sure, Walker is penciled in as Tennessee’s starting tight end for 2017 in an ascending offense led by Marcus Mariota. At the same time, he is set to turn 33-years-old this August. From a dynasty perspective, this makes Walker a difficult asset to invest in. Couple that with the fact that Tennessee decided to select Corey Davis (5th overall), Taywan Taylor (72nd overall) and Jonnu Smith (100th overall) in this year’s NFL Draft, and there is legitimate reason for concern around Walker’s workload moving forward.

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Cory Evans is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Cory, check out his archive and follow him @CoryEvansNFL

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