The Best Dynasty Asset On Each NFL Team (Fantasy Football)
The term elite is communicated fairly often in association with fantasy football, but what does it actually mean? This article answers that question by revealing the best dynasty asset on each NFL team. In doing so, the value of elite players can be identified and explained.
Arizona Cardinals – David Johnson (RB)
It should come as no surprise that David Johnson is featured in this article, as he is arguably the most valuable running back in all of fantasy football. After a monstrous sophomore campaign in which he recorded 1,239 yards rushing for 16 touchdowns and an additional 80 receptions for 879 yards receiving and four scores, Johnson has cemented himself as an elite asset in dynasty circles. Due to the uncertain future of Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald, Johnson is now the face of Arizona’s franchise at 25 years old.
Atlanta Falcons – Julio Jones (WR)
Despite turning 28 years old this February, Julio Jones remains a premier wide receiver in the NFL. For fantasy football purposes, he has registered a minimum of 83 receptions for 1,400 yards receiving and six touchdowns in each of his past three seasons. Cleary an integral component of Atlanta’s aerial attack, Jones figures to maintain elite value barring durability issues for the foreseeable future.
Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Dixon (RB)
Even though Kenneth Dixon will face a four-game suspension to start the 2017 regular season, he offers significant fantasy upside as one of Baltimore’s best skill position players. The 23-year-old running back compiled 544 all-purpose yards as a rookie in 2016 on a mere 118 total offensive touches. Based on the inferior talent of Terrance West and less than durable Danny Woodhead, Dixon finds himself in an excellent position to emerge as a sophomore.
Buffalo Bills – Sammy Watkins (WR)
Availability is a serious concern surrounding Sammy Watkins, as he has missed 11 regular season games over the past two years. Fortunately, age remains on the Clemson product’s side. Still only 23 years old, Watkins will enter his fourth campaign in the NFL as a centerpiece of Buffalo’s offense alongside LeSean McCoy.
Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton (QB)
Arguably the most dynamic quarterback in the NFL, Cam Newton is the heart and soul of the Carolina Panthers. He is also a versatile fantasy asset, as his unique combination of passing and rushing skills translates to a reliable option in virtually all scoring formats.
Newton has thrown for a minimum of 18 touchdowns while rushing for at least five in each of his six career seasons to this point. Provided the newfound additions of Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel in Carolina, it is entirely possible that Newton rediscovers his 2015 MVP form in 2017.
Chicago Bears – Jordan Howard (RB)
Emerging onto the scene as a fifth-round pick in 2016, Jordan Howard should serve as a reminder that situation is of utmost importance in fantasy football. The Indiana product rushed for 1,313 yards as a rookie, while also adding 29 receptions for 298 yards receiving and a touchdown via Chicago’s aerial attack. Entrenched as the incumbent starter moving forward, Howard is one of the main cogs in a rebuilding machine for the Windy City.
Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green (WR)
With 1,000 yards receiving in five of his six NFL seasons to date, A.J. Green is an irreplaceable asset for the Cincinnati Bengals. The wide receiver has also recorded no fewer than 65 receptions in a campaign, which demonstrates his elite upside in fantasy. Despite the offseason additions of John Ross and Joe Mixon, Green will enter 2017 as the focal point of Cincinnati’s offense.
Cleveland Browns – Corey Coleman (WR)
Despite being forced to miss six games as a rookie in 2016 due to a broken hand, Corey Coleman managed to accrue 33 receptions for 413 yards and three scores last season. In the 10 contests that he was active for, the wide receiver earned no fewer four targets in a game. With Terrelle Pryor now out of the picture, Coleman is expected to become the main weapon for Cleveland in 2017.
Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott (RB)
This selection should be considered a no-brainer, as Ezekiel Elliott warrants consideration as the most valuable asset in all of dynasty fantasy football. In his first NFL season, the running back delivered 1,631 yards rushing en route to scoring fifteen touchdowns. Considering Elliott recorded a pedestrian 32 receptions for 363 yards and a score in 2016 as a more than capable receiver out of the backfield, it’s fair to speculate that the 21-year-old possesses one of the largest statistical ceilings in all of fantasy.
Denver Broncos – Demaryius Thomas (WR)
When a wide receiver accumulates at least 90 receptions for 1,000 yards receiving and five touchdowns in five consecutive seasons, it should warrant considerable praise. Surprisingly, Demaryius Thomas receives little respect for his level of consistency in fantasy circles. He is no longer an elite asset, but the 29-year-old wide receiver has seen 140 or more targets in five straight seasons as Denver’s main perimeter option on offense.
Detroit Lions – Golden Tate (WR)
Rather quietly, Golden Tate has managed to collect a minimum of 90 receptions in three consecutive campaigns. Although he has not scored more than six touchdowns in a season over the span, Tate is by far the most consistent asset in Detroit’s offense from a fantasy perspective.
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers (QB)
Sure, Green Bay is loaded with a variety of elite skill position players such as Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. However, Aaron Rodgers is a necessary component of their success. With 30 or more passing touchdowns in five of his past six seasons, the 33-year-old quarterback is an elite asset in fantasy and reality.
Houston Texans – DeAndre Hopkins (WR)
After a monster 2015 campaign in which he compiled 111 receptions for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns, DeAndre Hopkins came back down to Earth last season. As a result of inadequate quarterback support, the wide receiver regressed to the tune of 78 receptions for 954 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. To address this issue, the Houston Texans selected Deshaun Watson with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to pair with its franchise player in Hopkins.
Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck (QB)
Among the best at his position in the NFL, Andrew Luck is a cornerstone of the Indianapolis Colts franchise. The Stanford product has amassed a minimum of 3,800 passing yards in four his five professional campaigns to date. Behind a depleted offensive line, Luck has been the adversary of lingering shoulder issues.
This offseason, he was forced to undergo surgery to alleviate the ailment. Barring health, Luck is firmly in the conversation to finish as the top quarterback overall in fantasy for 2017.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Allen Robinson (WR)
No longer valued as a consensus elite talent, Allen Robinson is viewed as a polarizing player in the dynasty community. While his 2015 campaign of 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns could very well represent the wide receiver’s ceiling, it’s also fair to wonder if 2016 was an outlier.
Remember, Robinson recorded a disappointing 73 receptions for 883 yards and six touchdowns last season. Regardless, he stands to benefit from the added presence of Leonard Fournette as Jacksonville attempts to implement a more balanced approach on offense in 2017.
Kansas City Chiefs – Travis Kelce (TE)
Travis Kelce is the definition of consistent at the tight end position, as he has registered no fewer than 67 receptions for 862 yards and four touchdowns across his three seasons in the NFL. The 27-year-old enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2016 en route to posting a career-high in receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,125). Kelce is Kansas City’s best weapon on offense, and he should be valued as an elite commodity in the dynasty realm.
Los Angeles Chargers – Melvin Gordon (RB)
Sure, Melvin Gordon failed to score a touchdown in 2015 as a rookie in the NFL. However, he managed to rebound splendidly as a sophomore with 997 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Even more, Gordon expanded his passing-down role by collecting 41 receptions for 419 yards and two scores.
Fellow teammate Keenan Allen is also a candidate to be named as the most valuable asset on the Los Angeles Chargers roster, but Gordon’s durability and age provide an edge. The team’s new head coach Anthony Lynn has also been associated with seven 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his NFL coaching career, which figures to bode well for Gordon’s value in 2017.
Los Angeles Rams – Todd Gurley (RB)
Those that own shares of Todd Gurley in dynasty need to remain patient, as the 22-year-old running back endured an uncharacteristic season in 2016. Now that the Jeff Fisher era is over in Los Angeles, Gurley has the opportunity to resurface as an elite tailback under the direction of Sean McVay.
Based on volume alone, Gurley projects to flirt with 1,000 yards rushing in 2017. If he can surpass that total, it will represent the second time in three seasons for the Georgia product.
Miami Dolphins – Jarvis Landry (WR)
Over the span of his last two campaigns, Jarvis Landry has posted double-digit points in PPR formats in all but five regular season games. The wide receiver has also eclipsed 94 receptions and 1,100 yards receiving in each of those two seasons, which makes him an invaluable asset in PPR formats. Still only 24 years old, Landry possesses the safest floor and defined role among DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills in Miami.
Minnesota Vikings – Stefon Diggs (WR)
As a former fifth-round pick in 2015, Stefon Diggs has more than lived up to his pedigree on the NFL gridiron. Yes, he has room to develop as far as route running and overall efficiency are concerned.
At the same time, Diggs enters 2017 as Minnesota’s most polished offensive tool. Assuming that he can build off of the 84 receptions for 903 yards and three touchdowns that he contributed in 2016, Diggs will have the opportunity to enter elite territory among wide receivers in fantasy.
New England Patriots – Brandin Cooks (WR)
On paper, a transition from New Orleans to New England could be considered a lateral move for the dynasty value of Brandin Cooks. The wide receiver is no longer the focal point of an offense, which could limit his target share and weekly fantasy output in 2017. Due to his age (23) and consistent production across two NFL seasons, Cooks deservedly edges out Rob Gronkowski in being named the best dynasty asset in New England.
New Orleans Saints – Michael Thomas (WR)
After a historic rookie campaign in which he accumulated 92 receptions for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns, Michael Thomas is on the verge of earning an elite label at the wide receiver position in fantasy circles. Even though it could be difficult to replicate his rookie receiving totals as a sophomore, Thomas figures to become the main beneficiary of Brandin Cooks’ departure with 117 targets now available from last season.
New York Giants – Odell Beckham (WR)
A near consensus selection for the first overall pick in dynasty startup drafts, Odell Beckham is easily the most valuable asset on the New York Giants from a fantasy perspective. The 24-year-old wide receiver has manufactured at least 91 receptions for 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his three career NFL seasons.
Sure, Beckham could witness a slight decrease in volume with Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram now in the picture. At the same time, their added presence could also draw attention off of Beckham in 2017. Regardless, he remains an elite asset in all scoring formats.
New York Jets – Matt Forte (RB)
Of all 32 NFL teams, the New York Jets conceivably boast the worst roster of skill position players. That alone made it difficult to pinpoint the best asset on the team for the sake of this article.
Nevertheless, Matt Forte currently holds the most fantasy value on a depleted offense. He is 31 years old and has failed to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in consecutive seasons, but owns a rather secure role with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire as his main competition for snaps.
Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper (WR)
Often overlooked due to the presence of Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper is among the most valuable assets in all of dynasty fantasy football. The 22-year-old has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in both of his professional campaigns and is an integral component of an ascending Oakland offense led by Derek Carr. Due to his safe floor of production in PPR formats and dynamic skill set as a wide receiver, Cooper belongs in the first-round discussion of startup drafts in dynasty.
Philadelphia Eagles – Alshon Jeffery (WR)
Albeit it on a one-year deal, Alshon Jeffery currently resides as the best skill position player on the Philadelphia Eagles. The South Carolina product has flashed elite upside over the course of his career but has also been plagued by soft tissue injuries. If he and Carson Wentz can develop a strong rapport in 2017, it is realistic for Jeffery to exceed his existing career-high in receptions (89) and receiving yards (1,421).
Pittsburgh Steelers – Antonio Brown (WR)
Antonio Brown requires no introduction, as he is perhaps the most dynamic athlete in the NFL. The wide receiver has posted a minimum of 106 receptions for 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns in a remarkable four straight seasons. Brown is the ultimate difference maker in PPR formats and is somehow still only 28 years old.
San Francisco 49ers – Carlos Hyde (RB)
Durability issues have limited Carlos Hyde over his three-year career, as he has been forced to miss 14 regular season games to this point. The San Francisco 49ers are in the process of a complete rebuild, but the Ohio State running back finds himself in an appealing fantasy situation under the direction of Kyle Shanahan. The added company of fourth-round rookie Joe Williams could limit Hyde’s ceiling, but it’s safe to assume that the starting job is his to lose in 2017.
Seattle Seahawks – Doug Baldwin (WR)
Russell Wilson is the anchor of the Seattle Seahawks, but Doug Baldwin is the piece that keeps the offense afloat. While the 28-year-old does not enjoy the name value of other wide receivers in the NFL, he has quietly emerged as a star in dynasty. In 2016, Baldwin recorded a career-high in receptions (94) and receiving yards (1,128). As he enters his seventh professional campaign in 2017, Baldwin projects to retain a dominant target share in Seattle.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans (WR)
Worthy of consideration for the first overall selection in a dynasty startup draft, Mike Evans is an elite NFL talent and asset in fantasy football. With 1,000 yards receiving in his first three NFL seasons and double-digit touchdowns in two of those campaigns, Evans offers a safe floor and high ceiling for fantasy purposes. Tampa Bay has added formidable competition for volume in the form of DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin this offseason, but Evans remains the primary target for Jameis Winston.
Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota (QB)
The Tennessee Titans are in an excellent position to emerge as a legitimate playoff contender in 2017. The team owns a powerful tandem at the running back position of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.
Even more, the franchise improved its receiving corps by allocating the fifth pick overall in the 2017 NFL Draft to secure Corey Davis. All of these resources should elevate Marcus Mariota’s value moving forward, as he continues to emerge as an elite quarterback.
Washington Redskins – Jordan Reed (TE)
Yes, Jordan Reed is perhaps one more concussion away from a lost NFL career. Nonetheless, he has proven to be an elite asset when active at a scarce tight end position.
The issue remains that Reed has played in no more than 14 regular season contests across his four-year career in a single campaign. If the 26-year-old can manage to avoid serious injury in 2017, he will have the opportunity to reward fantasy owners that are willing to invest significant capital into his services.