Preseason Dynasty Risers and Fallers (2018 Fantasy Football)
Bruce Matson discusses which players have seen their dynasty value rise or fall this preseason.
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The preseason is almost over, and it’s not going to be long before we are watching meaningful football. A lot can happen during training camp that can affect dynasty values. Under the radar players who exceed expectations and blow up during the preseason games will usually receive a slight bump in dynasty value.
Highly touted draft prospects who struggle early in camp will generate skepticism amongst many fantasy owners. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering it creates buying opportunities on the trade market. Nonetheless, analyzing the risers and fallers during the preseason can help you become a successful dynasty owner.
Peyton Barber (RB – TB)
It appears that Barber will be the Buccaneers’ lead back going into the season. Contrary to what some people believe, he’s a talented runner, and he’s good enough to earn a sizeable workload in the league. He has the size and wiggle to make things happen in the second level of the defense. The job will be his if he can continue to play well. The fact that he outperformed Ronald Jones this preseason means that the coaching staff is confident in his abilities.
This is big for dynasty owners who plucked him off waivers last season because now he’s developing into a useful asset. If his success continues, then we are looking at a dynasty asset that we could potentially flip for a first-round rookie pick. Right now, if you wanted to sell him, you could quickly get a second-round pick off the trade market.
John Ross (WR – CIN)
After a lost rookie season, Ross is looking to make his mark in the NFL. Now he’s back on the dynasty radar after making a few splash-plays this preseason. He is one of the fastest players in the league, and he will be able to stretch the field at will. With A.J. Green commanding a lot of the attention from the opposing defenses, Ross will see a lot of favorable matchups.
He was already being touted a bust going into the offseason, but now his recent resurgence is giving fantasy owners some new hope that they can gather some return on their investment. If you can, try to get him on the cheap through the trade market, because his dynasty stock should only increase.
Phillip Dorsett (WR – NE)
We thought Dorsett’s future as an NFL wide receiver was almost over going into the offseason. His two-year stint with the Colts was lackluster. Not to mention that he only caught 12 passes for 194 yards last year with the Patriots. However, the ambiguous receiving corps in New England created some opportunity for Dorsett to display what he can do, allowing him to take advantage of those opportunities and now he has the chance to be one of the team’s starting wide receivers going into Week 1.
From a value perspective, Dorsett went from a roster clogger to a player that could possibly produce for your starting lineup. My advice would be to try and buy him on the cheap while you can. I wouldn’t overpay, but if you can get a few weeks of solid production out of him, then that could be enough to help your team win a few games during the early part of the season.
Chris Warren (RB – OAK)
The undrafted rookie running back has exceeded expectations during the preseason. I wouldn’t be surprised if he beats out Doug Martin for the backup running back spot by the end of the season. Marshawn Lynch is a tremendous talent, but he’s still 32 years old, and the wheels are going to fall off sooner than later. When this does happen, Warren could be the guy the Raiders lead on to run the football.
Back in the spring, he was going undrafted in rookie drafts and now since he showcased his potential in his last few preseason games, Warren has developed into a must-stash in dynasty leagues. He’s an instant add if he’s currently on your waiver wire.
Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA)
Penny is considered one of the top running backs in this year’s draft class, and he was routinely drafted in the top five of rookie drafts this summer. There’s a lot to be excited about when you look at his college production combined with his athleticism. However, the promise seems better than the delivery recently considering he has demonstrated pass protection issues and he is struggling to gain traction with the first team offense. Chris Carson is currently being touted as the team’s starting running back. We might have to wait until the latter part of the season before we see Penny get a sizeable workload.
As optimism switches to doubt, dynasty-leaguers are left wondering if Penny will ever pay dividends for their teams. Even though his value has taken a slight hit in recent weeks, Penny is still in the early stages of his career, and all it takes is a few good runs for him to regain steam. If anything, his drop in value serves as a buying opportunity for many fantasy owners.
Randall Cobb (WR – GB)
The 28-year-old wide receiver is set to be a free agent at the end of the year. The worst thing that could happen would be if the Packers decided not to re-sign him. Not being paired with Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s high volume passing attack would be a nightmare for his dynasty stock. Cobb underwent ankle surgery this summer, and his health has raised some concern. If he doesn’t have a good showing this season, then he might be left looking for a new team come next year.
If you need an affordable option at wide receiver, then Cobb might be your guy as a one-year rental. He’s currently a ninth-round pick in startup drafts, and he could be had for a tremendous discount on the trade market compared to previous years. All buyers should just recognize that his long-term player value might bottom out in the near future.
Jordan Matthews (WR – FA)
Matthews moved into a wide receiver utopia this offseason when he signed with the New England Patriots. It was a match made in heaven. He would get the opportunity to showcase his talents as a high-volume slot receiver in one of the most pass-happy offenses in the NFL. After stints in Philadelphia and Buffalo, it appeared that he finally found his home in New England.
His status with the team was in jeopardy after being plagued by a significant hamstring injury during the start of training camp. Eventually, the Patriots had to cut ties from him, and now he’s a free agent waiting to get picked up by another team. The odds of him ever manifesting into a productive dynasty asset is slim to none.