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Dynasty Players to Buy & Sell: Dissenting Opinions (2020 Fantasy Football)

Mar 29, 2020

Our own Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL) and David Zach (@DavidZach16) take a look at a polarizing dynasty fantasy football players. Previously, they provided dynasty fantasy football players you should buy and sell following free agency. Now, they each make a case to buy and sell the player to help guide your offseason dynasty fantasy football moves.

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The Case to Sell Teddy Bridgewater
Now that Teddy Bridgewater has commanded a starting job and signed a long-term deal, there will be a growing market for his services in dynasty leagues. Even though Bridgewater isn’t the most talented quarterback in the NFL, playing with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Robby Anderson will make fantasy owners interested in the 27-year-old’s potential production. Nonetheless, he’s a “sell” candidate.

In Bridgewater’s five starts as a Saint, he only surpassed 20 points once (versus Tampa Bay’s atrocious secondary). His quarterback finishes in that span were QB20, QB25, QB4, QB19, and QB15. Despite averaging 33 pass attempts per game, he only threw for over 240 yards twice. He also does not present a rushing floor, having averaged approximately seven rush yards per game in his starts. 

I don’t expect the Panthers quarterback to see a bigger workload or increased productivity in his new home, especially since he had arguably better weapons on his previous team, with Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Jared Cook all finishing in the top-12 at their respective positions. Bridgewater is a low-volume, efficient passer who won’t provide many top-12 performances. We’ve seen previous backups like Nick Foles and Case Keenum fail once they received a new contract, so it’s wise to take the safer approach and sell Bridgewater before he plays another down.
Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL)

The Case to Buy Teddy Bridgewater
After bouncing around teams for a few years, Teddy has finally reclaimed a starting gig with the Carolina Panthers. He goes from a top backup to instant starter with upside in an offense that now includes D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, newly-acquired Robby Anderson, Ian Thomas, and stud receiving back Christian McCaffrey.

Looks the Panthers are putting a lot of their confidence behind Teddy, and they are giving him all the tools he needs to succeed.
David Zach (@DavidZach16)

Running Back

The Case to Sell Darrell Henderson
With Todd Gurley leaving town, there’s a void to fill in the Los Angeles backfield. Right now, the incumbents are backup Malcolm Brown and the Rams’ 2019 third-round pick Darrell Henderson. While the additional opportunity may seem enticing, as Gurley was able to produce three consecutive top-15 fantasy finishes in Sean McVay’s offense, I don’t expect similar production from his replacements.

Neither running back showed much promise last season. Brown was only able to manage 3.7 yards per carry on 69 rushing attempts; he presented no pass catching upside (two receptions on the year) and a heightened touchdown dependency (53 percent of his fantasy points were due to rushing scores). Henderson exhibited much of the same, averaging 3.8 yards per carry on 39 rushing attempts and only catching four passes. Despite the 254 vacated touches left to fill after Gurley’s departure, neither back has shown much in their limited workload that suggests they can succeed with increased opportunity.

While Henderson could blossom in his second year, his lack of usage in 2019 despite Gurley’s health issues concerns me. I would prefer to sell both running backs while they are currently slated for the starting role; it’s possible one of them can emerge into a viable fantasy option with more opportunity, but it’s more likely that they split the workload and cannibalize each other’s fantasy value.
Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL)

The Case to Buy Darrell Henderson
Everything is connected. As soon as news of Gurley’s departure broke, Henderson truthers everywhere rejoiced. The Rams’ trade up to snag him in 2019 is making more sense. Gurley’s departure opens up 254 touches, and, most importantly, 14 touchdowns to now be split between Henderson and Malcolm Brown. Plenty to go around.

For those thinking that the Rams are going to draft a meaningful running back in the upcoming draft, know they have lots of needs elsewhere. Their losses on defense alone consist of starters like Fowler, Littleton, Brockers, Robey-Coleman, and Weddle. In addition, they were rotating offensive linemen late in the season to find anything that resembled successful blocking. It was a mess. Their draft picks will be focused on linemen and defense in 2020.
David Zach (@DavidZach16)

Wide Receiver

The Case to Sell Will Fuller
With DeAndre Hopkins jettisoned from Houston — in one of the most bizarre trades we will ever see, Will Fuller has immediately stepped into the WR1 role for the Texans. As the primary outside receiver and most experienced pass-catcher in this offense, he’s projected to see increased usage and fantasy production with last year’s No. 2 fantasy quarterback Deshaun Watson at the helm. Nevertheless, it’s time to sell Fuller.

Fuller has proven to be unreliable for fantasy in his four-year career. He has yet to play a full year and has never caught more than 50 passes in a season. Even if he is able to overcome his injury issues, he has not shown consistent production when he does play. Fuller only managed more than 12 PPR points in two of his eleven starts. He also had trouble hanging on to the ball, ranking 11th among wide receivers in drop rate (8.5 percent). 

While it’s doubtful that the Texans will spend any further draft capital on wide receivers, I don’t foresee Fuller maintaining or succeeding in his newfound role. Selling the unreliable wideout while the price is high would be a savvy move for dynasty players who can no longer stand his availability concerns and boom-or-bust style of play.
Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL)

The Case to Buy Will Fuller
We can’t talk about Fuller without the thoughts of “injury prone” automatically coming to our mind. So let’s assume he will miss some games right off the bat. On a points-per-game basis, he can still be worthy of a spot on your dynasty rosters. His yearly stat line pace based on the last two seasons? 103-72-1043-6, and that was with Hopkins still on the team. 

Hopkins’ yearly workload of 150+ targets a year will now be spread around to Fuller, Stills, and Cobb. With an already impressive per game production on his resume, Fuller has the chance to add even more production going forward.
David Zach (@DavidZach16)

The Case to Sell Adam Thielen
After Stefon Diggs was sent packing to Buffalo, Adam Thielen became the only wide receiver on the Minnesota Vikings roster to have accumulated more than 350 receiving yards last season. Now cemented as the clear No. 1 guy, many expect he’ll garner more targets and see a heavier reliance from Kirk Cousins. You need to sell him while this is the primary narrative.

In the seven games that Thielen played 80 percent or more of the snaps, he only delivered a top-12 PPR performance once. His fantasy value was also heavily reliant on touchdowns, as 31 percent of his points came from scores, ranking second among all wide receivers who caught more than 20 passes. In a passing offense that ranked 30th in attempts under Kevin Stefanski, and will likely see a similar amount of volume under Gary Kubiak, Thielen does not present much upside.

Thielen will be 30 years old by the start of the regular season, and he’ll be entering his seventh season in the league. While he experienced a career year with Cousins in 2018, finishing as the WR5 in PPR, the main reason was due to volume. John DeFilippo had Cousins throw 38 times a game in 2018, which ranked sixth in the league. With an expected low passing volume and a heavy reliance on touchdowns, I don’t see Thielen returning value at his current price tag.
Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL)

The Case to Buy Adam Thielen
Stefon Diggs is now a Buffalo Bill. The Vikings’ top pass catching weapons apart from Thielen are now Olabisi Johnson, Kyle Rudolph, and Irv Smith Jr. In case you didn’t know, that’s horrendous. Thielen looks like a god among men compared to his teammates as a fantasy option.

The Vikings are incredibly likely to draft a first round wide receiver in the draft that should help round out their options a little better. Even still, expect Thielen to easily command a 25-30% or higher target share for the foreseeable future.
David Zach (@DavidZach16)

Tight End

The Case to Sell Hayden Hurst
Even though Austin Hooper left 88 targets, 75 receptions, and 787 yards worth of production to fill for the Atlanta Falcons’ pass catchers, I don’t see Hayden Hurst taking on that load. Hurst will be entering his first year in the Falcons system, playing with a new quarterback and in a completely different offensive scheme. While he is young and can grow into a TE1, the speculation of production is often more alluring than the actual output.

Hurst was unable to develop a substantial role in Baltimore, despite seeing increased playing time due to the scheme. He ranked third in targets and receptions among Baltimore tight ends, catching 30 of 39 opportunities for 349 yards and two touchdowns. He surpassed eight PPR points just once, in a game where he caught a 61-yard touchdown pass off of a broken play. While he may be productive in Atlanta, he hasn’t shown much in his two-year career to suggest he can operate as a team’s primary tight end.

It may be enticing to hold on to a young prospect and hope he develops into a viable asset, but I would sell Hurst while he still holds value. Given Atlanta surrendered a second round pick for his services, dynasty owners will pay a higher price for the former Raven off of the assumption he will see a large commitment in volume. With Todd Gurley, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley siphoning away targets, I don’t see how Hurst receives enough work to become a perennial top-12 performer. You are better off selling him before you can see his usage on the field.
Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL)

The Case to Buy Hayden Hurst
Hurst was stuck behind Mark Andrews and the league’s highest-rushing offense in Baltimore. The former first-round pick now slides into the exact role just vacated by the departure of Austin Hooper, and Atlanta paid a second-round pick to get him.

This kind of commitment means he should be a plug-and-play fit for the Falcons. He may not be the talent Hooper was, but he should see plenty of opportunities to show the world what he can do in a bigger role.
David Zach (@DavidZach16)

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