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Team-By-Team Dynasty Roundup: NFC East (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Bo McBrayer | @Bo_McBigTime | Featured Writer
May 20, 2022
Dak Prescott

This isn’t the NFC East of yesteryear. Granted, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t forced to corral Jake Plummer and the Arizona Cardinals twice a year anymore. Since realignment, the NFC East has been reminiscent of the Wild West. There has not been a repeat winner in this division since 2004 when the Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up their fourth-consecutive NFC East title.

Today, the NFC East has become quite the laughing stock, with all four teams ranging from “drunk rebuild” to “massive letdown.” Seven wins won the division in 2020, down from nine the year before. Dallas put together a nice bounce-back in 2021, finishing with a 12-5 record before getting unceremoniously bounced in the first round of the playoffs, yet again.

The expectation for 2022 is one of a renaissance. Washington famously has gone from the No-Namers to the utterly juvenile “Commanders.” They will also appear somewhat different on the field with a new-to-them signal-caller. Dallas and Philadelphia have some new toys to play with on the offensive end, along with some familiar faces. New York dumped gasoline all over the Dave Gettleman/Joe Judge era and then tossed a grenade onto the heap. The talent pool for dynasty purposes is still relatively deep in the NFC East, all things considered. Let’s examine those pieces by position.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2022 Draft Recap

Player Position School Round Pick
Tyler Smith OT Tulsa 1 24
Sam Williams EDGE Ole Miss 2 56
Jalen Tolbert WR South Alabama 3 88
Jake Ferguson TE Wisconsin 4 129
Matt Waletzko OT North Dakota 5 155
DaRon Bland CB Fresno State 5 167
Damone Clark LB LSU 5 176
John Ridgeway DT Arkansas 5 178
Devin Harper LB Oklahoma State 6 193

 

Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction:  Tony Pollard supplants Ezekiel Elliott in every statistical category except touchdowns.

It was a disappointing fantasy season for Dak Prescott in 2021, turning top-five QB hype into an outright slump after returning from a calf injury. It was a pleasant surprise for the Cowboys’ defense to bail out the offense last season, but one cannot expect those results to be duplicated. Dak saw one of his favorite weapons in Amari Cooper traded away in a salary-cap move. Michael Gallup might miss time early in 2022. Even with these obstacles, Prescott has QB1 upside any given week and will be valued as such for years to come.

It was strange to see the offensive play calling by Kellen Moore deteriorate throughout the 2021 season. Dallas defeated the mighty Chargers in Week 2 with a lethal 21-personnel attack with both Zeke and Pollard in the formation. Inexplicably, that strategy was hardly deployed for the remainder of the season. This season, Zeke is assumed to be back to full strength after battling a knee ailment the entire second half last year. He is one of the best values in dynasty and a screaming buy for teams looking to push for a title.

Pollard flashed his dynamite potential in 2021 but only picked up slightly more work than in previous years. Moore is on notice. It was evident he did poorly involving Pollard enough in the receiving game, thoroughly neglecting one of his most vital attributes. Pollard is now more of an alternate option than a handcuff for Elliott going forward in dynasty.

The multimillion-dollar question will be answered in 2022; Can CeeDee Lamb be the alpha receiver in an NFL offense? Those who cast doubt on him must have watched him play with a blindfold on. Lamb was often lost in an impossibly asinine receiver rotation put on by Moore, where he was off the field completely for entire series in favor of Noah Brown. That ends here.

Cooper is in Cleveland. Cedrick Wilson is in Miami. Gallup is likely to miss a bit of time early in the season. Rookie Jalen Tolbert will have a learning curve. James Washington is trying to prove he still belongs in the league. Lamb will need to be the guy for Dak going forward and take that last step into superstardom. Gallup is another screaming value in dynasty, free-falling into an ADP of 131 in startups. Tolbert was initially a lock to be available in the third round of rookie drafts but his chef’s-kiss landing spot has him climbing into the back end of the second. He is still worth it.

Initially, I was doubtful that Schultz’s breakout season would translate into him becoming a significant dynasty asset. When Cooper was jettisoned and the team drafted a blocking specialist at tight end, I found myself gathering an alarming amount of exposure to the Stanford product. He has a Jason Witten feel to him. Schultz is more savvy than sharp in his route running. He isn’t very athletic or a very good blocker. Schultz simply catches everything. He is a picture of maddening consistency, earning over 100 targets last season in a dream situation. The funny thing is I expect that situation to improve even further. Schultz is hovering inside the top-10 TEs in dynasty, with good cause to rate him close to the top-five.

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles 2022 Draft Recap

Player Position School Round Pick
Jordan Davis DT Georgia 1 13
Cameron Jurgens C Nebraska 2 51
Nakobe Dean LB Georgia 3 83
Kyron Johnson LB Kansas 6 181
Grant Calcaterra TE SMU 6 198

 

Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction:  Jalen Hurts scores the same number of rushing touchdowns (10) while adding five more passing touchdowns.

If you had asked me last year, I would have said that Hurts was a fantastic redraft option, but it was uncertain whether the Eagles would keep him around long enough to make him a viable dynasty investment. The future is much brighter for the 2021 QB9 (in 15 games). Philadelphia has made a demonstrative effort to build around Hurts, especially with their blockbuster trade to acquire A.J. Brown from the Titans. Hurts is a true Konami Code QB for fantasy and is protected by one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Accuracy and decision-making issues notwithstanding, Hurts is primed to take another quantum leap and potentially vault himself among the elite fantasy quarterbacks.

This team ran the absolute s*** out of the ball last season. Shockingly, their best runner (Miles Sanders) failed to score a single touchdown. The mistrust in Sanders’ health and efficacy has carried over from the Doug Pederson era to the Nick Sirianni regime in Shane Steichen’s offense. The faces are similar to last season, minus Jordan Howard. Kenneth Gainwell hopes to step into a more significant role, especially since he is easily the best receiver in this personnel group and looked explosive when entrusted with ample snaps. Boston Scott was productive last season but might end up a camp casualty if he cannot keep his place on special teams. This group is entirely out to sea, with zero indication to which back will provide the best value for dynasty purposes. I lean toward the youth and potential of Gainwell.

Many were fully expecting the Eagles to select one of the talented wide receivers in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. Instead, they made a big splash in acquiring uber-talented Brown from Tennessee. The first-round pick turned into the Titans “replacing” Brown with Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks.

The only obstacle preventing AJ Brown from achieving superstardom is his health. He has already suffered a few nagging injuries in his young career, but his talent is unmistakable. DeVonta Smith was fantastic as a rookie last year, narrowly missing out on a 1,000-yard season. He will threaten WR1 status for years to come. The other receivers on the Eagles are all on notice as wildcards. Quez Watkins flashed some exciting big-play ability last season and might be here to stay. Jalen Reagor is apparently on the trade block and has been a huge disappointment so far as a huge reach pick by GM Howie Roseman. Zach Pascal figures to benefit as a downfield Z receiver if the Eagles are able to send Reagor packing.

Dallas Goedert is a star. He is similar to Brown in that the only obstacle to elite production is his health. The Grant Calcaterra selection in this year’s draft makes a ton of sense. He is very athletic and could step in as a receiving replacement should Goedert miss any time. Many are praying that this offense puts the ball in the air more this season and beyond so that this talented group of receivers isn’t as capped by Hurts’ inefficiency. Volume pays the bills in this business.

CTAs

Washington Commanders

Washington Commanders 2022 Draft Recap

Player Position School Round Pick
Jahan Dotson WR Penn State 1 16
Phidarian Mathis DT Alabama 2 47
Brian Robinson Jr. RB Alabama 3 98
Percy Butler S Louisiana 4 113
Sam Howell QB North Carolina 5 144
Cole Turner TE Nevada 5 149
Chris Paul OG Tulsa 7 230
Christian Holmes CB Oklahoma State 7 240

 

Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction:  Sam Howell is named the starting quarterback by the end of the 2022 season.

The Colts dumped Carson Wentz so fast it gave the league whiplash. His attitude and utter lack of leadership presence and intangibles are apparently why he didn’t stick with the Colts. He has landed on his proverbial feet as the presumed Week 1 starter in our nation’s capitol.

Wentz was productive last season for fantasy until he completely fell apart with the team down the stretch. I am unconvinced that he will remain in charge of the Commanders for the long term. If Sam Howell impresses, Taylor Heinicke might end up as trade bait to a QB-needy team or get cut in camp. Howell fell to the fifth round in the NFL Draft this year, after some had him mocked as early as the end of the first round. He could quickly push Heinicke aside and set himself up to be called upon should Wentz fail (or get injured) yet again.

Antonio Gibson’s dynasty value is as volatile as cryptocurrency. It spiked when J.D. Mckissic was apparently slated to sign with Buffalo. When McKissic heel-turned back to D.C. and the Commanders selected the hearty Brian Robinson in the Draft, Gibson is suddenly radioactive. First of all, Gibson is much better than McKissic or Robinson. Secondly, Gibson carried a hefty workload in 2021 with a fractured shin. Now that he is over his turf toe and shin injuries, I still have no reason to suspect that the volume to make him an RB1 is in any jeopardy. Robinson is no more than a Gibson handcuff, with McKissic remaining as a high-floor RB3 with minimal upside.

One player that benefits from the arrival of Carson Wentz is Terry McLaurin. Wentz has amazing arm talent for all of his warts and will push the ball down the field and trust his best receivers. I am buying McLaurin stock while the value falls from the “Wentz-is-bad” narrative. The Jahan Dotson pick was a very good one, as well. He is a crafty route runner with excellent hands and speed to burn. Rumor has it that Curtis Samuel is back to 100% after a disastrous 2021. If he is, look out. Injury amnesia forces us to forget just how special Samuel was in Carolina as a receiver and rusher. I am not ready to bury Dyami Brown yet. The quarterback situation was abysmal last season, and Brown was fighting injuries throughout. He is a breakout candidate that is virtually free to acquire in dynasty leagues.

Logan Thomas is a fine option once he returns from his ACL, but John Bates will be the beneficiary of some decent volume in his stead. Look for Cole Turner to earn increasingly more targets as his rookie season progresses. He was outstanding for Nevada and is another breakout candidate on my radar that will cost no more than a late rookie pick to roster.

New York Giants

New York Giants 2022 Draft Recap

Player Position School Round Pick
Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE Oregon 1 5
Evan Neal OT Alabama 1 7
Wan’Dale Robinson WR Kentucky 2 43
Joshua Ezeudu OG North Carolina 3 67
Cordale Flott CB LSU 3 81
Daniel Bellinger TE San Diego State 4 112
Dane Belton S Iowa 4 114
Micah McFadden LB Indiana 5 146
D.J. Davidson DT Arizona State 5 147
Marcus McKethan OG North Carolina 5 173
Darrian Beavers LB Cincinnati 6 182

 

Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction:  Saquon Barkley returns to RB1 form behind a better line with a better-than-incompetent offense.

Now that the cat is out of the bag and Daniel Jones’ fifth-year option has been officially declined by the club, this is a final audition for one of David Gettleman’s many awful decisions. Jones will have every opportunity to salvage his career as a starter under Brian Daboll.

The offensive line has been addressed with the selection of the massive Evan Neal. The Giants would be better off not trying to win this year, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to play better football. Jones has a lot of big-play talent, but if he can’t stay healthy (or continues to stink), Tyrod Taylor can run the offense well enough to be a bridge option waiting on deeper dynasty benches.

No, Saquon Barkley isn’t washed. The 2021 Giants were an abomination. Saquon’s rebirth as an elite NFL running back is the one catalyst to a rapid Giants rebuild. A better offensive scheme (low bar), offensive line (lower bar), and another year removed from ACL surgery are some of the reasons to invest in Saquon while his value is in a valley. I might be in the minority here, but Barkley still has ludicrous talent and could easily be an RB1 for five more years if he catches the proper breaks. Matt Breida is speed personified and provides good relief for Saquon with ample upside should his name get called more often.

Welcome to the most polarizing receiving corps in the NFL. Kenny Golladay is dirt cheap to acquire if you trust he still wants to do more than collect a paycheck (I don’t). Kadarius Toney might be trade bait, which could be a good thing. He is a gadget-plus player who is as good after the catch as anyone in the NFL if he can stay on the field and run the correct routes.

Wan’Dale Robinson was a perplexing second-round choice in the Draft by Joe Schoen. If anything, the diminutive dynamo will be an outstanding kick returner. His prospects as a viable WR in dynasty are shaky at best. Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton are on the precipice of being shown the final curtains in the NFL. Shepard for his health. Slayton for his ability.

I have a lot of doubt as to whether Ricky Seals-Jones is worth a stash on a dynasty roster. The Daboll offense often doesn’t throw to the TE position, but Seals-Jones seems to vulture touchdowns everywhere he goes. I suppose he’s worthy of a roster spot on a deeper dynasty team. Daniel Bellinger is an intriguing rookie who could develop into a decent professional receiver or at least one that is productive enough to keep around for a while.


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