Moves to Make Now in Dynasty Fantasy Football (5/17)


Welcome back to another installment of “Dynasty Moves to Make,” or as I like to call it, “Who can I piss off this week?” This edition has some polarizing names that will likely trigger at least a few enthusiastic responses. All I ask is that you at least take the time to read my reasoning before quote-tweeting this article with not-so-nice things to say.

As a reminder, “Buying” doesn’t mean getting a player for $25 of FAAB and a Golden Corral gift card. Selling doesn’t mean you must rid your rosters of said player for 10 cents on the dollar. When players are improperly valued, take advantage. Below are a few dynasty moves you should want to make now.

Dynasty Moves to Make Now: Buys

Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA – AUGUST 05: Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson #7 signs autographs for fans after Atlanta Falcons training camp on August 5, 2023 at IBM Performance Field in Flowery Branch, GA.(Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire)

Many Bijan Robinson managers come into 2024 disillusioned by the uber-hyped rookie’s “disappointing” first season. But despite an unforgivably low 214 carries, he still nearly surpassed 1,000 rushing yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Arthur Smith, the man responsible for such crimes against fantasy, is out as head coach in Atlanta. In comes the defensive-minded Raheem Morris from the Los Angeles Rams, along with his pal Zac Robinson, who will serve as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator. Robinson expects to bring a Sean McVay-type offense to Atlanta, one that cultivated the Kyren Williams breakout of 2023. In other words, the gross misuse of Bijan will be corrected in the Falcons’ new offense. Williams had 14 more carries than Bijan while playing in five fewer games (six if you include the “headache” game). Paired with an upgrade at quarterback in Kirko Chainz Kirk Cousins (and eventually Michael Penix), the Bijan bounceback is imminent. He won’t be cheap, but he’ll never be cheaper. 

Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders

Jahan Doston was a trendy breakout candidate last year thanks to a rookie campaign that saw him score seven touchdowns in just 12 games with the likes of Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke under center. Expectations were high, and new starting quarterback Sam Howell’s ability to throw the deep ball appeared to be a dream for Dotson, who had the fifth-highest average depth of targets (min. 50 targets) in 2022. Despite the gaudy counting stats behind Howell’s name on paper, the new Commanders quarterback was a disappointment, benched late in the season for Jacoby Brissett (before a Brissett injury nixed that move). Dotson’s targets inexplicably dropped, seeing four or fewer targets in nine games, Including four of no more than two. His PPR points per game dropped over three points, and that fifth-highest aDOT dropped all the way to 62nd. When given the opportunity, Doston showed up. He averaged 13.8 points in games where he saw six or more targets. Doston is immensely talented, able to line up outside or in the slot. He can win against any coverage thrown at him. With reigning Heisman trophy winner Jayden Daniels taking the reins as Commanders QB, Doston is the definition of a post-hype sleeper. 

Sam Howell, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Speaking of Sam Howell, remember those gaudy counting stats I referenced earlier? About halfway through the season, he looked poised to lead the NFL in passing yards and finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback. Howell’s gunslinger mentality was great for fantasy football but not so much for the actual game. Howell threw for nearly 4,000 yards with a matching 21 touchdowns and a league-high 21 interceptions. (Hey, at least he led the league in something!) Washington wound up with the second overall pick, and the writing was on the wall for Howell. Ron Rivera was fired, and Howell traded to Seattle, a team amid their own metamorphosis.

Geno Smith is returning as the Seahawks starting quarterback, but the regime that signed him is not. Smith regressed in 2023, and if he does so again in 2024, Seattle can easily move on from him. Howell has shown flashes of brilliance with his big arm, and while he’s no Lamar Jackson, he can also chip in some production on the ground. Howell will be just 23 at the start of the season, ten years younger than Smith. He’s a worthy dart throw (especially in superflex leagues) that won’t cost you much and could realistically become the starter as early as this season.

Dynasty Moves to Make Now: Sells

Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 22: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs with the football in game action during an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs on December 22, 2019 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

Blasphemous, I know. How can Travis Kelce be a sell? Rumors of his retirement were quelled with a two-year contract extension and a nice little bump in pay. But history hasn’t been kind to aging tight ends, and Kelce turns 35 in October. His strong playoff production has helped hide the fact Kelce finished under 15 PPR points per game for the first time in seven years. Only three tight ends who started the season at age 34 or older have averaged 14 or more PPR points per game: Pete Retzlaff in 1965, Tony Gonzalez in 2012 and Kelce last season. That’s it. Just 14 tight ends in NFL history have averaged 10 or more points per game at that age. Would I be shocked to see him finish as the TE1 overall in 2024? Not at all. But the odds of Kelce’s decade-long dominance continuing are longer than most want to admit. See the facts through all of your fury. Use the renewed confidence in his status with the new contract and strong playoff run to sell him at a premium. The days of being able to do so are coming to an end, fast. 

James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals

James Conner has been perennially undervalued and the model of consistency when on the field. He’s finished with 14 or more PPR points per game in five of the previous six seasons and had his first 1,000-yard rushing season in just 13 games last year. But therein lies the problem. Conner has never played an entire season’s worth of games in his NFL career. He’s played 13 or fewer games in five of seven seasons. Conner is also on the wrong side of the dreaded age-28 running back threshold, recently turning 29. The Cardinals spent a third-round pick on Conners’s heir apparent in this year’s draft, Trey Benson, who averaged over six yards per carry and scored 23 touchdowns in his two years at Florida State. With his age and durability concerns, you likely won’t be able to get a haul in return for Conner. But coming off a borderline RB1 finish and excitement surrounding the Cardinal’s offense going into this season, move him before his value completely bottoms out. 

De’Von Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins

De’Von Achane was a fantasy darling in 2023, with nearly 1,000 total yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a big play waiting to happen, amassing those totals on just 130 carries and catches combined. Big plays are more than acceptable, but big play dependency is not. I’m not saying those big plays don’t count. But I am saying it’s unsustainable to rely on them. Over the past 10 seasons, the cutoff for an RB1 finish in PPR leagues has been roughly between 14 and 16 points per game. So, let’s split the difference and say a player needs to attain 15 PPR points per game to be considered an RB1. In that same timeframe, just seven running backs under 200 pounds have played in at least 10 games and averaged 15 PPR points per game, two of them last year (Achane and Kyren Williams, both just playing in 11 games). I’m not necessarily someone who leans too heavily on height, weight, BMI, etc., when it comes to my fantasy analysis. But when a player is as highly valued as Achane is in dynasty, it has to be taken into consideration. Things have also gotten crowded in Miami. Raheem Mostert is returning, and the Dolphins spent a fourth-round draft pick on running back Jaylen Wright out of Tennessee. Achane is being valued as a surefire top-five dynasty running back. I’d be looking to sell high, targeting more reliable long-term assets. Achane likely fetches a king’s ransom in return. 

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