Want to know a secret? Are you sure, can you handle this type of sensitive information? If so, ok here it goes… Your favorite NFL team is LYING to you. Coach speak, injury designations, practice usage, hell in Bill Belichick’s case even actual plays called in games (meant to obscure their real down and distance tendencies in games already won or lost) are sleight of hand tricks. Any minuscule amount of competitive advantage that can be eeked out of misinformation will be used to the highest degree in an attempt to gain an edge over the rest of the league.
How then are fantasy GMs supposed to sort through it all if teams are incentivized to provide as many confounding storylines as possible? The answer is simpler than you may think, follow the money. Teams are only honest with the public in two instances: 1. When they spend their draft capital and 2. When they dole out contracts. Learn to navigate this part of the game and you’ll have a significant advantage over the majority of your league-mates. Let’s talk about RBs and WRs and provide examples of the advantage gleaned from keeping your eyes fixated on the green.
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Value Players the Way Their Teams Do
This isn’t a hot take anymore but under the terms of the current CBA and with the franchise tag and rookie contract rules in place RB value, despite the NFL cap increasing by an average by an average of approximately $8.2M per year (over the last four), isn’t keeping pace.
As a dynasty GM the takeaway is as follows. Value youth at RB more than at any other position on your team. RBs that hit are likely to do so in their first season and will produce the majority of their value before their age 25 seasons. From a money perspective, that second contract is dicey. Running back production is largely a function of the team they play on and stability is currency in dynasty leagues. Get by at RB and be sure to have a base level of production, but it pays to have more invested elsewhere.
There is a reason strategies like Zero WR exist and why many fantasy analysts preach the value of young WRs on their dynasty squads. At a base level, the WR group as a whole has seen a rise in compensation over the last 3 seasons.
But even more telling beyond that is the fact that even nominal performers at the receiver position see second contracts most of the time. While WRs do often struggle in their first years on new teams, the safety of a contract the level of Adam Humphries’ deal versus Melvin Gordon’s given the difference in their level of production against their peers is eye-opening.
Examples of situations to exploit by following where the cash flows are endless. Anticipate ADP rises on mention value alone when we see new deals for Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Michael Thomas. Get ahead of the curve with guys in contract years like Derick Henry and AJ Green. Worry about players with large cap hits with replacements already on the roster like Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz.
Do your dynasty teams a favor. Lock in some peace of mind and listen to teams when they’re honest.
Etan Mozia has been involved with sports as a whole for over two decades and has written about athletics in some capacity since 2005. Focused primarily on the NFL and EPL, Etan has seen his work featured on sites like FantasyPros, Advanced Sports Logic, and FFD260 among others. Currently, his work is housed on FantraxHQ and FantasyPros. An avid lover of dynasty leagues specifically, you can also listen to him on his podcast, The Dynasty Diagnostic (@DynoDiagnostic), as he breaks down rosters and provides pertinent and practical advice for dynasty squads looking to give their team an edge. Follow him on twitter @EtanMozia.
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