Editor’s Note: This is the first of hopefully many posts by Nick Darin, a law student from Detroit who roots for, surprise, the Lions.
In dynasty football, you always want to be to the party early, never late. If you’re late you will be stuck holding dead weight.
In my opinion, the owners in dynasty leagues that are willing to take risks and make moves when it’s unpopular are the ones that will be the teams constantly in the race. Sure you’re going to make mistakes every now and then … I traded Jamaal Charles, not claiming to be perfect at this, but I also acquired Sidney Rice prior to the acquisition of Favre and dealt Eddie Royal prior to one of the worse non-injury drops in production I have ever seen.
Check out some of my hot additions that could prove to be big time come the end of the season. Last year’s stats are in parenthesis.
1. Chad Henne (60% completion, 2,738 yards, 11 TDs, 13 ints): After the Ronnie Brown injury, the Dolphins basically scrapped the “wildcat” which led to an increased amount of throwing for Henne. Currently the Dolphins have nothing at wide receiver, which could all change after the draft and free agency.
Henne can throw the ball well and he led the team well down the stretch. The running game in Miami is great, and if they get a solid receiver, Henne could be the breakout quarterback of the season. With quarterback being one of the most consistent positions in the world of dynasty, one extra one can never hurt.
Also with the Tuna running the show he will put the pieces in place to allow Henne to blossom … remember this is the same team that Chad Pennington threw for 3,600 yards and 19 touchdowns with, and Henne is much more talented than Pennington.
2. Matt Moore (final five games 63% completion, 990 yards, 8 TDs, 1 int): Carolina still has one of the most dynamic wideouts in football in Steve Smith and they have one of the best rushing attacks with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
While the yards aren’t overly impressive, the 8-to-1 TD-to-int ratio is pretty impressive. He also completes passes at a high percentage, and with the weapons stated above he could be in for a good season next year. The only worry with Moore is that the Panthers owe Delhomme a ton of money this year and John Fox has loyalty to Delhomme. Moorewill be 26 years old at the start of the season, and Carolina is a solid team which I think will have a bounce back year to save Fox’s job.
Moore is a low-risk, unknown-reward player. I think that Moore will win the starting job either this year or the next and is a prime candidate to have a breakout year once he does take the starting job.
3. Marshawn Lynch (629 total yards, 28 rec, 2 TDs): This is the same guy that in two prior seasons had north of 1,200 total yards and 7TDs. He is on the trading block and he can still run the ball.
He will be 24 when the season starts. Lynch can both run the ball and catch it out of the back field. He went into the dog house, after his suspension, and Fred Jackson has taken over the lead back duties in Buffalo. Lynch has some off-the-field issues, but with only three seasons worth of abuse, he could have three to four good seasons left.
He should be on some owner’s team, but it shouldn’t cost you and arm and a leg to pry him loose. Lynch could he be this year’s Cedric Benson if he gets sent to a team like Detroit or San Diego, and gets full-time touches.
4. Malcom Kelly (25 rec, 347 yards, 0 TDs): Ok, so Kelly hasn’t really done anything of note yet, but one must have some faith. With Shanny working his magic in Washington anything can happen.
While I am not going to tell you Kelly is the next Brandon Marshall, I am going to tell you that at 6-foot-4 and 219 pounds, he sure looks the part. One of the more exciting things about Kelly is that he is most likely available for nothing more than a waiver add.
The risk is almost zero and the reward could be great. If he turns out to have a decent year, he could be a solid bye week fill in or, better yet, a nice throw-in for a trade during mid-season.
5. Devin Aromashodu (Final 4 games: 22 recs, 282 yards, 4 TDs): I will admit that this is most likely to be a long shot since Aromashodu is likely on a team in your league and the owner is not giving him up. I can’t say I would blame them.
Jay Cutler has his back and wanted him in the lineup from the start. Mike Martz turns average wide outs into great fantasy options. He is big and fast and by his four-game breakout, you can make the case that he and Cutler are on the same page. I project he will be the No. 1 wide receiver come the start of the season.
He has a good rapport with Cutler, and Cutler is not afraid to make any throw. Not to mention he plays my Detroit Lions twice, so that’s good for him. If the price is right, I feel he is worth the risk.
6. Kevin Ogletree (7 rec, 96 yards): Here is another guy in the mold of Malcom Kelly. He doesn’t have as much upside as Kelly, but the Cowboys have turned a nobody (Miles Austin) into a fantasy must-have.
Romo spreads the ball around and Roy Williams is doing his best to get cut. Ogletree is a hungry player that will have something to prove. Beat writers have been raving about him and say that he could overtake Williams soon — he might be an injury away from seeing some serious playing time.
The reasons to go after Ogletree are similar to Malcom Kelly. Although I like Kelly more because of the reduced competition, Ogletree would have the superior quarterback.
7. Jacoby Jones (27 rec, 437 yards, 6 TDs): Kevin Walter is not going to be back (unrestricted free agent), which makes Jones the incumbent second wideout. Andre Johnson is one of the best wideouts in the game and commands a double-team if the other teams know what is good for them.
This will leave Jones in one-on-one coverage and with one of the most dynamic passing offenses in the NFL this should lead to bigger numbers for Jones. Jones will either be on waivers or he can be had for a low price.
The risk is low with Jones and the reward is high. Schaub is asserting himself as a top quarterback and the Texans are primed for a playoff run. I am thinking Jones will produce in a similar way to Donald Driver.
8. Julian Edelman (37 rec, 359 yards, 1 TD): One injury normally doesn’t have the impact on fantasy production that Wes Welker’s did on Edelman. He went from nobody to reception machine in one game.
Although his production will most likely decline if and when Welker returns, no one knows how Welker will be when he returns. I don’t think he will put up the outrageous reception numbers, but he could get close to 100 catches. One of the most interesting things is that he is on the Patriots. It has been reported that New England has already talked about letting Moss go after this coming season, and they don’t tend to keep players around that they feel are replaceable (which is pretty much anyone not named Tom Brady).
Edelman will be 24 by the start of the season and could continue to grow with Brady at the helm. If you can sell to the owner that Welker will be the man when he returns, you could get him for a low price. There is no way to know how Welker will come back, but if its slow you will have a great wideout on your roster.
I find it highly unlikely that Edelman would be on waivers, but if he is pick him up ASAP. If not, I would explore a trade for him. If the price is reasonable, I would take the chance. Deep sleeper, as well, would be Brandon Tate (if Moss is gone he could be relevant in a year, or this year if Edelman falters.)
9. Andre Caldwell (51 rec, 432 yards, 3TD): I don’t know if I trust Carson Palmer, but Laveranues Coles is awful and Matt Jones isn’t the answer.
So by default, Caldwell should be the starter opposite Chad Ochocinco. Caldwell could turn out to be a solid player, and at 25 years old when the season starts, he has some upside.
I think Caldwell could be in store for a solid season if Palmer bounces back and gets back to his Pro Bowl form. If you believe in Palmer, then the belief of Caldwell should follow.
10. Tony Scheffler (31 rec, 416 yards, 2 TDs): With only one game all last year that anyone would have regretted not playing Scheffler, his demand should not be too high. He is currently floating around the waiver wire in my league.
In his first three years, he was showing better numbers each year, until McDaniels came in with his tight-end-unfriendly system. I expect him to be moved over the offseason to some team that will utilize his pass-catching ability. In my opinion, his value is at an all-time low — you might even be able to just pick him up off waivers.
If he gets on the right team, Scheffler will likely get back into the top 10 for tight ends. At a position where there are only a few dominant players, Scheffler could return to the pre-McDaniels form and become meaningful again.
What is your opinion on these players to acquire? Have others you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your comments below.