The mission of this article is to make our in-house experts sizzle and bristle over the hot-button issues that face dynasty owners. Our experts make the entire route tree HOT as they address topics from the world of IDP, Devy, Start/sit, Non-PPR, PPR and everything in between. Try not to get burned by all the fiery YAC below! This is Dynasty Hot Routes!
Name a 2018 Offensive Devy player or two that you have drafted or excited about?
Joshua Johnson – Florida State’s Auden Tate only has 25 career receptions. He is 6’5” and 225 pounds, basically is a scout’s WR1 wet dream. His hips are fluid, and his speed is sneaky good. I will be watching him very closely this season as he steps into a much bigger with the Seminoles. He does have one more year of eligibility after this season. However, I expect that by the end of 2017 his dynasty stock will be in full bloom.
My deeper dive is Miami (FL) Hurricane RB Mark Walton. Like so many RBs of Hurricane lore, Walton is a multidimensional speed back. He enters his junior season with a lot of promise following his 1,110 yard sophomore season. In addition to his breakaway speed, he is shifty, powerful and patient. He could add a few more pounds of muscle to his 5’9”/205-pound frame, but he appears to be the exact type of new school RB every NFL team is currently looking to add to their roster.
I have drafted Georgia QB Jacob Eason and SMU WR Courtland Sutton. With Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold gone I had to make a superflex decision. Do I draft the 2018 QB3 or QB4 in Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) or Brian Allen (Wyoming) or do I get the potential QB1 of 2019? Sutton is accepted universally to be a top 5 devy talent for 2018, and Professor @pacificscouting gave the thumbs up approval, so I am pretty happy to have him in my pipeline for next season.
Shaun Laibe – Bo Scarbrough, RB Alabama. Though the top picks in devy drafts are usually Saquan Barkley and Derrius Guice, I can’t help but get giddy every time I watch tape of Bo Scarbrough. His talent was on full display in the NCAA Semifinal matchup against Washington when he rolled the Huskies for 180 yards and 2 TDs on just 18 carries. Washington never really had a chance to stop him. At 6’2” and 228 pounds, Scarbrough uses his size to easily run over the defenses in college.
This physical running style has already led to some injuries, however. Scarbrough has already torn one ACL (2015) and most recently suffered a broken bone in the National Championship game last season. He reminds me a lot of another former Alabama back, Derrick Henry, but needs to make it through 2017 unscathed to become a high draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Shane Manila – One or two feels like it’s not enough. How about James Washington?
No, Jordan Villamin. The 6’4” 240 wideout is going to be a problem.
Maybe Christian Kirk.
I don’t know. I love them all right now. One of the fun things about devy players is pretending that they don’t have any of the flaws we’ve already discovered with the other players on our rosters. So instead of digging too far into them today, I know they all have flaws, I’ll just share those highlight videos.
Greg Brandt – Notre Dame’s receiving core has the potential to be one of the best in the country. Most devy enthusiast already know about Junior to be Equanimeous St. Brown, but two unproven prospects in Miles Boykin and Chase Claypool have peeked my curiosity. Both players are listed 6’4” and over 220 pounds. Claypool has unreal athletic ability for his size. 2016 was Claypool’s freshman season where he saw minimal action. Coming from Canada to Division 1 football was a big step up in competition for Claypool. He’s expected to see an increase in playing time this fall and with that I expect everybody will be drooling over his potential with his size and athletic ability.
Boykin is going into his redshirt sophomore season. This past season was a tough one for Boykin. When he did see the field, he looked a bit lost in the offense and when his number was called he dropped passes. According to the Notre Dame coaches during the spring, it appears that a light has come on for Boykin. After a good spring practice topped off with an excellent spring game Boykin is another player to keep an eye one to breakout after not seeing much previous action. Brandon Wimbush with have a countless amount of talented receivers and tight ends to pass to in 2017.
John Orr – Equanimeous St. Brown was a player I began drafting last season. He is the player I own the most shares of right now. This will be the year that he becomes a legit WR1 prospect in the NFL draft next season. I’m anticipating him bringing it and doing so. Showing some quicks, and hands that don’t let go of the ball once it’s around him leaves me with the expectation that St. Brown is as good as the hype.
Courtland Sutton is everyone’s top crush this season. I will point out the obvious as well; he is someone I targeted last season and wanted this year in start-ups. Sutton is the poster child for devy leagues. Legit top WR that you’re already tired of hearing about.
In my TE premium leagues, I went after Wisconsin’s, 6’6 giant Troy Fumagalli. This 2017 draft drew a lot of attention to this position this year. This kid is playing in a pro offense and will be ready to take a role in the NFL as long as he has no setbacks. In the deep devy leagues, the TE position often gets overlooked. A good place to grab a couple of flex players for your teams as you are looking ahead.
Another TE that is fun to watch, and one to eye for your big play leagues, is Penn State’s Mike Gesick. He is like that freak TE in Madden football who catches everything. Getting open down the field will net your teams those big play points. This is my favorite player heading into this season. This sums up my point.
Brad McDaniel – For me, it’s Josh Rosen and only Josh Rosen. I cannot wait until he enters the NFL. I’ve been sold on Rosen since he was a senior in high school. I drafted him in every Devy league possible before he even took a snap at UCLA. Most people would say that he hasn’t lived up to the hype. I wouldn’t disagree with them, but I don’t think it’s his fault. His freshman season was good enough to keep me excited about his future. His sophomore season was a total waste though. His OL couldn’t block, and his receivers couldn’t catch. We’ll soon see how his junior season goes, but I think – and stay with me here – he will excel more at the mental side of the game in the NFL than in college.
Name a 2018 Defensive Devy player or two that you have drafted or excited about?
Joshua Johnson – I have both Malik Jefferson (Texas), and Azeem Victor (Washington) ranked above Cameron Smith (USC). However, I feel Smith is the safest of the bunch. He has instincts and power oozing from his pores. The other two probably have higher ceilings, but that could come at the expense of a shorter shelf life. Smith does have a knee injury on his resume but that was almost two years ago. He bounced back to lead the Trojans in tackles last season. He clearly has that “it” quality we have seen in some historical/Hall of Fame MLBs. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
Clelin Ferrell is 6’5”/255-pound edge slasher out of Clemson. He only has one year of starting experience, but he is an impressive specimen. Go dig up some film on him and try not to see the next first round DE, I dare you. Look for Clemson to move him around this season as he leads the ACC in sacks. I know pass rushers take time at the NFL level to develop but getting them at bargain prices only enhances your squad’s overall depth and strength.
Shaun Laibe – I cannot wait to see what Tyquan Lewis can do at the next level. He’s a freakish athlete and has been uber-productive at Ohio State, totaling 16 sacks over his Sophomore and Junior seasons. Projected by most to be a 1st round draft pick in 2018, Lewis likely will see the field early and often in his rookie campaign. DFF has Lewis ranked as the 4th best DL, but I could see him winding up as the #1 guy by year’s end. Tyquan Lewis has Myles Garrett-like athleticism, and that is something that cannot be learned. I want that sort of upside out of my devy draft picks.
Greg Brandt – Jordan Whitehead is a junior safety from the University of Pittsburgh. Whitehead first caught my eye his true freshman season against Notre Dame. In this game, he had 11 tackles and two rushing touchdowns. Seeing a true freshman playing both ways and making a major impact against a top 5 team at the time impressed me. He ended his freshman season with 110 tackles, 1 interception, and 122 rushing yards.
Whiteheads sophomore season was cut short three games due to a gruesome arm injury. Through 9 games he accounted for 65 tackles, 1 interception, and 98 rushing yards. Whitehead currently is averaging for his career over 10 yards a carry on 21 career carries. He’s also scored twice defensively. Whitehead is a good safety prospect who has good speed and tackling ability. Whitehead is a player I could see contributing at the NFL with punt returns as well. Most IDP leagues score return yardage so this could give Whitehead an additional boost.
John Orr – At the top of my devy rankings sits Malik Jefferson. Toss out the guys stats; he is capable of blowing up an offense and becoming that player opposing offenses must account for. Most of my devy leagues I focus on offensive skill players, but in leagues where you’re obligated to draft at least one IDP, the player I have been drafting is Clemson’s Kendall Joseph. Last season he showed his tackles ability by racking up 108 tackles and recorded 12.5 tackles for a loss. He looks very fast and a nose for the ball. Big things are coming this season.
Can you make sense the of Ravens WR depth chart?
Joshua Johnson – Remember when all the draftniks were pounding the table for the Ravens to draft a WR early! As a Breshad Perriman (4 total shares) owner that talk bothered me. Alas, they did not draft a WR all! This means Perriman has a solid chance to fulfill his owner’s hopes and dreams. His 15.1 YPC was very encouraging, and with Steve Smith’s departure Perriman can expect an expanded role in the Raven’s offense.
Mike Wallace gets no respect with an April ADP 179th overall behind guys like Cooper Kupp and Marqise Lee. He was 1,000-yard receiver last season! Wallace should see similar production and a majority snap share.
Michael Campanaro might be the wild card to see targets in the slot as the backup with the most tenure. Vince Mayle is a big bodied special teamer who may surprise if he gets a few targets. Kenny Bell is another wild card but he is yet to play an NFL snap after two full seasons of injuries.
Chris Matthews is an “X” WR depth player with some red zone abilities but not a lot of upside. Chris Moore is a short area quickness player who at the very least is familiar with the system, definite lottery ticket, however. Quincy Adeboyejo showed good in testing (4.42 40-time, 6.73 3-cone, 123 inch vertical) but he was UDFA, and he has a very Marquess Wilson like feel to his game. Option QB convert Keenan Reynolds is also hanging around but little is known about his readiness to contribute.
Shaun Laibe – When Steve Smith retired, the Ravens receiving corps became one of the least experienced groups in the league. Mike Wallace is the old man on campus at 30 years old and is coming off of a first year in Baltimore. He outpaced Steve Smith to finish with over 1,000 yards and is the clear number one target for Joe Flacco in 2017. It gets a bit messy after Wallace, however.
The next best contender for targets is former 1st round pick, Breshad Perriman. Perriman is a superior talent but has been slowed thus far by injuries. The remaining the depth consists of castoffs such as Michael Campanaro, Kenny Bell, and Vince Mayle. These guys do not exactly inspire confidence. With the lack of any real competition, Perriman is my favorite amongst this squad to become a breakout fantasy player in 2017.
Shane Manila – I’ve discussed this a few times before. I am a big Perriman fan. Last season, his first healthy one in the league, he put up 499 yards on 33 receptions. If for no other reason than the loss of Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken, Perriman is going to see his 46.1% snap share increase significantly. Along with his snap share increasing his targets are going to increase from last season’s total of 66. He flashed a few times last season and showed the promise that led the Ravens to spend a 1st draft pick on him in 2015. I expect Perriman to top 110 targets with 70 receptions, 1,000 yards and 8 TDs in 2017.
Mike Wallace is the buy du jour of the moment on #DynastyTwitter. He can be obtained for a rookie 3rd round draft pick. That is insanity for a player that has produced for most of his 8 seasons. Wallace had a couple down seasons where his efficiency and production dipped, but he’s back baby. For a 3rd round rookie pick, he’s a steal; this is a productive WR that has at least three seasons of production left in him.
Lastly, depending on your roster limits, Michael Campanaro, is a player to stash. His college dominator rating, his physical comps both point to him as a monster in waiting out of the slot. The only thing that can stop Campanaro from breaking out is injuries, which have done just that so far in his career.
John Orr – Not a WR, but Dennis Pitta is a player I would like to own here. In fact, I do own a few shares. Looking at the receiver situation though, I think they need to stay healthy, and MUST produce. Perriman is a player they desperately need to show up every week and be THAT playmaker. We have seen him make 33 catches in the big league. No doubt they expect him to be the top WR for them this year. Michael Campanaro is another player who looks poised for a big role. This kid can do some amazing things with the ball in his hands. The question is, can he also stay in the game? NFL sample size is all of 12 catches. A lot of question marks on this offense.
With Danny Woodhead signed and Terrence West looking like a player who will have a chance, targets may not be needed as much as one would thing at WR. I did not forget about the ancient one, Mike Wallace. The Ravens no doubt have plans for him contributing, and he may be the last WR standing when this season grinds to a halt. I wonder what Joe Flacco was thinking after he saw the teams in his division adding offensive talent, and then looking at his team’s first four rounds, where the picks were all on the defensive side.
I expect a balanced offense, spreading the ball, I think the 70 catches that Shane mentioned above is accurate for Wallace and Perriman. If I had to roll with one of them, I’d go with the Perriman and the upside. No question the cheapest player to get would be Wallace.