Here at the Dynasty Football Factory, our motto is “Always Be Building”. We are always putting in the hard work to help you get ahead of your league mates and build dynasties one player at a time. As we come to the end of the 2018 fantasy football regular season, there’s no better time than now to look ahead to 2019 and stash away some players who could pay dividends in 2019.
In this installment, I look at some QBs and TEs who could be worth stashing at the end of your bench or taxi squad. They shouldn’t cost you much if anything! And if you’re savvy, you might be able to turn them into a profit during your 2019 rookie draft or after a bit of 2019 preseason hype.
In single QB leagues, these guys have little to no value. But in Superflex, make sure these guys are not on the wire! If you aren’t playing Superflex, you should be. If you are, make sure the Super Flexible Podcast is in your rotation!
Don’t look now, Giants fans, but Eli is playing well…ish, and, at the time of this writing, has his team on a 3 game winning streak. Unfortunately, while this continues, we are unlikely to see Kyle Lauletta take the field. That said, Eli was ugly this season. One more loss will end any playoff hopes the G-Men have, and they would be remiss to not take a look at what they have behind Manning. If Lauletta does get the nod, he will be blessed with numerous weapons at his disposal. Save for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, there may not be a more loaded collection of skill position players for a young QB in the league. With Odell Beckham, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, and even Sterling Shepherd, Lauletta should have all the help he needs to make the leap. Resident DFF writer John Di Bari had Lauletta as his QB4 following the draft.
Lauletta was productive in college and set Richmond records in both yards (10,465) and touchdown passes (73) – as expected for a future NFL talent in a small school. He also lit up the 2018 Senior Bowl and was MVP. He is worth rostering, and I recommend trading for him before he gets a chance to become the Giants starter.
Once the 2018 season has drawn to a close, we will be greeted with the usual dramatics of Big Ben and his flirtation with retirement. It’s anyone’s best guess as to whether he will, in fact, hang it up, but you suspect if he has another poor showing in the playoffs, coupled with his second meltdown against Jacksonville in two seasons, the scales might be tipped towards retirement.
That could mean Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph would battle it out for the starting job. Given he is the current number 2 on the depth chart, Dobbs should be the favorite.
Dobbs was selected from the University of Tennessee with the 135th overall pick in 2017. He was the starter for his final two seasons where he played in 26 games throwing for 5,237 yards 42 TDs and 17 picks. He also accounted for 1,502 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground showcasing his dual-threat ability.
Dobbs doesn’t purely rely on his athletic gifts to play the QB position. He is renowned for his intelligence, scoring a perfect 4.0 GPA average whilst majoring in aerospace engineering. Much like Lauletta, Dobbs would inherit a loaded skill position group, and, unlike Lauletta, Dobbs would inherit elite offensive line play.
Smart? Check. Athletic? Check. Solid College production? Check. Sign me up for some Dobbs in the future in Pittsburgh.
After a scorching NFL debut, Nick Mullens has come back down to earth. He might have attended the same college as Brett Favre and wears his iconic #4 jersey, but young Nick isn’t fit to lace the cleats of The Gunslinger. Let’s be honest, few QBs are. Mullens might have done enough to secure the backup role to Jimmy G in 2019, which gives him handcuff value moving forward – meaning he should be rostered in the majority of Superflex leagues.
These Tight Ends might not sound very sexy, but 2018 has reminded us what a dumpster fire the position can be. With numerous starters on Injured Reserve, a TE buried on the depth chart can spring to relevance in the space of a week. That being said, here are a few names that you might encounter on the waiver wire:
Whenever a player is involved in a Payton/Brees offense, your interest should be piqued. Since week 10 of the 2018 season, Arnold has seen some involvement, albeit on a limited basis, totaling 10 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. The TE position is up for grabs in New Orleans with no player successfully staking a claim to the throne since Jimmy Graham left for Seattle. Coby Fleener was an epic bust, and Josh Hill and Ben Watson haven’t done much to shout about either.
Arnold was a college metrics darling with 97th percentile ranks in both Dominator Rating (38.4%) and yards per reception (18.1) according to PlayerProfiler. His athletic testing was dominant as well, scoring in at least the 93rd percentile for burst, agility, and catch radius scores. Overall, his weight adjusted speed score was low (37th percentile), but at 6ft 5” and only 222 pounds, that is expected.
Arnold should cost you nothing and should be rostered in deeper dynasty leagues and all start 2 TE leagues.
It surely is the end of the Greg Olsen era in Carolina. Last offseason, he flirted with retirement and a transition to the commentary booth. He ultimately decided to play again but only managed 8 games following yet another foot break in Week 1. He avoided IR and returned in Week 6 but ultimately ended up there after a season-ending foot injury in Week 13.
Once again, I will defer to JDB who profiled Thomas back in July. You can find his piece here which is well worth the read. TLDR? Thomas is athletic, has the opportunity with Greg Olsen out, and the Panthers target the TE at the 6th highest rate, dating back to 2013. Thomas should not be on any waiver wires, particularly after he went 5 catches for 46 yards on 5 targets in Week 13.
Dallas Tight Ends
It was always going to be impossible to replace the production of Jason Witten at the TE position. His longevity and production at a notoriously unstable position will no doubt earn him a gold jacket in the near future. So instead of trying to replace Witten with a single player, Dallas has platooned the position with young TEs like Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin.
Schulz was drafted in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft, whilst Jarwin was a UDFA in 2017 and spent time on the practice squad before making his debut in 2017. Neither has produced much in 2018 so far, so let’s take a look at their college production and athletic profile.
Unfortunately for Schulz, his measurables and production are pedestrian at best:
The same can be said for the Oklahoma State graduate Blake Jarwin who shares a similar profile (insert Spiderman pointing dot gif):
His highest yardage total in a single college season was 300 yards, being used primarily as a blocker.
Even if either of these young TEs profiles as anything more than middling NFL athletes and blocking TEs, Dallas is not the place to be a fantasy relevant pass catcher. Since the 2016 season, Dallas has the second lowest pass to run ratio, passing on just 53% of plays and also has the fewest total pass attempts with 1,450 (per Sharp Football Stats).
Neither of these players has any fantasy value in my opinion. Leave them well alone on the waiver wire.
Croom went undrafted in 2017 and signed with the Buffalo Bills. He actually played WR in his first two seasons at Tennessee, missed his junior season with a knee injury, and then converted to the TE position to boost his NFL prospects in his senior year. Croom made his NFL debut in Week 1 of 2018 but as expected (being on the Bills offense) has minimal production to date. He is listed as the #2 TE on the Bills depth chart behind Charles Clay, but the opportunity may be there in 2019. Clay could be cut at the end of 2018 with only $4.5 million as a dead cap hit to free up $9 million (per Spotrac), having underwhelmed in 2018.
Croom is worth a stash in deep TE premium leagues, and his spot on the team is probably safe for the foreseeable future: he is dating Kelly Pegula, daughter of the Buffalo Bills owner.
A collective “Who the hell is that guy?” could be heard around the globe during Thursday Night Football in Week 11 of the 2018 season. Aaron Rodgers was doing Aaron Rodgers things and launched a 54-yard bomb to Robert Tonyan. Not a bad first career catch to have. An UDFA originally signed by the Lions, Tonyan made his way to Green Bay at the end of the 2017 season and was re-signed for the 2018 season. Other than his TD grab, Tonyan has done nothing to speak of at this point of his career.
But wow that grab was fun. Please enjoy.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 16, 2018
At first glance, Tonyan seems buried on the depth chart:
Jimmy Graham (barring retirement) will be back in 2019 given his dead cap hit of $7.3million, but Lance Kendricks and Marcedes Lewis will be both be UFAs at the end of the season. Tonyan could enter 2019 as the #2 TE on the Packers depth chart, and just one Jimmy Graham injury away from starting.
Another team that has seen their TE corps decimated by injury is the Denver Broncos. Young prospect Jake Butt might have the worst luck in football, having suffered three ACL injuries, and Jeff Heuerman, who was quietly enjoying a breakout season, is now on IR. Truth be told, the Broncos haven’t had any great production from the position since Julius Thomas. After failed stints elsewhere, we know it was Peyton Manning elevating his game rather than any true talents from Thomas.
Fumagalli was a 5th round pick from Wisconsin and is renowned for having exceptional catching ability despite having only 9 fingers. He is not the most athletic, but at 6’5”, 247 lbs and 85th percentile arm length, Fumagalli could be a useful red zone target for the Broncos. If he emerges as a reliable option at a thin position, Fumagalli might find himself in fantasy relevance sooner rather than later.
Let me know who you are stashing away this offseason. You can find me on Twitter @FF_DownUnder.