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!
For the Superflex grinders: Among these rookie QBs who are you rounding out your rosters with, Josh Dobbs, C.J Beathard, Chad Kelly, Nathan Peterman or Brad Kaaya?
John Orr – Nathan Peterman from Buffalo is a QB I have targeted. Tyrod Taylor is going to start, and he is a QB I like, been a cheap add in super flex for me last year, but will he be in Buffalo in 2018? The Bills have a regime change and this new group drafted Peterman. He will get the ball out and hit his targets fast. I like his accuracy and ability to make plays well under pressure more than Cardale Jones who served as the backup to Taylor last season. In late rounds in super flex I would be adding a potential starter, and a possible spot starter if Tyrod goes down this season.
Joshua Johnson – This whole bunch are backups unless Chad Kelly has a monster camp which is possible considering his competition in Denver. However, I will also go with Peterman and that is not because I don’t believe in Tyrod Taylor. The issue is that Bills don’t believe in Taylor. This season should hopefully clear all that up. Come 2018 we could feasibly see Peterman as the week one starter. A ton of scouts liked Peterman but nobody truly fell in love with him. Peterman reminds me a lot of Joe Flacco, he is not flashy, but he could be serviceable as a starter. If he studies hard and shows extensive knowledge of the playbook, who knows, we may even see him finish 2017 as the Bills starter.
Shaun Laibe – I’m grabbing Josh Dobbs in the late rounds of Superflex leagues if I have the chance. Ben Roethlisberger is now 35 years old and already hinting at retirement. Realistically, this could be Dobbs’ team in the next 1-3 years. Dobbs was one of the most experienced QBs of the 2017 class, having started 36 games over his 4-year career at Tennessee. As an Aerospace Engineer, he was is very likely the most intelligent amongst this year’s QB class as well. Anybody smart enough to handle engineering classes should be able to grasp an NFL playbook quickly. Dobbs has plus size, standing at 6’3”. He also has excellent speed for a QB, running a 4.64-second 40-yard dash. Though Dobbs has plenty of ability, he probably doesn’t have much value outside of Superflex leagues at the moment. Regardless, I’m stashing him if my roster is deep enough.
Brian Hawkes – Josh Dobbs. You have to love the talent surrounding Dobbs in Pittsburgh, and with Big Ben swaying back and forth on retirement…who knows, his time may come sooner than we think. Dobbs needs some work as a passer, but he brings a ton of tools to the table and some added value as a runner. Simply based on surrounding talent, and potential opportunity – Dobbs is my choice of this group.
Shane Manila – Chad Kelly. The rest of the field consists of some nice guys who I’d let date my daughter. If I actually had a daughter. And this imaginary daughter was roughly their age. Maybe not Kaaya, he throws like a girl, I don’t want my pretend grandchildren having those terrible genes.
Anyway. Chad Kelly is talented as he is troubled. In his only full season of college football, between suspensions, transfers, and injuries he threw for over 4,000 yards and ran for over 500 yards. In 2016 in only 9 games Kelly threw for nearly 2800 yards and added 332 on the ground. Kelly has a great arm and is a threat on the ground. He’s also a headcase that tried to fight someone at his little brother’s high school football game. His upside is a top 10 quarterback in the NFL; his floor could be not making it out of training camp.
The WR drop in rookie drafts is very steep beyond the 3rd round but if you are tabbing a WR late who do you like out of Ishmael Zamora, Malachi Dupre, KD Cannon, Ryan Switzer or Trent Taylor?
John Orr – Ryan Switzer would be my guy. Beasley could be leaving after the season and Switzer would be able to step right into that role. He is a playmaker who will fit the slot role well. I’m willing to bet we see both Beasley and Switzer on the field at the same time, which helps his year as well. At this point in your drafts I see a lot of upside with Ryan Switzer. Paired with a young gunslinger in Dak Prescott it could be a nice few years for these youngsters.
Joshua Johnson – Raider Homer alert! But seriously had Zamora not had any off the field issues he would probably have been a late second or early third round pick. GM Reggie McKenzie has a way of pinpointing UDFAs that fit what the Raiders want to do, examples being Seth Roberts and Jalen Richard. Ironically Zamora could very well usurp Roberts as the teams WR3. The 21-year Zamora is 6-foot-3 and a solid 220 pound and a very aggressive WR. Roberts has had his moments, but the team is still waiting for him to take that next step.
Oakland can also walk away from WR2 Michael Crabtree’s contract after 2017 season. Zamora, Roberts and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson all stand a chance to benefit from Crabtree’s departure pending they perform well and earn Derek Carr’s trust. Zamora has the most athleticism of the bunch, and I am grabbing as many shares as I can of him for next to nothing. The most I have spent on him was a sixth round pick.
Shaun Laibe – All of the players on this list have upside as a late round rookie pick, but the only one who will be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers is Malachi Dupre. The Packers already have a very deep WR corps with Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb manning the starting positions. I view this only as a positive for Dupre’s development, though.
The additional time on the sidelines will allow Dupre to add bulk to his 6’3”, 196-pound frame while learning from some of the best in the game. Jordy Nelson is still putting up huge numbers, finishing as the #2 WR in PPR leagues last season. This notion will keep the price low enough on Dupre for me to stash him and wait for Father Time to catch up with Nelson.
Brian Hawkes – Malachi Dupre. The wide receiver position is extremely stable at this point, which leaves very slim opportunity for late round fliers to make a fantasy impact. Saying all that, if I’m taking a late round flyer on a wide receiver – it’s gotta be a “swing for the fences” type player. That is Dupre for me. He was once a highly touted prospect and hyped first round dynasty rookie draft pick… Yes, he fell to the 7th round of the NFL draft – but he landed in a spot with an elite QB who has a WR1 over 30 years old. We can’t say that for any of the other players on this list.
Shane Manila – Due to the NFL’s new found sense of social consciousness Ishmael Zamora was not invited to the NFL combine. He beat a dog with a belt, and it was caught on video(and let’s be honest, the bigger sin in the eyes of the NFL is getting caught doing your dirt on video). Between not being invited to the combine, playing in the terrible Baylor system(at least for WRs draft stock) Zamora went undrafted. Zamora sports a 90 percentile catch radius, is 6’4” 224 lbs and cruises along with SASS of 106 (85th percentile).
As an UDFA Zamora was able to choose his own landing spot and decided to sign with the Raiders. In Oakland Zamora will be behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree to start his career and possibly Seth Roberts as well. Zamora is more talented than Roberts and should be able to pass him on the depth chart this season. After 2017 it gets real interesting in Oakland. Michael Crabtree who will be 30 years old can be cut with no cap hit and Derek Carr will only have one season left on his rookie contract. Could the Raiders cut Crabtree to ensure they have the necessary cap space to sign Carr? Could Zamora, after a moderately successful rookie season, be ready to take over as the WR2 for the Raiders? We shall see.
Among these late round RBs who are you more willing to take, Elijah Hood, Aaron Jones, Donnell Pumphrey (please refrain from using Darren Sproles reference) or Elijah McGuire?
John Orr – I’m not in many leagues where you need to start 2 RBs, so the late round RB picks is one I don’t contend with often. Aaron Jones is my kind of an RB in this spot though. In PPR and leagues that give you first down points I like the receiving backs. Give me the RB who can run good routes and make plays out in space. I want the catches, and if he’s getting a few of those on 3rd downs I am getting double the points.
Joshua Johnson – This one is a slam dunk for me! If McGuire impresses this season the Jets will be able to walk away from both Bilal Powell and Matt Forte’s contracts for less thank two million dollars combined. Or they can pay them a combined seven million dollars to stay. That seems like an awful lot for two RBs in their 30s.
Maybe this means the Jets will be in the RB market next draft season. That may also mean McGuire could be the default starter, as the Jets will likely prioritize QB early in the draft. So why not take him in round 5 of your rookie draft and stash him. He rushed for 4,300 yards for the Ragin’ Cajuns of UL-Lafayette and he caught 130 passes. He has this season to learn from two great veterans. And before you knock his college competition level remember Forte played at Tulane.
Shaun Laibe – I like Elijah Hood in Oakland here. Marshawn Lynch is the clear early down back along with 2016 rookies Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington fighting for the role of pass catching back. Hood is a big runner at 5’11” and 232 pounds. He excels in short yardage and goal-line situations, scoring an incredible 17 TDs as a sophomore at North Carolina. Hood might find himself on the practice squad early on, but his physical running style should lead to carries if should something were to happen to the 31-year-old Lynch.
Brian Hawkes – Elijah McGuire. The Jets running backs are set for 2017, but the position is completely up for grabs in 2018 due to contract structure of Powell and Forte. McGuire offers a versatile skill-set that may prove valuable if Forte or Powell go down to injury in 2017, and he offers long-term value as a pass-catcher beyond 2017. In breaking down running back prospects for the 2017 draft, McGuire jumps off the page with 130 career receptions and a top tier 1.20 points per touch efficiency (PPR scoring). He measured above average in BMI, speed score, and explosion – and I think he has a shot to be a PPR impact player – which has proven to be a valuable role for other players in the league (Riddick, Woodhead, etc.).
Shane Manila – Elijah McGuire. When drafting rookie running backs I tend to lean towards players who have shown that they can play a three-down role. It’s my belief that opposed to RB’s that can only do one thing well these players have a better chance to make a roster and steal a starting job. McGuire rushed for over 4,300 yards and secured 130 receptions during his four-year college career.
Landing with the Jets, McGuire has to contend with old man Matt Forte and Bilal Powell for significant touches. Forte is coming off one of, if not, the worst seasons of his career. Powell is a nice player who had a nice run last season, but I don’t believe he is a true three-down bell cow back. At worst I can see McGuire getting enough work this season so we can at least determine his fantasy value going forward.