After missing a few weeks due to editing issues (I’m an editor, so sometimes my writing gets back burnered) I’m back and ready to review the top adds on MFL this week. If this is your first time reading this series first of all, hey! Secondly, every week(ish) I review the top adds on MFL and discuss the value of these players going forward. I won’t discuss every player, just the ones I think deserve a deeper look. Let’s dive in.
Dez Bryant is back! Throw up the X or whatever it is that Dez Bryant fans do. Bryant is 30 years old and hasn’t crested the 1,000-yard barrier since his mid-twenties (2014 to be exact). Never a burner to begin with, Bryant struggled to gain separation in 2017 checking in with the 90th best separation rate with 1.17 yards per target. The Saints offensive concepts should help mitigate Bryant’s lack of separation. Listening to the “Fantasy Guru Matchup Podcast” today the great Greg Cosell noted the Saints offensive game plan is more amenable to Bryant’s skill set due to the coaching staffs ability to scheme wide receivers open opposed to forcing their receivers to get themselves open with their speed and or route running.
Catching the football was another area Bryant struggled with in 2017.
If you want specifics on that. pic.twitter.com/mTAmCqzwfk
— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) December 21, 2017
Bryant clawed his way to high-end WR3 (WR29) status with the Cowboys last season, scoring 11.7 fantasy points per game. To even reach those mediocre levels Bryant needed 131 targets, 12th most at the wide receiver position in 2017. Bryant might not have needed so many targets if more of them were good targets. Per PlayerProfiler, Bryant’s 74% Catchable Target Rate ranked just 58th. With his quarterback now being Drew Brees, we can state definitively that Bryant’s Catchable Target Rate that will increase as Brees sports the all-time highest completion percentage at 67.2%. For comparison purposes, Michael Thomas ranked 27th last season and ranks 1st this season in Catchable Target Rate.
There’s been some chatter about where Bryant will line up with the Saints. Early speculation has him playing out of the slot, though Bryant has run minimal routes from the slot in the past, including just 10.5% last season, so it’s questionable how well he’ll adjust in that role. Based on Bryant’s diminishing skills, inactivity since the end of last season and not being the focal point of the offense I think the best we can hope for from him the rest of season is low-end WR3 numbers. If Bryant plays good soldier and performs well enough, he could parlay this cameo with the Saints into a larger/longer contract with another team in the off-season. I wouldn’t part with any more than a late 2nd round rookie pick for him.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling has exploded onto the scene in the last month. Over the last four games, MVS has exceeded double-digit fantasy points every week. He’s scored touchdowns in two separate games and exceeded 100 yards receiving in the other two games. With Geronimo Allison out for the season and Randall Cobb completely useless, MVS is locked and loaded as Aaron Rodgers WR2.
Valdes-Scantling is something of a dilemma for dynasty players. His production profile from college isn’t impressive with a below average 26.7%(41st) Dominator Rating, and a non-existent Breakout Age. While he ran the 8th fastest 40-yard dash at this year’s combine the rest of his athletic profile is just okay with a 70th percentile Sparq-x score. With his physical and production metrics and his low-round draft slot, 5th round pick, Valdes-Scantling shouldn’t’ be doing what he’s doing. But he is.
If you are non-contending team and draft pick poor my suggestion is to cash out now. You can likely secure a low 1st round rookie pick for MVS. I’ve put out offers in multiple leagues that have included 2nd round picks, multiple 2nd round picks and even a 1st round pick and each was rejected. So you may be able to get more back than just a single first for him. If you are a contender and draft pick rich, it’s worth offering your own upcoming 2019 1st. For the reasons listed in the previous paragraph MVS shouldn’t be able to sustain his current production, but as a contender, I’m willing to take that risk.
Mike Davis is a player that no one in dynasty leagues should have dropped and he’s rostered in each of my 30+ dynasty leagues. Davis has had 10 or more touches on four occasions this season. In all but one game Davis produced an RB18 week or better on these occasions.
Handling starter duties in Week 4 against Arizona Davis put up 28.4 fantasy points, finishing the week as the RB6. Davis turned his 14 touches in Week 5 into 118 yards and the RB18 finish for the week. Last week Davis finished as the RB11 after taking over for Chris Carson in the 2nd half when Carson injured his hip. With Carson seemingly always battling some injury or another Davis is someone to roster even in redraft leagues. In dynasty leagues, it’d be wise to hold onto Davis after this season since he’ll be a free agent and has shown he can be a productive running back whether part of a committee or when given the starting role.
I’ve told you a few times this season to roster Elijah McGuire. Back in week 8, I told you to get McGuire (Chris Herndon as well) on your roster. In his first game action of the season, McGuire turned 10 touches into 67 yards, compared to Isaiah Crowell’s 60 yards on 14 touches. McGuire out targeted Crowell 5 to 2 in the receiving game, while out snapping him 36 to 23. McGuire is a second-year pro who should end up being at least an above average 3rd down back. Bilal Powell, currently on the I.R., is an unrestricted free agent over 30 years old and is unlikely to return to the Jets next season. If McGuire can show the Jets he can be more than a 3rd down back this season, he could also make Crowell expendable.
With Sony Michel expected back this week Cordarrelle Patterson goes back to be nothing more than a roster clogger. If you want to hold onto Patterson in the hopes/expectation that Michel will miss time again this season that’s between you and your maker and I won’t judge you for it.
Maurice Harris is a player that had been on my radar for several weeks before last weeks 10 catch 124-yard explosion. I didn’t pick him in any leagues because Washington’s passing offense is a mess and Harris’s season-high in fantasy points scored before last week was 7.7. Now that Paul Richardson has been placed on the I.R. Harris is guaranteed a starting role for the remainder of the season. With Richardson gone, Jamison Crowder out since week 5 and uninspired performances from Josh Doctson and Jordan Reed, Harris could see significant target volume the rest of the season. I doubt he has any real long-term value so if anyone wants to offer you a draft pick for him take it.
That’s it for this week. Thank you for reading. If you have any comments please leave them below. You can also find me on Twitter @DFF_Shane. And if you want to listen to a podcast that focuses on dynasty trades, player value that’s actually entertaining you can find me the DynastyTradesHQ every week. We’re on Podbean and iTunes and additional platforms.