Between free agency and trades and draft talk, there is no shortage of news and developments that will affect dynasty leagues next season. Below are a few recent tweets along with the reaction they got.
A longtime favorite of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Ezekiel Elliott looked like he might be a Cowboy for life. Drafted fourth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, he made the Pro Bowl in three of his first four seasons. And it was just a couple of seasons ago that Elliott held out for an extension he eventually signed. Then the proverbial wheels came off. He’s averaged a mediocre 4.0 yards per carry over the last three seasons. He has averaged over nine rushing touchdowns per season in that same span but it can be argued that the Cowboys were giving him an inordinate amount of carries.
Luckily for Dallas, they had a replacement already waiting in the wings. Tony Pollard was drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft – not long before Elliott held out for his extension – and gradually won the title of the best Cowboys running back. He owns a 5.1 yards-per-carry average and is coming off his best season with nine rushing touchdowns over 1,000 rushing yards. It didn’t take long into the 2022 season for Pollard to take over when it came to dynasty value.
Between Pollard’s ascension and Elliott’s decline, it made sense for Dallas to roll with Pollard.
Dynasty Impact: Rarely do the fantasy community and Jerry Jones have anything in common but they did in their opinion of Elliott. While it was obvious on the field, it’s still surprising Jones moved on.
This guarantees Pollard will be the man in Dallas in 2024. In addition to cutting Elliott (who could still come back, albeit at a lower price), the Cowboys franchise tagged Pollard which means he automatically is one of the highest-paid running backs in the game this season.
Perhaps the biggest question for Pollard and the Cowboys is how much they lean on him. He totaled nearly 200 carries but Elliott had 231 himself. If they do ramp up Pollard – who tore his ACL in the playoffs – how much more can he take on while still producing at the same level? Dallas we certainly add depth but it may not be enough to supplement Pollard in the way Pollard did for Elliott.
As for Elliott, he now joins a long list of free-agent running backs who would be lucky to find a team that would use him for half the usage he was used to. You can safely move on from him in your dynasty leagues.
Emerging from the darkness, Aaron Rodgers finally confirmed what many had assumed – he wants to be a Jet. Trade compensation is holding up the deal being finalized but it appears we are past the point of no return. For Rodgers, he seemed antsy to get out of Green Bay and go somewhere where he would feel appreciated. For the Packers, the clock on Jordan Love‘s rookie contract is winding down and it was time to cash in before it was too late.
But the biggest beneficiaries have to be the Jets’ position players, specifically two young players that shined despite the mediocre quarterback play they had to deal with. Running back Breece Hall was widely considered to be the top running back in 2022 and looked like it before a torn ACL wiped out his rookie season. In just seven games, Hall racked up 681 total yards and five touchdowns. His 5.8 yards-per-carry average was especially impressive and was a good sign. Wide receiver Garrett Wilson was just as impressive and stayed healthy all season, recording 83 receptions and 1,103 receiving yards on his way to being named Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The (apparent) arrival of Rodgers will only ramp up expectations from these two.
Dynasty Impact: While both Hall and Wilson should benefit from Rodgers under center, they are on very different paths when it comes to dynasty value. For Wilson, he might be the most hyped receiver this off-season. Coming off an impressive rookie campaign, the former tenth overall pick will assume the Davante Adams role when it comes to Aaron Rodgers’s favorite target. The expectations will, and in some ways already are, sky high and his dynasty cost will reflect that.
Hall is different. As a running back, he won’t be a direct beneficiary but a better offense will certainly help its lead running back. Additionally, Hall is coming back from a torn ACL, and while it’s iffy if he’ll be ready for week one of the 2023 season, his long-term value is solid even if he only gets to play with Rodgers for a season or two. He would be the one to target not because he’ll be more valuable than Wilson but because he should come at a much cheaper asking price.
Khalil Herbert dynasty managers had their hopes of a workhorse role in 2023 dashed when the Bears signed free agent D’Onta Foreman. Foreman is coming off his best season as a pro when he totaled over 900 rushing yards with most of it coming after week six when the Panthers finally moved on from Christian McCaffrey. He also managed five 100-yard rushing games in just 11 games. And while he’ll be entering his sith profession season and will be 27, he has plenty of tread left on these tires. An Achilles injury early in his career prevented a lot of build-up; the 203 carries he had in 2021 were almost 50% of his total career carries.
Dynasty Impact: While the signing of Foreman may be good news for the Bears and their offense, it’s sure to create a fantasy situation as clear as mud. Herbert was coming off his best season as well which means the Bears have two running backs who are ascending.
Both Foreman and Herbert are on relatively cheap deals, so Chicago has no obligation to play one over the other. They’re both also low-cost when it comes to dynasty purposes. Using our DLF Trade Analyzer, Herbert is not even worth a first-rounder when it comes to rookie picks. Herbert has more dynasty value because he’s younger but both would be a good, inexpensive addition to your dynasty team this year.
Michael has played fantasy football for over 20 years when his mom funded his first team in the fourth grade. He’s contributed to various fantasy football publications and most recently spent five years writing for the Fantasy side of things at Pro Football Focus.
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Dynasty Twitter Observations: Ezekiel Elliott Moves on, Aaron Rodgers Wants to