2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Daily Notes – Special Edition (Matthew Berry/Rookies + Other Valuation Affects)
I wanted to review a few things that caught my attention this past week that could/will alter ADPs/player valuation for the masses ahead…and we need to talk about it.
-- Matthew Berry published a puff piece on his time at the NFLPA’s annual rookie event for ESPN last week.
This is no time for a referendum on Matthew Berry, like him or loathe him…he moves markets. Most of your competitors either lap up everything Berry and/or ESPN puts out (as if they’re the only ones that saw it), and then all the football/fantasy analysts around the globe will copycat Berry’s ideas and re-package them for their followers.
A Matthew Berry piece on rookies in May…when THEY are starved for football info…can/will alter fantasy valuations on the rookies – for Dynasty Rookie Drafts upcoming and trading for/away them in dynasty leagues where you’ve already drafted rookies. It will affect Best Ball and Redraft ADPs to some degree this summer as well.
I got an alert on my phone from the ESPN Fantasy App that the article had posted…and normally I don’t read Matthew Berry material, but when I saw the article title of: “Too low on Kyler Murray”, I almost fell on the floor and was ready to sue him. Fortunately, as I read the entire article…most all of it was a puff piece about how great all the rookies are, and how they all think they’re better than their Madden ratings, and an Instagram filler of Berry taking ‘fan pics’ with the rookies to let you know how much stroke he has.
The material on Kyler Murray was mostly nonsensical and typical stuff we normally see from NFL analysis, “I asked ___ and he said ____” – asking a player or coach and then regurgitating their coach-speak stands as high journalism in the NFL (and every media circle) -- and the entire piece ended with “I have Kyler as the #14 QB right now and I’m likely too low.” That’s kind of hard-hitting stuff you can really sink your teeth into! Bullet dodged for now. I thought he was going all-in on Murray with a ‘special revelation’ he might have found online somewhere…
As you know, and have been acting upon, we’re on the Kyler Murray bullet train for fantasy at FFM and CFM. I said he would be a top 5 rookie draft prospect who might get looks as high as #1 in rookie drafts, claiming this back in February (heavily assuming an Arizona landing spot) and everyone fought me on it because ‘no one takes QBs that highly in my league!!”
…until they did.
Murray is trading #5-10 overall in most Dynasty Rookie Drafts, and outside the top 12 QBs in Best Ball/Redrafts right now. This Berry article likely isn’t going to change that too much.
I have been more right about the Murray market than anyone so far in 2019, so my prediction for the summer…slowly guys like Berry will sneak Murray in as their redraft QB #12, so they can claim him as a shock QB1 ranking. That’s about as high as they’ll go. They all loved Patrick Mahomes, conceptually, right away as he entered the league and sitting as an obvious starter for KC last preseason, but they wouldn’t rank him higher than like the #8-10 QB for Redraft/Best Ball last August…and usually #10-15 among all QBs. They will not embrace the young QB in fantasy, so Murray won’t go much higher than QB12 for the mainstream…and they’ll think that’s radical.
The ‘We The People’, however, will not fully toe the part line on Murray…and haven’t been, as I predicted. The people love Murray and want to take him higher and higher, but they are slaves to worrying about that one guy that mocks everyone in the league on everything they do especially when they take players outside of ESPN’s marching orders. So, whatever the experts rank Murray in Best Ball/Redraft, deduct 2-3-4 spots for ‘We The People’ drafting in reality. Dynasty Rookie Drafts -- you can cut the expert rankings in half to find reality…if the experts say Murray is #12 overall…then it’s around #6 in reality, and so on.
The groundwork is being laid for experts saying, “I bet Murray is going to be great for fantasy” talk…to cover their talking out of both sides of their mouth speak to con the masses like a psychic, but THEY won’t rank Murray too highly because they’re the most enslaved to their own rules. Murray will bump up in ADP and value just a little bit through the summer with a lot of this ‘I bet Murray does well’ talk but not backing up with high rankings. You should be fine doing what you’re doing now – trading up top five to get him in DRDs and taking him early as your #2 QB in Best Ball/Redraft (before others have even taken their first QB).
Once the preseason hits, then his ADP could/will ignite – my early guess is he’ll settle in as a top 6-8 among redraft QBs taken, and as high as the #5 QB taken. His DRD ranking will cut in half from #6 overall ADP now to around #3…once people actually see him in action.
My February-May pitch still stands – you do whatever you have to, you break every rule you’ve been taught (lied to) about fantasy valuations on QBs and you get Kyler Murray in the barn. You want in on a high-end passer with great running skills on a wide-open offensive-minded offense/head coach.
-- Most of the Berry article was about non-Kyler rookies. Here’s a quick synopsis of items of interest, but overall it was “they’re all going to be good, their team likes them, they are nice people, and they all think they’re going to have great seasons.”
Items of note from Berry’s take…
Hakeem Butler – the single most interesting piece of info from the article was that Butler is Murray’s roommate and they are becoming fast friends. That matters. QB-WR personal relationships matter. It makes me like Butler another hair better than I did before…but also creates more chaos of which 2-3 WRs emerge out of Butler-Kirk-Isabella-Fitzgerald as the fantasy stars in 2019…or will it be a random series of events?
Josh Jacobs – Jacobs revealed ‘they got me lining up all over’, which is all you hear on every rookie anymore and yet we get to the regular season and then we see the same old-same old but that one time they split out five-wide on a certain special one-time play. Jacobs already has a ton of hype and will not be moved out of his #1 DRD ranking for the masses. His redraft ADP will continue to climb…because rookie RBs are beloved magical unicorns. I won’t be surprised if he’s an RB1 ADP in redrafts come July-August.
Darrell Henderson – Berry warned everyone that Henderson is a must-have Gurley handcuff. You probably didn’t realize that until he told you…
Irv Smith – Matthew Berry loves nothing more than Washington Redskins related things. So, when Smith mentioned that Kirk Cousins told him he reminds him of Jordan Reed…Berry probably needed a cigarette after. 100 of 100 people know that Irv Smith has a Jordan Reed size/aspect to him. This is not news.
Dwayne Haskins – If Berry wasn’t spent after hearing Irv Smith talked to ex-Redskins’ QB Kirk Cousins who made a Jordan Reed reference…then getting to breathe the same air as new Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins definitely required a tranquilizer dart to calm Berry’s heart rate down.
Berry noted Haskins was bigger than he expected and a great leader/person who supported fellow rookie teammates Terry McLaurin and Bryce Love at the event. Soon, Haskins will be 7-foot tall and be a finalist for the Nobel Peace Prize…
Parris Campbell – Berry used the Campbell section to redirect to more Dwayne Haskins is awesome talk (former teammates at Ohio State). Campbell got the least amount of exciting words of any rookie Berry touched on…mostly because Haskins became the topic.
Deebo Samuel – Discussion of playing the ‘X’ receiver role, where Deebo is convinced he’ll play. Not the slot. I am wondering if Dante Pettis will work the slot or not…or if labels even matter in the Shanahan offense.
Alexander Mattison – a basic note about how he’s probably the one to want if Dalvin Cook goes down. Wow!
-- In summary on the Berry article, I don’t think it will have a massive effect because nothing all that definitive was relayed. The biggest impacts were…
*Setting the groundwork for a Kyler Murray QB1 (312 QB) ranking down the road, but not yet.
*Hakeem Butler is closer, personally, to Murray than we might have realized.
*More positive Darrell Henderson talk pushes his ADP up a touch, I’m already seeing it…and driving Gurley’s value down. The fear on Gurley is gripping the fantasy community…who loves to be in fear rather than consider upsides on any player situation (See: Tyreek given away when his 2019 news first broke).
*Dwayne Haskins is secretly the Redskins’ Messiah that will return them to multiple Super Bowls. We need this talk to help muddy the waters and make people want to take Haskins over Murray…or see them as ‘the same’ (both ‘good’).
-- The single biggest, earth-shaking fantasy news this week, by far, was the little throwaway May story of James Conner stating from his own lips that, “To have that dual threat with me and him in the game, it could be scary for defenses.”
That news should, and has, started to erode James Conner’s top 12 overall redraft ADP/rankings…he’s falling out of the 1st-round quickly.
I have been saying that Jaylen Samuels is a problem for Conner since Week 1 of last season when Conner took over the backfield from Bell and ESPN acolytes didn’t know who Samuels was. It’s simple, really – because Samuels is a superior everything compared to Conner. Better, faster, stronger runner and he could be a WR or TE if so desired with his great hands/instincts as a receiver.
Samuels is either going to split touches to some degree with Conner in 2019…possibly taking the lead role by midseason.
Samuels is going to literally lineup all over, as he should have in 2018, and be an RB-TE-WR-FB that is a crazy-exciting weapon for the NFL/fantasy.
Either way, in the ‘lining up all over’ scenario, Samuels will touch the ball -- and the more people see Samuels’ work against Conner’s…the more trouble it is for Conner. I’m putting a report together for the upcoming FFM draft guide with a ranking of the most overrated players in fantasy – Conner was at the top of the list, and his ADP drop is unfolding faster than I thought.
You should’ve already sold Conner as an RB1 by now, but if you haven’t…you’re going to regret not moving him at his peak as his value continues to erode.
-- News of Davante Adams working in the slot should boost or solidify his lofty ADPs. Adams was already, arguably, the top WR for fantasy 2019…if he’s working the slot some/more it’s only going to drive his catch counts.
Green Bay doesn’t really have a natural, superior slot WR talent on the roster today…so, Adams working there makes sense.
-- I’m seeing so many non-FFM people trying to ‘dump’ Patrick Mahomes…yes, dump. The masses take their cues from fantasy experts who constantly undermine the value of the QB (and don’t even make consideration for whether you’re in a 4 or 6pts per pass TD league and/or have performance bonuses). The experts see all QBs as 4pts per pass TD guys who are all lumped together for output, so everything they write/say backs that up.
Fantasy GMs, for their part, love nothing more than ‘selling before a perceived collapse’…because fantasy players love nothing more than finding something to fear and running from it. So, Mahomes is available…and if you want him, realize the price has dropped from Mahomes as a top 15 type Redraft rank to top 30.
-- No new news on Tyreek Hill.
It’s possible Tyreek is going to settle on a separation and a support/monetary amount between he and his ex-girlfriend. If so, then they’ll both clam up to investigators. Then there will have been 3+ investigations that produced no arrests, etc.
It’s possible the mother of the child is guilty or will take some blame, and then go to counseling to get partial custody of their child back, and all will be forgotten – and Tyreek will have nothing against him. The NFL still, probably, suspends him a couple of games even if totally cleared…just for his harsh words on that secret audio tape.
If we find out Hill is suspended just two games…then his ADP is far too low. AND part of Mahomes’s ADP drop is the fear of Tyreek gone for a year/life.
Who would have thought after what they did last season…a #1 fantasy WR and QB combo trading lower and lower in 2019? If you acquired both today, for discounted pricing, and Tyreek’s situation ends up exonerating him – you could have the dynasty steals of a lifetime.