The Most Important Player for Dynasty-Fantasy-Best Ball 2019 (and he’s not a top 50-100 ranked player today)…
We can, and will, talk about a lot of players in this new Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball program this year but the one player I want to discuss first and foremost for offseason prep 2019…the player I think is the best value for the ROI to come…the player I believe will be the talk/weapon/the player most planned around for fantasy 2019 is Baker Mayfield.
Why Mayfield over…Mahomes, or Tyreek, or a stud RB?
Your belief in Baker Mayfield changes the way you will draft in Redraft, Dynasty, Best Ball, or make moves in the Dynasty offseason.
Sure, Patrick Mahomes is the king of the QB mountain. You know I’m on-board with that. We had Mahomes rated higher than any fantasy website out there for 2018 season…and it wasn’t even close. Ditto for Tyreek Hill, three-years running, and thus we built a fantasy path to 2018 fantasy success on the pairing of Mahomes-Hill before they became ‘Mahomes-Hill’ that we all know today. Some of you had one and not the other KC guys last fantasy season, some of you had both…most with Mahomes as your backup QB on the fantasy roster for Week 1. In most instances, if you had Mahomes, with or without Hill, you had a strong 2018 fantasy season. If you had both KC guys…you flirted with or did lead your fantasy league in scoring and broke some league scoring records in many cases.
I’m indebted to Mahomes-Hill for 2018. The problem is, for Redraft and Best Ball 2019 – everyone else is ‘woke’ on these guys now. Mahomes will be the #1 QB taken in every league…but how highly he’s taken is up for debate. Tyreek is making a move towards becoming a top five WR taken…at minimum, our three-year run of being way ahead of all other football minds on Tyreek is over. They’re all, begrudgingly, aware now. We built the last two years of Redrafts on taking Tyreek and building a plan around him because he was such a great value pick in the late 2nd or 3rd or 4th rounds of drafts. We were able to draft him a round ahead of the mainstream guidance in 2017 and 2018 and it was genius.
Not going to be as easy in 2019. Hill is nosing his way into the top 12 overall for some in early drafting. He’s still ‘gettable’, but you might have to pull the trigger late round #1 to beat the crowd. In a Redraft or Best Ball, today, you can get Hill-Mahomes late 1st/early 2nd, like between picks 10-16…maybe. The anti-QB crowd among the fantasy elite analysts would never take a QB 1st-round, so they’re going to try to convince their masses to ‘wait’ or ‘pass’ on Mahomes. But in most normal fantasy leagues, QBs are over drafted/taken well ahead of the expert guidance. If you’re picking #8-12 overall (12-team league example), then having picks #13-17, then you MIGHT pull a Mahomes-Hill or Hill-Mahomes off. It’s not a sure thing.
Notice, I’m not even entertaining a running back in this discussion. I’m absolutely not taking a running back round-one, unless to trade them (Saquon Barkley). I’m not looking to draft one in round two either, but I might…depending upon my Baker Mayfield plan.
If you’re picking early (picks #1-5-6-7) in a Redraft or Best Ball…you’re in trouble trying to get the KC twins. Are you willing to pay top five money for one or the other? And then you’re likely not getting the other with pick #18-24 on the flip-side/round 2. In 2019, I can already say – late picks are where it is at. Many FFMers are picking #10-11-12 based on their great record from the season prior. Others that have random draw for draft order or whatever reason for early picks – if you get a top pick you want to trade back if you can. This is not the year, as most are not, to have a high Redraft pick. Late draft picks are where it is at for Redrafts and Best Ball 2019…in most cases, and mostly thinking of a Mahomes-Hill, Hill-Mahomes draft start…if you want to go that way.
And if you are newer to FFM, and you think taking a QB early is foolish then you’ve been brainwashed by the RB slaves that are the mainstream fantasy analysts. I’m not going too far on why QBs rule, not here…but I will soon. Just trust me, open your mind – QBs (the top two guys) are where it is at as a foundation…IF…
IF you play in a 6pts per pass TD league, and/or a league with performance bonuses such as 300+ yard games, distance of TD, etc. If you have QB-friendly scoring…it’s not even a debate that Patrick Mahomes is the #1 asset in all of fantasy for your league. If you have 4pts per pass TD, and no bonuses…then things are up for debate on that. 4pts per pass TD leagues bring the top QBs into ‘in the discussion for #1 best asset’ with top RBs, WRs, TEs. In 6pts per pass TD/QB-favorable scoring systems…I won’t hear of it – Mahomes is the best asset for 2019 and it’s not even up for debate. UNLESS…
Unless you want to debate Baker Mayfield as potentially better than Patrick Mahomes for fantasy output – then things get interesting because you can blow me off on Mahomes being a top 10-20 pick, or you ‘miss out’ on Mahomes in your draft. If I’m right about Mayfield, then he can fill in that Mahomes gap for you at a much cheaper ‘price’.
Mahomes isn’t even being debated among analysts…he’s the #1 QB for all with distance.
Mayfield…well, he’s being debated as whether he’s even a QB1 or not. If I’m about to pitch you Mayfield as near Mahomes…then that’s amazing value on Mayfield. That’s why I am saying, today, now, that 2019 fantasy is all about Baker Mayfield…because of the options and value he brings.
Let me set the scene…
First, I believe that Baker Mayfield is as-good/better as a passer than Patrick Mahomes. That’s not slight to Mahomes. Mahomes-Mayfield may/will go down as two of the greatest QBs to ever play the game. Mahomes makes a lot of cool throws but Mayfield is an assassin – perhaps, the greatest thrower into traffic/tight windows the NFL has ever seen…but he’s also a killer on all his throws. You have to start reading this report with the premise that Mayfield and Mahomes are more similar (for fantasy) than not. If you don’t believe that in your bones…you’ll not ‘get’ what I’m saying.
And the fact that you are hesitant to accept that Mayfield may be better than Mahomes is (a) natural, and (b) exactly why Mayfield is the center of the 2019 fantasy universe for me, today.
It’s natural to pause on my Baker claim because…you haven’t seen Mayfield produce like Mahomes (who has besides Brady that one year, Peyton had a run once too?). I’m imploring you…you have to trust me here. No different then those of you that balked at Mahomes (or Goff, or Trubisky) being so important last preseason – you hadn’t seen it, so it was blind faith. O’ yea of little faith…don’t you know your QB Messiah when he speaks? When I say ‘trust me’ on Baker’s upside about to hit…if you’ve been with me for a while -- you know to take this seriously.
Your inner-hesitation…the fear of closing your eyes and falling backwards into what I’m saying…it’s why I love Mayfield as the embodiment of 2019 fantasy. You think you’re a little skeptical…but you trust me in general and you’re likely going to trust me on Mayfield because of my track record, but there’s that doubt. I know it. It’s natural. With that I say – If you’re a bit nervous to go all-in on Baker being Mahomesian, then imagine everyone else outside our cult? The masses are now bought into Mahomes (a year too late)…and the NFL is going to push him as the face of the league. Everyone is now at the Mahomes party. Only top fantasy analysts, the QB/wine snobs that they are, are not on-board as much as they should be (they would never consider him to draft in rounds 1-2). Regardless of how highly to take him -- Mahomes is still everyone’s #1 QB for 2019 fantasy, regardless of scoring system you play in. Mayfield…well, not so much. Some will have him as high as #7-8 among the 2019 QBs, maybe, with more people having him outside the top 10. The mainstream early debate on Mayfield 2019 is, ‘is he a QB1?’. The people who love him in the mainstream will go #7-8-9-10 with him, at-best. While I’m arguing he is the #1-2-3 overall QB, maybe the #1-2-3 overall dynasty/fantasy asset, for now and for a long time – available as the #10-15 QB off the board today (and likely in August), and around pick #100 overall in a redraft (today). That’s V-A-L-U-E.
The argument goes deeper than who is the most talented QB. The argument enhancer for Baker is ‘what QB has the long leash to do what they want’? Patrick Mahomes has that leash, but Andy Reid will still try to pull on it as much as he can (see his last five games of 2018). Aaron Rodgers may get unleashed in 2019. Jared Goff is in a great spot, but the Rams are more a slave to Todd Gurley than Jared Goff in the red zone/near the red zone. Baker Mayfield may be the most ‘off the leash’ QB in 2019. He has a head coach who is not awful (Hue Jackson) or a lunatic (Gregg Williams) – Mayfield semi-handpicked his new head coach, and Freddie Kitchens is smart. He knew to just let Mayfield go and do ‘Mayfield things’ when he took over as O-C. Kitchens has no ‘system’ derived from the 1970s…he goes with the talent. If you believe that then one of the best QB talents in the history of football is about to be unchained…and I don’t know that Baker could be chained if they wanted to.
Let’s take a quick look at 2018 production to get an idea of what might be to come…
2,254 (281.8 per game), 19 TDs (2.38 per game) = Baker’s last 8 games of 2018 (Hue is gone)
2,571 (321.4 per game), 24 TDs (3.00 per game) = Mahomes last 8 games of 2018
2,526 (315.8 per game), 26 TDs (3.25 per game) = Mahomes first 8 games of 2018
Couple notes on the stats above…
-- Mayfield put up those kinds of numbers in his pure rookie season, despite not being a starter out of training camp, working in a terrible organization with a terrible head coach (Hue), and then a midseason change at head coach and offensive coordinator.
What will happen in year two when he’s the entrenched starter from day one with a staff favorable to him?
-- Mahomes’ passer numbers were historic, making Mayfield look quite shy by comparison in the two main fantasy passer categories…but if you take Baker Mayfield’s last 8 games of 2018 and double the output to a 16-game season tally…you get 38 TD passes trend for a season, which would have been 3rd best in the NFL, one behind Andrew Luck (39 TD passes). The 281.8 passing yards per game would have been 7th-best among all starting QBs in 2018.
-- Mayfield put up all these numbers as a rookie, with all the organizational chaos, but also with (arguably) the worst WR group in the NFL…and it was an ever-changing trio due to constant injury. It was Landry-Callaway-Higgins/Perriman for the most part…with practice squad guys bouncing in and out as well. An over-priced #1 WR (Landry) and three WRs that wouldn’t be on many NFL rosters, but started for the Browns – that’s what Mayfield pulled all this off with in 2018. What’s going to happen if/when they buy and/or draft him some legit WRs…in a draft year LOADED with WR talent?
Mayfield had one of the best rookie seasons for QB, if not the best, in NFL history…with EVERYTHING working against it happening. Now, what happens going forward when everything is built for him? Consistent 300+ yard games, almost every game? 2-3 TD passes in most games with the 4-5-6 TD count games happening more frequently (like Mahomes) as well? Mayfield doesn’t lay down or back-off defenses until it’s really over in a big lead (and he never quits when he’s down big)…and he will pour it on teams he doesn’t like, or who might say something demeaning about him during game week. He’s that kinda guy. The Baker swagger/chip on his shoulder is worth 10-20%+ more statistical output…I’m not joking.
So, what do you do with this Mayfield knowledge for Dynasty and Best Ball in February+ 2019?
Existing Dynasty team without Mayfield = you chase him. You chase him in a deal like he is Patrick Mahomes but selling at a much lower price. On a scale of 0-10, Mahomes is a 10-12 valuation in trade. Mayfield is a 6-7-8 (unless he is owned by a radical Browns and/or OU fan). If he’s at a 6-7-8 valuation -- you pay the price…now!
But what if I have Mahomes already? = Then Baker is not AS pressing, but if you can get Mayfield as your #2 QB, you should for any number of reasons -- but the main one being the valuation. You buy Mayfield at a 7-8 price today, and in October he is a 10-12 value like Mahomes, and you can shop him then if desired. It’s a valuation play this offseason on top of everything else.
But I have ___ (Goff, Luck, Garoppolo, Trubisky) already as my #2 QB! = Nice. Use them to make a deal for Mayfield. If there is a next Mahomes (and beyond) it’s Mayfield. Goff and Luck are sweet, but Mayfield’s much better for fantasy (and the NFL in general). Again, you don’t have to overpay if you have Goff, etc., but you’re going to want to have bought low on Mayfield, I assure you.
I play in a 4pts per pass TD league with no bonuses? = Well, then it’s not as pressing, as earlier stated – but still a bit pressing. Take a 10-20% deduction on my sales pitch here. Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Cam Newton start crowding into the top 10 QB discussion in 4pts with no bonuses and they water down the statistical edge/fantasy exclusivity of the high-flying passers. Still, if you’re going to have a high-flying passer in 4pts/no bonus, aside from Mahomes, it will not get better than Mayfield.
Best Ball draft right now? = If you could walk out of Best Ball draft with both Mahomes and Mayfield, you’re possessing two of the top assets in fantasy, you’re assured monster QB numbers from the position every week…and drafting Mahomes early may be tough to get, depending, but Mayfield should be a bargain grab. Take Mayfield ahead of the expert rankings and you won’t regret it.
Miss out on Mahomes early, especially in 6pts per pass TD+, then YOU HAVE TO pay up for Mayfield. Overdraft him…you won’t regret it.
Ditto on this question…if you’re doing a Dynasty start up draft. I could argue Mahomes-Mayfield as top dynasty QB, but for the price…Mayfield opens up a lot of other draft options early on.
I already have Mahomes-Mayfield on my Dynasty roster, but I have other needs and want to trade one today = NO! You hold the M&M’s, and you wait for Mayfield to hit his full glory in September and then look at whether you want to trade. If you sell Mayfield now, you’re selling low. I know, now you’re thinking – should I trade Mahomes, then? No. He’s the most sure-thing asset in fantasy. You can figure out the other positions as you go, but Mahomes (and Mayfield) are near irreplaceable/unmatchable for fantasy numbers.
You may notice a different tone to this article from me. Not as much making the pitch as it is TELLING you to do this…and that’s because it’s what I really feel. I want everyone using FFM/CFM subscriptions to wreck their fantasy leagues, Best Ball drafts, betting, etc. I want you (and I) to win a lot of money and for you to get great ROI from all this football work you've invested in. The same pitch I was making for Mahomes-Goff-Trubisky for their price this time last year…Mayfield may be even better.
Baker Mayfield is the best ROI (production expected vs. draft status/trade acquisition price) player on the board today/2019. Sure, some RB will come out of nowhere like a James Conner 2018 story and give sensational ROI…but that type of situation has to be manufactured and it’s not totally evident today. Mayfield we KNOW is great, in a great situation with his head coach, and is definitely starting Week 1, etc.
Baker Mayfield is not ‘money’…although that’s a cute statement. I want you to believe ‘Baker is ROI’. In 2019, Baker is ROI.
Your top priority, in most league and draft situations, in the Dynasty/Best Ball offseason – possess Baker Mayfield at his market or below market price. It’s the top of your to-do list.
Now, get to work.