Dynasty Command Center- Preseason Wrap
Winning dynasty fantasy footballers can never rest. Every news blurb, injury, big game, or depth chart update can change the short term – or long term – value of players in your portfolio or on your wish list. The dynasty command center is here to cut through the noise and help you make sense of it all.
2016 Preseason Movers
Quarterback – Dak Prescott
The Cowboys rookie QB was given an extended look this preseason and absolutely killed it. Prescott completed 78 percent of his passes, posted a 5:0 touchdown to interception ratio, and ran for two more TDs. The 135th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft will now get an extended look in regular season action with veteran Cowboy Tony Romo sidelined for the next 6-10 weeks. With Romo’s ever-growing injury report, Prescott’s stint to begin the season is a golden chance to prove he can take over permanently. Of the QBs drafted outside the first round, Prescott may now have the best chance of the group to start a significant number of games in his career. Here’s how he compares to the rest of the 2016 middle round QB cohort:
The Dallas offensive design won’t demand much from Prescott initially, thanks to an impressive offensive line and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott. When asked to throw, the QB has future hall-of-fame tight end Jason Witten and Dez Bryant as his primary targets. Everything is setup for Prescott to succeed, and because of that, I think he is a fantastic dynasty target. I added him off the waiver wire in every dynasty league in which he was available to me, and strongly recommend you do the same (if it’s not already too late). Prescott’s combination of accuracy and mobility could prove to be even more productive in Dallas than Romo has been. Anthony Amico called Prescott this year’s Tyrod Taylor.
Running Back – Everyone in Seattle
It looks like one of FF Twitter’s most divisive players over the past few years, Christine Michael, is finally getting his shot. Thomas Rawls is healing slowly, rookie C.J. Prosise couldn’t stay healthy throughout camp, and rookie Alex Collins barely made the team over recently cut Troymaine Pope. Whew. It’s still crowded in Seattle.
Michael, a former second round pick entering his fourth season, looked impressive in his preseason work, turning 26 carries into 157 yards (6 yards per carry). Today, ProFootballTalk reported that Michael is listed as the starting RB above Rawls for the first game of the season. Rawls is a former undrafted free agent who looked outstanding in his short stint last season, but he has hardly cemented himself as Beast Mode 2.0. Coach Pete Carroll is on record stating that he plans to use the “hot hand’ approach to splitting carries this season. Here’s how Michael stacks up against his backfield mates, solely on athletic measurables and draft stock:
Prosise and Michael will not be competing for the same touches; Prosise projects as the third down RB who will also see some work out of the slot. Here’s that chart again, with Michael compared only to the competition for early down work:
Based on Carroll’s comments, the door seems to be wide open for Michael, a superior athlete with better draft pedigree, to take the early down work from Rawls entirely. Shawn Siegele suggested that Michael has the most upside of anyone in the Seattle backfield and I agree. The buzz on Rawls has cooled slightly over the summer, but there is still a window to sell to an anti-Michael zealot before kickoff this weekend.
Recommendation: Christine Michael- buy/hold, C.J. Prosise- hold, Thomas Rawls- sell
Tight End – Vance McDonald
Things are crumbling in San Francisco; Carlos Hyde is still in the concussion protocol, Bruce Ellington has a busted hamstring, and Bruce Miller was cut after a drunken altercation. One bright spot of the 49ers preseason was TE Vance McDonald, who posted a 6/94/1 line, including this 43 yard TD.
McDonald’s opportunity to gain target market share has only increased throughout the preseason due to the attrition at WR and TE. The consensus presumed target leader this season, Torrey Smith, was barely utilized in preseason. Back in May, I touted McDonald as a TE3 with TE1 upside, and everything is lining up for him to prove me right. In fact, I now believe there is a chance McDonald could lead the team in targets and post a high-end TE1 season, a la 2015 Gary Barnidge.
I have amassed 100 percent ownership of McDonald in my dynasty portfolio. It’s possible he’s still on the waiver wire in your league; go check right now. Still just 26, McDonald could become the cornerstone of your dynasty TE corps by season’s end. #EverybodyVanceNow