Understanding and projecting player value is a key factor in dynasty fantasy football. Keeping ahead of a player’s constantly fluctuating value, whether the shift is positive or negative, can promote rapid team improvement and success. Included below are the biggest risers and fallers in Dynasty Trade Value (DTV) over the 2017 NFL season at the quarterback position. Additionally, it includes brief analysis on what prompted the changes in value, as well as some brief thoughts on what to expect from each quarterback moving forward. Unless otherwise specified, all Dynasty Trade Values are based on a 12-team PPR league.
Deshaun Watson came into the 2017 season with low expectations. He was passed over in the NFL Draft by the Browns, 49ers, Jets, and we saw the Bears take Mitchell Trubisky while the Chiefs took Patrick Mahomes. With the 12th pick, Bill O’Brien finally got his quarterback to work with–or so we thought. Week 1 of the NFL season kicked off with Tom Savage under center for the Texans, a move that had many questioning the talent level of Watson. Watson’s price was likely at the lowest point when that game kicked off. During that game, O’Brien realized the error and inserted Watson at halftime. Watson threw for nineteen touchdowns and ran for two more over the next six and a half games before tearing his ACL. He has one of the most dangerous receiving weapons in the game in DeAndre Hopkins and can find Will Fuller with regularity for touchdowns. Watson should be recovered from injury for the 2018 season, and while his touchdown pace may not be sustainable, the production and youth he provides should keep his value strong.
Carson Wentz entered the 2017 season with a DTV in the range of Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford–a solid starter, back-end QB1, or high-end QB2. His rookie season, 2016, saw him average a passing touchdown and interception per game. He also ran for two touchdowns during that rookie season which resulted in a rookie season average of 17.5 fantasy points per game. Respectable, but not close to the production that he brought in his sophomore season–thirty-three touchdowns to just seven interceptions in thirteen games before tearing his ACL. Like Watson, Wentz has found himself in an offense with multiple targets. Alshon Jeffery has signed a long-term deal, Nelson Agholor found his form, and Zach Ertz has become an elite tight end. Wentz is likely to be recovered from injury for the 2018 season and has shown enough through two seasons that some are crowning him as the QB1 overall in dynasty which is difficult to argue when you envision the production he could give your team over the next decade.
Jimmy Garoppolo began the 2017 NFL as the Patriots backup, with little chance to crack the lineup behind Tom Brady. But the expectation was there for Garoppolo. Brady would either retire, and Jimmy G would take the reins and flourish, or he would be traded and become the starter elsewhere. Despite a lack of interest in trading before the season, Garoppolo was traded to the San Francisco 49ers at the end of October. Garoppolo was not immediately inserted as the starter, but he did get enough playing time late in the season to showcase his skills, ending the season with an average of 18.9 fantasy points per game. He is a free agent but is unlikely to be anywhere but San Francisco in 2018. Now linked with head coach Kyle Shanahan who is well respected for his offensive mind, Garoppolo has made the jump all the way to a DTV equal to a late-end QB1.
Marcus Mariota entered 2017 with a lot of promise. The expectation for this young quarterback was a jump to the upper tier of fantasy quarterbacks. That did not happen as Tennessee’s offense continued to rely heavily on the running game. Mariota was given limited opportunity to showcase his full arsenal due to scheming and injury. Tennessee has since had a change in head coach, with Matt LaFleur arriving from the Rams as their offensive coordinator. Hopefully, this brings and unlocks an offense similar to what LaFleur played a part in with the Rams. Given a chance to attack defenses through the air more often, and hopefully fully healthy enough to use his legs, Mariota’s DTV should rebound.
Derek Carr’s DTV was on a steady decline throughout the 2017 NFL season. Like Mariota, Carr entered the season with high expectations to go along with a solid receiving duo in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Carr broke 300 passing yards only once in 2017 and his touchdown total of 22 was the lowest since his rookie season. Carr is not a quarterback that offers much fantasy value as a rusher, having totaled 366 rushing yards over his four-year career. Quarterback fantasy production reliant solely on passing eliminates the safe floor that is seen in elite quarterbacks. The entire Oakland offense needs to improve for Carr to return to his early 2017 value. Crabtree may not be back at receiver and Cooper needs to return to his previous form. Greg Olson returns to the Raiders as their new offensive coordinator under new head coach Jon Gruden. Olson was the Oakland OC during Carr’s rookie season. Perhaps the reuniting of that relationship can lead to a return to form for Carr.
Andrew Luck has been featured in several editions of this series as he has steadily lost value throughout the 2017 season. Before 2017, he was in a tier with Aaron Rodgers as the top dynasty quarterback. Injury destroyed Luck’s value as he missed the entire 2017 season. Beyond just the injury though, there was never a clear indication of a plan from Indianapolis. Luck’s return to the field was repeatedly pushed back by the organization before it was finally decided it would not happen in 2017. Luck sought medical treatment in Europe. Indianapolis has not hired a new coaching staff yet, but all signs point to Josh McDaniels leaving the Patriots to take over in Indianapolis. Luck, under the tutelage of the coach that has been working with Brady, should give an immediate increase in Luck’s DTV, but it will ultimately rely on his health. The first time Luck is seen on the field commanding the offense should result in a reappearance of his lost DTV.