Something strange is afoot at the Circle-K. Everyone knows the first and most important rule of time travel: avoid meeting yourself unless it is absolutely necessary. Bill S. Preston, Esquire knew it. Ted Theodore Logan knew it. But apparently last night, I didn’t know it, because Future Johnny visited me from the year 2020 and told me the most excellent things about the upcoming season.
I know. The phone booth was there and everything. Only someone like me would use the ability to TRAVEL THROUGH TIME to warn myself about dynasty pitfalls in the upcoming season. What can I say? I love this stupid game. I mean, we talked about other things, too. Who wouldn’t? I learned a ton about myself (congrats on the promotion), the economy, politics, and even who won at the Oscars. But this is a dynasty article, so I’ll get right to what you what you came here for. You may not want to believe some of what I have to say. To be honest, I didn’t believe a lot of it either at first. But then I realized…
In a weird way, that actually makes sense. So here is what Future Johnny told me.
Stop trying to buy Amari Cooper right now.
Maybe I was still skeptical of the idea that I was talking to Future Me, but I didn’t want to hear this one bit. I live in Texas. I love the Dallas Cowboys. And I really love Cooper. I’ve been trying to buy shares of Cooper across my dynasty leagues ever since Dallas traded for him. But Future Johnny can be pretty convincing. Sure, Cooper revitalized the Cowboys offense, and the guy can flat out run routes. But neither of those things necessarily indicates that he is worth his current market value, especially when you look at his game-by-game consistency in 2018, or lack thereof.
Cooper came to Dallas and appeared to have woken up from his fantasy slumber. But looking back, he had two huge games with the Cowboys before promptly failing to surpass his fantasy projections every week thereafter. Of course, his fantasy owners appreciated those two monster performances, but Cooper’s season totals were inflated as a result. Despite finishing as a fantasy WR2 in most formats, he had just five games in which he scored double-digit fantasy points in 2018. That is most heinous.
Future Johnny said that Cooper will have a good 2019 season and will finish as a top-20 wide receiver in fantasy, but just barely. He isn’t worth buying right now, as many owners current price him as a top-10 receiver in dynasty. It would be prudent to hold off on acquiring Cooper at his current market value, as it’s possible that his value will drop in-season if he has another such inconsistent showing next year. A few sporadic big games with disappointing performances in between could frustrate Cooper’s fantasy owners.
Go ahead and sell your Lamar Jackson shares.
Wait, why? Did you not see all the wins Jackson racked up in 2018? He was the youngest quarterback to ever start in a playoff game! That’s all well and good, but since taking over as the Ravens starter in Week 11, Jackson surpassed 200 passing yards only once (204 yards in Week 16). He averaged a measly 139 yards per game through the air over the final eight games of the regular season. Of course, he adds an incredible dynamic with his legs, averaging 16 rushing attempts and 76 yards on the ground per game over that same span.
But Future Johnny told me that Baltimore knows better than to let that trend continue for their franchise quarterback in 2019. They will smartly dial back his rushing attempts and coax him to use his arm more than his legs in next season, which means a dramatic decrease in fantasy points from rushing yards and scores for Jackson. Sell him now while his big rushing performances from this past season are still fresh in everyone’s memories. Jackson’s youth and rushing upside make him an enticing asset, and there are likely many willing to overpay for him right now, particularly in superflex or 2QB formats.
It’s time to go out and buy Jarvis Landry.
A lot of people in the Twitter-verse are really down on Landry right now, so buying Landry is likely not the most popular take. Don’t blame me. Blame Future Johnny. The Landry hate is very real, but this presents an opportunity for dynasty owners to acquire him on the cheap. And while he isn’t a player that I want to build my team around, Landry is still only 26 years old and is playing in a quickly-improving offense with dynasty darling Baker Mayfield under center.
Landry can be a solid WR2 for your team with top-10 upside. And even though 2018 was a down year for him, he still caught 81 passes on 149 targets for 976 yards and four touchdowns. That was arguably his worst statistical season as a pro, but Landry still finished as a top-25 wide receiver in most formats. While many project 2018 as the first year in a declining trend, I see it as more of a transition year after joining a new team and a new offense with growing pains. While Landry’s catch percentage was down, the volume of targets was still there.
Landry is a team leader in Cleveland and will continue to be a big part of their passing game. There should be major improvements after an entire offseason for him to build rapport with Mayfield as the unquestioned starter. And yet, Landry’s dynasty value is still at an all-time low. Future Johnny says to go get him, because he will be a consistent WR2 for your team in 2019. If you are on the Landry hate train, keep on hating…you’re just making him cheaper for the rest of us.
Kenyan Drake has immense upside given his current price.
I was higher than most on Drake at the beginning of the 2018 season. And then Adam Gase and Frank Gore happened. Drake, despite all his talent and his stellar finish in a workhorse role at the end of the 2017 season, was limited to just 120 rushes for 535 yards. Instead, a 35-year-old Gore (who might have a time machine himself) led the team with 156 carries. Unbelievable. But Future Johnny reminded me that due to his bogus misuse, Drake has become a player to target in dynasty trades. Gore was on a one-year contract with Miami and is likely gone, and Gase has already been shipped off to the Jets. Both of these things are good news for Drake. Rookie Kalen Ballage is the only other running back currently on the Dolphins who realistically threatens Drake’s 2019 workload if Gore doesn’t return.
Future Johnny also told me to take a closer look at Drake’s 2018 performance. Despite his lack of touches, he still finished as a strong fantasy RB2 thanks to his work as a receiver, finishing the season with 53 catches for 477 yards and five touchdowns. So even if newly-hired offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea utilizes a committee approach in his backfield, Drake’s fantasy floor should look similar to his 2018 production. But Future Johnny says to expect a much better season in 2019 out of the 25-year-old back. There are a lot of fantasy players who undervalue Drake due to the Dolphins franchise being a dumpster fire, but this is the perfect time to take a chance and buy him. Unless of course Miami re-signs Gore, who is older than Socrates. On the off chance that happens, I honestly don’t know what to tell you…
As good as George Kittle is, it’s time to sell high.
This one was really tough for me to hear. I love Kittle a lot. And it doesn’t make a ton of sense to sell an elite top-3 dynasty tight end unless you can get the right haul for him. But if there was ever a time to do so, it’s now. Kittle is coming off a record-setting season during which he set the mark for most receiving yards for a tight end in the history of the NFL. It’s safe to say that he is unlikely to break his own record in 2019. There are even some in the dynasty community that are valuing him as the top dynasty tight end above even Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz despite only really having one great season under his belt.
It’s easy to project Jimmy Garoppolo‘s impending return as a benefit to Kittle, but that might not actually be the case. Garoppolo has the talent to read the field, spread the ball around more, and not rely on Kittle as a safety blanket quite as much as Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard did this past season. And it’s likely that Kyle Shanahan will be adding more weapons to his offense this offseason. The first will be Jerick McKinnon, who was targeted 68 times out of the backfield in his final season in Minnesota, should also take some targets away next season.
Obviously, you wouldn’t be wrong in holding onto a talent like Kittle. The tight end position is pretty bad right now in fantasy, but the upcoming rookie class should help with that. If you have Kittle, you likely got him for cheap, and you can really cash in right now. Future Johnny warns of regression in 2019, and if you can get the right offer, his value is likely at an all-time high. If you can get an overpay and great return for Kittle and then draft one of the promising young tight ends in the 2019 rookie class, I’d definitely consider it.
This has been a most excellent adventure walking through some buy and sell candidates for this offseason. I must say, you dealt with the oddity of time travel with the greatest of ease! Do your best in 2019, and I wish you luck. But if you learn anything from this article, make sure it is this:
Oh, and by the way, Future Johnny also told me that Bill & Ted 3 is going to be freaking awesome.
For more fantasy football and dynasty content, follow me on Twitter @TWDyno.