By Jon McNabb Fantasy Football Analyst
If you've been living under a rock, I want to catch you up on the year 2020. It's been a shit show. Here we all are, zooming into week eight of the NFL season and, just like 2020, it has been a nightmare. Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, Austin Ekeler, Miles Sanders, George Kittle, Julio Jones and Dak Prescott have all missed time or will be out the entire season. Most of the names I mentioned were drafted in the first few rounds of startups or are an integral part of your roster and without them, you may find yourself trading to stay in the race or maybe in full-blown rebuild mode. Either way, let me tell you about a few guys I'm going to be targeting on my rosters that have been most affected by the injury bug or those rosters that really just need rebuilding for the future.
Quarterback: Joe Burrow
Currently ranked as QB15 (Sleeper), Joe Burrow is one of my favorite dynasty targets. The challenge is, some roster managers drafted him 1.01 just a few months ago in rookie drafts. On the other hand, if your league drafted veteran players and rookies together, you may be able to get Burrow on a good deal. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted a fine prospect and if Cincy can continue to surround this former LSU Tiger, who put up 5,671 passing yards and 60 passing touchdowns in 2019, his upside is tremendous. Given that Burrow had a less than normal offseason training program than rookies in years past, he has performed fairly well, even being 1-5-1 (yikes!). Joe Burrow may not be a top contributor in 2020 but with more time under his belt and the Bengals making the right moves, he could very well produce at the next level in 2021.
Wide Receiver: Ceedee Lamb
This offseason, Ceedee Lamb was touted as one of the top wide receiver prospects in the draft and in many cases, the first receiver off the board in rookie drafts. This kid is freaking talented. Lamb put up 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns for Oklahoma in 2019 and he's done a good job producing his rookie season in the NFL. While playing with Dak, Lamb was averaging 8.5 targets per game for 82.83 yards per game. What happened to Dak Prescott was absolutely terrible and his backups have been playing like absolute garbage. I don't foresee Lamb, or many of the Cowboys receivers hitting their upside projections in 2020. Ceedee Lamb has a bright future and I'm looking to trade for him at what I foresee being his lowest priced season.
Running Back: J.K. Dobbins
This NFL season really has messed up rookie training. J.K. Dobbins was one of the top three most favored running backs in the fantasy community this offseason. At times his trade value was absolutely ridiculous, especially for an unproven producer in the NFL. The thing is, the man is, first of all, talented. Secondly, he landed on the perfect team, running the perfect offensive scheme he can be successful within. In his 2019 college season, Dobbins put up 2,003 yards and 23 touchdowns in a run-pass option (RPO) offense at Ohio State. John Harbaugh, head coach of the Ravens, runs an - yep, you guessed it - RPO offense with the talented Lamar Jackson at the helm. The pairing of Lamar Jackson and J.K. Dobbins, both very successful in such a system, is sure to produce in 2021 and beyond. Trade for Dobbins before his value skyrockets again.
Tight End: Mike Gesicki
Tua Tagovailoa is set to make his debut in week 8 for the Miami Dolphins. For me, Tua is an upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick. On the other hand, Tua is still a young quarterback and will likely rely on quick passes and check downs to move the ball down the field. One of the beneficiaries of those short passes are usually tight ends. I'm not expecting Gesicki to blow up and creep into TE1 territory this season, but after he gains trust from Tua he could flourish next year in his fourth season. Currently ranked as the TE16 (on Sleeper), I'm continuing to target Mike Gesicki, as I did this past offseason and hopefully at a discount given his lack of production lately.
If you are anything like me, you may have found yourself with a few extra dynasty rosters this offseason during the pandemic. One thing I can't stress enough, don't be discouraged by this season, it is far from normal. The other is, dynasty is a process, not a race. Sometimes you think you drafted or traded for an awesome team, only to have it blown up by injuries, narratives that never panned out, or it simply succumbs to bad luck. Either way, don't ever give up on a roster. Try to buy-low on underperforming, high upside talent while acquiring draft capital through trades. Look to the future, friends and remember: Have Fun!
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