Sell Matt Ryan
By Darren Smith
In Superflex Dynasty Leagues, the Quarterback is obviously the most important position as they are the highest scoring fantasy players. QB’s go for high value in any kind of trade, especially if they are in the top tier. Quarterbacks success in the NFL is talent dependent, but it is also dependent on the team. Surrounding the QB with elite pass catchers, a reliable offensive line, and an established run game changes fantasy output tremendously. It’s important to monitor the QB’s that you own in Dynasty leagues so you can trade them at their peak value and make a return on your investment.
With free agency and the draft rapidly approaching, the NFL will have a carousel of QB changes. This means your QB could be signed or traded to a team in a worse situation than they are now, or the team could draft a QB to replace their current one. Rumors have been flying lately so it’s important to keep your head on a swivel and weed out the true facts, but every detail should be considered. Here are three Quarterbacks that you should be selling before the start of the NFL Draft.
Deshaun Watson is an elite QB. Since becoming the Texans starter in 2018, Watson has been QB #5 for three years. In 2020, Deshaun threw for 4,823 passing yards along with 33 touchdowns – his most prolific season to date. At only 25 years old, he is one of the most coveted assets in Dynasty and is commonly taken in the top half of the first round in start up leagues. So why trade him now? Uncertainty. Watson has requested a trade from the Texans publicly. He stated that he is willing to sit out of the preseason, and even regular season games if the Texans don’t trade him, per ESPN.com. Houston still isn’t taking trade inquiries for Watson and will fine him millions of dollars for not reporting.
This means there are two options for Deshaun Watson. Option 1 is that the Texans refuse a trade. Watson will likely sit out games, not scoring fantasy points for your team, and will be wasting away on your bench. Think of Le’veon Bell, another elite Dynasty asset, when he held out of a season to be traded and what that did to his fantasy value. Option 2 is that the Texans give in and trade Watson. The teams that are reported to have interest in Deshaun are the Bears, Panthers, Dolphins, and Jets. None of these teams pass the ball as much as the Texans do, which is where the majority of Watson’s fantasy points come from. The Texans were 5th in the NFL in passing offense in 2020, while the next best team on the potential trade list is the Panthers at 18th.
It’s likely that if the Texans give in, it will be before the NFL draft so they can acquire some picks in the upcoming draft – possibly taking a QB. No matter which option happens, the reality is that Watson’s value will be lower than it is now. Even if he stays without holding out, Houston has taken away all of his weapons – instead giving money to 30 year old David Johnson. Go trade Watson for a big bag of rookie picks and a QB downgrade while you can, before he decides to sit out or gets traded.
- 1.01 + QB Downgrade
- Three mid/late 1sts
Jalen Hurts caught the attention of many Dynasty managers when he got a shot at the starting job in Philadelphia. Hurts averaged 230 passing yards per game over Weeks 14 through 17, along with a whopping 275 total rushing yards in just four games. It seems like Jalen is becoming 2020’s version of Lamar Jackson. He gained even more hype when the Eagles decided to trade Carson Wentz to Indianapolis, making him the starting QB for the time being.
However, uncertainty strikes again. Howie Roseman and the Eagles organization have proved that they are as unpredictable as teams come. With the 6th overall pick in the NFL draft, there has been speculation that they could draft a top QB talent to compete with Hurts for the starting job. This is unlikely to happen, as the Eagles have many other positional needs. But they could easily sign an unrestricted veteran QB to fill in while Hurts is still developing. Jalen is going in the first 3 rounds of Superflex start ups, and it’s not set in stone that he will be running onto the field for the first snap of the 2021 season. Maximize your value by trading him to your leaguemate that has bought into the hype. Trade for some picks and a more stable QB.
- Top 1st
- Mid/late 1st + QB Downgrade
- Two mid/late 1sts
Matt Ryan has put up proficient fantasy numbers since he entered the NFL in 2009. He has been inside the top 10 seven times in his 12 year career and hasn’t finished lower than QB 20. Matt averages about 4600 yards a season making the Falcons one of the highest in total offense each year. It was obvious in 2020 that the 35 year old has lost a step. Ryan threw his usual 4600 yards, but only threw 26 touchdowns with 11 interceptions which isn’t much to be proud of. Though he finished as the QB 12, Matt isn’t quite the model of consistency either. Dynasty managers are hesitant to make him an every week starter – scoring as little as 5 points in a full game. In 2020, Matt had seven weeks where he scored less than 14 points.
Ryan is signed up through 2023 with the Falcons, but they have a potential out in 2022 if they aren’t happy with his performance. It’s likely that the Falcons will be looking to move on from him by drafting a QB in the upcoming few years, as Matt Schaub is the only remaining QB on their roster. Looking at Ryan’s total stats makes him look like he can still perform at the elite level. But when you break it down game by game, you can see that he’s a frustrating piece to manage. With a maximum of three years of competent production left, now is the time to move on from him. Capitalize on the value he has left before the Falcons have a chance to take a replacement in the draft or start to look for trade offers for Ryan. Look for a win-now team in your league, and trade Matt Ryan while you are able before he loses more steam in 2020.
- Late 1st
- Two 2nds
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