Danny has A LOT of dimes to stack...
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Zingeroo:
- Where will Lamar Jackson land?
- Best Ball: Combine Update
- Dynasty Trade Targets: A 28-year-old RB?
- Saquon Barkley gets tagged.
- It's 3/8. Take it away, Dwain McFarland...
Yesterday was the franchise-tag deadline, leading to a flurry of activity across the league.
👀 Lamar Jackson could be on the move?
The Ravens and Jackson were unable to reach terms on a long-term deal on Tuesday, which led to a non-exclusive franchise tag.
Ravens sent notice to the NFLPA that they placed the $32.41 million non-exclusive franchise tag on QB Lamar Jackson. He now is allowed to negotiate with other teams, but Ravens have right to match any offer sheet he signs or take two first-round picks in return for him. twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)
Mar 7, 2023
In an interesting twist, multiple teams immediately took themselves out of the running (at least publicly), leading to accusations of collusion across the football world.
Teams that reportedly will *not* be pursuing a deal for Lamar Jackson include:
— Field Yates (@FieldYates)
Mar 7, 2023
Some believe the owners are making a stand against fully guaranteed contracts like the one Deshaun Watson received last year from the Browns. There are legit red flags on Jackson's resume, but he can win at a high level on the right team. Ultimately, it will only take one team willing to break ranks for Jackson's services.
From a fantasy perspective, if we see a dip in Jackson's ADP, it could be a great time to embrace uncertainty.
💰 Daniel Jones gets a four-year deal.
At this time in 2022, it seemed like there was no chance of Jones securing a $160M deal. However, that is exactly what happened after the Giants shocked the world by making the playoffs and defeating the Vikings in the Wild Card Round.
Details on the #Giants deal for QB Daniel Jones:
-- 4 years
-- $35M more in incentives
-- $82M over the first two years
-- $94M virtually guaranteed at signing.
-- First-year cap number around $19M.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet)
Mar 7, 2023
Unfortunately, wins are not a QB stat, and that is a ton of dough to fork over to a QB with a career-high of 3,206 passing yards. He was PFF's 18th-graded passer (71.1) in 2022 and ranked 31st in big-time throws out of 32 passers with at least 300 dropbacks. Jones can add value with his legs, but his four-year profile looks more like a game manager than a $40M-per-year QB — oh wait, this is the new market for third-tier QBs.
Jones carries low-end QB1 upside thanks to his ability as a runner, but New York will need to make big upgrades to the WR corps to make him worth drafting as more than a mid-range QB2. He is currently the QB14 in Underdog drafts.
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Last week Pete broke down macro strategy for Underdog’s Big Board contest, a pre-NFL Draft best ball tournament with a massive $200,000 top prize. Today he shares what has changed since the Combine across the drafting landscape.
Now that we have the Combine in the books, we have another important data point for evaluating where the rookies should be drafted in early best ball contests.
Here are some new developments that you should be aware of when drafting…
📈 The QB Screaming Up Draft Boards
By now, you’ve likely heard that Anthony Richardson, who tested as the most athletic QB of all time, crushed the combine. Underdog drafters certainly noticed, and his ADP has moved up almost a full round to pick 152.2. The Richardson hype is so frothy that someone was spotted taking him at pick 46 overall (don’t do that, by the way). Still, Richardson is fully deserving to go in this range (around CJ Stroud, Kenny Pickett, and Jordan Love) because of his potential late-season fantasy upside as a rusher.
🤝 Where The Market Was Right
Even before the Combine, drafters were selecting Jaxon Smith-Njigba as the first WR off the board and Jahmyr Gibbs as the second RB off the board in the middle of the fifth round. Both of those ADPs look fully justified after JSN torched the agility drills and Gibbs ran a blazing 40 time.
Regardless of where Smith-Njigba lands, he should be a target monster in the vein of Amon-Ra St. Brown or early-career Jarvis Landry. Gibbs’ profile and measurables make him look like the next D’Andre Swift, and there should be plenty of big plays coming from him in Year 1.
⭕ Where The Market Was Wrong
After clocking in smaller and slower than expected, USC WR Jordan Addison appears to have been over drafted around pick 75. He still should be a first-round selection in the NFL draft, but his profile is far less interesting now, and I’d much prefer to take veteran wideouts who are going after him, like Gabe Davis, Rashod Bateman, and Jahan Dotson.
RB Tank Bigsby, while not super expensive at pick 172, had a rough combine and should drop down draft boards going forward. His 4.56 forty at 210 pounds and weak marks in the broad and vertical jumps give him a thinner path to NFL relevance. There are better RB sleepers to select in this range, like Samaje Perine, Jaylen Warren, and Chuba Hubbard.
🎯 The Sleeper Bin Has Been Restocked
One of the best parts about the Combine is we get the green light to throw darts on these rookie fliers late in drafts in hopes of hitting on the next James Robinson.
As we’ve discussed previously, a ton of TE sleepers emerged as viable late-round selections to tack onto three-TE builds: Darnell Washington, Zach Kuntz, and Sam LaPorta.
WR Marvin Mims, who has jumped 10 spots up to an ADP of 212, massively boosted his stock at the combine and looks like a perfect spike week candidate to select at the end of your drafts.
A late-round RB who surprised at the combine and is worth a dart throw at the end of drafts is Chase Brown. He ran a 4.43 40 at 205 pounds and posted 90th-percentile numbers in both the broad and vertical jump.
✍️ Final Takeaways
Outside of Richardson, I’ve yet to see any massive rookie risers and fallers in ADP since the Combine, which is slightly surprising to me, considering athleticism is such a key data point for evaluating a prospect's upside. These rookies are as cheap as they’ll ever be right now, so it’s a great time to get some shares before their athletic profiles are properly baked into the current ADP.
It's never too early to start drafting.
Join in on the fun, and Underdog will match your first deposit up to $100
😺 The GOAT doesn't have time for football. He recently adopted.
💵 Another RB gets the franchise tag. A long-term deal could soon follow?
🚦 He has the green light to seek a trade. Players are manifesting and promising.
🥶 The NFL needs to chill out. Yesterday was wild.
🙄 Not the slot-only WR argument again... We have been here before, let's do better.
🚂 The hype train is getting ready to steam. The WR1 in an elite offense.
The sun never sets in dynasty leagues. Sam Wallace offers up a few players fantasy managers should be targeting this offseason.
🎯 Aaron Jones
Offseason drama has become the new norm for Packer fans as, once again, the world waits to see what happens with QB Aaron Rodgers.
Thankfully, the stable presence of another Aaron is just what this offense (and your dynasty team) needs.
RB Aaron Jones is in the midst of a four-year / $48 million contract but recently took a pay cut to remain in Green Bay for another season.
Normally, I don’t recommend trading for a 28-year old RB in dynasty.
This is why there’s an edge to breaking rank once in a while.
Jones finished as a top-10 option in four straight seasons but it's how he’s done it that makes me willing to pursue him.
Outside of a 16-TD season (2019), he hasn’t been dependent on any single form of production for his fantasy output. He handles a high volume of rushing attempts and gets it done through the air.
Here are his per season averages since 2019:
- 205 rushing attempts
- 1,027 rushing yards
- 67 targets
- 51 receptions
According to PFF, he graded out as the RB6, RB15, RB7, and RB2 over the last four seasons.
Regardless of who is under center, Jones will have a significant role. He’s set career-high marks in targets, receptions, and receiving yards in three straight seasons and could be asked to do even more if Rodgers is gone.
KTC has Jones ranked as the dynasty RB26 with a trade value of rookie pick 2.05 in SF formats.
I’d happily spend an earlier second-round pick to land Jones on a dynasty squad pushing for a title.
Make sure to check out our updated Rookie Rankings on the Fantasy Life website!