💥 Two Teams with Untapped Potential

There's too much value to ignore...

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I can’t wait to debate Week 17 matchups next week…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by RunDot:

  • Two undervalued squads to target in drafts

  • Watercooler: Rashee Rice back in the news again. Oh boy…

  • The Dynasty Mailbag: Sam talks rookie sleepers and more!

  • It's 5/8. Take it away, Chris Allen…

Since the draft, our natural inclination has been to argue each player’s fit and the personnel reverberations. Like Rome Odunze was one of the best WRs in this class, BUT having to play alongside two target hogs in DJ Moore and Keenan Allen, at the very least, lessens his chance to be a high-end fantasy contributor.

But let’s take a step back.

Team stacking has become such an integral part of roster construction it’s an unspoken habit for most players. And looking at last year’s results, we know most of the squads to target once we’re in the draft lobby. But because of injuries or personnel changes, the ADP for a couple of squads has me intrigued about their stacking potential for 2024.

🦅 Seattle Seahawks

  • QB1: Geno Smith, QB23 (Underdog positional rank)

  • RB1: Kenneth Walker III, WR22

  • WR1: DK Metcalf, RB16

After ascending to QB5 and winning Comeback Player of the Year in 2022, Geno Smith bottomed out as the QB19 last season. From a high level (stressing the ‘high level’ part, Seahawks fans), the offense stayed competitive. Despite Smith missing time with an elbow injury, they finished 10th in EPA per play.

But the lagging defense (ranked 28th in defensive DVOA) forced ownership to bring the Pete Carroll era to an end. New HC Mike Macdonald brought in Ryan Grubb (Washington Huskies OC and asst. HC ) to reset the offense. And while Grubb hasn’t coached at the NFL level, his tendencies with Michael Penix Jr., the aforementioned Odunze, Ja’Lynn Polk, and Jalen McMillan caught my eye.

  • Plays per Game: 66.5 (‘23 Washington), 58.5 (‘23 Seattle)

  • Early-Down Neutral Passing Rate: 62.9%, 59.1%

  • Passing aDOT: 10.7, 8.2

Of course, there’s no expectation Seattle matches these metrics (although it’d be a lot cooler if they did). But passing often and aggressively fits Smith's style. He graded out as the ninth-best passer on downfield attempts. With Grubb using pre-snap motion to create space for receivers or generating rushing lanes through TEs lined up as FBs, a Smith-Metcalf stack (or taking Walker at value) is a bet worth making.

🚾 Washington Commanders

  • QB1: Jayden Daniels, QB14

  • RB1: Austin Ekeler, RB33

  • WR1: Terry McLaurin, WR33

Admittedly, the last we saw of OC Kliff Kingsbury, he was letting Kyler Murray know how tough calling plays was, and then on a one-way trip to Thailand about five months later. So, seeing him on the Commanders’ sideline doesn’t exactly instill much confidence. However, there were some positives to the ‘Horizontal Raid’ he ran in Arizona.

  • Early-Down Neutral Pass Rate (2019-2022): 56.4% (6th)

  • Plays per Game: 65.3 (1st)

  • Time per Play: 38.0 seconds (1st)

For comparison, Washington ranked 19th and 27th in plays per game and pace last season.

We already know Jayden Daniels will be a problem once he’s out in the open field. But potentially more plays, and by extension, more pass attempts, would be a boon for Terry McLaurin, who’s yet to see more than 134 targets in a single season, ‘WR1’ title notwithstanding. Plus, Kingsbury’s focus on the short area of the field brings a player like WR Luke McCaffrey (70.6% slot rate his senior year, ADP: 183.5) into relevance.

Regardless of how his tenure in Arizona ended, the Cardinals’ offense made fantasy managers happy for a time. Their run game was sixth in EPA per rush, and we saw involvement from their TEs in the passing game. This might be the same OC that willingly played Zach Ertz over Trey McBride (so, Ben Sinnott fans, buckle up), but with his scheme and this personnel, I’ll have some Commanders’ stacks in 2024.

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📈 ADPs are moving fast and furious. The biggest risers and fallers to monitor📝 The biggest differences in best ball drafts last year vs. this year? Let’s dive in.

🤝 Tyler Boyd finds a home. Pour one out for Treylon Burks.

😳 Rashee Rice is under investigation yet again. A rough offseason for the young WR.

One more week until the 2024 schedule drops. C’mon Rog, we’ve got best-ball teams to draft!

👑 Two-time MVP drops some weight in the offseason. He’ll be even more dangerous as a runner now.

🤣 Tyreek Hill getting some 'offseason workouts' in. At least he's having fun.

Dynasty Mail Bag

Welcome to the Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag! Sam Wallace is here to bring you thoughts, insight, and research on the most current dynasty topics in the industry. Let’s dive deep into some tough-to-decipher scenarios and mess around with some fun “what ifs”.

😴 Rookie Sleepers for Dynasty Fantasy Football

“Who’s a rookie outside the top 30-ish that you would consider reaching for?"

Generally, when I'm looking for your classic "sleeper" type picks, I'm looking for players that meet two criteria:

  1. Good athletic profile

  2. Good landing spot

Devontez Walker fits the bill nicely.

Selected in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens (good offense), Walker's high-end athletic profile jumps off the page.

To give some context to this chart, Chris Allen wrote up an excellent dynasty prospect profile on Walker and had this to say about him:

Big plays are a constant across Walker’s metrics. And I’m specifically choosing the word “big” instead of “explosive” here. In his second year at Kent State, Walker accounted for 11 of the 17 passing TDs thrown during the regular season. He produced the third-most first downs at UNC. Accordingly, his target share continued to dominate the competition once he became a starter.

However, there's a reason he was a Day 3 pick, despite the enticing profile. Allen notes some of Walker's struggles in college:

Walker has the highest receiving aDOT of his class while also having the lowest slot rate. Essentially, he catches passes downfield and frequently faces man or press coverage. Outside of a highly creative offense, coaching staffs may relegate his skillset to a role more viable to real-life football than fantasy football.

To put it simply, he's essentially been an outside-only type of wideout throughout his career. Thankfully, his landing spot could help offset some of these concerns. His athletic ability isn't going away, and he's tied to a top-end offense. That makes him a priority target for me outside of the first few tiers of rookies in this class.

👀 Dynasty Outlook for Ben Sinnott

“Do we think Ben Sinnott will be a top 2 target earner on that offense in the future?”

With their third of three second-round picks, the Washington Commanders selected TE Ben Sinnott (53rd overall). Zach Ertz is the only viable option at the position, and he's not getting any younger (or healthier).

The biggest offseason acquisition for the Commanders was certainly Jayden Daniels, who they drafted No. 2 overall. With a decently talented WR room, how much should we expect from Sinnott both in Year 1 and in the future?

Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson should be the top two target earners in the offense, especially with the departure of Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas, who combined for 169 targets in 2023. Washington also swapped out Antonio Gibson for Austin Ekeler so there's a new pass-catching RB in town as well.

Despite all the moving pieces, I still think Sinnott could be the biggest winner here. The Kansas State product does possess high-end athletic traits:

  • 76th percentile 40-yard dash (4.68)

  • 76th percentile speed score (103.7)

  • 98th percentile burst score (133.0)

  • 94th percentile agility score (11.05)

  • 96th percentile catch radius (10.36)

Our own Pete Overzet went so far as to label Sinnott, "a poor man's version of what Sam LaPorta did as a rookie".

How can you not love that?

Sinnott checks in at TE2 in our Rookie TE Model behind only Brock Bowers. Sinnott steps into a situation that is ripe for opportunity, and he gets to grow alongside Daniels and the rest of this offense.

It might not pay off in Year 1 (remember, be patient with rookie TEs), but Sinnott is someone who could certainly become a priority target for this new-look Commanders’ offense.

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