| Highlighting a few key risers
and fallers, the Dynasty Dashboard assists in keeping you
on top of player valuation changes as they are developing. Further,
a deep sleeper or largely overlooked player worthy of consideration
for a spot on your roster will also be identified each week. --Keep
an eye on the dashboard and drive your team toward dynasty league
Jones - Iím not one that gets too carried away with preseason
performances and statistics. A small sample size of starters playing
against starters coupled with typically vanilla play calling makes
it difficult to glean all too much from any preseason numbers. However,
it does appear that the Atlanta offense will be opened up a bit
more this season and that Jonesí role will likely grow. With the
receiving pie potentially increasing in size going forward, and
with Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez getting a bit older, Julio Jones
seems positioned to secure an increasingly larger slice of the pie.
Jones has all of the measurables, talent, work ethic, quality QB
play and potentially favorable offensive system that you look for
from an elite fantasy WR. It is hard to find any reasons to be apprehensive
about the second-year receiver. While Calvin Johnson is the clear
stand-alone player in the top tier of dynasty WRs, Jones may soon
find himself in the second spot on the list, if he isnít already.
His recent rise up rankings boards hasnít been meteoric, as
he was already highly-regarded, but Jones is starting to leapfrog
some very good players in recent weeks.
Decker - With Tim Tebow behind center for the Broncos
for a good chunk of 2011, Deckerís upside was definitely limited.
The ground-and-pound approach appeared to have helped the Broncos
win games, but it was not beneficial to the former Golden Gopherís
production. The acquisition of Peyton Manning this offseason immediately
made all of the receivers in Denver more attractive to fantasy owners.
Demaryius Thomas probably trended upward the most significantly
after Manning came to town, but a rising tide lifts all boats.
Decker has the physical attributes and skill set to be an effective
possession receiver, yet he is also capable of big plays. With Decker
clicking reasonably well with Manning in the preseason, the third-year
WRís stock appears to be rising once again, closing some of
the gap on his counterpart in Denver (Thomas). While it is impossible
to know which player in this WR duo will be the better long-term
producer, it isnít far-fetched to think that Decker could
carve out a very valuable role for the next few years. Physically,
Thomas has the advantage, but Deckerís game is more refined
at this point in their careers.
Starks - As a little-known rookie, Starks was able to
jump in at RB toward the tail end of Green Bayís Superbowl run and
perform admirably. He wasnít making dazzling plays, but he did the
little things he was asked to do and found a way to pick up tough
yards. Starks had some nice momentum entering the 2011 season, and
while he outplayed Ryan Grant in many regards, he didnít emerge
as an impact RB in fantasy football. With Grant no longer in the
plans for the Packers in 2012, it looked as though Starks would
get a legitimate chance to prove himself as the teamís clear-cut,
James Starks: How quckly your fantasy value
Unfortunately for Starks and his owners, nagging injuries and his
less-than-stellar play opened the door for other options, and in
stepped Cedric Benson. The Green Bay backfield is now a mess and
it is hard to see any of the current group having significant dynasty
value at this point. While Starks had some potential as a RB3-type
option a couple of months ago, he seemingly no longer offers nearly
that much to his owners. His value hasnít plummeted to zero
at this juncture, but with Benson now in town and Alex Green vying
for playing time as well, Starks has much less appeal.
Ford - As a 4th round pick out of Clemson in 2010, the
expectations werenít necessarily high for Jacoby Ford right out
of the gate. He began his rookie season slowly, but during the second
half of the year he started to make some big plays. In his final
8 games of the year he posted 433 receiving yards with 2 receiving
TDs. On top of that, he also had two TDs returning kicks during
that stretch. Ford proved to be a playmaker as a rookie and his
future with the Raiders was looking awfully bright.
Sadly, Fordís second season in the league was a disappointment.
Multiple injuries caused him to miss significant action, and when
he was on the field in 2011, he wasnít quite as effective
as he had been previously. While he may have been the leading option
to emerge as the primary threat at WR in Oakland last year, he now
is likely behind Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore in the pecking
order. Further, the addition of Juron Criner could also cut into
Fordís long-term opportunity to produce for the team. Making
matters even worse, Ford is currently fighting a foot injury. He
should still see plenty of looks at WR, but it is hard to get too
excited about him at this point.
Stash in the Glove Box
Kendricks - Last year, Lance Kendricks, a rookie TE from
Wisconsin, generated a lot preseason buzz in dynasty circles. The
St. Louis air-attack, led by Sam Bradford, hoped to build on a solid
2010 and take 2011 to the next level. Kendricks was expected to
be very involved in this process. Unfortunately, it didn’t
go well on either front. The Rams finished the season 30th in total
passing yardage and Kendricks only posted 28 catches for 352 yards
and 0 TDs while suffering from a case of the dropsies. The entire
Rams passing game was a disappointment in 2011.
Despite the bitter taste Kendricks may have left in the mouths of
some dynasty owners last season, I believe that his upside still
warrants keeping a close eye on him or potentially acquiring him
in your league. Frankly, his perceived value is so low right now
that you can probably add him to your roster for peanuts. Kendricks’
high ceiling and low cost makes him a great player to stash toward
the end of your bench to see what happens with him. The Rams are
full of young, unproven receivers and Kendricks has a great opportunity
to emerge from the pack as one of his QB’s favorite targets.
Having a full offseason to work with the new coaching staff and
Bradford might really help the second-year TE.