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Dynasty Leagues

Changing Dynasty values

Edmonds, Njoku among the risers

With a week of free agency behind us, time to survey the changing values of some of the bigger movers in dynasty leagues. All of these players might not necessarily be better or worse than last year in 2022; these are estimations of whether they'll be up or down over the long haul. Here are 10 that stand out.

UP:

Deshaun Watson, Browns. I wrote about Watson Saturday, the gist of which was I'd kind of have preferred he go to New Orleans or Atlanta. But in terms of his value today versus his value a week ago, well, it's pretty good. He's not going to jail, he's not going to be a healthy scratch each week in Houston, and eventually -- although they don't have any high draft picks for a few years -- the Browns will likely build the offense around a multi-talented, dual-threat quarterback the likes of which they haven't had this century. It may not feel like it right now, but barring future missteps his current litany of civil suits and whatnot will probably fade into memory as time goes by. That's the world we live in.

Russell Wilson, Broncos. In Denver, there will still be some degree of sentiment to win with a strong running game and defense. The Broncos still have those things. But the clashes between Wilson and his conservative head coach and garbage offensive coordinators the team kept hiring for some reason should be a thing of the past. The Broncos didn't bring Wilson in to game-manage a run-oriented scheme. It's not going to be a situation where Wilson is the next Peyton Manning, throwing 55 touchdowns, but I do think Wilson is headed for some of the better numbers of his career. (Similarly, upgrade Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick; Albert Okwuegbunam, too.)

David Njoku, Browns. It seemed like bad news when the Browns first used the franchise tag on Njoku. Cleveland still had Austin Hooper, and their quarterback was Baker Mayfield. But boom, what a difference a week makes. Hooper is gone to Tennessee, and Mayfield will soon be out the door, with Deshaun Watson in. Don't tell me that Watson never had a significant tight end in Houston, that's because he never had a significant tight end in Houston. I'm all in on Njoku.

Chase Edmonds, Dolphins. He's joining an offense that probably won't be as high-powered as Arizona's, and Miami also signed Raheem Mostert. That will keep Edmonds' price-tag down. But as I've written about Mostert in the past, I view him as a guy who had one good season and has been unable to stay healthy since. Last year he didn't get through a game. I know: I was probably similarly skeptical about James Conner's ability to stay healthy in Arizona. But Conner had a longer and more impressive tenure of production in the NFL than Mostert. Edmonds got 2 years, $12.6 million, with $6 million guaranteed. Mostert got 1 year, $3.1 million. I'm comfortable saying Edmonds will be the best back, especially in PPR, with Mostert a two-down runner until he gets injured.

Russell Gage, Bucs. I went back and forth on this one. On the one hand, Gage goes from being a No. 1 in Atlanta to more of a No. 3 in Tampa Bay. That's not great. But Tom Brady is back, Chris Godwin is coming off a torn ACL, and the Bucs passing game is pretty certain to be better than Atlanta's, before even factoring in the possibility that Matt Ryan gets traded to Indianapolis or somewhere. I think it's realistic that Gage opens the year as Brady's No. 2, which the Bucs not needing to push Godwin back for the start of the season -- they want him healthy for the more important games, which won't be in September-October in a division the Bucs will doubtless run away with. I'm saying a slight increase in value for Gage this year.

Christian Kirk, Jacksonville. The contract is ridiculous, like all the contracts Jacksonville handed out last weeks. They seemed to be bidding against themselves, paying top, A+ dollar to a lot of B+players. But Kirk was traditionally a 2- or 3-type wideout in Arizona, and now he's going to be the No. 1, featured guy for a quarterback who has the talent to make a second year leap and a coaching staff that couldn't possibly be worse than last year's train wreck. I'm not sure Jacksonville is going to win a lot of games, and I realize this team still has Marvin Jones and also signed Zay Jones to a good-sized deal for some reason. But I think Kirk should put up something close to No. 1 numbers and probably won't be drafted that way.

DOWN:

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City. I like this signing for Kansas City. But how many times have we been fooled into thinking this offense will produce a reliable, consistent high performer behind Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and the team's running backs? JuJu is going to have some nice games along the way and will score some touchdowns. But peppered with passes in an offense that annually spreads it around behind the main weapons seems unlikely. I suspect he'll be drafted too early.

Raiders receivers. I like Derek Carr, and I think the Las Vegas passing game will be better this year with Davante Adams in as the No. 1 guy. But there is no way Adams puts up better numbers in his new team than the elite, target-monster production he managed with Aaron Rodgers, and there is no way his presence doesn't hurt Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. If you want to say Waller sees lighter coverage around the goal line, OK, but Adams is still going to be demanding the ball, and that's going to take targets away from Waller and Renfrow. And oh yeah: Josh McDaniels. I remember his brief stint in Denver, and I remember him walking away from the Colts after they hired him. I think it's very debatable whether he's going to be a success with the Raiders, and while Adams helps the offense, it also complicates things in a way that I think will leave all of them a little off from their careers to this point.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers. The Adams deal remains kind of a head-scratcher. So Rodgers knew Adams wasn't returning, but was OK with it, even though for years the complaint has been that the team didn't bring in other offensive weapons to complement him. So now not only has the team not brought in other wide receivers, but Adams is gone too. Green Bay has some great draft picks to work with, but it's been well established that Rodgers needs to trust the players he's working with, and whatever they bring in (not JuJu or Robert Woods, so far) will be either a rookie or some much lesser veteran. Green Bay should remain the class of the NFC North and Rodgers is certainly good enough to spread it around and put up good numbers without Adams. But he won't be as good -- yards, touchdowns -- without him. Plus he's 38.

Seattle receivers. Russell Wilson is gone. Pete Carroll won that power struggle, so there will no longer be a Super Bowl winning quarterback with any leverage to pass the ball more. Carroll says he wants to win with the ground game, defense, and taking care of the football. I don't believe there's any chance Drew Lock is starting at quarterback, which is a good thing, but who is? Gotta be somebody not on the roster currently, but whoever it is won't be a great boost to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. A rookie, Baker Mayfield...I really don't know. It's not going to be a better passing game, by necessity and by choice. I'm not even 100 percent sure Lockett and Metcalf will both be on the roster next season, and for their fantasy value, it might be best if they're not.

--Andy Richardson

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