Using Self-Awareness to Assess Your Needs
The definition of “self-awareness” is “conscious knowledge of one’s character, feelings, motives, and desires.”
Every fantasy owner desires for their team to win the championship every year. We prepare intensely all off-season, we add coveted rookie saviors, and we waltz into Week 1 with the intent of destroying whichever one of our friends was so unlucky that they got matched up against us. We rarely even consider a dynasty rebuild prior to the beginning of the NFL Season.
Week 1 arrives, and after a slow first hour, scoring starts to pick up. You can finally justify checking your fantasy score to see how many points Ekeler’s wheel route got you. Next, our brains are overcome with dopamine, and we realize this is only one hour of a 17 week season.
Over the next 4 weeks, we examine our players, the waiver wire, and our overall roster with the confidence that we can still win a championship. Our record may be sitting at 1-3 or 0-4 with only 1 healthy running back, but we still don’t want to give up hope this early in the season. However, this is where the importance of self-awareness comes into play.
In dynasty, we must remember that at times we need to take a step back and look at all of the possible scenarios that could come into play over the next few weeks. Layout your best-case scenario, worst-case scenario, and most likely scenario and see how that affects your thoughts on the current season. Below I will list a few questions that come to my mind when I am trying to self-diagnose my roster’s ability to compete in the current season and beyond.
- Overall starting roster – When I am at my best, do I feel confident in my ability to pick up a win during any given week?
- Overall depth – After setting my lineup each week do I have other reliable starting options at each position?
- Injury concerns – If I were to lose a specific player to injury, could I recover? Typically the running back position is where the majority of teams lose their ability to compete. Am I replacing CMC with a guy who will have a consistent role like Chuba Hubbard or a game script-dependent back like Jeremy McNichols?
When we address our team’s current state, we need to make a decision swiftly. Are we competing this season? If so, what steps need to be taken to address any potential concerns that arose while self-diagnosing? The other option is to give up on the season and start looking at 2022. It’s never easy giving up in Week 4, but if we are aware of our situation, making the decision early on in the year can be beneficial in many ways.
Once I have decided to look towards next season and work on a dynasty rebuild, it’s time to review your roster from a different perspective than we did before. Now we are no longer factoring in this season outside of getting older players who are scoring points off of our team. Our focus is on where player value, role, and the situation will be next season. Switching to this mindset can make subtle differences in decision-making that can ultimately put you in a better situation to compete next year. Instead of rostering a guy like Chester Rogers, go grab a younger player off the waiver wire that you like the talent of.
Over the next two days, I will be sharing 18 players that I am actively targeting for my dynasty rebuild teams. The list is compiled of players that I believe in the talent of, injured players with value dip, and long-term fliers with inexpensive acquisition costs.
Now that we have used self-awareness to diagnose our roster, let’s jump into the players I would recommend going after for your rebuild.
12. Harrison Bryant
Harrison Bryant was selected in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. While reviewing Bryant’s college film last season, I noted that I liked his potential to be a fantasy asset because of his ability to move and adjust his body more like a wide receiver than a tight end. Ultimately, I can see Bryant becoming the number 1 tight end for an NFL team. Bryant has been buried in a good tight end depth chart in Cleveland, but has performed admirably when given the opportunity.
Looking forward to next season, Bryant should see less competition for snaps with David Njoku being an unrestricted free agent. The more film Harrison Bryant puts out there, the more interest he will be garnering amongst your fantasy league mates. I would highly recommend grabbing up as many cheap shares of Bryant now while his cost is still very low. Bryant profiles as someone perfect for you dynasty rebuild.
Trade Ideas: Cedrick Wilson, Deonte Harris, C.J. Uzomah
11. Jordan Love
The Green Bay Packers used a late 1st round pick on Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft. Aaron Rodgers is still suiting up in green on Sundays, and Jordan Love’s dynasty value is suppressed because of that. This seems like one of the few times we can add a player with an almost certainty that his value increases over the next two seasons.
The 2022 season outlook is still up in the air for Jordan Love. No one knows if Rodgers will be back in Green Bay or not. Once Rodgers has moved on from The Packers, Jordan Love will be given a chance to compete for the starting quarterback position. Value-wise, you could buy Love now and then move him during Rodgers’s first preseason outside of Green Bay for a profit.
Trade Ideas: Marvin Jones or Tyrod Taylor plus for Jordan Love
10. Van Jefferson
Van Jefferson was selected earlier than most “draft experts” expected when the Rams took him at 57th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. An older rookie last season (Jefferson is already 25 years old), I’m not letting Jefferson’s age deter me from acquiring him in my leagues. I noted how easily Jefferson could create space from smooth route running when reviewing his college tape last season. Players who can get open from clean route running can typically keep a role in the NFL for many years.
Both Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp have contracts keeping them in Los Angeles for the next two seasons at a minimum. This will likely keep Van Jefferson as the 3rd option at wide receiver. However, with Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ offense looking great so far in 2021, there should be plenty of looks to go around. If Kupp or Woods were to go down with an injury, I could see Van Jefferson becoming an every-week fantasy starter.
Trade Ideas: Cole Beasley or Emmanuel Sanders plus a 3rd round rookie pick for Van Jefferson
9. Donald Parham
Donald Parham Jr. is a 6’8″ 245-pound former basketball player that didn’t start playing football until his senior year of high school. In college, Parham dominated at the FCS level including earning 1st Team All American honors in his senior year. Parham’s large frame, body control, and ability to win in every way you would expect from a basketball player gives him tremendous upside in the NFL.
Parham’s low value while being the #2 tight end on a Justin Herbert-led offense baffles me. Jared Cook is the only person in the way of Parham being utilized as the primary tight end to Herbert. Cook is only signed through this season, but I fully expect the Chargers to bring in another tight end through free agency or the NFL Draft. Parham is underwhelming when it comes to blocking, so it makes sense for the Chargers to add another tight end once Cook moves on. If Los Angeles doesn’t invest highly in Cook’s replacement, we could see an immediate value increase for Parham making him perfect for your dynasty rebuild.
Trade Ideas: Throw into deals, add on waiver wire. Should be the cheapest acquisition of any player I mentioned in this series.
8. Rashod Bateman
The fantasy community was excited to see Rashod Bateman coming into the NFL Draft. Then, after being selected by the run-heavy Baltimore Ravens, the fantasy community lowered their love for Bateman (myself included). However, we are seeing a different Ravens’ offense this season. Without lead back J.K. Dobbins, the Ravens have been forced to use a laundry list of guys who should be retired. It’s sad really. Due to this, the Ravens are passing at a more frequent rate in 2021. Bateman and his exciting skill set will return from injured reserve soon, and I am looking forward to seeing him in this offense.
I do believe the Ravens will always be a run-first style offense, and that this season is an anomaly, so I am still tempering my expectations for Bateman’s ceiling over the next few years. I do believe it makes sense to try and acquire him and still have the ability to move him at a premium in the next 6-12 months.
Trade Ideas: Theilen, Golladay, Beckham Jr. for Rashod Bateman plus
7. Kadarius Toney
Kadarius Toney was my number 3 wide receiver in the 2021 class after my film studying sessions. I fell in love with Toney’s ability to get open in tight coverage. Toney’s agility is at an elite level and he creates plays constantly because of it. The news was grim all pre-season long with the Giants’ media and Toney’s progression. However, after injuries to Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, Toney was featured in a much larger role in Week 4. Click this link to a YouTube video of Toney’s highlights from Week 4. Toney is starting again today, and if he continues to put highlights like this on film, his value will skyrocket in dynasty communities.
The three starting wide receivers for the New York Giants (Golladay, Shepard, and Slayton) are all under contract for 2022. However, if Toney continues to show explosiveness and the ability to consistently get open, Toney will work his way into the starting lineup. Given Toney’s unique skillset, I also believe the offense will continue to scheme plays for him on a weekly basis. Toney is an inexpensive young asset with a solid ceiling that can help teams win now or be an asset for your dynasty rebuild.
Trade Ideas: Kenyan Drake, DeVante Parker, Antonio Brown, Marvin Jones.
Thank you for reading “18 Players to Buy for Your Dynasty Rebuild: Part 2. Stay tuned for part 3 where I will rank my top 6 players to buy if you’re trying to do a dynasty rebuild. If you missed Part 1 you can find it here. Part 1
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