Dynasty - End of Year
by Jeff Tefertiller
December 18th, 2012

The season is quickly coming to a close and many dynasty owners are looking to the offseason. In this article we will talk about players whose values are rising, those who are falling, and some potential sleepers to watch, all broken out into tiers.

Risers

Premium

Rookies Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck have taken the NFL by storm, outscoring many of the bigger names in the fantasy world. At this point, each deserves to be in the discussion as the top dynasty quarterback. Since each is scoring about the same as Tom Bray, Drew Brees, etc., and are approximately a decade younger, why not have the youngster with plenty of upside?

Last offseason, Adrian Peterson was trading for peanuts. But, with his STRONG return from the knee injury, Peterson will be considered as a Top 3 fantasy tailback (along with Arian Foster and Ray Rice) this coming offseason. He is on track to set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a season. Peterson is a special player.

Moderate

David Wilson burst onto the scene in the week fourteen rout of the New Orleans Saints in prime time. With Ahmad Bradshaw still battling injuries, Wilson could see his 2013 role expand by how he plays the rest of the season ... and playoffs. The talent is apparent, he just needs seasoning. The rookie could be a star very soon. Wilson was effective early in the game Sunday, but as New York fell behind on the scoreboard, the Giants went away from the running game.

Jacquizz Rodgers has seen his role increase over the past month. Rodgers gives the Atlanta offense more speed and play-making than the plodding Michael Turner. As the veteran is wearing down, Rodgers is showing solid pass protection and proving to be a weapon out of the backfield.

Bottom Feeder

Rookie Vick Ballard has taken hold of the Colts running back job. Even though he was a late round pick, Ballard has easily outplayed Donald Brown and Delone Carter. He hits the hole hard and gives the Indianapolis offense a sense of balance, even with Andre Luck passing often.

Bryce Brown has gone from the waiver wire to fantasy starter in just weeks. Even with the fumbles and trying to bounce every play to the outside, Brown has secured a role going forward. We quickly forget how the rookie did not play much college football and this year has provided a much-needed learning experience. Brown is very talented and will be a hot topic this offseason.

Fallers

Premium

LeSean McCoy has found it very difficult to return from the concussion suffered a few weeks ago. Add in the strong running of Bryce Brown, and it will not bode well for McCoy's return to being viewed as an elite fantasy runner. The coaching staff and offense will turn over this offseason, and McCoy could see himself in a committee situation with Brown.

Wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Steve Smith are quickly approaching the physical cliff for wide receivers. Wayne will turn 35 years old during next season while Smith will turn 34 this coming May. The day is coming very quickly where each will be entering their last season. Both are under contract for several more seasons, at pricey amounts, so the situations could get complicated in a hurry. Do not be looking at past production with this pair of Pro Bowl receivers, it is a mirage compared to what is ahead.

Moderate

Fred Jackson will be 32 years of age early in 2013, and was recently placed on injured reserve. Dynasty owners have little to get excited about with the Buffalo running back. C.J. Spiller is the much superior option (even if the coaching staff has yet to realize it), and Jackson will likely be a complementary player next year. This recent knee injury was his second of the season, so age is taking a toll. This offseason could be the last for dynasty owners to trade Jackson away.

Denarius Moore has struggled with the two worst things for wide receivers this season: injuries and dropped passes. The speedy youngster has missed a lot of time due to a myriad of issues, with a hamstring malady the most recent. Further, Moore was recently benched for his dropped passes. With the strong play of rookie Rod Streater, Moore could see a diminished role going into next season.

Bottom Feeder

Chris Wells was thought to give the Arizona running game a boost when he came back from injury, but it has yet to happen. Wells is averaging well under three yards per carry this season. Even with the hole at the quarterback position, dynasty owners should expect the Cardinals to address the position in the NFL Draft. Ryan Williams suffered is second consecutive major injury in two years. He cannot be depended upon ... and neither can Wells.

Outside of a few brief moments, New York Jets tailback Shonn Green has not played well this season. He has been outplayed by Bilal Powell. Add in the turmoil surrounding the Jets and the tailback is not one you want to own going forward. With no hope of Mark Sanchez NOT starting in 2013, there is such little upside in owning Greene. Dynasty owners are encouraged to move him for Vick Ballard or even a youngster with upside like Robert Turbin or Bernard Pierce.

Potential Sleepers

Premium

Wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Greg Jennings have been plagued by injuries this season, and have not been as productive as many fantasy owners would have liked. For Bowe, the Kansas City quarterbacks have been atrocious. With Jennings, his role in the Packers offense has diminished with the strong play of Randall Cobb. Both of these wide receivers are expected to exit in free agency and land as a primary receiver with a new team. There are several GREAT landing spots which would boost the dynasty value of either. These include: Miami, St. Louis, and Buffalo, all needing a primary receiver to help out a struggling offense.

Maurice Jones-Drew has missed most of the season with a foot injury. Even before the injury, the Jacksonville superstar struggled as the Jaguars offense was hamstrung by poor Blaine Gabbert quarterback play. The running game with Montell Owens has improved with Chad Henne now under center. With fantasy owners down on the running back, he should be cheap to acquire. The upside is immense as Jones-Drew is a proven fantasy star.

Moderate

Rookie Alshon Jeffrey has played very well when healthy this season. Given his missed time, many are forgetting the spectacular receptions Jeffrey has made. For a player who was known for immaturity issues coming into the NFL, the former South Carolina star has been a model citizen in Chicago. He will enter the 2013 season as the starter opposite Brandon Marshall and project for close to 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns.

Jonathan Baldwin has struggled with injuries since his entrance into the NFL. But, with the Dwayne Bowe free agency, the youngster has a prime chance to emerge as the WR1 in Kansas City. He is a big, athletic receiver who will improve. Baldwin has the potential to develop into a Bowe-like receiver, able to take over games.

Bottom Feeder

T.Y. Hilton has made plays this season. He has the speed to take any reception or return to the end zone. As Andrew Luck develops and Reggie Wayne fades, the opportunities for Hilton will increase substantially. He is a great player to buy this offseason. Hilton's ceiling is higher than most realize, especially with Luck at the helm.

Tight end D.J. Williams was a very good pass-catching option in college. There is talk of Jermichael Finley not being back with Green Bay next year due to his large salary. If so, Williams could emerge to be a Top 10 fantasy option. While Finley has battled dropped passes and injuries, his value to the team keeps dropping. Williams is very fast for a player his size and can make a play with the ball in his hands. For those wondering about Finley, if he cannot be viable in Green Bay, how much can you really expect elsewhere?

Please feel free to email me at tefertiller@footballguys.com with any questions or comments. Also, I am on Twitter, so feel free to ask me questions there. I look forward to hearing from you.

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