• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

NFC South Best Values

By Tim Lazenby

Well, we’re well into the offseason and most of us are sitting around waiting for the rookie draft.  As we eagerly await the additions to our real life favorite teams, there is still work to be done for those of us entrenched in dynasty football formats.  Whether we’re drafting or making moves on our already established teams, savvy owners are always looking to wheel and deal for the best possible return on our investments.  Today we look at the best values in the NFC South.  Although this is looked at almost universally as the weakest division, there is always talent to be had.  And in good news, these teams offer nicer prices while the stock is down in such a poor division.

Atlanta Falcons: Quarterback - Marcus Mariota

What a weird time to be a Falcons fan.  Since almost tossing the Patriots to the curb in the Super Bowl just a few years ago, the situation has continued to spiral ever since that 2:08 remaining in the third quarter.  The team continued to crumble as they lost long time legend Julio Jones.  And now lifelong Falcon, Matt Ryan has packed his bags.  The situation is uncharted and now Marcus Mariota takes the helm in this desolate land.  With so few options to utilize his talents, is there a point in attempting to claim Mariota for your own?  I believe so.

Sure, Calvin Ridley is suspended and at this point Olamide Zaccheaus is arguably the top option.  And it is also true that 31 year old “wideback” Cordarrelle Patterson is leading this rushing attack.  Also, the offensive line and defense leave much to be desired, but that’s exactly why you need to move on Mariota.  He isn’t near one of the best options at the position in the NFL, but the price is fantastic.  With so little to turn to in Atlanta, Mariota will rely on his legs for any chance of success and in fantasy, that’s a key element to quarterback success probability.  It seems like he’s been in the league forever, but the former 2nd overall pick is still only 28, leaving the team plenty of time to build around him.  If he sticks around long term, this dirt cheap option among his position is well worth paying for.

Carolina Panthers: Running Back - Chuba Hubbard

It’s very strange in a way to put Chuba Hubbard on this list.  For the most part, his value is almost nothing as Christian McCaffrey is one of the most elite options at not only his position, but all of fantasy overall.  While McCaffrey is on the field, any other Carolina running back is obsolete.  But here’s the kicker: we all know McCaffrey is a constant injury risk.  Either through his usage or through his natural body, or possibly both, he’s shown in the NFL that he will always be an injury risk.  So, it does make sense to want Hubbard on your team, even if he is warming the bench.  But aside from that, there is even more reason to chomp at the bit for Chuba.

As I said before, Hubbard performed admirably in McCaffrey’s absence.  As the season wore on, he gained more and more confidence and his game showed it for fantasy managers.  But, I think we’re blind if we don’t see the possibility of value even with McCaffrey on the field.  Matt Rhule is on a short leash to be sure.  He simply has to adapt his strategy for long term life with the Panthers.  As much as you want McCaffrey on the field for every play, I think it’s time to limit his usage.  This would extend his life and with Chuba showing he can be leaned on in some capacity, this makes complete sense.  Invest in Chuba while he costs next to nothing even to sit and do nothing.

New Orleans Saints: Running Back - Alvin Kamara

Warning: I know there are about to be torches and pitchforks coming my way, so if you’re near me, take cover.  Why would I put Alvin Kamara on this list on dynasty discounts?  He is the most expensive player by a country mile in this set of articles.  And while I know I look crazy, there are valid reasons why he is the player of choice in New Orleans.  Grab a seat and let me list them and then, if you still disagree, you can come at me.

Firstly, the New Orleans Saints lack guaranteed talent, so any player I could choose is too much of a gamble.  I’d be tempted to put Michael Thomas here, but if we’re being honest, he won’t be near the man he was.  Jameis Winston is no slouch, but he’s also not in the same stratosphere as Drew Brees.  Alvin Kamara is also 26, so many managers will be looking to unload this “senior citizen” at the position.  But, more than anything, last year was not a success to many.  I believe he performed as well as he could with what happened last year, but it’s hard for many to overlook his “regression”.  If I can get him for anything less than his normal value, it’s a good buy.  I wrote a dynasty dilemma advising to hold, but it’s now time to buy.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quarterback - Kyle Trask

Oh Tom Brady… There are no words.  I can’t recall a time where there were so many emotions attached to a player in real life and fantasy alike in such a short amount of time as that of Brady.  The man retires while still under contract and managers panic.  Then, once the waters had settled, he unretired and caused even more panic as many managers picked him up for free.  For the quick clickers, many claimed Kyle Trask for next to nothing only to see his value plummet to zero.  But, going for Kyle Trask now is still very wise.  He’s also the best value for the Buccaneers right now.

While his value this season will amount to nothing, let’s not forget that Tom Brady will be 45 heading into next season.  And while Tom Brady is an anomaly when it comes to age, even the great TB12 will eventually age like normal people.  It’s only so long until another takes the helm in Tampa Bay.  There are some like me who believe in Kyle Trask, but many think that Tampa Bay will employ someone else as the starter once Brady actually retires.  You need to grab hold of Trask now that he amounts to almost nothing to many managers.  He may in fact not work out, but I want to secure an exit strategy and so should you.


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