Every season there are players who underperform, fall out of favor in the dynasty community and are left for dead. In many cases, this can lead to interesting buying opportunities. Value is a term we constantly hear in our dynasty circles; we are programmed to think we must obtain value whether we are drafting or trading. If you’re looking for a value play in Superflex and 2QB leagues, look no further than Marcus Mariota.
Mariota has been a disappointment in his first four years in the league, but the contrarian in me is intrigued with the possibility he’ll have a good season. And if he does? You just purchased a devalued asset with nowhere to go but up. Similar to buying a beaten-down stock in the market, Mariota can now be acquired for almost nothing in Superflex and 2QB leagues. As smart investors always say, when everyone else is selling, you should be buying.
Reasons To Buy Marcus Mariota
The Promotion of Arthur Smith to Offensive Coordinator
When Mike LaFleur was hired last season as the Titans’ offensive coordinator, it was Mariota’s fourth consecutive year of having to learn a new offense. With LaFleur now the head coach in Green Bay, second-year head coach Mike Vrabel did the right thing and promoted from within, handing the offense over to tight end coach Arthur Smith. With this move, Mariota and the entire offense can continue to learn the existing system and not start over for the fifth straight season.
Improved Offensive Line
Last season, Mariota was sacked 2.9 times per game (23rd worst) and had a sack percentage of 9.7% (29th worst). On the bright side, he did have a completion percentage of 68.9% (7th best). Going back and rewatching his games on NFL GamePass, he was under pressure constantly. He also caused many of his own sacks by holding onto the ball too long, so the offensive line can’t be held accountable for everything. Per the previous point, Tennessee can hope the second year in the system will aid in Mariota’s pocket awareness.
The organization realized that addressing the offensive line was a priority. As a result, they signed free agent guard Rodger Saffold from the Rams. Pro Football Focus rated him as one of the top 10 offensive guards in 2018. Furthermore, he allowed just four sacks in the last two seasons. The team should start him at left guard alongside left tackle Taylor Lewan to add further protection to Mariota’s blind side. With these changes, the offensive line is expected to be vastly improved.
Signing free agent Adam Humphries was a great move by the Titans after he emerged last season in Tampa. Humphries will provide a reliable set of hands coming out of the slot. To further surround Mariota with talent, the team drafted A.J. Brown out of Ole Miss, my WR1 in the 2019 draft. Corey Davis will now have less coverage on his side of the field, allowing him to hopefully have the breakout season many of us have been waiting for. Once again, Delanie Walker will be strapping on his cleats for one more season of reliable production. Mariota now has four great options to throw to.
Not to overstate the obvious, but Mariota’s job is on the line, and he knows it. Yes, they picked up his fifth-year option, but no extension talks have taken place. The Ryan Tannehill signing is a smoke screen, but an effective motivation tactic nonetheless. Playing in a contract year does not always translate to production on the field, but for this discussion, I believe he rises to the occasion.
Marcus Mariota is the classic buy-low opportunity. In Superflex and 2QB leagues, I am acquiring Mariota where I can as my third or fourth quarterback. Owners in 1QB leagues should also be testing the trade waters, especially if you lack depth or are seeking upside in the position. Given the team is finally settling in on an offensive system, his new receivers corps, and the extra motivation to stay healthy and keep his job, it’s just too early to throw the towel in on Mariota.
Now go make that offer.
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