As we get ready for Super Bowl Sunday, every expert and pre-game show is analyzing this game ad nauseum. What about after Sunday? Dynasty leaguers want to know who is going to win a matchup down the road, next season, in three seasons, etc. We at BeastOrBust are bringing you the Dynasty Showdown, a position by position battle royale between the Ravens and 49ers from a long term perspective.
Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick vs. Joe Flacco
Much of the hype at the Super Bowl has surrounded the two signal callers. Colin Kaepernick will be making just his 10th career NFL start and Joe Flacco is trying to become "elite". Unfortunately, Flacco will never be an elite fantasy QB, but he certainly could squeeze himself into the discussion for backend QB1 with continued improvement. Colin Kaepernick, on the other hand, has that elite upside. His Dynasty value has sky-rocketed since he took over for Alex Smith and is considered a QB1 already for 2013. While neither offers much long term appeal, back-up Alex Smith of the Niners certainly has the edge on Tyrod Taylor. It would not be a surprise if Smith ends up with a starting job in 2013. Advantage: Niners
Running Back: Frank Gore vs. Ray Rice
Running Back: Frank Gore vs. Ray Rice
Frank Gore has been a top performer at the RB position since 2006. He has battled injury issues, but when he is on the field, he has produced. He'll be 30 years old this offseason and the production is going to fall off, it's just a matter of how long Gore can hang on. The Niners also have speedster LaMichael James, who may top out as a Flex play and Kendall Hunter, who is working his way back from an Achilles injury. Ray Rice, on the other hand, is entering his prime at age 26, and is already a more productive player than Gore. Throw in rookie Bernard Pierce's exciting upside and this one is no contest. Advantage: Ravens
Wide Receiver: Michael Crabtree vs. Torrey Smith
The wide receiver main event is the Niners Crabtree versus the Ravens Torrey Smith. Crabs has started to blossom with Kaepernick at the helm, flashing high upside WR2 ability. Torrey Smith has elite deep play ability, but to reach his lofty potential, he needs to become more than that. This one is very close and it really depends on whether you'd rather have Smith's high ceiling or Crabtree's reliable production. Since it's so close, we need to look at the supporting cast. The Niners have Mario Manningham, who is solid, but really is no more than a WR5 in fantasy leagues. Randy Moss is not even on the fantasy radar and is nearing the end of his time in the NFL. One WR to keep an eye on is AJ Jenkins. He was drafted in the first round last April and even though he barely got on the field this year, he has intriguing long term upside. Do not overlook him in Dynasty leagues, WR2 potential is a possibility. The Ravens have a few WR's that are on the radar. Anquan Boldin is showing he can still play, but he's a WR3/4 at best. Jacoby Jones has always teased with his potential, but he is similar to Manningham in that he's never been a reliable fantasy asset. Digging deeper, the Ravens have Tandon Doss and the project that is Tommy Streater. Both have potential worth keeping an eye on. Overall, both units are very close, but in two-three years the Niners may have two of the top three players with Crabtree and Jenkins. Advantage: Niners
Tight End: Vernon Davis vs. Dennis Pitta
Vernon Davis has the skillset of an elite tight end, even if the 2012 season did not bear that out. He has yet to get on the same page as Kaepernick, but when they do, it could be very good for fantasy owners of both players. Dennis Pitta is not blessed with the same physical gifts as Vernon Davis, but he's made the most of his opportunities. He set career highs in catches (61), yards (699) and TD's (7) last year and could be in line for even more in 2013. Despite playing 4 more seasons than Pitta, Davis is just a year and a half older, albeit with much more wear and tear on his body. This is the closest matchup and could easily be a draw, but Pitta wins out by a nose because he is trending in the right direction.
Enjoy the game Sunday night and remember in a Dynasty league it's never to early to be thinking about the future.