Dynasty Veteran Values
In 2014 Larry Fitzgerald had one of the worst seasons of his entire career, only managing to reach 784 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games. He had crossed over the age apex and seen a sharp decline in production which caused the dynasty community to believe that he was washed up. His ADP dropped from 42 overall in March of 2014 to 127 overall in March of 2015 as owners began to speculate that his career would soon come to an end. But Fitzgerald proved them all wrong by transforming his game and posting three back to back top ten finishes amongst PPR wide receivers from 2015 to 2017. Those who bought him were rewarded with league winning production while those who sold were forced to count their losses. The question is, are there any players that are currently being devalued that have that type of league winning upside? I have seven players I’d be targeting this offseason in hopes of hitting the jackpot on cheap production.
Age: 27 | ADP: 174
Headed into 2018 there were many who expected Marqise Lee to become the Jaguars number one wide receiver in the absence of Allen Robinson. But in the third preseason game, he suffered a torn ACL which would sideline him for the remainder of the season. Although the Jaguars invested at the receiver position over the last few drafts they made a statement by opting not to draft a receiver in the 2019 draft. We saw in 2018 that the other receivers on the roster struggled to have any consistency with Lee out of the rotation. The lack of production could be blamed on the abysmal play of Blake Bortles who the Jaguars have since moved on from but the receivers didn’t do much to inspire confidence throughout the season. With Nick Foles coming in to take over the Jaguars offense I believe the receivers will see a bump in production and Lee could be a big part of the offense. Although he will likely miss much of the offseason program, he will be the Jaguars most experienced wide receiver when he returns. And it would seem logical that Lee and Westbrook could line up as the teams top two receivers. With Westbrook being the faster of the two receivers, Lee should see more underneath targets with Westbrook running the deep routes to spread out the defense. I actually think this will bode well for Lee as he returns from injury since he may not be able to depend on his speed to beat defenders. Also, in his five starts in 2018, Foles leaned heavily on targeting his receivers on short to intermediate routes. With the Jaguars expected to lean on the rushing attack in 2019, there will likely be a lot of play action and short crossing routes which would give Lee the opportunity to gobble up some targets. This makes him a steal at his current ADP in my opinion, considering the fact that you could be getting a teams top target for super cheap. He isn’t likely to put up top 10 statistics but if you get a low-end number two receiver for his price you’re getting serious value.
Age: 27 | ADP: 105
As a Texans fan, I realize the idea of buying Lamar Miller doesn’t inspire much enthusiasm considering he has failed to make the top ten at his position since 2015. But with his current value, you’re getting a starting running back on a team that has had a top 15 rushing offense every year since 2013. With the Texans spending most of their draft picks on the offensive line and defensive backs, D’Onta Foreman remains the only back expected to split carries with Miller headed into the 2019 season. If Foreman is healthy I would fully expect the Texans to split the carries and opt for a committee backfield, but let me explain why that doesn’t worry me for Miller’s production. Throughout his time with the Texans, Miller has not been a running back that flourishes when given a large number of carries. I would say that he is not a true “bell cow” running back. In fact, in the games where Miller has seen his highest carries, he tends to see a slump in the passing game which is somewhat counterproductive for fantasy purposes. Also, when forced to carry a heavy workload he has had the tendency to wear down and is eventually sidelined with injuries. However, when given the opportunity to split carries with another running back, Miller has been more efficient with his carries and targets. I believe that he is a bigger threat to opposing defenses when he is rested and able to play with fresh legs. I’m not telling you to buy Miller with the expectation that he will be a top ten running back in 2019, but he is definitely a solid option as your number two running back in PPR leagues. He is a consistent running back that has the potential to have game-winning weeks for you.
Age: 28 | ADP: 111
After being supplanted by Nick Chubb in Cleveland, Hyde made a pit stop in Jacksonville before reaching his final destination with the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason. And although most fantasy analysts are putting all their money on Damien Williams to be the Chiefs running back to own, let me tell you why I think Hyde has some sneaky league winning upside. It’s no secret that the Chiefs were one of the most explosive offenses in 2018 and they are way more explosive than any team Hyde has ever played for. Any running back that gets significant playing time in this offense is going to have fantasy upside, which was proven by Damien Williams in 2018 in the absence of Kareem Hunt. I’m not suggesting that Williams isn’t talented because he seems like a lock to start the season as the Chiefs lead running back. But if we learned anything from the hype surrounding Jerick McKinnon headed into 2018, we have no idea what will happen between now and week one of the season. If we go back to Hyde’s 2017 season in San Fransisco I think we can get a glimpse of what he could be if he gets the opportunity to lead the Chiefs backfield. Over 16 games he had 938 yards, 59 receptions for 350 yards and eight touchdowns. That means Carlos Hyde had more rushing yards in one season than Damien Williams has had in his entire career. Not to mention the fact that Hyde’s performance in 2017 landed him in the top ten amongst running backs in PPR format. If he gets the opportunity to start on the Chiefs I believe he would be a week to week running back one. Which makes him an obvious zero running back target and is a stash on any fantasy roster. With his current price, I would definitely take the opportunity to try and get a trade done before the season starts.
Age: 29 | ADP: 124
It seems like everyone loves to hate Latavius Murray due to his lackluster athleticism and sporadic production. But over his last two seasons, he has proven his capability to have valuable fantasy production when given the opportunity. In 2017 he took over the Vikings backfield in week five after Dalvin Cook suffered a torn ACL and he managed to reach 842 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Then in 2018 he managed to average 4.8 yards per carry and added five touchdowns over a four-week stretch. Now on the Saints, a team that is known for their rushing attack, Murray will have the opportunity to fill the role Mark Ingram left behind when he signed with the Ravens. I think he will be a low-end flex play in deep league formats and his touchdown upside could make him a valuable asset on bye weeks. Also, if Alvin Kamara were to suffer an injury, Murray would get the chance to lead one of the best rushing offenses in the league. Let’s not forget that Damien Williams won championships for people in 2018 when he came in at the end of the season.
Age: 28 | ADP: 121
Tight end production is so hard to find in today’s NFL, leaving only a few elite guys at the top of your fantasy drafts. For those who are unable to get one of the top three guys, you’re forced to play the matchups and hope you get a guy like Eric Ebron who exceeded everyone’s expectations in 2018. In 2019, I think that guy could be Vance McDonald of the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Antonio Brown leaving town and fellow tight end Jesse James signing with the Lions, Vance should see a considerable uptick in targets. And although he has largely disappointed throughout his career, he managed to put together a decent season in 2018 with 50 receptions for 610 yards and 4 touchdowns. It wouldn’t shock me if he manages to have a stat line of 60 receptions for 850 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2019 which would have been a top-five tight end stat line in 2018. He should be everyone’s tight end stash headed into 2019, especially considering the fact that most people are sleeping on his value.
Super Low-Risk High Reward
Age: 30 | ADP: 102
After a season riddled with injuries and rumors of surgeries and possible retirement, everyone seems to be out on Seattle’s former number one target. And with the Seahawks drafting D.K. Metcalf, Baldwin’s value will likely take another hit headed into training camp. Only one season removed from being a top 15 PPR receiver, Baldwin’s value has dropped from a top 40 pick to being outside of the top 100. I think that makes for a perfect opportunity to buy low on a guy that could easily reach the top 20 amongst receivers in PPR formats if he sees the field in 2019. Despite missing most of the 2018 season he was able to come back in week 14 and 15 of the season and remind everyone that he is Russel Wilson’s favorite target by scoring over 20 fantasy points in both games. And although Metcalf could be a huge target for Seattle, I think Baldwin could still be Wilson’s top target while Metcalf adjusts to the NFL. I’m not saying that the concerns surrounding Baldwin’s health don’t scare me a little bit but I think any Baldwin owner in your dynasty league will share the same concerns and could look to bail out before the season starts. Try and get him for as cheap as possible and with any luck, you’ll end up with a high-end wide receiver two in the upcoming season.
Age: 29 | ADP: 267
It seems very counter-intuitive to tell you to buy a player that is retired and may never play the game of football again. But in the case of Rob Gronkowski, I think he is well worth a stash in any deep roster format. Due to the fact that he is retired it’s possible that you could even get him off of the waiver wire. But why would you be buying in on a retired player? It is entirely possible that if the Patriots are contending for another championship run they could call Gronkowski for a possible reunion. And I think it was telling that the Patriots chose not to invest at the tight end position in the 2019 draft. With Austin Seferian-Jenkins as the only notable tight end currently on the roster, there would be plenty of room for a healthy Gronk to step back into a huge role if he decided to return. Worst case scenario you throw away a late round pick and waste a roster spot for one season. But there is also a scenario where you have Gronkowski starting on your fantasy roster headed into your playoffs.
Hope you enjoyed this article, thanks for reading.