Undervalued Startup WRs
Recently on the Dynasty RedZone podcast, Rick Butts had reminded us all to treat dynasty fantasy football like the stock market. This is a much-needed reminder when playing dynasty fantasy football. The easiest way to boost the overall value of your team is to buy low and sell high. Every week throughout the year we read articles about buying low and selling high. Whose stock is up and whose stock is down. But I don’t feel that we practice that strategy often enough in our start-up drafts.
We fall in love with players we want to be on the journey with. Everyone is looking for that 11th Round rookie or sophomore that is going to take over the world. But, that rookie isn’t likely to see significant targets early. So when buying players in the later rounds that are likely to see a high volume of targets, we have a better chance to see a bump in their value over the course of the season. This is a great way to build valuable depth in the later rounds of a dynasty startup. In this article, I will give you 5 examples of players I believe are undervalued in startup drafts based on where they are being drafted and a realistic number of targets they can expect to see for the 2018 season.
Robby Anderson – 25 YO – ADP 114 – 2017 Targets 114 (16 games)
2018 Proj. 124 Targets/72 Rec/1,080 Yards/7 Tds
In 2017 at just 24 years old Robby Anderson was 17th in the NFL in targets with 114. He ended the season with 63/941/7 good for 18th overall at the WR position. Robby Anderson ran into some issues with the law during the off-season and that is likely causing his dip in value here. Reports are encouraging that he may not see much blowback for this. Another year in this offense should only improve his efficiency and he won’t have to deal with anyone as bad as Bryce Petty throwing him the ball this year. Pass on Kenny Golladay in round 10 and gain the more immediate return with Robby Anderson.
Randall Cobb – 27 YO – ADP 117 – 2017 Targets 92 (14 games)
2018 Proj. 120 Targets/86 Rec/1,032 Yards/6 Tds
Let us take a trip down memory lane and recall a 2014 Green Bay Packers offense that was led in targets by Jordy Nelson with 151 and Randall Cobb was behind him with 127. Cobb finished that season with 91/1,287/12. With Jordy Nelson no longer in the offense his 88 targets free up leaving Adams and Cobb to lead the way. In 2017 Cobb was 35th in targets with 92 over 14 games. That comes out to 105 targets over a 16 game season. It is easy to project Randall Cobb to see a bump in targets over the season. With one of the best quarterbacks of this generation throwing him the ball, Randall Cobb and his 70% and higher catch rate can project to see 85+ receptions on the year. Easily increasing his dynasty value. Instead of targeting Marqise Lee, who is on a run first team and in a crowded receiving room go after Randall Cobb and enjoy the return on this 10th round pick.
Pierre Garcon – 31 YO – ADP 128 – 2017 Targets 67 (8 games)
2018 Proj. 125 Targets/78 Rec/1,000 Yards/4 Tds
In eight games in 2017, Pierre Garcon saw 67 targets which he turned into 40/500/0. Garcon averaged the 12th most targets per game in the NFL and had to deal with Beathard throughout all of his eight games. With Jimmy Garoppolo under center for 2018 and Garcon coming back to a very familiar offense, you can expect the veteran to be leaned on to move the chains. If healthy Garcon could lead the 49ers in targets and increase his dynasty value slightly. Another key benefit of Jimmy is that he provides better accuracy that could significantly increase Garcon’s catch rate. While I prefer to go after Anderson and Cobb in this range, I will certainly take Garcon over a guy like Corey Coleman who is stuck behind Landry and Gordon in Cleveland.
Kenny Stills – 26 YO – ADP 136 – 2017 Targets 106 (16 games)
2018 Proj. 122 Targets/66 Rec/985 Yards/7 Tds
In 2017 Kenny Stills saw the 22nd most targets in the NFL during the Regular Season and good for 2nd on the Miami Dolphins. Along with Kenny’s big-play potential comes a very low catch rate. Stills finished the 2017 season with 58/847/6. But with the departure of Sue and Landry, this is likely to be a team playing from behind often during the 2018 campaign. Also, freeing up 161 targets from a year ago with Jarvis Landry’s departure to Cleveland, it is possible that Stills sees a modest increase in targets in 2018. Don’t be fooled by metrics with Equanimeous St. Brown and take the steady value of Kenny Stills in round 12.
John Brown – 28 YO – ADP 220 – 2017 Targets 55 (10 Games)
2018 Proj. 110 Targets/64 Rec/928 Yards/6 Tds
The Baltimore Ravens made numerous attempts to boost their WR core in the off-season. Both Michael Crabtree and John Brown will compete for targets in a group in which they are all up for grabs. John Brown has always been a special talent, however, numerous injuries and his sickle cell trait have halted his growth. If Joe Flacco builds rapport with Brown early and, he can stay on the field John Brown could bring tremendous value for a late-round selection. Instead of taking a flier on someone like Auden Tate in round 18 go after John Brown and sell him at a premium down the road.
Chris Hogan – 133 ADP
Tyler Lockett – 171 ADP
Geronimo Allison – 226 ADP
Jaron Brown – 300 ADP
Brice Butler – 301 ADP