At this point in the fantasy football season, you know who is going to contend for the championship in your league and who isn’t. For those that are, what’s left of the season is going to be about building the best roster for this year and securing a bye in the first round of the playoffs (if your league has one).
But that doesn’t mean the guy with a 1-11 record can just set his roster and forget about it for the rest of the season. He or she could do that if they wanted to. But for those in a dynasty league, the hard work begins now.
Yes, you may be out of the running this season. Your odds to win your league may be as high if not higher than the Cardinals odds to win the Super Bowl this year (500 to 1 according to Betway Sports as of October 18). But play your cards right, and you can set yourself up for success next season.
How? Find the right guys, guys that may not be great this year, but will become great shortly, and you can get a leg up on next season before this one is even over.
For example, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk is only owned in 16.1 percent of ESPN leagues. It’s not hard to understand why, of course. The Cardinals offense is not very good this year. David Johnson has struggled to gain any traction. While Josh Rosen has had some moments—like the 75-yard bomb he threw to Kirk recently – but they are few and far between.
Through his first 11 games of his career, Kirk has six weeks with single-digit fantasy points scored. But he also has three weeks with 13+ fantasy points scored. That shows potential. But what makes him worth a roster spot in dynasty leagues going forward? Potential is a great thing to have. But does he have the potential to blossom into a legitimate No. 1 receiver shortly?
Actually—yes. Yes, he does.
He is already listed as the No. 2 man behind longtime Cardinals superstar, Larry Fitzgerald. On the season he trails Fitzgerald by only seven targets and four receptions and has 76 more yards receiving. Touchdowns have been hard to come by for the Cardinals offense, but Kirk does have three while Fitzgerald checks in with five.
From a production standpoint, Kirk is already doing better than Fitzgerald. Should Fitzgerald not retire after this season, it would not be shocking if Kirk were to become the No. 1 option anyway next season.
“I said this a while back — this guy comes to work as a pro every day,” Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said, via the Cardinals‘ website. “You watch him in individual work, (he’s) full speed. Special teams, full speed. He creates that mindset of practicing as how he wants to play. It is a great confidence booster for him to have the game that he had.”
What makes Kirk an even more enticing dynasty league option is the future at quarterback. Young guys like rookie QB Josh Rosen tend to gravitate towards younger players like them. It’s like they know this is a guy that is only going to help them look better throughout their career and start developing a solid relationship with them early.
Rosen recently spoke about the potential he sees in the Cardinals:
“I think that the positive of this whole situation is the fact that we are a really good football team not playing very well as opposed to a not very good football team playing to its absolute potential. Hopefully, we’re at our floor, and there’s only up to go from here as opposed to having a low ceiling and being right at it.”
Should Rosen become a better version of the guy he was in college, the future does indeed look bright for the Cardinals. As the relationship continues to grow between Kirk and Rosen, so will Kirk’s numbers, making him a more valuable fantasy option.
And when Fitzgerald retires, someone is going to need to pick up the slack. Arizona will need to acquire someone else to be their No. 2 receiver. But until they do and until he gets up to speed, Kirk will probably get the lion’s share of the targets.
That will only make him even more valuable to your fantasy team—next season.