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As most dynasty players know, one of the best moves you can make is being ahead of the curve on a player and acquiring a player cheap, before their value skyrockets. I have always been a Jerick McKinnon truther. This past offseason before he signed with the 49ers I traded for him in several leagues. I parted with 2019 2nd round picks or a late 1st. Once McKinnon signed with the 49ers his value skyrocketed. My biggest regret was not buying him cheap last season when I knew he would be a free agent this year. As in life, you must learn from your mistakes in dynasty football as well.
A player that will be in a similar position to Mckinnon next year that can be had at a discount right now is Duke Johnson. Unlike McKinnon, he will likely only cost you a 2nd this year, which will be a steal when he hits the open market next offseason. With the addition of Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb to the Browns roster, Johnson is something of a forgotten man. It can be argued that Johnson played just as well or better than McKinnon last year and if he were the free agent this year over McKinnon he would be valued where McKinnon is today.
Comparing McKinnon and Johnson, both played last season as the 1b to a 1a. While McKinnon got a chance to show what he could do with a lead role Duke did not, which can be used to your advantage.
Johnson quietly finished the season as the RB11 in PPR leagues with only 82 rushing attempts. In his first three seasons, he has 61, 53 and 74 receptions respectively, as a part-time player in a bad offense. The sky’s the limit for Duke if he lands in the right spot next offseason.
Duke impressively has forced 26% missed tackles between 2013-2017 which is 3rd in the league according to PFF. Even without getting the carries, Johnson impressively leads the league in receptions from 2015-2017 with 188. Johnson also leads the league in receiving yards from the RB position with 1,741. Theo Riddick had 1,512 during that same time span to finish behind Johnson. What makes Duke even a bigger buy right now is, even if he does not land in the ideal spot where he receives a bigger workload, he has proven he can give you RB1 numbers as a part-time player.
I have seen trade polls on Twitter where owners have traded for him for anywhere from an early to late 2nd round pick. There is no better time than now to buy Duke Johnson with Carlos Hyde signed this offseason and the addition of Nick Chubb. Neither of these running backs should threaten Johnson’s role in the passing game, and even if they somehow do, Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. So stop reading this article, go to your Dynasty league and make an offer to the Johnson owner!
Thank you for reading and you can find me on Twitter @FFLinx.
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