In the first part of this series, I identified five players who I think you should cash out on. You can check out that article here. This part looks at 5-players who should be cheap to acquire based upon their ADP and are in a great position to make an impact on your dynasty roster in 2018.
The first fully guaranteed QB in history is being highly valued by the Vikings – but is being undervalued in fantasy football. That is despite finishing as the QB5, QB5, and QB8 over the past three seasons (per FantasyPros). At the time of writing, Cousins is being drafted as the 11th QB off the board. Age isn’t a factor either – he’s only 29 years old. What’s more, Cousins is about to get the best weapons of his career with Dalvin Cook (RB8), Adam Thielen (WR 17), Stefon Diggs (WR12), and Kyle Rudolph (TE10). The discussion as to whether these players can all live up to their own ADP is for another day, but I fully expect Cousins to surpass his.
Much of the offseason buzz around the Miami Dolphins has been about the (way overdue) breakout season of Parker, the sneaky buy-low potential of Albert Wilson, and the potential emergence of Kenyan Drake (ICYMI, I penned a piece on Drake a few weeks ago) as a bonafide fantasy RB option.
Kenny Stills seems like the forgotten man in Miami, despite being their most productive pass catcher not named Jarvis Landry over the past two seasons. Stills has totaled 100 catches on 186 targets for 1,573 yards and an impressive 15 touchdowns – despite being the 3rd option in the passing attack being Landry and Parker. Over the same period, Parker (although playing in 4 fewer games) had 13 more receptions, 159 fewer yards, and 10 fewer touchdowns. While their targets and yards remain similar, Stills is more of a touchdown threat, and at WR61 (134 overall) is being drafted much later than Parker at WR35 (74 overall).
Last season, Stills finished as the WR28, outperforming his August 2017 ADP of WR72. Now, with 299 targets available in Miami (credit to Peter Howard), Stills has the opportunity to increase his volume and yet again far outperform his ADP for a high-end WR3 finish.
I’m also not opposed to Albert Wilson as another cheap option at WR, but he’s an unknown quantity in the Miami offense. Stills is entering his third season of the Adam Gase era in Miami, and despite DGAF Jay Cutler and Matt Moore throwing him the ball last season, Stills produced fantasy points. With the surplus of targets to go around this season, as well as the return of Ryan Tannehill, I expect him to do it again in 2018.
If you need any further convincing, @DFF_RyanB just wrote an awesome article on Stills which you can find here.
With the departures of Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson (among others) Seattle lost 216 targets and 2,091 air yards, which is 40.90% of the total number of available targets. Someone must step up and fill the void. Lockett is a prime candidate when you consider the dearth of other pass-catching options on the roster. Neither Jaron Brown nor the ghost of Brandon Marshall is particularly worrisome, and 2017 3rd round rookie Amara Darboh has yet to prove his worth.
Lockett has surpassed 500 yards in all three of his seasons in Seattle at an average of 13.3 yards per catch and a 66.8% catch rate, despite being Wilson’s 3rd or 4th option. Now the path is clear for Lockett to increase his number of targets and on-field production. While I don’t expect Lockett to see a huge jump from his career average of 68 targets per season, an increase to approximately 90 would result in about 800 yards receiving. That could see him enter the WR3 conversation if he improves on his touchdown output (9 in three seasons). With an ADP of WR67 (149 overall), Lockett represents a cheap opportunity with upside for your dynasty rosters.
One of Jameis Winston’s favorite targets is seemingly a forgotten face in Tampa Bay. Rookie fever had dynasty owners scrambling for highly touted prospect O.J. Howard; however, the Bucs haven’t forgotten about him, and rewarded him with a 6-year contract with $18 million guaranteed. He’s currently being drafted as the TE23 (171st overall) but Brate has caught 17 of Winston’s 69 career touchdowns (nearly 25%), so expect Winston to continue looking his way while dynasty owners look the way of Howard.
In a position as thin as TE, Brate is a perfect weekly streaming/match-up option who will cost you virtually nothing to acquire, but could win you a week. Last year, Brate finished as a top 12 TE in 8 out of 16 weeks with 4 of those being top 5 finishes.
Over the past two seasons, Tampa Bay has run the 4th most “12” personnel plays, a formation that has two TEs on the field during the play (per Sharp Football Stats). Even if O.J. Howard is on the field, Brate will still have plenty of opportunities. In a position where a single touchdown can win you a week, Brate has plenty of streaming upside at cents on the dollar cost.
Randall Cobb is the wide receiver who is out of fashion in Green Bay, and he’s being drafted as the WR47 and 103 overall. He will turn 28 in August, so he still has plenty left in the tank. Additionally, being part of an Aaron Rodgers led offense will help with that. Rodgers’ go-to guy Jordy Nelson has signed with the Oakland Raiders, leaving Cobb with an opportunity to produce WR3 or even WR2 numbers once again.
Using the Rotoviz game split app, we can see that Cobb has performed marginally better over the course of his career when he hasn’t shared the field with Nelson.
However, Cobb’s most successful season came in 2014 when Jordy Nelson was the WR1. Cobb saw 127 targets and Jordy saw 151 targets, each finishing with over 1,200 yards and double-digit touchdowns. Unsurprisingly, Aaron Rodgers won the MVP that year, throwing for 4,300 yards and 38 touchdowns. In 2015, Cobb was asked to be the WR1 as Nelson missed the entire season through injury, but despite seeing 129 targets, could only manage 800 yards and 6 TDs as he drew WR1 coverage. In 2016 and 2017, Cobb became the third option again, following the emergence of Adams, and posted very modest numbers. While it would be overly bullish to predict similar production to 2014, I expect Cobb to flourish as the WR2 in a Rodgers led offense again. He has an established rapport and past-production with Aaron Rodgers. Sign me up.
Bonus Buy – Pierre Garçon
Because you took the time to read all the way to the bottom of this article, you get a bonus 6th buy-low candidate! Ok, I am cheating a little bit here, because I just wrote an article on Garçon but he is the perfect buy-low candidate. If you haven’t read it already, check it out!