In dynasty fantasy football, one must always look towards the future. Sometimes this means making a trade, watching the waiver wire for nice pickups or even just letting a player sit on your bench and simply just waiting. No matter what you do, you always need to be on the look out for the next up and coming players that will be fantasy football relevant. To do so, one must keep a close eye on the young talent that maybe just hasn’t gotten the chance to make a name for themselves yet but are in a situation where they can advance immensely. Below are a few players to add to the bottom of your rosters that I think can mold their pathway to becoming dynasty football relevant.
Jalen Richard – RB Oakland Raiders
Wait…… Jalen Richard? You mean Marshawn Lynch’s backup? I must be crazy to think anyone besides Lynch will run the ball. That is where some people may overlook some simple facts. Jalen Richard, who is only 23 years old, has the talent to be a productive player in not only the NFL but also a productive fantasy football asset. Richard has an ADP of 184 in PPR leagues and is going in the same round as lesser talents like Rex Burkhead and Jonathan Williams.
There are many reasons I decided to pick Jalen Richard as a possible rising star in the league. Many people seem to forget that this young beast of a running back has a whopping average of 5.9 yards per carry in his rookie year, which is comparable to the phenom we all know in David Johnson, who averaged 4.9 yards per carry his rookie year and had similar stats. Now I’m not saying Jalen Richard is the next David Johnson, but let’s take a second to ponder this crazy thought for a minute.
Richard is young which is an essential dynasty element. He is in potentially one of the most lethal offenses there is in the NFL. Having all the other weapons to occupy coverage will allow Richard opportunity for running and receiving production. He has the man known as Beast Mode, aka Marshawn Lynch to learn from.
Another attribute Richard’s possesses is the ability to catch the ball, meaning at a minimum, he should always retain value as a satellite back. In 2016, Richard not only averaged his 5.9 yards per carry but also caught 74.4% of the targets thrown to him. Granted, the targets thrown to him are a small sample size, but a hybrid running back who can contribute in numerous ways is gold in PPR leagues. Jalen Richard may be a hidden gem that can forge a dynamic pathway to becoming a relevant running back in dynasty fantasy football.
Ryan Tannehill – QB Miami Dolphins
I know last year was an up and down rollercoaster(which is probably true for his career) for Tannehill as he finished as the 26th QB, but hear me out as I try to explain this idea that many may not agree with. For starters, I am a firm believer in the Adam Gase offense, being that I witnessed the extremely incompetent Tim Tebow be successful in this offense. Tannehill, who has an ADP of 176 going after guys like Sam Bradford and Alex Smith, who I might add should be nowhere near your team unless someone gets hurt.
Before 2016 he was a wrecking ball tearing through the league quietly. If not a wrecking ball, he was at least a good QB for 2 QB or Superflex leagues. In 2014 and 2015, Tannehill threw for over 4,000 yards and over 20 touchdowns in each of those seasons. In 2013 he threw for 3,913 yards and 24 touchdowns. And in his rookie season, he threw for 3,294 yards and 12 touchdowns. Beginning in 2013 and up until last season he excelled and became a reliable QB2 in fantasy football. Tannehill was able to do this all the while going through a carousel of offensive coordinators, mainly guys who didn’t know jack squat about how to run an offense compared to Gase.
2017 was just an off year for Tannehill as Jay Ajayi exploded out of the backfield and made a name for himself and soaked up all the attention. Tannehill will have a banner year and excel. With his new red zone threat in Julius Thomas, who is a mountain of a man to cover, I expect Tannehill to improve near the goal-line. I expect him to be a top 10 QB this year beating out guys like Cam Newton and Kirk Cousins in terms of fantasy production.
Braxton Miller – WR Houston Texans
Braxton Miller possesses an insane skill set that most of us covet in a wide receiver. Going virtually undrafted, why not take this high upside pick in the back end of your draft? The plague of Brock Osweiler is finally gone and no longer affecting the surroundings of this team that has the weapons to be competitive in the AFC South. Not only did having a god-awful quarterback preclude Miller from utilizing his insane skillset, but he also battled with a groin injury that he was just unable to shake.
With a new sheriff in town in Deshaun Watson, I see no reason why Miller won’t be able produce. With Nuke and Fuller playing the outside receivers, that leaves nothing but space underneath for an athletic animal like Miller to go nuts in. It is nearly impossible for any wideout to develop in a setting where the quarterback is an infection to the team. Someone I like to compare Miller to is Terrelle Pryor. Both previously played QB, both are athletic freaks of nature and their physical metrics are very similar.
Formerly being a QB also provides Miller the knowledge of what a quarterback is looking for in terms of a wide receiver. Braxton Miller is only 24 with a ton of upside and is extremely low priced. If we take a look at his college career, we will see a player that can make plays at any position on the field. Miller was utilized as a QB more than any other position, but that doesn’t change the fact that his athleticism and size makes him a tough matchup. If Miller is lined up in the slot against linebackers they will not be able to keep up with his speed. If you are looking for a late pick that can potentially turn into a home run hit, Braxton Miller very well may be your guy.