Dynasty leagues are won in December, but the foundation is built in January and February. The period immediately following the NFL regular season is my favorite time to buy players that I’m confident will either increase in value throughout the offseason or rebound in performance the following season.
The best way to identify these players is to ask:
- Which players are free agents likely to find a better opportunity elsewhere?
- Which players will benefit from a teammate’s departure in free agency?
- Which players are being valued below their positional finish?
- Which players are coming off of injury and going under the radar?
- Which players are coming off of poor seasons but have a history of elite production?
Identifying and buying these players now is the key to fantasy football glory 10 months from now.
For whatever reason, nobody wants Tyler Boyd. He’s a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 valued at WR26 per January Dynasty League Football ADP.
Boyd was an elite prospect in college, sporting a 92nd percentile breakout age and an 86th percentile college dominator rating. As such, he was selected in the 2nd round of the NFL draft thus giving him fantastic draft pedigree.
After a slow start to his career, Boyd steamrolled defenses last season. With Andy Dalton healthy, Boyd was a WR1 on pace for 267 points. That would’ve been good for WR10 on the year:
A common misconception in the fantasy community is that Boyd only produced because AJ Green missed a significant chunk of the year. That couldn’t be further from the truth, as Boyd feasted on opposing secondaries with Green in the lineup, once again pacing for a WR10 overall finish with 279 points:
People have collectively discounted Boyd because they believe last season was a fluke. In reality, it was a classic year 3 WR breakout for an elite, highly drafted collegiate prospect. With Dalton returning to replace the abysmal Jeff Driskel, Green healthy once again, and Sean McVay disciple Zac Taylor at the helm, the sky is the limit for Tyler Boyd in 2019.
Buy now at his WR3 price and enjoy borderline WR1 production
How soon we cast aside elite fantasy WRs in dynasty:
What is AJ Green worth to you in dynasty? @MyFantasyLeague
— Ryan (@DFF_RyanB) January 29, 2019
Placing anywhere close to a late 1st, let alone 2nd round rookie pick on a WR likely to produce 2-3 more WR1 seasons is ridiculous. Green struggled with health last season, but he has an elite resume of production:
4 WR1 seasons, five seasons in the top 15. The only years he didn’t finish as a WR1 were his rookie season and then in 2014 (12 games), 2016 (10 games), and 2018 (9 games). If Green plays all 16 games, he is a lock for a WR1 finish.
Further, Green showed zero signs of decline last season. He was a pillar of consistency, scoring double-digit points in every single full game he played, with 7/8 games over 15 points and 2/8 with over 20 points:
Even as Green crosses over into his 30s, he should produce at an elite level for 2-3 more years If the great Jacob Rickrode (@Clutchfantasy) has taught us anything, it is that elite WRs like Green produce at a much different level in their 30s as compared to the average WR:
This needs to be updated at the top, but here’s the list of WRs with 3+ Top 24 PPR seasons, how they finished starting at age 30. 32-33 definitely seems to be the danger zone, AB should have at least one more year, he has as much “Fitz” potential as anyone pic.twitter.com/0nsXseEeeW
— Jacob Rickrode (@ClutchFantasy) December 4, 2018
Take advantage of recency bias, dynasty ageism, and injury discounts. Buy A.J. Green and win your league.
We all know the old adage: Death, taxes, and Jarvis Landry being heavily undervalued in dynasty.
It’s a tale as old as time. Every year people doubt Landry, and every year he scores a lot of fantasy points:
|Year||Feb DLF ADP||Fantasy Finish||Profit|
2018 was the first season of his career in which he failed to exceed his price, but that makes complete sense. WRs switching teams have long been risky players to invest in, and Blair Andrews of Rotoviz found that WRs switching teams experience a 10% drop in production the following season. We should’ve expected a drop-off for Landry in 2018, and that is precisely what happened.
However, now is the time to take advantage of this recency bias. Landry “burned” dynasty owners last season, leading to a current DLF ADP of WR21. Landry is currently in the best situation of his career. As the 26-year-old WR1 for the NFL’s next great QB in Baker Mayfield for the next four years, Landry is arguably the safest dynasty asset you can get right now.
With the aggressive Todd Monken taking over as offensive coordinator for the Browns following the Buccaneers 5,126 yard passing season and Freddie Kitchens remaining as the head coach, the Browns passing offense could be among the best in the league. If Mayfield can threaten 4,500 passing yards with 34+ TDs next season, Landry is likely to be the main beneficiary.
Landry has the best mix of safety and upside among all WRs in his ADP range right now and is surefire dynasty buy for the 5th offseason in a row. I fully expect him to repeat as a top 15 WR for the 4th time in 2019 and likely every year for the foreseeable future.
If you want to dive deep for a WR sleeper, then Justin Watson of the Buccaneers is your guy.
Watson is a freak athlete who dominated at the college level. With Humphries a free agent and Desean Jackson publicly stating his desire to be traded, Watson could very easily find himself as the WR3 for a Bruce Arians offense in 2019. That is fantastic news, as Arians WR3 has consistently produced at a healthy rate:
While an average finish of WR63 won’t be winning any leagues, it would undoubtedly be a strong out-performance of Watson’s current DLF ADP of WR94. If Evans or Godwin were to get injured, Watson could easily be the 2019 version of 2016 Tyrell Williams:
A freak athlete, previously unheralded, who won leagues when thrust into a significant opportunity. Buy him now at basement prices before it is too late.
Thanks for reading, and make sure to follow me on twitter @DFF_RyanB and read my previous articles from this series: