Featured Pros: Keeper and Dynasty Value Picks

Posted by dave on August, 26th 2011

I have a tough time remembering who I had on my team last year except for my personal sleeper pick, Arian Foster (thank you BigNoise). That’s probably because I play in “redraft” leagues where we solicit the services of the hottest players and then dump them as soon as the season’s over. I’m so commitment phobic that I often add and drop players multiple times before the bye weeks even start!
 
I’ve been reminded by a good number of our readers that we really ought to provide some Keeper and Dynasty advice, given how many people play this longer-term format. Well, finding good experts is what we do best, so I’m pleased to present keeper and dynasty advice from some of the most respected experts in the industry. Let’s meet our Featured Pros:
 
Ken Moody – Dynasty League Football
Ken is a co-founder of DynastyLeagueFootball.com and creator of FantasyNewsNetwork.com. Established in 2006, DLF is the original site devoted to dynasty and keeper content. You can follow Ken @DLFootball.
 
Jene Bramel – FootballGuys
Jene is a long-time writer for FootballGuys.com and a specialist for all things IDP (Individual Defensive Players). If you play in an IDP league, I’d highly recommend following Jene on Twitter @JeneBramel.
 
Bryan Fontaine – Pro Football Focus
Bryan is regarded as one of the best dynasty minds in the business. He is the Dynasty Editor and a Senior Writer for PFF Fantasy at ProFootballFocus.com. Follow Bryan @Bryan_Fontaine.
 
 

Which players do you really like for their long term value, that may not have terrific value this season?
 
Jene Bramel – FootballGuys
 
Bilal Powell (NYJ – RB)
I don’t believe that Shonn Greene is the long term answer as the Jets’ featured running back. Greene has struggled with injury, couldn’t beat out LaDainian Tomlinson last year and has never had the sustained success you’d expect in the New York offense. Despite the presence of Greene, Tomlinson and Joe McKnight, the Jets seemed ecstatic to get Powell in the fourth round. He’s not likely to provide any immediate value, but Powell has the talent and potential depth chart opportunity to enter 2012 as the Jets’ featured back. In that role, he’ll easily rank within the top 20 dynasty backs.
 
Emmanuel Sanders (PIT – WR)
A foot injury has allowed Antonio Brown to steal snaps and opportunity from Sanders this preseason. But I think the possession receiver job is Sanders’ to lose in the longer term. His mix of good hands and route running skill, as well as his willingness as a blocker, make him the natural heir to Hines Ward in Pittsburgh. His breakout may not come until 2012 now, but I think he has 80-1100-8 potential (WR2) in the long term.
 
Pat Angerer (IND – LB)
Gary Brackett remains under contract as the Indianapolis MLB. But he’s no longer getting the same depth in zone coverage and can’t get sideline to sideline to support the run. Angerer hasn’t yet earned the Colts’ trust in subpackages, but he was taken in the second round last year as Brackett’s long term replacement at MLB. Like Barrett Ruud, he may have to wait two full seasons to take over. When he does, he’ll have LB2 value, or better.
 
Ken Moody – Dynasty League Football
 
Julio Jones (ATL – WR)
Jones is a phenomenal athlete who has the ability to dominate a game. Lining up opposite Roddy White, Jones should enjoy favorable coverage, and should post a decent fantasy season as a #2 WR. However, as White ages and Jones becomes more experienced, look for Julio to assume the mantle of the #1 WR, in much the same way Torrey Holt overtook Isaac Bruce in the early 2000’s. Long term, he should be one of the elite WR’s in the league.
 
Sam Bradford (STL – QB)
Speaking of St. Louis, the Rams QB Sam Bradford right now is at best a decent #2 on an annual redraft team. But given a couple more years to develop, and hopefully a few weapons to deliver his passes to, and he has the look of an eventual elite QB.
 
Bryan Fontaine – PFF Fantasy
 
Javon Ringer (TEN – RB)
Javon Ringer has been Chris Johnson’s backup for the past two seasons, but has shown signs that he could be a feature back if given the chance. The team has committed to running the ball more this season, which could lead to a temporary boost in value for Ringer with an increase in carries. The Titans have a tough decision with Chris Johnson’s contract holdout. They will need to let Ringer walk as a free agent after 2012 or decide to replace Johnson with the younger and less expensive option. Both scenarios are beneficial to Ringer’s long-term value and, as a result, he could have a Michael Turner-like impact on a new team. All bets are off if Johnson does holdout this year, Ringer then becomes an instant RB2 for your team.
 
Antonio Brown (PIT – WR)
Antonio Brown did not get much of an opportunity to play last season. He only saw significant time from Week 14 forward, but when he was on the field, Roethlisberger targeted him often. Brown ended the season with the highest target rate per snap in the entire NFL (27.54%). Emmanuel Sanders has also garnered plenty of buzz; however, Brown came up with more big plays in the playoffs and already has a touchdown grab this preseason against the Eagles’ starting defensive unit. It is too close to call who will be the Steelers’ No. 2 WR of the future, but my money is on Brown.
 
Taylor Price (NE – WR)
Taylor Price played sparingly as a rookie and was not activated for a game until Week 17 against Miami. Price performed well in spot duty (3 receptions, 4 targets, 41 yards on 23 snaps) and flashed starting ability on the outside. Price’s path to major playing time is blocked by Welker, Branch and Ochocinco but a patient owner could eventually find themselves with a starting wide receiver on the high-powered New England offense.
 
 
Which dynasty/keeper players do you think represent exceptional draft value based on their ADP?
 

Bryan Fontaine – PFF Fantasy
 
C.J. Spiller (BUF – RB)
C.J. Spiller is a considerable buy low candidate because of the uncertainty in Buffalo. I would not go as far as head coach Chan Gailey did in comparing him to Jamaal Charles, but Spiller was not nearly as bad as his rookie statistics would lead you to believe. Despite a poor yards per rushing attempt (3.8 yards), Spiller was better than the league average with 2.6 rushing yards after contact per attempt. His ability to line up out wide also increases his value in PPR leagues. Spiller ranked in the top 10 in targets per snap among running backs, and he would see a surge in production with more playing time. Spiller’s main obstacles to more playing time are pass protection and ball security.
 
Austin Collie (IND – WR)
Austin Collie was on pace to finish as the top wide receiver in PPR leagues before he sat out for the remainder of the year due to several concussions. Collie is already fully recovered and is no more likely to have another concussion than any player in the league. Given the age of Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark and Collie’s already heavy involvement in the Colts’ offense, his status as a top 15 WR going forward is not that farfetched. Peyton Manning is 35 years old but there is no question that he’ll be playing into his forties like Favre, another positive for Collie having arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time in his corner. Collie is a bargain in most drafts, an advantage you can use to secure a WR1 at a fraction of the cost.
 
Jene Bramel – FootballGuys
 
Rashad Jennings (JAX – RB)
I really like Maurice Jones-Drew. But while he was more effective than I expected on his bad knee last year, it’s hard to see him holding up over 300-350 touches into his late twenties with his bone-on-bone condition. Jennings has been very good in limited time and the Jaguars’ offensive line showed good potential as an interior run blocking unit last year. He’ll gradually transition to a larger role and is a much better dynasty value than Ryan Torain, Evan Royster, Jordan Todman, Pierre Thomas and, as the RB61, many others ahead of him on this ADP list.
 
AJ Green (CIN – WR)
Many considered Green the best rookie fantasy prospect in this year’s rookie wide receiver group. Quarterback concerns have limited his perceived upside, but he’s still an elite mix of speed, separation skill and great hands. He’s the unquestioned feature receiver in a West Coast offense designed to get the ball in his hands quickly and often. It will be very disappointing if he’s not seeing 140 or more targets, including plenty of red zone looks, very early in his career and possibly as soon as this year. That’s the profile of a top ten WR. Green’s ADP is WR22, behind a handful of lesser talents in better situations. This is a situation where you’re better served to chase talent over immediate situation. Green is much more likely to be considered alongside Hakeem Nicks and Dez Bryant in five years than Steve Johnson and Percy Harvin. His draft position should reflect that.
 
Ken Moody – Dynasty League Football
 
Greg Little (CLE – WR)
Little is a tough, hard-nosed competitive wide receiver who could have gone much higher in the draft were it not for a suspension in 2010. He finds himself in a terrific situation with a rapidly improving young QB in Colt McCoy, and very little competition at the WR spot. He has had a fairly positive training camp, with some early struggles being eclipsed by more recent flashes of brilliance. He may not see full WR#1 duties this season, but in a couple years we will likely be looking back at him as the third best WR in this year’s class. For where he is going right now in many keeper drafts, he’s an excellent value.
 
Kendall Hunter (SF – RB)
Hunter’s value is tied directly to Frank Gore. Until Gore is injured or moves on from the starting role, Hunter will remain a backup. But factor in Gore’s age (28 this year) and the heavy workload he has seen, and you can see the edge of the RB cliff is not far away for Gore. Hunter’s NFL draft position does not reflect his ability, and when he finally gets his chance at a starting gig, on what will likely be an improved Harbaugh offense, he has top-15 upside. He’s a great dynasty player to stash.
 
That’s it for this edition of Featured Pros. We hope you hardcore Keeper and Dynasty folks found this post helpful. I’d like to thank our three experts for sharing their time and recommendations.
 
 
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