Early Sleepers to Target in Dynasty Leagues (Fantasy Football)
TheFFGhost takes an early look at players to target in dynasty leagues.
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The Super Bowl is fresh in the minds of many football fans and we STILL have no idea where Tom Brady’s jersey is, so why in the world would I want to start talking about dynasty fantasy football in February? Well, first off I am what some might call an “addict” but more importantly, helping to identify potential sleepers as early as possible may help others to make better, more informed and strategically beneficial draft selections. How you ask?
Well, if you have two glaring needs on your team but can fill one with a sleeper who may perform well next season, and beyond, then you’d be better positioned to ultimately address the issues plaguing your team, one through the draft and one through free agency. Inevitably some of these players won’t amount to much, they’ll fall short of expectations and that’s to be expected. We can’t all be correct 100% of the time but we can position ourselves to increase the likelihood of success.
Like Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Maybe it’s bad form to apply an analogy from one sport to another but in this case, it truly fits.
Stash a few of these guys away. If they hit then awesome; if not, cut them after you’re sufficiently frustrated by them. Let’s dive in and see what we got here.
James White (RB – NE)
This seems strange mentioning given the incredible game he had in Super Bowl LI but in many leagues, he is currently not rostered. As of late February, White is less widely owned than Terrance West or Tim Hightower. With LeGarrette Blount’s contract now expired and Dion Lewis’ set to expire next offseason, White would be an excellent stash if he is still available in one of your dynasty leagues.
At his current Dynasty League Football ADP of RB45, the time to strike is now! Never mind that, the time to strike was yesterday, you’re behind, hurry up and get him now!
Paul Perkins (RB – NYG)
A few things will need to break Perkins’ way for this to work out but the odds of those breaks occurring are about 50/50. Perkins was the fifth-round draft pick of the Giants out of UCLA where he had two 1,000+ yard rushing seasons and was a formidable part of the Bruins’ passing attack. For the Giants, Perkins’ usage gradually went up as the season progressed with a 21 attempt, 102 rushing yards game to cap the regular season.
With Rashad Jennings, at 31 years old, a free agent this offseason, Perkins looks primed to step into the starting role. That is, of course, if the Giants do not sign another running back in free agency, namely Adrian Peterson who has been highly speculated as a possible target for New York. Whatever the case, Perkins is the long term answer for the Giants, so grab onto him and hold on tight.
Geronimo Allison (WR – GB)
Allison turned a lot of heads with his conclusion to the 2016-2017 season. In his final two games of the regular season, he was targeted 13 times and hauled in eight receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown. This is a more speculative buy than most others on this list as Allison currently doesn’t have a direct route to a starting role with Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb all ahead of him and under contract going into the 2017-2018 season.
However, some tough choices lay ahead for the Packers as Adams’ contract expires after next season and both Nelson and Cobb will be free agents the following season. The Packers have historically brought their wide receiver along much slower than other teams with two to three season passing before they are given a significant role. This certainly appears to be the case with Allison given the current contract situation in Green Bay. Grab him now while you can.
Jamison Crowder (WR – WAS)
Admittedly Jamison Crowder is on a fair amount of people’s radars after he really came into his own during the 2016-2017 season. However, he has a chance to take his game to the next level in the seasons going forward. This is because either Pierre Garcon or Desean Jackson, or both players, are unlikely to return to Washington next season.
The departure of either of these players would significantly shift additional targets towards Crowder. Crowder is highly rostered, sitting at roughly 90% owned, but you might be able to get him included in a trade as an additional piece from an owner looking to make a trade.
Allen Hurns (WR – JAC)
After a forgettable season, Allen Hurns has a lot of reasons to viewed as a possible buy-low candidate at this point in the offseason. First, last year appears to be an anomaly, Hurns is a much better receiver than we saw last year with and the struggles of Blake Bortles likely didn’t help his production. On top of that, Hurns’ 2016-2017 season was plagued with injuries from minor neck and shoulder injuries to a moderate concussion, capped by a significant hamstring issue that prematurely ended his season after Week 12.
Missing five games of production (although closer to six since his hamstring injury occurred very early in the Week 12 game), obviously negatively impacted his statistical output this year, the way most fantasy owners value players. Finally, the departure of Julius Thomas should help Hurns’ production rebound as both players were fighting for the same targets. Hurns’ value is significantly depressed with a current ADP of WR66 versus and ADP of WR45 at this time last year.
Cameron Meredith (WR – CHI)
Meredith is another player, like Crowder who emerged this year as a viable starter in fantasy leagues. However, his success didn’t translate to a large ownership percentage, with him currently being owned in about half of all leagues. Meredith could be in a unique situation next season with Alshon Jeffery likely to sign elsewhere this offseason and the Bears likely to draft a starting quarterback in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
The earliest a replacement for Jefferey could be drafted is the second round making Meredith a key returning figure in John Fox’s offense. It is extremely likely that Meredith’s production will increase next season and beyond as he becomes an integral part of the Bears’ offense attack moving forward.
Be sure to pick up TheFFGhost’s The ORANGE Report in preparation for your upcoming dynasty rookie drafts. It also makes a great companion piece to use when following along with the NFL Draft as well!