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7 Players To Buy Low In Dynasty (Fantasy Football)

by Sheldon Curtis | @sheldon__curtis | Featured Writer
Apr 8, 2018

Tennessee’s new offensive coordinator is a huge boon to Marcus Mariota’s value

If you’re going to punk everyone in your leagues this year, it’s never too early to start working on your fantasy draft board. The hype season is already starting up, and by the time you draft you should pretty much know who the hot names will be. Once the feeding frenzy is over though, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and find those elusive diamonds. While the NFL Draft can always alter your rankings, here’s an early list of some buy-low targets to stash away.

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Marcus Mariota (TEN)
For those of you disappointed in Mariota last year, Titans GM Jon Robinson whispered, “Hold my beer,” and fired a head coach that not only made the playoffs but won their first game in the postseason. Think about that for a moment. This is one of the boldest tells you will ever see, and there is no doubt in Nashville that this is Mariota’s team and that the organization will do everything they can to further his development.

He already may have the best set of tackles in the league, has two good running backs, a wily veteran at tight end, and the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft at wide receiver. But it gets better.

Matt LaFleur is the new offensive coordinator and is viewed as a rising star in this league. He has been on the coaching staff when Jared Goff, Matt Ryan, Robert Griffin III, and Matt Schaub all enjoyed their best seasons. I should also mention that Mariota himself has displayed all the skill needed (at times) to be a franchise quarterback. I would not be shocked to see a Rams 2.0 type of season in Tennessee this year.

Mitchell Trubisky (CHI)
I’ll admit this is a trendy choice right now, but I filed his name away last year after watching a few of his games. This guy also has some impressive tools and played pretty well considering the talent around him (it was cool how the Bears got people to come out of the stands and play wide receiver for them at times). While any production from Kevin White would be a bonus at this point, it’s pretty clear the Bears are following a similar script as the Titans.

They’ve added some weapons, but let’s look at the new coaches first. While Mark Helfrich, former (high-octane-offense) Oregon Ducks head coach, is an interesting hire, new offensive coordinator, Matt Nagy, will be the man that runs the show. It’s whispered that Andy Reid referred to Nagy as the best head coaching candidate to ever come off his staff, and one of them just won a Super Bowl. Adding Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton gives them a solid base to work from, and we’ll get a much better sense of Trubisky’s potential this year.

Running Back

Carlos Hyde (CLE)
Poor guy. Last year he was run out of San Francisco by Joe Williams (remember those rumors?), and now he’s signed with a team that might draft Saquon Barkley. That threat is real, and Barkley could run pretty much anyone out of a job, but for now, I’ll assume that Cleveland is overwhelmed by a massive offer for the fourth pick and trades down.

Hyde was a top 10 running back in my leagues last year (half-point PPR) on a terrible pre-Garoppolo team with one solid offensive lineman. Joe Thomas’ retirement hurts, but the Browns have plenty of ammo to pick a top tackle in the draft, and the interior of their line is quite good. Hyde goes from Larry, Moe, and Curly to Tretter, Bitonio, and Zeitler, and don’t underestimate Todd Haley’s influence on the offense.

Tyrod Taylor is a much better bridge quarterback than Hoyer and Beathard were last year, and Hyde was able to shake the injury bug last year. At 27, he’s a bit old to look at as a dynasty building block, but I think he’s got three-to-four great years left in the tank.

D’Onta Foreman (HOU)
Another assumption I’m making is that Foreman will win the starting job this year. Lamar Miller had a 3.7 yards per carry average with 888 yards to his credit last year. Yawn.

Foreman looked explosive at times last year, including the 34-yard touchdown run in which he tore his Achilles tendon). If that scares you away, fair enough, but he is on schedule with his rehab, he’s only 21 years old, and he could be a very inexpensive pickup. The starting running back in a dynamic offense (with a running threat at quarterback) is just the type of player we should all be searching for.

Wide Receiver

Carlos Henderson (DEN)
This pick is more of a hunch than any others, as Henderson missed his entire rookie season with a thumb injury. That, and his January arrest for possession of marijuana (should have stayed in Colorado, dude) should keep his value low unless he explodes this preseason. Built like a third down back, Henderson came to the Broncos with some impressive stats (forced 48 missed tackles and scored 23 touchdowns on only 121 touches). Case Keenum has no allegiances to Demaryius Thomas or Emmanual Sanders (30 and 31 years old, respectively), and has shown he’ll throw to the open receiver.

Paul Richardson (WAS)
I know that Terrelle Pryor was supposed to bust out last year, but that may be another reason that Richardson’s value is downplayed. Alex Smith proved last year that he could throw the ball deep (and very well), and Richardson is equipped with elite speed. He was becoming a playmaker for the Seahawks last year, and he’s stepping into a good situation in Washington.

Smith had his best year when the Chiefs paid a colossal price to draft Patrick Mahomes, and his fire might be burning just as hot after being traded away from a team he led to the playoffs. Jay Gruden is giddy to have Smith and talks openly about expanding his playbook this year. With the slowly emerging Josh Doctson and the reliable Jamison Crowder on the field with him, Richardson should have many opportunities to take the top off the secondary.

Tight End

Nick Vannett (SEA)
With the departures of Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson, Vannett has a great opportunity to become the number one tight end in Seattle. Ed Dickson shouldn’t be much of a threat for targets, and Seattle was seventh in the league last year in tight end targets (Graham had a healthy 95 targets – also seventh in the league). I don’t see him as a guy that will win you a game, but he should make a healthy contribution for a low price.

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Sheldon Curtis is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Sheldon, check out his archive.

Correspondent, Draft Prep, Featured, NFL