Best Dynasty Value Player on Each NFL Team (Fantasy Football)
We’re now in what is described as the heart of the offseason for the NFL, as both the draft and free agency have wrapped up, meaning just one thing – It’s prime dynasty season. You’ll have rookie drafts over the next few months, and who knows, maybe even a startup draft to get you into the exciting format.
Because of that, we thought it would be fun to go through each of the 32 teams and give you the best dynasty asset on each one. No, I’m not talking about the best player on the team, but rather the best bang for your buck, which might be someone who’s a top-50 player, but still may not be getting enough love from the dynasty crowd. It could also be someone who isn’t a current starter, but may walk into high volume somewhere in the near future. Whatever the case, this guide should give you a good idea as to who you should be targeting in trades or drafts.
*All ADP data used in this article was pulled from dynastyleaguefootball.com’s May data, which included six drafts.
Christian Kirk (WR) Current ADP: WR38
It’s really tough to find someone who is being undervalued on this team because everyone is looking for the lone piece who’ll produce outside of David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald in the future. While I’m not convinced it’s Chad Williams, Kirk is the one I’d aim for. He’s rooming with Josh Rosen in order to build a relationship early in their careers, and it’s likely to pay off sooner rather than later. Kirk should be a top-30 PPR wide receiver for much of his career, though it may take a year to get that production with Fitzgerald still on the field.
Ito Smith (RB) Current ADP: RB69
His ADP is actually higher than I thought it’d be, but I’d still call him an asset on your dynasty bench. The Falcons use their running backs quite heavily and will likely be moving on from Tevin Coleman next year, as he’s slated to make a lot of money in free agency. The Falcons spent a fourth-round pick on Smith, showing how much they valued him. He’ll be the one sharing a backfield with Devonta Freeman in 2019.
Hayden Hurst (TE) Current ADP: TE27
Another rookie on this list, but there’s no way Hurst should be going after guys like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Austin Hooper, and Ricky Seals-Jones in startups. He’s going to be 25 years old when the season starts and the Ravens knew that when they drafted him, likely meaning they’re going to put him into the fold immediately, while Mark Andrews is more of a developmental tight end (at blocking, anyways). The Ravens have targeted the tight end position 285 times over the last two years, and Hurst will top this draft position in his rookie season.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR) Current ADP: WR52
Let me be clear, I never thought I’d have Benjamin on any list for the remainder of his career, but to get a No. 1 receiver in an offense, albeit a bad one, at WR52 is easy money. Despite them lacking talent in the wide receiver corps, they didn’t address the position in the draft with any real equity, meaning Benjamin will sleepwalk his way into 120-plus targets, provided he can stay on the field. There are other names in his area of the ADP I’d probably take over him, but there isn’t much value on the Bills roster right now, so he gets the nod.
Ian Thomas (TE) Current ADP: TE37
It was really hard finding the best value on the Panthers team because I felt like most of them were properly valued or overvalued. With D.J. Moore and Devin Funchess being drafted inside the top-30 and Cam Newton still a top-five quarterback, I settled on Greg Olsen‘s eventual replacement, Thomas, who I viewed as a Ben Watson-type player before the draft. He’s got plenty of experience to gain and will be able to be had for cheaper even next offseason, but he’s going to be a fantasy contributor in a few years.
Anthony Miller (WR) Current ADP: WR53
There are a lot of Bears who moved up in recent ADP, and rightfully so with the addition of Matt Nagy. However, this has made finding value pretty tough on their roster, so we’ll take the guy they traded up to grab in the second-round, Miller. While Allen Robinson is clearly the No. 1, he’s also coming off an ACL tear and has just one really good season on his resume. So why not take the wide receiver who comes with a massive discount from this offense? Some have compared his skillset to Doug Baldwin, which would obviously be better than the 53rd wide receiver off the board.
John Ross (WR) Current ADP: WR68
If you’ve been reading my work for a while, you know I’m a fan of Ross. If given the opportunity, I believe he can be just as good/productive as T.Y. Hilton, though Marvin Lewis is depriving him of that at this moment. Some have acquired Ross for as cheap as a third-round rookie pick, which is just madness. By snagging him now, you’re getting a top-10 pick in the draft who barely played in his rookie season. Not busted, no, just didn’t play. With how cheap he can be acquired, it’s extremely worth the price for the upside he can provide. I love Joe Mixon as a buy-low as well, but his ADP has moved all the way up to RB12.
Baker Mayfield (QB) Current ADP: QB21
While everyone tries to figure out how much value Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Corey Coleman, Antonio Callaway, and David Njoku will have, why not take the guy who’ll be throwing them the football and not worry about it? Some were turned off by Mayfield’s subpar 40-time and use it against him, but he’s going to compile rushing stats in the NFL, which are extremely useful for fantasy football. As of this moment, he’s my QB16 in dynasty and has upside to be a top-five guy.
Tie: Rico Gathers (TE) Current ADP: TE29 and Michael Gallup (WR) Current ADP: WR47
Both Gathers and Gallup are likely to have bigger roles than most expect in 2018, as Gallup was drafted to be the WR1 of the future for the Cowboys and has to beat out Allen Hurns and/or Deonte Thompson. Yawn. Meanwhile, Gathers could very well be the next Julius Thomas who dominated in a few preseason games, only to bring that into the regular season. While Thomas had Peyton Manning, Dak Prescott needs someone to throw to, as Jason Witten‘s retirement left behind nearly 100 targets per year.
Carlos Henderson (WR) Current ADP: WR102
This time last year, you would’ve found Henderson up around the 50th wide receiver off the board, but after missing his rookie year with a hand injury, he’s tumbled down draft boards. The Broncos are likely to cut ties with both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders after 2018, as they both can be released without taking a big cap hit, and they carry huge salaries. Henderson along with newly-acquired Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton are likely to be the trio they run with going forward, and the quarterback situation has improved greatly.
Kerryon Johnson (RB) Current ADP: RB28
Most have told me I’m too low on Johnson in rookie drafts, but then why do I consider him a value in startups? When will fantasy owners realize that where a player gets drafted will affect their touches? Johnson was taken at the top of the second-round by a Lions team that traded up to take him. Whatever you believe about his talent doesn’t really matter, as touches are what matter most to a running back. There were a lot of running backs selected in the top two rounds of the NFL Draft, which is why Johnson isn’t as valuable in rookie drafts, but make no mistake about it, running back is a young mans position.
Green Bay Packers
Geronimo Allison (WR) Current ADP: WR97
Why is the wide receiver who is projected to start in 2WR sets with Aaron Rodgers coming off the board as the 97th wide receiver? Meanwhile, J’Mon Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown (who were selected in the fourth- and sixth-round) are going before him? When Rodgers was healthy in 2016, Allison saw 22 targets and turned them into 202 yards and two touchdowns. While Moore or St. Brown may be able to pass him on the depth chart, he’s well worth the risk as much more than the 97th wide receiver off the board. Behind Terrelle Pryor and Willie Snead? Y’all should be ashamed.
D’Onta Foreman (RB) Current ADP: RB35
I was kind of shocked to see Foreman this low in ADP, as the buzz around him continues to heat up. The Texans were reportedly close to cutting Lamar Miller, but they don’t have a clear enough outlook on Foreman’s return from his Achilles injury to do that. Playing alongside Deshaun Watson with the receiving corps that they have will definitely open up scoring opportunities, and he started to take Miller’s job before getting hurt last year. I’d rather have Foreman than his teammate Miller, who is currently the 32nd running back off the board.
Ryan Grant (WR) Current ADP: Undrafted
This is really odd, as there are multiple Colts wide receivers in the top-279 players-worth of ADP that we have available, yet Grant isn’t one of them. He was brought in to start in 2WR sets along with T.Y. Hilton, who we know comes with plenty of boom/bust games. Grant may not have the upside of some, but he’s going to be a fantasy contributor in 2018 and likely finish as a top-75 wide receiver. Should Andrew Luck return to his previous form, it shouldn’t surprise you to see the 27-year-old finish inside the top-50 at his position.
Marqise Lee (WR) Current ADP: WR61
After the Jaguars parted ways with Allen Robinson, I figured most would look at Lee at the clear, unquestioned WR1 of the offense, though ADP disagrees with that. His teammate, Dede Westbrook, who may not even start in 3WR sets is being drafted in front of him. Lee has seen 201 targets in 30 games played over the last two years, which puts him at No. 27 among wide receivers.
Kansas City Chiefs
Spencer Ware (RB) Current ADP: RB72
The Chiefs are another team that everyone has gone gaga for and I’d argue that it’s gone overboard. Patrick Mahomes, who has thrown exactly 35 NFL passes is currently sitting as the QB8 in startup drafts. Ware isn’t going to do much without an injury to Kareem Hunt, but we’ve seen him perform as an RB1 in a much lesser offense. He’s being drafted outside the top-64 running backs, which means most view him as a fantasy third-stringer. He’s one of the best handcuffs in the game.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Jackson (RB) Current ADP: RB71
I almost went with Hunter Henry here, who I’d consider a value at TE5, but it’s not far off his actual worth. Jackson is someone who will back-up one of the more fragile running backs in the league (Melvin Gordon) in what looks to be one of the best offenses in the league, behind a rock-solid offensive line. While most will be running to the waiver wire to see who the Chargers backup is, you’ll have him waiting on your bench.
Los Angeles Rams
John Kelly (RB) Current ADP: RB53
Kelly isn’t like a tremendous value or anything, but when you want a piece of Sean McVay’s offense, it’s hard to find any value at all. Their three wide receivers are all in the top-33 at the position, and Todd Gurley ranks No. 1 overall. Kelly may have been the best pass-catching running back in the draft and would walk into a massive role if anything were to happen to Gurley, which is something you need to prepare for in fantasy football. There are not 20 other backups more deserving of a handcuff than Kelly.
DeVante Parker (WR) Current ADP: WR34
Listen, I understand if you scoff at this one, but hear me out. His price has always been inside the top-20 dynasty wide receivers, so you’re not taking the risk you once were. Prior to getting hurt in Week 5, Parker had accumulated 18 receptions for 230 yards and a touchdown in the first three games of 2017. There are a lot of targets cleared up without Jarvis Landry, so you should know that there’s been 23 games in Parker’s career where he’s seen six or more targets. In those games, he’s averaged 5.0 receptions for 70.8 yards, which would extrapolate to 80 receptions for 1,133 yards over a 16-game season. He’s also a free agent after this season, meaning he may land in a much better situation very soon.
Kirk Cousins (QB) Current ADP: QB11
I’ve been one who has avoided Cousins in redraft leagues because of how deep the position is, but to see him outside the top-10 in dynasty is puzzling. He’s surrounded by a ton of threats and their defense won’t be elite forever. With Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen going as top-20 wide receivers, Dalvin Cook going as a top-10 running back, and Kyle Rudolph going as a top-10 tight end, you need to wake up and look at the quarterback who starts everything.
New England Patriots
Sony Michel (RB) Current ADP: RB19
This is a tough one, simply because this team’s outlook will look a lot different once Tom Brady retires, which I’m planning for next year. With Michel, you don’t have to worry about much. You’ll get production out of him with Brady, and you’re going to get a much heavier run-approach once he retires. The Patriots historically don’t spend much on the running back position, so when you see them take Michel in the first-round, take note. He’s a three-down back who can do it all.
New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara (RB) Current ADP: RB6
This one is so tough, as most Saints players are being drafted at their ceiling, and that’s with Drew Brees under center. It’s unlikely we get more than two more years out of Brees, so we have to imagine the offense without him. The only one who I believe will succeed no matter what is Kamara, who is the ideal running back in a Sean Payton offense. He’s not necessarily a great value as the sixth RB off the board, but he’s the one I’d feel best about at his cost. I’d consider the runner-up to be Tre’Quan Smith, who is coming off the board as the WR71 right now.
New York Giants
Sterling Shepard (WR) Current ADP: WR35
We’ve already seen that he can be an impact player in this league, and he’s now got a coach who is likely to bring out the most in him. Pat Shurmur did wonders for Adam Thielen‘s career out of the slot while in Minnesota, and Shepard is even more talented. While some worry about Odell Beckham Jr. stealing all the production, we saw both Thielen and Stefon Diggs succeed with the Vikings. Should Beckham get injured or leave the Giants, Shepard is going to be worth a top-20 wide receiver pick.
New York Jets
ArDarius Stewart (WR) Current ADP: WR105
When Stewart was drafted by the Jets, it was essentially a death sentence with who they were trotting out there in the near future, but with the addition of Sam Darnold, you should regain some confidence. Stewart reminded me of Steve Smith with the ball in his hands, something that Darnold should fall in love with. I’d imagine the Jets having a new coaching staff sometime soon, and hopefully they find someone who can get creative when scheming to get Stewart into space.
Amari Cooper (WR) Current ADP: WR9
The Raiders are a team who lacks depth of potential difference-makers in fantasy football, and that makes it hard to find a great value on their team. Cooper is arguably priced right where he should be, which makes him a value because you don’t have to overpay to get him, something that wasn’t the case prior to 2017 when he was around No. 5 in the receiver rankings.
Mack Hollins (WR) Current ADP: WR99
After a rookie season that was rather impressive (though with limited work), Hollins dropped in the dynasty ADP. He saw just 22 targets from Carson Wentz last year, but finished with 16 receptions for 226 yards and a touchdown on those targets. He’s 6-foot-4 and 221 pounds, so he’s not lacking in size, and his 4.53-second 40-yard dash isn’t too shabby, either. Yes, the Eagles signed Mike Wallace to help fill the Torrey Smith role from last year, but don’t be surprised if Hollins overtakes him at some point, as Wallace isn’t the type of player to take the top off a defense anymore.
Vance McDonald (TE) Current ADP: TE31
After the Steelers traded for McDonald, most had much higher expectations for him. Not only did injuries prevent him from seeing much work, he apparently needed more time to learn the offense. The Steelers have talked him up this offseason as someone who they are going to get much more involved. McDonald is one of the exceptional athletes at tight end and is playing with one of the elite quarterbacks. While I love James Washington, his WR42 ADP is close to where it should be.
San Francisco 49ers
Marquise Goodwin (WR) Current ADP: WR50
Does anyone else find it odd that Jimmy Garoppolo is the QB7 in dynasty, yet there are none of his wide receivers higher than WR50? If he’s producing like that, he’s producing a top-36 wide receiver and it was Goodwin last year. Over the final six games with Garoppolo under center, Goodwin posted 33 receptions for 462 yards and a touchdown, which was the No. 12 fantasy wide receiver in that time. Sure, Pierre Garcon is coming back to the lineup, but Goodwin has carved out a role with his new quarterback.
Nick Vannett (TE) Current ADP: TE35
I actually thought he’d be undrafted, so apparently my word is spreading. I’ve talked about the Seahawks not replacing Jimmy Graham as a big deal, as it should open the door for the former third-round pick. Most forget about tight ends after a couple years, but Vannett was behind both Graham and Luke Willson, who are now starting elsewhere. He’s seen 19 targets from Russell Wilson and turned them into 15 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks liked him enough to not draft a receiving tight end, and they also didn’t address the wide receiver position in the draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronald Jones (RB) Current ADP: RB23
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m really into the rookie running back class. When a team that has holes in their secondary like the Bucs do takes a running back in the second-round, it tells you all you need to know. They felt their backfield needed him more than the defense needed a cornerback, though they did add two of those in the next few rounds. They gave Doug Martin every opportunity to hold the workhorse job, and they’ll do the same with the uber-talented Jones. He’s going to finish better than RB23 in year one, barring injury. I also like Chris Godwin, but his WR43 ADP is about right.
Tie: Dion Lewis (RB) Current ADP: RB30 and Rishard Matthews (WR) Current ADP: WR75
While everyone is expecting Corey Davis to break-out in 2018 (I kind of am, too), there’s a non-zero percent chance that Matthews is still their top receiver. He’s 28 years old and will likely get one more three- or four-year deal after 2018, so don’t shut the book on him. Lewis is going to walk into the Demarco Murray role in the Titans offense and is in much better shape (age-27) than Murray was last year. He should be valued over Jay Ajayi, who is currently the RB27 in startups.
Jamison Crowder (WR) Current ADP: WR41
Here’s a wide receiver you’ll see going top-30 in startups next year, as his skill-set blends with Alex Smith like no other. According to NFL’s NextGenStats, Jamison Crowder averaged 3.2 yards of separation at target last year, while Josh Doctson was at just 2.2 yards and Paul Richardson was at just 2.4 yards. Among quarterbacks who played at least half the season last year, Smith was the one who most refused to throw the ball into tight windows, as he did it just 12.5 percent of the time. Crowder will be his go-to receiver and already has two top-35 finishes under his belt.