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Dynasty Sleeper Trade Targets

Note: This is Member Corner Scott Daniel’s second article this week and was submitted yesterday, before the Marques Colston injury. He must be clairvoyant with Meachem!

Here at DLF, a lot of time is spent on deep sleepers (guys who likely aren’t rostered in most leagues), evaluating rookies and the value of draft picks, and the proper valuation of elite players.  Another edge a discerning dynasty owner can gain is to look for younger veteran players who aren’t regular fantasy starters, but still have potential to break out as productive fantasy players.   Most owners will protect a younger player like a mama grizzly protects her cubs, but players with more than three year of experience who haven’t broken through may have fallen out of favor with their original owner who drafted that young player expecting a star and hasn’t seen results yet.  I’m going to focus on WRs as it’s the area I see the most opportunity to uncover these veteran gems.   I don’t think many of these players will reach the lofty heights I outline for them, but leveraging possible opportunity is how you uncover those performances most others didn’t anticipate.  The pool of players I considered were players with 3 or more years of NFL experience and a WR ranking below 50 on the DLF Keeper list posted August 29th.

Here are a few candidates to inquire about to see if they can be had cheaply, either as throw-ins in larger deals or for later draft picks.

Robert Meachem, WR NO
Meachem has flashed star potential from time to time, but injuries and the depth of WR corps in New Orleans has kept him from firmly establishing himself as a weekly fantasy factor.  Currently Meachem is #64 on the DLF Keeper league list, so he is currently grouped with players like Earl Bennett, Eddie Royal and Mike Sims-Walker.  I like Meachem as a breakout candidates for several reasons.  First and foremost, New Orleans is a passing team with an elite QB in Drew Brees and they throw the ball a lot (over 600 attempts 3 of the past 4 seasons).  Second, Marques Colston have proven than the #1 WR in New Orleans can put up elite level WR numbers within the offense.  Additionally, Colston spotty healthy record may open up an opportunity.  Lastly, Meacham average 17 ypc over the course of his career and scored 9 TDs in 2009.   If he could garner a larger share of looks, his production could move to elite deep threat  levels(60-75 catches, 1000-1200 yards, 9-11 TDs).

Steve Smith, WR PHI
One season removed from a 100 catch season, Smith was not pursued heavily by the Giants and ended up going to the rival Eagles.  Currently, Smith is #51  on the DLF Keeper league list, so he is currently grouped with players like Plaxico Burress, Santana Moss and Malcom Floyd.  I don’t think he’ll be a fantasy factor in 2011, but I would not be surprised if he returns to the WR2 heights he reached in 2009 in future seasons if he can recover from his injury.  I can see a scenario where the Eagles end up looking at Smith as their #2 WR in 2012 if contract talks with DeSean Jackson don’t go well.  With his great hands and good route running, he could definitely be a very effective WR2 especially in a PPR league  (70-90 catches, 1000 yards, 6 -7TDs in 2012).

Nate Burleson, WR DET 
Nate had a nice season several years ago as the complement to Randy Moss and has never achieved those heights again.  Currently, Burleson is #90  on the DLF Keeper league list, so he is currently grouped with players like Nate Washington, Josh Cribbs (more on him in a moment) and Marcus Easley.   Burleson is probably a bye week fill-in type player or a low-end WR3 in a league that uses 3 WR regularly.  Calvin Johnson is what I like here.   I expect him to receive lots of attention from opposing defenses and Burleson already has a track record of success in that scenario.  If Stafford can stay healthy, you might be able to steal a season of solid production from Burleson at a cut rate (60 catches, 900 yrds, 6-8 TDs).

Josh Cribbs, WR CLE
Never been a productive WR, but an effective Wildcat player and return man.  He’s grouped with that same players as Burleson.   Jeff brought up Massequoi earlier today and I think similar things about Cribbs.  Cleveland schedule is ridiculously soft this season (AFC South, NFC West, Cincinattix2, Oakland and Miami) and McCoy has looked pretty solid in pre-season.   I like McCoy as the architect as a precision, short-passing offense and a player like Cribbs could thrive in that kind of system with his open field skills.  He’s worth a look if you can get him cheap (50-70 catches, 800 yds receiving/rushing, 5-7 tds plus some special teams value).

I like Meachem the best of these plays if you are looking for someone who might have a surprise season as a top 10 WR, Smith as the future play to contribute solid WR2 performance in 2012-2014, especially for PPR.  Both Burleson and Cribbs are guys you should be  looking at to steal an unexpected but productive season in 2011.

 

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Casey
10 years ago

With the Colston injury the secret’s out on Meachem. I’m glad I was able to pluck him off waivers a month ago.

??droppedballs??
10 years ago

i traded for meachem about a month ago gave up a 2012 2nd and h ward, its looking good for me right now

Bill
10 years ago

I only have Meachem in 1 dyno & a couple re-drafts; I suspect the value is up too high for value trade now. I snoozed & losed. 🙁

Miguel
10 years ago

All these guys sucked in 2011.

Josh G
Reply to  Miguel
10 years ago

Thats why they are sleepers

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