For many fantasy football players, this is the offseason. Pfft. What’s that? Savvy dynasty league owners are evaluating the talent pool and looking for potential trade targets right now. With that in mind, I’m unveiling a quick list of potential “buy” players for the serious dynasty league owner.
Let’s set some parameters, shall we?
This is not a list of players who are bound to blow up next year. If you’re looking for a potential dynasty top 10 overall list, this isn’t the article for you. However, if you’re looking for a group of players whose value is being skewed lower than it should in many leagues out there, keep reading.
Now, we’re not saying you need to sell the farm to acquire the players on this list, but each of these players is dealing with a set of circumstances not unlike those we’ve seen in the past that have historically left many owners undervaluing players just like them.
With that being said, let’s take a look at these potential buy candidates.
Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR
When DeAngelo Williams re-signed with the Carolina Panthers, many owners felt like it was a death blow to Stewart’s value. In the short term, it’s certainly not good. However, Stewart responded incredibly well this season with 1,174 total yards and five touchdowns. He also averaged a career best 5.4 yards per carry and, most importantly, stayed healthy all season.
The trouble with Stewart is more about volume than talent, but remember, he’s a free agent after next season. Consider also that he still won’t even be 26 years old when we get to that point. Is there another running back you could potentially get on the cheap who has top 10 ability like Stewart?
If you can convince another less informed owner that you need a “second tier, flex player type of guy,” you may just hit the mother lode here.
Ben Tate, RB HOU
There’s very little chance the Texans will let Foster go via free agency, but what if? Do they really pay the kind of money he’ll command after seeing what happened with CJ1K and Adrian Peterson? The difference between those teams is the existence of a potential star behind their stud.
I mentioned before that it was going to be tough to find another player with top 10 scoring potential that you could buy for a bargain price, but Tate could be the other one to pair with Stewart.
Victor Cruz, WR NYG
Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone would have mentioned him a year ago? Oops. While we can’t take credit for his explosion, we did start talking about him last Summer.
After what he’s done this season, it’s tough to say he’s not for real. In fact, it’s a serious debate between who you’d take between Cruz and Nicks. If you have an owner in your league who isn’t a believer in this kid, take him to the cleaners.
Julio Jones, WR ATL
Anyone notice who led ALL fantasy receivers the past few weeks in the season? Yep, the clock is ticking on Roddy White being the only dominant receiver in Atlanta. Jones is for real and his ceiling isn’t in the top 20 – it’s in the top FIVE.
Antonio Brown, WR PIT
Much like Cruz in New York, Brown was the most valuable receiver on his team, even with Mike Wallace on the roster. Brown is really emerging and is a beast in a PPR format.
Denarius Moore, WR OAK
Moore was our favorite Summer Sleeper this year and he showed glimpses of what he could do this season. With an entire offseason working with Carson Palmer, Moore could take the leap into the top 15 or 20 next season. If his owner in your league feels like Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore are all pretty much interchangeable, you can go ahead and relieve him of the burden of owning Moore.
Mike Williams, WR TB
Williams was a candidate for fantasy rookie of the year in 2010 and fantasy LVP in 2011. You have to hope he doesn’t pull a Michael Clayton and disappear forever, but his value has to be somewhere in between the two years of production we’ve seen.
The Bucs were a mess this season and you have to believe a new coaching staff breathes some much needed life into their offense and the value of Williams.
Michael Bush, RB FA
He’s a free agent and should be in high demand with all the injuries out there. Even if he goes back to Oakland, Darren McFadden hasn’t shown he can stay healthy enough to trust.
Aaron Hernandez, TE NE
Rob Gronkowski was dominant, but let’s not forget just how good Hernandez was, either. If you can snake another owner into trading you the “second best tight end on his own team,” go for it.
Philip Rivers, QB SD
Who knows if Norv Turner returning is a good thing or a bad thing, but Rivers was clearly off this year. If he was indeed hurt, he shouldn’t be at the beginning of next year. Simply put, he’s better than this.
Joe Webb, QB MIN
We’ll see what happens in the draft and free agency, but the Vikings like what Joe Webb brings to the table. If Ponder falls in his face in camp next year, Webb could be a nice value pick.
Mario Manningham, WR FA
There’s little chance the Giants bring back Manningham next season with the emergence of Victor Cruz. Manningham enjoyed an awful season full of dropped passes and injuries, but he still has enough talent to be a viable fantasy player again. If you have an owner in your league who is really down on Manningham, you may be able to get him for next to nothing.
Matt Flynn, QB GB
The gig is up after that epic week 17 performance, but we like Flynn’s chances much better than we liked those of Kevin Kolb’s last season.
Isaac Redman, RB PIT
Mendenhall’s late season injury is a big one. While the Steelers will likely pick up another back this offseason, Redman could also show enough in the postseason to make them think twice. I’d buy quickly if I could.
Stevan Ridley, RB NE
Slowly, surely, he’s starting to take over in New England.
Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN
If you can have value with Tim Tebow throwing you the ball, you’re healthy again. Thomas is in a unique situation in that if his quarterback fails next year, it likely boosts his value.
Titus Young, WR DET
Nate Burleson has been replaced.
Andre Roberts, WR ARI
Roberts finally took a stranglehold on the #2 job in Arizona last season. While he’ll likely never be a true #1 receiver with Larry Fitzgerald in town, he did show enough to merit flex consideration. When you consider his age, he’s a good candidate to buy on.
Brent Celek, TE PHI
The surgery throws some cold water on his value, but go back and look at the second half of his season. Yep, players not named Graham, Gates or Gronkowski would have likely been on my bench in favor of Celek.
Andy Dalton, QB CIN
Sure, he’s not flashy. Just remember, he was a rookie. Rookies aren’t supposed to be that good, especially in Cincinnati. He’s going to grow and already has an elite weapon in AJ Green. Some may disagree, but his ceiling is undoubtedly as a high end QB2 or even a low end QB1 in 12 team leagues. It’s amazing how many still don’t believe in him.
Jake Locker, QB TEN
You may not get another chance to buy him on the cheap. He amazingly showed enough in limited action to give a whole lot of hope to Titans fans.
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