Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that our next Presidential election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th. In the spirit of this upcoming event, DLF presents Dynasty Decisions 2012. In this five-part series, several of our writers will analyze pertinent fantasy questions and “campaign” for their various answers.
In part two of this series, we want to know “Who do you consider to be the best dynasty buy?” Read on to see which players have been “nominated!” If you’re swayed by a particular argument, vote in the corresponding poll on the home page. If you’d like to nominate your own choice, tell us who and why in the comments section.
Let’s see what our writers and YOU have to say!
Kendall Wright, WR TEN
A common dynasty adage will tell us when drafting rookies you should always go with the most talented option available. Kendall Wright was a high draft pick in rookie drafts because of his talent, not situation. Although he would have room to make some immediate impact, the amount of which was in debate due to the fact that he was joining an already deeply talented wide receiver core. This included the likes of Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and 2010’s third round rookie selection, Damian Williams.
Despite the high level of talent of his competition, Wright has risen above it all to become the team leader in receptions and targets. He works great underneath and has a knack for getting open. Through seven weeks this season, he has amassed 36 receptions on 55 targets – that averages nearly eight targets and five receptions per game, as a rookie.
With Britt’s injuries early in the season, Wright has shown versatility by learning all of the different receiving positions of the offense. Regardless of Britt’s situation, Wright will remain on the field and targeted often. His yards after the catch ability have been well documented in his college career, and with the amount of opportunities coming his way it is only a matter of time before this translates at the NFL level. Wright has the potential to be a stud and a PPR monster.
He is still flying under the radar right now despite his early success. He is quietly building a respectable season while developing all the tools to be successful in the NFL. His buy recommendation comes based on the fact that he has shown us all the tangibles of his play, and circumstances are building to make this potential a real fantasy weapon. In the weekly installment “Rookie Focus,” I have covered Wright’s progression and I recommended him as a buy early in the season. His value has increased as he has had a very fluid transition into the NFL, but he still remains the best buy in dynasty leagues. Kendall Wright is not a “buy-low” candidate – he is a “buy-now-or-forever-be-left-behind” one.
Brandon Marshall, WR CHI
My colleagues are going to trot out a bunch of “up-and-comers” who they’ll tell you to buy before they blow up, but I know you’re smarter than that! You know every developing high-profile rookie or young player carries a risk disproportionate to the potential reward. As savvy dynasty owners, you deserve better.
I’m here to offer you the chance to have your cake and eat it, too. What if I told you there was a 28-year old wide receiver who has already produced three seasons of 100+ receptions and five seasons over 1,000 receiving yards, and that he could likely be had for quarters on the dollar? I’m talking about the Bears’ Brandon Marshall.
Now I know you’re immediately going to reference his immaturity, run-ins with the law, and the fact he’s already been traded twice for an aggregate four draft picks. These are red flags and I can’t deny that. However, as a shrewd owner, you can use this knowledge to your advantage, planting the seeds of doubt into your trade partner’s mind as to “just what will he do next?”
What you’ll be receiving is a player who has produced at every stop, despite having luminaries such as Kyle Orton and Matt Moore throwing him the ball. Now re-united with his former Denver teammate Jay Cutler, Marshall has re-established himself as a dominant force. Despite a bye week, Marshall is in the top ten in the league for receptions and receiving yards, and in the top five for receiving yards per game.
Finally, when considering his opposition for this vote, let’s use an analogy. Would you rather a buy a hen and wait for her to lay eggs, or just walk down to your local diner and get an omelet? The choice for Best Dynasty Buy is Brandon Marshall.
Daryl Richardson, RB STL
For nine seasons now, one of the most consistent, reliable running backs in the NFL has been Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams – you can pretty much pencil him in for over 1,000 rushing yards and at least 300 receiving yards every year. Time, however, eventually takes its toll on even the best running backs, and then someone new is called upon to take their place. That time is coming in St. Louis and it looks like the replacement is going to be Daryl Richardson.
There are multiple players out there who seem to be next in line for jobs behind aging stars, so what exactly makes Richardson the best dynasty buy out there right now? For one, he is still (relatively) cheap; he has not done anything incredibly remarkable, nor has he been given the starting job yet, so he should not cost an arm and a leg to get. What he has done, however, is show tremendous promise. Just watching him run the ball, you can see the explosiveness he possesses and what a handful he can be for opposing defenses. Richardson passes more than just they eye test, though, the numbers say this guy has great potential as well. While it is a limited sample, through his first seven games, Richardson is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and 10.2 yards per reception while only fumbling once.
Dating back to the 2009 season, Jackson’s rushing yards have decreased every year, and, if his current pace continues, that trend will continue this year—the Rams are looking for someone to fill his shoes. The presence of Isaiah Pead prevents Richardson from being a sure bet to be Jackson’s successor, but Richardson clearly has the upper hand at this point.
Ultimately, Richardson is the best dynasty buy because he is still relatively cheap for his potential, he has displayed a great amount of explosiveness and he seems to be next in line for a starting running back job that will presumably open up sooner rather than later.
AJ Green, WR CIN
Since being drafted fourth overall in 2011, AJ Green has exceeded even the highest realistic expectations. A rookie season with over 1,000 yards receiving and seven touchdowns was the precursor to his current rating as the top receiver overall averaging over six receptions, 91 yards and a score per game.
Green has stepped up his production in parallel with draft classmate Andy Dalton, the eighth quarterback overall in fantasy points. Contributors like Andrew Hawkins, Jermaine Gresham and Armon Binns are helping to keep opposing secondaries honest, but Green is clearly the focus of this offense. If he stays healthy, Green should only build upon the connection with his quarterback.
As his rise to the top wasn’t unexpected due to his talent level and draft position (though perhaps it happened faster than originally thought given the situation he landed in), acquiring Green won’t come cheap. The second half schedule for Cincinnati includes several difficult matchups with Dallas, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh all fairly stingy against opposing WR1s. Following a friendly first half schedule, working a trade for Green may be more feasible in the off-season. If you have him or are able to acquire him, enjoy top-5 (if not the top) wide receiver production for the next few years.
David Wilson, RB NYG
I’m probably as big of an Ahmad Bradshaw apologist as you’ll ever find. He is “only” 26 years old. He has “only” missed six regular season games in the past four NFL seasons combined. That said, David Wilson was one of the top few running backs off the board in most dynasty rookie drafts this past off-season and for good reason.
He’s extremely talented and will have a golden opportunity if/when he gets his chance to shine for the New York Giants. I’m not even remotely worried about the four-year contract Bradshaw signed in 2011 that will, ostensibly, keep him in NY through the 2015 season because that contract was very front-heavy and exactly the type of situation where the Giants will be able to cut him loose without much cap-hit after this season. Thus, I think that between now and the fantasy trading deadline will be your last chance to acquire Wilson at a reasonable price.
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