Bargain Hunter


The fantasy football community typically embraces positive trends with open arms.  Whether it is the running back with vast receiving skills or the substantial wide receiver who produces touchdowns on a weekly basis, we love to follow suit by finding young players who fit these molds.  A player who has everything the fantasy community desires is Titans receiver Justin Hunter.  Standing at 6’4, 203 lbs, what’s not to like?

The first thing skeptics will point to is Hunter’s quarterback situation.  Obviously, Jake Locker doesn’t come with an overwhelming comfort level, but he isn’t quite as bad as people make him out to be.  He is somewhat inaccurate, but a wide receiver built like Hunter can mask that deficiency to a point.  Hunter’s catch radius (78” wingspan) gives Locker a large target to hit (or at least get close to) and they both should develop a good rapport with one another during training camp.  Health is the primary concern with Locker, because without adequate health, he isn’t going to be on the field to create any type of connection with Hunter.  Locker is currently recovering from a Lis franc injury, but is scheduled to be ready for camp.  Understandably, this issue is what may keep people weary of Hunter.  Use that to your advantage and hope the current owner is one of those nervous guys.

Anyone who watched a Tennessee Volunteers game in 2012 saw Cordarrelle Patterson lighting up the football field, but Patterson and fellow Vols receiver Hunter both had first round grades going into the 2013 NFL Draft.  While Patterson did go in the first round to Minnesota, Hunter fell to the Titans in the second round, supposedly due to his lean frame and somewhat inconsistent hands.  The torn ACL from 2011 didn’t help Hunter’s draft stock, but his 2012 season showed he was working past the injury.  He was drafted to replace Kenny Britt, because he was set to be a free agent in 2014, but he ended up getting more work as a rookie than expected because Britt fell off the face of the productive map.

Though Hunter didn’t explode onto the scene like fellow rookie wide out Keenan Allen, he did have quite a few plays that made people rewind their DVRs.  The most notable play was probably Hunter’s first career reception against Keenan Allen’s San Diego Chargers.  With essentially no time left on the clock, Locker heaved up a 34-yard bomb in Hunter’s direction, and using his tall, lean frame, he elevated over a defender and came down with the ball for a game winning touchdown.

The primary difference between Keenan Allen and Justin Hunter’s rookie campaigns was opportunity.  Allen started 14 games last season, while Hunter did not start a single one.  The offensive snap totals reflect that, as Allen totaled 1,081 snaps and Hunter racked up a measly 340.  Is that due to differing talent levels or is it due to a coaching staff being unsure of how to use the talent?  The answer may not be clear cut, but it does go noted the Titans coaching staff was relieved of their duties after the season and ex-Titans Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains wasn’t considered worth keeping by the front office.  It is interesting that despite not getting the overall opportunity of Keenan Allen, Justin Hunter had a better Points Per Snap rate – this may mean a couple of things.  Hunter was more of a big play receiver, whereas Allen was more consistent with his playing time, even though it may have yielded a slightly lower PPS rate.  Also, with more snaps under Allen’s belt, it isn’t realistic to assume he’d produce points regularly given the variables in game situations.  When on the field, Allen saw 18.6% of the Chargers targets, and Hunter saw 12.1% from the Titans.  Nevertheless, it is encouraging to know Hunter was doing something with his very limited snap count.


You may have heard that ex-Chargers Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is the new Head Coach in Tennessee and he’ll also be acting as the Offensive Coordinator.  Whisenhunt and Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy were responsible for reviving Philip Rivers’ career last season by implementing an offense that revolved around short, safe passes (7.9 yards gained per pass attempt).  That last stat should perk up the ears of all you Kendall Wright and Dexter McCluster owners.  As for Justin Hunter, who averaged 19.7 yards per reception, his niche in the new offense is yet to be determined.  Although Keenan Allen had 14.7 YPR in Whisenhunt’s offense last season, so the sky shouldn’t be falling for everyone thinking Hunter is strictly going to be a deep threat.  In fact, Hunter will have an opportunity unlike any he had last season.  He will be the day one starter on a team that, by all accounts, will be heavily weaving pass plays into the playbook.

Something that could throw a wrench in this article is if Ken Whisenhunt were to draft a quarterback of his own, instead of riding out the past regime’s pick.  Now, that wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, but Whisenhunt doesn’t exactly have a good track record with finding a viable quarterbacking option on his own via the draft.  We all remember the debacle in Arizona and there aren’t exactly any good veteran options like Kurt Warner still around in free agency, so if Whisenhunt is thinking straight, he should keep Locker for the 2014 season and make him prove his worth.  Additionally, Whisenhunt signed a five-year contract with the Titans, so theoretically, he has some time to build this team the way he visualizes it.

Last season, a Nate Washington trade rumor was floating around that proved to be erroneous.  Fast forward six months and now there is a rumor of Washington being a possible cap casualty.  Until Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports some solid facts on the situation, we should move forward as if Washington is going to be on the team in 2014.  That isn’t necessarily a negative either, because Hunter is still a raw wide receiver in the early stages of his career who could use a mentor like Washington.  Kenny Britt is long gone.  Damian Williams is gone and Justin Hunter has been presented a golden opportunity.  There is also an opportunity for fantasy owners to snag Hunter while his price is fairly affordable.

Hunter’s March Average Draft Position (ADP) is WR36 (76.7 overall), or one spot ahead of Roddy White.  For reference, in January it was WR31, and in February he was the WR33.  As you can see, his price is slightly dropping.  The time to buy is now, while people are fascinated with the incoming crop of wide receivers, but debatably, Hunter could easily rank in the top four of this rookie class.  While there is some serious receiving talent entering the 2014 draft, don’t be in mindless awe over the shiny new toys, because they are just that – shiny and new.  When the price for receivers like Justin Hunter and DeAndre Hopkins drops, (Hopkins’ February ADP of WR15 decreased to WR20 in March), their value increases.

As the season approaches, the offensive scheme of the Titans will become much clearer.  Coach Whisenhunt has done his best to keep a tight lid on his plans for 2014, and that is smart, but it really can drive the predicting minds of fantasy football aficionados insane.  During this pre-draft moment in time, “facts” are as sturdy as Marcus Lattimore’s broken leg.  They’re not.  We want to believe these coaches when they speak about a high octane, pass or run heavy offense, but we can’t.  Everything has to be taken with a grain of salt.  The only thing that can be trusted is our eyes and our gut, and when you see Justin Hunter using his tall frame to leap over defenders for touchdowns, something clicks.  Something deep down tells you to make every attempt to acquire Hunter for your dynasty team before it is too late.  I’m not saying to sell the farm for some Hunter stock, but be willing to overpay a little in the short term for the glory of owning him in the long term. In the end, it could end up being a bargain.



  1. Jim

    March 26, 2014 at 6:19 am

    I was able to pick Patterson in my draft last year and Justin Hunter went undrafted. I will possibly target Hunter this year. What round do you think he would go. I don’t have a #1, but I have 2 #2’s and 2 #3’s. I will probably try to get him with either a late 2nd or early 3rd. How does Hunter rate with this year’s incoming rookie crop?

    • Ty Miller

      March 26, 2014 at 6:59 am

      Hi Jim,

      I’m surprised Hunter went undrafted! League mates vary, but I have had a trade offer of the 1.08 rookie pick for Hunter rejected. Thanks for reading!


    • Pete

      March 26, 2014 at 7:05 am

      There is no reason that Hunter should have been undrafted in any league format… In most leagues he can probably be had for a later 1st but savy owners wont give him up for less. As for comparing with this rookie class I would put him at WR5 or WR6

    • Ty Miller

      March 26, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Also, I would rank him as WR4 in this class, behind Evans, Watkins, & Matthews.

    • Inaudiblelance

      March 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

      I discovered mid-season last year that Justin Hunter, LaDarius Green, Stedman Bailey, and Da’Rick Rogers were all on our waiver wire. I have since snapped them all up. Our league has always been more of a win-now league so devy players tended to get overlooked. Last year my dynasty philosophy changed (around the same time i discovered DLF) so now I’m building a juggernaut for the future while the rest of my league is blissfully unaware!

  2. Scott O

    March 26, 2014 at 6:33 am

    I think you’re right on for Hunter. I also think there are a few other sophomore players who started out slower than expected that are buy candidates. Guys like Wheaton, Kelce, and Austin to name a few.

    2014 Buy Low Dynasty Candidates – Part 1

    • Brad

      March 27, 2014 at 9:24 am

      I was impressed by what I figure is your blog. Some good stuff there with good reasoning and writing.

  3. Jacob Feldman

    March 26, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I was and still am very high on Hunter. He has all of the skills, but we knew it was going to take a year or two for him to make the transition. I still think he needs to add another 10 pounds of muscle to help him deal with press coverage and jump ball situations, but I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do this year!

  4. Jeff Miller

    March 26, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Nice article. I think with it you have moved up to be the second best Miller at DLF. Congrats.

    • Ty Miller

      March 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks for commenting, bro. (-__-)

  5. Skills

    March 26, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I really like Hunter and the addition of the new coaching staff should only help his value. For all the people that said last years class was just ok, I have Hopkins, Hunter, & Patterson on my bench right now and would not deal those three guys for the top 3 wideouts in this rookie class.. If I were to rank the top receivers of the 2013 & 2014 classes I would go:
    1. Watkins
    2. Patterson
    3. Hopkins:
    4. Evans
    5. Hunter
    6. Allen
    7. Beckham
    8. Lee
    9. Austin
    10. Cooks

    I am not in a PPR so obviously touchdowns come at a premium and tend to reflect my rankings

  6. Jarred Cosart

    March 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I have Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, Terence Williams, Jeremy Maclin, and Da’rick Rogers. Is WR a concern at all going into the draft or will I be okay with the five I have? (my league is non-PPR)

    • Inaudiblelance

      March 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Right now you have a good young WR corp comprised of WR2/3/4s but are lacking a true WR1. With such a strong WR class in this draft I would target some 1st and 2nd rd WRs but your 2014 draft pics are unlikely to contribute WR1 numbers in their first year. Perhaps you can package a few picks and a player or two to target someone else’s WR1?

    • BigD

      March 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      are you kidding….get a couple of #1 wrs now….you have all nothing more than #2s if not #3s…..wow

    • Ty Miller

      March 26, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Hi Jarred,

      I’m a big fan of all of those WRs. The problem is, since it isn’t PPR, Wright’s value is capped for now since he really lacks TDs. That could change with Whisenhunt in town as I expect more short passes, right in Wright’s wheelhouse. Hunter has the potential to be a true WR1, but I think we’re a year or two off from that. TWill is a great young prospect, but his ceiling will always be a bit lower as long as Dez is in town. If you have an early 1st rd pick, I’d target Mike Evans or Jordan Matthews. I like big WRs and they definitely fit that bill. If you don’t have a later 1st, I’d attempt to package that 1st and Terrence Williams for a Michael Floyd type. You may be overpaying in the short term, but Floyd has the build and talent to be a WR1 in this league. Thank you for reading the Hunter article!


  7. cm

    March 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Drafted Hunter last year in the 2rd round rookie draft. Also drafted Christine Michael and Keenan Allen. Debating between Micheal and Hunter for my Rookie keeper spot…THOUGHTS?

    Allen will fill a WR keeper spot for me with Garcon. I could keep both would need to drop one of Rashard Jennings/Reggie Bush/Joique Bell/Chris Ivory. THOUGHTS?



    • Ty Miller

      March 26, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Cm,

      I would keep Hunter since you are only required to keep one RB. I really like Jennings this year and Reggie Bush should have some good value for at least this year. Chris Ivory is who I’d be dropping, because there is a good chance you could get him back. People are really down on Ivory.

      Thanks for checking out the article!


      • CM

        March 27, 2014 at 3:23 am

        Thanks Ty! Appreciate both the article and response…

  8. Turin

    March 27, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Hi !

    Got Gio Bernard in the first and got Hunter in the 3rd Round of the Rookie Draft last year (3.05) and he was more or less a reaction buy to Crabtree getting injured just the day before as was Aaron Dobson in the 2nd.

    I’m interested in what you expect out of Dobson from here on.

    Thanks !

    • Ty Miller

      March 27, 2014 at 7:07 am

      Hi Turin,

      I like Dobson. I would’ve liked him a lot more had Edelman signed elsewhere, but I think Dobson > Thompkins. Thanks for reading!


  9. Kenny Newsted

    March 27, 2014 at 6:10 am

    In my 12 team, non-ppr league I traded:

    Hakeem Nicks, 2.04, and 4.02 (first round of FA draft in August)


    Justin Hunter & Joe Flacco (pretty much a throw in)

    QB – A. Smith, J. Flacco
    RB – M. Ball, S. Vereen, T. Gerhart, L. Murray, P. Thomas
    WR – M. Floyd, TY Hilton, T. Williams, J. Hunter, M. Wheaton, S. Bailey, D. Moore, M. Williams
    TE – T. Eifert, D. Pitta
    K – S. Gostkowski
    D/ST – Buccaneers
    Rookie Picks – 1.02, 1.04, 3.01, 3.02, 3.12

  10. mjmart2

    March 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I was just offered 1.05 and a 3.05 for Hunter. Should I hold onto him or is this too good of value to pass up?

    • Ty Miller

      March 27, 2014 at 7:48 pm


      I’d hold onto Hunter. If he were in this class, he’d probably be the WR4, so while I think that is a fair offer, I would rather have Hunter on my team.

      Thanks for reading!


  11. JBFootball

    March 27, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I have been offered Gio Bernard, Justin Blackmon, Brian Hartline and the 4th pick in my devy draft for Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis and Mike Wallace.

    My roster is:

    QB – Wilson, Tannehill, Mallett, Bradford
    RB – Charles, Spiller, Stacy, Ball, L Murray, K Robinson, B Brown, Knile Davis
    WR – Gordon, Green, Jeffery, Hopkins, Maclin, Wallace, Wheaton, Mike Evans
    TE – Rudolph, L Green

    I can afford to wait for Blackmon’s suspension and I love getting 5 yrs younger at running back. The devy pick will also land me either Thomas Tyner or Laquon Treadwell who are both studs. Is this a good deal?

    • JBFootball

      March 27, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Nevermind. Took the deal and Gio is mine. Hope I made the right choice.

      • Ty Miller

        March 27, 2014 at 7:53 pm

        Sorry it took me a little while to get back to you. I’m ok with you going after Gio Bernard but I think you couldve flipped JC, Davis and Wallace for a top 3-5 WR. You already have some very good talent at the RB position, but if you had used Charles to get Dez or Julio, you would’ve had the elite WR market cornered. Like I said though, Gio has a ton of value right now and I’m ok with targeting him too. I’d shop around Ball if I were you as his stock has risen since Moreno signed in Miami. Thanks for reading!


  12. Tybeeman

    March 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I liked what I saw from Hunter and really like his size and v potential. PPR dynasty I just moved my 1.12 rookie draft pick for him. Here’s to hoping he’s worth it.

    • Ty Miller

      March 27, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      That’s a really savvy move. Hunter has been fetching a higher pick than that already and he hasn’t even come close to his ceiling. Hell, he hasn’t even opened the door… haha

      I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on the article!


  13. Dream team

    March 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Should I trade Calvin for montee ball Keenan Allen and rg3 I have Peyton at qb so rg3 could be future and my recievers are dez Blackmon Wheaton stedman Bailey Kenny stills and plan on taking Sammy Watkins pick 1 my running backs are Morris Ellington bradshaw travaris cadet might be able 2 get Julius Thomas instead of rg3 and I have Jordan Cameron at tight end or divi just keep Calvin it’s a 14 team ppr if that helps runnin backs real hard 2 come by

    • Ty Miller

      March 29, 2014 at 11:35 am

      I may be in the minority but I don’t really believe in Montee Ball. I’m ok with that trade though, especially if you value Ball like most do. If it were me, I’d do that trade and then see what you could get for Ball via another trade. You obviously need a backup plan for Peyton, and Allen is going to be a stud for years to come. Since you have Cameron, I wouldn’t try to get Thomas. If I were in this situation, knowing that your WRs are good, I would offer Stills/1.01 for Doug Martin. Then again, I prefer having a stable of RBs. Thanks for commenting and good luck!


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