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Dynasty

Underrated in Dynasty: Part Two

Tannehill

As I mentioned in part one, this group I focus on today will have a lower hit rate and less upside. While that doesn’t sound appealing, they also come at a fraction of the price, so it evens out. In short, these are some of the players you may want to draft in rounds 8 to 14. These aren’t the type of players you should be counting on at all. However, second tier values are nice to have in your pocket and can be a pleasant surprise, just like when you forget money in your jeans and randomly find it one day – that’s the mentality you should have, draft them and be willing to wait. As you’ll see, there aren’t many veterans on this list.

With that mentality understood, now you’re ready… it’s time.

Quarterbacks

Ryan Tannehill, MIA

Tannehill has everything you want in a fantasy quarterback. He has a big arm, solid rushing ability and solid progression (I would argue) from year one to year two. Things will go a lot smoother with Mike Wallace in their second year together and I also love the emergence of Charles Clay as a safety valve who can also spring the big play. Tannehill may never be an elite QB1, but he presents a ton of value considering his ADP. He’s a perfect player to draft and wait on as your backup quarterback.

E.J. Manuel, BUF

I’m not Manuel’s biggest fan, even when he was coming out. I am, however, a fan of grabbing him in the 13th, 14th or even 15th rounds ($3-4 = auction translation). Everyone progresses differently and there’s really no way to know after one year if a player’s career is destined for failure or not. Manuel has some pieces to work with in Buffalo, namely CJ Spiller and Robert Woods. If they can add a big target receiver or tight end in the draft, I think Manuel could surprise a lot of people in 2014.

Tom Brady, NE

He’s an old man, we all know this. I still think he has two or three years left and a ton more fantasy production than he had in 2013. Looking back, there’s nothing that could’ve gone worse for Brady last season. The Patriots offense collapsed on him with injury after injury until he was left with a few rookies and a Hawaiian blocking tight end (of course he had Julian Edelman, but it makes it sound much worse if I left him out). Before last season, Brady had put together three straight 34+ touchdown seasons, I fully expect that pre-2013 production to come back and for that to last the next 2-3 years – this makes him an incredible value in the 8th-10th round, where you may be able to get him.

Running Backs

Bernard Pierce, RB BAL

I had high expectations for Pierce heading into last year, but his 2.9 yards per carry average didn’t cut it, to say the least. While that type of performance is almost unforgivable, I’m giving everyone on the Ravens a mulligan. Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Bernard Pierce, Anquan Bold… wait, what?  They traded Boldin for nothing and it killed their offense? Oh, that’s right. Long story short, Baltimore has been one of the best organizations of the past 15 years and I expect them to figure something out in 2014. Pierce fits in perfectly as an undervalued misfit that nobody wants and while he may never become anything, I can’t forget the rumbling, stumbling mammoth he was as a rookie. I’m not as high on him as I was going into last off-season, but he’s still a great value in the 10th-12th rounds.

Knile Davis, KC

Davis has talent, but he is also playing for a conservative, run first team.  He didn’t post an impressive rookie year, but there were glimpses of potential. He’s at least a year or two from being given a a significant role, but he’s only one Jamaal Charles injury away from saving your fantasy season. Davis is far from a perfect asset as injuries and fumbling issues could derail his career and put him out of the league in two years. However, the potential makes him more than worthy of your roster, especially if you only have to spend a 13th-15th rounder.

Jonathan Franklin, GB

Franklin’s fantasy value was already on life support before the re-signing of James Starks – it’s now officially non-existent. You know what that means? Yup, time to buy. Franklin is probably the least likely to provide value on this list, but the cost is intriguing. There’s a reason why people liked Franklin last year before the draft. There’s a reason why people were picking him around 1.5 in rookie drafts before the draft. Have we completely lost perspective? Nothing has changed about Franklin as a player, other than his situation and perception. It’s hardly an investment (maybe a 20th rounder), so do the right thing.

Wide Receivers

Robert Woods, BUF

Woods was the last cut from part one. He has everything I look for in an undervalued dynasty asset. First, he had an explosive college career which waned at the end and got picked apart. Second, he was a second round pick who showed major flashes in year one (he combined that with injuries and a bad situation) which shielded him from the public eye. Finally, no alarms go off on any H/W/S model. Woods is fantasy football paradise, someone get me a margarita. He didn’t make the first cut because he doesn’t have the same upside, but I could see Woods taking over Stevie Johnson’s role and being better.  I believe 1,100 yards and five-to-seven touchdowns in year two isn’t out of the question.

Marvin Jones, CIN

I won’t lie to you and say I was hot on the Marvin Jones trail before he blew up in the middle of last season, but I’m here now and surprised more aren’t. An 11th-13th round pick for Jones is stealing. He has not only shown flashes, he’s shown consistent flashes every time he touched the ball. Sure, he’s held back by his current offense and quarterback, but these are the players who make you profit long term. Jones is entering his third year in the league and has already broken out. His 51 catches on 81 targets for 712 yards and ten touchdowns made for a fantastic season – imagine if he had 20-30 more targets. While the touchdowns will go down and second year tight end Tyler Eifert will command more of a role, Jones is a great buy low. He’ll be a WR3 now and could be a fantasy goldmine in a few years when he hits free agency.

Stedman Bailey, STL

Never have I been more excited by a Rams draft pick. It probably evened out against how sad I was when they picked Lance Kendricks over Greg Little in 2011, but that’s a story for another time. Bailey was my WR4 in the 2013 class and I’m far from giving up. While 17 catches on 25 targets seems like nothing special, it’s worth noting all but three of Bailey’s targets came in week 13 or later. From week 13-17 Stedman averaged around 4.5 targets a game and it became clear the Rams finally had confidence in him on a weekly basis. Next year with Sam Bradford back, I expect Bailey to keep progressing like he did his rookie year. He may not become a weekly starter for you until the end of 2014, or maybe even 2015, but he’s worth targeting now before he puts up significant stats.

Mike Wallace, MIA

We meet again, Mike Wallace. We meet again.

After a two year retreat to fantasy purgatory,  Wallace is ready to regain some of that spark we saw in Pittsburgh. As I mentioned earlier with Tannehill, year two will be a much smoother process and I expect much more efficient results. Even with what most consider a down year, Wallace was still the WR27 in PPR scoring last season. Miami treats Wallace like a true WR1 and while I may disagree with putting him in that role, nobody can deny the stats he has potential for with 140 targets.  He’s right there with Woods in terms of value picks in the 8th-10th round. I would feel comfortable going into this season with Wallace as my third receiver and wouldn’t even hate him as my second heading into week one.

Tight End

Martellus Bennett, CHI

In games started (and finished ) by Jay Cutler, Martellus Bennett averaged 12 ppg (11.99 to be exact). With Josh McCown? Just 8.5. In case you didn’t know, a difference in 3.5 fantasy points per week is a lot. Before Cutler’s first injury (week seven) Bennett was the TE7. Fast forward through the season to now, Martellus is an afterthought in the fantasy world, going in the late rounds of drafts and being tossed around in dynasty trades like a throw in. With Cutler back in 2014, I see no reason why Bennett wouldn’t return to pre-Jay Cutler injury production or at least what he did when Cutler came back in week 15. The Bears offense is a well oiled machine under Marc Trestman and I see Bennett’s seasonal totals being even higher the next couple of years if Cutler can keep himself together (no guarantee).

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Pete
7 years ago

I actually went to the Franklin owner asking for a price the other day and the owner wants the value of where he drafted him. Late 1st. Way too rich for my blood when I thought I could get him for an early 3rd. Love these articles though, even though some I asked around about before these went up 😉

Furnace
Reply to  Pete
7 years ago

In general, there is often a value bias for players already selected versus a new draft. There is already a real cost associated with the player on a squad and some owners won’t sell at startup draft prices whether justified are not.

On one roster I currently own four of these players and recently moved two others. For the guys I still own you aren’t getting them at startup prices because I value them over that price. It just depends if the owner sees the same upside Russell mentions here.

An example of one I moved on from was Marvin Jones. I don’t see him being a fantasy WR3 while in Cincy. He was a WR4 in PPR last year and I don’t see him getting the same number of looks in the future unless something drastic changes. Jones is not the clear #2 WR choice in Cincy over Sanu, plus Eifert is going to get more looks. For the short term I’ve got Jones as fantasy WR4.

Greg Strong
Reply to  Russell Clay
7 years ago

Yep, If you trade Franklin for a 3rd you’re pretty much admitting to yourself that you screwed up. A lot of owners would rather hold on to a guy like Franklin to protect their own ego.

Britton Kreiner
Reply to  Furnace
7 years ago

I disagree on Jones. He had everything you want in a WR (no. 1 or no. 2 on the team) by the end of the year, and I’m not even talking about his 4 TD game. He was sure-handed, explosive, and he has great measurables. Sanu wasn’t even close by the end of the season. I own Jones in every league but one (picked him up off waivers during the playoffs last year in my main league..!), and have him as a mid-WR3 with high-WR3 upside.

Also, I disagree with everybody saying Dalton is going to pass less this year, and has no chance to replicate his numbers from last year. They found a WR2 in Jones (from what I can see, at least), Eifert progresses, Gio gets more snaps and recs out of the backfield.. Not saying he’s a top-5 QB this year, but despite the OC change, I simply can’t imagine them doing too much less passing given the progression in personnel.

Britton Kreiner
Reply to  Britton Kreiner
7 years ago

To clarify, by “no. 1 or no. 2 on the team” I just meant that Jones’ skillset looked quite complete, and with the exception of drawing coverage (away from AJ Green — not a small task anyway) and in a lot of ways like TY Hilton, he didn’t appear to me to have any fundamental limitations and if Green went down, I could see him being a serviceable lead receiver in relief.

michael bellace
7 years ago

Great article, Russ! I’m on board with most of it except for 2 players mentioned. First, Wallace is talented and maybe year 2 with Tannehill gets better but even when in Pittsburgh he struggles with inconsistency. He gives you the big week or 2 and then disappears! I traded him last year around this time and he became someone elses worry! I don’t wish to bash Wallace, b/c he’s good, but I had an opportunity. The next guy is Franklin, unless you own Lacy he’s a roster clogger for me. I don’t have room on my roster for guys like him, but I have enough cloggers behind other starters to fill those spots. Like I said, if I owned Lacy it’d be different. I’m a big fan of Marvin Jones, Bailey, Woods and Bennett though. I’m actually trying to land Bennett in a trade now! Thanks for your insight!

Slick
Reply to  Russell Clay
7 years ago

Hey Russ, like the work. Look forward to #4.
I own Woods and Manuel..what do u think needs to happen for them to realize their potential in 2014? and more importantly, what do you see happening? I wanted them to land a move TE to help Manuel and since they didnt do it FA, maybe in 2nd round of draft? I know Buffalo has been one of those franchises that has not produced much elite talent but it has to turn around at some point, right? I thought Marrone could get something going up there. I feel like this year is put up or shut up for Marrone and the entire offense.

Russell
Reply to  Slick
7 years ago

I actually agree on Buffalo being a wasteland, but I think Woods is the best WR they’ve had in quite some time. do I think he’s a stud? no, which is why he was left off part 1. but, he is the type that can string together 5-6 1000 yard seasons and it wouldn’t shock me. he can be a low end WR1 in the NFL, especially for the Bills. He has the innate ability to make something out of nothing after the catch and has the ball skills to beat corners in tight coverage. I love his game.

Manuel on the other hand, I’m probably not as optimistic about in terms of talent. I do love his situation though. Buffalo is assembling a bunch of guys that can do things post catch or after the ball is in their hands. basically, a manuel screen pass to Spiller could end up in an 80 yard TD.. or a 10 yard out route to Woods could end up in a 40 yard TD. I think it’s way to soon to give up on Manuel, both in real football and fantasy

GBDiehard
7 years ago

Stedman will be available in our rookie/FA draft. Where do you place him among the rookies?

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