Dynasty League Football


The Island of Misfit Toys


Hello and welcome back to year two of my deep dive into late round/undrafted dynasty players. If you haven’t checked out last year’s edition, you can find that here. Essentially, I believe I’ve found a way to significantly raise your chances of finding late round value.

The main lesson I learned in 2014 is that being thorough with any research you do is essential. This is an obvious measure to most, but it can make things tedious during research. I’m naturally an impatient person, so racing towards the answer (even at the expense of checking all the boxes) was normally the route. The 2014 edition is a perfect example of rushing towards the answer. I treated this late round group like a five-year old who caught a fish for the first time. Did I hit on the main players (Mark Ingram, Brian Quick and Coby Fleener)? Yes, BUT, the process is where you win long term, not simply looking at the results. 

At the expense of time, and at some points, my sanity, I’ve decided to switch up my game and go the extra mile from now on. I feel this will bring greater results and a more honest view for you, the readers.

In response to my new leaf turning, I went through and evaluated three classes – 2011, 2012, and 2013 (players in their third, fourth and fifth seasons). I searched for players who fit the criteria mentioned below and put every player who qualified on the list.

There is one major change.

Quarterbacks are no longer part of this experiment. Based on the past ten years, I felt it was important to cut them out. A few non-exciting examples did become starting quarterbacks (with not so great success), but we’re already dealing with a small hit rate, so increasing it by taking quarterbacks out of the fold felt like the right decision. I’ve concluded that in this day and age, if a quarterback isn’t playing or hasn’t “figured it out” by year three or later in his career, you can basically write him off, at least in terms of becoming a fantasy contributor.


  • Must be in third, fourth or fifth season
  • Drafted in rounds 1-3 of the NFL draft
  • Dynasty ADP must fall in the 15th round or later (no earlier than pick #169)
  • Must be a running back, wide receiver or tight end
  • Must still be on an NFL team

Special thanks to Ryan McDowell for all his ADP work to help us all out with these projects.

“Not beyond a reasonable doubt”

This group is made up of the ‘higher’ hit rate players I consider good investments for their price. While they’ve been stifled thus far in their careers, I do not believe beyond a reasonable doubt there’s enough evidence to give up on them…yet.

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Running Back

Trent Richardson, OAK (ADP 179)
Stevan Ridley, NYJ (ADP 174)

Wide Receiver 

Justin Blackmon, JAX (ADP 188)
Tavon Austin, STL (ADP 191)
Aaron Dobson, NE (ADP 232)
Stedman Bailey, STL (ADP 192)
Markus Wheaton, PIT (ADP 199)
Robert Woods, BUF (ADP 193)
Mohamed Sanu, CIN (ADP 196)

Tight End

Gavin Escobar, DAL (ADP 218)

“So you’re saying there’s a chance?” 

No, not really, well, in terms of having any type of reasonable expectation. These players are the underbelly of this experiment, but hey, I’m sure crazier things have happened at some point in time, right? While I am less than certain on any of these players, I am certain of one fact – draft position matters. It matters in terms of professional evaluators giving the seal of approval on talent level, and also, the amount of opportunity a player is afforded.

Running Back 

Isaiah Pead, STL (Waiver Wire)
LaMichael James, MIA (Waiver Wire)
Ronnie Hillman, DEN (ADP 228)
Bernard Pierce, JAX (Waiver Wire)
Ryan Williams, DAL (Waiver Wire)

Wide Receiver

Leonard Hankerson, ATL (Waiver Wire)
Vincent Brown, IND (Waiver Wire)
Stephen Hill, CAR (Waiver Wire)
DeVier Posey, NYJ (Waiver Wire)
TJ Graham, NYJ (Waiver Wire)
AJ Jenkins, DAL (Waiver Wire)
Ryan Broyles, DET (Waiver Wire)
Marquise Goodwin, BUF (Waiver Wire)
Austin Pettis, SD (Waiver Wire)

Tight End 

Rob Housler, CLE (Waiver Wire)
Lance Kendricks, STL (Waiver Wire)
Michael Egnew, PIT (Waiver Wire)
Vance McDonald, SF (Waiver Wire)

While you’re sitting there, cringing and thankful the listing of sad names is over, I will leave you with one final, very motivational idea to get you excited about this group.

If Darrius Heyward-Bey can get 115 targets and come within 25 receiving yards of 1,000 yards in his third season, then as Kevin Garnett would say, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!”

Who is on your “Island of Misfit Toys?” Let us know in the comments below.


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7 years ago

Dwayne Bowe. Cole Beasley. Lance Dunbar. Dontrelle Inman (kind of a cheat…). Nick Toon. Danny Amendola.

Reply to  Ben
7 years ago

Totally with you on Nick Toon.

7 years ago

Oops, didn’t fully read the rules. Scratch Bowe and Amendola.

7 years ago

Russ, noooooo – move Housler up with Escobar – he got Ariansd!!!
I might add Kerley, or any Buaffalo, Cinnci, Cleveland, or Oakland catoff to this list (theme developing!) otherwise good deal.

7 years ago

*castoff…that was a Twitter quality grammar post!

7 years ago

Russell, awesome article for the 2nd year running. First thanks for your tips last year as they landed me Quick and Gresham, who was startable bye weeks. Super list this year. Amazing how quickly and how far TR has dropped.

In deep leagues, most agree on the top 150 or so players; hitting a couple of these late round or free agent guys adds much value to a dynasty squad, for unexpected starts or to trade up. Thanks and look forward to seeing this in future years Russell.

Joey T
7 years ago

Nice work! But I will say most of these names are huge farts in the wind… Following your rules while combining variables such as past production and real draft position I came up with a few names with slightly higher upside to keep your eyes on:

RB: Denard Robinson- I believe he flashed more than enough ability last year to not receive usage. Besides, he’s the same size as Charles and CJimnotonannflteamK and has got dredds.

Zac Stacy- We saw him run well two years ago and I will gladly take a late round flyer on him considering the lack of a bona fide #1 ahead of him. I always trust RBs with 2 first names anyway.

WR: Aaron Dobson- Lets not forget WRs traditionally don’t break out until year 3 which he is just now entering. He’s a high draft pick with all the measurables you would want. Should also have a nice rapor with *cough* Garropolo *cough*.

Chris Matthews- He only decided to “flash” under the brightest lights and highest level of pressure imaginable. Oh, and he’s the only WR on the team allowed to ride roller coasters.

Steadman Bailey- Kinda asserted hiseason as the most talented WR on the roster last year and has yet to be demoted. Even tho its called football someone on each team has to catch a few balls with their hands. #DroppingKnowledge

Jarius Wright- Teddy owes him for helping him look good last year and proving the haters wrong.

TE: Escobar- Not gonna beat a dead horse but the only competition he has is a cowboy who can’t beat a coverage LB.

Niles Paul- Put on extra muscle this off season pushing Jordan Reeds wheel chair around Ashburn, VA. Not to mention is coming off his best season to date.

Reply to  Joey T
7 years ago

Dobson and Bailey are the only ones that meet his qualifying guidelines. Matthews hasn’t played long enough. Everyone else was drafted after the 3rd round. Escobar was already mentioned.

Reply to  GBDiehard
7 years ago

And after further review Bailey and Dobson were mentioned as well.

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