DLF’s 2018 Predictions: Best Dynasty Buy

Ken Kelly

Most rookie drafts are in the rearview mirror and the NFL Preseason is now over. We’re all busy combing the news sites trying to keep abreast of all the important developments as we prepare for the best time of the year, the NFL season.  That can only mean one thing – it’s time for us to put a bow on those reams of off-season content with DLF’s 2018 Fantasy Predictions. As we do every year, we have several different prediction articles for you in the following categories:

  • Fantasy MVP
  • Fantasy Rookie of the Year
  • Sleeper Rookie of the Year (outside our top 24)
  • Bust of the Year
  • Fantasy Sleeper
  • Best Dynasty Buy
  • Best Dynasty Sell
  • Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year

We continue the series with our choices for Best Dynasty Buy.

James Conner, RB PIT

Conner has a dynasty ADP of 191.67 as the RB61 in August’s DLF data, which is up from 202.67 in July but down from its peak of 123.25 in November of last year. What happened? Why did people pump the brakes on this kid after a relatively minor injury? The Steelers have Le’Veon Bell for 2018 and let’s be real here, the dude practically belongs on the Avengers. He’s a damn superhero, but the Steelers are not giving him the long-term contract he wants and he’s going to be in a different uniform next season. As a result, they are going to run him until he pukes and then they’re going to run him again. Conner has looked really good in the preseason and has showed he is capable of being a complete three down back. Why people are taking roster cloggers like Doug Martin, Kenneth Dixon and C.J. Anderson over him is beyond me. – Eric Olinger

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Sterling Shepard, WR NYG

The ADP of Shepard hit its apex in October of 2016 when it went all the way up to 32. Fast forward to now and it sits close to 90. As Shepard hits his third season, I expect him to make a nice leap in fantasy and reality and believe his true ADP should really be somewhere in between those two numbers. While Odell Beckham, Jr. is going to get the headlines, Shepard could be a sneaky buy. – Ken Kelly

Kenyan Drake, RB MIA

Great value often arises from investing in a cloudy backfield that plays out in your favor. The drafting of Kalen Ballage and Adam Gase being coy on how playing time will be split up between Frank Gore and Drake has caused many to hesitate to draft or acquire Drake. He finished on a tear last season and could really breakout this season if given enough touches. Frank Gore is the cockroach of the NFL (in a good way), but I am willing to bet a 35-year-old running back and Ballage are not going to do enough to hold down Drake. Take advantage of fear and deception and go acquire this man at an affordable price before it’s too late. – Kyle Holden

Jay Ajayi, RB PHI

The Eagles brought Ajayi along slowly in 2017 and it seemed they didn’t really want to give him a heavy workload. But he steadily squeezed LeGarrette Blount out of the picture until he owned the starting role towards the end of the season. Assuming he can stay healthy, Ajayi has the chance to be a high volume back in 2018, which very few others can say.  Given he’s available at a discount, this seems like an excellent opportunity to add a reliable runner. – Tom Kislingbury

Keelan Cole, WR JAX

The 13th round. That’s where Keelan Cole is going in dynasty start-ups per DLF’s August ADP. I can’t imagine landing a team’s potential WR1 in the 13th round, but that is where the Jags’ likely top wideout option is going. Blake Bortles isn’t as bad as we all think he is and he clearly had some rapport with Cole on the football field last season, especially over the last four games. If that continues and Cole gets a healthy portion of the targets vacated by the injured Marqise Lee (which he should), Cole could take a step and become a reliable option on your fantasy squad. – Brian Harr

Michael Crabtree, WR BAL

It seems Crabtree is under-alued every year and I’d say once again he will surprise many with his production. He moved from an offense currently moving into the stone age in Oakland to land in Baltimore, a team in massive need at the wide receiver position. Crabtree will fill that void rather nicely and give the Ravens the kind of professional at the position they have been lacking. Expect another year of strong yardage and strong touchdown numbers from Crabtree and he could be the hidden key to a great deal of fantasy success. – Ryan Finley

Chris Thompson, RB WAS

Since running back production is harder to come by, CT is the cinch buy at the position. His role will remain the same or possibly grow a bit, but the growth is not needed considering he was RB11 in PPR points per game in his ten contests last year. I don’t know if there’s a mindset that all pass-catching backs are created equal or that the injury last year might carry over into this season, but he’s priced as RB39 and I’ll pay that price where it’s needed for a man who was returning RB1 numbers when he went down last year. – TJ Calkins

Marshawn Lynch, RB OAK

Dynasty players hate old performers so there are often a few absurdly good values on players close to the end of their careers but still posting productive  numbers – Lynch is one of those players. I’m giving him some slack on a slow start to the season after taking a year off. He finished very strong, looking pretty close to his old self. Paired with “lover of old guys” Jon Gruden for the team’s final season in Oakland, I’d expect Lynch to leave everything on the field this year at little cost to you in dynasty. – Zach Wilkens

Kenyan Drake, RB MIA

After tracking over 35 backs in 2017, I was more surprised by Drake’s terrific running than any other running back. As long as he’s healthy, he should have no trouble holding off Frank Gore (#old) and Kalen Ballage (might still be learning how to play running back). I could see him being a third-round startup pick next offseason. – Stephen Gill

Christian Kirk, WR ARI

Kirk may not have an amazing rookie season with Larry Fitzgerald in the fold, but this is about the future. Josh Rosen was my QB1 before the draft and only his landing spot pushed him slightly behind Baker Mayfield. I want the player who is going to develop and grow with Rosen and to me, that’s Kirk. He’s also very affordable at his ADP of 83 overall. – Bobby Koch

Mike Williams, WR LAC

Once thought to have a career ending injury situation, Williams has had an outstanding off-season and is performing well in the preseason. The Chargers currently have a decent receiving corps ahead of him, keeping his cost low. However, I have no doubts Williams can outplay the likes of Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams. – Kevin O’Brien

Kenny Golladay, WR DET

This is the cheapest Golladay might be in a very long time. Golden Tate is 30 years old and a free agent after the 2018 season, so Golladay will be a starter in a great offense next season. He has flashed brilliance throughout his short career and with increased opportunity he should shine in 2018. He and Marvin Jones do similar things, so in addition to playing in three receiver sets, he could eat into Jones’ production in two receiver sets as well. It’s a longshot, but there is a chance Golladay is Detroit’s true WR1 by the end of the season. – Matt Price

Sterling Shepard, WR NYG

By now, you know how I feel about Shepard. He’s currently being drafted as the WR41 in dynasty, even though he averaged the 22nd most fantasy points per game while dealing with injuries last season. Shepard also had to deal with Eli Manning’s sporadic play and he’ll likely have a new franchise quarterback soon. Overall, Shepard needed only 11 games (ten starts) to end the 2017 season as the WR42. Imagine getting value from your player in only ten games. – Justin Bales

Nick Chubb, RB CLE

This is mostly a value move. Chubb was drafted into a quagmire depth chart behind one of the most valued receiving backs in the NFL in Duke Johnson (who just signed a longer term contract) and a veteran who has finished in the top 12 at the position in Carlos Hyde. I can’t argue against any of that. But I know Nick Chubb was as promising a rushing talent as any from this year’s draft class. And while I don’t’ know the future, I do know I’m almost guaranteed to be surprised by what I find when it gets here. Given those two things, Nick Chubb lokos like the ultimate buy now dynasty running back. – Peter Howard

Ricky Seals-Jones, TE ARI

I’ve already written over 1,500 words on why you should buy Ricky Seals-Jones immediately given he’s in line to get a healthy target share this season in Arizona. Plus, Seals-Jones has played in 87% (27/31) of snaps with the first-team offense this preseason.  RSJ is still criminally undervalued (182.67 ADP) and if he’s suspended for a game or two for his July arrest that price could drop even more. – Josh Brickner

Nick Chubb, RB CLE

This all about value here. Many owners will look at the roster and see Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson ahead of Chubb. The Browns can easily move on from Hyde’s contract in 2019 and while Duke Johnson is an efficient receiving threat as an running back, his role as the more traditional back is less defined. Chubb is one of the most promising pure rushing talents in this draft class, Saquon Barkley included. As owners tire of seeing Chubb on the bench, I’ll do my best to target him at a lower price. – Pete Lawrence

Who’s your best dynasty buy?  Let us know in the comments below!


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