Truth be told, I’m buying any player who is productive, and some that aren’t, if the price is the right. But isn’t that what we’re really talking about here – price?
Good dynasty teams are anchored by a few top names but win championships on depth, at least in most cases. In my primary dynasty league, from which DLF was born, I own both Patrick Mahomes and Todd Gurley but could only muster third place on the back of horrifically inconsistent wide receiver play. But if Leonard Fournette doesn’t get ejected from that game in the third quarter in week 12, I don’t lose by 2.1 points and I’m hoisting the championship trophy. Sometimes strategy, trades, adds/drops and starting the right players can only take you so far. Thanks Leonard!
But I digress.
The off-season washes everything away save the sting of a 2.1 point loss which makes the difference between the championship and being an also-ran or that waiver claim you didn’t make which turned into an every week starter (Phillip Lindsay). Each season will hold any number of these events but through it all is the thing you can control: work ethic. The best dynasty coaches are always building, always looking for an edge and they know, like we do here at DLF, that THERE IS NO OFF-SEASON! You can’t control your luck but you can most certainly influence the opportunity to get it and you can, in all but the rarest of cases, outwork your competition. It’s all up to you.
I remember reading a story two years ago about what fueled Melvin Gordon to be great. This at a time when I, myself, was trying to determine if I should select Gordon or Todd Gurley with the second pick in our rookie draft after the coach ahead of me selected Amari Cooper with the 1.01. Gordon posited that he believed he always needed to work harder than those around him, often times getting up at 2:00 AM to go to the gym. He credited this work ethic to a coach from his past who would contact him often and say:
Melvin, your competition is getting better, what are you doing?
This fueled Gordon’s single desire to be the best by spending every possible free moment getting better, and working harder, than his competition.
Make no mistake, that’s what it takes to make it to the NFL where so few become household names. But this is dynasty fantasy football. That said, is it really that different of a concept? Does that not apply to virtually any activity where there exists competition? Work harder, perform better. Rejoice in the fact that your “work harder” doesn’t need to be a 2:00 AM alarm and a trip to the gym. It can be before work each morning, a few minutes at lunch, or 10 minutes before bed and all from your favorite computer or hand-held device.
Now I’m just wasting your time, you get the concept of what I’m saying. If you desire to perform better in your dynasty leagues, you don’t necessarily need to work harder, just work more efficiently and consistently. Make your minutes count!
That is why so many trust DLF as their home for dynasty fantasy football. We give you an edge. It’s what we do. It only takes one waiver wire addition, one roster move or one insight to the upcoming NFL Draft to change the dynamic of your team for up to a decade, or longer. One or two of these each year WILL change your prospects and your results.
I’m not going to get cute here with what this article is intended to be as it’s pretty obvious. This is the first of many articles from me helping you to prepare for the next few months as we steam toward kick-off of the 2019 NFL season! As I mentioned earlier, I’m willing to acquire any player if there is value to be had. Same goes for players I currently own if another coach comes calling. No player is off-limits. For a player to make this list though, there has to be three items present:
- Timely – I want to be ahead of the curve
- Catalyst – There has to be a change agent
- Cost – I want a discount
There are variations and degrees-of-separation for all three of these items and it’s not always clear. Much like player value(s) in general in this great game we play, it’s largely a subjective opinion. Reducing the number of listed players to eight is not easy and if I write this article tomorrow, the list could materially change. But that is why DLF is here doing what we do 365 days a year. Things are always changing.
Without any further delay or more lost time, here are eight players I’m buying into the off-season:
Chris Godwin, WR TB
Age: 22 DLF Rank: WR27
The problem with Godwin is that he’s currently DLF’s WR27 already and his dynasty ADP rests at a career high. After a hot start to 2018 in which he scored four touchdowns over his first five games and scored double-digits fantasy points (FPs) in five of his first six games, he then hit the skids as Tampa Bay’s quarterback play cratered, injuries piled up and offensive consistency dried up. In his last nine games, Godwin has only eclipsed ten FPs twice and has tallied only four receptions and 52 yards over his past three games. Adam Humphries is a free agent in 2019, DeSean Jackson is a free agent in 2020 but has sold his house and wants out. Godwin is a near-certain starter in the offense across from Mike Evans, is only 22 years of age, carries great size at 6’1/210 lbs. and is finishing 2018 on a low note. It’s exactly what I look for in attempting a buy-low acquisition. He may be too highly valued by the owning coach in your league but I’d inquire nonetheless. Just be sure to note his poor finish to reduce his value.
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Mike Williams WR, LAC
Age: 24 DLF Rank: WR34
Mike Williams’ situation is much like that of Godwin’s in that he’ll be entering his third year in 2019 and Tyrell Williams is all but certain to move on in free agency, leaving Mike Williams as a near every-snap receiver across from Keenan Allen. But more notably in your favor is Williams’ flagging DLF ADP (74) which has just recently bounced off a career-low number. He’s only garnered 38 receptions for 599 yards but has secured nine touchdowns showing special skills at high-pointing red zone targets utilizing superior body leverage. But after a monster week 15 in which he tallied two touchdown receptions and rushed for another, he followed that up with one reception for 7 yards in week 16. Furthermore, he has yet to achieve a 100-yard game. It’s a buy-low situation of a player who should see an increased role. Your job as the inquiring coach is to highlight his inconsistency.
Jalen Richard, RB OAK
Age: 25 DLF Rank: RB75
Before you turn over your desk or throw something at the monitor, here me out. I’ll say this and stick by it: If you love Aaron Jones of the Packers, you should also love Jalen Richard. To me, Richard is a near clone of Jones in running style and dynamic. The only thing keeping him down is, unlike that of Jones, his unfortunate offensive situation and scheme. Fantasy pundits have been on Jones this year and I’ve been quick to point out the, almost undeniable, similarities in production and metrics. Best of all, Richard is a free agent in 2019. Should he find his way to an offensive scheme (Eagles, Saints, Texans, Buccaneers, etc.) that could use his talents, he could immediately ascend to RB3 potential in PPR formats. It won’t take much to land Richard and he may even be available on your waiver wire now. There’s more risk here ahead of his free agency than other names on this list, and there’s every possibility he stays in Oakland, but I good players eventually produce and I think his time is near.
Elijah McGuire, RB NYJ
Age: 24 DLF Rank: RB50
McGuire has been on my list for 2019 for a long while and a couple things have changed recently that have impacted the “catalyst” variable from above. Firstly, I was hoping he wouldn’t get significant carries to the end the season as that simply means his visibility will go up, and it has. Secondly, with those carries, he’s been less than stellar from an per carry average than I would like to see. Much like Tevin Coleman, who is now off my acquisition list as a 2019 free agent, I have found myself wondering if McGuire isn’t cut out for a full-time roll. But with that thought comes my believe that the Jets are suffering from a barren cupboard at receiver around a rookie quarterback which has resulted in stacked boxes, limiting McGuire’s production. Now in his past three games as the starter, he has yet to eclipse 3.5 ypc. on a total of 49 totes. But during that span, he also has three touchdowns on the ground and one more receiving. Bilal Powell suffered a neck injury and may not be back in 2019 and Isaiah Crowell, is signed through 2020 and could offer competition but I still prefer McGuire’s running style. More risk here than I like given the competition but I’d be acquiring cheaply all the while touting Crowell’s likely return.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB NO
Age: 26 DLF Rank: QB35
Following Bridgewater’s horrific injury during 2016’s training camp, it was fair to wonder if he’d ever see the field again. The Vikings moved on and Bridgewater found his way to the Jets shortly before they used their first round selection on Sam Darnold. Bridgewater ended up holding a cgerlipboard in New Orleans this season behind Drew Brees and will likely find his way to another club to compete for a starting role. Washington, Jacksonville and Miami all are possibilities. Bridgewater is easy to root for, is still only 26 years old and showed signs during the pre-season of being fully healthy and with material upside. He’s an ideal 2QB format acquisition now if he’s available.
Chris Herndon, TE NYJ
Age: 22 DLF Rank: TE18
A little bit like Elijah McGuire above, I’ve had my eye on Herndon since being drafted in the fourth round during this year’s NFL Draft. I have also been similarly disappointed at his growing usage in that I wanted to acquire him even more cheaply this off-season. Instead, he’s been running as the starting tight end in the second half of the year, his DLF ADP (150) is at a career high and his value has risen such that he’s now clearly on the radar. That won’t stop me from trying to acquire him but you’ll now have to do so at an inflated price. I don’t like paying for inflation when production hasn’t been spectacular but this is a move based upon future-value and development. Tight ends in the NFL take a notoriously long time to find their footing and produce so finding a young one that is productive and within a tight end friendly scheme is worth paying a bit more for. Every year, at least one tight end rises from complete anonymity to become a difference-maker in fantasy. Herndon doesn’t really fit that model, but he’s got great upside into 2019.
Geronimo Allison, WR GB
Age: 24 DLF Rank: WR68
I’ve been pounding my fist on the table for Allison for some time now and the table was set very well for him in 2018. He began the year with two touchdowns in his first three games before eventually succumbing to a bad groin injury. For a brief period of time, it seemed that Marquez Valdes-Scantling would fill Allison’s shoes without a problem, but that experiment didn’t last long. Randall Cobb is expected to depart, Equanimeous St. Brown showed potential at times and the Packers fed Devante Adams like there was no tomorrow. Make no mistake, when Allison fell to injury, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had a hard time finding consistency at receiver. As an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA), Allison may not return to the Packers but all signs point to a new deal during this off-season. It was a perfect storm of bad news for Allison which makes for a very intriguing addition at what should be a very low cost. After seeing a big rise in value early in the season, Allison’s ADP (211) rests back near a career low. Your challenge may be bringing up his name without the owning coach wondering what you are up to. Tread lightly.
Robert Foster, WR BUF
Age: 24 DLF Rank: WR79
I do my best to avoid Buffalo players at all cost. As far as fantasy is concerned, the Bills have been a swirling, sucking, eddy of fantasy despair for as long as I can remember. But it now appears that there is at least a modicum of excitement building from their recent youth movement. Rookie Josh Allen has shown moxie and a big arm. Zay Jones has come back from the dead to show that he can, perhaps, develop into a WR1 and Robert Foster appeared out of nowhere to seize control of the WR2 role without any competition in the rear-view mirror. Foster has three 100-yard games over his past six with one remaining in 2018. He’s also produced two touchdowns and continues to garner a snap share greater than 90%. He’s an older rookie at 24 and will turn 25 before kick-off of 2019. Best of all, he’s still not on the radar to any great degree as DLF’s WR79. The Bills are certain to add talent at all offensive positions but Foster’s close to 2018 should be impressive enough to lock him in for a similar role in 2019. Add him as a throw-in player in trade if possible to keep him off the radar.
Next up will be the eight players I’m selling into 2019. Stay tuned!
You can find Jeff on Twitter at @dlf_jeff