Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Which ‘Old’ Wide Receivers Should You Target?

Shane Manila

Welcome back to the DLF Mailbag, the preeminent mailbag in all the dynasty fantasy football land. This year I’ll be answering questions from you via Twitter, Discord, or the old-fashioned way (via email).

Buying “old” wide receivers

While there are a few “older” wide receivers I’m partial to right now, I decided to use one of the tools available to all DLF subscribers. Using the reports option on the Dynasty Trade Finder, we can look up the players who have been involved in the most trades over the last 30 days. Fortuitous for me, a couple of the players on this list fall into the “older” wide receiver category.

The usual caveats apply: this would be dependent on roster construction, contender status, and how many future rookies picks my roster possesses.

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Chris Godwin, DJ Moore, Cooper Kupp, and Deebo Samuel are all players I would consider giving up a future rookie first (late) to obtain. More importantly, using the trade finder we can determine whether a rookie pick would be enough to acquire any of these receivers.

First up is Godwin, where a couple of recent trades hit the mark almost spot on. Godwin and Zach Wilson (why?) were acquired for a future first and Khalil Herbert. Herbert has little value, so this is slightly more than a first-round pick, but still a deal I’d be willing to make, caveats withstanding. Trading a 2025 first allows you to delay the impact of giving up the rookie pick while acquiring a wide receiver who has two top-seven (points per game) and two top-15 seasons in the past four.

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This deal below doesn’t really fit the parameters of the question, but giving up Terry McLaurin and a second to get the better receiver in Godwin and upgrading the rookie pick to a first is a work of art that I just wanted to share with everyone.

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If you’re truly looking for a discount wide receiver, Moore may be your man. There are multiple trades where you can give up a late first and a fringe asset or don’t even need to give up a first (or the equivalent value) in order to acquire him. He can be acquired for oft-injured committee backs + second and third-round picks, or for a couple of very shaky wide receiver prospects. If you’re looking for a back-end WR2 for your roster I would aggressively seek out Moore based on his market.

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Similar deals can be found if you’re looking to acquire Kupp or Samuel. I will say that I prefer to use my rookie firsts and attach them to a player like Moore and see if I can tier up positionally. But sometimes you can’t make the perfect deal and you are forced to settle for a good deal instead.

Buying the hype?

Unless I believe a player is worth the hype (Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave come to mind), I’m usually not going to attempt to acquire a player when their value spikes. In fact, I’m more likely to look to sell on that hype. Again utilizing the Dynasty Trade Finder there’s not one deal listed where I want the Quentin Johnston side of the equation.

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I suppose you could try to convince me that Johnston for Diontae Johnson is a deal to make, based on the age discount, but I can not wrap my mind around any of the deals above that are essentially Johnston for Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba is the superior prospect and superior dynasty asset so I’m perplexed as to what has happened since these folks rookie drafts that they’ve now decided they’d rather take the loss and deal for Johnston. I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on that in the comments. Smith-Njigba is currently the WR13 in DLF ADP, while Johnston is WR26. DLF rankings have Smith-Njigba as WR17 and Johnston as WR28. If you are pivoting from Smith-Njigba to Johnston you should get back more than Noah Fant or Cedric Tillman.

Targeting the tight ends

Nearly everyone who plays dynasty treats the tight end position the same way: go elite or just punt. But maybe there’s a fun middle ground. Matt Price recently wrote an article on finding top-six tight end production, which is well worth a read. The most actionable piece of data shared was this:

“Over the past three seasons, 83.3% of the top six scorers at the tight end position have finished first or second on their team in targets.”

Such a simple yet beautiful premise. Based on that information, we can pick out the mid-range tight ends who may be able to fit this mold. Darren Waller joins a Giants offense with no clear-cut WR1 and a number of receivers slated to play out of the slot. Waller is coming off an injury-shortened 2022 season where he only captured a 14% target share, but in the three seasons prior he averaged between 26% and 29% target shares.

Cole Kmet is another tight end with underwhelming competition for targets. DJ Moore is the clear-cut first option in the offense, but the other options include a returning from injury Darnell Mooney who saw his target share drop to 19% last year, and perpetually injured/disappointing Chase Claypool. Kmet may not have the breakout season some of us expected but he has seen a steady usage increase over the past three seasons, from 7.4% in his rookie year to 19.3% last year, which was the eighth highest target rate among tight ends in 2022.

Other tight ends with similar situations include Dalton Schultz and Tyler Higbee. The cost associated with obtaining these players is low and each has a reasonable path to a top-six TE season.

shane manila
Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Which ‘Old’ Wide Receivers Should You Target?