By: Kyle Williams (Twitter: @BetOnTheGame)
The dynasty content is flowing out for everyone this week. People all over twitter, Facebook, websites, and just about every social media platform are pumping out content. It’s just that time of year.
The NFL season is coming to a close as it enters it’s second to last week of the season. The championship round for each perspective conference is here and will come in go this weekend. Along with championship games comes dynasty values.
Players like Devin Singletary, Mecole Hardman, and many others will be in the spotlight of dynasty owners. If they crash and burn it’ll produce value for other managers to make a trade. If they light the world on fire it’ll open up a trade window or even give you hope for a brighter 2021 season.
Regardless of the outcome it’s one of the most important times in dynasty. With the season coming to a close, rookies declaring, and free agency coming up things could shift dramatically. It’s important to not make silly mistakes and trade away guys or trade for players that could be in a bad spot for 2021.
Let’s dive into this piece and round out five flex players that you should be targeting this offense to trade for in 2021.
Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
An absolute homerun for 2021, I can promise you that. With Leonard Fournette impending free agency looming after the playoffs, the buccaneers active running backs will consist of Jones, Ke’Shawn Vaughn and that’s it. That only means one thing, it’s Ronald Jones season all 2021 fellas!
That should excite many, Jones just in the playoffs has impressed. Even with his injured legs he still runs hard, quick, fast, and just plain electric in the open field. Take a look at the injured Jones in his first playoff game this season versus the Saints just last week.
The young runner had a fantastic breakout season in 2020. He saw 192 carries and converted that into 1,143 yards, 28 receptions, and eight total touchdowns. Hell of a season for a guy who just one season ago had only 172 carries for less than 750 yards. The improvement in Jones’s game was abundantly clear from year two to year three. The third-year runner also played only 14 games in 2020, factoring in the yards per carry metrics, it’s clear he would’ve racked up over 1000 yards on the season rushing.
I’m loving Jones for 2021, everything is setting up for him to explode. Fournette being off the roster opens up a huge chunk of workload. In 2020, Fournette handled the rock 133 times for 600 total yards and six touchdowns. That chunk of volume added to Jones’s volume in 2020 was good enough to volt him into RB1 territory for fantasy purposes.
With Fournette out the door, Jones likely logging 16 games, and the offense remaining intact with Brady, Evans, Brown, Miller, and the rest of the crew, it’s setting up for a prime 2021 for Jones. His offseason ADP is currently sitting around the 6th round, way to low for what’s in store. I’m grabbing a bunch of shares of Jones for dynasty leagues this season.
John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills
One of arguably my favorite buy-low candidates in fantasy, especially in dynasty. Entering his age 31 season in 2021, Brown will be slept on after an injury-riddled in 2020. The veteran speedster missed seven games due to injury throughout the season. Even in an injury-riddled year, Brown managed to rack up a modest stat line of 33 receptions, 458 yards, and three touchdowns.
The numbers aren’t uber impressive but what lyes deep below that is the fantasy points per game numbers. In just six fully healthy games Brown finished with an average of 15.6 points per game across that span. That’s with one of the games having only scored eight fantasy points. That was also the only game in that stretch in which he recorded less than 13.2 fantasy points. Absolutely outstanding numbers in such a small sample size.
It’s also clear that Brown still has “it”. Even with the injuries and the age he still isn’t missing a step in his game. The speed hasn’t tailed off a bit. In fact in the playoffs so far he looked fantastic. He made big plays last game versus the Ravens. He racked up 14.6 fantasy points in the game and played fantastic.
My biggest factor for Brown is he is entering a contract year this season. It’s widely known that a contract year produces much better numbers for players. I’m expecting that Allen who already had affection for Brown should try and force-feed him this season. Players tend to look out for other players. Just look at what Russell Wilson did for WR David Moore in Week 17.
With the contract year, big-play ability, and still sustainable play I’m all aboard the Brown train. His extremely low price tag in dynasty leagues makes him that much more of a catch this season. Grab him now while the price is low.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Another old aging veteran receiver to target for a cheap price in dynasty leagues. This one is a bit dependent on the situation. Quarterback Phillip Rivers lead the room in 2020 as the team’s starter on a one-year deal worth 20 million. Now after losing in the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion to the Bills, it seems like the Colts are destined to move on. And can you blame them?
Rivers was fine in 2020 but not what the team or Hilton needs. Besides to go with a younger veteran or even a rookie could do wonders for the team. Kickstarting an electric offense lead by Hilton and Jonathan Taylor would put the NFL on notice.
Recently in the news quarterback, Carson Wentz is one of the favorites to start as the Colts QB in 2021. It’s not horrible, Wentz got a really bad wrap for his terrible play last season. Head coach Doug Peterson was fired, the offensive line saw 5 starters go down, and the receiver room couldn’t find its health or footing. Wentz wasn’t all to blame and may benefit in ways that Ryan Tannehill did when he transitioned to a new team just a few years ago. Wentz has flashed the skills once before and in the right situation, especially with his former coach Frank Reich he could regain his 2018 form.
If the Colts get a new quarterback in 2021 things will look up for Hilton. But on the odd chance that Rivers does return things were pointing upward the last six weeks of the season. Take a look at the fantasy numbers the veteran produced.
- 18.1 points
- 25.0 points
- 25.6 points
- 11.1 points
- 9.0 points
- 13.7 points
The veteran wide out flashed real upside in the closing stretch of the 2020 season. With an upgrade at QB you could easily see the Colts and Hilton perform better. He shows signs of returning to what he was in 2018. I’m all aboard the Hilton train to return back. I still believe that Hilton is the best receiver on his team and offers great top end play. Take a look at this clip from Hilton.
High-level smarts and skills paired with a potential high upside offense is intriguing to me. With Jonathan Taylor opening up the offense and giving the secondary more one on ones with Hilton he should be open a lot more. Hopefully, the Colts make a move at QB this season volting up Hilton’s stock. I’m grabbing up all the shares of Hilton for cheap that I can. He has about a third or fourth round value draft pick wise this season.
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets
Another cheap dynasty acquire that can potentially set you over the edge. This one may just be even cheaper then the other two veterans and may even offer more upside then the others as well. Theres a new regime in New York. A new coach, coordinators, players, just about everything will be new in 2021 for the Jets. And the arrow can officially start pointing up again, hopefully.
That’s just the start of it, in April the Jets hold the 2nd pick in the draft and are widely expected to take a QB. Which one, nobody knows, and if they will nobody’s knows that either. But I would almost put all my chips on the table and bet they will, and if I’m betting on who they will take, it’ll likely be Justin Fields out of Ohio State.
That’s likely the best case scenario. The kid is an absolute baller. It the conference championship game, Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes absolutely trounced the Clemson Tigers who were ranked as college footballs number two team in the nation. If the Jets draft Fields it’s just the first step in the chapter of a rebuild and it’s also a huge upgrade for Crowder.
If Fields joins the Jets it’s just the tip of the iceberg for Crowder. But things get better. Missing five games this season Crowder still finished 2020 with 59 receptions, 699 yards, and six touchdowns. Not bad for an offense that ranked nearly dead last in every category and had problems at QB nearly all season. On top of that the Jets had a brutal head coaching situation and health issues with Crowder. Just based on Crowder playing 16 games should volt him into a top-20 receiver and high end flex option.
I love Crowders outlook for now and the future, in 2020 even with missing games he showed clear potential just like in 2019. Out of 12 games played he only scored less than 10 points just four times. He also had over 20 points four times as well. His clear floor to ceiling upside ratio is impressive to say the least.
With a rookie QB likely on the way I can see Crowder getting force feed more then he already did. In 2020 he averaged 7.33 targets per game which is outstanding. To pair a rookie who likely needs a slot presence like Crowder with sure hands he should see even more targets. It’s just another reason to love Crowder. In the first few weeks with Darnold he showed exactly the reasoning that young QBs love tight ends and slot players. He racked up 13, 10, 10, and 13 targets in his first four weeks of work before getting injured.
I’m buying super low on a guy who turns only 28 before the season. He has a high concentration of targets and high level skills. With the potential big changes around the offense and especially at QB im all aboard. A new head coach should bring big things to the Jets and hopefully to Crowders value. In dynasty leagues you can currently get him for a third round or less.
Henry Ruggs III, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
Following the simple rules of buying low when you see the opportunity is huge for dynasty owners. This applies to Henry Ruggs. Just drafted last season in the first round with the 12th pick to the Raiders, Ruggs was a massive playmaker at Alabama. He had the 4.2 speed for his forty-time and showed glimpses of that during an injury-riddled first season.
Just think people are lining up to call the now second-year receiver a bust after only a season. This opens up a window to buy low on a guy who was drafted likely in the first round of your dynasty leagues last year. Just being able to acquire someone after a down year for less than what he was drafted at is prime management. The asking price for Ruggs is around a mid-second-round rookie pick which is a no-brainer currently.
Ruggs had an injury-riddled season as a rookie that saw him play 13 games but was hobbled in the majority of them. He finished a disappointing rookie season catching 26 balls for 452 yards and two touchdowns. Very disappointing but signs of real elite level upside peaked through at points. In Week 13 versus the Jets, Ruggs not only played a career-high 81% of his snaps, but he also was called upon to make the most important catch of the season. Ruggs and QB Derek Carr connected on a 46 yards game-winning touchdown pass with no time remaining on the clock to seal a much-needed victory to keep the playoff hopes alive in that save game. Take a look at the clip.
With elite level speed at the position paired with sure hands, Ruggs should make strides in his second year as a pro. Remember it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. I’m grabbing shares of the young receiver for second round rookie picks in dynasty formats.