These Names Wont Move The Needle, They Will Win Your League
By Jesse Moeller (Twitter @JMoeller05)
Unattractive buy, you say? That sounds like a bit of an odd suggestion, yet here my argument for it. This article is not about buying the shiny new toy in dynasty. It is about getting similar production at a fraction of the cost. While Justin Jefferson, Jonathon Taylor, Kyle Pitts, and Justin Herbert are the hot new dynasty names, their price is extravagant.
Everyone clamors for the next young stud in dynasty and continues to discount those veterans that produce year in and year out. In every startup draft, there is serious value to be had with these veterans that no longer have the allure of youth on their side. These are the type of players to target who will drastically outperform the cost of acquisition.
Without further ado, are you ready to get these guys and win your league this season?
QB: Tom Brady (QB23 ADP 1QB: 196 SF: 65)
What would you say if I told you a 43-year-old quarterback was going to change teams and lead them to a Super Bowl victory? Still not impressed? Brady did this while completing 65% of his passes for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns, and leading the league in air yards. That’s correct. The 43-year-olds average pass went farther than anyone in the NFL last season.
Compare Brady to the rest of the NFL, and the one thing you can take away is that Tom Brady was terrific. With Brady in Tampa, you get all the positive Jameis with none of the negative. Giving him one of the best supporting casts in the league, Tom is bound to overwhelm defenses in his second year in Ariens scheme.
The Buccaneers are a heavy favorite to repeat as Super Bowl Champs, as they are the first team in the salary cap era to bring back all 22 starters. This continuity will only help Tommy Terrific continue his onfield dominance in 2022 and beyond.
A handful of DLF trades involving Brady in Superflex Leagues:
- Chase Edmonds for Tom Brady
- Ronald Jones & 2024 3rd for Brady
- 2022 2nd for Brady
- 2.09 and 2022 2nd for Brady
The word #SmashAccept comes to mind in every single one of these deals. The great thing about Brady is his cost is minimal compared to the elite production he provides due to his age discount. Buy Tommy Terrific and enjoy that return.
RB: Chris Carson (RB23 ADP 1QB: 59 SF: 65)
At this point, fading Chris Carson has become a yearly tradition in dynasty. Before he signed his contract extension with Seattle, Carson was the RB27 and picked 28 spots behind his current slot in startup drafts. The contract extension ended up pushing Carson back to the fifth/sixth range, still far too low for starting back in the Seattle offense.
Carson dealt with injuries throughout the season, so the Seahawks decided to ease his workload in the new offense. It led to the most efficient season of his career. Carson was 11th with 15.7 PPG due to the increase in his passing game usage. Carson was one of the better receiving backs in the league last year. Finishing top twelve or better in yards per reception, yards per route run, and catch rate while finishing 30th in routes run.
There are valid concerns in the community about Carson. Uncertainty stemming from a new offensive coordinator and Carson’s overall role in this offense. We are still holding onto the lack of draft capital, and numerous dynasty teams are unwilling to value Carson’s talent properly because of it. Take advantage of said skepticism and lock in a backend RB1 on your roster.
Here are a few DLF trades for Carson:
- (1QB) Odell Beckham for Carson
- (SF) Gus Edwards & 2.06 for Carson
- (SF) 2022 1st for Carson
- (1QB) Tyler Lockett for Rashaad Penny & Carson
- (SF) Curtis Samuel for Carson
I am more than willing to pay these prices for a player of his caliber. Acquire the RB1 and enjoy the production he will provide to you.
WR: Brandin Cooks (WR45 ADP 1QB: 95 SF: 126)
For a receiver who has topped 1000 yards and 100 targets in five of his seven seasons, something is not adding up with Cooks. His price is nowhere near equal to his production. To give you an idea of what I am referencing, here are the names going around Cooks in startup drafts: Jarvis Landry, Will Fuller, Henry Ruggs, Marquise Brown. Why would you take any of those players over Cooks? It is difficult to make a valid argument for drafting any of them ahead of him in either redraft or dynasty.
Now, his cost is so low due to the possibility of Watson no longer being the starting quarterback in Houston. The team is bereft of talent, as evidence by the Texans going 4-12 last season despite Watson playing as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Replacing Watson with Tyrod Taylor hurts Cooks ceiling while also dropping his value down to a ludicrously low level.
Here are a few of the deals in May for Brandin Cooks according to DLF:
- (SF) Quintez Cephus and 3.11 for Cooks & 6.04
- (SF) Elijah Mitchell 2022 3rd & 4th for Cooks
- (1QB) Stafford and 2022 3rd for Cooks
- (SF) Russell Gage & 2022 4th for Brandin Cooks & Jared Cook
- (1QB) Tua for Cooks
Do you notice a trend in these trades? I most certainly do, and it tells me that Brandin Cooks is a screaming buy. Cooks is in line to be a target hog in the Houston offense of misfits this season, as he should see anywhere from 22%-25% of the targets leading to his sixth career 200+ fantasy point season.
What a renaissance 2020 was for Logan Thomas. After years in the league as a backup QB, Thomas made the position change to tight end in the 2016 season. A position that is extremely difficult to learn due to all it entails. The improvement was slow and steady, and as Thomas developed, he steadily earned more playing time.
Fast forward to July 2020, I was on Twitter and heard @JSnake_DFF who was talking about Thomas being a flier on Washington as the team was void of receiving talent. I drafted him as a late-round flier, and boy, did that ever pay off for me. Anyone who invested in Thomas before the start of the season was thrilled (myself included) with what he produced. Thomas recorded 72 receptions for 670 yards and six touchdowns. That was enough for him to finish as the TE3 in fantasy amongst TE!
Thomas ranking amongst 2020 tight ends in passing work:
- Snap Share 97.8% (1st)
- Slot Snaps 474 (1st)
- Routes Run 576 (1st)
- Route Participation 95.8% (1st)
- Targets 110 (3rd)
- Receptions 72 (3rd)
That should give you an idea of how important he was to Washington’s offense last year. The upgrade to Fitzmagic this season will improve his efficiency even if some of the overall work diminishes.
Teams are using his age against him in dynasty as he will be 30 by the start of the season. Let the other managers worry about his age while you get consistent TE1 production at a position desperately in need of it.
FLEX: Antonio Brown (WR69 ADP 1QB: 160 SF: 202)
The best wide receiver of the last decade came back in the second half of the season to lead the Bucs in targets over the final eight games last year. He did this while only playing in 62.9% of the snaps. Compare that to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, who were at 86.5% and 81.2% snap share, respectively. When Brown was on the field, he was heavily involved in the offense.
Dynasty managers treat brown as a distant third place in this passing attack, yet all three players produce similar statistics when you project out the offense. Why pay the top 20 WR price for Godwin or Evans when you can get AB for peanuts and enjoy nearly equal production.
Brown is a value at his current cost. Here are some trades for him on DLF:
- (1QB) Darius Slayton for Brown
- (SF) 2x 2022 4th for Brown
- (SF) 5.13 for Brown
- (SF) 3.03 & 3.10 for DeVante Parker & Brown
- (SF) 2.11 for Brown
I lean Brown on every one of these trades, and the only one I would consider is the 2.11 pick in Superflex, depending on how the draft went. Most if not all those rookie picks are going to amount to players that are roster cloggers in a year or two. I prefer the production Brown will give you.
Building a dynasty full of youth and rookie picks is a blast. I thoroughly enjoy rebuilding with the productive struggle approach, but in the words of the legendary Al Davis, “Just Win Baby!”