Buy Darnell Mooney NOW
By: Marcel Boudreau (@Marcel_BFF)
In order to get an upper hand on your opponents, it is important to buy values wherever you can. This article serves a purpose to highlight 3 wide receivers that have an opportunity to become fantasy relevant this season and moving forward. There were a lot of “sleeper” wide receivers that could have been on this list, but their managers are likely reluctant to let them go. Players such as Bryan Edwards and Marquez Callaway have been getting a lot of hype and would be easy to put on this list, but their managers will likely be asking for too much in return. Below is a list of three wide receivers that you can buy at a discount that have the potential to return great value.
Although he sits between WR64 and WR66 in dynasty Superflex start-ups, for leagues who have been established for over two years, the fantasy manager of Parris Campbell has likely been extremely frustrated with him on their bench or IR (injury reserve) due to his plethora of injuries beginning in week 3 of his rookie season that’s only allowed him to play in 9 of 32 games. So why should you go after Campbell?
“Players are injury-prone until they’re not” – Jason Moore of The Fantasy Footballers
I have investigated the timeline and types of injuries that have happened to Campbell. They are very “freak” accidents and mostly un-related leading to a lower re-injury rate than most would expect. Aside from those injuries, were the timelines in which they happened, and without using my physiotherapy degree to go into too much more detail, Parris Campbell is the healthiest he has been since Week 3 of 2018.
How about Parris Campbell the player? This is a guy who has 4.31 speed (faster than Tyreek) at 6 feet tall and 205lbs. That combination with above-average route running abilities and 66% catch rate (on passes from Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett) is something special. He was drafted in the second round and can play both the slot and on the outside. The Colts made it a point of emphasis to get the ball in his hands last year by targeting him 9 times for 6 receptions and 71 yards in week 1 before spraining his knee early in week 2 forcing him to miss the rest of last year. From the media buzz, it appears like Campbell and Pittman will be the starting receivers in 2 WR sets, and Hilton will come in for 3-WR sets, which means plenty of snaps to match what we saw last year being on the field for 83% of offensive snaps.
Mooney will not be the cheapest of buys, but when combining his rookie season on-field metrics with hopeful better QB play going forward, Darnell Mooney just might be a diamond in the rough. This is a team that after only 2 regular seasons games, decided to shift Anthony Miller’s target to Mooney, and coming out of their week 11 Bye, Mooney has become the clear-cut WR2 on this team, demanding 8 targets a game over the last 6 weeks. Mooney never had a “shiny” box score game, which helps disguise his true value, as he never once topped 100 yds, or had a multiple touchdown game.
The main reason Mooney failed to have explosion-type games was due to QB play. He was targeted the 11th most in the league deep down the field and was 10th in unrealized air yards, which is a clear indication that the team trusts him on these high-value fantasy targets, but when checking the film, he was vastly under or over-thrown on these deep targets. Being completely transparent with Mooney, he could have had better success on some catches, but this was a rookie who never had the chance to build chemistry with his QBs as the team continued to flip flop the starter between Foles and Trubisky. Yes, Andy Dalton is set to start week 1, but once the QB shift to Justin Fields happens, we are going to see the offense settle into a rhythm, which was barely established last season.
Mooney has sub-4.40 speed and is a crisp route runner. Justin Fields has the arm strength, talent, and pocket escapability to extend plays and make monster gains downfield. It’s a pairing that will grow together over the next couple of seasons, which may I mention that Allan Robinson may be out the door after this season, leaving Mooney at the top of the WR depth chart. Yes, they are likely to bring someone in, but that newcomer will not have the established chemistry that Mooney and Fields will be building. Mooney is currently being drafted as the WR50 (118th overall – 10.10), and with a concentrated passing attack from the Bear’s, he’s not only going to pay off in re-draft, but he’s going to make a lot of dynasty manager happy they acquired him before the breakout.
There are many reasons to want Josh Palmer on your dynasty roster. Over the next 4 seasons, two things will remain true: He will be connected to a stud young QB in Justin Herbert, and he will never face the opposing top corner as Keenan Allen is under contract until 2025. Another fact is that former first-round pick Mike Williams, the current WR2 on the roster, is likely not returning to the Chargers following this season.
Josh Palmer’s athletic metrics are less than exciting, but he’s a very good route runner who was never fortunate enough to have a great QB throw him the ball. That will all change in LA. Palmer’s ability to get open and secure catches all over the field and through traffic is something that will draw the attention of Herbert as the year progresses. This is also a team that has made little investments in the tight end position, hopefully leaving more of the market share in favor of the receivers. Austin Ekeler is not going anywhere, and between him and Keenan Allen, they will hog around 45% of the targets, but that is more than okay as their talent will draw a lot of attention off Palmer, leaving him with more single coverages and increased target efficiency.
Josh Palmer was drafted in the middle-to-late third round in rookie drafts this summer, which is a steal of its own, but you can attempt to use this leverage to either buy him cheap, or you can swap him with an aging player that may carry name value such as AJ Green and T.Y Hilton who the opposing manager may believe have better chances at 2021 production.
This article was not written in the sense of broking your team’s bank to get these players but is to highlight some players that are going undervalued in drafts for what their ceilings and futures could be. Stats and data were provided by, playerprofiler.com, sleeper.app, sportsreference.com, 4for4.com. Thanks for reading!