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Dynasty Discounts - Cheap Veterans In Dynasty Drafts


Building a dynasty team is a lot like building literally any physical thing you can build. Whether we're talking about a house or a car or that model airplane that's been sitting in your garage for like 10 years now, you have the flashy parts that everyone sees and then the integral, invisible parts. No one sees every nail in a house, but they sure see that door you bought for it. No one sees the fuel line in your car, or the glue on that model airplane, but they see the shiny coat of paint and the exhaust pipes and the model airplane wings.

A dynasty team's like that. People like to talk about their teams and they'll talk about guys like Saquon Barkley and Kyler Murray and other exciting, young names, but they don't talk about the veteran players who help you through bye weeks or give you important contributions throughout the year. You need those guys if you want to build a winning dynasty team.

Let's take a look at some veteran players who you can get pretty cheap in dynasty drafts right now. All of these guys are going in Round 10 or later in most dynasty leagues right now. (Note the complete lack of running backs on this list. The position is definitely not a bastion of longevity, though I considered putting Adrian Peterson on here.)

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Julian Edelman (WR, NE)

Despite what the N'Keal Harry fans of the world want you to believe, Julian Edelman is still Tom Brady's top target, and with Rob Gronkowski gone, Edelman is likely to see a bigger share of New England's targets.

There's uncertainty with everything in New England from a dynasty point-of-view because of the whole "Tom Brady is almost done" thing, but a dynasty owner who is looking to win now can grab Edelman in the 10th round and have at least a year of strong production. Brady's going to continue to throw shorter, which is good news for Edelman.

Last year, Edelman was 12th among wide receivers in fantasy points per game despite being 93rd in average target distance. He was a one-man negation of the idea that a wide receiver needs a high air yard total to be productive in fantasy. Edelman accumulates numbers through being the quintessential undersized slot guy, the kind of safety valve that an aging quarterback whose velocity is leaving him needs.

Brady can still put a short pass accurately into Julian Edelman's hands, and as long as he can do that Edelman has the ability to finish as a top-20 fantasy receiver. His current dynasty ADP makes perfect sense on one hand, but it's also criminally low when you remember that in the first year of a dynasty startup, someone's got to win. Edelman's future outlook in a post-Brady world may be bleak, but in the present, he can get you victories.

 

Jack Doyle (TE, IND)

The Eric Ebron hype train has gone off at full speed, and it's left Jack Doyle behind.

Per Fantasy Football Calculator, Doyle is currently the 17th tight end off the board. Doyle was limited to six games last year, but did you know that when he was healthy in 2017 he:

  • Was second among tight ends in receptions?
  • Was sixth among tight ends in receiving yards?
  • Was second among tight ends in yards after the catch?
  • Was fifth among tight ends in fantasy points per game?

Oh, you knew some of those things? What about the fact that in 2017 he:

  • Was fifth among tight ends in catch rate?
  • Was fourth among tight ends in dominator ranking?
  • Was second among tight ends in contested catch rate?
  • Was sixth among tight ends in red zone target share?

A healthy Jack Doyle was one of the NFL's best tight ends in 2017 without Andrew Luck. Last year, he was limited all year by injuries but was still 10th at the position in red zone receptions. I know Eric Ebron was flashy last year, but Doyle is the more consistent and reliable player, and Andrew Luck is going to trust him to make plays in short-yardage situations and down near the goal line.

 

Devin Funchess (WR, IND)

Sticking with a prolific Colts offense for a minute, let's talk about Devin Funchess.

Funchess all but vanished last year for the Panthers, to the point where his combined totals in four December games were three catches for 33 yards and a touchdown. Funchess went from Carolina's top guy to an afterthought.

But that's partially a feature of the Panthers offense, which under Cam Newton hasn't really made use of secondary receivers as much as you'd like. With that in mind, Funchess is going to like his new home a lot.

Andrew Luck is about as pass-happy as a quarterback comes. Luck was fifth in passing yards last year despite the Colts not having the world's most consistent group of pass-catchers. His 39 touchdown passes were second in the NFL.

If we look back at Funchess in 2017 when he was Carolina's best receiver, the big takeaway is that he was 11th among all wide receivers in red zone target share and 16th in red zone receptions. He's a big-bodied receiver who can provide Luck with a solid target near the goal line:

The Colts offense is going to be one of the league's best again this year. Funchess is still fairly young too, so he won't just be a one-year piece for your dynasty team.

 

Philip Rivers (QB, LAC)

Both Drew Brees and Tom Brady are being drafted above Rivers still in a lot of dynasty leagues even though there's a good shot those guys are heading into the final seasons. Rivers, meanwhile, should still have a few years left in the league and he's a proven player who can still make plays.

Rivers has been a top-15 fantasy quarterback in all but two of his full-time seasons and while his numbers have slipped over the past few years in comparison to other quarterbacks, he still finished as the QB11 last year and QB8 the year before. Rivers is a consistent passer who has good weapons around him.

Most importantly, he's currently being drafted as the dynasty QB21. I don't think you should be jumping to overdraft Rivers or anything, but if there are 18 0r 19 quarterbacks off the board, Rivers is a great guy to add to your team to be your second quarterback. He won't win you a league or help you out three or four years from now, but as a solid veteran who you can start over your younger, less consistent QB1 or use in a Superflex, Rivers is a solid choice at his current ADP.

 

Randall Cobb (WR, DAL)

You'd be forgiven if you avoided anyone not named Amari Cooper in the Cowboys passing game since Dak Prescott isn't known for being the world's greatest passer, but Randall Cobb really intrigues me this year.

Cobb will slide into the slot role that Cole Beasley left behind when he moved to the Bills. Beasley had 672 yards and three touchdowns on 65 receptions last season, and that was on a Cowboys team where the wide receiver pecking order was in flux a lot. That's not the case this year. Cooper is the top guy. Michael Gallup is the other outside receiver. Cobb's the slot guy. The depth falls off after that thanks to the recent release of Allen Hurns, but expect to see those top three guys on the field for most of Dallas' plays.

Cobb played just nine games last year, but if we look back to 2017 when he played 14, we can see some encouraging numbers. He was seventh among wide receivers in yards after the catch that year and was also seventh in catch rate. He gives Dallas a speedy, short-yardage target who can make difficult catches and then haul downfield:

The Cowboys offense is going to be better this year. The offensive line is healthier. Amari Cooper is more comfortable in the offense. They have a new offensive coordinator. Cobb's only on a one-year deal, but he's also only 28, so a productive year can help him get another deal after this, whether in Dallas or elsewhere.

 

Tyrell Williams (WR, OAK)

I've been a big Tyrell Williams guy for a long time. While he'll never be able to work as a team's top guy, he'll always have a valuable role working across the field from a top guy. For the first four years of his career, he was the second or third target on the Chargers. He posted his best season in 2016, when he caught 69 passes for 1059 yards and seven touchdowns. Keenan Allen played just one game that season, which led to an increase in opportunity for Williams.

This year, he finds himself on a different California team as he heads to Oakland. The Raiders revamped their passing attack this offseason, bringing in Williams as well as Antonio Brown and J.J. Nelson.

Derek Carr isn't the passer that Philip Rivers is, but playing across from Antonio Brown is bound to open up opportunities for Williams, who was 13th among wide receivers in yards per reception last season. Williams brings a big-play element to the table in Oakland and profiles to be a great weapon for Carr, someone who can do things like this:

With Brown taking most of the defensive pressure over on his side of the field, Williams is going to make a few of these big plays. He's also only entering his fifth season in the league and doesn't seem to be showing any signs of his speed leaving him. Sure, there are younger big-play receivers you can get in the double-digit rounds, but why not use those picks on some other position and then grab Williams at the end of your draft?

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