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2019 Dynasty Price Check - Will Fuller


When it comes to dynasty football leagues you know there is no offseason. Without the in-season worries of lineup setting and setting up waiver wire claims, dynasty league enthusiasts can focus their efforts on making trades to improve their teams and preparing for rookie drafts.

Today's column will take a look at Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller. We will start off with an overview of the fourth-year wideout, then take a look at analyzing his value in dynasty leagues. Then, to finish it off, we will propose some possible trades involving Fuller to give you some ideas for either buying or selling him.

For all discussions regarding Will Fuller's dynasty value, let's assume you are playing in a 12-team, one-quarterback, PPR dynasty league. As always, player values can shift quickly in dynasty leagues so be sure to stay on top of the NFL news cycle when proposing trades.

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Overview

Will Fuller
Team: Houston Texans
College: Notre Dame
Height/Weight: 6'0", 184 pounds
2016 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 21

The Texans made Fuller their first-round draft pick in 2016, pairing him with star wideout DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller entered the NFL after his junior year of college after putting together an impressive career at Notre Dame, racking up 29 total touchdowns over his sophomore and junior seasons. Fuller has played in 31 NFL games, totaling 107 receptions for 1,561 yards and 13 touchdowns over that span.

Fuller possesses elite speed, posting a 4.32 40-yard dash, which ranks him in the 99th percentile on Player Profiler. He puts that speed to good use on the field as he is averaging 14.6 yards per reception in the NFL over his career. Fuller scored just twice in his rookie season in 2016 but has made 11 trips to the end zone in 17 games over the past two seasons. His scoring uptick has coincided with the team drafting quarterback Deshaun Watson ahead of the 2017 campaign. Fuller has proven that he can be an exceptional touchdown scorer, which gives him plenty of value in any fantasy setting.

The main concern regarding Fuller is his inability to stay healthy and on the field. Fuller has appeared in just 31 of 48 possible career games. He managed to suit up 14 times in his rookie campaign but has missed 15 games the past two seasons. Fuller's list of ailments is long. He fractured his clavicle during the preseason in 2017, missing two games. He returned to the field just to suffer a fractured rib in Week 10, which caused him to miss another three games. In 2018, Fuller missed Week 1 with a hamstring strain and then tore his ACL during Week 8, causing him to miss the remainder of the season.

Fuller is expected to fully healthy for the beginning of the 2019 season. He will return to a slightly more crowded receiver corps as second-year wideout Keke Coutee flashed enough in his rookie season to earn a sizable role in the Houston offense. Of course, Coutee has also struggled with injuries as he missed six games in his rookie year with hamstring issues. Neither Fuller nor Coutee is unseating Hopkins as the team's alpha wide receiver but the Houston passing offense doesn't have a tight end of consequence and doesn't utilize running backs with frequency in the passing game. That leaves enough to go around for both Fuller and Coutee to be valuable fantasy assets.

 

Dynasty Value

With all the injuries, Fuller's dynasty value isn't quite as high as it could be, although it has held pretty strong over the past few years. This is most likely a result of how well he has connected with Watson when both are on the field together. Fuller currently has a dynasty ADP of 56.9 on Fantasy Football Calculator. That marks him as a late fifth-round selection, a few spots after veterans Alshon Jeffery, Courtland Sutton, and Chris Godwin. He is also within a few picks of rookies N'Keal Harry and A.J. Brown, who could both see their values shift rapidly depending on which team selects them in the draft.

A player going in the mid-to-late fifth round of a startup draft should at least be fetching a mid-first round rookie pick with possibly an extra second-round pick added on top. Fuller is the type of asset that could see his value jump at least a full round if he were ever able to put together a full season. On the flip side of that coin, however, he is likely another major injury away from seeing his value start to decrease as dynasty owners will start to apply the "injury-prone" label to him. I believe that Fuller produces so well when he is on the field that it is worth assuming the injury risk with the dynamic receiver. Fuller has the upside to be the overall WR1 in any given week that he takes the field. That is the type of league-winning asset that is worth rostering, injury concerns and all.

 

Possible Trades

From a draft pick perspective, if selling Fuller, I would initially be looking for an early first-round rookie pick, either in this year or next year's class. If the first-round pick is mid-to-late, I would expect at least another second-round pick added to the deal. If buying Fuller, I would lead with a late first or early second and possibly add an extra second-round rookie pick if necessary.

If looking at acquiring a different wide receiver, I would look to package Fuller with another lesser asset or a draft pick to move up a wide receiver tier. Here at RotoBaller, we currently have Fuller ranked as the WR28 in dynasty leagues. If you could move him and a second-round pick to get a solid WR2, that would be a move to make. Some wide receivers to consider include D.J. Moore, Allen Robinson, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Kenny Golladay.

The nature of the running back position makes it tough to acquire them in dynasty leagues. If dangling Fuller for a running back, look for a potential RB2 who is projected to see the majority of his team's workload. Some players I would be looking at include Marlon Mack, Devonta Freeman, Rashaad Penny, Royce Freeman, and Tevin Coleman. I would see if I could squeeze an additional second-round pick in the deal but it wouldn't be a deal-breaker if the other owner wasn't willing.

 

Conclusion

Fuller has the talent to be a high-end WR2 in fantasy but his lengthy injury history keeps him from holding that type of dynasty value at the present moment. As such, he is more of a recommended buy than a sell as his value could spike if he stays healthy and continues to produce as he has the past two seasons. He's an ideal dynasty target to slot in as your WR3 or as a flex option.

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