Earlier this off-season I went over the guys I would look to sell high on for value. Now I want to get into players I am interested in buying in dynasty. To be clear, this is not saying to go out and pay a premium for these guys. However, I do believe some of them could be a value in your league. Some of these guys are players who others might be too low on for various reasons. Others were limited by injury and that might lead to them being available at a discount. Here is part 1 of the players I like as dynasty buys:
In fantasy, people never seem that high on Dak, but all 3 seasons of his NFL career he has finished the year as a QB1. In each season he has also rushed for 6 TDs. It’s a part of his game that will add value every season for fantasy. Dak has been consistent for fantasy and real life football purposes over his career. He has a career 66.1% completion percentage, 1.7% interception percentage, and a record of 32-16. He seems to be perpetually undervalued and that is why I see him as a great buy. In 2019 redraft leagues, he will be undervalued and a player I will target. In Dynasty, I am looking to add him everywhere I can.
2018 did not start off well for Dak but once Dallas traded for Amari Cooper he was a different player. He played 7 games without Cooper and 9 with him. The table below illustrates how Dak’s numbers look with and without Amari:
|Passing YPG||Completion %||TD%||Fantasy PPG|
At the pace he was playing with Cooper, he would have finished as the QB8 over a full 16-game season. Things are trending up for the Cowboys’ offense heading into 2019. Zeke became more involved in the passing game, Cooper changed the offense for the better with his arrival and Jason Witten announced his return from retirement. Witten will not put up numbers that will stand out, but he will help keep drives alive on 3rd downs. This will lead to more opportunities for Dak and the Cowboys to score both real and fantasy points. If Travis Frederick can return from his health issues, then this Cowboys offense can take off in 2019.
Last year, I was all in on Kenny Golladay as a breakout WR and this year I feel the same about Dante Pettis. While they are different types of players physically, I am expecting Pettis to take a big step forward in 2019. Both showed flashes in their rookie seasons, but missed time with injuries. Pettis comes into this season with an easier path to volume than Golladay in 2018. Other than George Kittle, the passing hierarchy in San Francisco is not clear. If they were to cut Pierre Garcon, even though he will shave a large dead cap hit, then it sends a message that the 49ers are ready to get their younger wide receivers into the game. Marquise Goodwin is still on the team, but he is best served as a deep threat. He has never caught more than 56 passes in a season and has a career catch rate of 49.4%. Goodwin also has a history with injuries that needs to be taken into account.
Even though it was a small sample, when Pettis was fully healthy for a 4 week stretch he averaged 18.8 points a game in PPR and was the WR 8 in that time frame. He scored 5 TDs on the season and averaged over 17 yards per reception. He did most of this without Garoppolo under center in those games; if both are healthy in 2019 it could be the start of a great connection between 2 talented young players.
Pettis is my favorite target this offseason with a weak free agent class at WR and other needs to address at the top of the draft, it doesn’t seem likely a high profile addition is coming to San Francisco in 2019. Unless the 49ers make a big splash by trading for Antonio Brown, the path to targets is clear for Dante Pettis. There are other young wide receivers on the roster he will need to compete with, but in my opinion Pettis is the most talented of them and that talent will win out going into 2019.
I was high on Mack going into 2018 and even though he missed 4 games, he did not disappoint. In 12 games, he finished as the 21st RB in PPR leagues. However, the number that really stands out is he was 14th in fantasy points per game. Over the last 10 games of the season once fully healthy, Mack averaged just over 16 carries per game for 4.8 yards per carry and scored 10 total TDs. The Colts won 9 of those 10 games, the only loss coming in an ugly game at Jacksonville, which was also the worst game Mack had all season. People still do not seem to believe in Mack as an NFL back or for fantasy, which I think is a mistake. It also presents an opportunity to buy him as a value before he gets a lot more expensive.
With the improvement along the offensive line for the Colts and the return to form for Andrew Luck, getting volume in this offense is going to be very valuable for fantasy. The Colts do have a ton of cap space available, but because of what I see in Mack I do not expect them to go spend big money on a free agent like Le’Veon Bell. Throwing a ton of money at a position where production is so replaceable is not what smart teams do. The Colts are going to compete to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and Mack is going to be a large part of it. The Colts already spent 2 picks on RBs last year so the depth chart is all young RBs, using a higher pick in the draft on one does not make sense. If Mack is healthy, he is secure in his job as the starter and I expect him to be on a lot of playoff teams in 2019.
Going into 2018 I was very high on Hunter Henry, so when he tore his ACL it was rough for me. Now after seeing players like Kittle and Howard break out in 2018, Henry is probably going to end up ranked lower than he should be. In 2018, we were expecting to see Henry without Gates syphoning off targets, but the breakout I expected was derailed by the injury. Henry has already shown he is a dangerous Red Zone weapon. In his first two seasons, he was targeted 28 times and scored 10 TDs.
The Tight End situation for the Chargers was not pretty in 2018. Henry was replaced with a combination of old Antonio Gates and Virgil Green. They combined for 72 targets and 3 TDs. This is not normal for Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense historically. In 2017, Henry and Gates combined for 114 targets and 7 TDs. In 2016, they combined for 146 targets and 12 TDs. With Henry back on the field the Chargers will go back to involving the TE more. It will not go back to 2016 levels because that was the year Keenan Allen went down for the season in week 1. I do believe the target volume will come in closer to 2017, which means Henry will have a lot of value.
Henry represents a huge upgrade athletically for the Chargers at TE. Gates is well past his prime and Green is better served as a blocker than a pass catcher. I am very happy to have Henry on IR on 2 of my dynasty teams and if I can add him in any other leagues before his value gets back to where it should be, then I will pay the discounted price with a smile.