Dynasty Fantasy Football: 3 Buy-Low Receivers
With free agency going nuts last week and the NFL Draft not too far away, the level of activity in your dynasty leagues should be ramping back up.
I find this window -- between free agency and the draft -- a great time to trade. Unless you're lucky enough to be in a league that's active year-round, your leaguemates are likely to be more interested in the NFL right now than they were a month ago, something that's particularly true at the moment with the sports world on pause. And with free agency shaking up situations around the league, the market can be pretty fluid and unpredictable.
This is going to be the first piece in a position-by-position series in which I'll highlight a couple players I'm buying at each of the fantasy-relevant positions. Let's take a look at three receivers who make for good buys right now.
All average draft position (ADP) data comes from Dynasty League Football's March startup ADP numbers.
Michael Gallup, Cowboys
ADP: 48th overall (WR24)
Overall, the dynasty market is usually very sharp, but Michael Gallup is mispriced.
Just looking at the very basics, Gallup is going into his age-24 campaign after a breakout 1,000-yard effort in his second season, one in which he ranked as the half-PPR WR22. He is locked into a high-volume role with a good quarterback in a quality offense.
Players like this are usually highly coveted assets in dynasty for all the obvious reasons. But Gallup is somehow barely a top-25 wideout.
I feel like I'm missing something.
Things actually look even better once we dig a little deeper.
Going by points per game, Gallup was the WR16 in 2019, putting up 12.8 half-PPR points per outing. According to AirYards.com, he finished with a 21% target share and 28% air yards share -- both of which outpaced the clips of Amari Cooper, who had a 20% target share and 26% air yards share, though Amari was banged up late in the year, which likely impacted his volume.
Gallup's numbers are fairly similar to D.J. Moore's.
|Player||Target Share||Air Yards Share||Yards||Touchdowns||Half-PPR PPG|
Moore is currently the WR8. Again, Gallup is WR24.
Yes, Moore was a better prospect, is his team's top receiver, and is a year younger -- he should be valued ahead of Gallup. But this comp highlights how weird Gallup's current price is. If he had an ADP inside the top 15 wideouts, I wouldn't bat an eye.
With Dak Prescott franchise tagged and likely to sign a long-term deal at some point, Gallup for the next few seasons should be in a situation similar to what he played in a year ago. We already know he can thrive in that setting, and maybe there's upside for more given Gallup's youth and the departure of Jason Witten, who accounted for a 14% target share in 2019.
All in all, Gallup is a great buy at this cost and one of the most appealing buy-low targets across all positions.
John Ross, Bengals
ADP: 139th (WR64)
Heading into last season, John Ross was basically universally viewed as a massive bust, though that viewpoint was likely a little harsh given that we'd seen just 16 games from him through two years due to injuries. Still, the guy had a mere 210 yards in those 16 games, so it wasn't too harsh given he was the ninth overall pick in 2017.
Ross started to change the tune a little bit last season before injuries struck again, costing him a big chunk in the middle of the year and limiting him to only eight games. In those eight games, however, he produced fairly well, totaling 506 yards and three scores on 26 catches -- averaging 18.1 yards per grab and showing off the wheels that led to him being selected in the top 10. He amassed a 34% air yards share and saw at least six targets in five of eight games.
Obviously, a lot about Ross' situation is going to be different in 2020 than it was last year. Some changes are positive, with the Cincinnati Bengals likely to have Joe Burrow under center as well as Jonah Williams back after the first-round pick missed all of 2019. Other differences ding Ross' outlook, with the most glaring negative being the return of A.J. Green, who should gobble up targets and is a nice buy in his own right as the WR46. Can we really trust Green to stay healthy, though? Dude is a baller, but he's played just 35 of Cincy's last 64 games.
A year ago, Ross was the WR81 in March ADP, so his stock has risen a bit, but at this price, I think the reward far outweighs the risk.
Marvin Jones, Lions
ADP: 144th (WR66)
A way to get cheap production at wideout is by targeting aging vets who can still get it done. Marvin Jones fits that mold perfectly.
In his age-29 season last year, Jones had 62 catches (on 91 targets) for 779 yards and nine scores. The touchdown total helped him finish as the half-PPR WR27, and he was the WR19 by points per game.
That by itself is reason enough to buy Marvin when he's the WR66. Things look even better when we give his 2019 output some context.
In the eight games in which Matthew Stafford played, Jones racked up 42 receptions, 535 yards, and six tuds. So he posted just 20 grabs, 244 yards, and three scores sans Stafford over the final eight games. With Stafford at the controls, Jones recorded a 19% target share, 24% air yards share, and 13.8 half-PPR points per game. That 13.8 clip would've ranked him as the WR9 by points per game over the full season.
To be fair, that eight-game split with Stafford is heavily impacted by a four-tuddie game. But in the other seven games, he still averaged 10.4 half-PPR points per game, so it's not like he was terrible.
Jones isn't that far removed from an overall WR9 finish in half-PPR formats back in 2017, and while he's a long shot to reach that level again, Jones is fully capable of being a solid WR3 in 2020 and can be had for cheap.