Dynasty Fantasy Football Strategy – Veterans to Target in Dynasty Startups

by Aditya Fuldeore · Draft Strategy

Dynasty leagues are perhaps the most analyzed and anticipated form of fantasy football we have. They involve a meticulous Dynasty Fantasy Football Strategy to contend in a 2–3-year window with rookie and startup drafts being a point of roster building. However, people often forget that someone must win the championship in Year 1 or Year 2 of the Dynasty league. A lot of Dynasty players tend to skew their rosters young to build a longer contending window. This leaves plenty of veteran players to fall in value even though they can still contribute to a team’s championship in a year or two. In this piece, I highlight three veteran players to target in your Dynasty startup drafts.

Jamaal Williams

The New Orleans Saints signed Jamaal Williams to a 3-year, $12 million dollar contract with over $8 million guaranteed. Despite adding Kendre Miller through the draft, the Saints got Williams to take on a sizeable role for them. The additions of Williams and Miller show Alvin Kamara is not going to be the workhorse back anymore with a potential suspension looming in 2023. Williams is currently being drafted later than both Miller and Kamara. Williams ranks as the No. 49 RB in PlayerProfiler’s Dynasty rankings.

Last season for the Lions, Williams ran for over 1,000 yards on 262 carries. Despite a 41.4-percent (No. 45) Snap Share, he had 13.3 (No. 18) Fantasy Points Per Game, thanks to 17 (No. 2) total touchdowns. It’s probable the Saints are going to give Kamara another Mark Ingram–type partner in Williams with Miller waiting in the wings to take on a significant role should Kamara be suspended or a backfield injury happens. Signed for three years and a sizeable amount of guaranteed money, Williams will produce for Dynasty teams this year with room to produce for the next two years. If you choose to contend in Year 1 or Year 2 of your startup, Williams is slated to be more useful over Miller for your team.

Aaron Rodgers

Since 2008, Aaron Rodgers has a Fantasy Points Per Game finish outside the top-12 QBs just twice: 2019 and 2022. For 2023, Rodgers joins a Jets team with a better receiving corps than he has had the last few seasons. Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, and Corey Davis will help improve Rodgers’ output and Rodgers will improve theirs. Yes, his future after this season is speculative, but there’s no doubting he is still a productive QB. Rodgers finished last season with a 7.8 (No. 12) Accuracy Rating and 63.0-percent (No. 5) Red Zone Completion Percentage. While he does not have the rushing upside, Rodgers is still one of the more reliable QBs in the league. He currently ranks as QB23 in PlayerProfiler’s Dynasty rankings.

Other QBs in Rodgers’ Dynasty range include Mac Jones, Derek Carr, Jordan Love, and Kenny Pickett. These are candidates to be picked ahead of Rodgers in startup drafts due to youth. Rodgers finished with more Fantasy Points Per Game than Jones and Pickett last season, while Love has an underdeveloped skillset on the same Packers team Rodgers played with. Carr on the Saints is arguably the more stable long-term option, but Rodgers is the better player getting a bigger supporting cast upgrade. In a Dynasty SuperFlex league, Rodgers profiles as a serviceable QB2 for a competing team. Even if you select a rookie QB, Rodgers is a useful third QB to fill in for the rookie this season. Taking Rodgers at his price to supplement a rookie QB, or to compete with in the next one or two Dynasty seasons, returns good value in a Dynasty startup draft.

Davante Adams

Any number of veteran receivers like Tyreek Hill, Cooper Kupp, and Stefon Diggs could go on this list. Young talent like Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Drake London, Christian Watson, and others have climbed up Dynasty draft boards, usurping vets. The best value veteran receiver now is Davante Adams. In his first year as a Raider, Adams reached 100 receptions for over 1,500 receiving yards and 19.7 (No. 5) Fantasy Points Per Game. He has finished as a top-10 receiver in Fantasy Points Per Game for six straight seasons. The change in team and quarterback did not decrease Adams’ production much, as he saw a 32.6-percent (No. 1) Target Share last season. He ranks as WR19 in PlayerProfiler’s Dynasty rankings.

Jimmy Garoppolo will be Adams’ new QB, with Jakobi Meyers and Michael Mayer also joining the fray. While he is 30 this season, elite receivers don’t depreciate with age as much as RBs or CBs, given they haven’t had a significant injury. Expect Adams to continue to dominate targets in Las Vegas over the course of his contract. Receivers valued around Adams for Dynasty include Christian Watson, Deebo Samuel, and Jordan Addison. Adams will produce better than any rookie this season, while Watson and Samuel are more tied to their QB/offensive situations than Adams who dominates targets regardless of circumstance. Taking Adams at his current value in Dynasty startups will give you a WR1 profile at a WR2 price.

Note: Garoppolo had offseason surgery. He is expected to return for the season, but QB uncertainty will drop Adams’ ADP further, making him more of a value pick. Consider him QB-proof.