Every year, large amounts of players under-perform for any number of reasons. It could be due to injury, depth chart, poor quarterback play, or maybe they are just not that good, whether right now or just in general. Regardless, with the proliferation of fantasy football analysts comes the proliferation of sleeper hype and for many players, the eventual sleeper post-hype. Here is a list of nine dynasty buy lows that have experienced vast fluctuations of value since their rookie draft position. Some are on their way up, some are on their way down still. These kinds of moves can be game-changers if picked right. For a simple 2016 version, think of Kenny Britt and Marqise Lee. The information presented with the name is ADP, at a general high point, and then now.
Breshad Perriman, WR, Ravens
My love for Breshad Perriman is inexplicable. He doesn’t fit the wide receiver prototype that I typically covet. Perriman possesses ideal size, athleticism (99th-percentile Height-adjusted Speed Score), and draft pedigree, but his landing spot that is above average. But the real thing with Breshad Perriman that I think I love is that he is doing this year exactly what people said he was unable to do, make big plays with his hands when it matters. While there is no statistic I am aware of that can gauge this (would love links to prove me wrong), Perriman has made numerous big game plays when it mattered and did fantastic catches, off balance with just his hands.
Steve Smith‘s retirement and Mike Wallace‘s impending free agency puts the Ravens WR depth chart in maximum flux. Breshad Perriman is the logical heir to Steve Smith’s role as the alpha receiver in the offense. If he is able to step up, which I think he is finally able to do, he could easily become a WR2 in the offense and jumped up numerous rounds. His buy window is closing as people are starting to notice his diversified skill set and unless Baltimore brings in a top free agent WR or drafts one highly, Perriman’s value will only go up from here. I bought him at the beginning of the season in a few different leagues for what became mid 2nd round picks. This is a steal for me and his cost still has not gone up…yet.
Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers
What the hell happened to Devin Funchess? In the offseason and training camp, we were hearing left and right about how much Funchess was progressing and how he could very easily take over Kelvin Benjamin as the No. 1 wide receiver in Carolina. By Week 3, Kelvin was a consensus top-10 ranked WR on many dynasty platforms driven primarily recency bias. Since Week 3, Kelvin Benjamin averaged 9.1 fantasy points per game, which if he averaged for the year would put him in the WR50 range.
Is Devin Funchess a buy low? Most people bought into the narrative and storylines about Funchess and although I was not one of them, No. 103 overall in startups is too cheap to ignore. In trade values, this is a mid to late 2nd round pick. Think of players you’ve got there this past year and quickly you’ll realize that you should prefer Funchess over most of them. We need to calm down with the second-year breakouts and especially for a player that only recently converted positions. Funchess’ upper percentile College Dominator Rating, Height-adjusted Speed Score, and Burst Score make him best comparable to Brandon Marshall on PlayerProfiler.com. His profile insists he is a 2017 breakout candidate, and he like most young wide receivers, he needed seasoning. Kelvin Benjamin is failing to step up and while Carolina has performed very poorly offensively and defensively, they are better than this and Funchess should be a contributing component of it in 2017.
Leonte Carroo, WR, Dolphins
In June, I drafted Leonte Carroo at pick 1.05 in dynasty league rookie drafts. Am I still that bold today? Yes. In the long run, I prefer Leonte Carroo over Sterling Shepard, Will Fuller, and other WRs drafted in that range, with notable exception of Michael Thomas.
In August, I wrote an article touting Leonte Carroo and his exceptional college resume: 63.9-percent College Dominator Rating (99-percentile), 20.7 Breakout Age (74th-percentile), 20.7 College Yards Per Reception (96th-percentile), and third round (3.23) draft capital.
One of the more important aspects that I wish(ed) to stress was fit in the offense. I know we all have a love/hate relationship with the term ‘scheme’ but let’s give it a quick look. Jarvis Landry has played an odd role this year. Earlier in the year, he was more effective, helping both the Dolphins and his fantasy owners win games. Then, as Jay Ajayi‘s rushing output waned during the season, Landry reverted to his hallmark inefficient “run the ball through the air” role. Going into 2017, Landry’s role in the offense will need to mimic his play in the first half of the year if he wishes to keep his job in Miami in 2018 when he becomes a free agent. Leonte Carroo is an ideal slot/flanker who could make Jarvis Landry expendable in 2017.
Leonte Carroo’s lack of rookie year playing time was not a major concern, because many rookie wide receivers are now unfairly compared to Odell Beckham. Most players need development and Carroo’s value has gone down due to this recency bias with young wide receivers. You could realistically get him for a late second or even early third with rookie fever coming up.
Josh Doctson, WR, Washington
Josh Doctson lives in the nexus of opportunity and ability. Doctson’s value in trade has dropped much more than his startup value and many people are willing to sell him for a late first. I would gladly do this, without question. Doctson may not fully ascend in 2017 but expect his value to go up quite a good amount with some solid play.
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
DeVante Parker is a supreme talent who has one red flag: lower-body injuries and slow healing. Adam Gase and other staff made numerous mentions in the offseason and preseason of his need to take care of his body better. This is not a short-term thing that can be turned around, but if you watch DeVante Parker, you see that he is playing hobbled much of this year. When he looks healthy and is on the field, he is producing in numerous spots. He is not simply a one-dimensional field stretcher like Kenny Stills or a one-dimensional possession receiver like Jarvis Landry. Parker may be deployed all over the field with a plethora of routes. He is winning tough catches and has been the victim of penalty plays often this year.
Miami’s offense improved under Adam Gase in 2016, and DeVante Parker‘s 10.3 fantasy points per game almost met the expectations built into his 2016 dynasty league start-up ADP. But Parker is now falling into the mid-40’s in recent start-ups, which represents great value. Additionally, Parker’s trade value has bottomed out. I personally would be willing to give upwards of the 1.03 for Parker, but that is because I am a true believer in the talent.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars
Talk about a fall from grace. With requisite size (226-pounds), an above-average Speed Score and College Target Share, T.J. Yeldon was anointed one of the NFL’s next bell cow backs six months ago. Unfortunately, that did not work out and if you wish to see a long analysis of his, check out a past article here. Long story short, Yeldon has had literally everything go wrong for him minus an increase in receptions. His usage has been…sporadic at best and wildly inefficient and ineffective at worst. So why am I advocating for Yeldon?
His value drop is simply too much and his talent has intrinsically changed. The biggest contributor to his downfall is not Chris Ivory, but the degradation of the offense as a whole. The Jaguars offense was thought to be ripe for a huge breakout, but Bortles seemed to have lost a bet. All jokes aside, T.J. Yeldon has been the victim of terrible quarterback play and inefficient wide receiver play. The Jaguars are losing even quicker than usual and are forced to abandon the run earlier. What will change? Potentially nothing but even so, we have seen Yeldon’s floor, which is a high end RB3 but he is being valued right now as if he is a backup waiting on an injury. He could easily see himself, with a new regime change, as the lead back on a more functional Jaguars offense.
The defense has gotten much better for Jacksonville in the past year and this favors Yeldon as the most talented and diverse back on the depth chart. Ivory is easily a cut candidate in the offseason as he has not stayed healthy and is as overpaid as could be. It would not surprise me to see Jacksonville draft a running back in the 5th or later, but Yeldon should easily be the lead back with massive upside in 2017. If you are able to buy from a disgruntled owner, his value will not get any cheaper pending a massive move by Jacksonville, you should easily be able to get him for a mid to early second with both sides being happy. Again, if you think that is a high price, think of who went in that spot the past few years, you’ll realize Yeldon is better than most.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins
Every year, we look for players in good situations who, pending an injury, could get an uptick in playing time, or due to skill set, can carve themselves out a role. One of those who happen to be very cheap…Kenyan Drake. Drake is ideally suited to play a high-volume satellite back role for Miami in 2017. Jay Ajayi’s 27 receptions (1.8 per game) revealed a lack of fluidity space, which is Kenyan Drake’s specialty.
Kenyan Drake was the third running back off the board in 2016 and while he is not a well-rounded, three down back…his pass catching and receiving skills are extraordinary evidenced a 9.6-percent College Target Share despite Derrick Henry dominating the RB snaps at Alabama.
Kenyan Drake has been plagued by injuries early in the season and a few big games by Jay Ajayi in the second half of the year. Drake, if healthy, could push Ajayi (who I happen to love by the way) for playing time. Ajayi, although a good pass catcher, is not being used that way, and with his degrading play towards the end of the year, Drake could make a good case for increased playing time in 2017. For the 175th pick overall, I would be more than happy to buy.
Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
While Jameis Winton‘s Passer Rating actually fell outside the top-30 quarterbacks in 2016, Winston remains ranked in the top-8 dynasty QBs on PlayerProfiler.com’s Dynasty QB Rankings based on Winston’s sublime college resume and prolific, yet inefficient, play through two season.
Jameis Winton‘s perception in dynasty league community also varies widely. I have seen trades go down such as Kirk Cousins and Devontae Booker for Winston, which I fully support. I have seen him and a second buying Luck. I have even seen someone trade Brees for Winston and a second. Bonkers. So, this is not for everyone obviously. If you are in one of those leagues where Jameis is treated like a middling QB2, I am all for buying him. This is really a league dependent one.
Jameis Winton has a bright future. The chemistry between him and Mike Evans has made Evans the 1.02 for many analysts and some people even (wrongly) value Evans over Odell, but I digress. I have made numerous declarations that the Bucs will invest either money or draft capital into a top wide receiver as this is the biggest gap on the offense. Another viable wide receiver will greatly help Winston in 2017 and beyond and could finally allow him to score like a top 5.