Dynasty fantasy football owners are preparing for rookie drafts, many will chase youth with the false hope that new as better. Not so. The offseason is a time to mine veteran value. Third year players, in particular, offer maximum upside as dynasty league enthusiasts sour after two seasons of hope trafficking. Here four value players to acquire this offseason.
Ty Montgomery, RB Green Bay Packers
Ty Montgomery emerged in 2016 but dynasty owners are reluctant to commit to him given his small sample size of production and the murky Green Bay backfield. Montgomery took a featured role in Week 6 and produced five double digit fantasy games, including his 180 total yard, 2 TD Week 15 against Chicago, while averaging six carries and five targets per game. Head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that Montgomery will fully transition to RB in 2017.
A 24 year old converted receiver with minimal wear, Ty Montgomery possesses wide receiver hands, a 129.4 Burst Score (90th-percentile), and a 11.18 Agility Score (68th-percentile) within a PPR friendly offense with elite QB play. His 2017 downside case sees Green Bay select a RB in the early rounds of the NFL Draft or re-sign Eddie Lacy to a prove it deal. In such a backfield, Montgomery should retain RB2 volume.
In the upside case, Green Bay does not keep Lacy. The Packers part with one or both of the combined $24.3 million cap hit of underproducing Randall Cobb or aging Jordy Nelson. Those targets are freed and the team addresses WR, not RB, early in the NFL Draft, leaving Ty Montgomery to lead the backfield in touches.
Jameis Winston, QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston produced top 15 fantasy finishes in his first two seasons yet his ADP of 81 has held steady. Winston and his Best Comparable Player, Ben Roethlisberger, use their size to extend plays and push the ball downfield. Winston led the NFL with 5,763 air yards attempted in 2016 and averaged 9.5 yards per attempt (90th-percentile) in college.
Jameis Winston entered the NFL at 21 years old with an elite 19.7 (80th-percentile) Breakout Age and a 89.4 (94th-percentile) College QBR. In 2016, he posted a +8.3 (No. 11) Production Premium and a 64.9 (No. 12) Total QBR on average volume. Tampa Bay attempted the 16th most passes in the league. The top QBs often get more volume as they develop. The Steelers also ranked 16th in pass attempts when Ben Roethlisberger was making his 32nd career start. In 2014, the last year in which Big Ben started 16 games, they ranked sixth.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay’s top four pass catchers are a former first rounder and three undrafted free agents. One more comparison: Winston’s stats through two years are remarkably similar to those of another future Hall of Fame quarterback. Expect Jameis Winston’s volume and efficiency to improve with maturity and more talented targets.
Chris Conley, WR Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Conley is an athletic 24 year old boasting an incredible 130.8 SPARQ-x Score (97th-percentile) with prototypical size. While 5-10 teammate Tyreek Hill’s production relied on touchdowns (one per 10.6 touches excluding returns) and efficiency evidenced by a +56.6-percent (No. 1) Target Premium and 2.42 (No. 3) Fantasy Points Per Target, receptions were the primary source of Conley’s production. 45.4-percent of his total fantasy points in PPR came from catches, fourth among WR. He was one of 13 WRs to derive less than 10-percent of their total fantasy points from TDs.
At the college level, Chris Conley led Georgia in receiving yards in each of his last two seasons while posting a respectable 29.3-percent College Dominator Rating (46th-percentile). In a low volume passing offense led by Alex Smith, it would be fair to question if Tyreek Hill can gain the volume necessary to counteract any dip in efficiency. Conley offers a more sustainable means of production than Hill.
Karlos Williams, RB Pittsburgh Steelers
Karlos Williams has played less than three full years of RB in college and the NFL. Williams has elite speed evidenced by a 114.2 (94th-percentile) Speed Score and is a good receiver for a big back, which Williams demonstrated by leading all Florida State RBs with 29 receptions in a 2014 timeshare with Dalvin Cook. As a rookie in 2015, Williams posted a +47.8 (No. 3) Production Premium and 1.17 (No. 6) Fantasy Points Per Opportunity while posting double-digit fantasy points in eight of the eleven games in 2015.
Karlos Williams has one game remaining on a ten game suspension and is eligible to play in Week 2 of 2017. Pittsburgh’s depth chart aligns favorably for Williams. The team is expected to retain free agent Le’Veon Bell, who has been suspended twice for violating the league’s substance abuse policy yet is making an album with Snoop Dogg. Beyond Bell on the Steelers running back depth chart, 33-year old DeAngelo Williams and Fitzgerald Toussaint are also free agents. Given the situation, Karlos Williams is a worthy dynasty league stash while dynasty owners see him as an overweight Buffalo dad.