In parts 1 and 2 of my Hidden Dynasty Assets I broke down 4 quarterbacks and 6 running backs that you can use to build dynasty value. In my next segment, I am going to analyze 6 wide receivers that are perfect players to target in order to capitalize on their current average draft position and perceived dynasty value. Since a wide receiver’s performance is pretty steady from year to year, it is the position where you can take advantage of a down year and build long term value at the position. Compared to the 11 players that did it at the running back position, 14 wide receivers have posted top 24 numbers in each of the past 2 seasons. While that might not sound like a huge improvement, some of the players that did not repeat as top 24 receivers in the last 2 years include Jordy Nelson, Michael Thomas, Brandon Marshall, DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, and Calvin Johnson. All of these players have been viewed as an elite dynasty receiver at one point or another. With the abundance of players that are or have been drafted as a top receiver in the past, value can be found in both the long and short term.
John Brown, ARZ (WR34 & 118 Overall)
My first Hidden Dynasty Asset at the wide receiver position is the 27-year-old John Brown, who is entering the prime of his career. Drafted as a low-end WR3, Brown has one of the highest ceilings based on where he is being drafted this year. While he still has a lot to prove, if healthy he should easily outperform his current dynasty startup ADP.
Brown put up an impressive 65 catches for 1,000 yards and 7 TDs in 2015 which was good enough to finish as a WR2 in half point PPR. After a promising 2015 season, Brown was being taken as the 50th player off of the board in dynasty startups. Brown then disappointed in 2016 and was inconsistent due to multiple injuries. The drastic decrease in his ADP value over the past season was enough to give him the post hype sleeper tag this year.
The main reason John Brown is a Hidden Dynasty Asset is because of how high his floor can be when he is healthy. In 2015, Brown was a top 36 receiver in 9 of the 14 games he played in. Additionally, Brown was a top 24 receiver in 7 of those 9 games and was also a top 7 WR once. If you have kept up with those numbers so far, in all 5 games that he didn’t finish as a WR3 or better he added a touchdown to boost his floor.
While some might view that as lucky or a product of an above average season from Carson Palmer, the opportunity Brown has this year is one to take advantage of. In the 2015 season, Brown had to compete for targets with superstar Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Fitz finished as a WR1, John Brown finished as a WR2 and Floyd as a WR3. Floyd was cut by the Cardinals mid-season and is now in Minnesota. The 33-year-old Fitzgerald led the league in receptions last year, but he is getting older. The Cardinals and Palmer should not rely on Fitz as much as they did last year with a healthy Brown.
Not convinced yet?
In all 14 of the full games that he played in 2015, he had at least 3 receptions in each game and scored at least 8 points every week. This Hidden Dynasty Asset contributed to the career year that Palmer had in 2015 and finds himself with less of a competition for targets this year. As his floor stayed around WR40 in his least productive games, Brown is the perfect late round WR to target in start-ups.
Malachi Dupre, GB (WR120+ & 214 Overall)
My next Hidden Dynasty Asset is a deep sleeper that landed in a spot as good as anyone in the draft. The 7th round rookie, Malachi Dupre has found himself on a crowded depth chart on one of the best passing attacks in the league, the Green Bay Packers. Granted, Dupre will be fighting to make the 53 man roster this year and could be a player you look to add next off season. However, any deep dynasty league owner should look to add this talented receiver based on the opportunity he has.
Dupre was seen as a top 10 receiver by some in the dynasty community before the draft process started. The LSU product excited due to his recruiting pedigree and electrifying highlight tape. At LSU, Dupre was an exciting WR when he touched the ball but was rarely used due to the heavy running scheme used by the Tigers. This was the same school that kept superstar Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in check during college, and many thought Dupree would be the next great receiver to come of Baton Rouge.
NFL.com had Dupre ranked as a 3-4 round pick after an above average combine where he seemed to only lack top end speed and polished route running skills. They praised his size, ball skills and his ability to run multiple routes. Many advised Dupre to return to LSU for his senior year, in order to become a more polished receiver. This is the main reason I think I am a year early on him, as it would suggest he is still a year away. However, I see Dupre leaving his run heavy alma mater as a positive. He will now be able to learn from some of the best passing minds in the game.
“Dupre landed on a crowded depth chart, so why do you think he will play next year if at all?”
The answer to this question is simple. The Packers are going to see a lot of receivers turn over in the next 2 years. Their own superstar, Jordy Nelson, is 32, getting older and has his contract is set to expire in 2018. Randall Cobb is also going to be a free agent after 2018 and most do not think the Packers will resign him. This leaves Davante Adams, who had a big season in 2016 but is also set to be a free agent after this year. While I would guess that Adams is the only WR re-signed to a long term deal, there is always the possibility that the Packers don’t resign any of their current big 3 WRs. If they choose to rely on the young WRs they brought in, Dupre could easily find himself in a battle to be a starting WR for the Packers as early as next year, and could even be the Packers WR1 going into the 2019 season.
Best case scenario, Dupre would be fighting to be a starting receiver for the Packers next season. That is as good a shot as any to secure a top 30 receiver as the top 3 WRs for the Packers has had an average finish of 29.2 in each season since 2010. Rodgers has also been able to have his top 2 WRs finish at a weighted average of WR12, which is a WR1 for 7 STRAIGHT YEARS.
The opportunity for Dupre is certainly there and he has the most upside out of Geronimo Allison, fifth round rookie DeAngelo Yancey, and Jeff Janis. Janis also has his contract set to expire at the end of this season. As Packer wide receiver turnover is inevitable, investing in Dupre a year early in dynasty leagues could prove to be a Hidden Dynasty Asset that could pay off sooner rather than later.
Sterling Shepard, NYG (WR39 & 86 Overall)
Year in and year out, dynasty owners continually undervalue 2nd-year players because the shine of their rookie year has worn off for one reason or another. With all of the new additions that the Giants brought in this year, sophomore Sterling Shepard has seen his ADP drop drastically from this point last season. The 24-year-old Shepard is a Hidden Dynasty Asset based on his current ADP value, and production last year.
Last year Shepard was a top 5 rookie pick and was being taken around fellow rookies Corey Coleman, Laquon Treadwell, Tyler Boyd, Josh Doctson and Michael Thomas. With the exception of Michael Thomas, no other rookie previously mentioned had a better season than Shepard. In fact, the only 2 rookie WRs to have a better season than Shepard was the aforementioned Thomas, and speedster Tyreek Hill. Thomas is now seen as a blue chip dynasty asset but Tyreek Hill, who put up similar numbers to Shepard, is currently being taken 49th overall. What’s even more surprising is that both Doctson (77) and Coleman (53) are being taken rounds before Shepard as well, despite neither playing a full season.
While some dynasty owners are taking shots at the upside of unproven 2nd-year players based on their opportunity, I prefer Shepard at his discounted ADP. According to NFL.com, Shepard played in 95% of the Giants snaps last year and was targeted 105 times putting up nearly 700 yards. Shepard was also able to produce at least 4 receptions in 10 out of the 15 games he played in. To get that production and consistency out of a rookie should be viewed as a huge positive as opposed to some who view him having no upside.
The dynasty community sees Shepard with no upside due to his slot receiver role and the additions the Giants brought in this season. Shepard lined up in the slot more than anyone else in the NFL seeing 801 snaps, which made up 86% of his targets. This is a very good indication that Shepard has secured that underrated role for years to come. This means that Shepard should still see the field as much as he did last year and the new additions should only threaten his touchdown numbers.
By the way, I think that many people (myself included) forgot that Shepard had 8 touchdowns last year.
The Giants brought in former superstar Brandon Marshall and rookie Evan Engram this offseason to help the Giants in the Red Zone. I am a fan of Marshall for fantasy this year and many dynasty owners like the upside of the hybrid TE Evan Engram. Many would assume that Shepard cannot repeat the impressive 8 TD season from last year, but I see these additions more as a boost to the entire offense. Last year, no one on the Giants besides Odell and Shepard had more than one TD. Additionally, Shepard is an undervalued red zone option as he was able to catch 47% of his 21 targets where he had less than a yard of separation, according to NFL.com.
In dynasty leagues with deep starting rosters, slot receivers are routinely undervalued as they never seem to explode for big week winning performance. However, these receivers are a necessity as they provide a consistent floor and help your team contend week in and week out. If Shepard is able to see an increase in his production as a slot receiver, while still scoring 4-6 TDs, he is an underrated Hidden Dynasty Asset that can produce for years to come.
Willie Snead, NO (WR46 & 64 Overall)
My next Hidden Dynasty Asset has the highest risk vs. reward return out of all the players I am recommending based on his current ADP. The 24-year-old undrafted free agent has great upside, a clear path to volume, and is young enough to be a long term dynasty asset. With all the positives surrounding Snead, his startup ADP is in the 6th round and will cost a decent amount to acquire in dynasty leagues.
Even at his current price, Snead is a Hidden Dynasty Asset as he is still being undervalued. Over his first 2 seasons, Snead has been able to finish as a WR34 and WR31. In both years he put up similar numbers, posting a line of 69-984-3 in 2015 and 74-895-4 last year. Last year, Snead was able to have 7 weeks as the WR31 or better, 2 of which he finished in the top 10 (4 & 9). While this might not sound impressive, I view this as Snead’s absolute floor as he was a WR3 for the Saints last year behind Michael Thomas and Brandin Cooks.
With Cooks now in New England, it frees up some targets for the Saints offense. Specifically, Cooks had 117, or 18.6% of the target share that will need replacing this season. As the number 2 receiver for Drew Brees, Snead will see his production increase. Over the past 6 seasons, Brees has been able to throw for at least 5000 yards in 4 of them. In these two seasons, Brees was 48 yards from 5000 in 2014 and only played in 15 games in 2015 where he threw for 4870 yards. With the highest volume passing attack over the past 6 seasons, Snead should provide top 24 upside at his position for years to come.
Last year Brees was able to support 3 top 31 receivers, two of which finished the year as a WR1. What even more intriguing is that over the past 5 seasons, the top 3 receivers for the Saints have all seen at least 60 receptions and 650 receiving yards. Additionally, the top 2 WR for the Saints over that same span have seen at least 60 receptions with 900 yards. Without the aforementioned Cooks, I see no reason as to why Snead won’t finish the year at least as a WR2 based on the volume alone.
Snead is a Hidden Dynasty Asset as he is still undervalued at his current startup ADP. A big year could send his stock into the third or fourth round at this time next year, which could be capitalized on them. Even though Snead’s current price is somewhat expensive to add at the moment, he is still an undervalued asset than can be taken advantage of this off season.
Cameron Meredith, CHI (WR49 & 102 Overall)
My next Hidden Dynasty Asset at WR has as much raw talent and upside as anyone else on this list. The 24-year-old, Cameron Meredith, is entering his 3rd year in the NFL and has found himself at the top of the Bears WR depth chart. Chicago let Alshon Jeffery walk in free agency and 2015 7th overall pick Kevin White can’t stay on the field due to injuries. Cam had 97 targets and 66 receptions in 2016 and I expect both of these numbers to grow.
One of the reasons Cameron Meredith is a Hidden Dynasty Asset is because of his lack of draft pedigree. Meredith was an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State University and a big reason he wasn’t drafted was because of his lack of experience at the position. Meredith played his first 2 years at Illinois State as a backup QB before deciding to give WR a shot in early 2013 and never looked back. In 2013 Meredith was still learning the position but still managed to contribute 5 receiving TDs. In 2014 it clicked for him and he put up over 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns. Meredith only started 14 games at WR in his college career but proved that he was an extremely quick learner and smart football player.
Meredith hardly saw the field his rookie season but received praise from Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Pace for his work ethic, setting him up for his 2016 breakout season. Meredith didn’t play in the first 2 games of the 2016 season but the injuries that plagued the Bears WR corps gave Meredith the opportunity that he was waiting for. He took advantage of this opportunity and burst on to the scene in week 5 against the Colts totaling 130 yards and a touchdown. Meredith continued to play at a high level for the rest of the season developing into the Bears most reliable receiving option. He finished the year with 66 receptions and 888 yards. This was good enough to finish as the WR41 in half point PPR despite only playing 14 games and only actually starting in 10 of those.
Cam also finished the year off strong and made a huge difference in the fantasy playoffs last year. He was able to finish as a WR1 in weeks 14, and 16 and barely missed it in week 15 when he finished as WR13. Meredith posted his best finish, WR6, in week 16 or the championship week for most leagues.
Meredith has only played the WR for 4 years but he’s already become an extremely polished route runner. During 2016, Cameron Meredith had the best double move in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. He is an extremely versatile route runner despite his inexperience and lined up on both the outside and slot throughout the season. This versatility will allow Meredith to find an abundance of playing time for a team that will look to pass the ball a lot.
As of now Cameron Meredith is one of the most ascending players in the league but is being undervalued as a dynasty asset. He finished the season strong and is in a good situation to carry this production into the start of the 2017 season. Right now Cam’s ADP is very low and not many players drafted around him have as high of a ceiling. His excellent route running skills and WR1 potential combined with his low draft pedigree and slight inexperience creates the perfect storm for a breakout campaign. He truly has only begun to scratch the surface of his fantasy potential and should be considered as a Hidden Dynasty Asset.
Tyrell Williams, LAC (WR51 & 121 Overall)
My last Hidden Dynasty Asset is a player that is set to see his ADP rise dramatically over the next few weeks. With the rumors surrounding 7th Overall pick Mike Williams, the undervalued Tyrell Williams is a player that should be acquired before his stock gets too expensive. As his ADP has been rising over the past month, the more negative Mike Williams news that comes out will only accelerate the increase in Tyrell’s ADP.
As Tyrell Williams’ value is sure to be a hot topic in the upcoming weeks, this Hidden Dynasty Asset profile will keep in mind both buyers and sellers. Tyrell is being taken in the 10th round of dynasty start-ups and I view that as criminally undervalued. The market for him will inevitably pick up and if there is an overreaction, he could turn into a piece that you think of selling in a few weeks.
The Chargers WR injury concerns obviously don’t just end with the rookie. The very skilled Keenan Allen is going in the 3rd round of startups, despite missing 23 games for the past 2 seasons. While the upside is there with Keenan Allen and his stock is sure to rise a bit too, I’d much rather acquire Tyrell who played the full season in 2016.
Just to show how far playing a full season can go, Tyrell finished as WR19 in PPR leagues and WR12 in standard. Yes, you read that correctly, Tyrell Williams was a WR1 in standard leagues last year. This shows that even if Keenan plays a full season, Tyrell might not be that hurt by a decrease in targets if he can keep his touchdown numbers around the 7 he scored last year. While mentioning Keenan Allen, it’s also interesting to note that the highest he’s ever finished at the WR position is WR19 in PPR and WR17 in standard. Tyrell eclipsed those in his first full season.
The Chargers have a deep pass catching corps and this has done a lot to drive down Tyrell’s value, but they also have a prolific passing game. Over the past 10 years, the Chargers have finished as a top 10 team in passing yards per game in 8 of those seasons. Even with a bevy of weapons in Los Angeles, Tyrell is sure to find production this year.
What really excites me about Williams is that he will be playing in a contract year. Players have been known to step up their production when there is money on the line, and if the Chargers don’t resign him he could find his way to a better situation.
The 25-year-old has a lot of sneaky upside for this year as well as potential long term value. At his current price I’m all in on acquiring Tyrell, but as with any high upside player, if his value were to get to high I wouldn’t be against selling him. Take advantage of the upcoming value change of Tyrell, whether that’s buying him at a value or selling him to someone who overreacts to breaking “news”.Download the Free GoingFor2 App by Clicking Here...