Even though the fantasy football season is over, if you are in a Dynasty league, you know there truly is no off-season. Evaluation and trading of players occurs 365 days a year whether you are looking to rebuild or to add that one piece to propel you to a championship. With that in mind, the TNFF crew is back to discuss some of their favourite Dynasty Buys players for the upcoming season.
Michael Thomas (WR - New Orleans Saints)
Oh how the mighty have fallen. From being the consensus dynasty WR1 last season to being fringe top 10, managers are left wondering: what happened to Michael Thomas? The easy answer is injuries, but that simply doesn’t do it justice. This offseason he is having surgery for a torn deltoid and ligaments in his ankle. I suspect the potential for 2020 to be Drew Brees’ final season, was the only reason MT played as much as he did.
Which leads me to the second point, what if Drew Brees retires? The fantasy community has been terrified of this scenario for the last two years. Thankfully, this situation is not as scary as it seems. Speculation is that either Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston will be the Saints’ QB in 2021. Over the last two years, Thomas has played a total of 10 games without Drew Brees (four with Hill, six with Teddy Bridgewater). In that span he has averaged 8.2 receptions, 10.2 targets, and 98.3 yards per game. To put this in perspective, in 2020 Davante Adams led the league in yards per game with 98.1 and Stefon Diggs led the league in receptions per game with 7.9. Without Drew Brees, Thomas has been on pace to beat both of these numbers.
We have seen him succeed with multiple quarterbacks and Thomas has never been anything but great. The 28 year old receiver can be acquired for low-end WR1 value and could very well be the best fantasy WR in 2021.
- Ellis (@YoitsEllis_FF)
Will Fuller (WR - Free Agent)
It seems like every time we are about to see Will Fuller truly breakout something goes wrong. In 2017, it was Deshaun Watson tearing his ACL. In 2018, Fuller tore his own ACL. 2019 was a year filled with multiple injuries for Fuller. In 2020 he was on the verge of a MONSTER breakout when he was suspended for PEDs. Let's take a look at his stats from the 2018 and 2020 seasons and his 16 game pace for each season.
45 targets 32 receptions 503 yards 4 TDs (7 games)
2018 16 game pace:
103 targets 73 receptions 1,149 yards 9 TDs
75 targets 53 receptions 879 yards 8 TDs (11 games)
16 game pace
110 targets 77 receptions 1,278 yards 12 TDs (would have finished as WR6)
The numbers above demonstrate Will Fuller's potential if he were to ever play a close to a full season. His current ADP in seems to be around the WR32-35 range in dynasty startup drafts. In our own recent TNFF startup, he went as the WR33 with the 8.01 pick. This matches very closely to his ECR of WR34. This appears to be an incredible value for a player that finished as the WR30 in PPR in 2020 despite ONLY playing 11 games. He was also 8th among WRs in PPR points per game with 17.2.
Lastly, I want to address some of the concerns that dynasty managers have about Will Fuller. The number one concern is his “injury prone” tag. He has only played in 53 out of a possible 80 games during his 5 year NFL career. If you break it down, 8 games missed were due to ACL surgery in 2018, 5 games due his suspension in 2020 and 14 games due to other injuries (mainly of the soft tissue variety). Fuller worked hard on conditioning his body heading into the 2020 season and was able to stay healthy.
The second concern is that he is a free agent and we do not know what team he will be playing for in 2021. This concern is a little bit overblown as Fuller will be the #1 or #2 option at WR for whatever team he signs with. He showed the ability to be a team’s #1 option in 2020. He has also drawn 6.28 targets per game despite playing across from DeAndre Hopkins and Brandin Cooks his whole career.
Buying Will Fuller comes with some risk but it also comes with the opportunity for massive upside. You could end up with a low end WR1/high end WR2 for the price of a low end WR3 in dynasty startups. Last but not least, he will be turning only 27 in April, so you have 3 full seasons before he hits the dreaded age 30 for WRs. Buy while the price is still low!
- Craig @CoachCraigSport
Antonio Gibson (RB - Washington Football Team)
Antonio Gibson was a hidden gem found in the third round of the NFL draft for the Washington Football Team. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical to buy into him coming into the NFL, with his third round draft pedigree and his complete lack of historical data at the position. He played 14 games in his senior year at Memphis and only carried the ball THIRTY THREE times! I wasn’t sold on what his role would be coming into the NFL, so I had my doubts. But boy, was I wrong.
Ron Rivera and Scott Turner unlocked Gibson in his rookie season. When looking back over his rookie year, his numbers are pretty astonishing. After removing week 1 (his first NFL game, cut the guy some slack!) and week 13 (the game he got injured with turf toe in the first quarter), during weeks 2-12 he scored 175 PPR points, averaging 17.5 ppg, which was good for RB5 overall. What's more impressive is he did this on an extremely limited snap percentage. Gibson amassed just 48% of his teams snaps over this span and saw 20 touches on the ground just twice, both times reaching that exact 20 total mark (weeks 7 & 12, coincidentally both against Dallas.)
Which brings me to my next point - Gibson is playing in a division with the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys, and while yes, these teams will likely address the defensive needs throughout the draft & in free agency, the changes won’t happen overnight. I expect Gibson to have six solid matchups for at the least the 2021 season & beyond against inferior defenses.
Lastly, I want to add that I realize that Gibson is a huge TD regression candidate for some people, being tied with RB Jonathan Taylor with 11 rookie rushing TDs. But to you I say this: That low snap percentage tells me his volume can only go up, meaning he’ll rack up more points via rushing/receiving work. This year he only rushed for 795 yards & 247 through the air, with just 44 targets! Which reminds me, don’t even get me started on JD McKissics 110 targets (that surely have to come down?!!!) My point is, go buy Gibson. Not just because the offense can only get better, but HE can only get better. As well, when the Washington Football Team drafts a competent QB, the price to acquire Gibson will increse. So get him while you still can for the RB11 price tag that he currently has in DLF February Mocks.
- Julien Barnett (@ThePointAfterFF)
Taysom Hill (QB - New Orleans Saints)
New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Taysom Hill is the perfect player to buy low on and stash on your dynasty roster. In 2020, he moved his way up to the back-up QB after initially joining the team via waivers and contributing on gadget plays and special teams.
He would also get his first start in 2020, when filling in for an injured Drew Brees and eventually ended up starting for four games. During that stretch, he threw for 82 completions off of 114 attempts, totaling 834 yards and four TDs. He also showed flashes of the rushing dynamic that made him all the rage during his college days at BYU. With 209 rushing yards off of 39 attempts and making four more
trips into the endzone, Hill garnered attention from those in the fantasy community.
Following an elimination in the playoffs and into the off-season, rumors were swirling that Brees would make the decision to retire from pro football. It’s now almost the midway point of March and Brees has still yet to make a decision regarding his retirement. With Jameis Winston also on the Saints roster fresh off of lasik surgery to improve his vision, and the indecision from future Hall-Of-Famer Brees, there is certainly some risk holding on to Hill.
Brees' lack of commitment on making a decision is a perplexing one. You would think he would want to announce his retirement, allowing New Orleans to move forward with future plans. Then again, this all is centered around Head Coach Sean Payton and more than likely there already is a plan in place. At least for the short term.
It’s hard not to see Hill in those plans moving forward to 2021. The Saints’ are in the negative in terms of salary cap space, and the dual-threat quarterback is inked to the team for just $10M next year.
If Brees does return, can he stay healthy? If he retires, did Payton and company see enough from Hill in 2020 to make him the starter?
Either way, he’s worth a buy low and you can get him in most leagues at very good value. Sure, there is a chance that he doesn’t enter 2021 as the starter, but there is a good chance he becomes their lead signal caller prior to the season’s end.
Keep in mind that he is 31-years-old and this is a short-term investment, but it is one worth making.
- Nate Williams (@NateWilliamsDFS)
If you like True North's content click here to head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel, the TNFF Network for top-notch video content.
Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB - San Francisco)
Jeff Wilson Jr. is an intriguing fantasy RB. Rotoviz has him as the RB63, meanwhile, Raheem Mostert, the nominal starter in San Francisco is their RB36. Last season, San Francisco had 437 rushing attempts and 109 of them were from Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman, both of whom are now free agents. McKinnon also had 33 receptions on 46 targets. These vacated touches have to go somewhere.
Mostert will play next season at 29 years old and while he’s shown flashes in his 6 years in the NFL, he’s never really put it all together. Wilson however, is only 25 years old. The last four weeks of 2020, when Wilson was more of the feature back in San Francisco, he averaged 18.65 PPR points per game. With that kind of production, Wilson could easily be an RB2
if Mostert goes down.
I think we’ll see a lot of Wilson next season, even if Mostert remains the starter. San Francisco isn’t going to stop focusing on the run, and Mostert hasn’t shown that he’s an every down back. So, check with the Wilson owner and see what they would want for the RB. If you can get him for a rookie 3rd or 4th, you’re ahead of the game.
- Matt (@TEXASTROJAN2004)
James Robinson (RB- Jacksonville Jaguars)
Who would have ever thought in a buy low article I would be addressing a running back a year removed from his rookie season and an RB4 PPR fantasy season to boot! Well, here I am seriously addressing this situation with James Robinson. The reasoning for the situation: a manager wanting to put depth behind one of the most often banged up and injured position and the idea that without his league leading opportunity share, it's unlikely he can repeat or remain an RB1.
How great was the undrafted rookie last season? Robinson finished with 1080 rushing yards on 240 carries and 344 receiving yards on 49 receptions and added ten touchdowns. What makes these stats even crazier, is the fact that the Jaguars ran the least amount of run plays per game, 21, and had one of the worst game scripts in the NFL. The Jaguars are one of only six teams to not have 300 rush attempts. Overall, Jaguars running backs scored the 22th most fantasy points despite owning the RB4. The opportunity for running back usage should grow next year as the Jaguars will come back with a very different look roster plus a franchise quarterback and shift the game script and open up the field.
What also stands out to me about Robinson that goes unnoticed is just how much he created for himself apart from the offensive line. Per Playerprofiler, the run blocking efficiency for James Robinson ranked 44th among RBs. Robinson ranked 5th in evaded tackles, 6th in yards created and 8th in yards after catch.
Per DLF and their current March ADP, James Robinson is going as the RB19! He is fringing on falling out of the RB2 discussion after a season where I'm not certain you can find a running back who had less help and turned such a grotesque opportunity load into fantasy success. There seems to be some wild storylines being built around Robinson, who will only be 23 when next season starts. Take advantage of the diving ADP and buy yourself a stud RB at an RB2, creeping towards RB3 price tag.
- Connor (@connorten)
Chase Edmonds (RB - Arizona Cardinals)
After boasting career-high stats this past season, Arizona Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds has garnered attention from both fans and nay-sayers alike this off-season. With almost 70 targets in the 2020 season, Edmonds is clearly the pass-catching option in this backfield - but is he capable of becoming the primary RB who can break tackles and gain crucial yards consistently? With RB Kenyan Drake entering free agency, he may have the opportunity to prove himself. Drake had a slow start to the season and a tough time compensating for it. Through 15 games, he finished with 955 rushing yards on 239 carries and 10 touchdowns. Although he was reasonably productive from an NFL standpoint, he was not returning value at all from a fantasy perspective.
While the Cardinals will certainly be eyeing other prospects in free agency and the 2021 draft to help fill the void in the backfield, there may also be an opportunity for Edmonds to stand out as the team’s workhorse. As a buy-low target, he has the potential for a high pay-off if he becomes more involved in the 2021 season, depending on other roster moves the Cardinals choose to pursue.
- Unicorn (@unicorn_fringe)
Thank you for reading this article. Agree or disagree with any of our choices? Hit any one of us up on Twitter or check us out on truenorthffb.com.
Editor: Joe Simonetti (@joesimonetti77)
Graphic work: Dan Made Graphics (@DanMadeGraphics)