4 Players To Target In Dynasty Before 2017 Free Agency
Building a true dynasty takes many things…
One of those things is preparation – and you must do it in order to plan for the future. You do not want to be the guy that has Calvin Johnson on your roster right now. In addition to keeping player age in mind, you also have to evaluate potential free agent landing spots. Picking someone up before they have an opportunity to get out of a crowded situation or bad scheme fit can pay off dramatically.
In this writeup, we are going to cover what players from the 2017 free agency pool will see a jump in their ADP this time next year. This way, you can make a move now to pick them up much cheaper.
We are going to focus on WR’s & RB’s in this article. As of today, next year’s FA class is loaded with very high-end talent. But let’s be honest with ourselves right now: Keenan Allen, Alshon Jeffery and DeAndre Hopkins are probably not going anywhere. And even if they did, their ADP cannot go much higher. Also scheduled to become free agents after this coming season are Le’Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy. Bell isn’t going anywhere either but it is possible that Lacy moves on (or Green Bay moves on from Lacy). But for the sake of this strategy we are going to focus on cheaper options that will give us a higher return on investment.
WRs To Target Before 2017 Free Agency
My first wide receiver target is Raven receiver Kamar Aiken. Kamar Aiken shined in an injury-ridden Ravens offense last year. In 12 of the 16 games last year, Aiken saw at least 7 targets and had at least 5 catches in 11 games. Last year was his 3rd year in the league, and he finished with a line of 75 rec on 127 targets for 944 yards and 5 TDs. This was good for WR27 in PPR leagues. Down the stretch, which is most important to fantasy players he was the ppr WR15 from week 10 on – all of which was after Steve Smith suffered a season ending injury.
Now… this year, it is almost certain that Aiken’s production will dip back down some. This year Aiken will have to compete with Steve Smith returning from his Achilles tendon tear, Breshard Perriman scheduled to finally play a down, free agent signings of Mike Wallace and Ben Watson and the possible return of tight end Dennis Pitta. Not to mention all the other minor contributors that hit IR for the Ravens last year also – 8 of them to be exact. There are way too many mouths to feed this season for Aiken to match his production from last year. But if he leaves when he becomes a free agent, that will just create a bigger gain in his ADP.
The next guy on my list is a bit more expensive, former first round pick Michael Floyd. This year, Floyd should be in line for another slightly disappointing year because of all the talent that is still in Arizona. He finished last season with a line of 52-829-6, which landed him as the WR38. Floyd is definitely better than a WR4 on your fantasy team. Next year if Floyd leaves Arizona, expect him to sign with a team that has a huge hole at receiver and finally becomes a consistent WR2 for your fantasy team. If by chance he does stay in Arizona, Fitzgerald is just about at the end of the road and Jaron Brown could also leave, as he will be a free agent. Either way Floyd should see a significant bump in targets. I would wait for this year’s rookie receivers to come into camp and get some buzz and drop Floyd’s ADP even further. Then make your move for him before the start of the regular season. Take a look at Floy’d stats below.
RBs To Target Before 2017 Free Agency
Switching gears over to running back, we have Latavius Murray. Murray entered the NFL as a sixth round pick in 2013. I believe that this is something that still haunts him today. The front office never seems fully committed to him, which leads me to believe that he will search for greener pastures in 2017. He spent his entire rookie year on IR, and did not see more than four carries in 2014 until week 14. Since then, he has not missed a game and has averaged just over 19 touches per. Murray has also had at least 80 total yards in a game 13 of those 20 games. Once Latavius Murray leaves the Raiders and goes to a team that is committed to him, I believe he will out produce his numbers in Oakland easily. He currently has an ADP of 86.7(early 8th rd.). I could easily see him moving up to the middle of the 5th round in PPR leagues.
Another running back that I can see taking the next step on a new team is Giovani Bernard. Currently TeamFFCC has him ranked as the RB10 in our consensus rankings. The reason for my excitement for Gio in the future is that he is being taken in the 7th round as the RB21. Bernard has topped 1,000 yards in each of his three years in the NFL. His PPR finishes have been 13, 18, and 16 thus far. Last season Bernard had the 4th highest YPC of all running backs with over 125 carries. The only downside with his current situation is that he is part of one the most even running back committies in the NFL. Even so, it makes no sense to me why he is being drafted so low. Gio’s ADP chart is below (courteous of Rotoviz & MFL data). When Gio Bernard moves on to a new team, hopefully it will be to a dome team that will showcase his speed and receiving ability. I think that TeamFFCC is spot on with our consensus ranking of Giovani Bernard
Now some of you might think it is a little extreme to target players specifically because they are 2017 free agents… they’re not going to become free agents until a year from now. But the bump in value that these players will receive if they go to a great landing spot will be an awesome return on investment. Plus, worst case scenario; their values will stay the same. Gio, Floyd and Murray all have enough talent that they will contribute anywhere they go. Aiken is cheap enough that even if he is a one hit wonder, the amount you pay for him will not hurt you. So when others go out and buy next year’s Lamar Miller after he signs with his new home, you will not be late to the party like them.
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