It’s now Week 7, and we’re headed into the teeth of the fantasy football byes. We’re also a little more than 1/3 of the way through the 2014 season. If you’re in a dynasty/keeper fantasy football league, it’s time to take stock of your squad. If you’re 0-6, 1-5 or 2-4 and you don’t feel like you can contend for a championship, it may be time to consider playing for next year.
Nobody wants to quit, but sometimes you just have to face the facts – the only terrible thing you can do with the rest of your season is nothing. Today we’re going to talk some fantasy football keeper/dynasty strategy. Let’s discuss the top players to target in keeper leagues if you’re out of contention in 2014.
He’s been the #1 QB so far, and you’re going to have to overpay to get him. I know this, and I’m okay with it. Fact is, he’s blossomed and it looks like he’ll be a top-5 QB stud for years to come. He was taken in about the 4th-5th round this year, so he’s a monster bargain based on draft position. If you’ve got any of the aging stud QBs, try to create a package to get this monster on your team. He’s the type that you build a dynasty team around. (100% owned)
It’s really too early to say if the AP era is over in Minnesota, but it’s not too early to call McKinnon what he is: a freak athlete. He’s already dropped two pretty legitimate games and he’s still learning. Once he’s got pass protection and the whole playbook down, his potential is immense. But for now, Jerick is relatively unproven and can be had for veritable pennies compared to what his value will be if the Vikings stick with his as their RB of the future. (about 45% owned)
The fantasy community is extremely divided about Sankey. Some folks think he’s more less useless, while others believe he’s the future at RB for the Titans. Myself and Brent are in the second group – The Titans were high enough on Bishop to draft him in the second round of the 2014 draft and not bring in anyone that would really compete with him over the course of his rookie season. I believe the time to buy him is now – the breakout is coming, and soon. (about 70% owned)
You know the 49ers love them some Carlos Hyde. Despite having a very productive Frank Gore, capable backup Kendall Hunter, and prospects LaMichael James and Marcus Lattimore at RB, they drafted him in the second round of the 2014 draft. The decision proved to be superb, as neither prospect has panned out, Hunter tore his ACL, and Gore’s carries have been managed as planned. Hyde has played sparingly so far, but has looked beastly doing so. Gore’s contract is up after this year, and I wouldn’t be shocked if his tenure in San Francisco was over after the 2014 campaign. In a run heavy offense, Hyde is set up to be a monster for years to come. (about 50% owned)
Randle has always had the pedigree – former early draft pick, solid red-zone threat, and occasional monster player. But now that Victor Cruz is out for the year, I’m expecting a major breakout from Rueben. He was already leading the Giants in targets over the last few weeks, and as he’s now the de-facto WR1 the sky’s the limit. The injury Cruz sustained generally saps players of their burst, which is the aspect of his game that has always set him apart. I hope he gets better soon, but I’m expecting Randle to open 2015 as the Giants #1 WR on the heels of a breakout 2014 season. Buy him while he’s still at a WR2 price. (about 80% owned)
I know Williams isn’t the #1 WR on the Cowboys, and he’s not even the #2 option for the offense – Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray have those roles on lockdown. But I have to say I really like his ascension into a prime role in an offense that can score a ton of points with the quickness. Defenses worry so much about Murray and Bryant that it leaves Williams a ton of room to get open, and he’s taken advantage, notching at least 7 fantasy points in every game but one this year. Romo trusts him and you can still buy him as a WR3 – I love the value going forward. (about 85% owned)
Holmes was a hot topic on the waiver wire on Wednesday morning after a couple of solid games in a row. I’m here to tell you that he’s the real deal, and you need to buy him while he’s virtually free. Here’s why: First off, he’s a 6’4”, 210 pound monster than runs a 4.51 40 yard dash. He presents matchup problems with all but the biggest corners, and as he matures and polishes his game he should be able to outrun them. He’s starting and getting tons of targets from his new QB Derek Carr. He and Carr should be able to mature together during this already-lost season, and will be a force to be reckoned with in 2015. (about 20% owned)
Matthews was a 2014 second round pick of the Eagles, and he’s already matured into a top-3 receiving threat for the team. He’s logged a 2 TD game, and he’s had an eight-catch game. And he’s only 22. The Chip Kelly offense isn’t going anywhere, and pretty soon the Eagles are going to realize Matthews is a far superior wideout to Riley Cooper. I not only believe in Matthews for the remainder of this season, but I think he is a top 30 wideout for 2015. He shouldn’t cost you much to acquire, and could pay a massive dividend next year if he starts across from Jeremy Maclin. (about 25% owned)
Whelp, it looks like the Chiefs finally found a TE. Life after Tony Gonzalez has mostly been rough and / or irrelevant for the TE position in KC. Enter Kelce, a third-round pick in 2013. He mostly observed his first season, but has been getting more and more snaps in 2014 and making the most of them. He’s been compared to Rob Gronkowski for his stature and athleticism, and while I’m not expecting Gronkian levels of production, I do believe that he has significant upside in a KC offense that has few other impact pass catchers. Andy Reid hasn’t fully unleashed him yet, so the price is still pretty low in my book – I think he has ‘Dynasty Buy Low’ written all over him as a potential top-10 TE for years to come. (about 75% owned)
I’m super high on Donnell’s dynasty value for a couple of reasons, which begin with the recent injury to Victor Cruz. Donnell is going to have to play an even larger role in the Giants offense for the remainder of the season, so he’ll gain both valuable game speed experience and further chemistry with Eli Manning. Regardless of New York’s overall record in the end, I believe Donnell has already established himself as a legitimate pass-catching and red-zone threat, something the G-Men have been sorely lacking for a few seasons now. With scant other TE options on their roster at this time, the Giants have set it up for Larry to be their guy for at least the next few seasons to come. He went undrafted in most leagues, and therefore is even more valuable for dynasty purposes. (about 80% owned)