DynastyFootball

Dynasty Daydreaming: Five Fringe Fantasy Sleepers

posey

Fringe was a terrible television show. My wife and I have separate DVR’s because she has awful taste when it comes to television, but sometimes I’m forced to catch her latest guilty pleasure. She was pretty in to Fringe, coincidentally at the same time I was pretty in to whiskey and sleeping pills. I’m not here to debate the merits of the show as I was never committed to it enough to really grasp its lore, but I just wanted to mention that my wife likes bad television.

Fringe is also synonymous with the RotoViz family because we generally don’t operate within the limits our game has set up. We may just be hoopleheads and loons, I’m not really sure anymore.

The fringe of dynasty rosters is also where you place your Rip Van Winkle types into a safety deposit box just in case one day they flourish. Here’ are five fringe roster adds that your league may find irrelevant today, that could be worth a look with your Mr. Irrelevant roster spot.

If you’re one who likes to go all Billy Crudup with the end of your dynasty bench, you’ll also want to check out these top sleepers for 2014top 20 deep sleepers, as well as these 18 speculative adds.

DeVier Posey WR, HOU

Posey started to come on late in his rookie season in 2012 before tearing his Achilles in the playoffs versus New England, after he had already had three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. He returned in week three of last season, right in time to catch third degree burns from the dumpster fire that became the Texans’ 2013 season. He finished with a total of 15 receptions for 155 yards and no touchdowns as a sophomore in the NFL.

In terms of the Holy Grail components in receiver evaluation, Posey was right at the fringe areas in terms of weight (211 pounds), age (23) and had his breakout age in college at 20.5. The Texans used a third round selection on him. Here’s his College Career Graph.

poseymap

It’s easy to be alarmed by senior season nosedive, but Posey was suspended for the first ten games of 2011 for his association with Terrelle Pryor when they accepted money from a booster. He also entered the league as really good athlete in a 2012 draft class that had its share of misses on athletes taken in the same area of the draft as him.

PlayerSchoolDraftHeightWeight40YDVertBroad20YS3C
Brian QuickAppalachian State33762204.5341194.237.1
Stephen HillGeorgia Tech43762154.2839.51334.486.88
Alshon JefferySouth Carolina45752164.4836.51224.176.71
Rueben RandleLSU63752104.55311214.366.99
DeVier PoseyOhio State68742114.3936.51234.157.03
Mohamed SanuRutgers83742114.62361264.226.88
T.Y. HiltonFlorida International92701834.3735.51194.367.03
Chris GivensWake Forest96711984.3533.51184.236.97

Posey’s raw forty at his weight was on par with the same combine number that Sammy Watkins posted this season at the same size. It was also the same as TY Hilton and Chris Givens who are lighter and considered deep threats, while Posey trumps both in explosion. Now a full year removed from that injury and 33-year old Andre Johnson reportedly disgruntled with the direction the team is moving in, Posey is worthy of a spec add for the long shot chance that Johnson is dealt or if Father Time claims his soul during the season.

Gerell Robinson TE, DEN

Another 25-year old entering the third season of his NFL career, Robinson is moving from wide receiver to tight end for the Broncos this season as he’s gotten his weight up around 240 pounds. In the team’s recent rookie minicamp, Robinson was the only tight end present and got every rep. The move to tight end makes sense since he has a basketball background (of course he does) and excelled in the red zone using his frame while catching passes from still teammate Brock Osweiler at Arizona State. Robinson didn’t break out until age 22, and even then that was right at the desirable threshold for receivers. Using the College WR Stat Filter, he converted seven of 19 red zone targets over his final two seasons.

grobinsonmap

Denver is likely making the position change because they are loaded at receiver short term and want to kick the tires not only for Robinson’s strengths, but as insurance for Julius Thomas. Thomas was a big part of the Broncos offense a season ago and his athleticism coupled with red zone ability is something that the rest of the Denver tight end depth chart is unable to replace. For long term dynasty implications, there isn’t a tight end currently ahead of him on the depth chart signed beyond this season.

PLAYER

POS

AGE

GUARANTEED

FREE AGENT

Joel Dreessen

TE

31

$3,000,000

2015

Jacob Tamme

TE

29

$2,500,000

2015

Virgil Green

TE

25

$64,944

2015

Julius Thomas

TE

26

$384,000

2015

Cameron Morrah

TE

36

$0

2015

*Contract Info From Spotrac

In a perfect world, players like Thomas don’t hit the open market, but Denver needs to reserve a chunk of money for retaining Demaryius Thomas, who is also a free agent after this season. If Robinson does work out in camp as a tight end, releasing any of the above names outside of Thomas will cost Denver very little guaranteed money. Monitor Robinson when training camp kicks off as a potential bench addition. There’s a reason why Denver has excelled recently, and it’s because their organization makes smart decisions that come with very little risk.

Chris Matthews WR, SEA

My co-host on the Faked Goods Pod, Chad Scott has already written about Matthews a little bit, but I wanted to shine a light on him as well. He’s a longer shot than the players we’ve already discussed since Seattle spent a second round selection on Paul Richardson and a fifth rounder on Kevin Norwood.

If you read Chad Scott’s piece, you’ll know that the 6’5”, 218 pound, Matthews went undrafted and ripped up the CFL in 2012, winning their version of rookie of the year. He missed time this past season, but he had done enough to at least warrant a look from Seattle. After playing two seasons of junior college football, he made an SEC roster, playing his final two eligible seasons at Kentucky, alongside recent hot button receiver, Randall Cobb. Take a look at what they did in the same offense together in terms of receiving the football.

cmattcobbmap

I’m aware that Cobb contributed over 400 yards rushing, 900 plus return yards and even threw three touchdowns in 2010, so don’t mistake this as me selling you that Matthews is the better player. It is interesting to see how he functioned though in a passing game alongside a player that was a second round selection. Closing out their careers at Kentucky, Matthews had larger or similar shares as Cobb on 24 fewer targets. He also led the SEC in touchdown receptions in 2010. Looking at the receiver position in Seattle, they could have a need for someone with size to score in the red zone.

Player

RZTGT

TD

%

Percy Harvin

53

9

16.9%

Doug Baldwin

18

7

38.9%

Jermaine Kearse

10

1

10.0%

*RZTGT Data From WR Stat Filter

He’s no threat to Richardson at all, but we know Pete Carroll will allow an open completion for Matthews to take out Norwood, a player he’s actually younger than by one month, and Sidney Rice, who just signed a one year deal for the team’s final receiver position. With Seattle already invested into Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, and now Richardson long term, and Jermaine Kearse being a restricted free agent after this season, Matthews is more of a nickel down a wishing well add. If he doesn’t make the crowded roster, keep a pulse on his next destination.

Donte Foster and/or Erik Lora WR, MIN

Here’s one for your rookie drafts, as the trio of undrafted rookies Donte Foster, Kain Colter and Erik Lora are competing for the Vikings final receiving spots. While that doesn’t sound appealing at first blush, there’s a possibility that doors can open in the near future in Minnesota.

PLAYERAGEGUARANTEEDFREE AGENT
Greg Jennings30$17,800,0002018
Cordarrelle Patterson23$5,831,3612017
Jarius Wright24$420,1082016
Rodney Smith24$7,0002016
Jerome Simpson28$02015
Adam Thielen23$02016
Kamar Jorden25$02016
Lestar Jean26$10,0002015

*Contract Info From Spotrac

Shawn Siegele likes Jarius Wright to break out in year three and I don’t disagree. Jennings will be 31-years old this season, and is also an easy redraft target right now in terms of players who can demolish their current ADP. If Jennings trends downward this season, he can save the Vikings $5M in cap space if released in 2015 and $7M in 2016. Simpson and Jean are roster fodder at this point, and we really have no clue if Patterson will ever be a true receiver in the NFL, but his roster spot is very secure for a long time.

Back to the trio of rookies that they’ve brought in, who are all better options at this point in terms of seeing what you have than retaining Simpson or Jean. Even making the roster as a WR4 or WR5 puts them a hop, skip and jump away from a bigger role. Here’s the college graph for Foster and Colter.

minwr5map

Colter was converted from quarterback off and on throughout college, so his receiving stats are uninspiring as a whole as he only totaled 63 receptions. Lora was Jimmy Garoppolo’s main target at Eastern Illinois, but he’s not part of our graph. Here are his impressive college totals receiving the ball.

Year

Team

G

Rec

Yds

Yd/Rec

TDs

2009

Eastern Ill.

12

23

320

13.9

2

2010

Eastern Ill.

10

50

478

9.6

2

2012

Eastern Ill.

12

136

1664

12.2

12

2013

Eastern Ill.

13

123

1544

12.6

19

He was at a smaller school and amassed lofty totals, but his dominator rating closing out his college career was right on par with Foster at .33. In terms of athletic prowess, here’s how they stack up.

PlayerSchoolRookie AgeHeightWeight40YDVertBroad
Kain ColterNorthwestern22.6701984.71n/an/a
Erik LoraEastern Illinois23.5702034.4836119
Donte FosterOhio24.1731884.4742132

Foster is older and leaner, but is easily the most explosive player in the group. In fact, he’s similar to Paul Richardson in terms of size and explosion. Lora runs just as well and is heavier, so there’s a check mark in his corner. Outside of the position change, Colter is also coming off of ankle surgery, so his workouts were really hampered. He’ll have the hardest path to future success, so that’s why I left him off as a player to really monitor.

Foster fits Norv Turner’s offense the best, but is more of a Jarius Wright doppelganger, so his path is also blocked. Lora may be the best option for Teddy Bridgewater’s skill set, since he can be a high volume underneath option.

There’s not a lot of sex appeal here, but those are some lesser known names to keep tabs on throughout the summer as a fringe add to your dynasty roster. They may not be sexy, but they’re all better than the lousy show I led off with.

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By Rich Hribar | @lordreebs | Archive

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