5 Deeper Dynasty Stashes for 2017
Yesterday, we took a look at five deep dynasty stashes to pursue this offseason. Here are five deeper dynasty stashes that have the opportunity to gain value over the next season and may be worth holding at the end of your roster depending on your league size and scoring formats.
Terrell Watson, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Terrell Watson has made his way around several practice squads at this point in his career, but he’s a player well worth rostering. He’s a bruising back that absolutely dominated during his time at Azusa Pacific. The 6-foot-1-inch, 240-pound running back finished his collegiate career with 2,153 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns.
As Jon Moore noted back in 2015, he’s the best running back prospect you never heard of. Matthew Freedman found Watson had a 95.31 percent Workhorse Metric, which jives with PlayerProfiler accrediting him with a 99th percentile finish in their College Dominator Rating.1
In other words, when given the opportunity, Watson racked up rushing production.
The Eagles have Darren Sproles entering his age-34 season and Ryan Mathews on the last year of his contract at a $5 million hit against the cap. Sproles likely won’t be going anywhere, but Mathews may have seen his last day as an Eagle when he suffered a herniated disc in his neck. We could quite easily see the Eagles add to their running back corps through the draft this season, but if they elect not to, Watson could make a formidable tandem with Sproles and Wendell Smallwood.
Darius Jackson, RB, Cleveland Browns
Drafted by the Cowboys, dynasty owners sighed a collective groan after forecasting him to back up Ezekiel Elliott during the prime years of his career. A 53-man casualty, Jackson was let go to make room for Darren McFadden late in the season, and Cleveland wasted no time in scooping him up. Drafted in the sixth round, Jackson has a terrific blend of athleticism and potential:
MockDraftable‘s top comparables of David Johnson and Adrian Peterson ought to capture your attention right away. Jackson possesses an incredible blend of size, speed, and explosiveness. Brian Malone penned earlier last offseason that he was a perfect sleeper to stash after listing these top comparables:
Despite the sixth-round draft pedigree, many thought it would only be a matter of time until Jackson was seeing significant snaps. The Browns have an interesting dilemma with Isaiah Crowell as an unrestricted free agent. It’s not unreasonable to see them moving on from Crowell. Jackson is likely available in a good number of dynasty leagues or available at a dirt-cheap asking price. Make the move before Crowell walks and Jackson’s value starts rising.
Paul Turner, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
A preseason DFS sweetheart for many, Paul Turner turned quite a few heads after leading the league in preseason receptions as a UDFA. At 5 feet 11 inches and 195 pounds, Turner is a svelte slot receiver with a penchant for gaining quick separation. He also has hands that Nelson Agholor dreams about.
Unfortunately for Turner, it took until Week 13 for him to see any meaningful snaps. How’d he fare? He saw eight targets, catching six for 80 yards. It should be noted this game came with slot receiver Jordan Matthews sidelined, so it’s fair to question the legitimacy of Turner playing alongside Matthews with both operating out of the slot. Matthews is on the last year of his rookie deal, and while he has been inconsistent,2 he has flashed playmaking ability. Turner is therefore best served as an end-of-bench player designated on Taxi Squads.
Bruce Ellington, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Optimism for Bruce Ellington was sky-high prior to a hamstring injury that cost him the entire 2016 season. As Jon Moore pointed out, Ellington had a sublime SPARQ score that eclipsed both Brandin Cooks and Odell Beckham Jr.:
Sure, it may seem outlandish at first, but we haven’t really seen what Ellington is capable of at the NFL level. A capable rusher and receiver, Ellington has curious fantasy potential that a creative head coach needs to find ways to utilize in the proper manner.
Most of what we try to do in dynasty comes down to forecasting a potential range of outcomes and anticipating future value.3 Ellington is filled with question marks, but I’d rather find the answers to those questions with Ellington on my bench — not my opponent’s. I’m excited to see what new head coach Kyle Shanahan can do with Ellington as his arbitrage version of Jamison Crowder.
A.J. Derby, TE, Denver Broncos
Anytime the Patriots draft a tight end, I take notice. A.J. Derby was traded to the Broncos before the trade deadline this past season and went on to have a quiet rookie season. He played over 60 percent of the team’s snaps just once, but was notably more involved with the offense as the season progressed, accruing five and six targets his final two games of the season. Rookie tight ends developing slowly in the NFL is nothing new, and we may see Derby take a step forward in 2017 with Virgil Green remaining just a solid blocking tight end. After seeing the tight end position fluctuate like it did in 2016, now seems like a good time for dart throws at up-and-coming tight ends.
New OC Mike McCoy has had success with his tight ends as a coordinator and head coach. Over the past three seasons, his tight ends have combined for 13, 10, and 15 touchdowns. Derby isn’t a lock to produce numbers anywhere close to this, but his price point is next to nil and there currently isn’t anyone on the roster that exhibits any kind of roadblock to potential success.