32 Teams, 32 Dynasty Fantasy Football Targets Prior to Free Agency
While we’re still at a young point in this NFL offseason, Free Agency is right around the corner. All 32 teams' rosters heading into the 2013 season are in flux, so I combed through each team in search of one player that you can target in your dynasty leagues. Some of these players may be available on your waiver wire, while others may be untouchable because the owner is expecting big things from this player in 2013. Most, however, are guys you can probably target for cheap in a trade, or even get an owner to “throw them in” as part of a bigger trade.
In the end, I plucked one player from each team to target in the offseason. While it’s highly speculative, I’ve tried to put an order to how I would rank each of these players. Feel free to leave your comments and/or questions below!
1. ) Lamar Miller,RB, MIA
So yeah, he’s probably the most untouchable on this list with all of the offseason hype he’s received. Reggie Bush is likely an afterthought in Miami, and Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland has already hinted that it will be Miller’s job to lose. The talented 2nd year back averaged 4.9 yards on 51 carries last year.
2.) DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
Jackson has put up some serious numbers in his career, but his 45rec/700yd/2TD performance last year was his worst since coming into the league. Granted, he did only play 11 games. Chip Kelly may look to make DJax his “Black Mamba”, a role that only Jackson could fulfill on the Eagles. It’s tough to answer what type of price tag a DJax owner might put on him given the Chip Kelly signing, but I can guarantee you his owner is very frustrated with him after the last two seasons.
3.) Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
Wright is another guy that will probably be tough to acquire after a solid rookie year, but I think this is the lowest his value will be in the next 5-7 years. Wright only had 626 receiving yards last year on 64 receptions, but the talent is there waiting to be better utilized by the Titans. Wright led the Titans in targets and forced 13 missed tackles (8th best among wide receivers). I’d fully expect him to be a candidate to catch 75+ passes a season going forward.
4.) Ben Tate, RB, HOU
Arian Foster’s rushing average has decreased from 4.9, to 4.4, to 4.1 over the last 3 seasons. In the last two seasons he has 850 total touches (including the playoffs). It’s well documented that running backs just aren’t made to hold up to these types of workloads, and Ben Tate is just waiting for his opportunity. Tate nearly ran for 1000 yards in 2011, before struggling through injuries last season.
5.) Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
A broken hand sidelined Jeffery for a big chunk of the 2012 season, but the rookie flashed some definite big play ability, averaging 15.3 yards on 24 receptions. Jeffery is a solid complement to Brandon Marshall, who is coming off of his best season as a pro. I expect that Jeffery emerges as a WR3 (or better) in fantasy going forward.
6.) Shane Vereen, RB, NE
While injuries early in his career have put him behind Stevan Ridley on the depth chart despite being drafted a round earlier in the 2011 draft, Vereen had a coming out party in the AFC Divisional matchup against the Texans. A lot of owners will probably want to hold on to Vereen in fear of selling low, but he figures to only get more and more looks going forward, especially in the passing game where he excelled last year. I think there is probably a good chance the Patriots re-sign free agent Danny Woodhead, so you might be better off waiting for that to happen before sending your offers for Vereen.
7.) Robert Turbin, RB, SEA
True three down backs are a rarity in this day and age, but Turbin showed that he can shoulder the load at various points during the 2012 season. After a 20-carry, 108 yard performance in week 14, Turbin probably won’t come cheap, but it’s worth inquiring owners to see if he is for sale. He’s still firmly behind 26-year old Marshawn Lynch on the depth chart, but the talent is definitely there.
8.) Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
Williams has played only 5 games in two seasons with the Cardinals. He’s averaged 2.8 ypc in those 5 games behind an atrocious offensive line. However, he will only be 23 entering his 3rd season under new head coach Bruce Arians. At the very least, expect him to be a decent weekly flex play.
9.) Mohamed Sanu, WR, CIN
Cincinnati is still looking for someone to be the guy across from AJ Green. Sanu flashed some potential when he got the opportunity in weeks 7-12, but suffered a foot injury that caused him to go on IR. Sanu is an upgrade over fill-in Marvin Jones and should be the Bengals #2 WR heading into 2013.
10.) Vincent Brown, WR, SD
Brown missed all of 2012 with an ankle injury but walks into a decent situation with the Chargers. While Danario Alexander emerged as a legitimate option for Philip Rivers, there’s room for Brown in the offense ahead of colossal bust Robert Meachem. Brown will have to outplay veteran Malcom Floyd to earn significant snaps, but don’t be surprised if he does just that.
11.) Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
Randle is entering his 2nd year in an offense that is capable of supporting 3 fantasy wide receivers. He only caught 15 passes in 2012 but had some bright spots throughout the year, including a 2 touchdown performance in the final week of the season. Randle should be the Giants’ #3 wide receiver in 2013, and his stock will never be lower than now.
12.) Rod Streater, WR, OAK
Darius Heyward-Bey could be a potential cap casualty this offseason. Regardless, undrafted rookie Rod Streater outplayed him and really turned it on in the final 5 games of the season. Expect Streater to emerge as the #2 in Oakland next year.
13.) A.J. Jenkins, WR, SF
The 49ers are just harvesting talent, and head coach Jim Harbaugh has shown the uncanny ability to get the most out of every player. The 49ers wouldn’t have drafted Jenkins in the 1st round last year if they didn’t have big plans for him. He didn’t have a single catch in his rookie season, but things should open up for him this year on the depth chart assuming that Randy Moss isn’t brought back.
14.) Leonard Hankerson, WR, WAS
Hankerson has been a 2Mugs favorite since coming into the league in 2011, but he was injured in his rookie year in the midst of an 8rec/106yd performance and struggled to achieve a weekly role where he could succeed in year 2. Hankerson’s measurable are off the chart, so we’ll look for him to make that “3rd year WR jump” that so many before him have made.
15.) T.J. Graham, WR, BUF
Graham saw a lot of playing time in his rookie season, though it only amounted to 31 catches for 322 yards and a single touchdown. Graham is a burner who’s real potential is unrealized by the incapable Ryan Fitzpatrick. Hopefully new head coach Doug Marrone can discover this untapped potential.
16.) Dwayne Allen, TE, IND
While Fleener was rumored to be the top rookie TE before last season, given the history at Stanford with Andrew Luck and all, Allen easily outpaced him in production. Allen’s rookie season was no stat-fest (45rec/521yds/3TDs), but I’d still look to add him as he can line up anywhere on the field and be a big weapon for this Colts’ offense.
17.) Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
Hey, why not? This is a calculated gamble that Tony Gonzalez returns for another season, so throw a lowball offer his owners’ way. We all know he’s fully capable of putting up huge tight end numbers—something that is becoming a rarity these days.
18.) Jeremy Kerley, WR, NYJ
2nd year receiver Jeremy Kerley was probably the lone bright spot on a team that was a continual hot mess in 2012. Seeing Kerley rack up 53 catches for 739 yards on an offense that pretty much went nowhere all season says a lot about his ability. Santonio Holmes will be back next year, but nobody figures to challenge Kerley for his spot in the slot. He’s got a long way to go before he can be an every week starter, but PPR leaguers should at least give him a look.
19.) Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT
The Steelers won’t be able to bring back free agent Mike Wallace, so it’s next man up for Mike Tomlin. Sanders leaves a lot to be desired from a talent standpoint, but he’s in an offense where he can succeed in PPR leagues. The Steelers can certainly add competition this offseason in a deep WR draft, but as of now it’s Sanders’ job to lose.
20.) Joique Bell, RB, DET
The poor man’s Darren Sproles, Bell caught 52 passes last season and had 4 games where he had more than 5 receptions. With Kevin Smith pretty much out of the picture, Bell’s role in the offense should only increase next year.
21.) Brian Quick, WR, STL
At this point it’s 50-50 as to whether or not the Rams bring back Amendola. Quick is highly regarded among dynasty circles, but definitely disappointed in his rookie season with only 11 catches for 156 yards. Quick is still a very raw, yet talented wide receiver. He’d be an ideal guy to target as part of a bigger trade.
22.) Dexter McCluster, WR, KC
The 3rd year KR/WR/RB has been a huge disappointment up to now, but he’ll try to carve out a role in Andy Reid’s new west coast offense that is heavily dependent on short and intermediate routes. Reid was rumored to have a huge mancrush on McCluster in the 2010 draft.
23.) Jordan Cameron, TE, CLE
The new regime in Cleveland is said to like what they have in 3rd year tight end Jordan Cameron, and he’ll step into an offensive system where he can showcase his talent. Both Head Coach Rob Chudzinski and Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner have had some productive tight ends in their respective offenses (see Olsen, Greg and Gates, Antonio).
24.) Tommy Streeter, WR, BAL
Streeter didn’t take the field in 2012 because of an ankle injury, but it’s not hard to see that he could be in the Ravens’ long-term plans. Anquan Boldin will be a free agent after the 2013 season, so the Ravens will look for someone to step up to take his place. Enter the 6’5”/220lb Streeter. Streeter has a long way to go to even remain in the league, but his size and 4.4 speed are a rare combination.
25.) Jarius Wright, WR, MIN
Another “project” wide receiver, Jarius Wright flashed some talent during his rookie season, capped by a 3rec/90yd/TD performance in week 17 against the Packers. Regardless of whether or not Harvin is kept by the Vikings, Wright will be in a solid position to be a starter in week 1.
26.) Dwayne Harris, WR, DAL
Harris is in a situation similar to Rueben Randle. The Cowboys love to throw the football and Romo has shown he is capable of supporting 3, or even 4 fantasy pass catchers (think back to the Laurent Robinson days in 2011). It’s pretty much a given that Miles Austin will also get injured at some point in the season. Harris is entering his 3rd season and will definitely have the opportunity to earn a decent role in the offense.
27.) Mike Tolbert, RB, CAR
The talks of the Panthers potentially releasing DeAngelo Williams have been put to rest for the most part. That’s too bad. With Williams turning 30 this year, he’s going to inevitably be cut or traded by the Panthers. A lot will have to happen for Tolbert to emerge, but he’s shown that he has the talent both between the tackles and in the passing game to be a fantasy asset.
28.) Andrew Quarless, TE, GB
Quarless missed all of 2012 with a torn ACL/MCL. If Jermichael Finley is gone in free agency, expect Quarless to be given the opportunity to start. He’ll be in the final year of his rookie contract, so he has all the motivation in the world to shine in hopes of a decent payday. It also helps that Aaron Rodgers throws him the ball.
29.) Trindon Holliday, WR, DEN
Like so many talented kick returners before him (Dante Hall, Josh Cribbs, Devin Hester), I’d expect the Broncos to try to find Holliday a bigger role in the offense. It probably won’t work out, but it doesn’t hurt to add him to your roster in hopes of something big.
30.) Nick Toon, WR, NO
Toon missed his rookie year after foot surgery in the preseason. The Saints will look for someone to emerge as a 4th option behind Colston, Moore, and Graham. Toon is a relatively unkown at the NFL level, but it wouldn’t take much to pass Joe Morgan on the depth chart.
31.) Chris Owusu, WR, TB
Owusu played in only 5 games last year for the Bucs and had only 1 catch, but his 4.36 speed is well documented. After Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, the Bucs’ WR depth chart is marred by mediocrity. It’s a longshot, but Owusu is at least worth a look as someone who could emerge.
32.) Blaine Gabbert, QB, JAC
I’ll be honest, there wasn’t really anyone else on the Jaguars to pick. I mean, Cecil Shorts and Blackmon are going to be nearly impossible to obtain. All told, I expect Gabbert to continue to play poorly, but it sounds like it is once again his job to lose.
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