More Dynasty Darlings: Part 2
by Tim Lazenby
Dynasty start ups rage on in this part of the season. While redraft leagues won’t be going full speed until at least July or August, dynasty never sleeps. And although some leagues are waiting until the real life NFL draft, many are commencing before finding out where the newest batch of rookies will land in the National Football league. Every year, the consensus on draft value has an ebb and flow and this season is no different. A draft isn’t usually lost in the first or second round; rather, it’s lost when late values are not grabbed. Last time, we spoke about Daniel Jones, Kenneth Gainwell, Christian Kirk and Cole Kmet. Continuing on in our discussion of ADP values, here is one more hidden gem at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end.
Quarterback - Davis Mills, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans have been rough for a while. Although they have a handful of difference makers, the team is lackluster when compared to the rest of the division, let alone the league. One of the bright spots for the Texans is quarterback Deshaun Watson. An unworldly talent, despite playing for a poor team, off field issues and contract disputes left an elite talent off the field for all of last season.
While Watson is in many ways irreplaceable, Houston had to continue on in the meantime last year. In 2021, they tried to utilize Tyrod Taylor as their answer under center. He came out swinging his first game at starter, with a smash win against the lowly Jags followed by a decently close outing against the Browns, but an injury derailed his season at that time. With no one else to turn to, then coach David Culley was forced to look to third round rookie Davis Mills out of Stanford
Although his team record was quite lackluster, Mills outperformed virtually everyone’s expectations. While it’s true that he lacks the rushing upside, similarly to fellow rookie Mac Jones, his work as a pocket passer was quite underrated. Playing for the weak Texans squad, he still finished with a higher completion percentage than Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Josh Allen, all the while doing it with exponentially less weapons. And even though it needs work, in his last eight games, he only threw three picks. Houston will certainly move on from Watson, Making Mills extremely appealing. And considering he is going around Sam Darnold and Taysom Hill range in drafts, there is no reason to not take a flier on Davis Mills in 2022.
Running Back - Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks
For the most part Rashaad Penny has been one of the biggest disappointments in recent years in football. When you talk about the criteria for a bonafide perfect dynasty fantasy football profile, Rashaad Penny ticked virtually every box. Seattle invested a first round pick; Penny went to a system that emphasized the rushing game; and the competition was an often injured back with no team investment. There was seemingly no reason to suggest that Penny would not only thrive; but also have the shot to run the league at the position.
While he hasn’t looked nearly as explosive as he did in college, save the end of this past season, the injuries have really taken the biggest toll on his dynasty value. While in college, he only missed a handful of games, in the NFL, Penny has been one of the most injury plagued players, playing only 37 games in four professional seasons.
So if he’s always injured, hasn’t been the caliber he was in college and he’s a free agent, why is he on this list? Plain and simple: it’s his current value. It is possible that he will always be injured. It’s also possible that he may play for another team. But, when you are able to grab a probable starting running back around Chase Edmonds and Rhamondre Stevenson ADP, you simply have to gamble. And add to that how he finished the season. Since week 14, he led all running backs in PPR by over ten points. Many said Keenan Allen would never thrive due to his injuries, and I’m willing to wager that Rashaad Penny could hold value this season. Gamble on him as his price is low.
Wide Receiver - DJ Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars
Finding value at the end of the draft can be very difficult, but it’s not impossible. One of the gems comes from one of the worst teams, in the name of DJ Chark. If we only look back a couple years, DJ Chark was straight up fire. In 15 games, even though he was catching balls from Blake Bortles, he still finished as WR17 in PPR. Past the first game, he only had less than five targets once. He also did so well even though he was not technically the starting wide receiver in Jacksonville that year.
While it’s true that last season was a disappointment, as he was injured most of the season, while he was playing he was pretty much Jacksonville’s only deep threat. Moving into this season, it doesn’t seem as though the Jaguars will have another burner on the squad, leaving Chark as the one to benefit the most from Trevor Lawrence’s cannon of an arm. And although Lawrence didn’t shine last year in the slightest, there is no doubt he will grow and only get better moving forward, as will his weapons.
Now, we simply cannot base value off of one year alone, but again, digging up diamonds late in the draft is not an easy task. DJ Chark’s value is so low that he is going around the ADP of Rondale Moore and Corey Davis. And even though I think Moore and Davis aren’t slouches, I’m willing to gamble that Chark will be the best option at receiver by a wide margin. I have been able to draft him regularly past round 13 and beyond. He makes it an easy decision at the draft table every single time.
Tight End - Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars
Before you take out your torches and pitchforks, I am well aware I am about to speak fondly about back to back Jacksonville Jaguars players. As we all know, the tight end position is the one that is the most dominated by the least amount of players. Past the first tier, the drop off is large, and past the next, the drop off is downright severe. Spending up to claim one of the top tight ends is also very expensive. So claiming the talent later on is essential to any fantasy team’s success.
I’ve had my eye on Dan Arnold for quite some time. Since starting only one game in New Orleans, Arnold has traveled quite a bit. The numbers don’t look very pleasing, but he was never given a chance until recently. Being an undrafted player means that you have to earn every chance you get and his first real shot at league relevance started looking up in Arizona in 2020. While he caught 4 touchdowns, which is decent, he did so while only starting five games. And while it’s a small detail on the larger picture, it is important, nonetheless.
Many were excited once Arnold came to Carolina with the chance to truly be the starter, but after only three games, he was shipped off to the basement dwelling Jaguars. It is true that Arnold has not dominated in Jacksonville, but once again, the opportunity has not been the best. With new coaching, improved quarterback play and the status as the starting tight end, I have no doubt Arnold will be one of the brighter spots. I am driven by statistics, but every now and then, I go with my gut. And when guys like Austin Hooper and Jared Cook are similarly valued in the draft, I choose Dan Arnold every time. Finding a starting tight end this late means knowing where to look.
Tim Lazenby joined Dynasty Pros, after writing for a few years elsewhere, and is passionate about all things fantasy football. Tim has been playing fantasy sports for over twenty years now and takes his love of the game to every article he writes. Although he’s played a variety of fantasy football, he is especially in love with dynasty football. If you ask him for advice, whether you’re just joining or you’ve been playing for years, he wants nothing more than to help you succeed, than to keep that fantasy gold to himself. A lover of the game and ultimate competitor, Tim is just trying to spread the good news of fantasy football to all.