Three Buy Low Dynasty Wide Receiversby Mike Fanelli March 17, 2021 1 comment
The key to winning in dynasty fantasy football? Buying low and selling high. You need to be ahead of your league mates with adding guys who are about to blow up on the cheap. When looking for players, who are ideal buy-low targets, fantasy owners should look for a change in their situation. With free agency in full swing, there is no better time to look for buy-low candidates in dynasty. Let’s take a look at three buy low dynasty wide receivers.
All fantasy stats are base on PPR scoring.
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
In his first two years in the league, Hardman has been a rotational wide receiver, averaging 7.1 and 7.6 fantasy points per game. He has 10 touchdowns on only 67 catches in two seasons. That boils down to 3.5 fantasy points per catch in his career. Furthermore, despite only 103 career targets, Hardman averages a touchdown once every 10.3 targets; the big play ability is there. What has held Hardman back is his limited role on offense, as he has played only 45 percent of the snaps so far in his career. The good news is, that’s about to change.
Both Demarcus Robinson and Sammy Watkins are free agents, and given the Chiefs cap situation, neither will be back next year. Over the past two seasons, the duo has averaged 129.5 targets and 217.2 fantasy points per season. Furthermore, the Chiefs have holes on the offensive line and on defense to fill, meaning they won’t invest cap space or prime draft picks at wide receiver. While Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are the focal points of the passing attack, the Chiefs’ offense is explosive enough to make Hardman fantasy-relevant starting next season. We all love the third-year wide receiver narrative, yet Hardman isn’t getting enough attention heading into his third year in the league.
Quintez Cephus, Detroit Lions
On the slim chance you haven’t been paying attention to the NFL offseason, the Lions didn’t place the franchise tag on Kenny Golladay. Furthermore, all three of their top wide receiver, Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola, will be playing elsewhere in 2021. The wide receiver trio totaled 216 targets and 400 fantasy points in 35 games last season. While the Lions signed former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams to a one-year deal earlier this month, the Lions lack depth at the position.
During his rookie season, the team was impressed by Cephus. He finished his rookie year with 20 catches for 349 yards, two touchdowns, and 66.9 fantasy points. While there has been a coaching change, Cephus should have a role with the Lions next season. Given the length of new head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes, the Lions know this will be a several-year rebuilding project. Even if the Lions use their first-round pick on a rookie wide receiver and Williams has a bounce-back year, Cephus is in line for a starting spot in 2021. Furthermore, the Lions’ defense will once again struggle next season, forcing the offense to chase points often. This increases Cephus’ upside after a positive rookie season full of flashes.
James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers
While he hasn’t signed with a new team yet, JuJu Smith-Schuster reportedly won’t be back in Pittsburgh next season. With him playing elsewhere, Washington will step into a starting role for the Steelers. Yes, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool had impressive 2020 seasons; however, Washington was effective in his limited snaps. After playing a career-high 64 percent of the snaps in 2019, Washington played a career-low 44 percent in 2020. Despite the drop in snaps played, Washington had a career-high five touchdowns last season.
Last year, JuJu, Johnson, and Claypool all had 109 or more targets, while Washington had only 56. With JuJu leaving, that opens up 128 targets, 831 yards, and nine touchdowns from last season to be split among the other wide receivers on the roster. During his career, Washington has been an underrated fantasy asset, averaging 3.1 fantasy points per catch. Entering a contract year, Washington is in a position to have a breakout season just in time to hit the open market and cash in.
Anthony Firkser, Tennessee Titans
Everyone likes free stuff, so here is an extra name free of charge. Firkser isn’t a wide receiver, but his fantasy value is about to skyrocket. The Titans released Adam Humphries earlier this month after struggling during his time in Tennessee. Then, Jonnu Smith signed with the New York Jets while Corey Davis signed with the New England Patriots on Monday. The trio combined for 129 catches on 192 targets, 15 touchdowns, and 289.4 fantasy points last season. Furthermore, Firkser had an impactful 2020 season in Tennessee.
The reason why the Titans didn’t make more of an effort to re-sign Smith was their faith in Firkser. Last season he had 39 catches of 53 targets for 387 yards and one touchdown. The biggest difference between Firkser’s 5.2 fantasy points per game and Smith’s 9.3 last season was the touchdowns, as Smith had eight compared to Firkser’s one. However, with several of their weapons elsewhere, Firkser will step into the No. 1 tight end role next season. If Firkser can find the end zone six times next year, he will see enough targets to finish the 2021 season as a TE1.