When building your dynasty squads the name of the game is finding value. Each and every season around this time of year the dynasty community is struck by the ultra contagious pathogen of Rookie Fever. Owners go wild for rookie picks and the next new shiny toy to add to their rosters. This is the best time of year for the savvy dynasty owner as managers tend to devalue their veteran players in the name of fishing in the latest rookie draft pool. Mostly these veterans are aging players who no longer carry the same luster they once did. However, sometimes you can manage to actually find young players that are being overlooked or undervalued. In this article, I will highlight one bargain-priced player at each position for your competing rosters. Without further ado let us dive in and examine some discounted vets.
Image ℅ usatoday.com
There isn’t a more polarizing QB in all of Dynasty Fantasy Football than Houston QB Davis Mills. Houston made him their first selection of the 2021 NFL draft when they picked him in the 3rd round. He went on to enjoy statistically the second-best year of all the rookie QBs. He had a rough start when he was thrown into the fire early for an injured Tyrod Taylor. But after a brief benching mid-season, he came on strong down the stretch and showed the tools that had previously made him the no.1 Pro-Style QB in the entire nation coming out of High School. You can see his rookie numbers below.
So if you were to simply look at his season stats you would say sure his 16/10 TD to Int ratio is ok given the fact that he was a rookie QB on a rebuilding squad struggling to find its identity. However, if you were to dig in a little deeper you would see that after the benching I mentioned earlier, the back half of the year was really good. In fact, 8 of his 10 interceptions came prior to the benching with only 2 more picks coming in his final five starts. Also of note, Mills had his best three games of the season against New England, Tennessee, and the Los Angeles Chargers whom he essentially knocked out of the playoff picture. How often can you say that a rookie QB had his best game of the year against a Bill Belichick squad? You can see Mills’ game-by-game breakdown below. Of particular interest was his week 17 performance against the no.1 seed in the AFC who was fighting for the top spot in that very game.
Now the point of his article is cheap veterans. Mills combines the cheap price point with an extremely young age. Fantasy Pros has him at a QB 27 ADP. Here at Dynasty Nerds, we have him ranked as the QB 30 as well in our Super-Flex rankings. That is insane value for the potential upside he offers. He is currently being valued behind the likes of Malik Willis and Matt Ryan in ADP. I have personally been a big believer in Mills since he came out of Stanford. New Head Coach Lovie Smith has emphatically endorsed his new QB. The Houston Texans also gave their endorsement as a franchise by not selecting a QB in the early portion of the 2022 NFL draft where they were perfectly positioned to select one if they so desired. Perhaps throws like the one below gave them hope that they already had their QB of the future on the roster.
Houston has surrounded Mills with an interesting array of weapons including Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, and new rookie John Metchie once he returns from injury. He also has fellow 2021 rookie TE Brevin Jordan at his disposal in the passing game. Sure Houston lacks true star power at RB but the addition of rookie Dameon Pierce to go along with Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead gives him at least interesting options. Combine these weapons with an improving line and Mills’ deceptive athleticism which you see below and you have the makings of a franchise QB.
Davis Mills 5/5 72 yards and a TD on his first drive back as the starter in Houston! 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/UwOGvSDEoP— The Chris Mathis Podcast 🎧 (@TCM_POD) December 12, 2021
The bottom line is this. Few if any players offer the potential upside of Davis Mills at his price point. He will certainly get every opportunity to stake his claim to the starting job in Houston and has both the pedigree and the opportunity to lock down that job for the foreseeable future. Grab him on the cheap while you can. Combining through our trade browser you can find young Davis Mills for as little as a 2nd round pick. That is simply too cheap to pass up.
Image ℅ usatoday.com
Now for the RB position on my list, I went to the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from Davis Mills. Newly signed Falcons RB Damien Williams has a chance to lock down a meaningful role in Atlanta heading into the 2022 campaign. The former Kansas City Super Bowl hero will be on his 4th team in as many years but still appears to have some juice in the tank.
Last season in Chicago despite dealing with Injury and a limited role he still averaged over 4.0 ypc and flashed the talent that had Chicago sign him off the street following a year away from the NFL due to Covid-19 concerns. You could still see from plays like the TD below that he can make things happen in the NFL.
Heading to Atlanta Damien Williams finds himself on one of the weakest RB squads in the entire NFL. Currently, after the team cut last year’s Week 1 starter, Mike Davis, the team lists hybrid RB/WR/KR Cordarrell Patterson as their starting RB. Head Coach Arthur Smith is already saying they plan to play Patterson at a variety of positions in 2022. This will leave quite a nice chunk of work to be had for the other RBs on the team. The only other competition of note on the team is incoming 5th-round rookie Tyler Allgeier. While it’s true that the rookie is also an interesting prospect he lacks Williams’ experience and reliability in the passing game. That reliability in the passing game as both a blocker and receiver will give Damien a leg up on the rookie. You can see Williams flash his receiving chops below.
The best part about Damien Williams is the price. He is virtually free at this point of the season. Dynasty owners are simply writing him off in favor of the swiss army knife and the rookie. Currently, Williams sits at RB 86 in FantasyPros ADP. That is no. 313 overall. So he is essentially free in many cases. Looking through our trade finder I have seen him go for seemingly nothing in PPR formats.
With the lack of experienced weapons at the WR spot, I would not be the least bit surprised to see Patterson play a larger role as a WR in 2022. This means that Williams has the potential to put up some decent numbers. If he stays healthy I would not be at all surprised to see him put up RB3-type numbers and be an excellent depth piece for your championship squads. Bye weeks are killers and a guy like Damien Williams is certainly likely to at least give you some regular points on a week-in-week-out basis on the Atlanta depth chart.
Image ℅ usatoday.com
For my bargain WR, I chose to go with a player on a new team in 2022. Former Miami 1st round WR DeVante Parker was traded in the division to the New England Patriots along with a 2022 5th for a 2023 3rd round pick. The former Louisville star has enjoyed varying levels of success in the NFL over the years punctuated by his breakout 2019 season which you can see below.
The Patriots have been looking for a true no.1 WR for a number of years ever since the loss of Randy Moss all those years ago. Sure they have been excellent at finding slot dynamo’s who have chewed up the middle of the field along with their dominant TEs but they have been lacking that true boundary presence that can challenge defenders at every level of the field. A slew of draft misses including former 1st round bust N’Keal Harry likely led the team to go down the trade route to finally address the issue. Sure they reached on their 2nd round pick Tyquan Thornton, but he will likely be tasked with more of a Z WR field stretcher role on the team moving forward.
As I mentioned before Parker was brought in to challenge defenders at every level of the field. His size and overall athleticism are the main assets he brings to the table. He is not a burner by any sense of the imagination but he is physical and can bully defenders for the ball as you can see in the examples below.
Welcome to New England DeVante Parker🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/tG15Gk7gK2— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) April 2, 2022
As with the other players on this list, DeVante Parker comes with an extremely affordable price tag. The former 1st-round pick is currently coming off the board with an ADP of WR 68, no. 162 overall according to FantasyPros. Here at Dynasty Nerds we currently have him ranked as the WR 59. Looking through our trade browser I have seen him go recently for as little as a 4th round pick in PPR leagues. That is essentially free.
If you’re an owner looking to compete for a championship in 2022 there are far worse players you could have on your team than new Patriots no.1 DeVante Parker. Sure he has dealt with a slew of injury issues in the past but he is in a good situation and at his current price why wouldn’t you kick the tires on this former 1st round pick.
Image ℅ commanderswire.usatoday.com
To round out our list of discounted vets we head to the Nation’s capital to check in on Commanders TE Logan Thomas. Just two short years ago in 2020, Logan Thomas was the talk of the dynasty community. The former QB had successfully converted to the TE position and laid down a very respectable season finishing as the no.3 overall TE. This placed him ahead of far more heralded TEs like Mark Andrews, TJ Hockenson, Mike Gesicki, etc… You can see his career numbers posted below.
Fast forward one injury-robbed season and people have virtually written him off. Searching our Dynasty Nerds trade browser you will find the former Virginia Tech QB being swapped for as little as a late pick or two.
Since coming to D.C. Logan Thomas has established himself as a quality TE for your dynasty rosters. In a manner somewhat reminiscent of Darren Waller, Thomas was able to remold himself into a dominant TE who could use his massive frame and excellent athleticism to challenge and beat defenders in a variety of ways. Some of which you can see below.
HOW DID LOGAN THOMAS CATCH THIS 🤯pic.twitter.com/NNWI8fW6ba— PFF (@PFF) December 5, 2021
Provided he can come back from his injury which he appears well on his way to doing, Thomas should pair quite nicely with new Commander QB Carson Wentz. The former Colts and Eagles QB has made excellent use of the TE position throughout his career in the NFL. Logan Thomas is actually quite similar to former Eagles TE Zach Ertz. If anything he is actually a bit bigger and faster than the former Stanford TE. Combine his nice athleticism with the mind of a former QB and you have an excellent TE who understands and seems to connect well with his QBs. The addition of 1st round pick Jahan Dotson to go along with Terry McLaurin and a healthy Curtis Samuel mean that Thomas should see minimal coverage when working the middle of the field for the Commanders. Logan Thomas should be the perfect cheap addition to your win-now squads. Scoop him up wherever you can before positive camp reports bring his price back up.
These are just a few of the numerous veteran players who you can acquire to help your dynasty squads. Some are younger than others and some offer considerably more upside as well. However, the main idea is to seek out value. It is especially important to seek out this type of value now while rookie fever is at its peak. Owners will potentially forget about the strong finish of a player like Davis Mills. They may not even realize Damien Williams is on the Falcons roster at this point of the season. Dynasty Fantasy football is a year-round concept where values ebb and flow like the stock market. Hopefully, your dynasty market is going better than the actual stock market but I digress. Do yourself a favor and seek out these types of players throughout your leagues. I promise you won’t regret adding these types of players at their price points.
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