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3 Veteran WRs Any Contending Team Should Acquire

While finding youth is all the craze this team of year, contending teams should be aware of the clearance sale on several veteran WRs that can give your roster a leg up in 2022.

We have reached March, and the excitement of NFL free agency creeps closer and closer. At this time of the year, dynasty leagues typically have the lowest activity as owners wait to see what happens in the NFL landscape.

However, from my own experience, there seem to be assets that can be acquired at this time of the year: aging players. After frustrating or let-down seasons, many owners are looking to move on from their aging players. Youth is the name of the game this time of year.

And that is where you can take advantage if you have a roster that you think is strong enough to compete for a title in 2022. Kick the tires on some older players rostered by owners who had a tough 2021 campaign.

Here are three WR targets I am aiming at in any leagues where I have a competitive roster.

DeAndre Hopkins 

Considered for years to be one of, if not the best, WR in football, Hopkins value has plummeted from last offseason until now.

And look, I get it. Hopkins will be 30 in June. He was hobbled with injuries last season and missed over half the year. There is a lot of reasons to be worried about his future.

But as far as 2022 goes, I still believe in Hopkins in the Arizona offense. And apparently, plenty of his owners don’t feel the same way. Check out some of the actual trades that have been executed in leagues that we can see in the Dynasty Nerds Trade Browser with DynastyGM:

Hopkins was 11th last year in PPG in standard scoring leagues. He had 7 TDs in 7 games. When Hopkins is on the field and healthy, he is a mismatch on any corner. And Kyle Murray knows it and loves to exploit it.

If you are a contending team right now, Nuk is absolutely a receiver you should be checking in on in your league. Two owners have acquired him for two second-round picks! If you think you will find a player in the second round of the 2022 draft that will give you a better leg up than Hopkins to win it all this coming season, you need to get your head checked.

Buy low now! 

Adam Thielen 

“Oh look, Tim has another old man on this list.” You’re damn right I do!

Yes, Thielen will be 32 at the start of the 2022 season. Yes, Thielen was dealing with injuries throughout the entire season last year. Yes, Thielen isn’t the number one receiver on his own team.

But did you know that Thielen finished 14th in PPG in half-point and full PPR leagues in 2021?

Did you know Thielen was 20th in the NFL in red zone targets even though he only played 13 games?

Did you know Thielen was tied for second in the NFL with 9 red zone TDs? Behind only Cooper Kupp (with 12 in his insane season) and ahead of his super-star teammate, Justin Jefferson (who had 8 TDs and played every game)?

Adam Thielen is quietly one of the biggest boosts you can add to a WR group. His price is very affordable. Let’s check out some recent deals for the WR:

Look at how many owners are willing to move Thielen for basically just a second-round pick. One of these owners moved him for a second in 2025! If you are a contender right now, would you even hesitate at the idea of moving a second-rounder that is four drafts away for one of the top red zone WRs in 2021? No chance.

Once again, it is time to knock on the door of the Thielen owner in your league and see what his services might cost you.

Robert Woods 

By now, you have probably caught on to another theme than just a WR who is getting older being my targets. WRs who were injured in 2021 are at an insane discount right now.

Take Bobby Trees, for example. Woods only played in 9 games in 2021 before tearing his ACL and missing the rest of the season. Yes, ACL injuries are serious, but we have seen plenty of players return to form after surgery, and they have even been effective right away on return. 

And with Woods, his ACL tear was in early November. Unlike Odell Beckham Jr., Woods had a three-month head start in rehab from his ACL injury. Woods should be good to go at the start of 2022.

On top of that, Woods had a very good 2021 campaign before the injury. He was 17th on the year in PPG in half-point PPR format and had 4 TDs on the year. 4 TDs may not seem relevant, but put into context that Woods previous high in TDs in a season was six and his new QB, Matt Stafford, found him for TDs almost as many times as his previous high in just nine games.

You know what is coming next. Here is a list of real trades we saw in February involving Woods:

It isn’t rocket science here. If you are a contending team, you aren’t finding anyone in the second or third round in this year’s draft that has the opportunity and upside that Woods does to help you win a championship.

Summary 

Investing in older players will never be a recipe for long-term success in a dynasty league. But investing in an older player for a championship run at a discount price? That is something every savvy owner should be looking to do.

Players like Hopkins, Thielen, and Woods have been reliable contributors for years and could be the missing piece to your roster to help you win a title.

In this day in the NFL and dynasty, depth is essential. Your roster will have injury setbacks. Your players may disappoint. If you are competing for a title, having as many quality bullets in the chamber is essential.

And at the price these three vets are going for in some leagues, you’d be crazy not to at least check in to see if these are players that you can acquire for cheap.

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