Dynasty Fantasy Football is a game that is ripe with opinions. Each and every owner has a different opinion about this player and that one. It is part of the reason that we all love this game so much. These differences of opinion are what facilitate trades and free agency in each individual league.
To that end, there is no better part of Dynasty than finding that player that nobody else is on to. When these players hit, like Arian Foster or Marques Colston, they can change the fortunes of Dynasty Squads. For this article series, we here at Dynasty Nerds will be highlighting one deep stash for every team in the NFL. In this piece, I will be covering the AFC South. Without further ado, let us dive into some deep stashes.
Xazavian Valladay, RB HOU
For anybody that has followed me in the past year, you will know that I have been beating the drum for former Wyoming and Arizona State Valladay. The talented back spent the first four years of his college career at Wyoming racking up a ton of yardage. He graduated from school and left with the second-most rushing yards in program history. Due to Covid rules, he was granted an extra year of eligibility and put that to good use at Arizona State. As a Sun Devil, he led the Pac-12 in TDs (16) and racked up over 1,400 total yards with 37 catches folded in.
Despite his excellent college credentials, Valladay was criminally overlooked in the pre-draft process. He wasn’t invited to the Senior Bowl despite being second-team All-Pac-12. Instead, he went to the East-West Shrine Game, where he was the driving force behind the West’s game-winning ground attack. He was a standout all week at practice drawing positive reviews from everyone who attended.
Xazavian Valladay has it. He should absolutely be drafted pic.twitter.com/vemrTU6Fwa— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) February 3, 2023
Despite everything in his favor and playing extremely well in the Shrine Bowl, the disrespect towards Valladay continued when he didn’t receive an invite to the NFL combine. Through it all, Valladay bided his time and shined when it came time for the Arizona State Pro-Day. His numbers would have put him in the top ten of every major test for the running back group.
An RB to know – Arizona State RB Xazavian Valladay (Wyoming transfer).— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) April 18, 2023
6’0”/200 has received interest from multiple teams the last few weeks. Top 30 with the Bengals today, ran mid 4.4, jumped 40” at pro day.
*CIN asst O-line coach Derek Frazier coached Valladay at Wyoming. pic.twitter.com/JjGnx8WNoK
Valladay would be forced to endure one last slight on his way to the NFL when he was not selected in the NFL draft. Despite this, he was signed as a priority free agent by the Houston Texans. He was such a highly sought-after UFA that he was given more guaranteed money in his contract than every player signed in the seventh round.
The Texan’s depth chart is wide open behind last year’s impressive rookie Dameon Pierce and former Bills RB Devin Singletary. Valladay is a much different back than the two bruisers at the top of the stack. If you watch Valladay’s film, he is a much more explosive runner than either Pierce or Singletary. He should be a weapon in the return game, which would give him an inside track to the third spot on the depth chart. There is a very good chance that he could see some field time this season. If Arian Foster taught us anything, sometimes all you need is an opportunity.
Valladay will come at a dirt cheap price. Oftentimes I find that he is not even drafted in rookie drafts and will be available for free on your league waiver wire. Do yourself a favor and scoop this kid up before the pre-season begins. I fully expect him to be one of the absolute stars of pre-season action.
Colton Dowell, WR TEN
The 2023 Tennessee Titans field one of the thinnest WR groups in the entire NFL. No team in the league is so bereft of established talent at the position. Last year’s rookie Treylon Burks finds himself at the top of the depth chart, but behind him, there is very little to write home about. It is currently assumed that Kyle Philips and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine will round out the starting group.
Suffice it to say, the Titans are in desperate need of someone to step up on the opposite side of Burks. Enter seventh-round rookie Colton Dowell. The former UT Martin star has largely flown under the radar to his small school pedigree. Despite his humble origins, he left his school as the all-time leader in receiving yards. From a physical standpoint, Dowell checks a lot of boxes, as you can see below, courtesy of draftscout.com.
At 6’3″ and 212 lbs., Dowll certainly has the look of an NFL receiver. His 41.5-inch vertical would have been the top mark of the 2023 class had he received an invite to the combine. His 4.44 40 and 23 reps on the bench are also highly impressive numbers for a player of his size and stature.
As with Valladay in Houston, the opportunity will be the name of the game for Dowell in Tennessee. The Titans have so neglected the position that they desperately need someone to step up and help Ryan Tannehill or his understudy Will Levis. Colton will be given every opportunity to work his way onto the field and fight for playing time. The early reports from OTA’s have looked positive. You can see him running through some position drills below.
Rookie 7th round pick Colton Dowell says he’s learned a lot of the nuances and fundamentals about playing receiver in the NFL. Adds he’s looking forward to extra time with the coaches the next couple weeks as rookies stick around #Titans HQ. pic.twitter.com/I7lVtd96lm— Steve Layman (@SteveLayman) June 14, 2023
Just like Valladay above, Dowel will come dirt cheap in your dynasty leagues. He is rarely drafted and readily available on league waiver wires. Sure, it is a long shot that Dowell pans out, but that doesn’t mean he has no chance. The opportunity is there, and with his intriguing set of skills, I am certainly interested in taking a shot at a player like this.
Zack Moss, RB IND
Unlike the players we have covered to this point, Moss is a well-known commodity within the dynasty community. Following a successful career at the University of Utah, he was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft. Despite flashing on occasion, Moss had trouble gaining traction in Buffalo and was eventually traded to the Colts in part of a deal for fellow RB Nyheim Hines. You can see Moss’s numbers below.
Following his trade to the Colts, Indianapolis saw a rash of injuries at the running back position ahead of Moss on the depth chart. He eventually found his way into the lineup and enjoyed some of the best success of his career. Whether it was the motivation from the trade, a better scheme fit, or simply improved health, Moss played extremely well in place of starter Jonathan Taylor.
Zack Moss was balling out for the Colts late last season. In his four games as the primary ball carrier, he rushed the ball 69 times for 331 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and one touchdown.— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) January 29, 2023
He also had 9 rushes over 10 yards during that stretch: pic.twitter.com/nLAuI5LXvj
As the primary backup to a run-heavy team, Moss stands poised to give a major return on investment if Taylor were to go down again with an injury. Add in the fact that new quarterback Anthony Richardson will almost surely open up additional lanes in the running game, and you have the potential for some major rushing numbers. Despite all this, Moss is being exchanged for literal peanuts. A search of the Dynasty Nerds Trade Browser reveals him going for late picks.
At prices as cheap as this, Moss is clearly a forgotten man. It is never a bad idea to stock your bench with handcuff RBs. To that end, Moss just might be the best and cheapest handcuff currently on the market.
Brenton Strange, TE JAX
For my final deep stash, I am going back to the rookie pool. The 2023 NFL draft class has been deemed the class of the TE by some analysts. More than half a dozen tight ends were selected in the first three rounds of the draft. Of all those players, one player is being largely ignored. The Jaguars spent a second-round pick on Penn State’s Strange.
Strange was drafted by Jacksonville with the 61st pick. He had somewhat of an up-and-down college career at Penn State. His last year at Happy Valley was unquestionably his best. He finished with a 32/362/5 stat line. This season was good enough to merit him third Team All Big-10. You can see some of his highlights below.
In a draft with many high-end TE prospects, Brenton Strange is an intriguing day 2/3 guy. Good frame to make himself available as a red zone target, violent and strong hands as a blocker, and has some skills after the catch pic.twitter.com/tjjsyNOGr1— Billy M (@BillyM_91) April 20, 2023
Strange left Penn State with a year of eligibility left in the tank. His overall skill set makes him an ideal fit for the NFL game. Strange is athletic enough to make defenders respect him as a target in the passing game. But the thing that sets him apart from some of the players in this season’s vaunted TE class is that he is an excellent blocker. Strange doesn’t need to come off the field on any down, be it passing or rushing play. You can see his athletic profile below
Strange has found himself in an interesting situation. The Jaguars are an up-and-coming offense. Jacksonville’s young phenom QB Trevor Lawrence made excellent use of the tight end position last season. Starting Evan Engram put up career highs in both catches and yards last season with Lawrence. It was clear that both the QB and his Head Coach, Doug Pederson, liked to feature the position.
Engram is back in the fold for 2023 but with only a one-year contract. Following this season, he will surely be looking for the most lucrative deal possible. It is well within the realm of possibility that Jacksonville could move on from the former New York Giant and go with their 2023 second-round pick.
It is hard to beat the price of Strange. I have been able to get him in the last round of every rookie draft I have done thus far. I have even had some leagues where Strange isn’t selected, and I have been able to scoop him up for free on waivers after the draft. Given his high-end draft status, that is criminal in my book. Strange is the perfect late-round stash player for your dynasty squads.
As I said at the outset, dynasty is a game of opinions. Everyone has their own take on which players represent great value and which are worthless. When it comes to deep stashes, these are incredibly personal takes. The players I have named in this piece are just a couple of those I find to represent interesting stashes for your rosters. Being deep stashes, they are all exceedingly affordable, and whether they hit or not will not make or break your squads. However, if they do hit, they can change the fortunes of rosters.
Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer @Dynastynerds.com. Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more, you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little; why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.