In some ways, dynasty football is like playing the stock market. There is nothing better than getting players at an extreme discount and watching his value rise far beyond what you paid. This article will examine one player at each position to stash for the upcoming 2021 season. Each of these players will potentially have the opportunity to see their value rise depending on how free agency plays out. Some of these players will potentially find themselves on new teams, while others could benefit from the departure of a player in front of them on the 2020 depth chart. Without further ado, let us examine some players to stash for your 2021 dynasty squads before it’s too late.
Image courtesy of coltsswire.usatoday.com
QB: Taysom Hill:
The former BYU Cougar presents an interesting value for Superflex squads. He is frequently billed as the potential successor to future Hall of Famer Drew Brees in New Orleans. Despite being in the NFL for only four seasons, Hill will turn 31 before starting the 2021 campaign. Due to several injuries, the former Cougar spent five years in Provo before fulfilling his two-year Mormon mission, where he went to Australia.
Coming out of college, Taysom was seen as a rare and unique type of talent. He worked out for scouts at the BYU Pro Day and showed off his rare combination of size and athleticism. You can see his numbers below.
During his time in college, whenever he was healthy and on the field, Hill was a monster for opposing units to handle. Taysom threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 19 TDs to go along with an amazing 246/1344/10 stat line on the ground in his best college season. During that season, he set what was at the time an NCAA record 259 rushing yards in BYU’s upset of the University of Texas. You can see the highlights from that game below.
Hill was eventually picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers. Hill played for the Packers in their Pre-Season contests before being waived. He was soon picked up by coach Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints, and the rest they say is history. Hill played a special teams role initially before working his way to the backup QB position heading into the 2020 season.
In 2020 Hill got his first NFL start at the QB spot following an injury to Brees. In his four-game audition, the Saints kept rolling on with a 3-1 record. Hill paced the team going 82 of 114 for 834 yards and four TDs against only two Interceptions. Taysom also added 39/209/4 rushing to the ledger. Simply put, Taysom Hill was a dynamic weapon for Sean Payton and the Saints staff.
Heading into 2021, the Saints are heading for Salary Cap Armageddon. I know it always seems like teams can massage the numbers and continually add more and more to the roster. As it currently stands, New Orleans is looking at a 90+ million dollar deficit! That’s before you consider the likely cut in the salary cap league-wide. Why does this matter? This matters because Taysom Hill is under contract next season for the tiny sum of ten million dollars. That would make him the lowest-paid non-rookie QB in the entire league. Add up his flashy four-game preview, the Saints cap troubles, Drew Brees’ physical decline, investment in the asset, and you have a most intriguing stash.
Now I do not expect Taysom Hill to be the long-term answer at QB for the Saints. He will be 31 before the season begins, has a lengthy injury history, and will likely be paired with a rookie. These factors should keep his price depressed enough for you to be able to stash the talented former Cougar. I would have no problem giving up a mid to late 2nd round pick in Superflex leagues on the chance that he ends up as the stopgap starter on the Bayou.
Image courtesy of steelerswire.usatoday.com
RB: Benny Snell:
Pittsburgh reserve RB Benny Snell has had an up and down sophomore season in the Steel City. The former Kentucky Wildcat came to Pittsburgh as the All-time leading rusher in UK history. He spearheaded a program resurgence that defeated perennial college football powerhouse Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. There was very little Snell did not do in his time in Lexington. You can see his career numbers and highlights below.
Following a disappointing rookie season in the NFL, in which he looked slow and plodding, Snell rededicated himself and came into 2020 looking noticeably slimmer and faster. The coaching staff routinely praised him as having possibly the best offseason of any player on the team. He immediately showed his improvement when starter James Conner went down in Week 1. Snell came into the game and put up a 19/113/0 stat line. Snell didn’t simply dink and dunk his way down the field. He managed to rip off a couple of 20 plus yard plays, including the one you see below.
We have seen his situation play out in Pittsburgh before. The Steelers have been hesitant to pay out big contracts to aging and increasing injury-prone RBs. Starter James Conner has been a fantastic story, having beaten cancer and graduating from Pitt before playing four quality seasons for the Steelers. However, Conner has simply been unable to stay healthy, never playing a full 16 game slate. Couple this with his diminishing efficiency and the likelihood of Conner re-upping with the Steelers become less and less.
If James Conner moved on, Benny Snell would be the clubhouse leader to lead Pittsburgh in touches next season. The Steelers also drafted former Maryland star RB Anthony McFarland in the 4th round of last season’s draft. I believe there is a healthy chance that these two players will pace the Steelers backfield in 2021. Snell is a hammer who can eat up carries and put a team on his shoulders. Couple him with McFarland’s home run speed, and the Steelers have a bargain-basement backfield that can smash and dash. Grab Snell on the cheap before Conner’s contract situation plays out. He could just be that RB2 that helps you win a 2021 Championship.
Image courtesy of bearswire.usatoday.com
WR: Darnell Mooney:
Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears sought to add a speed element to their WR room. Sure they had a true alpha WR1 in Allen Robinson and former second-round pick, Anthony Miller, to act as a quality slot WR, but they lacked that true field stretcher to put stress on opposing defenses. To that end, the team selected former Tulane 4.38 speedster, WR Darnell Mooney, in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.
Mooney came in and immediately made an impression on his coaches and teammates. Mooney took up new teammate Allen Robinson’s offer to come to his Florida home for offseason workouts. Robinson would later heap praise on his new understudy, saying that, “He’s always trying to get better. Body-wise, nutrition-wise, he’s one of those guys who truly want to be the best player that he can be, and whenever you have guys like that, you know the sky’s the limit for them, and they’ll always be able to find ways to have success.”
One of the more interesting stories about Mooney came out pretty early. Most players take their first paycheck and buy a car, jewelry, house, or another item from a list of lifelong wishes. Mooney took his first check and purchased a jugs machine, which you can see him using in his home below. That story describes the type of player Mooney is.
The off-season in Chicago will be one of the more interesting to follow this year. No.1 WR Allen Robinson has unsuccessfully lobbied for a contract extension for the better part of the 2020 campaign. His efforts were to no avail despite putting up an incredible 102/1250/6 line. Depending on how the season ends out, the Bears could be heading in any number of directions. Paying a 28-year-old WR may not be the best decision for a team with the 22nd most cap space heading into the offseason.
The Bears may already be forced to franchise tag their QB after Trubisky showed improvement down the stretch and helped them sneak into the playoffs. As much as they like ARob, they may not be able to afford a player who is likely to pace the free-agent class on the financial side. Having already passed fellow WR Anthony Miller on the depth chart, Darnell Mooney could find himself in line for a huge bump in targets.
The former Tulane WR plays with a smooth speed that reminds me of an early career, DeSean Jackson. While having speed to burn, Mooney also possesses the route running savvy to use that speed and set up other routes like the ones you see below.
As I mentioned earlier, Dynasty Fantasy Football is like the stock market. It is better to be too early on a prospect as opposed to too late. While not putting up huge rookie numbers, Darnell Mooney has flashed playmaking ability, as you can see above. He displays a knack for gaining separation and the speed to make defenders back off or pay if they press. Do yourself a favor and add this talented kid before it’s too late. Even if Robinson resigns with the Bears, Mooney will be his running partner and is capable of dropping huge weeks for your fantasy teams. In Week 17, with the playoffs on the line, Mooney paced the Bears WR’s with 11/93/0. I would be comfortable giving up a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick for this talented prospect. You can never have too many good young WRs, and Mooney is certainly that.
Image courtesy of theramswire.usatoday.com
TE: Gerald Everett:
The former Rams 2nd round pick presents one of the most interesting free agents TEs of the 2021 class. The former University of South Alabama standout came to the Rams as the first draft pick for heralded Head Coach Sean McVay. At the time of his drafting, many compared Everett to Jordan Reed as the youngster profiled as a move TE who could stretch the defense on a number of levels. You can see his athletic profile below.
Allowing for missed time due to injury and splitting reps with teammate Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett has improved statistically in every season in the NFL. He has repeatedly flashed the big play potential that got him drafted so highly in the first place. You can see his career numbers below.
The issue for Gerald Everett to this point in his career has been usage. He has never been allowed to be ‘The Guy’ for his team. Heading into the 2021 season, Everett will be one of the more interesting names on the TE Free Agent market. His high upside talent and limited production mean he will likely draw his fair share of attention. Despite their obvious fondness for the player, the Rams will almost certainly not be able to resign their talented TE.
The Rams are just now emerging from the cap nightmare they got themselves into during their Super Bowl run a couple of years back. To that end, fellow TE teammate Tyler Higbee has already signed an extension with the team making him one of the top ten highest-paid TEs in the league. The team also seemingly planned for Everett’s departure last season when they drafted Brycen Hopkins in the 4th round. Everett appears to be a luxury the Rams simply cannot afford moving forward. However, one team’s loss is another franchise’s gain. Teams like Indianapolis, Carolina, and the Jaguars could be among the numerous teams looking to add a starting TE via free agency. With the talent to make plays like the one below, who wouldn’t be interested in such a player who won’t break the bank.
The absolute best part about Gerald Everett is his price point. The former second-round pick is not unlike the penny stocks you always hear about. I was able to pick him up on waivers in one of my TE premium leagues where his owner had to drop him to make room for another player. Everett is a talented move TE that could easily jump into the top ten at the position given the right situation and opportunity. He is the perfect stash player for your dynasty squads. Especially in your TE premium leagues, I love adding Everett for anything up to a third round pick. Much like Eric Ebron last season, Everett is destined for a starting role somewhere in the league. The question is, where will that be.
Dynasty fantasy football is like most aspects of life, and timing is everything. There is nothing better than buying low on a player before his value explodes. This is one of the many ways to build a championship team in your leagues. You have heard Rich, Matt, and Garret make the point multiple times. What looks like an overpay today can look like a bargain tomorrow. These are just a few of the players I believe have an excellent chance to see a drastic rise in value next season depending on how free agency and the draft play out.
There are many other players out there in similar situations. Stick to your convictions as an owner. If you like a player or believe his situation is likely to improve, go out and get your guy. Not all of these types of players will pan out, but they are well worth the gamble at their current price. The offseason is the most important time of the year when it comes to crafting dynasty winners. But then again, you already knew that because you are here at DynastyNerds.com. Until next time, happy scouting and drafting season.
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