As we approach the 2014 fantasy football season there are few opportunities for standard fantasy football trade analysis. This time of year the vast majority of fantasy managers find themselves cramming there minds with average draft position analysis, news and notes from OTA's and training camp as well as countless blurbs from a seeming endless train of "beat writers" who claim to have the inside track in their respective cities. While the masses struggle to read the tea leaves of the usual June / July data explosion there are a few lucky individuals who already have a full roster - Fantasy Football Dynasty Owners!
For those unfamiliar with a dynasty fantasy football league these are leagues where you keep several if not all of your players from year to year. This differs from the more common "keeper" leagues where you traditionally hold over a player or two between seasons. Dynasty fantasy football in my opinion is fantasy football in its purest form - total team management and construction from the ground up! In a standard redraft league you get new players each and every year. Dynasty owners will have to think ahead to future seasons in order to remain competitive for years to come. Building a successful dynasty team often entails stashing countless players who have shown explosive talent at the college level but may not land in the best fantasy football scenario come NFL draft day. A perfect example would be Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings behind Brett Favre. While the next Aaron Rodgers may not be sitting out there the moment, there are certainly some players you should be targeting in your Dynasty league heading into 2014.
Ryan Mallett QB NE - The former Arkansas / Michigan product has had a few years to learn from one of the games best in New England's Tom Brady. With the Patriots taking Jimmy Garoppolo in the 2014 NFL draft, Mallett is almost assured to hit free agency in 2015. The only other scenarios would be a mid-season trade which is unlikely or Mallett taking the reigns from Tom Brady - also unlikely. Either way Mallet stands to be in a starting QB1 scenario for the start of the 2015 season. The time to buy low on this talented young passer is right now! Mallett did not throw a single pass in 2013 and is mostly forgotten after the Pats drafted Garoppolo this spring. The last time Mallett saw significant action was in 2010 at the University of Arkansas when he passed for over 3,800 yards and 32 touchdowns. If guys like Matt Cassel, Ryan Tannehill, Carson Palmer, Chad Henne, Sam Bradford, Jake Locker and Matt Schaub can start in today's NFL surely there's room for the big armed Mallett to get a shot at a starting gig. He won't cost you much, so if you currently own an aging quarterback Mallett is an interesting prospect to target.
Bryce Brown RB BUF - Bryce Brown showed a great deal of promise filling in for Lesean McCoy at the end of the 2012 campaign. During that time span he posted back to back huge games with over 160 yards and two touchdowns in each. Brown made such an impression in 2012 that many thought he would cut into McCoy's workload heading into the 2013 season. As history will tell us, that obviously did not happen and during the offseason the Buffalo Bills traded for Bryce Brown making him and interested prospect for the near future. Fred Jackson has had a nice run but he is 33 as of this writing and cannot keep it up too much longer. The incumbent "starter" CJ Spiller can't seem to stay healthy and is heading into the tail end of his contract. Whether it was through injury or time share Fred Jackson always had his fair share of touches each week giving him nice value. Once Jackson is gone Bryce Brown could easily fill that role or greater. One way or another it is likely Bryce Brown could have a big slice of the Buffalo rushing pie in 2015 - or sooner if there is an injury to CJ Spiller or Fred Jackson. With Brown currently buried on the depth chart the time to buy is right now.
Justin Hunter WR TEN - There certainly was a nice crop of wide receivers coming out this season including the likes of Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Evans. We all know about them, those are the obvious names. The idea here is to target veterans that are just about to make a name for themselves, in this case we are talking about Justin Hunter. The former Volunteer showed what he can do when given and opportunity posting two games with over 100 yards receiving and a score at the tail end of the 2013 season. Nate Washington isn't getting any younger (10 years NFL experience) nor is he getting any taller. Hunter has ideal size and speed for an NFL wide out and this could very well be the season Justin Hunter overtakes the aging Nate Washington. Hunter posted great numbers his senior season at Tennessee posting 1,083 yards receiving with 9 touchdowns on a lackluster Volunteer squad. In the 2013 NFL scouting combine Hunter posted a 4.44 - 40 yard dash as well as a combine best 39.5 inch vertical jump. Kendall Wright should draw most of the attention from teams number 1 corners giving Hunter ample room to run. The word has gotten out a little about Hunter so his price tag will be somewhat higher than the previous players mentioned but if you can obtain him before he breaks out, you'll thank yourself later!
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