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One of the most exploitable inefficiencies in dynasty fantasy football is the difference between where players are selected in startup drafts and their 2021 projection. High-priced players are more long-term bets, so their 2021 projection is less significant than lower-priced players with much lower long-term hit rates. For the later picks, in particular, players projected to outscore their draft position should be targeted. Below are wide receivers who beat their current dynasty cost in our consensus projections.
Marvin Jones (Dynasty ADP: WR68, Our 2021 Projection: WR44)
Marvin Jones left the Detroit Lions to join the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. Jones is coming off a WR15 finish in 2020 and a WR28 finish in 13 games in 2019 with Detroit. The offensive situation is completely different in Jacksonville, with plenty of competition from D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault. Still, Jones can be useful as a depth option at this point in his career.
Robby Anderson (Dynasty ADP: WR49.5, Our 2021 Projection: WR29)
Robby Anderson had a career-best in targets (137), receptions (95), and receiving yards (1097) in 2020, with Teddy Bridgewater playing quarterback. There is more competition, with second-round pick Terrace Marshall projected for 52 receptions and 76.6 receptions by D.J. Moore, but Anderson is projected for 80.9 receptions. Anderson has finished in the top 40 in the past four years, and even without positive touchdown regression, Anderson should outproduce his cost in a contract year.
Tyler Boyd (Dynasty ADP: WR45, Our 2021 Projection: WR26)
Tyler Boyd has finished as WR17, WR23, and WR37 in the past three years, with a minimum of 108 targets during that time. Boyd projects as the third wide receiver in the Cincinnati offense, but we project 87.6 receptions which would be the second-best reception total in his career. If Ja’Marr Chase struggles to produce as a rookie or Tee Higgins fails to take a step forward, Boyd can outproduce his projection.
Tyler Lockett (Dynasty ADP: WR32, Our 2021 Projection: WR15)
Tyler Lockett is undervalued by the market as his teammate DK Metcalf, the arch type WR1 the dynasty community prefers, is priced higher without a superior production profile. Lockett has WR11, WR16, and WR11 finishes in the past three seasons, with a WR15 projection, right in line with his prior production. Lockett is coming off a contract extension, which should allow him to continue to outproduce his cost over the next two to three seasons.
Adam Thielen (Dynasty ADP: WR37, Our 2021 Projection: WR20)
We project a similar reception total for Adam Thielen in 2021, but a touchdown regression of his unsustainable touchdown rate from last season, down to 9.6 touchdowns. A WR20 projection provides win now production at WR4 prices for contending dynasty teams.
Jarvis Landry (Dynasty ADP: WR56, Our 2021 Projection: WR39)
Jarvis Landry is a fringe WR3-4 projection at a WR5 cost. Odell Beckham is returning from injury in a run-first Cleveland offense, so the upside appears capped. However, outside of Beckham, there are no proven receivers on the team. This could land Landry a heavy target volume, particularly if Cleveland regresses from their overperformance in record last season. Landry has a cuttable contract after 2021 and may lack the top-12 seasonal finish upside, which has likely caused a significant market souring below his 2021 projection.
Curtis Samuel (Dynasty ADP: WR47.5, Our 2021 Projection: WR32)
Curtis Samuel has been injured in camp, so the recent news may impact his market value, but Samuel is going from the WR3 role in Carolina to a starting role in Washington with an uptick in quarterback play. Samuel may lack ceiling, but projects well in the next two to three year window in the WR3 range.
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Brandin Cooks (Dynasty ADP: WR45.5, Our 2021 Projection: WR31)
Brandin Cooks has been a top 20 wide receiver in every season except his rookie season and his final, injury-shortened season with the Rams in 2019. Cooks is the last man standing in arguably the worse receiving corps in the league, but the team projects to be bad and have to throw frequently. Cooks could easily surpass his career-high in targets (129) in 2021.
Teammates Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are fringe WR1s at WR3 costs. Both are 14 spots behind our projections in current dynasty drafts. Matthew Stafford should add a more aggressive passing element to this offense, with Woods and Kupp both in the phase of their career where their production should surpass their cost. Woods and Kupp each have top 12 seasonal finish upside, with contract security through the 2022 season.
Keenan Allen (Dynasty ADP: WR17, Our 2021 Projection: WR9)
Keenan Allen is a year behind Woods in the fall of WR1/2 fringe players into WR3 costs. He may see a dip in his value in the next 12 months, but we still project him to outproduce his current cost. Allen has finished as WR3, WR13, WR17, WR11 in the past few years and remains a good bet for 150 targets per season, with high-end WR1 production in his range of outcomes. He is an ideal WR1 for a startup draft where you wait on the position in the early round.