Dynasty Strategy: Glue Guys to Target

Dynasty Strategy: Glue Guys to Target

This article is part of our Dynasty Strategy series.

This article will look at five players with limited ceilings but who also might be overlooked at the moment in terms of their floor. Such players can often be acquired for cheap in dynasty leagues, yet on a competitive roster they can provide helpful depth behind the star starters. If your roster is otherwise a combination of Stars and Scrubs, then these guys might be players who can improve over the scrubs for cheap.

The players are listed in descending order of presumed acquisition cost.

Romeo Doubs, WR, GB

Like all members of the Green Bay pass-catching rotation, Doubs' upside is somewhat limited by the Packers' crowded group of competing targets. It's unlikely that any Doubs owner will be especially stingy in trade negotiations, unless they're just always that way. Jayden Reed is the clear top wideout in Green Bay, yet there's a lot of hype in fantasy media for Dontayvion Wicks, and positive reports around Christian Watson's hamstring recovery will understandably bring hype to Watson at Doubs' expense. Doubs led the Packers in snaps and targets last year, yet it seems like people are looking for a reason to get bored with him.

Rather than fading into obscurity, Doubs is more likely to simply remain the Packers wideout with the most playing time. Watson has limitations aside from his durability troubles, explosive as he is otherwise, and Wicks still has ground to gain if he's going to prove he's an equal prospect to Doubs.

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This article will look at five players with limited ceilings but who also might be overlooked at the moment in terms of their floor. Such players can often be acquired for cheap in dynasty leagues, yet on a competitive roster they can provide helpful depth behind the star starters. If your roster is otherwise a combination of Stars and Scrubs, then these guys might be players who can improve over the scrubs for cheap.

The players are listed in descending order of presumed acquisition cost.

Romeo Doubs, WR, GB

Like all members of the Green Bay pass-catching rotation, Doubs' upside is somewhat limited by the Packers' crowded group of competing targets. It's unlikely that any Doubs owner will be especially stingy in trade negotiations, unless they're just always that way. Jayden Reed is the clear top wideout in Green Bay, yet there's a lot of hype in fantasy media for Dontayvion Wicks, and positive reports around Christian Watson's hamstring recovery will understandably bring hype to Watson at Doubs' expense. Doubs led the Packers in snaps and targets last year, yet it seems like people are looking for a reason to get bored with him.

Rather than fading into obscurity, Doubs is more likely to simply remain the Packers wideout with the most playing time. Watson has limitations aside from his durability troubles, explosive as he is otherwise, and Wicks still has ground to gain if he's going to prove he's an equal prospect to Doubs.

If Jordan Love continues to look effective and throw 30-plus touchdowns per season, Doubs will be a good bet to keep trucking with around eight touchdowns per year. The Packers clearly prefer to limit Reed's boundary snaps, and Watson is too clunky to depend on at the boundary, either. Even if Wicks' ascent continues that should more so be a problem for Watson than Doubs, whose play through two seasons and especially the 2023 playoffs has him looking like a clear three-down player in Green Bay for the indefinite future.

Joshua Palmer, WR, LAC

Ladd McConkey may very well turn out to be a 100-catch NFL wideout, but even if McConkey is on that level there's still not enough respect given to Palmer at the moment. Like Doubs, Palmer can both provide immediate utility for cheap and provide long-term possibilities, especially if he sticks around with the Chargers at the conclusion of his rookie contract.

Quentin Johnston is not it, looking both slow and unable to play through contact as a rookie. He won't be a factor anytime soon, at least not at Palmer's expense (or DJ Chark's, for that matter). Even if McConkey rakes, a quarterback of Justin Herbert's caliber will make his WR2 productive as well.

Granted, Palmer probably doesn't have a great deal of upside and probably won't be much of a playmaker in the NFL, but he regularly falls past the 10th round in redraft leagues at the moment. That's just crazy. Buy him before more people snap out of it.

Gabe Davis, WR, JAC

Davis is basically hated at this point, a predictable overreaction to people getting burned by past fantasy investments. Davis' breakout never happened in Buffalo, and now he's both being blamed for Buffalo's problems (laughable) and treated like practice squad fodder by most fantasy observers. It's an example of people completely losing perspective.

Davis was inconsistent in Buffalo because the Bills – especially prior coordinator Ken Dorsey – insisted on using Davis as a field-stretching wideout. The design of the Bills offense required a Downfield Guy, which they'd assign to Davis by default since Stefon Diggs was the workhorse and the tight ends otherwise crowded the underneath. Buffalo wanted a receiver to pull the safeties away from Diggs and the tight ends.

There's nothing wrong with having a deep-route decoy to pull the safeties downfield, but that's not Davis' skill set at all. It's predictable that he would struggle playing a position that he shouldn't. Davis' 4.54 speed is good for his build, but the Bills had his average depth of target around 15.0 yards, which is a depth better suited for a receiver with sub-4.4 speed. You know, like John Brown, who unsurprisingly did much better in the role than Davis. The public basically hates Davis because the Bills tried to use him the same way they did Brown.

In Jacksonville there will be no such assignments for Davis. Brian Thomas gets those routes. The Jaguars will use Davis more like he was used at UCF, where he raked as a WR1 while primarily working the intermediate. Davis' ADOT should drop from around 15.0 to something closer to 11.0, and with that Davis' per-snap target rate will be considerably higher than it was in Buffalo. Davis will likely draw more targets in 2024 than Thomas, yet the current markets seem to believe that the opposite will occur.

Gus Edwards, RB, LAC

Edwards is the presumed starting running back in a presumed run-heavy offense and still hardly anyone wants him. There are a confluence of reasons – Edwards' age, his lack of pass-catching production, his injury history, etc. – but each concern is factored excessively into the current market. Edwards' current market would more so make sense if the Chargers weren't to run the ball much. If the market must stay away from the Chargers passing game out of paranoia around Harbaugh's run-heavy tendencies then it should at least project a substantial rushing workload for the Chargers backfield, yet the market has declined to make any such acknowledgment. That's how you know there's an inefficiency in the market.

It will probably only be for one year, maybe two if by some miracle, but for this year Edwards will likely lead the Chargers in touchdowns from scrimmage after running for 13 touchdowns on 198 carries in 2023.

Some point to Edwards' 2023 as a red flag because his rushing average dropped to 4.1 yards per carry, but this is a failure to contextualize. Edwards was very effective in 2023 – his rushing average fell because his number of red-zone carries skyrocketed. Touchdown production is a downward pressure on yards per carry, both in general and specifically because the probability of a touchdown on a carry increases the less yardage there is on the field. Edwards had a whopping 23 carries within the five-yard line after seeing only 22 in the four prior years combined. If you all of a sudden give any running back more carries from the five-yard line than they saw in the prior four seasons it would be an actual lock that their rushing average would drop, even if they were succeeding on those carries.

And what do you know: Edwards did succeed on those carries, converting a mammoth 52.2 percent of them (12) into touchdowns. If he were washed up in 2023 that wouldn't have happened.

There's a chance the Edwards owner in your league is not particularly high on him, and if you're competing this year you might find a cheap 2024 upgrade in the flex spot as a result.

Chuba Hubbard, RB, CAR

Unlike Edwards, Hubbard might actually be valuable beyond 2024. Hubbard is on the last year of his rookie contract, and if he has a productive 2024 season it's easy to imagine a handful of teams trying to sign Hubbard to lead their backfields.

The Panthers selected Jonathon Brooks in the second round of the 2024 draft and with that Brooks almost definitely becomes the Panthers running back of the future. For this year though Brooks is returning from a Nov. 11 ACL tear, and Hubbard is coming off a year where he decisively sent Miles Sanders to the bench. The Panthers will run a lot in 2024 to hide Bryce Young, and Brooks alone can't do it.

Actually, there's no evidence that Brooks can match Hubbard as a runner in general. Hubbard ran for more yards and touchdowns in one year at Oklahoma State than Brooks did in three at Texas. Hubbard probably has limitations as a pass catcher, granted, and that's an area where Brooks definitely excels, but for this year at least it makes sense to give Hubbard most of the rushing workload while slowly implementing Brooks over the course of the year.

The Panthers have myriad reasons to feed Hubbard this year. Young needs the cover in general, it buys more time for Brooks to safely recover from his ACL tear, and Hubbard is pretty good at it. Not just that, but if the Panthers coax a big season out of Hubbard then it raises the chances that they get a fourth-round compensatory draft pick for Hubbard in free agency.

It shouldn't shock anyone if Hubbard not only leads the Panthers backfield in from-scrimmage production in 2024 but also parlays it into a starting role for a team like the Giants in 2025.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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