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Updating Our Buy/Sell Advice for 14 of the Most Important Players In Dynasty – Why You Need Even More Tyler Boyd

Back in June I started a series looking at the dynasty value for top-40 wide receivers in our 2019 RotoViz redraft rankings. The idea behind this analysis is to imagine that our redraft rankings are exactly correct, and then consider how each WR’s projected finish is likely to affect his dynasty value in 2020.

Here are the original articles:

But a lot has changed since June, shifting our redraft rankings and dynasty ADP. So, to help you pull off some last-minute trades before the season I’m revisiting the analysis with the newest data in hand.

The players below were originally “red flag buys” — meaning that these WRs look like buys as long as we assume they hit expectations, but there are still some reasons to be cautious.

PlayerRV Redraft WR (June)FFPC Dynasty WR (June)RV Redraft WR (Current)FFPC Dynasty WR (Current)
Michael Thomas2535
Odell Beckham Jr.3262
Mike Evans7678
Amari Cooper1081111
Robert Woods17221719
Cooper Kupp19192122
Tyler Lockett21292021
Tyler Boyd23272224
Will Fuller27392931
Christian Kirk32342726
Courtland Sutton34333537
Sterling Shepard36433842
Curtis Samuel38543432
Dante Pettis40374040

Michael Thomas

Our rankers are slightly lower on Thomas than in early summer, ranking him WR3 instead of WR2. But he’s still ranked above his dynasty ADP of WR5. Drew Brees’ potential decline and/or retirement remains a red flag for Thomas. Nonetheless, Thomas will likely maintain his current value in 2020 due to his youth and strong track record of production.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Red Flag Buy

Odell Beckham Jr.

When I wrote up Odell Beckham Jr. in June, he was our WR3 in redraft. He’s since slipped to WR6, while his dynasty ADP has remained steady at WR2. I can’t recommend Beckham as a buy given the price premium on his projected 2019 finish.

However, there’s no reason to panic if you’re a Beckham owner. As long as you’re not in a rebuild, he’s not a sell.1 As a high-pedigree 26-year old tied to a a young, exciting quarterback, Beckham provides a high floor to bolster his strong redraft rank.

If you’re a potential Beckham buyer, put his true market value to the test. I recently traded Amari Cooper, Cooper Kupp and a mid-late third-round pick for Beckham, Ronald Jones and a mid-late second. If you consider Jones a throw-in (which everyone but me probably does at this point), then that’s about a WR6-WR7 type of cost in my view.

So if you can get him at a price that better reflects his WR6 redraft rank, he’s a buy once again.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Safe Hold

Mike Evans

Evans is still ranked as our WR7, but his price has fallen from WR6 to WR8. This is likely due to the Godwin-mania sweeping the nation. I’ve already identified Chris Godwin as a strong sell, so it should be no surprise that the hype isn’t scaring me off of Evans either.

That said, even in June you could see how much steam the Godwin hype train was gaining, which contributed to Evans’ red flag designation. If Godwin does have the massive breakout his ADP suggests, then Evans may see a decline in value.

Nonetheless, Evans is the only WR besides Randy Moss to amass 6,000 receiving yards before turning 26 years old. He’s been an absolute fantasy force since the day he entered the league, and he’ll still be a third-round dynasty pick in 2020 even if 2019 is the Godwin show. Though he still draws a red flag designation, he remains a buy.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Red Flag Buy

Amari Cooper

Since I profiled Cooper as a red flag buy in June, another red flag has emerged: An ongoing foot injury that Cooper may have to play through for the entire season. Cooper has zero career top-12 fantasy finishes and is still not signed for 2020. The combination of his unresolved contract negotiation, his new injury concerns, and his lackluster career production form a fairly risky dynasty profile.

Luckily, Cooper’s dynasty price has fallen from WR8 to WR11 over the summer. His current WR11 ADP is right in line with his current redraft rank, which keeps him as a palatable buy. He has a highly volatile profile, which isn’t ideal for a highly priced WR. But if Cooper picks up where he left off last year in Dallas, he could be an early second-round pick in startups next season.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Red Flag Buy

Robert Woods

Our outlook for Woods has been consistent this preseason, and he’s still our 17th-ranked WR. But his price has increased a bit from WR22 to WR19. This is somewhat problematic, because Woods lacks obvious upside to move into the top-10 dynasty WRs.

He is tied to Los Angeles for multiple seasons, but so are Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks. He also wasn’t able to take advantage of newly available targets last season in Kupp’s absence. And, as the oldest (27) of the three Rams receivers, it’s hard to imagine him making a major move up in value. That said, Woods will be valued highly for as long as he’s a part of the Rams offense. And that will be through at least 2021.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Safe Hold

Cooper Kupp

The buzz surrounding Kupp this preseason has been uniformly positive, but his ADP and redraft rank have surprisingly fallen since June. He’s now our WR21 for 2019 and is currently the WR22 in dynasty.

The overall projection on Kupp remains the same though. Coming off an ACL tear, it’s still a bit of a red flag that there isn’t a substantial discount on his projected WR21 finish. But, since his price has fallen marginally, it’s still a great time to send offers anyway.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Red Flag Buy

Tyler Lockett

In June, Lockett was a bargain at WR29, but his price has since soared to WR21. Meanwhile, he has only moved up one spot from WR21 to WR20 in our redraft rankings.

My concern for Lockett in June was his narrow moat as the Seahawks target leader going into 2020. But, while a D.K. Metcalf breakout2 could scare some owners off of Lockett next offseason, his dominant team target share this season should buoy his value.

It’s also possible that the Seahawks will pass more this season based on statistical regression to the mean3. So by 2020, drafters could also be more comfortable with multiple Seahawks WRs holding premium value, which reduces Lockett’s downside risk.

Because Lockett still provides a slight discount on his projected WR20 finish, he remains a buy.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Red Flag Buy

Tyler Boyd

The market has become more bullish on Boyd as well, but there’s still plenty of value to be had here. In fact, despite his ADP rising from WR27 to WR24, Boyd is now a much better buy than he was in June. Boyd’s new contract officially runs through 2023 and will likely keep him on the Bengals through at least 2021.

Back in June — when Boyd was an impending 2020 free agent — the risk of Boyd changing teams was a major red flag for his dynasty value. Now, however, Boyd looks locked-in as Cincinnati’s long-term WR1.

Meanwhile, A.J. Green will miss the beginning of the season due to injury and still remains unsigned after 2019. As I wrote in June:

Although it does seem likely that the Bengals extend Green soon, it’s possible they may let Green play out his deal. This would create quite a bit of upside for Boyd to take a clear cut no. 1 role in the offense in 2020. In this scenario, Boyd — who turns 26 a few months into the 2020 season — will be a popular breakout-star pick and a coveted dynasty asset. His ADP could climb as high as WR10.

Boyd is still valued at a two-rank discount to his WR22 redraft rank despite upside for a major increase in value — and despite his improved floor with his team situation now stable. He remains one of the best buys in dynasty.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Strong Buy

Will Fuller

Fuller is another preseason ADP riser, ascending from WR39 to WR31 since June. His new price makes things trickier.

Fuller’s primary red flag is that he’s a 2020 cut candidate. He’ll be playing 2020 on a fifth-year option that is only guaranteed for injury. The Texans’ recent acquisition of WR Kenny Stills further increases the probability that Fuller may be cut next season.

Do I expect Stills to take Fuller’s job this year? Not at all. But I do think that if Fuller is ineffective in 2019, the Texans could choose Stills at $7MM over Fuller at $10.2MM in 2020.

Check out Fuller’s splits with QB DeShaun Watson:

These splits are tantalizing when imagining what a healthy season from both players could look like in 2019. But they also point to Fuller as potentially being situation-dependent — and at a major risk of trade value loss if he changes teams.

Furthermore, our rankers are now slightly less bullish on Fuller, moving him down from WR27 to WR29. This isn’t a major difference on its own, but it’s concerning given his recent price increase and the changing situation around him. Fuller’s drop in ranking decreases the discount on his projected 2019 finish from 12 spots to only two. With increased competition for targets and a higher trade price, Fuller should now only be targeted by those willing to bet on him finally breaking out over a full season.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • High Risk Hold

Christian Kirk

Kirk is also more expensive than he was in June, moving up from WR34 to WR26. This jump in ADP has been accompanied by more bullish sentiment by our rankers, who have moved Kirk from WR32 to WR27.

My concern with Kirk in June was that his projected finish would put him short of a second-year breakout. And unless we have a banner year for WRs, that’s still likely to be the case with a WR27 finish. However, Chris Godwin finished as WR26 last season and we all know what that accomplished for his dynasty value.

Kirk’s potential WR27 finish could also coincide with Larry Fitzgerald’s possible retirement, leading to a public narrative of Kirk’s ascension as the Cardinals’ WR1. On top of that, rookie Hakeem Butler has lost his season to Injured Reserve, and Andy Isabella has run with the backups all preseason. So, it seems less likely that one of the Cardinals’ high-pedigree rookies will usurp Kirk as Fitzgerald’s new heir apparent.

Despite his price increase, Kirk still offers ample value if he turns in a WR27 finish in 2019.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Strong Buy

Courtland Sutton

Sutton has actually gotten cheaper over this preseason, likely due in part to Emmanuel Sanders‘ incredible recovery from an Achilles tear. Sutton has fallen from WR33 to WR37 over the last three months. But we still expect a similar season from him, as he’s only fallen one spot to WR35 in our redraft rankings.

The calculation on Sutton remains similar to before the preseason. A WR35 season will mean a failed second-year breakout. But, we could see Sanders slow down this year,4 which could generate buzz for a third-year breakout from Sutton in 2020.

While that buzz probably won’t be Godwinian, it could mirror the level we’re currently seeing for Mike Williams and Curtis Samuel. In other words, you can probably get a free look at a second-year breakout from Sutton and move off of him for a slight profit even if it doesn’t happen.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Red Flag Buy

Sterling Shepard

Shepard has been a forgotten man at times this preseason, but he remains a cheap dynasty buy. Although he’s come up in price slightly (WR43 to WR42) and down in our ranks (WR36 to WR38), there’s reason to be hopeful about his biggest red flag: Quarterback.

We don’t need Daniel Jones to actually be good to make a profit on Shepard. We just need drafters to be open to the idea that he could be good in 2020. If Shepard can put together a solid season in 2019 and show rapport with Jones — and if Jones does just enough to create buzz for his sophomore season — then Shepard could jump into the WR30 range and earn you a nice little profit. He has upside from there with a true breakout season.

Though he carries some risk, it is likely already priced into his WR42 cost.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Red Flag Buy

Curtis Samuel

In June I described Samuel as “outrageously cheap” as the WR54 in dynasty drafts at the time. That discount has completely disappeared now that Samuel put together a strong training camp and is rumored to be on the verge of a breakout. Samuel is now WR32 in dynasty startups.

RotoViz rankers haven’t been totally immune to the buzz, moving him up to WR34. But RotoViz was also early to the party here. Given his tremendous age-adjusted production and versatile skillet, we were already expecting a productive year with a WR38 ranking back in June.

In my original write up, I predicted that the WR35 ADP range was within reach if Samuel hits his WR38 redraft rank. Now, the market caught up to RotoViz’s 2019 expectations and has priced Samuel more appropriately.

Unfortunately, a WR34 season will just barely hold Samuel’s WR32 ADP or allow it to fall slightly. However, Samuel remains under his rookie contract in 2020 and is unlikely to see his value tank completely. And Samuel still has value upside if he has a breakout season–which his unique profile indicates that he could deliver on.

The hype has mostly taken away the buying opportunity here, but Samuel is still a fairly safe way to get a look at electrifying upside.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • Safe Hold

Dante Pettis

Pettis has had a pretty brutal preseason, having been repeatedly called out by his head coach and having his role in the offense called into question. But our rankers haven’t blinked, steadily keeping him at WR40. Drafters have been slightly more skittish, letting him drop three spots from WR37 to WR40. But overall, Pettis is in the same position he was before all the negative buzz.

However, the buzz does exacerbate Pettis’ red flag: That his projected finish will mean he failed to break out. With a WR40 season a sophomore, Pettis could be replaced as a starter in 2020, causing his value to free fall.

That said, there’s upside here too. Shawn Siegele recently identified having too little of Pettis as one of the quickest ways for the 2019 season to go against him. And without major competition for targets at WR in 2019, the potential for a Pettis breakout is just as exciting as it was in June.

At his WR40 price, Pettis is worth a look if you want to bet on his breakout potential. But this preseason has also highlighted the fact that Pettis has a total loss in trade value based on his wide range of outcomes for 2020. Be prepared to lose what you paid for him if he doesn’t put together a breakout season.

  • Previous Designation
    • Red Flag Buy
  • New Designation
    • High Risk Hold
Image Credit: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Tyler Boyd.

  1. Although, do try to swap him straight-up for Juju-Smith Shuster.  (back)
  2. Or free agency acquisitions or draft selections.  (back)
  3. Although, since they literally just cut a starting WR, maybe not.  (back)
  4. No matter how he looks now, he’s still a 32-year old coming off major injury  (back)

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