Welcome back to the 2021 Dynasty Hidden Gems series. This is the third entry in our 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems series. You can find the first article featuring Kansas City tight end Noah Gray here and the second article featuring San Francisco’s running back Elijah Mitchell here.
One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your roster is by taking calculated risks. Whether from the wire or the back-end of your opponents’ roster, there are players that are (relatively) easy to obtain that can pay HUGE dividends. Sometimes referred to as dynasty “deep dives,” these players may not seem like much on the surface, but find a hidden gem and you will unlock incredible value. Of course, if you have not yet drafted in your rookie drafts, these players can also be found in the late rounds, but still should not be overlooked, especially if your roster has a little extra room.
In the worst case scenario, the player you acquire busts, but because you didn’t risk a lot of value, the hit will only slightly sting. Be smart and stay active, and you will likely find enough hidden gems to make up for all of your whiffs combined. That is doing dynasty roster construction right.
Sometimes to find the next great 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gem of this offseason we have to look beyond our borders. In this instance, I ask you to look up to our friends next door. Yes, I’m speaking of our overly polite “neighbours” to the great white north. I don’t know about you, but when I think of Canada I think about the beautiful landscape, maple syrup, Rush, and maybe the Mckenzie Brothers sipping down a beer or two (or twelve). Here at RotoHeat, we are graced by Rob Sullivan, one of Canada’s premier citizens. The Pittsburgh Steelers similarly are lucky to have a Canadian with talent in Chase “Mapletron” Claypool. However, it appears as if Canada isn’t done putting its mark on the fantasy football landscape, because this 2021 rookie class features a new player who we shouldn’t “take off (eh?)” our draft boards.
Did you know Josh Palmer was Canadian? Of course you did! Born and raised outside of Toronto, Ontario, Josh Palmer has been around the football field his entire life. His father, Keith Palmer, played in the Canadian Football League and was Josh’s coach and mentor throughout his childhood. His father kept him humble and made him practice no matter the weather. He said, “There were days where I’d see it snowing and I’d say… ‘You may end up in Buffalo, you may end up in Green Bay, at Denver, and you’re going to have these snow days. Playoff games in a blizzard.’ So out we’d go.”
In College for the Tennessee Volunteers, Palmer caught only 99 career balls for 1,514 yards and 7 touchdowns. He never had a season with more than 500 receiving yards. However, this is because Josh Palmer was plagued with poor and inconsistent quarterback play. Palmer excelled at running deep routes, but his quarterbacks just simply could not get him the ball.
Fortunately for Josh, he now has his quarterback in Los Angeles. Selected in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Josh Palmer with the 77th pick overall. Justin Herbert, the second year quarterback for the Chargers, should have no issue getting Josh Palmer the ball anywhere on the field. In fact, Herbert was the 10th best quarterback in 2020 (with 500 min. attempts) with a completion percentage of 66.6%. Things appear to be headed in the right direction for Josh Palmer, which is exactly why he is on our shortlist of 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems.
Skillset & Future Outlook
Josh Palmer can essentially be viewed as the Mike Williams replacement in Los Angeles. Williams is on the final year of his rookie deal, and with Palmer being selected in the third round, it indicates that the Chargers may be moving on from their former (and extremely disappointing) first round pick. Palmer, like Williams, has good size and speed. Palmer is also exceptionally athletic, although he does need to get better at running more precise routes. At times he can have difficulty finding separation, but his athleticism helps him overcome his faults. Working under Keenan Allen, one of the leagues best route runners, one would expect Palmer is in a great spot to improve that weakness by learning from one of the greats. That’s what makes Josh Palmer a great 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gem, because as he develops his value will likely continue to rise at the same time.
It will be difficult to see Palmer getting extremely involved this season in 2021. However, Josh Palmer still should be considered a 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gem because it is fair to assume that Mike Williams finds a new home next season. Outside of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, the wide receiver room is relatively deep, but it lacks top-end talent. With that in mind, Palmer would be in a good spot to get even more opportunities next season to get the ball from the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Justin Herbert.
That’s why Josh Palmer should be in YOUR game plan to try to improve your own dynasty squad with an opportunity to potentially shine bright. We will regularly release more 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems throughout this off-season. Good luck!
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