Top 10 Dynasty Buys in the 2021 offseason
The NFL season is officially over, which means we are now in the offseason for the entire league. But for many fantasy enthusiasts, more specifically the dynasty players, the offseason is just the beginning of the next season. Literally.
Free agency, and the rookie draft after that, are mere months away. This means there are plenty of rookies to scout, grade, and rank before April 29th. Here at RotoHeat, we have already begun doing that, and we are going bigger and better with rookie scouting than ever before. Over on RookieDraftguide.com you can find all the hard work we are putting in.
With the NFL season being over, and things quieting down a bit, this is also the perfect time to do startup drafts for new dynasty leagues, or to try to take advantage of the dynasty owners in your current leagues that don’t pay as much attention during the offseason as you do.
In order to have you prepared for dynasty startups or trading, we are making a series of articles with our Dynasty Top 10s. Included are both buys and sells as well as position rankings!
So sit back and enjoy while we let you in on all the good dynasty stuff!
Now, without further ado, here are your top 10 Dynasty buys for the 2021 season:
1. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
Thomas missed a bunch of games in 2020–8 to be exact (discounting week 17). And in the 7 games he did play, he failed to catch a single touchdown. This is not what people wanted to see from a guy who was drafted in the first round of drafts last year, likely as the WR1.
As a result of his poor 2020, Thomas is starting to end up in round 4 of Dynasty startups. I firmly believe he is still a top 5 Dynasty WR, and top 7 at worst, if you really want to argue bits and pieces.
Combine that with the uncertainty at quarterback for the Saints, and MT owners might be freaking out. This means that right now is the perfect opportunity to target Michael Thomas in a buy-low scenario. Reports say that Winston will get first crack at the starting job if the Saints can retain him like they want to. His DGAF attitude should bode quite well for Thomas, who should continue to see a ton of targets.
This means he could be someone you can get for a mid or late first round rookie pick, maybe plus a little bit more, if the MT owner is in a rebuild or is panicking. At his elite production level, getting him at any sort of a discount is a win, which makes him my #1 on the Top 10 Dynasty Buys list for 2021.
2. Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills
Oh boy. When I was looking through stats, ranks, and what not to find players I wanted to buy this offseason, Davis caught my eye. I can with certainty say that this guy is going to be my favorite sleeper this season, which means he is also making the Top 10 Dynasty Buys list. In 2020 he had 35 catches on 62 targets for 599 receiving yards and 7(!) TDs. That leaves him at a crazy efficient 17.1 yards per catch.
Only two other receivers with over 30 catches had had more yards/catch than Gabriel Davis.
For 2021, John Brown only has 1.6 milion dead cap on his contract, meaning the Bills will save 7.9 milion in cap space by cutting Brown. This is a certainty for me at this point with Davis emerging in his rookie season.
In games that Davis played where Brown was injured. Davis averaged 97% of offensive snaps. This means Davis is getting a full-time role in this offense when John Brown is being cut–and Brown is going to get cut.
In this offense, who has been extremely happy to let Josh Allen toss the ball around the yard as he pleases, Gabriel Davis stepping up and claiming the outside receiver position across from Stefon Diggs makes him an incredibly enticing player to buy in dynasty.
Now is the time to go get him.
3. Laviska Shenault, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
You might have started sensing that there is a trend going on in this list. There’s a lot of wide receivers I want to buy this offseason. Next in line is Laviska Shenault. “Viska,” as he is often called, is looking to get a BIIIG upgrade at QB this offseason, and if HC Urban Meyer and OC Darrell Bevell have any sense, they will be creating an offense that should be very QB-friendly.
At Clemson, Trevor Lawrence, who is the pick for the Jaguars, threw a lot of screens, RPOs or play action passes. Laviska is the perfect receiver for that type of offense. He is big, strong and fast, and can create for himself after the catch.
With Trevor in town, I expect Shenault to grow into a #1 WR for this offense who will be asked to do a lot out of a ton of different sets. This bodes well for his fantasy outlook, and makes him and excellent buy candidate, who can still be had at a reasonable price. This makes him my #3 on the Top 10 Dynasty Buys list
4. AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers
It seems less and less likely that Aaron Jones will be back with the Packers for 2021, and his backfield running mate, Jamaal Williams, is also a free agent this offseason. It is probably with that in mind that the Packers went and drafted AJ Dillon. LaFleur was previously the OC in Tennessee where he had Derrick Henry, and Dillon is the closest thing to Henry in the entire league.
I expect the Packers and LaFleur to turn to Dillon as their primary runner in 2021, and I still believe Aaron Rodgers is going to stay the QB in Green Bay. This is only good for Dillon, who would be in a high-powered offense, giving him plenty of scoring opportunities.
He is someone you need to target right now before his price rises when we get news of where Aaron Jones is going.
5. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, WRs, Cincinnati Bengals
Yeah, I know, I know. This is cheating, because now I’ll be able to get 11 players on my Top 10 Dynasty Buys, but likelihood is that some owners will have forgotten what these two played like with Burrow, which means you should be able to acquire them for a good price.
Higgins showed a lot of big-play ability with Burrow, where he amassed 603 yards and 4 TDs in just 8 games (discounting week 1, where he didn’t have a single target). Tyler Boyd also looked good with Burrow, who targeted Boyd 76 times in 9 games. That’s a pace for 136 targets for Boyd.
The ship might have already sailed with these two, but if you can get Higgins for a mid 1st or Boyd for a championship pick (1.12) or later, I would absolutely pounce on either. With Burrow at QB, they’re both going to be paying dividends in 2021 and beyond.
6. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
As a team, the 49ers took a step backwards in 2020, but I think most people, myself included, write that off mostly to injuries. Deebo was one of those players who missed a lot of time due to injury. He had injury-issues over three separate periods of the 2020 season which made it difficult for him to get any consistency going.
Even with Aiyuk, Kittle and Deebo all being in that run-first offense, Shanahan is committed to getting Samuel the ball. If they get an upgrade at QB, like they’ve reportedly been looking for, that’s just going to improve Deebo’s situation.
The good thing about Deebo is that he gets a lot of manufactured touches and he is a boss at turning those touches behind the line of scrimmage or on short slants into good gains.
He’s not going to be your WR1 or WR2 for your team, but as a flex, he is as solid as it gets, especially with the price you should be able to acquire him for. His owner is very likely to be tired of injuries, and as such, might be looking to sell off Deebo.
7. Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
After being a very underrated WR for his first two seasons, the Cowboys drafted Ceedee Lamb in the first round of the 2020 draft. This resulted in a dip for Gallup, who is largely the WR3 on his team. Towards the end of the season though, Gallup showed that he is a capable receiver, and he just needs more opportunities than what he is getting with Dallas.
Gallup still has one more year left on his contract with the Cowboys, but in 2022, he will either be with a different team, or the Cowboys will retain him by getting out of Amari Cooper’s contract.
Either way, Gallup is in line for more work, which is going to be good news for his fantasy value. So if his value doesn’t go up, why is now the time to buy him, you ask? Simple. Being a year away from free agency means his value is at an all-time low right now, making it the perfect time to invest.
Once the season rolls around and there are football games to be played, his value is going to slowly rise again, just for the fact that players are worth more in-season and picks are worth more in the off-season.
So, buy Gallup a year early at a low price. You might be able to get him for a 3rd rounder if you play your cards right.
8. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
A guy who gets dogged for dropping the ball a lot in his rookie season is Jerry Jeudy, yet he still makes it into my Top 10 Dynasty Buys because, let’s be honest, drops don’t necessarily matter–at least not yet for someone like Jeudy. A lot of your great WRs had struggles with drops at some point in their career. What matters, is A) whether you improve and stop dropping the ball, or B) do everything else well enough that you still contribute.
Jeudy is someone who can grow to get rid of the drops, and he is able to get open. There is a reason people had him as either the #1 or #2 WR in last years draft class.
Generally, the last few years, we have seen some WRs perform already in their rookie season, and this has created an idea that if a rookie WR does not perform right away, people are going to worry and look to move on from them.
Jeudy falls in this category, which makes him a very good buy this offseason. Denver is ultimately going to move on from Drew Lock, which could help Jeudy, who has the skillset to get open and be able to produce for fantasy. You might be able to get him for an early or mid 2nd rookie pick.
His teammate, Courtland Sutton, could be in the same boat as a good offseason buy, but he didn’t quite make the Top 10 Dynasty Buys.
9. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
The window is closing quickly on this one. Barkley is still a top 5 RB in dynasty but is falling just outside that range in many startups right now. This means he is still expensive, but cheaper than he was at this time last year.
Personally, I am not at all scared of his injury. I was able to acquire him in-season, which made him fairly cheap for a total stud, but even now he can be had a bit under actual value.
He is starting to fall outside of the top 5 RBs in dynasty startups, and that alone should tell you that people have soured somewhat on Barkley. He is still one of the most talented RBs in the league, and he just turned 24 years old, which is a year and a half younger than Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara.
Barkley has already shown in his career that he has the upside to be the RB1 in fantasy, so if you can acquire him for anything less than his actual value, you got a steal. As a result, he makes my Top 10 Dynasty Buys list for the 2021 season.
10. Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams
Is there anyone at the tight end position who is a bigger tease than Tyler Higbee?
Every once in a while he shows up with these massive games, and you just want to get on board. Then the next game he hardly gets any targets because Gerald Everett is getting them.
Well folks, that is likely over. Everett is a free agent, and it appears unlikely the Rams are going to resign him given the investment they already have in Higbee and their general salary cap situation.
As a result, we could see Tyler Higbee finally becoming, not just the main man, but the only man at TE for the Rams, and we’ve seen the ceiling he has when that has been the case.
As is the situation with any tight end not called Kelce, Kittle or Waller, the floor is basically the basement for Higbee, but without Everett, the upside should be there, and that could vault Higbee into a serious conversation for a breakout at TE.
Let’s be real, you might even be able to fish him from his owner with a 4th round pick. If you could get Higbee for that price, he is certainly worth a shot given his upside. At that price, he is the sole TE to make it onto my Top 10 Dynasty Buys for this season.
That is your Top 10 Dynasty Buys for 2021. I’m sure there are other players worth buying, and hey, if you get some good offers, don’t hesitate to take them.
If you’re ever in doubt about trade offers or anything else dynasty-related, post your questions in the RotoHeat Facebook community. You can also find us on the RotoHeat Youtube channel, where we have our livestreams and a bunch of rookie bios.