Updated: Jun 30
In dynasty fantasy football you always need to have one eye on the future, not every rookie draft pick is going to pan out right away. The following players all were drafted into spots with guys ahead of them on the depth charts. Some have higher draft capital than others, but each one could be in line as early as this year to be fantasy relevant, but most likely will get their chance in 2022 or later. If your league allows second or third year guys on your taxi squads, these are great guys to get thrown into a deal. It also isn't crazy to trade third or fourth round rookie picks for second and third year guys in my opinion. In theory, we are not counting on our third and fourth round picks to hit usually right away, so why not add a name that has actually showed a little bit in the NFL and/or at least has learned their systems. Without further adieu, here are a few second and third year guys to stash for the year.
Tyler Johnson (WR, Buccaneers)
With the Buccaneers bringing back Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin, they really destroyed the chance that Tyler Johnson would become fantasy relevant. I don’t think that necessarily speaks negatively on the organizations thoughts on Johnson, it’s more so just capitalizing on having Tom Brady. Evans is signed through 2023, but both Godwin and Brown only signed one year contracts. Johnson will be used occasionally this year, Brady wasn’t scared to go to him in key moments, and he started to get a a chance and didn’t disappoint. He will be the first guy up if injuries hit any of the top three, but next year will be when he has his chance at being a starter. Get him now while the price is cheaper and hold him if you didn’t already at the end of last year.
(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)
Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR, Browns)
Peoples-Jones looked good in his small sample size and he’s worth a pick up especially in leagues that have return yards. However, with the resigning of Higgins, his chance of being fantasy relevant this year took a bit of a hit. He will need to beat out Higgins, which I think he can. He showed production in the final few games with some of the Browns WRs out with injury and dealing with covid-19. The Browns drafted two WRs, but neither project to be a top alpha WR. People-Jones has that upside. He was a five star recruit out of high school, with the size and speed, 4.48 40 yard dash to get open. Landry is signed through 2022, but they can get out of his contract next year for only a 1.5 million dollar cap hit. Beckham has 3 years left, but this is the last year with a dead cap hit, and the relationship hasn’t always been rosy. Not saying they are going to cut either guy, but People-Jones can work his way into the 3rd spot and potentially more if injuries arise. Someone to keep an eye on and maybe get on your taxi.
Miles Boykin (WR, Ravens)
Boykin has good size - he’s 6’4, 220 pounds - and speed (he ran 4.42 at his pro day). His combine numbers overall showed how athletic he was and some even linked him to Kenny Golladay. He had day 2 draft capital, with the Ravens selecting him late in the third round in 2019. He put up one decent college year with the Fighting Irish when he had 59 receptions, 872 yards and 8 TDs. While playing in the Ravens offense that relied heavily on the run, he hasn’t really been given a chance. He had 22 targets in his rookie year and turned it into 13 receptions, but 3 of them were TDs. In his sophomore year, he had very similar production with 33 targets, 19 receptions and 4 TDs. He is likely the odd man out this year with the Ravens drafting two WRs and bringing in Sammy Watkins. He might be worth an add to see if he can be more productive in a pass happy attack, I’d like to see him go to the Falcons or Packers. Someone to keep an eye on with his size and speed combo.
Van Jefferson (WR, Rams)
I am not going to lie, I wasn’t high on Jefferson last year and definitely did not like his landing spot. I found it weird that the Rams would invest a second round pick on a guy when they have Kupp, Woods and at the time Reynolds. With Reynolds gone now, it opens up the third WR spot on the field. Reynolds, as the number three WR last year, had 81 targets. If Jefferson can outperform newly-drafted Tutu Atwell and injury prone free agent acquisition DeSean Jackson, he can be productive as early as this year. The third WR in the McVay offence has has been used, but nothing to write home about. However, if an injury were to occur to Kupp or Woods, I believe Jefferson would be the one to step up; he is built more as every down WR than Atwell and an older Jackson. At 6’2 with a 4.39 40 time, he has the athletic traits one likes to see, let’s see if he can work his way onto the field more often! Even with the 81 targets Reynolds saw last year, a more slippery athletic Jefferson could hopefully turn that into more production.
Collin Johnson (WR, Jaguars)
Collin Johnson is another late round WR from last year. He’s a big-body WR who showed last year he can work in the red zone. He’s got a lot of competition this year with Marvin Jones coming in and Chark and Shenault already on the roster. Chark is on his last year and Jones has an out in his two year contract that he signed. If Johnson can use his big body in the red zone, he will get on the field, as early as this year. The Jags don’t really have a TE, unless Tebow actually becomes a thing, so Johnson could fill in as the big body player on the field.
J.J. Taylor (RB, Patriots)
A small shifty back that got a few carries to start the year. With Burkhead gone, White pushing 30, and the rest of the backs more in the mold of power backs, Taylor has upside as the pass catching back next year, if not this year if injuries hit. Burkhead saw work last year, even with White staying healthy. So there is a place in a crowded back field that loves to use multiple RB’s. I wouldn’t want to trust him this year, but would stash him for next year if and when White moves on. This is especially exciting with the immobile Mac Jones taking the field next year for sure! James White potential in a McDaniel’s offense, he has multiple seasons as top 24 PPR running back.
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Lynn Bowden (RB/WR, Dolphins)
A hybrid RB/WR who carries good draft capital. He was traded to the Dolphins from the Raiders before the season started last year. With the Dolphins not addressing the RB position, instead rolling with Gaskins, Ahmed, and Malcom Brown, it opens up a small chance he could come in as a gadget type back. Brown only signed a one-year deal, Gaskins is being paid pennies and was a 7th round pick, Ahmed was an undrafted back last year. They paid a fourth to acquire Bowden, this coaching staff had something in mind for him. It might not happen this year, but let’s see what happens. If he doesn’t make it as a RB, remember Fuller is only on a one-year deal as well, and Preston Williams doesn’t have the same draft capital. If you can get him thrown into a deal, he’s got 3rd round draft capital and the hybrid eligibility is an added bonus.
Darrynton Evans (RB, Titans)
Who is behind Henry? Evans is! Besides that I can’t even name other RBs on the Titans. Evans got decent draft capital last year he was a late 3rd round pick, being the 9th RB off the board in 2020. He is a good pass catcher, and many thought he could take on Dion Lewis’ role, but he dealt with a hamstring injury and was placed on IR after Week 5. He came back at the end of the year and put up two decent games in mop up duty against the Lions and Packers. Henry shows no signs of slowing down, but Evans could start taking some work away, it might be wise for the Titian’s to share some carries. Also, if an injury ever occurred, Evans could get the workload.
Brycen Hopkins (TE, Rams)
With only Tyler Higbee ahead of him on the depth chart, Hopkins could get on the field as early as this year. The Rams used two-TE sets with Everett and Higbee, so Hopkins could slip into that role this year. Everett had 50, 60 and 62 targets over his last three years with the Rams. In 2019 Everett missed 3 games and still had 60 targets. Hopkins posted a 61-830-7 season in his last year at Purdue, pretty impressive numbers! Higbee is signed through 2023, but Hopkins is more athletic, running a 4.66 at his combine, he could take over as the more dominate pass catching TE for the Rams. He does have some competition with newly drafted tight end Jacob Harris. Harris seems more like an athletic big slot than a true TE, both have fourth round draft capital, but with a more productive college career and an extra year of NFL experience, I’ll take my chance with Hopkins right now.
(Photo by Joshua Gunter, cleveland.com)
Harrison Bryant (TE, Browns)
Bryant looked good in his opportunities last year, he has been a name that was floated around at the end of last year, but if your league has been sleeping on him, now is the time to swoop in and set yourself up for the future at TE. I believe he has top 8 potential as early as 2022. He was drafted in the fourth round and he is well rounded, which means he can stay on the field even in blocking situations. Anytime a TE can stay on the field, the greater chance they get some volume. David Njoku’s contract is up at the end of the year, Hooper’s contract has an out after 2023. If you can get Bryant and stick him on your taxi for 2021, you should do it! He will start contributing as early as this year, but will get more work in 2022 if the Browns keep being in the top third in 12 personnel formations. Get him on your taxi squads now!
Jordan Love (QB, Packers)
There are not too many backup QBs right now that are worth stashing if we aren't counting the three mid round QBs from this years draft Davis Mills, Kellen Mond, and Kyle Trask. Jordan Love is the name that jumps to the top of the list. With Rodgers threatening to retire if he doesn't get traded, there is the real possibility that Jordan Love sees action as early as this year. He has first round draft capital and not only that, but the Packers actually traded up in the first to ensure they got their future QB. I get the hunch that the Packers would like to give Love another year to develop, but if he is getting all the offseason reps it could help speed up his development. He is a very mobile QB, he lacks in a few areas like timing and awareness, all things that can be worked on, but one thing that can't be taught is athleticism. That is one area that he is not lacking in, and seems to be the trend of the modern day QB. There are a lot of first round QB busts, but the Packers have a pretty good history of drafting and developing QBs, see Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Those are big shoes to fill!