Dynasty Dumpster Dive: High-Potential Prospects That Won’t Break the Bank (Part 2: WRs)

By Alex McCarthy
Alex McCarthy
Like any good manager, you’re always looking to make moves that will improve your dynasty team. However, for various reasons you may not have a lot of capital to work with- maybe you inherited an orphan team largely devoid of value, or maybe you have the majority of your fantasy wealth tied up in assets you consider untouchable. Either way, you’re looking to acquire players who won’t cost a premium but still have a reasonable-to-good chance of becoming more impactful fantasy contributors in 2018 (or earlier in some cases).

Well fear not- as always, I’ve done the work for you. I’ve identified high-potential wide receivers and running backs who can be had for less than a first round pick in most leagues and broken down exactly why I think they have the potential to see a substantial increase in value. We’ve been over the running backs; next up are the wide receivers.

Cameron Meredith:

My affinity for Cam Meredith has been well-documented (if you were reading my material before the season began, I had him as my single most underrated player entering the 2017 season). Unfortunately he was sidelined for the year before his campaign could even begin, but luckily for us bargain hunters that means he has been all but forgotten and can be had for cheap now. His QB situation is not ideal as Trubisky is a work-in-progress at best, but Meredith had an excellent 2016 catching passes from a selection of QBs that wasn’t much better. He was also relatively new to the WR position, having just switched from QB after college, and showed extremely promising development between his rookie and sophomore seasons. This development in spite of poor QB play is coupled with the fact that Pro Football Focus rated Meredith as running the best “double-move” routes in the entire league, ahead of even Antonio Brown. I expect Meredith to continue to develop and use his natural gifts and become the favored target of Trubisky next year, which makes him criminally undervalued right now. If you only buy one player on this list, make it Cam.

Quincy Enunwa:

I went with Enunwa next because his situation is so similar to that of Meredith: talented young WR who showed great development between 2015 and 2016, potential centerpiece of an admittedly questionable offense, and injured before his 2017 campaign could begin. Unlike Meredith’s relatively benign ACL tear, however, Enunwa suffered a serious neck injury that could be more difficult to recover from. Still, he was poised to be the centerpiece of the Jets offensive attack this year and if he returns to form he has WR2 potential. If you think he can beat the injury, Enunwa is a great lottery ticket that can be had at a reasonable price.

John Ross:

Next up we’ve got the rookies, starting with John Ross because there isn’t all that much to say about him. He’s the same prospect he was coming into the season- an elite speedster with a surprisingly varied route tree who has a lot of trouble staying healthy. In most leagues this made him a late first-round pick, but after spending a lot of his rookie year confirming injury fears his value has slipped in the minds of many less patient owners. Acquiring such an injury-prone player is a risk to be certain, but the price these days is generally low enough to justify the risk.

Zay Jones:

The next rookie WR target, East Carolina superstud Zay Jones, was a polarizing prospect coming into the season. His level of competition in college and his landing spot in the pros (the run-heavy Bills) were the causes of some consternation, and through the first half of the season or so he did not look impressive. However, it is well-documented that rookie wide receivers (even those who eventually become WR1s) struggle with adjusting to the pros, and over the past few weeks Jones already looks to be progressing. He is currently the WR1 in Buffalo by default due to injury, and it will be interesting to see if he is able to seize the opportunity. If you are interested in buying him before his price sees a significant hike, I would do so quickly.

Kenny Golladay:

Sometimes I forget that Kenny G is a rookie, or that he wasn’t always playing for my Lions. Obviously it’s absurd that there are owners out there who would part with Our Lord and Savior Kenny Golladay for less than a first round pick, but the fact remains that such heretics are out there and waiting to trade. In all seriousness, though, Golladay has the size and the physical tools and has already flashed as a high-quality red zone threat, plus he is catching passes from a quarterback who is one of the best at throwing up contested balls. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones limit his upside for now, but look for Golladay to become an even more important part of the Lions passing game over the next few years. Buy him now while his production is only that of a flex or WR3/4 and profit when he evolves into a WR2.

Chris Godwin:

The final rookie on this list was a favorite of Reception Perception WR guru Matt Harmon going into the season, but like most rookie WRs he has not made much of an impact yet. His situation has been particularly difficult as he is the fourth pass-catching option on a talent-rich Buccaneers offense, but it is very promising that he saw ten targets the week that Mike Evans was suspended. Godwin can execute a diverse route tree and is excellent at going up and taking the ball out of the air, which makes him highly quarterback-friendly and should help him see the field more quickly. DeSean Jackson will slow down eventually and Godwin will continue to develop, and when that happens he has WR2 potential. Make sure you have him rostered before then.

Chris Conley:

The next few WRs on this list are similar to a lot of the RBs listed in part one of this article- they are highly talented and will be entering unrestricted free agency in 2018. Chris Conley is a physical freak (most comparable to Julio Jones in terms of pure athleticism) who has struggled in a Chiefs offense that doesn’t exactly cater to his skillset. He has yet to be given an opportunity to play for a team that could truly use him, and if he finds himself in the right situation and is used correctly I feel he could emerge out of nowhere as a WR2-level talent. His history of non-production combined with a recent Achilles injury means he should be extremely cheap if not free on the waiver wire, but with the right landing spot in the offseason he could be worth so much more. Don’t miss out.

Tyrell Williams:

Tyrell will be an UFA after this season and is criminally underappreciated on the Chargers. In the absence of the injured Keenan Allen last year he put up high-end WR2/low-end WR1 numbers, and even with the return of Keenan and a multitude of other weapons around him this year he is still a WR3/4. Every time he is given the ball and an opportunity to make plays he does so, but the Chargers seem highly unlikely to spend the money to keep him around after drafting Mike Williams in the first round last year. Whoever does pay up for Tyrell will get a player who doesn’t get the respect he deserves, but who could easily put up numbers comparable to his performance last year. Buy him for his current price of next-to-nothing and laugh all the way to the bank.

Devin Funchess:

With the departure of Kelvin Benjamin, Funchess has become the de facto WR1 in Carolina. His lack of name recognition coupled with the fact that most attention in Carolina goes to McCaffrey these days means that, in all likelihood, he is being undervalued in many leagues. He has solid talent and a second round pedigree, and it is entirely possible that he will seize this chance and see a significant uptick in value. Buy shares of Funchess if you believe in Cam’s ability to get him the ball.

Robert Woods:

Despite the presence of the sublime Sammy Watkins and roommate Cooper Kupp, it is with Robert Woods that young QB Jared Goff seems to have bonded most. After a decent but unremarkable four years in Buffalo, Woods has meshed well with the Sean McVay system that has the Rams offense putting up crazy numbers this year. When I first started writing this article I was actually worried that a few big games in a row had removed Woods from the “buy low” list, but his subsequent injury has cooled his stock a bit. The Rams look to be a powerful offense for years to come and Woods looks to be a big part of that, so buy now before he becomes a perennial high-end WR2/low-end WR1.

And that’s it for wide receivers and for this article! I hope you enjoyed dumpster diving with me, and that we will all reap the benefits in 2018.

For part one of this article about running backs, click here.