Fantasy Football Buy-Low Targets: Why dynasty managers should trade for Leonard Fournette, Jaylen Waddle, and Michael Pittman

Following a wild and crazy initial NFL free agency period, which fantasy football players look like buy-low targets for dynasty managers?

The NFL has two big offseason events that can drastically alter the fantasy values of players. With the draft still a month away and free agency (mostly) in the rearview, it’s time to assess what transpired and figure out how this affects us as fantasy managers. In the wake of free agency, let’s take a look at three players that look like solid buy-low targets for dynasty fantasy football managers.

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Dynasty fantasy football buy-low trade targets

There’s a common misconception when it comes to the term “buy low.” The presumption is often that the player’s value is low. In reality, a buy-low target is any player whose perceived value is lower than your valuation of him.

Today, we’re going to look at three players who I believe are currently priced lower than they should be. Thus, dynasty managers should consider trying to target these players in trades at a discount.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

One of the primary sources of value in dynasty leagues is the talented young prospect that underperformed his rookie year. Another great source of value is the aging veteran that has more left to offer than many think. Obviously, of these two categories, Leonard Fournette falls into the latter.

Last season, Fournette finished as the overall RB4 in PPR fantasy points per game (minimum eight games played). The man was an elite RB1. He is on a team with no backfield competition and is locked into a three-down role.

Of course, the concern for fantasy football managers isn’t his performance — it’s his age. Now 27 years old, Fournette is well past the age apex for running backs (25). We can realistically project him to lose a significant portion of his fantasy value within the next 3-4 years. That’s where the value comes in.

Dynasty managers know they probably have just three years of quality production left from Fournette, at most. The thing is, those three years matter and could be very valuable.

Fournette re-signed with the Bucs and it’s no longer a year-to-year thing. They gave him a three-year extension. He’s now tethered to what will be an elite offense as long as Tom Brady keeps playing football. I’m gambling that Brady plays at least two more seasons.

You can get Fournette in a dynasty startup after the fifth round. In existing leagues, you can probably get him for a young player and non-first-round rookie pick. Of course, if you’re beginning a multi-year rebuild, you can’t be going after 27-year-old running backs. But if you’re contending now, Fournette can be acquired for much cheaper than he should be, making him a great buy-low target.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins

It’s still too early to assess how much Jaylen Waddle’s dynasty value will dip now that he’s no longer his team’s WR1. Waddle’s immediate projection has to drop with Tyreek Hill in town. With that said, Hill is 28 years old and does not have the type of skill set that ages well. The straight-line speed won’t go away, but the lateral agility and quick-twitch movements will likely start to wane in 3-4 years.

Waddle is 4.5 years younger than Hill. If you trade for Waddle, you’re getting a phenomenal talent tethered to a young quarterback that is going to play at a high level for the next 8-10 years. Even if you have to eat a couple of years with Waddle behind Hill, it will be well worth it if you can buy low on Waddle.

Now, to be fair, I’m not entirely sure you can buy low here in fantasy. Hopefully, your trade partner is under the misconception that the Dolphins do not throw. Last season, they attempted 615 passes between Tua Tagovailoa and Jacoby Brissett.

Waddle’s target share is going to drop, but this is someone that should be a WR2 for the next 2-3 years before emerging into a WR1 once Hill slows down. There’s also the chance Waddle is just good enough to be a WR1 with Hill. I just see more ways this works out than it doesn’t. You want young, talented receivers — and Waddle qualifies. If his value drops more than it should as a result of the Hill trade, he will be a primer buy-low target.

Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

Color me crazy, but I really like Matt Ryan to the Colts. Ryan had a terrible 2021 season, but he also had very little to work with. After Calvin Ridley’s departure, Ryan was throwing to the likes of Russell Gage, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Tajae Sharpe as his top receivers. Yes, Kyle Pitts was there, too, but one man, let alone a rookie, is not enough.

Despite being 37 years old, I don’t think Ryan is done just yet. We’ve seen too many great quarterbacks play into their 40s for me to write off Ryan right now. Will he ever be 2016 Matt Ryan again? No. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be for the Colts what Philip Rivers was in 2020.

Here’s what we know about Ryan. Historically, he’s been very beneficial for his WR1. From 2008-2012, Roddy White averaged 96 receptions for 1,314 receiving yards. From 2014-2019, Julio Jones averaged 103 receptions for 1,564 receiving yards.

You’re probably wondering what happened in 2013 that I skipped over it? Oh, nothing much. Just Harry Douglas catching 85 balls for 1,067 yards as Ryan’s WR1 after Jones broke his foot in Week 5. Then, in 2020, Calvin Ridley caught 90 passes for 1,374 yards. I think you see where this is going.

We can’t say for sure how long Ryan will be with the Colts. After all, this team has had a different starting quarterback each of the past six years. However, as long as Ryan is there, I love Michael Pittman Jr.’s upside.

Ryan’s WR1 has never failed to reach 1,000 yards. Last season, Pittman managed 88 catches for 1,082 yards with Carson Wentz. Those numbers should be his absolute yearly floor going forward. I see him as someone with 100-catch, 1,500-yard upside. Pittman is talented and undervalued in both redraft and dynasty. He’s an excellent buy-low target for fantasy football managers.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here.

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