I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Dynasty is the best format of fantasy football. You’re building the team how you want to, scouting college players who will soon turn pro, and diving into the depths of NFL rosters. It’s literally 12 months a year. So fun!
One of my personal favorite parts of dynasty is finding stash players.
If you’re playing in a competitive league, there aren’t really any “sleepers.” But there’s something to be said about using a late-round rookie draft pick on a future stud, or combing the waiver wire to stash a player nobody knows about.
There are still plenty of rookie and startup dynasty drafts out there. Hopefully when you’re late in the drafts, you can use this list of players and stash one or two on your bench or your taxi squad.
They won’t all work out – not even close – but the investment is so low, it’s definitely worth the risk.
Tight End Stash – Hunter Long, Miami Dolphins
The beautiful thing about the Kyle Pitts hype is that there will be at least another tight end or two that slips under the radar in the class of 2021. Hunter Long could be one of those guys.
If you’re in a four-round rookie-only draft, he may go undrafted. Long is a perfect investment if you’re set up at the position already with someone like Travis Kelce, who is turning 32 this season.
When creating a dynasty roster, you have to take into account the immediate and long term situation of players. Right now, Long is the third tight end on the Miami Dolphins roster behind Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen.
However, that scenario will change in a year – two at the most.
Gesicki, the current starter, is on the final year of his rookie contract. When a team spends a third-round investment on a tight end like Miami did with Long, the writing is on the wall that they’ll likely not re-sign Gesicki.
Adam Shaheen is signed through 2022, but he’s shown in his five year career that he’s not an NFL starting tight end. Plus, Miami saves $2 million if he’s cut after this season.
So when all is said and done, Long could go from third on the depth chart to first in just one year.
That’s not to say his talent doesn’t call for it, though. He doesn’t necessarily have blazing speed, or unmatched agility, but he does a lot of things well. His 23.3% target share shows Boston College relied on him heavily last season. He snagged 57 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns.
If you take a look at Tua’s numbers in his nine full games in 2020, he targeted his tight ends 92 times. So of his 310 attempts, nearly 30 percent went to his tight ends.
For comparison, Patrick Mahomes – who has the best tight end in football at his disposal – threw 26.5 percent of his attempts to the TE position.
In summary, Long has a path to volume, a large snap share, and a young quarterback who loves to throw to tight ends. You’ll just have to wait until next year, so get ahead of the pack and stash him now.
Tight End Honorable Mentions:
- Kylen Granson, Indianapolis Colts
- Donald Parham Jr., Los Angeles Chargers
- Jacob Harris, Los Angeles Rams
Running Back Stash – Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
I wrote about Mitchell way back in April, prior to the NFL Draft, as part of my Deep Sleepers series. At the time, my thought was he’d be a middle-to-late round draft pick who would have to compete to get any sort of playing time.
Unfortunately, his stock has lowered since he suffered a hip injury in camp, so this is a legit deep stash. Prior to the injury, he showed promise. He might be able to make it back for the final preseason game.
In addition, Mitchell is now buried on the San Francisco 49ers depth chart. San Fran moved up to draft Trey Sermon, already have Raheem Mostert to tote the rock, and signed veteran Wayne Gallman in the offseason. I haven’t even mentioned Jeff Wilson, who they re-signed, but is out with a torn meniscus to start the year, and JaMycal Hasty, who they really like.
A scenario where Mitchell ends up cut or on the practice squad to start the year is very realistic.
But that doesn’t mean his career is done. Mostert himself is a prime example of a running back who fell into the right situation after being a journeyman. He was on six different teams since 2016 before getting his opportunity with the 49ers.
Mitchell, who ran a time of 4.32 seconds in one of the fastest 40 yard dash times of any running back, is a big play back. He’s 5-10, 200 pounds and averaged over six yards a carry in college. He also had a nose for the end zone, scoring 19 times as a junior.
If you are in a deep dynasty league, or have a taxi squad with multiple openings, Mitchell is the perfect candidate to stash. His time will not be in 2021, or even 2022, but he’s a name that should not be forgotten.
Running Back Honorable Mentions:
- Xavier Jones, Los Angeles Rams
- Javian Hawkins, Atlanta Falcons
- Chris Evans, Cincinatti Bengals
Wide Receiver Stash – Cornell Powell, Kansas City Chiefs
Cornell Powell sighting pic.twitter.com/PbcvtJYYJP
— EDDIE HIGH (@EddieHigh) August 15, 2021
If you want a long shot who might end up being a solid wide receiver in the NFL, look no further than Cornell Powell. However, there are a few things that may turn off dynasty owners when it comes to Powell. Let’s start with the negative:
- His breakout age at Clemson was right when he was turning 23 years old. If you hold true to breakout age, that’s a full two years past what fantasy owners look for in a prospect.
- He will turn 24 years old during the season, making him one of the oldest rookie wide receivers out there.
- He ran a 4.58 40-yard-dash at his pro day, ranking him 38th among rookie wide receivers.
- His fifth round draft capital spells doom. As mentioned by rotoheat.com, there have only been six fantasy “hits” since 2016 for wideouts drafted in rounds 5-7 of the NFL Draft. Two of those players are responsible for those six hits – Tyreek Hill has five of them. Powell is not Tyreek Hill.
These are legitimate reasons to stay away from someone like Powell. Still, there are plenty of positives that might persuade dynasty owners to invest in him.
- He’s on the Kansas City Chiefs. You know, the team with arguably the best quarterback in the NFL.
- This is a make-or-break year for Mecole Hardman, who took the WR2 spot after Sammy Watkins departed. If Hardman falters, there’s an open opportunity for playing time. The only other viable option for KC would be Demarcus Robinson.
- I don’t mind 40 times as a piece to an entire puzzle, but hyper-focusing on it is silly. I always revert back to Jerry Rice and Anquan Boldin’s 4.71 time, or Larry Fitzgerald and Cris Carter’s time of 4.63. It suddenly makes Powell’s time of 4.58 not so bad.
- It’s fact-based to say the Kansas City wide receiver two under Patrick Mahomes has never finished in the top 50. However, the counter is that Kelce is getting long in the tooth, so there’s an eventual scenario where Kansas City will target their wide receivers more (down the road, of course).
- Powell played at Clemson and took part in huge games. In fact, he grabbed eight catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio State in the College Football semifinal game last season.
As you can see, it looks like the positives outweigh the negatives. Powell is one of my favorite dynasty wide receiver stashes.
Wide Receiver Honorable Mentions:
- Anthony Schwartz, Cleveland Browns
- Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers
- Collin Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Quarterback Stash: Davis Mills, Houston Texans
The five quarterbacks taken in the 2020 draft are bound to get all the headlines early in their careers, but there are a couple lesser-known QBs who will make a name for themselves. One is Davis Mills out of Stanford.
Mills’s background is interesting. He redshirted his freshman year, made two pass attempts the following season in 2018, and then finally got an opportunity in 2019 after KJ Costello transferred. However, he only started in six games because of an odd platoon situation. He did set a school record with 503 passing yards against Washington State and looked to be legit.
In the COVID 2020 season, he missed the first game and only started five total, throwing for over 1,500 yards and seven touchdowns.
Basically, with just 11 starts, Mills is an unproven prospect but he landed in the absolute ideal situation.
— Houston Hard Hitters (@TXrednation1) May 1, 2021
Deshaun Watson won’t be the quarterback for Houston, and Tyrod Taylor is a band-aid. Once the Texans are out of the playoff hunt, Mills will likely get his shot. The nice thing about investing in Davis Mills is that you’ll probably know within the first year – maybe two – if he’s worth hanging on to. If not, drop him and move on.
Quarterback Honorable Mentions:
- Kellen Mond, Minnesota Vikings
- Shane Buechele, Kansas City Chiefs
- Jacob Eason, Indianapolis Colts
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