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By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)
I am going to make this intro a bit different than usual and take a couple minutes to explain what will be coming in terms of content from me in the future (all will be geared towards rebuilding). In last week’s article we talked about the 10 players I would trade away when rebuilding and it seemed to be an article a lot of you enjoyed judging the views and comments on YouTube. Over the next few weeks,
I’m going to take that theme and run with it, while hopefully giving you guy’s content you will really enjoy and find helpful too. Once we have covered all of the top 10 players rebuild topics, I am hoping to switch gears to my orphan team. I have not gained access to my orphan team just yet but when I do I plan on turning it into a series of articles where we will rebuild this orphan team together. What I mean by building the team together is I will write/make a video on the team once or twice a month and will be taking the readers advice before making any kind of moves.
Once given the team I will do an article covering the roster and moves I think are needed, followed by all of your input before making said moves or the following article. I chose to make these articles twice a month at most giving me plenty of time to gather everyone’s input before releasing the next article, if a move happens to be split amongst everyone, I will be the tiebreaker at that point and will always have the final say.
I am hoping this will be something we can all engage with each other about and help give those who need it a true in depth look on how to rebuild a team step by step. As mentioned earlier I have yet to see this orphan team, but regardless of the roster outlook I will be tearing this team completely apart and rebuilding with all of you, we will also decide together if we want to keep any of our rostered players as building blocks.
This is something I am really looking forward to and I hope you all will enjoy it as well. When rebuilding a fantasy team, you must begin to think differently than you usually would, which means trading players you just don’t want to let go of. I have always said if you go into a rebuild with a closed mind the process is going to be a long one. The points above are the key points I want to emphasize when rebuilding this team with all of you as I feel sometimes the mental side is the toughest. The series will be called, let’s build a championship roster together!
In today’s article I am going to touch on some players that are considered stashes (not buys). In this article you will not find players like Paris Campbell, Aj Dillon, or Cole Kmet as I feel they will cost a decent price to acquire and will cover these players in next week’s article (sneak peek). The players covered in this article should be available in most leagues, if they are not, they will be very cheap to get in a trade. These are also players that may not be ready to consistently contribute for another few seasons but are on the right trajectory.
Stash These Players
1. Taylor Heinicke- 27 years old, Free Agent
2020 stats- 12-19 137 yards, 1Td.
While Heinicke can definitely fit into next week’s article I feel more comfortable with him as a player you want to stash, making him the number 1 choice. Heinicke has yet to sign a contract for the 2021 season but it seems The Football Team is very interested in bringing the signal caller back. The 27-year-old quarterback only appeared in one game during the 2020 season, and he almost completed a comeback, along with looking fantastic in the postseason against an excellent defense.
Heinicke was thrown into action against Carolina just one week before the playoffs started giving him very little time to prepare for his first ever playoff start. How did Heinicke respond? By completing 26 passes on 46 attempts for 306 yards, 1 pick, and 1 touchdown. Absolutely none of this makes him a lock to return to Washington, especially as a starter, which is why he is a player to stash instead of a player to buy. If Heinicke gets a deal and looks close to the way he did against Tampa he could be the steal of the offseason. I wanted to put my money where my mouth is, so I placed a bid on Heinicke in my league and received his services for just $1 million Dynasty Dollars, an easy price to pay for a gamble.
2. Van Jefferson- 24 years old, 3 years $1,402,784
2020 stats- 19 catches, 220 yards, 1 Td.
Jefferson had a rough rookie season by all accounts in 2020. The Rams invested a 2nd round pick on the Florida product, just as they did with Akers and will certainly be expecting him to take a leap heading into 2021. With Goff leaving town and Stafford coming in, it will boost Jefferson’s outlook easily, but that’s not what attracts me to him.
What I like most about Jefferson’s outlook in the coming years is the fact Cooper Kupp is due a new deal, Reynolds is likely to be gone, and the Rams should throw the ball more than they ever have under McVay with Stafford in town. If even one of Kupp, or Reynolds leaves this offseason that should open up a ton of room for someone like Van Jefferson in this offense. If you are looking for a potential quality Wide out, Jefferson is a good talent to bet on. McVay has looked like an offensive wizard with Goff under center, a Qb like Stafford should give everyone in the system a significant boost in production.
3. Quintez Cephus- 22 years old, 3 years $734,822
2020 stats- 20 catches, 349 yards, 2 Td’s
The wide receiver on the other end of the Stafford-Goff trade is number 3 on my list Quintez Cephus. With the Lions receiver room in flux in 2020 the rookie Cephus stepped up nicely for a late round draft pick. With Golladay out most of the season Marvin Jones had to step up and be the guy, which left the number 2 spot open most of the year. Cephus did not have a clear handle on the role at any point in 2020 but he was able to flash at times, even while seeing more coverage than a typical late round newcomer normally would.
Every time I hear Cephus’ name I instantly think back to the Okudah quote when he was asked who the best receiver he faced in college was, Okudah responded “Quintez Cephus.” The step back the Lions took getting Goff is worrisome but Cephus seems like he is going to be in the league for a while which makes him an easy stash. Cephus is another player on this list that I roster on my own team.
4. Tyler Johnson- 22 years old, 3 years, $737,355
2020 stats- 12 catches, 169 yards, 2 Td’s.
I had an extremely tough time ranking players 3 and 4 for this article. I ended up siding with Johnson here based on what my eye’s saw from each season. While player 4 has better stats Johnson came up huge in big moments when called upon and seemed to make tough contested catches with ease. If not for the talent on Tampa Bay’s roster Johnson would be a firm buy in next week’s article, instead you find him here at number 4 in players, you should stash.
With the uncertainty around Godwin and Antonio Brown returning to the Bucs next season it could open up a ton of playing time for Johnson, but the bad news is I see both returning. If both return Johnson has not shot at obtaining any type of consistency with him being buried so far on the depth chart and so much high-end talent above him. Eventually Johnson will get his chance to shine, and he is someone you will want on your roster when that time comes. If none of this is enough to make you a believer just look at the moments Tom Brady trusted him with and it may change your mind.
5. Donavon Peoples-Jones- 22 years old, 3 years $870,402
2020 stats- 14 catches, 304 yards, 2 Td’s
While there is an easy argument to move Peoples-Jones up this list I have him settled in at number 4 because of the offense he plays in. I do not see Cleveland being a pass first team under Stefanski anytime soon. The Browns finished 2020 with just over 3500 yards passing, which is not enough to have any more than 2 consistent fantasy pass catchers on the roster, especially with a back like Hunt catching the ball out of the backfield.
Peoples-Jones flashed excellent potential in 2020 and has a chance to do more of the same in the years to come. If Beckham, or Higgins happen to leave town this offseason it could mean big things to come for Peoples-Jones, if either one of them leaves he becomes a lock for the wide receiver 3 in Cleveland. My biggest knock-on Jones is the system he plays in which heavily features the running game and utilizing tight ends. With Peoples-Jones looking like he will continue to grow I highly recommend acquiring him now if you wait the price will only continue to go up.
6. Tyron Johnson- 25 years old, Free Agent
2020 stats- 20 catches, 398 yards, 3 Td’s
Our 2nd Ty Johnson on the list! This Johnson went undrafted in 2019 and never really amounted to much in Houston during his rookie campaign. In 2020 the Oklahoma State product flashed some great upside, especially towards the end of the season. If Johnson can resign with the Chargers, it certainly would improve his outlook and chances of becoming a reliable player. Herbert seemed to look for Johnson more as the season went on but that’s something we see often in the NFL.
Johnson is older than everyone on the list which is why he slots in at number 5 instead of being higher, though he has roughly the same amount of service time. With Johnson being a bit older it hurts his chances of finding a permanent home, but he is more than worth a stash from rebuilding owners. The big positive for Johnson aside from his production is that the Chargers need a number 2 receiver they can count on and Mike Williams has shown he just isn’t it. Williams is due for free agency next season, look for Johnson to fill that role if improvements continue.
7. Salvon Ahmed- 22 years old, Free Agent
2020 stats- 75 carries, 319 yards, 3td’s
I am sure many are wondering how Ahmed is on this list instead of the buy category for next week’s article after the rookie season he was able to put up in limited fashion. I have Ahmed on this list because I feel he needs a year or 2 more of getting his body ready to be a starting NFL running back. The Dolphins had one of the thinnest running back rooms in the NFL in 2020 and even after watching Ahmed play well, there are multiple rumors that they will draft an Rb high, or sign someone like A. Jones, they also have Gaskin on the roster.
With that being said I believe the Dolphins are worried about Ahmed’s durability and ability to take the punishment a running back needs to take in the NFL. If Ahmed is able to continue to improve, he could be a very solid Rb2/flex option in a couple of years. Ahmed also seemed to be a dependable receiver out of the backfield which is something that can help him stay on the field.
8. Collin Johnson- 23 years old, 3 years $900,538
2020 stats- 18 catches, 272 yards, 2 Td’s
Collin Johnson, Lavishka Shenault, and James Robinson are the only young playmakers the Jaguars have on offense to look forward too. Shenault was a highly drafted rookie and he nor Robinson are going anywhere with both being owned in all leagues, the same cannot be said for Johnson. Johnson should be easily obtainable, or available here on Dynasty Owner and with Trevor Lawrence and Urban Myer coming to town I recommend throwing a flier on Collin Johnson.
When Mike Glennon was on the field for Jacksonville Johnson seemed to shine which tells me he just needs someone to trust him like Glennon does. With a new coach coming to town Johnson will need to prove himself, but I believe this gives him the fair shot he needs with no one except rookies being tied to the regime. Keelan Cole is likely to leave during free agency this offseason which leaves Johnson competing with Chark and Shenault for targets from Lawrence in 2021.
9. Harrison Bryant- 22 years old, 3 years $1,016,008
2020 stats- 24 catches, 238 yards, 3 Td’s
Harrison Bryant should be the face of dynasty stashing right now! As I have mentioned several times in earlier articles, it takes a long time for tight ends to develop in the NFL, which is why Bryant is so low on the list. While Bryant has the typical length, it takes his tight ends to produce in the NFL to deal with, he also has 2 quality tight ends in front of him on the depth chart in a run heavy offense.
The good news for Bryant is that the Browns system typically features two tight end sets, meaning once Njoku, or Hooper leaves he has a clear path to production. I would not bet on Hooper leaving after signing a massive deal last offseason, but the Browns and Njoku have not seen eye to eye recently. Rebuilding owners should not expect Bryant to be consistent until at least 2023, but if you wait until then to acquire him you will be paying a premium. Get him now while he is easily obtainable.
10. Ke’Shawn Vaughn- 23 years old, 3 years $1,152,681
2020 stats- 26 carries, 109 yards, 3 catches, 34 yards, 1 Td
I could not even imagine being a rookie in the NFL and having a Super Bowl ring after your first season. Ke’Shawn Vaughn knows how it feels and should have a secure spot on the Bucs roster for years to come. The Fournette signing really put a damper on Vaughn’s rookie campaign, as well as playing behind an improved Ronald Jones, which will only make him easy to acquire. In 2021 the Bucs do have some cap space, but they have a ton of quality players to re-sign which may leave Fournette on the outside looking in.
The Bucs invested a high draft pick on Vaughn, if they let Fournette walk it could mean big things for Vaughn in the years to come. The last major positive on Vaughn is that he is not racking up miles on his body and should be fresh come time to step in and produce. My best advice is to target him before the Fournette decision, because in the scenario he does not re-sign, Vaughn’s price will instantly go up.
I am so pleased with the outcome of last week’s video on YouTube that I would like to challenge all of you! Last week’s video is nearing 400 views and counting, but I believe this week’s video can do even better. My challenge to all of you this week is to hit 350 views and 40 likes. If this challenge is met, I will have a random winner selected, with the winner receiving a Dynasty Owner shirt. If we can meet these requirements, I will do this again in the future. The only rules for this contest are view the video, like the video, and comment something on the video. My goal for this is to help get people active and make the orphan team series a lot of fun! Thank you all for your continued support and helping Dynasty Owner grow! I hope you all enjoy the article and good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!
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