Even in fantasy football, the saying rings true — there is in fact always next year.
The process is a little different, however, depending on your league format. In your standard redraft, maybe you’re nowhere near sniffing the playoffs with a 2-7 record and you’re already hoping for a draft pick better than 12th next summer. We’ve all been there.
But how about dynasty leagues? There’s still always next season, but you’re in a much different seat. Does your team need a sudden jolt, or a complete rebuild? Do you need to skim over Fantasy Football Rankings a little closer next season, or put your league fee to better use?
Whether you’re king of the dyno castle, or a floundering manager focused primarily on finding the best Fantasy Football Team Names 2014, stashing guys for the future is never a bad idea.
Here’s a look at a handful of rookie names who may not give you much this season, but are well worth the patient hoarding for 2015 and forward.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami
You may be able to start with Jarvis Landry on your taxi squad, but I’m not sure how long you’ll be able to keep him there. For now, the Dolphins are working with Brandon Gibson as their starting slot receiver, but he’s far from a world-beater. Landry, on the other hand, is arguably the toughest receiver in Miami — even as a rookie — and all signs point to him contending for time (and catches) early on.
An injury at the combine resulting in a disappointing 40-yard dash dropped Landry’s stock a bit (late-second round), but he was a steal for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and this new offense under coordinator Bill Lazor — who served as the quarterback coach under Chip Kelly in Philadelphia last season, helping craft an offense that finished the season ranked second in yards, and fourth in scoring.
Landry was one of my top-rated receivers heading into the draft last season, so you won’t catch me doubting his ability or potential contribution right off the bat. The key for his production in 2014, though, will come from winning out the position in camp and solidifying himself as the No. 1 slot guy.
The anticipated development and progress of Tannehill wouldn’t hurt matters either.
Lazor’s offense should spread the ball around, but we still have to account for Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, tight end Charles Clay, and any sort of hands out of the backfield. It’s a pass-catching situation that could build up thick.
At worst, Landry doesn’t edge out Gibson for the starting spot and you hang onto him for next season. Best — Landry does land the starting gig and you have a strong rookie in PPR formats. The latter of which is very possible.
Robert Herron, WR, Tampa Bay
If you don’t know much about Robert Herron, you’re likely not in the minority. After playing his college ball at Wyoming, the 5’9″ receiver stuck around until the sixth round of the draft before the Bucs finally took a late stab.
None of that, however, should push you away from Herron’s current stock price.
According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Herron is dirt cheap with an ADP that doesn’t even register, as he doesn’t crack the top-16 wide receivers in dynasty rookie drafts. But in a legitimate battle for targets behind both Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, Herron comes with relatively decent upside given his current going rate.
Brandon Coleman, WR, New Orleans
Once upon time, Brandon Coleman wowed us as a 6’6″ sophomore at Rutgers.
A disappointing junior season and torn meniscus later, and Coleman wound up as an undrafted free agent in New Orleans currently fighting for a roster spot.
As Coleman continues to piece together a strong camp after struggling during spring OTAs, the Saints’ receiver position remains one of the more crowded spots on the roster. But when discussed in terms of stashing, there’s a lot to like about Coleman, including his insane size, and the fact that he landed with a high-powered offense led by a creative mind like Sean Payton
Names like Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Kenny Stills, and rookie Brandin Cooks likely make the final roster a tough challenge for Coleman this season. Let him take on a taxi squad spot in 2014 and check back on him heading into next year.
John Brown, WR, Arizona
I know, I know — with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, where are the Cardinals finding all these balls to go around?
Better question — how long before we really start acknowledging the buildup surrounding third-round pick, John Brown?
According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Brown barely makes a blip on the radar (3.09) as the last-ranked rookie wide receiver in dynasty drafts, but that’s sure to increase as we move closer to the regular season.
I haven’t seen a rookie come in and do what he’s done — and it’s early still — since Anquan Boldin. This guy came through the first day, and being from Pittsburg State, has uncanny instincts, unbelievable understanding of route concepts, leverage, being in the right spot at the right time. On top of great ball skills, he has unusual speed and explosiveness.
Again, barring injury, Brown will have his work cut out for him trying carve out catches behind Fitz and Floyd. But he’s arguably the next best receiver on the Cardinals roster at this point (Tedd Ginn?) and he comes with good upside.
Dri Archer, RB/WR, Pittsburgh
Two of the most common questions regarding Dri Archer heading into the draft had to do with 1.) his durability and 2.) where he fits in the NFL.
Because no one can predict injuries, we can skip over No. 1 and collectively recognize the 5’8″, 173-pound Archer as perhaps more of the fragile athlete.
As for No. 2 — that’s precisely what fantasy owners are interested in.
If we’re talking about Archer as a running back, then finding carries behind Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount won’t be easy. Not to mention, that whole durability concern will be magnified.
The Steelers depth chart doesn’t get much easier at wide receiver either, as Antonio Brown leads the crew with guys like Markus Wheaton and Lance Moore complementing.
Simply put, it’s hard to bank on specialty players like Archer — the guys that provide an offense with a homerun spark, but aren’t consistent enough from a production standpoint to warrant us much in terms of fantasy output. But if Archer shows out enough, offensive coordinator Todd Haley won’t have much of a choice but to get the ball into Archer’s hands by way of designed plays and formations.
Smoke or fire? It’s too early to tell. But Archer’s ADP (3.06) should continue to rise, and he’s a worth a taxi spot to find out.