Groupthink powers most dynasty league thinking. People simply go with the flow, and the flow is to buy low and sell high. There are a few problems with this, but the heart of the issue is that you miss out on possible superstars. Being too scared to step out and trade when their stock is not depressed is bold. Boldness pays off though,
In this article, I go a little more in-depth to the idea of buying high. I also outline why we should have been buying high on Juju, and why he is the poster child for this theory. Lastly, I identify three players who are quickly ascending to be the perfect buy highs.
The “Buy High” Theory
Buy High on promising young receivers who have or are producing. Disregard the price, do what it takes to acquire them, even if it seems like a lot. Dynasty is about having the best, most efficient players who are most likely to remain productive year to year.
Juju Smith-Schuster is a perfect example of this. Last year, his rookie year, we all know how he performed, he was amazing. The general school of thought in the dynasty community is the old mantra, buy low and sell high. If you followed this line of thinking, you would never have acquired Juju. You would be missing out.
Age-Adjusted College Production
This term is pretty self-explanatory, it is literally how well a player produces at a what age. When I refer to it in this article, I mean players who were dominant in college. This just means they accounted for high percentages of their team’s offense. Also, who achieved high dominance at a young age.(18 or 19 years old) For more on this, go click on the link in @pahowdy’s bio on Twitter. This is where he lays out hit rates for players using said age-adjusted college production.( or just tweet at him or myself, but he’s the genius)
The main point is, real football talent is shown when you can come to a much higher level and seamlessly produce. Simply, your raw ability and skill overcome any other factors. This is proof that you are good at football.
Efficiency=Good at Football
Although Juju’s price is now extremely high following his rookie year, it is not actually high enough. In his rookie year, he proved he was good. His efficiency by simple metrics, 15.8 YPR, 73% Catch Rate, or by advanced metrics Air Yards (3rd), fantasy points per target(1st), and QB rating when targeted (1st). This efficiency is the proof that he is a “good” player and dispels any fear that he will bust at the NFL level.
Furthermore, Smith-Schuster was an incredibly young rookie at only 21 years old. His production at this age is literally unparalleled, nobody has done it. So a precocious producer at the NFL and college level, (he “broke out” as an 18-year-old freshman at USC)who maintained incredible efficiency on a prolific offense, who is being valued outside the top 3 rounds of dynasty players? That is your window right there.
Juju is now not even someone to be inquired of in trade talks. Anyone who owns him knows he is a top ten dynasty receiver and it will just be too much to get him. But for those real savvy fantasy ballers who recognized Juju’s absurd production and efficiency were here to stay, even be built upon, and traded for him post rookie year, you win!
Identify players who have made plays and been efficient as rookies or up early in their career. Then, trade for them! It’s just about locking him up before he hits that real ceiling, or before the more risk-averse people realize his true value. Here are three players who look like they may fit that mold.
Christian Kirk has already proved he is good in some capacity by earning the starting job this early in the season, at only 21 years old. Moreover, Kirk has demonstrated more actionable evidence that he will develop into a fantasy star by garnering over 18% of his team’s targets over the last three games and over 30% in one game. This level of usage is highly promising for a young receiver, rookies are rarely trusted.
Now, the key to this whole thing for me is efficiency, of which Kirk has not been to a great extent, and the sample is barely a quarter of a season anyway. Week 5 is exactly what we needed to see through, three receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. Showcasing his explosive playmaking ability, along with the chops to immediately earn a new starting QB’s trust, all signs point to Christian Kirk’s rise into consistent fantasy production in his rookie year.
This is so early in the year that Kirk owners likely still value him about what they did when they drafted him, not as a proven producer. Jump on this opportunity, trade for Kirk, and watch as his he becomes unattainable to all but you, the forward thinker who jumped on the train before it left the station.
As with Kirk and Smith-Schuster before him, Godwin’s college profile is highlighted by age-adjusted production. More importantly, he has shown high efficiency at the pro level. In the three games that Godwin saw a full complement of snaps, 70%+, he averaged 92.2 yards .3 TD’s and averaged 20.3 YPR over those three games.
To ice the cake, Godwin started off this year with a touchdown in each of his first three games, scoring over 15 fantasy points per contest. The best part is since Godwin is not yet in a true starting role his owners know his ceiling is capped. This keeps his true upside form being unlocked, therefore suppressing his value. Knowing Godwin is good at football, go trade for him in dynasty before he has his huge blowup and his value skyrockets.
Kenny Golladay is the closest one of these players to Juju. He has already seen his value spike a ton from his insane start to the year, but this is what we want. His value is up so much because he proved how much he can do on the field. His production does not even need to be brought up, but who cares. He is a top 20 wide receiver, he is converting splash plays (16 YPR), and he is diminishing Marvin Jones on his way to being the alpha dog.
It might be just too late now, but Golladay owners may not valuing him as the top 20 dynasty receiver he is. Moreover, or as the top ten receivers he is ascending to. No matter what his cost is, BUY HIM, WHATEVER IT TAKES. It will be worth it, his target share will grow and with it, his production.
The lesson is to buy high, buck the trend, and get the next Juju before your league mates do. Apply this method to your dynasty leagues, let me know at @OnBrandFootball on Twitter how it serves you, hopefully, you build the perennial championship team of all buy highs and can forever thank me.
But seriously, believe in young, prolific players, it pays off. Dynasty is the long game.