2024 Undervalued Dynasty Startup Veterans


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2024 Undervalued Dynasty Startup Veterans

Dynasty is the fantasy football format that never sleeps. Before the confetti had finished falling at Super Bowl LVIII, the sounds of degenerates organizing early startup drafts could be heard reverberating across the internet.

That means we have no time to waste in finding our edge. Let's examine three undervalued dynasty assets that can help you succeed in your 2024 Superflex drafts.

All ADP via Dynasty Data Lab

Davante Adams, WR, LV

Startup ADP: 7.04 (WR28)

This time last year, Davante Adams was sitting as a fourth-round startup pick (WR16). He went out and took in 170 targets on an excellent 30.5% target share, top three in the league in both categories. Yet today, his ADP sits multiple rounds later than it did before the season.

Adams's current ADP likely has much to do with his situation. Still, conditions change quickly in the NFL. He could very well be traded to a competing team, or the Las Vegas Raiders could draft a rookie QB and end the Aidan O’Connell experiment. However, for this exercise, let’s assume the worst: O'Connell is back under center for a Raiders team hell-bent on establishing the run like a replay of The Ice Bowl.

In this exact scenario from Weeks 9-18 in 2023, Adams finished in the top-24 in every one of the most predictive metrics for WRs.

Thanks to his unmatched ability to earn targets, Adams doesn't need to pop in any fancy efficiency metrics to score tons of fantasy points. With O'Connell, he posted only 3.75 yards after the catch per reception (80th of 100 qualifying WRs) but averaged 16.3 FPG due to his gargantuan 40.6% first-read target share (best among all WRs). Adams accomplished this despite O'Connell's extreme inefficiency. The rookie finished with only 0.37 fantasy points per dropback, ranking 32nd of 39 qualifying QBs and only one spot ahead of Bailey Zappe.

Priced as a WR3, Adams sticks out like a sore thumb among his peers in the 7th round. He’s a prime candidate to beat his ADP as the third or fourth wide receiver drafted on your dynasty teams.

Zamir White, RB, LV

Startup ADP: 12.11 (RB35)

One of the most significant advantages of drafting in February is the ambiguity of NFL depth charts. Josh Jacobs is priced as the RB14 as a 26-year-old free agent looking to cash in on his second contract. Though the running back room appears wide open at first glance based on the contract situation in the Raiders backfield, Zamir White should be the favorite for bell-cow duties, given what we learned last year.

Chart courtesy of Spotrac.com

There was a lot to like from White in the four games he got to take the reins in the Raiders backfield. From Weeks 15-18, he ranked 7th in XFP/G (16.7), 10th in FP/G (15.2), tied for first in carries (84), 5th in rushing yards per game (99.3), and 5th in explosive yards (114). These results show he can be a workhorse back and a legitimate difference-maker, especially for Zero RB cultists. At his RB35 price tag, he is zero risk and all reward for your dynasty teams. White is also a hard-nosed runner who can succeed in man/gap concepts and zone scheme concepts, as his 5.38 and 4.16 YPC, respectively, on those runs show. However, White is providing little in the way of receiving, netting only 15 receiving yards per game. That signals his ceiling is somewhat limited to a two-down role, but that’s to be expected from such a late selection. It’s easy to dismiss a late-season four-game stretch. But we should be looking at the full range of outcomes attached to the pick you are making, and there are few players at this stage of a startup draft with legitimate top-12 weekly upside.

Geno Smith, QB, SEA

Startup ADP: 10.09 (QB25)

The quarterback position is often king in superflex drafts. However, 2024 presents an exciting opportunity created by drafters passing up elite talent at other positions in favor of mediocre QBs. This phenomenon is exemplified by the log jam of mediocre dynasty QBs in the third round, including Dak Prescott (QB12), Brock Purdy (QB13), Justin Fields (QB14), and Tua Tagovailoa (QB15). Geno Smith provides an enticing reason to pass over these QBs in favor of hammering young elite position players.

Smith recently had his contract restructured and is now locked into a dead cap hit of $52 million if he were to be cut today. All signs point to Smith being the QB1 for the Seattle Seahawks in 2024.

Smith has defied expectations since taking over in Seattle, finishing top-10 in FPG in 2022 before tacking on a top-15 finish in EPA/play in 2023. Though his fantasy output regressed last year, he was still a valuable start in superflex formats. Smith was pressured on over 40% of his dropbacks last season (3rd-most). However, he was sacked on only 14% of these pressured dropbacks, the 3rd-lowest rate — behind only Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. Smith's ability to escape pressure and avoid negative plays is extremely underrated, allowing him to extend drives and maximize his fantasy production.

If you are punting your QB2 slot down to the 121st pick, the player you select had better offer some weekly upside. Smith does so by tossing missiles traveling 20+ yards downfield at an 11.8% rate (12th-highest) and ranking top-5 in hero throw rate.

Geno represents everything you can ask for in a late-round QB2, especially if you also decided to take on some risk with a player like Will Levis or a mid-to-late rookie pick in hopes of taking a late-rising QB in your rookie draft.

After a nearly 10-year professional wrestling career, Thomas has turned his attention to multimedia and dynasty fantasy football. Specializing in game theory and value discrepancies, he takes a unique approach to the dynasty landscape.

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