There are generally three types of Buys that a fantasy footballer can take advantage of. The "Buy even though it won't be cheap" type. The "Buy if you're a contender, sell if you're not" type. Finally, the ever popular "Buy low" type. Today we’re going to focus on players who won’t cost you a ton. These are the types of bargains we love to find that end up being valuable contributors to our fantasy success.
Quarterback: Sam Darnold
As a general rule, I like to stay away from fantasy pieces in an Adam Gase offense. Plenty of now successful fantasy players (Kenyan Drake, DeVante Parker, Ryan Tannehill) saw a fantasy resurgence once out from under the Gase umbrella. Unfortunately, Darnold and the rest of the Jets offense suffered the same fate. While many were hoping for the second-year signal-caller to take a leap in 2019, Darnold actually dropped from QB25 to QB28 in 2019. However, things aren't as gloomy as they seem. Despite falling in the quarterback rankings, Darnold actually scored almost two fantasy points more per game in 2019, while increasing his touchdown to interception ratio by .33. Expect Darnold's position to improve in 2020. The Jets have a ridiculous $80 million in cap space to bolster their pedestrian offense. Darnold is the ideal Buy Low quarterback for any Superflex squad with championship aspirations. He's cheap enough that it won't hurt you if Darnold never evolves past a bye week fill-in but young enough that the risk could turn into your every week starter for the next 10 years.
Other quarterback Buys: Drew Lock, Cam Newton
Running Back: Alexander Mattison
It's never too early to plan ahead. Alexander Mattison is my Buy not because of what I expect from him this year, but beyond. When Minnesota drafted Mattison, he fell down a lot of player's draft boards for good reason. Dalvin Cook was and is the man in Minnesota. Mattison only saw limited work in the 2019 season but when he got the chance, he did well. Most owners who targeted him sought to grab Dalvin Cook's handcuff, only to be let down when Mattison's injury coincided with Cook's. It would not be smart for the Vikings to throw a massive second contract at Dalvin Cook and I don’t suspect they will. There have already been recent examples of this turning out poorly (Bell, David Johnson, Todd Gurley) and Cook's lengthy injury history is enough to give any ownership group pause. Mattison has the talent to convince Minnesota they can roll with the much cheaper Mattison instead of Cook. Right now, DLF ADP has Mattison as the 41st running back off the board and 117th overall. That's a cheap price to pay for not only one of the best handcuffs going into the 2020 season but a potential 2021 starting RB for a talented rushing offense.
Other running back Buys: Royce Freeman, Kareem Hunt, Darrell Henderson
Wide Receiver: Breshad Perriman
Breshad Perriman was thrust into #1 wide receiver duty thanks to injuries to the two studs ahead of him in Tampa Bay, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. That doesn't mean, however, that Perriman's value diminishes. Perriman's contract was up and after finishing the year strong, averaging over 20 ppr points over the last five weeks of the season, Perriman entered free agency a hot commodity. In comes the wide receiver needy New York Jets. With Robby Anderson and his 96 targets gone from the Jets, Perriman steps onto the roster as Sam Darnold’s best option at wide receiver outside Jamison Crowder. Last season, Perriman was on a ton of championship rosters because of his hot fantasy play-offs, but still boasts a paltry ADP of 154.1 (WR70). On his new team, in the #1 wide receiver role, Perriman would be ready to give you WR3 numbers or better, despite holding the price of a player being drafted in the 13th round of start-ups. This bargain-basement pick-up would round out your starting lineup nicely.
Other wide receiver Buys: Darius Slayton, Preston Williams, John Ross, Robby Anderson
Tight End: Irv Smith Jr.
Minnesota has long been Kyle Rudolph's domain. So when Rudolph signed his 4-year extension in the summer of 2019, many people thought Irv Smith Jr. was going to have to wait a while before he offered any fantasy relevance. I don't think the wait will be as long as people think. Smith's first and second half splits from the 2019 season are the reason for optimism. Over the first eight weeks of the season, Smith averaged just 52% of Minnesota's offensive snaps with only 2.1 targets and 1.8 catches per game. Over the second half of the season, Smith's snap percentage jumped to 68% while his targets (3.75) and receptions (2.63) also saw a sizable increase. Meanwhile, Rudolph saw his snap percentage decrease from 90% to 74%. Plus, with Stefon Diggs traded to Buffalo, there are 94 vacated targets that Smith can bite into. With an ADP price tag in the 12th round (149) and him being the 17th tight end off the board, you would be paying pennies to grab your 21-year-old tight end of the future.
Other tight end Buys: Jonnu Smith, OJ Howard