In my last article, I talked about second-year players you should target, this article is going in the opposite direction. I’m going to discuss five dynasty veterans you should be targeting to help make that run at a fantasy football championship. All of these players are over 30 years old so don’t spend too much capital trying to acquire them or draft them that high in your start-up draft.
First is LeGarrette Blount, coming off back to back Super Bowl wins with the Patriots and the Eagles. The 31-year-old running back signed a 1-year, $2 million dollar contract with the Detroit Lions for the 2018 season. Blount gives the Lions something they and the fan base desperately need, a legitimate running back (sorry Ameer Abdullah fans). Even if the Lions draft a running back and they did, hello Kerryon Johnson, Blount will still see the lions share of carries and he will produce. He has averaged 4.4 yards per carry in his career and scored 51 rushing touchdowns since 2010 (8th most of active NFL Players). The biggest benefit will be seen in the red zone, in 2017 the Lions scored touchdowns on 15.1% of their red zone trips, 9 passing and only 4 rushing, good for 27th in the NFL. By adding LeGarrette Blount the Lions are committed to running the ball deep into opponents territory and will be looking for their new offensive weapon to do what he does best, find the end zone.
DeSean Jackson will have a bounce-back year, the 31-year-old Buccaneers receiver had the 16th most air yards last year and 44th most PPR points last year. The Bucs threw him the ball but for whatever reason, it did not translate to yards or touchdowns. Expect that to change this year as Winston and Jackson are working on their chemistry and will be putting more of an emphasis on the deep ball this year. Look for Jackson to improve across the board in 2018 in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He’s not the home threat he used to be but he will be a solid WR 3/Flex play every week.
Quick, who is the starting Tight End in New Orleans? Coby Fleener? Nope, cut in early May. The rookie they just drafted? Nope, did not drat a TE this year. The Saints are rolling out 37-year-old Ben Watson as their starting TE. Watson finished last year at TE 11 in PPR leagues, playing all 16 games, catching 61 balls for 522 yards and 4 touchdowns and that was with Joe Flacco throwing him the ball. The last time Watson played for the Saints, 2015, he finished TE 7, look for him to rekindle the magic with Brees for one last ride while helping guide your team to a championship.
Up next is Emmanuel Sanders, all he has done since putting on a Broncos uniform is produce, catching 303 balls for 4,126 yards and 22 touchdowns and he’s done the bulk of that with the ghost of Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch throwing him the ball. This year he gets to operate with Case Keenum, a major upgrade over the last three quarterbacks that have been starting for the Broncos. Look for Sanders to ball out this year, he has a potential out in his contract after this season and he will want to prove that there are still plenty of good years left in the tank. Do not be surprised to see another thousand yard season for Sanders this year and put up solid WR 2 numbers and be in your starting lineup every week.
Last on the list is Jared Cook, TE 12 last year in PPR formats. He led the Raiders in receiving yards in 2017 with 688, was third in targets with 86 and second in receptions with 54. Coming off his best year since 2014, look for Cook to establish a relationship with Derek Carr early and often this year. The Raiders brought in a bunch of new wide receivers this year but don’t let that scare you, since 2011 Cook has averaged 45 catches a year for 590 yards and 3 touchdowns, that’s 122 points, which puts him at a mid to high TE 2 and with an ADP of 225, he should be on your radar.