The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Cheap ‘Win-Now’ Wide Receivers for 2023 Dynasty Football

Father Time remains unbeaten. It’s this adage that drives so many of our decisions in dynasty football leagues. Whether it’s dropping a running back once they hit their second contract, or avoiding college seniors at the draft, dynasty managers are keenly aware of just how much time players have left.

A free trip to the NLF game of your choice for your entire fantasy football league? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. All you have to do is play fantasy football on Fantrax! See how you and your league can share the experience of a lifetime!

3 Win-Now Veterans for 2023 Dynasty Football

Has the hate for old WR’s gone too far?

In many leagues, cheap veteran wide receivers tend to litter the market as owners don’t seem to want to be left holding the bag. This is in spite of RB rentals like Alexander Mattison regularly going for second-round picks.

Perhaps, the upside of WRs being linked to their longevity has sapped away the perceived value of older receivers. This potentially creates a market inefficiency.

So dust off those shopping carts, here are some cheap veteran wide receivers to target, who will help you win now.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Did you know Allen ran a 4.71 40 at his pro day? They gave him a second chance at it too – he ended up running 4.75 on the next go.

In the modern NFL, that seems an unplayable speed. Yet Allen logged 3.6 yards of separation from the nearest defender on his targets last year. According to Next Gen Stats, only four other receivers notched a mark of 3.6 or higher in 2022.

These include Jerry Jeudy, Darnell Mooney, Deebo Samuel, and Rondale Moore. Considering that Samuel and Moore subsist on a steady diet of screens, we can safely remove them from consideration.

So how does Allen do it without the 4.4 speed of these other young wideouts? It’s simple.

Route running, route running, and route running.

Allen is, simply put, one of the most devastating WRs at the turn. His ability to set up outside, fake the go route and cut inside for a short crosser has left DB heads spinning for the better part of a decade. This only further sets up one of the deadliest curls in the game which has consistently let Allen move the chains at will.

At 31 years old, dynasty owners will find him a tough sell to most league-mates. A cold market might find you a cheap WR. Allen has been seen going for a mid-late second-round pick, though he’s worth an early 2024 second at least as there appears to be gas left in the tank.

With Kellen Moore on board as OC, the Chargers pass game also has an opportunity to improve on Justin Herbert’s 6.4 intended air yards per attempt. This placed Herbert at 31st in the league, just ahead of Daniel Jones and Matt Ryan.

This primes Allen for another great year. And while it may seem this could be the end of the road, there is precedent for more. Anquan Boldin, legendary for his route running, logged 1,000-yard seasons at ages 33 and 34 before retiring at 36.

The 40 time for the recently Hall of Fame eligible Boldin? 4.71 seconds.

Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars

With gambling suspensions spreading throughout the NFL, Ridley has become Patient Zero in the modern area. As it turns out, having sports gambling available everywhere resulted in more people gambling on sports. And as we learn time and time again, players are exactly that – people.

Still, there are people who would expect more of the once-heralded WR who dealt with other personal issues during the 2021 season. Though Ridley’s absence these past two years is not due to injury or anything occurring on the field, there may be managers who are hesitant after such a long layoff.

At age 28.6, Ridley quickly approaches the scary cliff of 30 for a WR with only one 1,000-yard season to his name. But for such an advanced age, there couldn’t be less tread on his tires. One would think entering the NFL at age 24 would mean Ridley stuck around for a senior year title shot at Alabama. One would be wrong, as he declared early.

Ridley’s History

The real reason Ridley was one of the oldest true freshmen in the FBS is because he comes from challenging circumstances. Navigating foster care as the oldest of four brothers gave him a late start. For our purposes, it means a couple fewer years of damage at the highest levels. For context, it creates a bit more room to understand Ridley and his decisions.

Even in his limited playing time, he played behind the great Julio Jones. This meant, even while in a prolific offense, he saw less than 100 targets his first two years. Yet, in spite of limited opportunities, Ridley’s PFF grade grew culminating in a 84.9 in 2020. This put Ridley right behind Jones and Tyreek Hill.

So while he spent his first three seasons in the shadow of Jones, don’t expect the twilight of Ridley’s career to decline the same way. Much like the aforementioned Allen, route running is the main calling card for Ridley in spite of his 4.43 speed. It’s this ability to separate that allows his slender frame at 190 lbs to avoid contested catch situations and rack up deep targets.

Catching passes from Trevor Lawrence might be a recipe for some breakaway touchdowns for a Jaguars offense that looks ready to take the next step.

Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns

For our last cheap WR to highlight, let’s pluck once more from the ranks of the former Crimson Tide. And if Nick Saban has a type in the wideouts he produces, it’s going to be in the mold of what we’ve seen time and time again on this list. Say it with me now: route running, route running, route running.

In dynasty football, it is the fountain of youth and the only chance for a receiver to maintain effectiveness when the explosiveness fades away. So why not go with another receiver in Davante Adams’ personal rankings of top-5 route runners in the NFL (also on the list is Allen, Ridley, Stefon Diggs, and, of course, himself)?

Sure, Herbert and Lawrence might seem to be better bets to deliver to their respective receivers than Deshaun Watson. But who honestly expected Watson to come out firing starting the last six games of the season? Did it ever make sense for him to suddenly create chemistry with all of his receivers right from the jump?

Cooper excelled with Jacoby Brissett at QB

I understand that liking Brissett is the hottest bland take in the NFL. Regardless of what he showed last year, I will still consider Watson more than a tier above. This is important in a Kevin Stefanski offense that prizes the X receiver. If Watson can perform at a high level, Cooper should see a further uptick in targets as the Browns offense shifts.

As for competition for the role, Cooper doesn’t appear to see any for the remainder of his two years left in Cleveland. Behind him on the depth chart are only Donovan People-Jones, Elijah Moore, and Cedric Tillman. But DPJ is a free agent next year and Moore profiles as a slot. Only Tillman really fits the role and will be under contract next year.

With Watson’s trade and contract, the Browns are faced with no first-round pick next year. They will also be in need of several restructures to get under the cap. I’m no soothsayer, but if I’m guessing, Cooper will be the WR1 this year and next year for Cleveland. Those two years alone are well worth the asking price of an early 2nd round pick. Considering the recent hit rate of 2nd round picks, I suggest he might be worth stealing for a shade more.

For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites over the last few years, and we’re not stopping now. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.