A diligent dynasty manager should constantly be mindful of the ever-changing NFL landscape and how it affects players that have yet to fully break out. Being knowledgeable about team contracts and where players stand on their respective depth charts can provide clues that reveal increased or decreased pathways to opportunity, the number one driver of fantasy scoring. This knowledge, coupled with a familiarity of player athletic and talent profiles should be used to identify those post-hype players that can be cheaply acquired in your league. In this instance we’ll talk about a receiver mired on a bad team who lacks name recognition. We’ll talk about Albert Wilson of the Miami Dolphins, and why he’s dynasty’s next darling WR3.
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Albert Wilson, WR, Miami Dolphins
Let’s Talk About Opportunity…
Albert Wilson is the single constant in what seems to be a probable revolving door in Miami’s WR room. He will be just 27 years old in the 2019 season which is a positive as age is always a consideration in dynasty leagues. His current deal is a three-year, $24M pact, that has an out after the 2019 season. With a cap hit of over eight million in 2019 compared to a dead cap hit of $9.6M, his roster spot will be safe. By contrast, the other receivers on the Dolphins have even more questions surrounding them.
Danny Amendola’s six million dollar cap hit is tied to $0 dead money in 2019. With the fourth least projected cap space next season Miami will likely opt to save that $6M to invest elsewhere. Amendola, who produced fewer than 600 yards in 14 games last season, is almost a certain cut.
Devante Parker is in a similar situation. The former first rounder, now 5th-year veteran, will have to be assigned a $9.387M cap hit to extend his deal. The Dolphins would be unwise to bring a receiver that has still struggled to adapt to the league back at that price.
Even Kenny Stills is a question mark. With just $3.75M in dead cap for the 2019 season compared to $9.75M against the cap, the Dolphins stand to save $6M dollars parting with a player that disappeared more often than not last year
Expect at least one of the three to be cut. Two is the more likely scenario. A minimum of 63 unaccounted for targets (the average number of targets of the three in 2018) will be available in the Miami. Wilson’s 5.8 targets per game will be sure to rise.
What About Efficiency?
Even with limited opportunity, Wilson has improved nearly every season he’s spent in the league. According to Josh Hersmeyer’s RACR metric, he recorded his second-best ever season in 2018. His YAC has been a constant throughout his career and he has also improved his catch rate and scoring potential over the last two seasons.
Albert Wilson's Career By The Numbers pic.twitter.com/TJjmM8O4dn
— Etan Mozia (@ThisIsTheRunn) February 26, 2019
Last year, Albert Wilson ranked third in the league in yards per target (11.2) and yards per route run (3.15). His 74.3% catch rate and 1.83 yards of separation when targeted were also good enough for top-10 marks leaguewide. Even Wilson’s dominator rating, which looks at a single player’s percentage of team total yards and TDs, was top 30 in the league. This is all to say that Wilson has made the most of the opportunities he’s been given. He was the class of his position group by some distance on a per target basis.
Oh, Well He Got Hurt And Has No QB…
Wilson’s hip injury was reported to be an inguinal hip tear, a small fracture compounded by a torn labrum. He suffered the injury in October of 2018 and was able to avoid surgery. According to this article detailing recovery time for post-surgery patients, even the most intensive rehabs should take 5-6 months. Albert will have had nearly eight months to recover before the first preseason kickoff. His future dynasty value should not be affected due to his injury.
As for his QB, Wilson’s play style is QB agnostic. Tailor-made for a slot-receiver role, Wilson’s career average aDOT is just 8.2 yards. For reference, that mark would have put him just beside Cooper Kupp last season. At such a shallow target depth, he should be the primary read for a limited quarterback just looking to move the chains. Last year, a combination of Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler’s passer rating was 124.8 (7th NFL) when targeting Wilson. If Tannehill is let go as expected, Wilson should have no trouble meshing with whoever is chosen to be the new leader of the tank.
Get Him Now!
When talent, opportunity, and situation all point toward increased production for a player the decision to grab him should be an easy one. He has all three in abundance. Be sure to not let him fall too far in your 2019 startups and put out offers to unsuspecting league mates for this bargain of the offseason. Go get him now for his name is Albert Wilson.
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