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NFL Playoffs: Three Players to Buy Before Dynasty Stocks Rise

While the NFL Playoffs continue on, for dynasty owners, we’ve officially hit the offseason. For those of us with active league commissioners, free agency is open and 2024 draft picks are hitting peak value.

With that in mind, we should be considering whose dynasty stocks might be on the rise. Last year may not have presented too many postseason breakouts with the Eagles and Chiefs players firmly on everyone’s radars. Still, we shouldn’t forget some of the impacts from the playoffs in 2022.

Cam Akers bought goodwill for 2022 with his usage-heavy performance (even if it was lacking in production). Tee Higgins likewise averaged nearly 100 yards per game from the Divisional Round to the Super Bowl, leading to a ton of buzz. And don’t even get me started on Gabe Davis’s 4 TD 200-yard performance that made him a draft darling.

Did any of these players deliver in 2022? Not really. Akers was quickly discovered to be expendable. Higgins is still waiting to this day for a Ja’Marr Chase injury to unlock his value. Gabe Davis simply was.

Still, having these players before the 2022 rookie drafts was a boon if you were able to capitalize on their inflated values. That’s what we’re going to shoot for today while there’s still time for production to get logged.

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Three Players to Buy Before Dynasty Stocks Rise

Jayden Reed, GB

So, in doing some cherry-picking, I left out Tee Higgins’ performance in his 2022 wild card game. A meager one reception for 10 yards did not portend the upcoming greatness to follow. Similarly, I wouldn’t count out Jayden Reed for getting blanked against the Cowboys.

Green Bay was one of four teams this year without an 800-yard receiver. Expect that to change in 2024 with Jordan Love demonstrating he belongs down the stretch. While I wouldn’t rule out the Packers looking for a WR in the offseason, Jayden Reed has emerged as the current leader.

That’s not for nothing, as the Packers may not find much in the way of upgrades this offseason. They’ve already invested some draft capital in the past two years in grabbing Christian Watson and Reed in the 2nd round. Meanwhile, the only receiver of demonstrable quality who’s hitting free agency this year is Mike Evans. Yes, the aforementioned Higgins is also a free agent as well as Michael Pittman, but expect them to get tagged.

The Packers are now selecting much later in the draft and may not find a suitable upgrade. In which case, with Love’s stock rising, people will be looking to find GB’s number-one receiver and pay heavily for it. If Reed emerges as such in this postseason, people will forget the lackluster regular season numbers.

Get ahead of the curve before his dynasty stock rises too quickly.

Isiah Pacheco, KC

Pacheco has been excellent this year in spite of missing the 1,000-yard mark. He was the 9th graded back according to PFF this year, ahead of draft steal Kyren Williams. With two years left on his dirt-cheap contract in Kansas City, don’t expect him to go anywhere.

While Kansas City’s offense was not up to its usual standard this year, rumors of their demise have gone too far. They were 15th in scoring this year. Yes, this is a far cry from first last year, and third the year before. But it is still an above-average offense, and one most people should expect to bounce back next year.

What could accelerate those expectations of course is if Kansas City were to dominate offensively en route to another Super Bowl appearance. And with their defense cooking, that certainly remains well in the range of possibilities.

In spite of most metrics on the Chiefs’ offense being down this year, they are actually up one spot in the rankings as far as rushing yards go. They were 20th last year and 19th this year. Where they are dramatically down is in rushing touchdowns. They were 8th last year, and 26th in the measure this year.

Given that this stat is not particularly sticky for any team year to year, expect some regression to the norm. That likely means more touchdowns for Pacheco, who should likely have a firm grip on the role in 2024 as well.

Zay Flowers, BAL

While his high usage performance against the 49ers in primetime certainly sealed the deal for many observers, Flowers still hasn’t earned WR1 recognition given his production. With only 848 yards on the season and 178 of those coming in weeks 16 and 17, many managers may not see the hype.

Obviously, playing with Lamar Jackson has its limitations. Even with Todd Monken coming in as offensive coordinator and promising to open things up through the air, we only saw about a 50-attempt and 500-yard climb from Jackson’s previous highs.

Assuming this level of production moving forward, which is a bet in and of itself, 3,678 yards is not a big pie to split up production from. A healthier Mark Andrews may also take a bite out of that.

Still, you have to like what you saw from Flowers and his performance down the stretch. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor gone next year expect some new faces in the room. It is unlikely however that the Ravens will be looking for a new no. 1, meaning that Flowers is safe to continue developing in that role.

Just two seasons ago, the Ravens featured Andrews with 1,361 yards and Marquise Brown with 1,008. Don’t assume what you saw this year is the ceiling for receivers in Baltimore. A Jackson injury could also pave the way for a more pass-centric attack. Buy Flowers dynasty stock before the Ravens are in the Super Bowl and everyone is talking about the rookie sensation.

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