Dive Into Dynasty: Jerry Jeudy’s Path to Stardom

Jerry Jeudy is one of the most accomplished wide receiver prospects that we’ve seen over the last decade. As a freshman, he was part of the 2017 National Champion Alabama team and won the Biletnikoff Award (college’s best wide receiver). As a sophomore, he earned First-Team All-SEC honors, and as a junior, he was selected as the 15th overall pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The second-year wideout is currently finishing up a stint on short-term IR after suffering a mild ankle sprain in Week 1 and is expected to return within the next two weeks. The injury opened a short “buy” window where Jeudy’s dynasty value had taken a slight dip since we’ve been watching Courtland Sutton step into the alpha receiver role for Denver. Here is why now is the perfect time to acquire the former Alabama star. 

Rookie Season

Some people weren’t too impressed by Jeudy’s rookie season production, but I beg to differ. If you can look past his eight drops, 52 receptions for 856 receiving yards is quite an accomplishment for a rookie wideout. In fact, that is the 12th-most receiving yards ever by a 21-year old rookie. It’s even more impressive when you consider the poor QB play from Drew Lock. Jeudy’s catchable target rate in 2020 was 62.8-percent. Only one other player with over 100 targets had a lower catchable target rate (Evan Engram). So even if he had an average quarterback, his rookie season could have been much more explosive.

2021 Expectations

As Jeudy nears his return to the field, there are plenty of questions about how he will fit into the offense since we’ve only seen him and Sutton play two full games together. Tim Patrick has also stepped up as a solid secondary receiver, so where will the targets come from for Jeudy? I expect Jeudy to be in the mid to low WR2 range this season, as he earned seven targets in the first half of Week 1 before his injury. However, Sutton and Patrick were both on the field then, so we shouldn’t assume that Jeudy will be stuck behind them.

Dynasty Outlook

The real appeal for Jeudy should be in Dynasty leagues. Both Sutton and Patrick are up for free agency at the end of this season. There is a good chance that one of them returns, but I highly doubt both do. In addition, even though Denver is projected to have the most available cap space in 2022 (according to Spotrac), they have several defensive players with expiring contracts, including LB Von Miller, CB Kyle Fuller, CB Bryce Callahan, and LB Alexander Johnson. Thus, the front office might view defense as a higher priority in free agency and move forward with Jeudy as the top feature on offense.

There have also been rumors surrounding Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson to Denver in 2022. Teddy Bridgewater is a serviceable option, but the Broncos won’t hesitate for a second to upgrade. Jeudy with a star quarterback is a sure bet to vault him into top-10 receiver rankings. They will have the cap space to make a big move for a quarterback, so I’m sure we will be watching the situation closely once the 2021 season ends.

Even if Jeudy starts slowly when coming off his ankle sprain, now is the time to buy the young wideout in dynasty leagues. An early-to-mid first-round rookie pick should at least get trade talks going. There are plenty of ways for his value to rise within the next year, so jump on him now before the ascent begins!

Quick Hits

Trending Up – Darnell Mooney

Darnell Mooney was a popular fantasy sleeper pick for 2021, but the overall market had cooled on him over the off-season. As a result, his 2021 ADP (average draft position) was WR51, according to FantasyPros, which is lower than his rookie season finish of WR44. However, he’s now the Bears’ number one receiver six weeks into the season, pacing the team in targets, receptions, and yards. While we shouldn’t expect Allen Robinson to continue his struggles all season long, Mooney has proven that last season wasn’t a fluke.

Justin Fields is the future of this team, and he has already developed a strong connection with Mooney. Now is a great time to target the second-year wideout in a trade before this offense figures it out and he emerges as an every-week starter.

Trending Down – Parris Campbell

For any fantasy managers hoping for a Parris Campbell breakout, it might be time to bid farewell to the Colts’ receiver. I was a massive supporter of Parris Campbell and was confident that he would become a star player once he could stay healthy for more than a handful of games, but the injury bug has struck again.  

He sustained what Head Coach Frank Reich called a “significant” foot injury on a beautiful 51-yard touchdown reception from Carson Wentz. Unfortunately, there is a good chance that it will end his season.

In the few games we saw from Campbell, there wasn’t much to be excited about. He fell below Zach Pascal on the depth chart and only saw over four targets in a game once. It’s still worth keeping Campbell in an IR spot if you can, but don’t hesitate to drop him if you need to make space.  

Rookie Talk: Rashod Bateman

The Baltimore Ravens’ 2021 first-round pick finally made his highly anticipated NFL debut last week. Rashod Bateman started in Week 6 and tied for the team-high of six targets. The fact that he surpassed Hollywood Brown and the other receivers in the pecking order while only playing 65-percent of snaps speaks volumes on how Baltimore plans to use their new weapon. He profiles as a future alpha wideout, which Lamar Jackson has never had in his arsenal.

Temper expectations for him in 2021, but take advantage of any chance you get to acquire him in Dynasty. Bateman and Jackson should develop into a dynamic duo for years to come.