Dynasty rookie drafts are heating up or just happened. There are rookies sitting there in late rounds and the waiver wire waiting to take your team up to the next level. Any fool can win in dynasty one year, but it takes true talent to build a juggernaut that is competitive year-to-year. To do that you need to have an eye for identifying talent and locking it down early. It is critical to find at least one dynasty stash each year. Add in an uncertain college landscape for the 2021 draft, it is critical you lock down some clutch picks this year.
All six of these players fall outside the FantasyPros top 40 for Rookies. These players will be available in Round 3 and later of your dynasty rookie drafts and will be amazing late and last round dynasty stash picks for startup drafts.
1. Harrison Bryant – TE Cleveland
Do you know what the difference between Irv Smith and Kyle Rudolph was in Kevin Stefanski’s 2019 offense? 56 yards, 3 catches, 4 touchdowns, and 17% more snaps. Rudolph finished 2019 as TE14 while Smith finished as TE39 in his rookie year. Stefanski wants to have two tight ends on the field, 56.7% of plays last year had two tight ends, and Austin Hooper is the unquestioned TE1 for Cleveland.
Harrison Bryant was a force in college playing for Florida Atlantic. He was top-three on the Owls’ roster in receptions starting his sophomore year and led the team in catches with 65 for 1004 yards his senior year. Bryant has been available and on the field while his primary competition, David Njoku, has been nursing injuries on the sideline during team drills. All of this means that Bryant is developing chemistry with Baker Mayfield and gaining ground on Njoku. The temperamental veteran requested a trade already, but he could be cut quite easily as well. Njoku has made it clear he does not want to be in Cleveland and Bryant seems to be at least as good as him already. Bryant is the tight end of the future for Cleveland and Baker. Target Bryant anytime after Round 4 of rookie drafts as a dynasty stash for later in the season and beyond.
2. Gabriel Davis – WR Buffalo
The Buffalo Bills are an offense and team on the rise. The defense was dominant in 2019 and will be a force again in 2020. The coaching staff and front office are some of the best in the NFL. Only the offense was lacking in 2019. Josh Allen and the offense went through growing pains and much of it was centered around a lack of reliable pass-catching options. While John Brown and Cole Beasley posted career highs, no other Bills receiver provided consistent production. Knowing that Allen needs weapons to be successful, the Bills went out and invested heavily in superstar Stefon Diggs and rookies Isaiah Hodgins and Gabriel Davis.
Any Bills fan out there is very aware of the UCF product and his meteoric rise during training camp. The rest of the country might be sleeping on Davis and you can capitalize that in the late round of your dynasty draft. Davis was prolific at UCF, second all-time in touchdowns in only three years, and seems to be carrying that skill over to the NFL. He appears to be the early favorite to be the fourth receiver on the depth chart for 2020, but an injury would catapult him into the starting lineup. In 2021 and beyond, Davis will only get better making him an incredibly attractive dynasty stash pick anytime after Round 3 in rookie drafts.
3. Devin Asiasi – TE New England
There are two constants every year. New England loves to draft tight ends in bunches and turn them loose. Secondly, Cam Newton loves throwing to his tight ends. Over Cam’s career in Carolina, his TE1 was always a top-three receiving option. This includes Greg Olsen’s stellar 2015 season where he was targeted 124 times. Last year, New England made do without a tight end as Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse, and Ryan Izzo all proved incapable of securing the top job. Heading into the 2020 Draft, tight end was very clearly a position of need. New England invested draft capital into Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi. Asiasi posted better collegiate numbers and is a natural tight end, Keene was an H-back in college, and seems to be the early leader for the starting job.
Historically, Josh McDaniels loves tigh. In 2018, Gronk was third on the Pats in targets while only playing in 13 games. The year before Gronk was second with 105 targets in only 14 games. Although he was limited as a receiver in this first two years at UCLA, Asiasi had a breakout junior year with 44 receptions, 641 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He has the talent and pro-level coaching to be an instant option for Cam and the Pats. If Asiasi can lock down this tight end job in training camp, or during the season, he has the potential to be a long-term option in New England. Even if he cannot lock down a large workload in 2019, be patient. A dynasty stash is all about long-term opportunity and talent to be a value. Asiasi has the opportunity and talent to be a force in 2021 and beyond.
4. DeeJay Dallas – RB Seattle
When you think of the Seahawks you think about hard-nosed running and defense. They have one of the more crowded running back rooms in the NFL with veteran runners Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde looking like a dual battering ram option. Behind them is former first-rounder Rashaad Penny and a bevy of young backs, including fourth-rounder DeeJay Dallas. Although it looks like the Carson and Hyde show for the 2020 season, neither of them are under contract for the 2021 season. As of now Seattle only has $11.8 in cap space heading into 2021 so they will be looking to save money wherever possible.
DeeJay Dallas coming through 💪 pic.twitter.com/YSEmajlqtU
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) August 25, 2019
Dallas has an opportunity to establish himself as a versatile threat in Seattle. While at Miami, Dallas was always in a timeshare, including with fellow Seahawk Travis Homer during the 2018 season. Despite never owning the backfield at the U, he did make tacklers miss and create big plays with his shiftiness. Described pre-draft as a “patient runner,” Dallas can also produce as a receiving threat out of the backfield. If he can gain the trust of the coaching staff, he could make them comfortable with moving on from Carson and Hyde in 2021 and placing their trust in him.
5. Joshua Kelly – RB LA Chargers
Austin Ekeler is set to be the number one option now that Melvin Gordon has left town. However, who will be the second option at running back in Los Angeles? Last year Melvin Gordon had 204 touches for 908 yards in only 12 games. With the departure of Philip Rivers, Anthony Lynn and the Chargers will most likely lean heavily on a more run-heavy attack with Tyrod “TyGOAT” Taylor under center, or in the shotgun. Justin Jackson is the veteran option to be the second back behind Ekeler. So far, Jackson has not been anything spectacular in previous seasons or in training camp this year. That opens the door wide open for the rookie sensation Josh Kelley out of UCLA.
Kelley was an absolute force in two years playing for the Bruins. He had 225+ carries each year, went over 1000 yards, and added 12 touchdowns on the ground. He also was enough of a receiver to make defenses account for him. Kelley is primed for a monster year as the Chargers lean on T-Mobile and a run-heavy offense. Kelley is ranked at pick 36 right now but is too much of a value to not discuss. The way training camp has been shaking out, he may well have a top-three finish for rookie running backs. Is he technically a dynasty stash? Maybe not, but he could be a large part of the Chargers offense. He may even have one of the better running back careers for this rookie class. Go get him as soon as you can in your draft.
6. Quintez Cephus – WR Detroit
Sure, we already talked about Cephus as a dark horse for dynasty drafts, but this is how good he is. He gets double billing in our Dynasty Deep Cuts. The Lions and Matt Stafford love to throw the ball all over the yard. Last year, without Stafford for half the year and both Amendola and Jones missing multiple games, they had three receivers finish with 90+ targets. This offense can sustain three receivers with 100+ targets and that means that it can sustain three fantasy-relevant receivers. Sure, the receiving corps is crowded in 2020. All three of their top options are free agents heading into 2021 and the Lions only have $1.9 million in cap space. Spending will be at a premium and a rookie like Cephus can greatly benefit.
At Wisconsin, Cephus began to emerge during the 2017 season as a receiving threat to be watched with the Badgers. Off-field issues caused Cephus to be dismissed from the Wisconsin team during the 2018 season before being found not guilty. During the 2019 season, Cephus reemerged as the go-to receiver for the Badgers. With 59 catches, 901 yards, and 7 touchdowns, he established himself as the dominant receiver in Wisconsin. If he can continue to translate that talent to the NFL and show flashes in a crowded receiving corps in 2020, look for him to take over as one of the top targets in 2021 and beyond for Detroit. He has been impressing so far and if that continues, he will see the field before too long. Cephus will reward anyone who targets him as a dynasty stash in 2021 and beyond.