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Let’s Talk About Justyn Ross And Dynasty League Fantasy Football…

Once viewed as a 1st Round draft pick Justyn Ross signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an UDFA. What does that mean for Fantasy Football in 2022?
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RESOURCES: Player Ratings by PFF.com | Player Contracts by Spotrac.com | Stats by Yahoo.com | We recommend our affiliate for your Fantasy Football: YahooSports.com

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Every year there are a few players drafted in the back end of fantasy drafts that stumble into very productive fantasy players — making them valuable playoff winners or valuable trade pieces. If you are playing in dynasty leagues, these are often the players that separate the successful league franchises from the reliable bottom feeders.

Heading into the 2022 NFL fantasy season, here are some of our thoughts on some of our favorite late-round flyers.

JUSTYN ROSS, WR (KC)

My dynasty league officially opened June 1st, which means I picked up Clemson’s ultra-hyped wide receiver one minute after midnight. The Kansas City Chiefs’ newly signed un-drafted free agent was once touted as a surefire 1st round pick.

In his freshman year at Clemson he roasted Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship game.

Just a year ago 247 Sports had him listed as their #3 college wide receiver in the nation, just behind Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. After a string of injuries dating back to his high school days, though, and a less-than stellar pro-day/combine, it appears as though most teams decided to use their draft picks to target less risky prospects in a deep wide receiver class in this year’s 2022 NFL Draft. 

Ross will be an interesting name in dynasty fantasy circles in 2022 — as it’s quite rare for any UDFA to ever be touted as a strong fantasy asset. He has been a standout in OTAs thus far, though, and if he continues to carry momentum into mini-camp the hype train may get out of control.

Now in redraft leagues I’d have to say he’s nothing more than an end-of bench stash, and you can probably find numerous other receivers that are probably more likely to be useful this year. In a 2022 redraft I have the Chiefs wide receivers ranked JuJu, MVS, Hardman, Ross, and then Moore. However, in dynasty leagues, the Chiefs will be hoping to see both Ross and Moore step into the top 3 rotation in 2023 and thereafter. You never know where things will land, but MVS has yet to show he could really be relied upon as a dominant receiving option and instead looks like a blue-chip 2nd or 3rd option.

At 6’4”, 205 lbs, Ross has the mouth-watering size you want to see in your NFL receiver. And he clearly had enough talent to be evaluated by many as a legit player. So, what are the concerns? And are they warranted?

Injuries: Dating back to high school, Ross has been plagued with injuries. Some, including a congenital spinal malformation, were serious and even threatened his football career. However, the Chiefs’ medical staff gave him a green light. We will see if he can stay healthy or not but if the doctors give him a green light then it’s not something that we should let ourselves rule him out over. In football, injuries do happen. 

Pro-day/Combine: Ross ran a 4.63 and had a 31” vertical jump and 10′ broad jump. I’m not letting this get in the way, though, as he was recovering from a stress fracture in his foot and he doesn’t look terribly slow on film — he was fast enough to not be caught from Alabama’s defensive backs as a rookie — so he can’t be the slowest. I’m guessing that without a broken foot he would have clocked something around a 4.5, which isn’t blazing, but is fine and often around the 40 time where we find our most productive NFL receivers. 

Ross isn’t perfect but he really shows some great traits on film. In particular (aside from the ridiculous one-handed catches) he does a great job sinking his hips, playing through contact, and manipulating defenders with his head and body language. While the UDFA designation is not ideal, he signed at a location with a top-tier QB on a long-term contract. And Mahomes has commented about Ross’ ability to know where he’s supposed to be and where; and when he’s off it’s just by a little bit and doesn’t make the same mistake twice. These are all the types of things I like to gamble on.  

So, if your dynasty league has already drafted go out and pick him up before somebody else does.  And if you haven’t drafted yet, keep a close eye on him through camp. As an UDFA he won’t have much room for failure. But, if he continues to be what many thought he would be, and stays healthy, he could start the year as the 3rd or 4th in the receiving pecking order with a realistic path to much more in 2023.

What do you think about Justyn Ross? Is he worth an add in your redraft and/or dynasty league? 

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