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Waivers of the Future: Week 17

Your guide to making preemptive waiver pickups in the context of dynasty fantasy football. 

Player value in dynasty football reminds me of watching ocean waves. They ebb and flow, always in a state of flux. Competitive dynasty players anticipate these movements before they happen and act by picking up, buying, or selling players as the situation demands. Owners have previously been at the mercy of regular waiver segments to assist in dynasty pickups, but these fail to account for the long-term view necessary to dynasty success.

Most of us concluded our season in week sixteen and I hope many of you are lifting a title high as you read this! Regardless of whether or not you won, it’s time to start cutting those stopgap players, non-elite kickers, and team defenses to add stash players! This installment is going to focus on giving you as many of those guys as possible. All players are listed by position and in order of preference. Scoring and settings in your league may prioritize things a little bit. Don’t be afraid to pick up someone on this list who’s lower-- they may be a better fit for your needs or settings!

QUARTERBACK

Teddy Bridgewater, MIN- He’s still out there in a few shallow leagues, so I’ll mention him. It’s going to be interesting to see what occurs at quarterback next year with the Vikings, but my guess is that Bridgewater will take the reins.

Nathan Peterman, BUF- We are thinking about the future in which they do turn the keys over to Peterman, perhaps as early as next year. In college, he ran a pro-style offense, showed himself to be very accurate, and showed uncommonly good anticipation on his throws.

Brett Hundley, GB- Some may have tossed Hundley back to the waiver wire when Rogers returned briefly. Teams got to see an extended look at Hundley and he might get traded away. There were rumors the Packers were looking to move him in the offseason, but never got a deal that made sense. Hundley improved with each contest and may have caught the eye of general managers of teams in need of a quarterback.

Jacoby Brissett, IND- Like Hundley, Brissett may be back out there on the wire after the Colts tanked. However, savvy dynasty owners will pick up Brissett because he showed something in a very difficult situation. We still don’t have clear answers on Luck’s shoulder situation and Chuck Pagano is unlikely to remain with the team according to reports. All these things are good reasons we should hold Brissett and wait to see how things shake out.

Cardale Jones, LAC- The Chargers traded for Jones and it didn’t take him long to become the primary backup. Rivers is aging and Jones has shown in the snaps that he has gotten that he is a bold thrower not afraid to trust his targets.

RUNNING BACK

Malcolm Brown, LAR- He is the Rams’ second-string back now, but could see a change of team next year when he hits the free agent market. He’s out there in many dynasty leagues. Brown was back in action after being sidelined for several weeks with an MCL sprain and looked fine on the limited touches he got behind Gurley.

Zach Zenner, DET- Ameer Abdullah has been demoted and this team is still searching for the answer at running back. Unfortunately, using Zenner assumes rational coaching, which is in short supply in Detroit. They’ve instead leaned on Tion Green and Theo Riddick while Abdullah has been out. Still, Zenner has enough potential that we want to monitor him in dynasty leagues and see if he eventually lands on a team that knows what he can do and uses him.

Matt Dayes, CLE- Dayes flashed in preseason and in the limited opportunities he had throughout the year. With Crowell not locked in beyond this year, Dayes is an interesting player to monitor heading forward.

Jonathan Williams, NO- Mark Ingram has been durable this year, but if he goes down, we could see Williams take his role in the offense opposite of Alvin Kamara. Williams has shown us enough in the past that we know there’s some talent there, especially in between-the-tackles work. It’s a longshot, but stranger things have happened in this running game over the Sean Payton years.

De'Angelo Henderson, DEN- C.J. Anderson is no lock to stay with this team beyond this year, plus Devontae Booker can’t seem to stay healthy. Henderson is raw, but turned heads this past preseason with his blazing speed. If Anderson exits, we could see Henderson step into the change-of-pace role with the potential for Henderson to do more if Booker falls on his face.

WIDE RECEIVER

Brice Butler, DAL- We’re seeing Terrance Williams disappoint and underwhelm on his opportunities. Meanwhile, Brice Butler has been outstanding on the limited work he’s been getting in the offense. If the coaching staff does decide to shift snap counts in favor of Butler, he’ll shoot up in value. Grab him now as a speculative add.

Trent Taylor, SF- As the Shanahan offense comes together, we’ve seen some flashes from Taylor out of the slot. He’ll not be a factor until his usage improves, but he is someone we want to keep an eye on for future days, especially as promising as Garoppolo has looked thus far.

Damiere Byrd, CAR- The departure of Kelvin Benjamin left a natural gap in the passing game, a gap that Byrd has begun to fill. Unlike Funchess, Byrd relies more on speed and route running to win. He’s also used as a returner on special teams and has made some noise there as well.

Geronimo Allison, GB- With some uncertainty about Davante Adams re-signing, it’s worth adding Allison to see how things shake out in the offseason or flipping him for a pick. Allison could very well end up with an increased role in the offense if things break right.

Mack Hollins, PHI- The re-signing of Alshon Jeffery wasn’t the best news for Hollins, but there’s still a role for him on this team. Though he’s a project, his size/speed combination is enticing. We could see Hollins move up the depth chart this offseason if the Eagles don’t retain Torrey Smith.

Ryan Switzer, DAL- I like Switzer to be Beasley’s long-term replacement. I think he’s an even better version of Beasley with more quicks. It may take some time, but Switzer is worth the hold in deep bench PPR leagues.

Cody Latimer, DEN- I’ve liked Latimer’s skill set for a long time, but he could never get it together in Denver. Perhaps in a different system, Latimer will be able to come alive. There is talk that they could keep him, but we’ll hope to see him move on and get a fresh start somewhere else. Either way, he should go up in value and be someone that you can potentially flip, even if you are not a fan of the talent.

Tre McBride, CHI- Unfortunately, the coaching staff has seen fit to give snaps to inferior options in Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy, and Dontrelle Inman for the time being. I’ve really liked McBride for a while, and compare him to a lite version of Amari Cooper. We’ll hope that Fox gets jettisoned from Chicago and the new coaching staff will appreciate McBride’s talent.

Maurice Harris, WAS- He’s bounced between the practice squad and active roster for the last two years, but he made quite an impression with his one-handed touchdown grab earlier in the year. He was a dependable option for Jared Goff at Cal. He is also the cousin of Keenan Allen, so the bloodlines are there. The big-bodied receiver’s best trait is his great catch radius. It’s not hard to see how Harris could earn a bigger role among a group of wideouts who have largely disappointed this year.

TIGHT END

Tyler Kroft, CIN- Kroft is someone I’ve seen back out on the waiver wire after Cincinnati’s season took a turn for the worst. If he’s out there, I recommend you grab him. The oft-injured Tyler Eifert will be a free agent, leaving a talented Kroft to fill his spot. Kroft showed well when the offense was not completely stagnant this year. Hopefully, the new regime will be one that helps lift the sagging fantasy assets, including Kroft.

Vance McDonald, PIT-  I’m a fan of McDonald and think he’s a superior talent to Jesse James. As Footballguy Justin Howe once put it, James can look like “a darted rhino” at times playing the position.  It’s true McDonald has been struggling with injury all season long, but I feel if he can stay healthy, he will make an impact in the future. Remember, Pittsburgh traded for McDonald, so they see something in him.

Trey Burton, PHI- Burton is one of the better backups in the NFL. We saw what he could do in relief of an injured Zach Ertz. He will get a chance to be a nice free agent addition somewhere in 2018. Landing spot will be important, but Burton is worth a speculative hold to see if he can be fantasy relevant with his new team.

Nick Vannett, SEA- He’s got the physical profile we look for in tight ends. We’re also not sure how much tread is on Jimmy Graham’s tires and Vannett has made a nice play here and there for the Seahawks. Additionally, Graham is a free agent after this year, a fact that should help Vannett. We’ve seen Seattle develop late and undrafted talent well before, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Vannett catches on as the starter in a year or two.

Demetrius Harris, KC- We like it when tight ends have a basketball background. This former basketball convert has looked just as good as Travis Kelce when given the chance to showcase his skills.

Michael Roberts, DET- Eric Ebron has largely been disappointing, especially in the red zone. That’s where Michael Roberts did his damage in the college game and the Lions could use him in the same capacity someday. Roberts is also a good blocker, which may get him on the field more than he otherwise would be. The Lions seem to be using Eric Ebron more right now, but look for Roberts to get more involved going forward if Ebron reverts to his old form.