Every year at this time, one of my favorite duties as a dynasty owner is to stash away players who could sprout growth in 2018 to fill up roster spots I had been using for depth. This is especially cathartic when I’m refreshing the roster of a team that just missed or got eliminated from the playoffs. Let’s look at wide receivers, a position that seems to give a longshot turned stud almost every year.
Calvin Johnson, FA - Yes, Calvin Johnson. There was some puffs of smoke around a possible return to the NFL this preseason, and there’s a whole offseason for the Lions to pursue some compensation and Johnson to pursue a team that can give him a better chance for a Super Bowl run. Even a small sliver of a percent chance that you could have a rested Calvin Johnson on your roster is worth a roster spot during the offseason.
Mack Hollins, PHI - Carson Wentz 2016, rest in peace. We still learned that Wentz is going to increase the value of his receivers, especially the deep threats. That’s Hollins, who already gave us a glimpse of what the future will hold for him and Wentz.
Malcolm Mitchell, NE - We already know Mitchell can play and we know his situation is great. We just need him to stay healthy.
Quincy Enunwa, NYJ - Don’t forget him in leagues with limited injured reserve slots. He was dropped during the season in more than one of my dynasty leagues.
Chester Rogers, IND - Donte Moncrief is a free agent next year and Rogers has done nothing but outperform his UDFA pedigree and Moncrief for that matter. You could be looking at Andrew Luck’s #2 wideout next year.
Ryan Switzer, DAL - Switzer has flashed on returns this year and could become Cole Beasley with big play upside in an offense that made Beasley a WR2/WR3 last year. More than that, he just seems like a guy who will inspire more touches with his play.
Geronimo Allison, GB - Davante Adams is a free agent, and Randall Cobb is vastly overpaid next year. The Packers seem to like Allison and if they think he could develop into a starter, one of Cobb or Adams should be gone in a business decision. Jordy Nelson is in the last year of his deal and isn’t getting any younger. Allison is first in line on the roster for any opportunities that would open up at wide receiver in an Aaron Rodgers offense.
Josh Reynolds, LAR - Reynolds had four catches and a score as the #3 receiver with Robert Woods out earlier this year, and if Sammy Watkins leaves in free agency, that’s the role he’ll have next year in a very good pass offense.
Braxton Miller, HOU - Miller was coming on as a wide receiver before a recent injury and Bruce Ellington just landed on injured reserve - again. Miller should be the slot receiver in a Deshaun Watson offense next year with Will Fuller injury upside.
Taywan Taylor, TEN - Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee pass offense hasn’t exactly inspired confidence, but Taylor had a few Brandin Cooks-esque moments in his rookie year and could turn into a primary deep threat down the line.
Roger Lewis, NYG - Lewis was an undrafted free agent in 2016, but he in developing and has had his moments as big play downfield receiver and he could be a primary player in three-wide sets next year now that Brandon Marshall has fizzled.
Chad Williams, ARI - Williams generated a lot of buzz this summer, but he remained on the fringe of the gameday roster. The Cardinals long term quarterback situation is a question mark, but Williams might not have Larry Fitzgerald or John Brown blocking him from wide receiver opportunity soon.
Leonte Carroo, MIA - Carroo’s star has dimmed greatly since the Dolphins used precious draft capital to move up for him, but if Jarvis Landry leaves in free agency, there will be a role opened up for Carroo to seize, and there are worse quarterbacks to have at the helm of your offense than Ryan Tannehill.
Albert Wilson, KC - Wilson has flashed playmaking speed and he has been useful for the Chiefs during his rookie contract. He could be snapped up by a team in free agency that sees more there with a larger role in mind, or a team that has a lot better prospects for a #3 receiver than what Kansas City presented.
Jehu Chesson, Chris Conley, KC - The Chiefs liked Chesson enough to give up two fifth-round picks for him. Conley is an athletic wonder, but his game was still inconsistent before his achilles injury. One of this duo is likely to be the #2 receiver next year and Patrick Mahomes could be boosting the passing game by the time they take over.
Marcus Johnson, PHI - Johnson was a nondescript player at Texas, in part because of injuries, but the Eagles have seen enough to develop him and keep him on the roster all year. He is in a great passing game and his growth is worth monitoring for that reason alone.
Robert Davis, WAS - Who knows who will play quarterback for Washington next year, but I don’t expect Terrelle Pryor to be playing wide receiver and Josh Doctson has proven to be injury-prone in his two-year career. Davis has gotten a call-up from the practice squad, and he has NFL starter measureables.
Tommylee Lewis, NO - Ted Ginn hasn’t really clicked as a deep threat for Drew Brees this year. Lewis scored a long touchdown last week and he could get a longer look in the Saints passing game, which is a good place to be as long as Drew Brees is back.
Mike Thomas, LAR - The Rams have kept Thomas around despite a suspension and they have a good young quarterback and passing game. That’s enough to make him rosterable in ultra-deep dynasty.