Waivers of the Future: Week 10

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 take the long-term view necessary to dynasty success. This bi-weekly segment will focus on identifying assets that will help dynasty teams build for the future as well as players that may plug a hole on a leaky roster.

More than midway through the fantasy season, the waiver wire has become a very barren place in typical dynasty leagues. Not only is there a lack of talent from which to choose, but the percentage of budget required to land said talent tends to be higher. That being said, let’s look at potential pickup candidates in your league!

THE SKY

Players on this list have previously appeared in this article as pickups, but have had value spikes at points in the season that make them unlikely to be out there in your league. 

THE SHORELINE

(MAY BE AVAILABLE IN 25 OR FEWER ROSTER SPOT LEAGUES)

QUARTERBACK

Contending 10-20%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Colin Kaepernick, SF- Similar to Brian Hoyer earlier this year, Kaepernick will have appeal because of volume and garbage time opportunities.

Contending 10-20%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Jay Cutler, CHI- Cutler may have been dropped in your league when he was injured earlier this year. He is back and has decent weapons in Alshon Jeffery, Cameron Meredith, and Zach Miller. In particular, he has a good passing matchup in week ten against the leaky Buccaneers secondary that should excite those who like to stream in their dynasty leagues.

RUNNING BACK

Contending 50+%, Rebuilding 5-10%| Tim Hightower, NO- Mark Ingram II’s fumbling problems in week eight led to Hightower’s increased role in the offense. Though Ingram had a good fantasy week, the usage in week nine was tilted toward Hightower. This should continue going forward and in such a potent offense, Hightower is worth owning.

James Starks 10-25%, Rebuilding 1-5%| James Starks, GB- Though he did not look great earlier in the season, Starks may be the last hope for the Packers at running back. He should be back soon from injury to take significant touches in the Green Bay backfield.

Contending 10-25%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Kapri Bibbs, DEN- After Devontae Booker’s underwhelming week nine, beat writer Mike Klis stated his belief that Kapri Bibbs will now have an increased role in the offense. Booker has not been the picture of health in his short career and if he continues to underwhelm, Bibbs’ role could grow even more.

Contending 10-25%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Robert Kelly, WAS- Matt Jones’ fumble issues have once again reared their ugly head. The Redskins may opt to roll with the competent Kelly from here on out, making him a serviceable option for contending teams. Just be aware that this situation may be a little less appealing now that Trent Williams, the Redskins’ best offensive lineman, has been suspended for four games. 

WIDE RECEIVER

Contending 30-50%, Rebuilding 20-40%| J.J. Nelson, ARI- Michael Floyd can’t seem to get things together, leading to Nelson’s promotion. At this point in the season, the waivers are pretty bare, but Nelson’s intersection of talent and opportunity are probably the best available among wideouts in your dynasty leagues.

Contending and Rebuilding 10-30%| Tyreek Hill, KC- We’re seeing the young rookie with blazing speed get mixed in more and more. While he’s more valuable in PPR leagues, he can be viable in standard formats, especially with Maclin ailing.

Contending 5-15%, Rebuilding 10-20% | Justin Hunter, BUF- Could Hunter be reviving his career with the Bills? It’s possible. We’ve seen him get red zone looks and convert a few of them for touchdowns in recent weeks. He’s worth picking up just to see if the trend continues.

Contending 5-15%, Rebuilding 5-10%| Taylor Gabriel, ATL- Gabriel is being used to open up the deep passing game for Atlanta and Matt Ryan has found him on several deep shots. He’s a desperation play on any given week, but one that has the potential to boom in one of the best offenses in the league.

TIGHT END

Contending 15-25%, Rebuilding 10-30%| Ladarius Green, PIT- Green continues to miss time, but is supposedly very close to a return. He’s still worth rostering as a potential late-season savior at the position if he’s out there in shallow formats.

THE SPLASH

(MAY BE AVAILABLE IN MORE THAN 25, BUT FEWER THAN 40 ROSTER SPOT LEAGUES)

QUARTERBACK 

Contending 1%, Rebuilding 5-10%| Brett Hundley, GB- The Packers had genuinely good things to say about his development in year one. He’ll sit behind Rogers for several years, but he’ll get his shot, either with the Packers or someone else.

Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%| Mike Glennon, TB- Winston insists he’s fine after getting banged up in the Thursday night contest, but if he does miss time, Mike Glennon is worth a look. He’s not afraid to sling it and give Mike Evans all the targets he can handle. That’s a good recipe for fantasy production, especially if you are really struggling at the position.

Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Jimmy Garoppolo, NE- Groomed behind Tom Brady, Garoppolo has learned from one of the best in the business. Some other team (or New England themselves) will likely give him a shot to be their quarterback of the future.

Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Trevor Siemian, DEN- He’s a match-up streamer only. Siemian’s play is slipping, but he remains the starter for now. Paxton Lynch is clearly the future in Denver. If they continue to lose, Siemian may soon be out to sea.

Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1%| Case Keenum, LA- Keenum is a highly volatile option, especially in leagues in which interceptions are heavily penalized. Don’t throw Keenum in unless you absolutely have to.

RUNNING BACK

Contending 1-10%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR- Artis-Payne is back to the bench, but we know that Stewart has a tough time staying healthy. Artis-Payne may end up back in the line-up again this year.

Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%| Peyton Barber, TB- This Matt Waldman favorite and UDFA was cut earlier in the year, but immediately added back to the 53-man roster behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims. Now with Martin, Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Antoine Smith all injured, he’ll get some touches and perhaps earn a more sizeable role going forward if he does well with them.

Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%| Dwayne Washington, DET- He’s second in line for touches behind Theo Riddick, but Riddick may not be able to hold up to the between-the-tackles pounding over the course of the season.

Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Andre Ellington, ARI- Talent was never the question -- it’s been the injuries that have derailed Ellington. David Johnson is still the man in Arizona, but Ellington is only one injury away from having a significant role once again. It may not happen again in the desert with Ellington, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him once again producing as a starter with another team.

Contending and Rebuilding 1%| Kenneth Farrow, SD- Farrow is the backup to Melvin Gordon III and as such, he is only one injury away from fantasy relevance. If you can afford the roster spot and there’s not a better addition to your team out there, Farrow is a cheap add that could pay off big.

WIDE RECEIVER

Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Cody Latimer, DEN- Latimer is buried behind the newly extended Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, but he earned the #3 role. It would take one of them getting injured for Latimer to have value this year, but we are seeing positive signs of his development. Latimer remains one of my favorite stash players because we’ve seen flashes of his talent from time to time. If he can get going in the Paxton Lynch era, he could be a big hit for our dynasty squads.

Contending and Rebuilding 1%| Jaelen Strong, HOU- Strong hasn’t done much in the regular season. He didn’t win the #2 job from Fuller. However, his development in the offseason suggests to me that he could break out in the future if given the right opportunity. Strong’s talent is such that I’m taking notice and stashing him where I can.

TIGHT END

Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%| Virgil Green, DEN- Be patient and pick up Green on the cheap where you can while the price is depressed. If Paxton Lynch can find his way into the lineup over Trevor Siemian this season, things will get even better for Green.

Contending and Rebuilding 1%| C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU-  Fiedorowicz is benefiting from the fact that Bill O'Brien took over the playcalling duties and that Ryan Griffin is banged up. If both of these things continue, Fiedorowicz can be a viable fill-in for those teams that are hard-up at the tight end position. 

THE DEEP

(MAY BE AVAILABLE IN 40+ ROSTER SPOTS LEAGUES/ LEAGUES WITH LARGE TAXI SQUADS)

QUARTERBACK

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Trevone Boykin, SEA- Russell Wilson’s MCL sprain didn’t result in missed time for Wilson, but Boykin is there and competent enough to run this offense should Wilson actually miss time in the future.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Ryan Nassib, NYG- Eli Manning has stayed surprisingly healthy, so Nassib has rarely gotten to show what he can do. He is heading to free agency in 2017 and will more than likely pick a team with which he has a chance to start. We will continue to watch Nassib closely to see if he is showing the signs of development that we want to see in a young prospect. So far, we haven’t seen much to suggest the light bulb is coming on, even though his measurables are enviable.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Garrett Grayson, NO- He was cut earlier in the year to make room for much-needed offensive line help in Jahri Evans, but was stashed on the practice squad. Coach Sean Payton indicated that the cut was a roster move and had nothing to do with Grayson’s development. He’s a little short for the quarterback position, but he’s very smart and poised. Sound familiar? That’s because he’s sitting behind Drew Brees, who had a very similar profile. I look for him to be Brees’ eventual replacement.

RUNNING BACK

Contending and Rebuilding 1%| Jonathan Williams, BUF- Williams is the more talented of the two Arkansas runners that went in the draft. He got a DUI before the season, but it probably will not result in a suspension until 2017. If McCoy gets dinged again, look for Williams to share the rushing load with Reggie Bush and Mike Gillislee.

Contending and Rebuilding 1%| Malcolm Brown, LA- It may take a Gurley injury or a change of team for Brown to become relevant, but there's a lot to like based on his tape and preseason performances. He is the Rams’ third-string back this season.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Keith Marshall, WAS- He was drafted in the seventh round by the Redskins. In spite of early reports indicating he would not be healthy enough to make the team, Marshall battled back and even flashed at times during camp practices. Though he was placed on IR and will miss a great deal of the season (and perhaps more if they do not elect to activate him), he’s someone to watch if Matt Jones falters.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Zach Zenner, DET- Zenner couldn’t do much behind the Detroit offensive line, even with Theo Riddick and Dwayne Washington sidelined. However, he’s shown enough acumen in the past that I’m still monitoring him and holding him if the league is very deep.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Orleans Darkwa, NYG- Darkwa is a dynasty favorite of fellow Footballguy Chad Parsons. He has better-than-average athleticism and pass-catching skills and has shown competency as a runner when the Giants have given him touches. He’s not going to get enough work with Jennings once again healthy, but he’s someone we want to keep an eye on in the long-term.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Tyler Ervin, HOU- Drafted this year by the Texans, the Darren Sproles-sized runner has shown his quicks and a willingness to run between the tackles and take hits. He is someone to monitor in deep formats.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Daniel Lasco, NO- A SQARQ standout, Lasco is seemingly buried behind Mark Ingram II and Tim Hightower. However, the backs ahead of him have not exactly been the healthiest runners in their time in the league. Lasco has the skills to shine if he can find his way into the rotation.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Josh Ferguson, IND- The Colts did not take any running backs in this year’s class, but they did sign a talented UDFA in Ferguson. Frank Gore isn’t exactly a spring chicken at age 33 and despite being number two on the depth chart, Robert Turbin looks unimpressive, especially in the passing game. Ferguson had a nice camp and is showing chops as a receiver out of the backfield. He needs to improve pass blocking, but there is some long-term potential here.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Terrell Watson, CLE- A big and athletic back that Cleveland signed away from the Bengals, Watson would likely step into a Jeremy Hill-type role for the Browns if Isaiah Crowell were to miss time.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Corey Grant, JAX- Here’s another athletic back who is buried behind Ivory, Yeldon, and Robinson on the depth chart. Yet we only need to look at what happened with David Johnson this past year to see that sometimes injuries break just right and allow a buried player to emerge and show what he can do.

WIDE RECEIVER

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Cordarrelle Patterson/ Charles Johnson/ Adam Thielen, MIN- Minnesota took Laquon Treadwell in the first round of the Draft; but so far, he has not been able see meaningful snaps on the NFL field. With Stefon Diggs banged up for a couple of games, these three receivers have had to step up with Kyle Rudolph and Jerick McKinnon to snag passes. While I do believe Treadwell ultimately will get on track, any of these three make a good desperation play at receiver on any given week. Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson in particular would benefit from a change of team to elevate their dynasty statuses.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Jalin Marshall, NYJ- A former five-star recruit, the UDFA out of Ohio State was impressive in camp. Praised by Ryan Fitzpatrick for being a “sponge,” Marshall made the roster as a kick returner and a depth wide receiver who could eventually develop into more.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Tre McBride, TEN- He's basically “Amari Cooper lite” in my eyes. He’s back on Tennessee’s practice squad, but with few established options in the passing game, McBride might have a shot to catch on down the road.

TIGHT END

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Tyler Higbee- LA- A fourth-round pick due to a checkered past, Higbee made plays in camp and showed acumen on underneath routes. With Jared Cook having departed for Green Bay and Lance Kendricks’ inconsistencies, Higbee has a chance to eventually be the guy at tight end for the young Jared Goff.

Contending and Rebuilding Watch List| Jace Amaro, TEN- Injury robbed him of a chance to show what he was capable of in his sophomore year and the Jets decided to move on. Tennessee snapped him up and there really isn’t much behind Delanie Walker. This landing spot is mildly interesting and I could see a scenario in which Amaro finally delivers on his potential if things break right for him long-term.

LOST AT SEA

(PLAYERS WHO RECENTLY APPEARED IN THIS COLUMN, BUT HAVE HAD THEIR VALUE DECREASE TO THE POINT THEY HOLD NO VALUE IN ALL BUT THE VERY DEEPEST OF DYNASTY LEAGUES.)

Knile Davis, KC- After being cut by the Packers, he bounced around to the Jets and has now re-signed with the Chiefs as a depth option. We can confidently move on from Davis at this point.

Vernon Davis, WAS- Davis has minimal value with Reed once again healthy.

Jeremy Langford, CHI- He’s clearly been supplanted by Jordan Howard.

Crockett Gillmore- He just can’t seem to stay healthy…