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.
With the playoffs upon us, we take a look at the few options out there that may help us plug holes on our rosters. For non-contending teams, we shift our focus to stashing players that could gain value in the offseason or earn additional opportunity down the road.
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.
- Dak Prescott, DAL
- Sam Bradford, MIN
- Brock Osweiler, HOU
- Trevor Siemian, DEN
- Colin Kaepernick, SF
- Jerick McKinnon, MIN
- Jay Ajayi, MIA
- Charles Sims, TB
- Jordan Howard, CHI
- Jacquizz Rodgers, TB
- Christine Michael, GB
- James Starks, GB
- Mike Gillislee, BUF
- Andre Ellington, ARI
- Tim Hightower, NO
- Rob Kelly, WAS
- DeAndre Washington, OAK
- Jalen Richard, OAK
- Wendell Smallwood, PHI
- Justin Forsett, DEN
- Marvin Jones Jr, DET
- Travis Benjamin, SD
- Tajae Sharpe, TEN
- Stefon Diggs, MIN
- Tyrell Williams, SD
- Willie Snead IV, NO
- Quincy Enunwa, NYJ
- Chris Hogan, NE
- Terrelle Pryor, BUF
- Sammie Coates Jr, PIT
- Cameron Meredith, CHI
- Davante Adams, GB
- Kenny Britt, LA
- Cole Beasley, DAL
- Jamison Crowder, WAS
- Ty Montgomery, GB
- Michael Floyd, ARI
- Seth Roberts, OAK
- Robert Woods, BUF
- Tyreek Hill, KC
- Justin Hunter, BUF
- Taylor Gabriel, ATL
- Cameron Brate, TB
- Dennis Pitta, BAL
- Jesse James, PIT
- Zach Miller, CHI
- Ladarius Green, PIT
- Charles Clay, BUF
- Jack Doyle, IND
- C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU
- Jared Cook, GB
- Jermaine Gresham, ARI
(MAY BE AVAILABLE IN 25 OR FEWER ROSTER SPOT LEAGUES)
Contending 15-25%, Rebuilding 1%| Matt Barkley, CHI- He’s been playing really well, surprisingly enough! The soft playoff schedule has also been a contributor to his success. Additionally, getting Alshon Jeffery back appears to have been a boon for Barkley. Against the porous Redskins pass defense, he’s probably your best bet if you really need someone this week.
Contending 15-20%, Rebuilding 1%| Matt Moore, MIA- With Ryan Tannehill out for the fantasy playoffs, Moore is also benefiting from some plum fantasy matchups. He’ll get the Bills defense this week, which isn’t scaring anyone away from using Moore if they are in a pinch.
Contending and Rebuilding, 5-10%| Robert Griffin III, CLE- Same Cleveland streaming idea, different quarterback. RG III has some fairly decent playoff matchups, too, making him worth consideration if you really need help.
Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%| Bryce Petty, NYJ- Both the fact he’s banged up and the matchup against the Patriots make Petty an unattractive start. If, however, you don’t have the above options, Petty is better than taking a zero.
It’s really barren out there and high value handcuffs won’t do us any good now...
Contending 25-50%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Robbie Anderson, NYJ- I’m listing Anderson here on the off chance that nobody in your league took his first two good weeks seriously. Now that he’s had three in a row, we have a trend on our hands. He’s Petty’s number one target and though the matchup is tough, the best coverage should roll to Marshall.
Contending 10-15%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Dion Sims, MIA- Sims was often targeted in the red zone by Matt Moore against the Jets and the same thing may happen against the Bills this week. I’ll give him a chance over many who are on the wire right now in typical dynasty leagues.
Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Erik Swoope, IND- He had the big score last week. With Luck dealing and Swoope facing a Raiders defense that isn’t great against the tight end, Swoope is a hail mary at tight end this week that just might connect.
(MAY BE AVAILABLE IN MORE THAN 25, BUT FEWER THAN 40 ROSTER SPOT LEAGUES)
Contending 0%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Jay Cutler, CHI- With the news that Cutler required season-ending surgery, his time is likely over in Chicago. That being said, he’s going to be thrown into the bargain bin in most leagues. He’s worth a speculative add for rebuilding teams that want to see if he lands in a better situation so that they can use or flip him.
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 Rodgers for several years, but he’ll get his shot, either with the Packers or someone else.
Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%| Mike Glennon, TB- He’s not afraid to sling it when he finds his way into a lineup. It’s likely he’ll get another chance with a different team at some point.
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 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. He still continues to get touches behind Martin and Sims. He seems to be earning the trust of the coaching staff in his limited role.
Contending and Rebuilding, 1-5% Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR- It’s unlikely that Artis-Payne is the heir to Jonathan Stewart, but for now he’s all the Panthers have behind the aged veteran. If they don’t pick up anyone in the 2017 draft at running back, I’ll become more interested in what the team sees in Artis-Payne.
Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 20-50%| Michael Floyd, NE- I’m listing him here in case a disgusted owner dropped him after the DUI. He’s not going to help you this year, but he’s extremely interesting for the long-haul. Will the Patriots lock him up in free agency? It’s worth taking a chance to find out!
Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Cody Latimer, DEN- Latimer is buried behind the newly extended Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas and didn’t see much action in 2016. However, 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 or with another team, he could be a big hit for our dynasty squads.
Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-5%| Torrey Smith, SF- A poor fit for this offense, Smith will likely not be with the 49ers next year. He’s worth picking up to see if he finds a better home in 2017.
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. Brock Osweiler is out in Houston, so things are looking up for the offense. Strong’s talent is such that I’m taking notice and stashing him where I can.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/Watch List| Virgil Green, DEN- I was very excited about Green this season, but things just didn’t pan out for him with Siemian at quarterback. I’m more confident that Paxton Lynch will utilize Green more when his time comes to take over the offense.
(MAY BE AVAILABLE IN 40+ ROSTER SPOTS LEAGUES/ LEAGUES WITH LARGE TAXI SQUADS)
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/Watch List| Trevone Boykin, SEA- Boykin is there and demonstrated in preseason action that he is competent enough to run this offense should Wilson actually miss time in the future.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/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 Stash/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.
Contending and Rebuilding 1%| Rex Burkhead, CIN- The brutal injury to Giovani Bernard is giving Burkhead some increased opportunity in this offense, but I’m not sure how valuable that is at this point with the team going nowhere fast.
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 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 Stash/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 eventually placed on IR before the 2016 season, he’s someone to watch for 2017.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/Watch List| Zach Zenner, DET- Zenner was getting increased looks with Dwayne Washington banged up, but the lack of quality run blocking by the Detroit line is holding back all runners in this offense. There’s several reasons to like him long-term. First, the run blocking is bound to get better over the offseason, as it will become a major focus of improvement for the Lions. Secondly, Ameer Abdullah hasn’t panned out as a between-the-tackles runner yet, leaving the role wide open for someone to seize. That someone could be Zenner.
Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%| Alex Collins, SEA- I really like Collins’ talent long-term. He’s someone I’m stashing wherever I can find room because I’ve seen flashes of more in his limited action.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/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 and Perkins coming on, but he’s someone we want to keep an eye on in the long-term, especially if he changes teams.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/Watch List| Dwayne Washington, DET- Washington is hurt, but I think he’s worth stashing long-term. I like Zenner better, but I’m also open to Washington landing the job in the future, as he has talent similar to Zenner.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/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 Stash/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 Stash/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 Stash/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 Stash/Watch List| Corey Grant, JAX- Here’s another athletic back who is buried behind Ivory, Yeldon, and Robinson on the depth chart. With a new regime on the way in, we’ll have to see if they also take a liking to Grant or if he’ll be released and have opportunity elsewhere.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/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 to see meaningful snaps on the NFL field. With Stefon Diggs banged up for a couple of games, earlier in the year these three receivers have had to step up with Kyle Rudolph and Jerick McKinnon to snag passes. Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson in particular would benefit from a change of team to elevate their dynasty statuses.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/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 Stash/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.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/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 Stash/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.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/ Watch List| Seth DeValve, CLE- The metric freak is the current favorite to be the Browns’ tight end of the future. He’s out there in most leagues and should be stashed in case the breakout begins next year.
Contending and Rebuilding Stash/ Watch List| AJ Derby, DEN- If Virgil Green doesn’t catch on like I think he will, I’m open to the very athletic Derby being someone to look out for catching passes from Paxton Lynch.
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.)
Troymaine Pope- Going on IR killed his potential value.
Josh Bellamy, CHI- Jeffery coming back has pretty much destroyed what little value he did have.
Freddie Martino- Humphries is back from concussion, so Martino heads back to waivers.