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. Dynasty general managers 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. This weekly column will focus on identifying assets that will help dynasty teams build for the future, as well as players that may plug a hole at a position of need on an otherwise strong squad.
Welcome to the week one edition of Waivers of the Future! Many of you are making cuts and finalizing your roster in preparation for the regular season. Whether you are a contending or rebuilding team, this report will endeavor to spark some ideas about whom you might want to claim.
RIDE THE WAVE
(These are plug-and-play options who might patch a hole on your team in the short-term.)
Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%| Case Keenum, DEN- Perhaps someone threw Keenum back to waivers after the Viking playoff loss to Philadelphia. If that occurred, Keenum is someone to consider acquiring. Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Courtland Sutton is a better trio than most offenses have. The running game with the very competent Royce Freeman should also open up some passing lanes that were not present last season.
Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%| Joe Flacco, BAL- Flacco played truly awful football last year, but there may have been some mitigating factors. His offensive line was fairly banged up and his wide receiver corps often let him down. Drafting Lamar Jackson seems to have lit a fire under Flacco, who has played much better in the preseason. The favorable receiving additions of Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead IV have also given the offense more life. This offense stands to be much improved. While Flacco is unlikely to be back among the elite, he can be serviceable if you are in need of a quarterback.
Contending and Rebuilding 1%| Sam Bradford, ARI- Yes, he struggles to stay healthy, but when he is healthy, he generally plays above average. Having one of the savviest veterans in Larry Fitzgerald and arguably the best pass-catching back in the league in David Johnson will give Bradford some options.
Contending and Rebuilding 1%| Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB- Fitzpatrick is by no means inspiring, yet he has one of the better sets of receivers in the league with which to work while Jameis Winston serves his three-game suspension. Last season when Fitzpatrick started for an injured Winston, his tendency was to lock onto Mike Evans. There are worse plans than targeting one of the league’s best big-bodied pass catchers and trusting him to come down with the football. Fitzpatrick is one of the better spot starting options if you need someone to fill in.
Contending and Rebuilding 1%| Nathan Peterman, BUF- He’s a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency quarterback and the week one matchup is scary. Resort to using Peterman only if you have no other choice.
Contending 50+%, Rebuilding 20-50+%| Peyton Barber, TB- There are very few leagues in which he’s still a free agent, but if your league hasn’t allowed pickups since the rookie draft, it’s a possibility. Barber will be the unquestioned starter and he will have a bigger role than previously thought because of Ronald Jones’ struggles over the summer. The Buccaneers can be potent on offense, especially when Winston returns, so don’t sleep on Barber. If you are not contending this year, you still may want to make this pickup and flip him for a 2019 rookie pick. Shoot for the second-round range or add a pick to this player to upgrade to a first rounder.
Contending 50+%, Rebuilding 20-50+%| Adrian Peterson, WAS- He’s still out there in a great many shallow formats or in leagues in which the waivers have been locked down over the summer. Washington’s third preseason contest showed us that they intend to feature him behind their now healthy offensive line. Yes, Peterson has lost some of his long speed. However, as Frank Gore has shown in recent years, it does not take elite athleticism to be a good NFL running back. Understanding where to be and how to optimize runs will go a long way. Peterson has those skills, and we can expect decent production from him as long as both he and the offensive line remain fit. He is the unquestioned starter, which is also a plus. If you are not contending this year, you still may want to make this pickup and flip him for a 2019 rookie pick. Shoot for the second-round range or add a pick to this player to upgrade to a first rounder.
Contending 40+%, Rebuilding 20-40+%| Alfred Morris, SF- Breida is ahead of him on the depth chart, but it’s fair to assume both will split the load left behind by the injured Jerick McKinnon. Morris has been reliable, if not spectacular, in his work with multiple teams. He also has a familiarity with the system from his time in Washington and the coaching staff will not hesitate to turn to that experience. If you are not contending this year, you still may want to make this pickup and flip him for a 2019 rookie pick. Shoot for the second-round range or add a pick to this player to upgrade to a first rounder.
Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%| Phillip Dorsett, NE- The Patriots will have Dorsett and Chris Hogan as their primary receivers while Julian Edelman serves his suspension. While it’s difficult to picture Dorsett as a long-term asset, he’ll certainly have increased value for the first quarter of the season. He makes a fine fill-in option for those who are light at wide receiver heading into the season.
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