Dynasty rankings are in constant flux, and staying informed is the key to making roster decisions for your fantasy football team. The Dynasty Watch series is your regular season guide through the shifting dynasty landscape. With the season winding down, we’ll take a look at the players you should stash now who could see a big jump in value before the start of the 2018 season.
Whether you’re about to play for a championship or on the sidelines licking your wounds, chances are you have some room at the end of your roster to pick up a player or two who could find themselves in an improved situation next year. As the final waiver run approaches, let’s figure out who makes for a good dynasty stash that could see a significant increase in value this offseason.
With a wide variety of league formats, some of these players might not be available in deeper leagues, or might not be worth a roster spot in shallow leagues. In leagues without IR slots,1 make sure you keep an eye out for injured players who may have been dropped but could be back next year.
Kenneth Dixon – Likely already owned in many leagues, but still available in some. The Baltimore backfield is extremely crowded, but that doesn’t mean Dixon couldn’t eventually find himself in a big role next year.
Elijah McGuire -The Jets face an uncertain future and McGuire has looked serviceable at worst.
Has come back down to earth and is stuck back behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. He wasn’t an elite prospect, but there’s still a chance he plays a role for the Jets next year. He’s being dropped in shallower leagues during the bye weeks but makes for a decent stash if you have the roster space.
Wayne Gallman – Here’s what I had to say after the Giants injury apocalypse:
Gallman looks like a clone of T.J. Yeldon, minus the ridiculously high draft slot. His comparables aren’t exactly stellar, but he’s shown the most life of any Giants RB this season. We all know the Giants running game will probably continue to stink, but if Gallman continues to get touches, he’ll have some value. It’s clear that you don’t need to be all that good to lock down a starting role for Ben McAdoo – just ask Paul Perkins – so even if you doubt his talent, Gallman is going to get a shot.
I don’t think Gallman is a special talent, but Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen are free agents and Perkins looked like a train-wreck. It was widely assumed the Giants would sign an RB in free agency last year, but it never came to fruition. While I’m betting their new GM will be more aggressive in addressing the position, Gallman is still the only RB that is close to a lock to be on the roster next year, and a new coaching staff could revive what has been a moribund running game.
Matt Breida, Joe Williams, and Jeremy McNichols -All three RBs are currently on the San Francisco roster, and Carlos Hyde hasn’t been re-signed yet. We’ve covered what makes all three of these players intriguing prospects over the past year, and while they all have red flags, there’s the potential any of them could break out if give significant opportunity.
Spencer Ware – Is Ware good, or was he a product of a favorable system in Kansas City? He’s under contract next year, but will they keep both him and Charcandrick West? I don’t know the answer, but it’s worth finding out if he can be had for free.
Geronimo Allison – While his unfortunately-timed fumble may have effectively put an end to the Packers’ season, Allison could still be poised for a larger role with the team next year. He may not be a sexy prospect, but as an exclusive rights free agent, he’s likely to still be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers next year, and I’ll always be willing to take a shot on a player in that position:
Allison’s prospect profile isn’t very encouraging. He wasn’t particularly productive, particularly young, or particularly athletic. That being said, he has thus far fended off challenges from younger, more productive, and more athletic players to retain his spot on the Packers depth chart despite a one-game suspension for marijuana possession and a history of some NSFW tweets. Clearly the Packers see something in Allison to use him as their fourth WR. Allison has three games with more than five targets in his career, and here’s what he has done with them:
Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Ctch% Y/Tgt PPR 7 4 66 16.5 0 57.10% 9.43 10.6 6 4 91 22.75 1 66.70% 15.17 19.1 8 6 122 20.33 0 75.00% 15.25 18.2
Leonte Carroo – Until Jarvis Landry signs an extension with the Dolphins, I’m keeping hope alive.
Chris Moore – A sleeper favorite here at RotoViz, Moore could have an increased role next year. Mike Wallace is a free agent, Jeremy Maclin has been underwhelming, and Breshad Perriman looks like a bust. Moore has garnered increased playing time as the year has progressed and could be an every-week starter in 2018.
Arizona Cardinals – I’ve noted throughout the year that the Cardinals could have ample opportunity in their receiving corps in 2018, but with uncertainty also surrounding the coach and QB, it’s difficult to call anyone a particularly strong stash. There may be one more year of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, and Bruce Arians, and with John Brown and Jaron Brown hitting free agency, guys like Chad Williams and JJ Nelson could see increased roles on a decent offense.
If Palmer retires though, there’s a good chance Fitzgerald does the same regardless of his new contract, and then the franchise will likely be in full rebuilding mode. There’s even talk of Blaine Gabbert being extended. I tend to think that if Palmer stays then the Cardinals will at least try to lure a big free agent WR, and if he doesn’t then it might be an offense to steer clear of anyway. Consider stashing Williams or Nelson in deeper leagues, but neither should be at the top of the priority list.
Mack Hollins – I mentioned Hollins before Alshon Jeffery signed his extension, but he could still have an expanded role next year:
Eagles rookie and college special teams standout Hollins has been making a few big plays throughout the year and generating some buzz as a future part of the team. What makes this somewhat likely is that the Eagles have a very tight salary cap situation and cheap, young players will need to be a big part of their plan next year.
Kendrick Bourne – I profiled Bourne as my Sleeper of the Week heading into Week 12, and he just had his best week yet, with four catches for 85 yards. With everyone hopping on the Jimmy Garropolo bandwagon, Bourne may be on the radar even in shallower leagues:
With a fairly young breakout age and an opportunity on a poor depth chart, Bourne could easily play his way into relevance this season. It’s also worth noting that – with the exception of Murphy who was just signed before the team’s Week 10 game – Bourne is easily the tallest receiver on the active roster. Standing at 6-foot-1, Bourne towers over Taylor (5 – 8), Goodwin (5 – 9), and Robinson (5 – 10)2 Being a top receiver in today’s NFL doesn’t require prototypical WR1 size, but it does help a player like Bourne fill a niche that the team is otherwise lacking in its personnel.
Chester Rogers and Krishawn Hogan – There’s no way to know if Andrew Luck will be back next season or what he will look like if he is, but both Donte Moncrief and Kamar Aiken will be free agents, meaning there might be a lot of opportunity for WRs playing opposite of T.Y. Hilton. Rogers is clearly the next man up as he has immediately stepped in and taken Aiken’s snaps during his injury and he’s the add for shallower leagues.
Hogan only got a brief look this year before he tore his ACL, but was interesting enough as a prospect to get a mention as a Sleeper of the Week:
So what’s there to like about Hogan? He’s big, young, reasonably athletic, and dominated in college. Among 2017 rookie WRs, he’s 11th in Freak Score, 10th in the Phenom Index, and was deemed worthy of an invite to the combine, an important indicator of WR success.
Sounds great, so what’s the rub? The domination came at tiny Marian University where Hogan could use his physicality to beat up on lesser competition, including actually rushing for 25 TDs in his final two seasons. He’ll have to show he can succeed against NFL competition, but he’s worth an add now in deeper leagues with the hope that he gets an opportunity this year due to an injury in front of him or that he plays his way into the Colts’ plans for 2018 where there may be openings at WR.
Cameron Meredith – The Bears have yet to find an answer at WR while churning through the scrap heap like it’s the last bench slot on a dynasty roster. Dontrelle Inman and Kendall Wright have both been useful in spurts, but neither have been able to replicate Meredith’s success from last year. With a new coaching staff possibly on the horizon in Chicago and a year of experience under Mitch Trubisky’s belt, gambling on their offense could pay off despite it being a wasteland this year.
Josh Reynolds – He’s back to the fourth WR on the depth chart with Robert Woods healthy again, but there’s a chance he could be an every-week starter next year:
Sammy Watkins will be a free agent and Tavon Austin will have a somewhat reasonable amount of dead cap if cut.3
Reynolds has the type of prospect profile without any huge blemishes, but also nothing that really stands out. He’s not old, but he’s not extremely young either. He’s reasonably athletic, but not a freak. He was a vertical threat with a nice YPR, but nothing truly eye-popping. His final year market share was solid, but not mind-blowing. All of this led to him being drafted in the middle of the fourth round – right in the middle of the draft.
While that might not be the type of player to get us excited, it’s still the type of player who has a shot to develop into an NFL WR. On a Rams team that suddenly looks like an offensive force to be reckoned with, Reynolds could emerge as a solid asset in future years.
Quincy Enunwa – What the Jets will look like next year is anyone’s guess, but Enunwa had a strong season in 2016 and as a restricted free agent is likely to be back with the Jets next year.
Maxx Williams – I think I’ve written about Williams enough this year to be officially designated as a “Maxx Williams Truther”. He hasn’t really done anything to justify that status, but he’s still a young, highly-drafted TE on a team lacking receiving weapons without a long-term top option at the position. TEs take time to develop, and Williams is still among the youngest in the league other than the current crop of rookies.
Martellus Bennett – I have no idea what the future holds for Bennett, but he’s still an effective player and it’s possible he’ll have a useful role somewhere in 2018 as long as teams aren’t scared of how he forced his way out of Green Bay.
Jake Butt – Young TEs take a while to become relevant, but he should be on the radar in TE-premium formats as the Broncos are desperate for someone to step up and stop their revolving door at TE.
Ryan Griffin – It’s possible C.J. Fiedorowicz could consider retirement. Griffin is more of a traditional TE than Stephen Anderson and could be the primary TE for a Texans team that has given ample opportunity to TEs at times.
Erik Swoope – He was a hot ticket during the preseason until he was sidelined with an injury. With a full return to health next year, he could be worth a look in TE-premium formats.