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As we get to the weeks that are usually past the trade deadline in dynasty leagues (I am in one without a trade deadline, which is fun, but crazy during the playoffs when teams get into arms races), it’s time to look ahead to next year and target speculative players to fill end of the bench spots when we are eliminated from the playoffs. We’ll go position-by-position over the next four weeks and separate players out into Snorkel, Scuba, and Submarine levels to serve dynasty players of all levels. This week, the large pool of wide receivers.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE - Peoples-Jones is probably rostered in your dynasty league, but just know that we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He clearly slots into that chunk play off of play action deep receiver role and he is just scratching the surface of his potential, assuming this offense can get back on track after an up and down year from Baker Mayfield.
Terrace Marshall, CAR - Marshall has had a terrible rookie year, even falling to healthy scratch status, and he’s certainly on a roster in most every dynasty league, so this is a buy low more than a stash recommendation. Deshaun Watson could be the Panthers next quarterback and Marshall is too talented to give up on this early in his career.
Cedrick Wilson, DAL - The Cowboys liked Wilson enough to give him over two million this year as a restricted free agent, and he has flashed downfield receiving skills, not to mention a good arm. He should have a bigger role wherever he lands next year.
Auden Tate, CIN - Tate has never gotten consistent opportunity with the Bengals because they have one of the best wide receiver trios in the league, but next year he will be a free agent and should get a chance to sign somewhere that will value his skills above the rim more than the Bengals have. Tate is huge and fast enough to be a downfield receiver and he can turn into an unstoppable red zone weapon with the right quarterback.
James Washington, PIT - Washington is certainly good enough to start for some teams, and when he hits free agency next year, he could be signed to start somewhere. Washington has outstanding skills at the catch point and he’s a stubborn runner after the catch.
Quintez Cephus, DET - He could be protected on injured reserve in your dynasty league, but double check as Cephus was already a starter in his second year, albeit on one of the weakest depth charts in the league. He wins at the catch point and has some savvy route running skills to overcome his lack of speed.
Nico Collins, HOU - Collins has impressed around the building and on the field and he appears to be in line to become a long term starter and big part of the Texans plans going forward. He is a deep threat and like Peoples-Jones might have been overlooked in college despite great measureables because of poor quarterback play at Michigan.
Josh Palmer, LAC - Palmer should be on a roster, but check just to make sure this possible heir apparent to Mike Williams, who is entering free agency, isn’t on your waiver wire.
Marquez Callaway, NO - Callaway hasn’t exactly blown it up as a starter in the anemic Saints pass offense, but he has maintained his role as a 23-year-old and the best is yet to come, especially if the Saints ever get their quarterback situation figured out.
Ashton Dulin, IND - Dulin has shown speed and skill in his third year in the league. He was a small school prospect who needed seasoning and now has that at age 24. T.Y. Hilton is probably gone and Parris Campbell can’t stay on the field, so there is opportunity ahead for Dulin.
Denzel Mims, NYJ - Lets just hope Mims gets a chance somewhere else next year. He has fallen out of favor with the Jets and there was interest in acquiring his services at the trade deadline. His speed/size/catch point game just isn’t compatible with the Jets pass offense.
Antoine Wesley, ARI - Wesley is long and fluid and he has done enough to be the next man up into the starting lineup with DeAndre Hopkins on the shelf. He’s only 24, and even though he went undrafted, he can be retained by the Cardinals for cheap next year as an ERFA and would be in line for more work if A.J. Green is allowed to leave in free agency.
Mike Strachan, IND - Like Dulin, Strachan is a size/speed prospect who came out of a small school, so he’s not ready to make an impact, but the Colts liked him enough to find a roster spot for him as a rookie who wasn’t going to contribute.
Richie James, SF - James landed on injured reserve this year before ever getting a shot to make an impact. He’ll be a free agent next year and could get a shot to play more elsewhere.
Simi Fehoko, DAL - Fehoko is a size/speed raw prospect who has stuck around after the Cowboys took him in the fifth round. There should be more opportunity in their wide receiver group next year with both Wilson and Michael Gallup entering free agency.