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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 Ten edition of Waivers of the Future! Whether you are a contending or rebuilding team, this report will endeavor to spark some ideas about whom you might want to claim.
IN 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. If they are still available and you need help contending, consider spending 20-50%+ of your budget on them, depending on your league.
Taysom Hill, NOS| 59% rostered on MFL|
Mike Davis, ATL| 88% rostered on MFL
Darrel Williams, KC| 92% rostered on MFL|
Devontae Booker, NYG| 87% rostered on MFL|
Latavius Murray, BAL| 76% rostered on MFL|
Alexander Mattison, MIN| 83% rostered on MFL|
Tony Pollard, DAL, DAL| 90% rostered on MFL |
Marquez Callaway, NO| 70% rostered on MFL
Tim Patrick, DEN| 68% rostered on MFL|
IN THE WATER
Teddy Bridgewater, DEN| 66% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%|
Bridgewater has been better in Denver than he was at his previous two stops. He takes care of the ball, which is a delight to those playing in leagues in which interceptions are heavily penalized. Bridgewater has some very quality options in Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick. Jerry Jeudy also was able to play the past two weeks and will work his way back up to a full complement of snaps to further support Bridgewater. The Eagles are a middle-of-the-pack pass defense, so play Bridgewater in Week 10 with no worries. The Broncos are on bye in Week 11.
Taylor Heinicke, WAS| 52% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%|
Ryan Fitzpatrick is on injured reserve with a hip subluxation and may not be back for this season. Taylor Heinicke has familiarity with the system and started under Ron Rivera when Cam Newton was hurt in Carolina. He also had one start last year. He will not be anything special, but he could be serviceable in certain matchups. The Buccaneers in Week 10 are a more permissive unit in terms of passing yards allowed. The Panthers present a tougher matchup for Washington in Week 10.
Carson Wentz, IND| 88% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%|
He has earned the injury-prone label and has not played particularly well the past couple of years. It should be noted that Wentz has chosen not to vaccinate and is at greater risk of missing time due to that fact. However, he is back with the head coach who was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles in Wentz’s career year. The Eagles did a great job that year of disguising Wentz’s weaknesses and playing to his strengths. We are seeing a better version of Wentz in Indianapolis so far. In Week 10, Wentz will face the hapless Jaguars. The Week 11 contest will not be so forgiving, as the Colts take on the Bills.
Mike White, NYJ| 36% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%|
While White exited Thursday's contest with a forearm injury, the team believes he will be okay to start in Week 10. Zach Wilson has a sprained PCL that is likely to sideline him for the next week or two. The third-year quarterback has been impressive in limited duty and has competently run the offense. The Week 10 contest is going to be a true test for White, as he will face a very tough Bills team. If he is still the starter in Week 11, the Jets will match up with a much easier Dolphins team.
Trevor Siemian, NO| 23% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1%|
With Jameis Winston’s season likely done with a torn ACL, we found out this week that it will not be exclusively Taysom Hill’s job. It will instead be a tandem of Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill splitting time at the quarterback position. Siemian is more experienced under center and gained a whole year of experience when he was with the Broncos. While Siemian is the less exciting fantasy option of the two, he is likely to have a higher week-to-week floor. Fortunately, the Titans and the Eagles, both easier matchups, are on the horizon for the Saints’ next two games.
Tyrod Taylor, HOU| 37% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%
Taylor may not be long for the job given the Texans’ losing record and his performance in his Week 9 contest. However, he is the starter until the time the Texans want to see more of what Davis Mills can do. The Texans are on bye in Week 10. In Week 11, they will take on the Titans, who have not been sharp defensively on most weeks.
Sam Ehlinger, IND| 5% rostered on MFL| Contending Watchlist, Rebuilding 1%|
Ehlinger had some great moments in preseason action. He split first-team reps with Jacob Eason before suffering a knee sprain that placed him on injured reserve. Carson Wentz is not a sure thing as a reclamation project, so it would be good for quarterback-needy dynasty teams to roster Ehlinger and see if he continues to develop.
Jake Fromm, BUF| 0% rostered on MFL| Contending Watchlist, Rebuilding 1%|
Adding Mitch Trubisky to the roster was concerning. But it may just be that Trubisky is more ready for backup duty than Fromm, and the team is in a contention window. Fromm will have to work his way up the depth chart, but he is the most promising backup the Bills have in terms of decision-making and accuracy.
Josh Rosen, ATL | 4% rostered on MFL| Contending Watchlist, Rebuilding 1%|
It is not encouraging that Rosen has bounced around quite a bit in his short career, but he is still one of the league's more talented backup quarterback prospects. He is also behind Matt Ryan and can continue to learn from another quality veteran as he did last season in Tampa Bay behind Tom Brady.
If you play in a superflex or desperately need a quarterback who might earn valuable fantasy starting work in future weeks if the starter struggles or is hurt, consider picking these quarterbacks up for free or a minimal bid. They are listed in order of the writer’s preference:
Mitchell Trubisky, BUF| 20% rostered on MFL | (Currently on COVID list)
Gardner Minshew, PHI| 20% rostered on MFL
Drew Lock, DEN| 29% rostered on MFL | (Currently on COVID list)
P.J. Walker, CAR| 8% rostered on MFL|
Tyler Huntley, BAL| 8% rostered on MFL |
Blaine Gabbert, TB| 2% rostered on MFL |
Chad Henne, KC| 5% rostered on MFL |
Case Keenum, CLE| 23% rostered on MFL|
Adrian Peterson, TEN 77% rostered on MFL| Contending 30-50%, Rebuilding 1%|
If he is still out there, this will be your only chance to claim him. Peterson signed with Tennessee in light of Henry’s fantasy season-ending injury and was immediately promoted. He will be the primary workhorse for Tennessee, a run-heavy offense. He didn't look great in his first game, but this could be just adjusting to the learning curve and getting back up to game speed. The Titans will face the Saints and Texans over the next two weeks and neither team is excelling when it comes to run defense.
Jeremy McNichols, TEN| 80% rostered on MFL| Contending 10-15%, Rebuilding 1%|
With news that Derrick Henry will be absent indefinitely with a Jones fracture and with Darrynton Evans recently put on injured reserve, McNichols becomes the passing downs back in Tennessee's running game. See Adrian Peterson’s write-up above for matchup outlooks.
Carlos Hyde, JAX| 46% rostered on MFL| Contending 10-15%, Rebuilding 1%|
James Robinson got banged up with an ankle injury on Sunday, leaving the backfield almost exclusively to Hyde. While it is not exactly an exciting offense, running backs with over 10 touches a game do not grow on trees. They will have tough matchups with the Colts and 49ers over the next two weeks, but with a shortage of startable options, Hyde may be the best you can do in a pinch.
DErnest Johnson, CLE| 73% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%|
Kareem Hunt will be out a little longer and Johnson continues to be a factor, even with Nick Chubb back. Johnson was able to score again for the second week in a row. If he is still out there, this is your last window to grab him. In Week 10, the Browns will play a bottom-dwelling Patriots rush defense. In Week 11, they will face a soft Lions team.
Khalil Herbert, CHI| 81% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%|
David Montgomery is back, but Herbert has performed well enough to still have a small role. He is worth keeping and using in PPR leagues where you are desperate for any sort of production.
Jordan Howard, PHI| 32% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%|
Howard led the team with 17 touches and looks to be the current lead back in a three-headed committee. Whether that will continue next week is anyone's guess, but as thin as the waiver wire is, we will have to take it at face value. The Eagles will go up against the Broncos and the Saints over the next two weeks. Both are top ten in the NFL at stopping the run, so it may not be the best time to deploy Howard.
Kenneth Gainwell, PHI| 79% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%|
Miles Sanders will miss extended time with an ankle injury and was placed on injured reserve. That is where Kenneth Gainwell comes in. He will split carries with Boston Scott and Jordan Howard, but as thin as the running back wire is, we have to take what we can get.
Eno Benjamin, ARI| 11% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5, Rebuilding 5-10%|
Benjamin is a back I like more for the long-term, but short term, he should get some opportunity with Chase Edmonds nursing an ankle injury.
Jaret Patterson, WAS| 28% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%|
Antonio Gibson’s ankle does not seem to be responding well to no rest and for the first time, we saw Washington split the work between J.D. McKissic and Patterson. The Buccaneers matchup in Week 10 will not be a great time to deploy Patterson, as they are stout against the run. The Panthers are not stout against the run, so if Patterson continues to carry the load in Week 11, it will be a more favorable contest.
Justin Jackson, LAC| 39% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%|
He has not been the healthiest himself, but he is the primary backup to Austin Eckler. If he can suddenly have a stint when he stays healthy and Eckler does not, Jackson could pay off big for patient fantasy general managers.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE| 43% rostered on MFL| Contending 20-50%, Rebuilding 20-40%
Peoples-Jones is now the top option with Odell Beckham no longer on the team. It is largely a run-first attack, but there will be games in which Peoples-Jones has more value. His long-term value has never been higher. This is likely your last chance to claim him.
Byron Pringle, KC| 26% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 5-20%
He is a Matt Waldman favorite, but beyond that, he is also in an extremely good organization. He is clearly over Demarcus Robinson for the WR3 spot. Mecole Hardman has been something of a disappointment with the opportunity he has had, so it is not beyond imagination that by more usage or by injury, Pringle could end the year as the #2 WR in the offense. Do not worry about Josh Gordon encroaching on his role. Pringle should be rostered everywhere.
Collin Johnson, NYG| 9% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 5-10%|
The Jaguars’ new regime cut Johnson and New York picked him up off waivers. Both Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney have had trouble staying healthy. Also, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton have been banged up regularly, which means Johnson can get more involved going forward. Johnson flashed somewhat in his limited work during his rookie season, so he is worth a speculative look.
Josh Palmer, LAC| 25% rostered on MFL| Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-5%|
As injured as Mike Williams has been, we could see rookie Josh Palmer step in and play Williams’ rebounder role in the offense at some point this year. Williams has been dealing with a knee issue, so that time could come sooner rather than later.
Tyron Johnson, JAX| 4% rostered on MFL| Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-5%|
Johnson switched teams this offseason, and while he went to an inferior organization, he may have landed in a situation with greater opportunity for him. Laviska Shenault is not known for his robust health and Marvin Jones also spent some of the offseason banged up. There will likely be an opportunity for Johnson at some point this season, especially if he can ingratiate himself to Trevor Lawrence with the limited looks he will get in the meantime.
Tyler Johnson, TB| 22% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%|
A recommendation in last year’s iteration of The Replacements, Johnson showed last season he could win contested balls. Johnson is merely a name to keep in mind if injuries or COVID devastate the Buccaneers receiving corps or if Antonio Brown’s off-field issues once again become a problem.
Ricky Seals-Jones, WAS| 38% rostered on MFL| Contending 10-15, Rebuilding 1%|
Seals-Jones is the very definition of a veteran journeyman, which is why Logan Thomas’ knee injury opened the door for more work. The other options on the roster are inexperienced rookie John Bates and undrafted free agent Sammis Reyes. The Buccaneers contest should be a little bit better in terms of opportunities for Seals-Jones. The Panthers in Week 11 have a tougher pass defense, but with scarcity at the position, your team may need to take a chance.
Dan Arnold, JAX| 41% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%|
While it is not a great organization, Arnold at least gets a quarterback upgrade and was utilized from the get-go after being traded earlier in the year. The Colts’ passing defense in Week 10 will not be anything to worry about. The 49ers pass defense is the opponent in Week 11 and they have been the best in the NFL in terms of yards allowed, so Arnold will not be an ideal play that week.
Harrison Bryant, CLE| 19% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 5-10%|
With multiple injuries at the wide receiver position for the Browns, the ancillary pass catchers are getting more involved. Bryant has a bright future and may become what the team hoped David Njoku would develop into. Bryant is starting to get increased targets and is worth stashing away for the day when Njoku and Austin Hooper are no longer on the roster.
Tyler Conklin, MIN| 62% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1-5%|
With Irv Smith done for the year, Conklin has stepped in to receive some of the volume that Smith would have gained. Conklin is not a revelation at the position, but he has proven to be serviceable. In Week 10, the Vikings will take on the Chargers, who have not been great defending the tight end. The Packers in Week 11 are also not a contest to fear for those needing Conklin’s services.
Kyle Rudolph, NYG| 16% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%|
Rudolph signed a short-term deal this offseason and will serve as the primary option until Evan Engram can return from injury. Do not count out Rudolph because he is old -- he has been very good in the red zone. In Week 10, the Giants will be on bye. In Week 11, the Giants take on the Buccaneers, which is not a passing matchup to fear.
Kaden Smith, NYG| 3% rostered on MFL| Contending 1%, Rebuilding 1-10%|
Evan Engram is often banged up and Smith has demonstrated surprising competency for New York when called upon to fill in. Could he be the future for the team at the position? It is certainly possible and worth taking a flier on. Kyle Rudolph is a mere stopgap for the team. We will see if the team lets Engram move on this offseason and if they trust Smith enough to let him take the role of starter.
Out to Sea
Jameis Winston, NO| 42% rostered on MFL
He had been playing pretty well before the season-ending injury. He is still worth stashing on IR. However, in more shallow bench leagues or leagues without IR, it is ok to send him to waivers.