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 Eleven 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.
Carson Wentz, IND| 90% rostered on MFL|
Mike Davis, ATL| 84% rostered on MFL
Darrel Williams, KC| 92% rostered on MFL|
Devontae Booker, NYG| 81% rostered on MFL|
Latavius Murray, BAL| 70% rostered on MFL|
Alexander Mattison, MIN| 85% rostered on MFL|
Tony Pollard, DAL, DAL| 90% rostered on MFL |
Adrian Peterson, TEN 79% rostered on MFL|
D'Ernest Johnson, CLE| 85% rostered on MFL|
Marquez Callaway, NO| 70% rostered on MFL
Tim Patrick, DEN| 73% rostered on MFL|
Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE| 63% 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 three weeks and looks to be back to normal post injury. The Broncos are on bye in Week 11. They will have a divisional tilt with the Chargers in Week 12, which should be somewhat challenging for the Broncos because the Chargers rank among the top ten units in pass defense in the NFL.
Taylor Heinicke, WAS| 55% 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 Panthers present a tougher matchup for Washington in Week 11. In Week 12, Washington will play a permissive Seahawks secondary.
Trevor Siemian, NO| 23% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1%|
Trevor Siemian is getting the lion’s share of the quarterback reps, not Taysom Hill. 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 Eagles are on tap for Week 11. In Week 12, the Saints will draw a very difficult matchup against the Bills.
Case Keenum, CLE| 14% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1%|
Keenum took over after Baker Mayfield exited with a knee injury. Given how banged up Mayfield is and given the Browns’ record, it would be no surprise if we see Keenum for an extended period of time. While Keenum is mistake-prone, he has had stints in the league when he has been very productive as well. The Lions and Ravens are up next and both have been easier teams against whom to pass.
With Sam Darnold out, Carolina signed Cam Newton and started P.J. Walker. Newton played a Taysom Hill type of role his first week with the offense while Walker got the bulk of the snaps. Will it remain that way? It is anyone’s guess. For now, we will assume that this is how it will be moving forward. The downside of that is that each quarterback is going to cut into the production of the other. The upside is that each has a better offense with which to work than many of the quarterbacks listed later in the report. The Panthers will draw Washington and Miami in the next two weeks. Both are middling pass defenses, so for general managers who need help at the position, either player can help fill in.
Tyrod Taylor, HOU| 40% 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 Texans want to see more of what Davis Mills can do. In Week 11, Houston will take on the Titans, who have not been sharp on pass defense in most weeks. Then they will take on the Jets in Week 12, which is an even better draw.
Sam Ehlinger, IND| 6% 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| 16% rostered on MFL | (Currently on COVID list)
Gardner Minshew, PHI| 21% rostered on MFL
Drew Lock, DEN| 24% rostered on MFL | (Currently on COVID list)
Tyler Huntley, BAL| 8% rostered on MFL |
Blaine Gabbert, TB| 2% rostered on MFL |
Chad Henne, KC| 4% rostered on MFL |
Donta Foreman, TEN| 22% rostered on MFL| Contending 10-15%, Rebuilding 1%|
In a three-headed committee, Foreman led the backfield touches and was the most productive of the Tennessee backs in Week 10. Whether the usage will be consistent from week to week is anyone’s guess, but there are few choices on the waiver wire at this point in the season. The Texans’ soft run defense is up next in Week 11. The Patriots in Week 12 are a little better, but are not among the elite run defense units in the league.
Jordan Howard, PHI| 66% rostered on MFL| Contending 10-15%, Rebuilding 1%|
Howard looks to be the current lead back in a three-headed committee. Whether that will continue next week is uncertain. However, as thin as the waiver wire is, we will have to take it at face value. The Eagles will go up against the Saints and Giants over the next two weeks. The Saints are a top-ten team in stopping the run, but the Giants are an easier matchup.
Eno Benjamin, ARI| 11% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5, Rebuilding 5-10%|
Benjamin is a back the writer likes more for the long-term. In the short term, he should still get some opportunity with Chase Edmonds nursing an ankle injury.
Justin Jackson, LAC| 39% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1%|
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. That being said, Jackson is currently dealing with a quadriceps injury.
Tyler Johnson, TB| 30% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 5-10%|
A recommendation in last year’s iteration of The Replacements, Johnson showed last season he could win contested balls. While not technically a starter, Johnson has become more relevant with Antonio Brown’s multiweek injury situation. At this point in the season, he is the best option likely available out there.
Byron Pringle, KC| 24% 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| 7% 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 this year. 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 throughout his career, 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 on and off, so that time could come sooner rather than later.
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 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. In Week 12, Jacksonville will get an easier opponent in the Atlanta Falcons.
Tyler Conklin, MIN| 62% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, 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. The Packers in Week 11 are not a contest to fear for those needing Conklin’s services. In Week 12, he will face San Francisco, which actually is one of the stingier units against the pass.
Kyle Rudolph, NYG| 15% 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 11, the Giants take on the Buccaneers, which is not a passing matchup to fear. Neither is their contest in Week 12, when they face the Eagles.
Harrison Bryant, CLE| 19% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 5-10%|
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.
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
Taysom Hill, NOS| 51% rostered on MFL|
The writer admits he was dead wrong on his call that Hill would be a top fantasy quarterback going forward. New Orleans is not finding additional ways to get him involved, in spite of Jameis Winston being out for the season. Unless you are in the deepest of leagues, it is ok to let Hill land back on the waiver wire.
Ricky Seals-Jones, WAS| 38% rostered on MFL
Jones has been great in relief of Logan Thomas, but a hip injury ended the productive stint. It also sounds like Thomas is nearly ready to return to duty, so it is safe to release Seals-Jones.
Mike White, NYJ| 37% rostered on MFL|
Aside from White having an awful performance against the Bills, all signs point to Zach Wilson returning from injury in Week 11. Let go of White in all but superflex leagues.
Tyron Johnson, JAX| 4% rostered on MFL
Johnson has been a healthy scratch the last two weeks and has not really gotten the opportunity for which we had hoped, despite D.J. Chark Jr’s season-ending injury. There may be a chance for him, but unless you are in a very deep league, it is fine to let go of Johnson and search for better stash players at this point.
Jaret Patterson, WAS| 28% rostered on MFL
Antonio Gibson is healthy enough to play, so Patterson’s role has been reduced dramatically. Send him back to the wire.
Kenneth Gainwell, PHI| 64% rostered on MFL|
Khalil Herbert, CHI| 66% rostered on MFL|
With David Montgomery back, Herbert’s role shrunk to next to nothing. It is time to move on.
Jeremy McNichols, TEN| 75% rostered on MFL
McNichols looks to be the odd man out in a three-headed backfield that is barely supporting one fantasy running back. Drop him in all but the deepest of leagues.
Carlos Hyde, JAX| 48% rostered on MFL|
James Robertson is back and the team is just not good enough to support more than one fantasy back. It is time to let go.