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 Twelve 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| 86% rostered on MFL|
Mike Davis, ATL| 81% rostered on MFL
Darrel Williams, KC| 93% rostered on MFL|
Devontae Booker, NYG| 77% rostered on MFL|
Latavius Murray, BAL| 75% rostered on MFL|
Alexander Mattison, MIN| 83% rostered on MFL|
Tony Pollard, DAL, DAL| 90% rostered on MFL |
Adrian Peterson, TEN 70% rostered on MFL|
D'Ernest Johnson, CLE| 83% rostered on MFL|
Marquez Callaway, NO| 70% rostered on MFL
Tim Patrick, DEN| 71% rostered on MFL|
Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE| 71% rostered on MFL|
IN THE WATER
Cam Newton, CAR| 65% rostered on MFL| Contending 10-15%, Rebuilding 1%|
Newton was declared the starter and did not split snaps with P.J. Walker as he did in the previous contest. Newton is probably the best of the widely available options still left because of his rushing ability. Carolina will face Miami before the Panthers' bye week. Miami is a favorable passing matchup.
Teddy Bridgewater, DEN| 64% 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, Tim Patrick, and Jerry Jeudy. The Broncos 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. In Week 13, Denver will have another divisional battle with the Chiefs, who have been more formidable on defense in recent weeks.
Taylor Heinicke, WAS| 57% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%|
Ryan Fitzpatrick is on injured reserve with a hip subluxation and may not be able to come back this season. Taylor Heinicke has proven himself serviceable in certain matchups. In Week 12, Washington will play a permissive Seahawks secondary. In Week 13, they will face off against the sputtering Raiders.
Trevor Siemian, NO| 32% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1%|
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. In Week 12, the Saints will draw a very difficult matchup against the Bills. In Week 13, they will face the Cowboys, who have been a bit of an easier matchup this season.
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 up and down performances. However, he is the starter until the Texans want to see more of what Davis Mills can do. They will take on the Jets in Week 12, which has been a good draw. The Colts also have not been a top-tier pass defense unit, so it should be ok to use Taylor in Week 13 as well.
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:
Case Keenum, CLE| 15% rostered on MFL|
Mitchell Trubisky, BUF| 19% rostered on MFL | (Currently on COVID list)
Gardner Minshew, PHI| 21% rostered on MFL
Drew Lock, DEN| 23% rostered on MFL | (Currently on COVID list)
Tyler Huntley, BAL| 8% rostered on MFL |
Blaine Gabbert, TB| 4% rostered on MFL |
Chad Henne, KC| 4% rostered on MFL |
Ty Johnson, NYJ| 59% rostered on MFL
Micheal Carter left the previous game with an ankle injury, allowing Johnson to split work with Tevin Coleman and do the most with it. If Carter is unable to go in Week 12, Johnson will draw one of the better matchups against the leaky Texans run defense. If Carter remains out, Johnson will get another nice matchup against the Eagles in Week 13.
Eno Benjamin, ARI| 61% 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 additional opportunity with Chase Edmonds nursing an ankle injury.
Justin Jackson, LAC| 33% 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| 26% 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 multi-week injury situation. At this point in the season, he is the best option likely available out there.
Byron Pringle, KC| 27% 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.
Tyron Johnson, LVR| 4% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1%|
Johnson was added to the Raiders practice squad as a potential developmental option to replace Henry Ruggs III. He is very speedy and should be someone we watch with interest as the team heads in a new direction without Jon Gruden.
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. In Week 12, Jacksonville will get an easier opponent in the Atlanta Falcons. Do not play Arnold in Week 13 against the Rams unless you have to.
Tyler Conklin, MIN| 66% 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. In Week 12, he will face San Francisco, which actually is one of the stingier units against the pass. In Week 13, start him without hesitation against the Lions.
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. The contest in Week 12 is not one to fear, when they face the Eagles. The Dolphins in Week 13 also are not a challenging defense on which to pass.
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
P.J. Walker, CAR| 14% rostered on MFL|
We will be interested in Walker again if Newton gets banged up. However, for now, Cam Newton is going to lead the team.
Jordan Howard, PHI| 64% rostered on MFL|
Howard suffered a knee injury and Miles Sanders was back, further muddying the backfield. It is ok to drop him.
Donta Foreman, TEN| 22% rostered on MFL|
It looks like the backfield touches will be too unstable to count on any running back in Tennessee consistently each week.