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 13 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|
Latavius Murray, BAL| 76% rostered on MFL|
Alexander Mattison, MIN| 81% rostered on MFL|
Tony Pollard, DAL, DAL| 92% rostered on MFL |
Marquez Callaway, NO| 70% rostered on MFL
Tim Patrick, DEN| 72% rostered on MFL|
Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE| 51% rostered on MFL|
IN THE WATER
Cam Newton, CAR| 79% rostered on MFL| Contending 15-20%, Rebuilding 1%|
Newton is probably the best of the available options still left because of his rushing ability. The bad news for general managers is that they will not be able to use Newton in Week 13 because he will be on bye. Newton will play the hapless Falcons when he returns in Week 14.
Teddy Bridgewater, DEN| 62% 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. In Week 13, Denver will have another divisional battle with the Chiefs, who have been more formidable on defense in recent weeks. Fantasy general managers starting Bridgewater in Week 14 should be licking their chops, because there are not many better matchups than the Lions.
Taylor Heinicke, WAS| 67% 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 13, he will face off against the sputtering Raiders secondary. In Week 14, Heinicke will have a divisional tilt with Dallas, who is also not great against the pass.
Trevor Siemian, NO| 35% 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 13, the Saints will face the Cowboys, who have been a bit of an easier matchup this season. In Week 14, they will have an even more appealing Jets faceoff.
Tyrod Taylor, HOU| 50% 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. The Colts have not been a top-tier pass defense unit, so it should be okay to use Taylor in Week 13. In Week 14, the Texans draw another favorable matchup when they face the Seahawks.
Andy Dalton, CHI| 29% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 1%|
It turns out Justin Fields’ injury was more serious than originally thought. His rib fractures will keep him out for a while, so Andy Dalton will once again start for the Bears. Dalton has a low ceiling and floor, so use him only if you have no other options. The Cardinals in Week 13 have a great pass defense, further discouraging general managers from using Dalton. The Packers can be passed upon, but the quality of the Bears’ offense will likely limit how well Dalton can do, even in a favorable matchup.
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 |
Boston Scott, PHI| 59% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%
Jordan Howard is out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury and Miles Sanders left Sunday’s contest with a leg injury. If they do not play, it makes Boston Scott a must-start against the Jets in the upcoming week. The Eagles have a bye week in Week 14.
Dontrell Hilliard and Donta Foreman, TEN| 62% and 63% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%
The Titans run game may get complicated again when Jeremy McNicols returns from injury, but for now, it is a fairly straightforward split with Adrian Peterson out of the mix. Despite the blowout loss to New England, both rushers eclipsed 100 yards. The Titans have a much-needed bye week in Week 13. In Week 14, they will face a Jaguars team that appears to be mailing it in.
Ty Johnson, NYJ| 69% rostered on MFL| Contending 5-10%, Rebuilding 1%
Micheal Carter was placed on IR ahead of Week 12, meaning Johnson will have three weeks to show what he can do. He’s still splitting with Tevin Coleman, but has the more valuable third-down role and is doing more with his touches. Johnson will get a nice matchup against the Eagles in Week 13. He will draw a tougher run matchup against the Saints in Week 14.
Eno Benjamin, ARI| 28% 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| 32% 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.
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.
Tyler Johnson, TB| 25% 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.
Josh Reynolds, DET| 24% rostered on MFL| Contending and Rebuilding 5-10%|
Reynolds was released by the Titans, but resurfaced in Detroit and was the leading receiver on Thanksgiving Day. At a point in the year when any waiver wire help is hard to come by, he is worth considering both for the short- and long-term. The Vikings and Broncos are on tap over the next two weeks for the Lions.
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 could 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| 3% 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.
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 13, start him without hesitation against the Lions. The Steelers in Week 14 have not been particularly stout against the pass, either.
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.
Foster Moreau, LVR| 20% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 5-10%
Moreau is a capable blocker and receiver. He may get an increased opportunity if Darren Waller’s injury proves to be serious. Washington and Kansas City lie ahead on the slate and neither is particularly great at defending the tight end.
Kaden Smith, NYG| 3% rostered on MFL| Contending Watch List, 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. He is currently dealing with a knee injury, so his value is almost exclusively to rebuilders.
Out to Sea
Devontae Booker, NYG| 72% rostered on MFL|
Saquon Barkley is back and Booker saw only four touches in the game in whichBarkley returned. Booker should be held on to in larger formats in case Barkley gets dinged again, but you can let him go in short-bench formats.
Darrel Williams, KC| 85% rostered on MFL|
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is back and Williams saw a major decline in his workload as a result. Like Booker above, hold on to Williams in deeper formats, but feel free to let go of him in more shallow leagues.
Mike Davis, ATL| 75% rostered on MFL
We will revisit Davis if Cordarrelle Patterson gets dinged up again. However, for now, he is droppable in shallow formats.
Adrian Peterson, FA 70% rostered on MFL|
The Titans cut him loose this week, so we can, too.
D'Ernest Johnson, CLE| 71% rostered on MFL|
With both Chubb and Hunt back, it is safe to cut ties with Johnson.
Dan Arnold, JAX| 63% rostered on MFL|
Arnold hurt his knee and did not return in Sunday’s contest. It is unlikely he will be playing in the foreseeable future, so it is okay to let go if you need to.
Kyle Rudolph, NYG| 15% rostered on MFL| Contending 1-5%, Rebuilding 1%|
Rudolph is dealing with an ankle injury and the offense is not doing much anyway. It is okay to let go if you need the roster space or if there is a better tight end option available on your waiver wire.