Dynasty Stashes: Players to grab with an eye towards 2013
One thing I love about dynasty fantasy football is the eternal hope it brings. No matter how poorly my team may have performed or how crushing the playoff loss might have been, it does not take me long to begin thinking about the next season. With just a few waiver wire moves or trades, I can improve my team’s chances for the future.
Making a huge trade is always exciting, but finding a diamond in the rough can actually feel more rewarding. For dynasty owners, now is the prime time to begin “mining.” A few owners in your league may still be focused on the playoffs, while others may even be taking a break from fantasy football. This is your chance to make a move that might make a difference down the road.
Here are some players that may be available on your waiver wire that make worthy “dynasty stash” candidates this offseason. I also included a few players that are likely on a dynasty roster already, but would serve as a cheap trade targets.
Ryan Mallett (NE) – Although Mallett only just took his first snaps of the 2012 season, he has impressed the Patriots brass enough to earn the backup job, and starter Tom Brady is not getting any younger. We saw a few years ago what a backup quarterback (Matt Cassel) could do in that offense.
Jason Campbell (2012 FA) – With starter Jay Cutler suffering a couple of minor injuries this year, Campbell has performed well. If one thing has been clear this season, it is the poor play from the quarterback position. Entering free agency, Campbell might not be flashy, but he would be an upgrade for several teams.
Terrelle Pryor (OAK) – There have been recent whispers that we could see Pryor on the field more for the Raiders, with the team out of the playoff hunt. While Carson Palmer has posted some nice garbage time stats for fantasy owners, he’s not the long term answer in Oakland. The team needs to decide quickly if Pryor can be that answer or if they should search elsewhere.
Kirk Cousins (WAS) – Another backup quarterback that has played well when called upon this season is the rookie Cousins. The downside is clear for him, he is behind fellow rookie Robert Griffin III with little hope of escaping. A common criticism of RG3 has been that his all out style could lead to injury, which we have seen recently. While this would be a nightmare for dynasty owners, Cousins could be a solid option in his place.
Isaiah Pead (STL) – It is clear that Steven Jackson is on his way out of St. Louis, and although rookie Darly Richardson has been impressive at times this year, it is not clear that he could serve as an every down back. That is where Pead, the 2nd round pick, could earn a larger role for the team in 2013.
LaMichael James (SF) – Another rookie running back who has played sparingly is the speedster from Oregon, James. We are all aware of Frank Gore’s age and injury history, not to mention Kendall Hunter’s recent injury. This all paves the way for James to see more touches and gain value. His owners have probably not given up on him yet, but may be willing to trade him for the right price.
Kevin Smith (2012 FA) – After getting off to a very solid start, Smith was sent to the bench and has rarely played since Mikel Leshoure returned from suspension early in the season. Smith is a free agent and only 25 years old. While he is unlikely to be handed a starter’s job, he has proven he can produce fantasy numbers as part of a running back by committee.
Bernard Pierce (BAL) – As the rookie backup to stud running back Ray Rice, Pierce has been very impressive in short doses. If he keeps it up, look for him to see increased touches. Pierce is likely not on your league’s waiver wire, but he is a must buy for Rice owners, and a good option for others as well.
Brandon Bolden (NE) – Bolden played well as part of the Patriots carousel of running backs before he was suspended and they seemingly settled with Stevan Ridley as the starter. He’s another decent stash option, as it’s always difficult to predict how Coach Belichick will use his running backs.
Joseph Morgan (NO) – Morgan has made a few big catches for the struggling Saints this season, and Devery Henderson is a free agent. If Henderson departs, look for Morgan to be given a larger role and more snaps.
Jarius Wright (MIN) – The Vikings pass offense has struggled this year, especially since Percy Harvin was injured. His injury though, opened the door for the rookie Wright to earn more playing time. Wright has responded with a couple of very nice games. Even when Harvin returns next season, the Vikings will still need more help at receiver, a role Wright could fill.
Jeremy Kerley (NYJ) – Kerley has a stretch of a few games this season where he was posting starting level fantasy numbers, but he has since tailed off, mostly due to the horrid pass offense of the Jets. It is a safe assumption that the team will have a new quarterback next season and we could see Kerley be one of the big beneficiaries.
Lestar Jean/Keshawn Martin (HOU) – Both of these young wide receivers have made big plays for the Texans this year and with Houston’s top pass catching options all being over 30 years old, this young duo may get a chance for a big role in 2013.
Jacoby Ford (OAK) – Ford has struggled with foot injuries the past two seasons, ending both seasons on the injured reserve list. While that is a major concern for the wide receiver who relies so heavily on his speed, he likely has been forgotten by many dynasty owners and is worth holding during the offseason as we wait to see if he is healthy.
D.J. Williams (GB) – The decline of Jermichael Finley has been more apparent this season and it is becoming a very real possibility that he will not be back with the Packers. If he does depart, Williams could step into his starting role for one of the best offenses in football.
Coby Fleener (IND) – Fleener had a disappointing and injury riddled season for the Colts, but still has the talent to be a starter for the Colts and your dynasty team. He may not be on the wire, but you could possibly acquire him cheaply from a frustrated owner.
Robert Housler (ARI) – Housler has improved throughout the season and the team finally seems willing to give him a more prominent role, evident by the recent release of veteran tight end Todd Heap. The Cardinals are another team that will be playing with a new quarterback in 2013, something that has to benefit all involved, including the athletic tight end Housler.
Jordan Cameron (CLE) – The Browns have had a reliable starter at tight end for years, Ben Watson. Now, Watson is entering free agency and not expected to return to Cleveland. Cameron will be the favorite to start for the Browns young offense.
Ben Watson (2012 FA) – As mentioned above, Watson will be a free agent at the conclusion of the season. There are a few landing spots that could move Watson way up the dynasty ranks, similar to what we saw with Jacob Tamme last offseason.