Moving into week four, owners should get an understanding of how their dynasty league rosters are shaping up and consider whether or not a playoff run is attainable. Sure, the playoffs are ten weeks away, but in dynasty, owners should constantly be evaluating their chance of contending for their league’s championship. One way for owners to focus on this includes keeping an eye on their team’s points scored as it compares to the rest of the league. Some could argue that it’s too early to bail on a 0-3 team, but what it comes down to is, if the team’s not scoring points, why not consider planning for its future?
The waiver wire can be a great place to plan early for the future of dynasty teams. If attention is given to it early enough, teams could acquire one or more of the young and talented players that aren’t getting much early-season love because they’re stuck behind a veteran on the depth chart. Additionally, teams that are looking to trade veterans early could perhaps fill out their roster with capable, yet stash-worthy players from the waiver wire in order to submit a valid lineup for the rest of the season. Whatever the reasons may be, here are six players that dynasty owners should focus on this week prior to their league’s waiver run:
Jacoby Brissett, QB – Indianapolis Colts
Quarterbacks won’t often be included in this column since, in most dynasty leagues, the ones worth owning are already owned. Having said that, Andrew Luck has already been ruled out for week four, and the expectation at this point is that he’s planning to return for week six. This means that you get at least two more weeks to consider Jacoby Brissett. Brissett has not only been serviceable but has improved every week he’s been with the Colts, which is impressive since he’s only been with the team for four weeks. Brissett is definitely a long-term play and he will likely back up Luck for a couple more years. Although, there is a slight chance he gets traded again and therefore, receives an opportunity for a starting gig. Grab him and stash him.
Matt Breida, RB – San Francisco 49ers
A popular opinion this offseason was that Joe Williams would be the guy to unseat Carlos Hyde. Those lobbying this idea argued that Hyde wasn’t a good fit in the Kyle Shanahan offense and that his coaches didn’t like him during training camp. Both of those “facts” appeared to be fiction when Williams fell down the depth chart and eventually found himself on injured reserve. When that occurred, in came Matt Breida to claim the number two running back role behind Hyde. Breida has been the 49ers RB2 all season, so it’s likely he’ll be rostered in most dynasty leagues, but if for some reason he’s available in yours, add him. Hyde, who hasn’t always been the benefactor of good health, temporarily left the game last week with a hip injury. While he did return to the game and lit it up, he does have a considerable history of missing games. Shanahan loves to utilize his running backs in not only the passing game but the ground as well. Therefore, if Hyde were to miss any time, Breida could be incredibly valuable.
Orleans Darkwa, RB – New York Giants
Yes, Orleans Darkwa relevancy is what it has come down to in the NFL these days. While there are plenty of positive things happening with the young group of rookie running backs this season, none of them are going to be available for you on the waiver wire. Fortunately, for those seeking running back help, none of those running backs ended up on the Giants. Paul Perkins is getting the majority of the Giants carries with 23 so far this season, but he’s averaged only 2.1 yards per attempt and has been brutal to watch. Sure, Darkwa’s historical output isn’t pretty either, but he’s been the best runner in New York this season and has averaged 4.1 yards per attempt. Darkwa left last week’s game with a back injury, so panicky owners may drop him, or if he’s already available on the waiver wire, may not be in a hurry to pick him up. The injury looks minor and seeing how he’s been the closest thing to a reliable RB for the Giants, one could assume that he’s in line to receive more carries.
Geronimo Allison, WR – Green Bay Packers
Seeing how injuries to Green Bay’s wide receivers began to pile up prior to last week, the Geronimo Allison waiver wire boat may have already sailed in most leagues. Jordy Nelson ended up being active last week, but Randall Cobb was ruled out which opened the door for Allison to receive additional work. He took advantage of the opportunity by hauling in six receptions on eight targets for 122 yards. The Packers play on Thursday Night Football this week so it’s possible that Cobb is inactive again. Seeing how Aaron Rodgers is known for throwing enough to make three wide receivers relevant, Allison could be in for an encore. Allison is also a good long-term play because it’s unlikely that the Packers keep Nelson, Cobb and Davante Adams next year with a young and talented, not to mention cheap, Allison on the roster.
Jaelen Strong, WR – Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaelen Strong was a player that had a lot of talent coming out of Arizona State. A big receiver at 6’3”, he amassed over 75 catches and 1,100 yards during his two years there. Unfortunately, after being selected in the third round of the 2015 Draft, it never seemed to click for him and he was the subject of several reports regarding off-the-field and conditioning issues. The Houston Texans gave up on him earlier this year, but there is a reason for hope. On a Jacksonville team that desperately needs wide receivers, it’s possible that a change of scenery could help and motivate him. It isn’t practical to expect much from him right away, nor is dropping anyone other than the lowest depths of roster fodder to acquire him encouraged, but he is worth a shot.
Jonnu Smith, TE – Tennessee Titans
Few would argue that Delanie Walker is currently the tight end to own in Tennessee. He’s received over 100 targets in each of his last three seasons and is a proven security blanket for Marcus Mariota. At the same time, while he’s played over 14 games for 10 straight seasons, he’s 33 years old and the Titans can save over $6-million by shipping him off next year. Jonnu Smith was drafted out of Florida International in the third round of the Draft this year and is expected to be the heir apparent to Walker. Despite receiving a low volume of targets, Smith has registered a touchdown in two straight games. This is another long-term play that carries sneaky short-term upside potential should Walker begin to diminish sooner than expected.