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Lottery Ticket Anyone?

Jared Cook TE Titans

Member Corner writer Eric Dickens digs deep to find some potential winners for your roster.

Jared Cook TE Titans

Editors Note:  This is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series of articles from some of the most established, respected members of the DLF forum.  These articles may not always reflect the opinions the DLF staff, but they will always be high quality & thought provoking and  are intended to provide a platform for sharing the insights and opinions from some of the best ffb minds around.  Enjoy – KenM

The best and worst thing about dynasty leagues are the differences you find from one league to another.  Sometimes it can take ten minutes just to explain the rules, scoring, and settings.  In talking with a dynasty owner last week, I was amazed to hear how many qualifications there could be on a dynasty league.  “I’m in a 12 team, non-PPR, with 25 player rosters, 2 IR spots, 3 taxi squad spots, a $250 salary cap, a rule that you can only return 90 years of NFL experience, with a 4 round rookie/Free Agent draft.”  Wow, that’s quite a mouthful.

In all honesty, dynasty owners are all trying to do the same thing though, right?  Acquire as much young, consistent talent as possible to produce the maximum number of points each week.  While there are several ways to do so, none of them have the same exhilarating feeling after grabbing a gem off the waiver wire that turns into the next Arian Foster.  The difficulty lies in trying to figure out which players are worth rostering and which players should be ignored.

I’ve read tons of great waiver wire pickup articles, but the problem is almost all the players listed are already on rosters in the leagues I play in.  That’s where this article comes in…

I’m going to give you some names that are potential lottery tickets, meaning there is a chance of little to no return on investment, but also the possibility of hitting the jackpot.  These are players who would typically be available in leagues with a total roster size of 300 or fewer players.

What you won’t find here are some players who have already been touted as “the next big thing,” such as New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham or Packers QB Matt Flynn.  I am going to try to dig just a little bit deeper for those of you that want to stay a step ahead.

Quarterbacks

  • Dan Lefevour (CIN) – With Carson Palmer’s recent ultimatum to either be traded or retire, it makes Lefevour an interesting name on this list.  He currently sits as the #3 QB in Cincinnati, but I can’t imagine Carson leaving Cincinnati and his brother, Jordan staying as the #2.
  • Mike Kafka (PHI) – He is behind both Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb, but with all of the trade rumors swirling about Kolb, he would be a good investment, especially for a Vick owner.
  • Tyler Thigpen (MIA) – He is probably never going to be a top 10 QB in the NFL, but has shown above average athleticism and calmness under pressure.  With possibly just Chad Henne between him and a starting job, he’s a name to remember.
  • Stephen McGee (DAL) – Not too long ago, there was a young QB on the roster who wasn’t expected to be the starter in Dallas.  We all know him now as the Cowboys starting QB.  Could the same happen to McGee?
  • Brian Hoyer (NE) – Remember 2008?  If something were to happen to Brady, you may see a situation similar to Cassel in ’08.
  • Caleb Hanie (CHI) – The cat may already be out of the bag after the NFC Championship game, but Hanie has showed he has guts and plays behind a QB who was the most sacked in the NFL.
  • Josh Johnson (TB) – He has already been covered in another DLF article, but I thought he was worth mentioning again.  He also only has one year left on his contract and more athleticism than almost any QB in the league.

Running Backs

  • Tyrell Sutton (CAR) – After Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were injured, Sutton briefly enjoyed some time as the featured back for the Panthers.  He was promptly injured, allowing Goodson to step into that role.  With Williams possibly out of the picture, Sutton may get the chance again.
  • Jalen Parmele (BAL) – All of his value hinges on whether or not Willis McGahee leaves in free agency.  If he does, someone has to pick up the extra carries and possibly a TD or two.
  • Kareem Huggins (TB) – Yes, I know everyone has heard his name by now and if you’re like me, have even had him on your roster.  Sometimes players that get injured are forgotten about, but he may see a role next year as a change-of-pace back to team with Blount.
  • Marcel Reese (OAK) – He is the most athletic fullback I have ever seen.  He also has an incredible story about his move from WR to HB to FB in the past few years. If Bush leaves, his value skyrockets.
  • Danny Ware (NYG) – This is more of a matter of opportunity than anything, but with Bradshaw as a free agent, he may get a better look next season.
  • Lance Ball (DEN) – I don’t think he has incredible talent, but with Fox typically employing a RBBC, it’s never a bad idea to grab the backup.
  • Kahlil Bell (CHI) – I believe I saw somewhere that Chester Taylor had the lowest yards per carry in the modern era of football.  That tells me the Bears may be looking for a RB2 going into next year.

Wide Receivers

  • Dorin Dickerson (HOU) – He didn’t record a catch in 2010, but has all the physical tools to be a great compliment to Andre Johnson for the Texans.
  • Andre Roberts (AZ) – You could also add Early Doucet here, as someone will most likely emerge as the #2 WR in Arizona over the next season or two.
  • Brian Robiskie (CLE) – I’m sure he’s been on rosters at one time or another, but after a couple of disappointing seasons may be on waivers once again.  With McCoy getting more experience in the offense, he may get a chance to win back owners.
  • Andre Caldwell (CIN) – With Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson-Ochocinco-Johnson most likely out of Cincinnati, someone has to step up, right?  Along with Jerome Simpson, Caldwell is the best bet at this point.
  • Riley Cooper (PHI) – He may be more of a threat in PPR leagues, but Cooper has shown he can make the tough catch across the middle.  He reminds me a little of Austin Collie.
  • Dezmon Briscoe (TB) – Before he was waived by the Bengals, a lot of experts were high on him.  He’s now a member of the young receiving corp in Tampa and may have a chance to win the slot position next season.
  • Tiquan Underwood (JAX) – A lot of his value depends on where Sims-Walker ends up, but he has a shot to become the #2 WR opposite Mike Thomas.
  • Adrian Arrington (NO) – New Orleans has so many weapons that Arrington didn’t get much of a chance, but that could change this offseason.  He would have additional value in a league that rewards return yardage.
  • Brandon Banks (WAS) – With Santana Moss getting older (I think we’ve been saying that for about 5 years now) he may be starting to slow down.  Along comes Banks, whose game resembles his in a lot of ways.

Tight Ends

  • Jared Cook (TEN) – A 6’5’’, 240 lb. Tight End that can run a 4.5 40 yard dash.  Do I need to say anything else?
  • Ed Dickson (BAL) – While Todd Heap looked really good toward the end of the year, he’s not young anymore and the Ravens addressed the Tight End position by drafting two last season.  He may not pan out until 2012, but the talent is there.
  • Evan Moore (CLE) – A big, physical specimen that is also very athletic.  He would make a very nice target in the red zone for McCoy.

Hopefully that gives you a few guys to add to your “watch list” and possibly a player or two to stash for the future.  Who knows when one of those guys explodes and you can brag to your league mates all about it.

Just like with the lottery, you know what they say… ”You can’t win if you don’t play.”

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Jimi Hendrix
11 years ago

I like the list, it’s always great to find the diamond in the rough. What do you think of the so far too often injured and well traveled rb- Andre Brown? I believe he is on the Washington Redskin roster now.

Eric Dickens
Reply to  Jimi Hendrix
11 years ago

I’ve had Brown on my roster a few times over the past couple of years, but just haven’t seen him produce when given the (limited) chances. Because of the roster he’s on, I suppose he may have a little more value due to Shanahan’s rotating running back system.

11 years ago

How about these guys:
– Joe Webb
– Keiland Williams
– Brandon Lafell
– Chaz Schilens

Eric Dickens

All of those guys were names I considered for the article, but are currently rostered in a lot of leagues with 300+ roster size. If I had to choose 1 to pick up and roster, it would be LaFell, depending on need.

Schilens has the talent, but I question whether or not he’ll ever be healthy. I don’t think Williams has enough talent to be a long-term solution at RB and wonder where Webb will find a fit in the NFL.

Hot nikkels
11 years ago

I thought Dickerson was drafted as a TE. Did he convert to WR?

Eric Dickens
11 years ago

The Texans list him as a WR & that’s where he lined up in preseason & in week 17, which I believe was his only regular season action.

Eric Dickens
11 years ago

The Texans list him as a WR & that’s where he lined up in preseason & in week 17, which I believe was his only regular season action.

I believe their plan was to use him at WR all along.

Misfit74
11 years ago

Good stuff, Eric!

Eric Dickens
Reply to  Misfit74
11 years ago

Thanks! I had a lot of fun writing it.

Boobam
11 years ago

this article is just what i wanted to see!

Thanks

Eric Dickens
Reply to  Boobam
11 years ago

I appreciate it…I always feel like waiver articles never quite go deep enough, so I wanted to cover guys who don’t get mentioned too often.

Boobam
Reply to  Eric Dickens
11 years ago

when the size of leagues gets bigger and bigger, most articles talk about guys that are already on rosters its nice to see some names that I can actually use and pick up!

Keep them coming

Warren
11 years ago

I don’t see why Jordy Nelson is not on this list. James Jones is a FA and Driver could be more suited to the slot next year, given his age. Heck, Driver could retire if the Pack wins the Super Bowl. This situation has the potential equivalent to Emmanuel Sanders if Ward retires. Ward has already stated he would retire if the Steeles win. He doesn’t want to become “Old Yeller”. Jordy has the potential to become the #2 next year, which is a valuable commodity. I realize Finley will be back, but Jordy has Ed McCaffrey potential, and although I hate the white on white comparison, it fits. Knowing Ted Thomson’s tendencies, I see this happening.

Eric Dickens
Reply to  Warren
11 years ago

I chose not to include guys that typically would already be on rosters in leagues that have 250 players rostered or more. I felt there were a ton of sites and articles out there that dealt with more common names, but I wanted to go a little deeper than that.

I would assume Nelson has been rostered for a couple of years now in most dynasty leagues, depending on roster size. I agree that Nelson has the potential to have a bigger impact on the Packers next year, but Driver just signed a contract extension and I think Jones will be re-signed.

MT
11 years ago

Finally a good/insightful article. It is hard to find articles like these this time of year–these types of articles are so underrated! Keep ’em comin and keep up the good work–it is very much appreciated!

MT
Reply to  Eric Dickens
11 years ago

Just as many names like these that you can think of as they come about. Also, don’t know if you do this or not, but this same type of article listing defensive players would be awesome! I’m always looking for that diamond in the rough on both sides of the ball—its the cheapest way to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition. Thanks again!

11 years ago

What are your thoughts about Jerome Simpson? I believe that he has big time upside especially if Palmer stays in Cincinnati, thoughts?

Eric Dickens
Reply to  The Ole Ball coach
11 years ago

I think Simpson has a really good chance to break out next year, provided two things happen. One, like you said, Carson Palmer stays in Cincinnati. And two, the Bengals don’t draft AJ Green at #4. If that happens Simpson could still be a good receiver, but it would limit his upside of being a WR1 in that offense.

If the Bengals don’t address the WR position in FA or the draft, then he could be a really nice steal. I added him to one of my rosters in week 16 after seeing him against another team’s #1 CB. If I had to pick between Caldwell & Simpson at this point, I’d pick Simpson.

Camperhead
11 years ago

This is precisely the kind of content that makes this site stand out from the rest. Looking forward to the next five or six months of this kind of stuff. Thanks!

Camperhead
11 years ago

And, while I’m at it, I have really been wanting to stash away Tyrell Sutton, but I just don’t know yet if he’s more worthy of the stash than any of the other RBs on my roster. I’m up against the deadline (TODAY!) for final roster tweaking, but it isn’t until August that we have to make our keeper declarations (and later in August that we can start doing add/drops again). I know I’ve got some dead weight here, but the next six months of developments could change things for one or more of them. Do you feel Sutton is a better stash than any of these on-the-bubble RBs:

Marion Barber
Bernard Scott
Ben Tate
Brandon Jackson
Rashad Jennings

Eric Dickens
Reply to  Camperhead
11 years ago

Thanks for the kind words! This was my first ever fantasy article, so I definitely appreciate the encouragement.

Without seeing the rest of your roster, here is my ranking of those RB’s as roster stashes (meaning, not counting on them as starters or flex players). If you have the starters and these are handcuffs, my order might change.

Bernard Scott
Rashad Jennings (if you own MJD, I would move him to the top)

Ben Tate

Tyrell Sutton

Marion Barber
Brandon Jackson

Barber would be a difficult one for me to drop, depending on situation in the next few months, but Jackson would be the first to go of that group. With the return of Grant from injury and the emergence of Starks, I don’t see any way the Packers re-sign Jackson. Also, outside of having great hands, I haven’t seen enough from Jackson to warrant rostering over a player with upside.

Camperhead
Reply to  Eric Dickens
11 years ago

Correct, none of them are starters (these are the bottom five of the ten RBs on my roster), and I’m not handcuffing anyone with any of them. Come August, I’ll probably only be able to keep one of them — two at most.

I think Barber and Jackson would have to change teams for either of them to get any consideration, and even then I wouldn’t have high hopes. If Benson re-signs with Cincy, I may just be through with Scott. I’ll be watching that situation closely, as well as the prognosis on MJD as it impacts Jennings. Tough luck on Tate, as we all know.

In Sutton’s case, he seems to me the most likely of the bunch to get an honest opportunity to unseat any of the guys ahead of him (not counting injury situations), and that’s provided that DeAngelo Williams does indeed leave Carolina.

Thanks for the feedback!

11 years ago

Deji Karim would be a guy to add to this list as well. He showed some promise with his limited touches and really shined in the return game. One unfortunate injury to MJD (knee?) or Jennings and he could certainly make the most of his opportunities.

Eric Dickens
Reply to  joebidwell
11 years ago

I agree, although I think Jennings solidified his spot as the true handcuff. I like Deji’s talent and think he could be a 3rd down back at the very least if MJD was to go down.

Chris R.
11 years ago

Great list. I have alot of these guys but my two favorite are Dorin Dickerson and Tyrell Sutton. Keep in mind Carolina kept 4 active RB’s just to keep Sutton off of the PS, and had gotten trade offers for him but turned them down. It’ll be hard to produce much with Stewart there which is a big problem, but I don’t mind holding onto guys who are talented you just may have to wait awhile.

Eric Dickens
Reply to  Chris R.
11 years ago

I love both of those guys and currently have them on my roster. I’ve been watching Dickerson since he came out of college and would love to see what he could do opposite AJ if Jones moves on.

Dan
11 years ago

Hey Eric…great article…I’m always looking for diamonds!

Dan

Eric Dickens
Reply to  Dan
11 years ago

Thanks Dan. I really appreciate it.

Jordan Stallard
11 years ago

How about a deep deep sleeper…..

Kerry Meier

He was showing some potential in preseason before he went on I.R. Unless the Falcons address their receiving corps in the draft or free agent market, they’ve pretty much got nothing beyond Roddy White. Gonzo is wearing down, and Jenkins & Douglas aren’t fantasy options. As a Matt Ryan owner, it’s tough to watch him play with limited receiving talent.

Eric Dickens
Reply to  Jordan Stallard
11 years ago

That’s a great addition to this list! He definitely has the size to compete on the other side of White, with Douglas in the slot. The only knock on him is his speed, but I think he’d fit nicely in that offense.

I would guess the Falcons would draft a WR, but probably not in the first couple of rounds.

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