Every season has its surprise players who rise from relative obscurity to fantasy prominence. Unfortunately, many of these players benefit from injuries to star players above them on the depth chart. As a dynasty league owner, it’s your quest to get these players on your roster before those injuries happen so you’re not stuck in the reactive waiver wire derby in an effort to get that star’s replacement.
Every league has roster restrictions that don’t allow you to keep all the future gems you’d like, but most leagues allow you to have at least two or three project players. Remember, players like Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, Billy Volek, Arian Foster, James Starks and countless others benefited from injuries and helped lead many fantasy owners to late season wins in the past few years.
We already know about veteran players like Ricky Williams or Willis McGahee who would benefit from injuries ahead of them, but players like that are already rostered. Today, we take a look at some of the more obscure and younger players who could get an opportunity if an opportunity presents itself – let’s just hope we don’t curse anyone.
All these players are just one play away.
Brian Hoyer, QB NE
It would be interesting to see if Hoyer or Ryan Mallet would get the call if Tom Brady was to miss time. Either way, the Patriots system made Matt Cassel look like Joe Montana a few years ago. Now he just looks like Matt Cassel.
Tyrod Taylor, QB BAL
When you look at the depth chart behind Flacco you see Taylor and nobody else – that’s pretty telling. While the Ravens could very well sign a veteran like Marc Bulger to take over if Flacco was to get hurt, they’re also loving what they’ve seen from Taylor so far.
Caleb Hanie, QB CHI
We saw in the playoffs last year that Hanie has game. His preseason wasn’t spectacular, but he’d be very valuable if Cutler was to miss some time.
Armond Smith, RB CLE
Peyton Hillis is the bellcow for the Browns and Montario Hardesty is still in the mix as well. However, Smith did show great speed in the preaseason and the coaching staff is high on him.
Phillip Tanner, RB DAL
Tanner showed everyone that he has a ton of ability this Summer. While DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice would be in the mix if Felix Jones were out, Tanner is very intriguing and possibly available in your league.
Matt Leinart, QB HOU
Leinart actually looked very capable in the preseason this year. He’d certainly inherit some dynamic weapons if he was inserted into a game this season.
Kendall Hunter, RB SF
While Hunter is undoubtedly on someone’s roster right now, he stands the greatest chance of any young player to rise to star status if thrust into the starting lineup.
Matt Flynn, QB GB
Flynn reminds us of a young Matt Schaub as a player who has shown enough in the preseason to merit a whole lot of attention. Aaron Rodgers does have a history of concussions and Flynn looked the part last year when he nearly beat the Patriots. Keep in mind he’s also a free agent at the end of the season.
Deji Karim, RB JAX
With Rashad Jennings out for the season, Karim would be the primary ball carrier if MJD were to miss some time. With that possibility very real, Karim should be on a roster in every league.
Toby Gerhart, RB MIN
Gerhart has been a forgotten man in fantasy leagues, but would rise to prominence if he was to replace Adrian Peterson. Lorenzo Booker would also get some looks, but Gerhart would be very valuable if Peterson was to miss time.
Chase Daniel, QB NO
Drew Brees has been very durable recently, but Daniel is waiting in the wings just in case. The former Missouri Tiger is said to be very confident with the offense and capable of handling things if Brees were to be out for a while.
Terrelle Pryor, QB OAK
Pryor’s story is well chronicled, but there are still some chapters to be written. He’s one play and a few games away considering his suspension, but you’d expect the Raiders to give him a shot over Kyle Boller.
Isaac Redman, RB PIT
We’ve said many times that Redman seems to be the best running back that nobody knows about. Will that carry through this entire season?
Josh Johnson, QB TB
Johnson has long been a DLF favorite. While Josh Freeman is undoubtedly the future of the Bucs, Johnson has the ability to be a very good player if he was ever given the chance.
Those are just a few players who would have a chance to be prominent performers in dynasty leagues if given the opportunity. Are you going to be proactive or reactive in getting some of them on your roster?