You may be out of the playoff race or you may just be one of those coaches that, regardless of your place in the standings, you’re always looking for that next deep sleeper. At DLF, our calling card has always been finding tomorrow’s players for you, today.
Whether it be from favorable play during the second half of the season, injury, age or contract mechanics, multiple variables will provide opportunities for many players that are currently sitting on your waiver wire. Now is the time to begin locating these players and being the first to act.
I’m not looking to highlight every player here that has a spot on their respective depth chart but instead focus on those players that I feel have a skill-set or significant opportunity to produce in the near future, that being over the next 24 months.
Let’s dive in.
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Jeff Janis, WR GB
Jordy Nelson tore his left ACL prior to the 2015 season getting underway. Randall Cobb won’t be a free agent until 2019 and sophomore receiver Davante Adams is signed through 2018. James Jones, who signed a one year contract in 2015 could return as well. This all said, in this offense there’s room for a WR4 to be productive. Even if the outlook isn’t good for 2016, Janis has the size and speed combination to eventually produce, even if not in Green Bay. He’ll battle Ty Montgomery for WR4 duties in 2016 IF Jones doesn’t return for one more year. He’s a stash in deep leagues only but I love his upside, especially if he were to be traded or released due to a glut of talent at the position for the Packers.
Keshawn Martin, WR NE
Brady loves his slot receivers and while Julian Edelman is sure to return, injury prone and expensive Danny Amendola is far from a certainty in 2016. Keyshawn Martin has the chops to flourish in the Patriot offense if given an opportunity. Even here in week twelve, we may be within a week of seeing what type of impact Martin could have. If he shows well, he could very well lock up a new contract as he is currently operating on a one year deal. Note that should he not be back with the Patriots, his value drops significantly.
Quincy Enunwa, WR NYJ
Following a four game ban for a domestic violence in mid-October, Enunwa is set to see the field again now. With an aging Brandon Marshall to go with established veteran Eric Decker, the Jets are set with their top two receivers. Beyond them, however, the cupboard is mostly empty. Enunwa has great size (6’2″/225 lbs.) and had an established role heading into his suspension. If he can keep his nose clean and finish 2015 with an expanding role, he’ll have an opportunity to open up 2016 as the WR3.
Jace Amaro, TE NYJ
Granted I’m no longer very high on Amaro but that shouldn’t mean that you ignore him completely. After landing on IR due to shoulder surgery, the 23 year old tight end was summarily dropped by most in the fantasy community. With only the uninspiring Jeff Cumberland ahead of him on the depth chart, Amaro will have a chance for a role in 2016. The tight end position is notorious for being slow to produce after being drafted and 2016 will be his third year. He’s not a player that you need to add now as he won’t see the field in ’15, but keep his name handy before your roster locks.
Jesse James, TE PIT
Heath Miller will be 34 in 2016 and Matt Spaeth doesn’t factor into the passing game. Jesse James has been quiet since being selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft but he wasn’t expected to carve out a role early in his career. This is far more a play on 2016 and 2017 as opportunities present themselves. Even down the stretch in 2015, James could start to see the field. James has plus-athleticism and provides a huge (6’7″) target in a passing game that should allow for production. Much like Amaro above, there’s no rush to add him but an injury to Miller could open the door. I like him more as a 2017 upside tight end but would not hesitate to add him later this year.
Jeremy Butler, WR BAL
Don’t want to go overboard here but Butler is a player I’m watching now. Young, now in his second season and with good size (6’2″/213 lbs.), he’s getting an opportunity due to the loss of Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman and lack of other names at the receiver position. He generated five targets, hauling in four of them last week vs. St. Louis. Another solid effort again here in week twelve and he’ll start appearing in fantasy notes.
Seth Roberts, WR OAK
Roberts has been generating some buzz of late and he may even already be owned in your league, although he’s been quiet over the past couple of weeks which may provide an opportunity. He’s a wiry play-maker with a good catch radius and the ability to get over the top. In an offense featuring Amari Cooper to go with the recent rise of Derek Carr, the stage is set for one of the Raider’s young receivers to step up into a regular role. I like what I’ve seen from Roberts and further development over the remaining games of 2015 combined with good off-season development could vault him to starter status. Michael Crabtree is a free agent in 2016, Rod Streater likely won’t return as a free agent as well and Andre Holmes has been wildly inconsistent.
Vance McDonald, TE SF
He’s not a deep stash now with the trade of Vernon Davis, but lose sight of McDonald just in case he’s still on your waiver wire. With Davis out of the picture the young McDonald (see what I did there?) should be the face of the future at the position. There needs to be far more quarterback efficiency before he is able to shine, but I fully expect him to open 2016 as the starting move tight end. There’s a chance that McDonald is already owned in your league but he’s worth checking out either way. Heading into his fourth season in 2016, the stage is set for him.
What are you waiting for, go check our your free agency pool.