Friday - Jan 22, 2021

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FLAVOR OF THE WEEK: Waiting Until Next Year

This week’s article is not intended for those scrambling around trying to plug holes in their lineup in hopes for a championship. There are many reasons not to concern yourself when it comes to the waiver wire and they were all on display last week:

Salvon Ahmed’s questionable status and Myles Gaskin remaining on the Covid list left him as an unknown until an hour before kickoff.

* At the same time we were caught off guard with the new of Ezekiel Elliott being deactivated. Suddenly Tony Pollard went from a desperation play to a must start.

Taysom Hill managers were wondering if he was worth a start until we were blindsided by Drew Brees news.

The list goes on, but the important takeaway from the above is to stay on top of the news. Make a plan for now, but be prepared to audible in a moment’s notice. At this point in the season you only need to be one person faster to the waiver wire, so reactionary is a sound approach. That’s why I conclude every season with a fliers list for 2021. No dynasty and keeper league is created equal but these players are rostered in less than half of leagues:

A.J. Dillon, RB, Green Bay

He was drafted by Green Bay in April’s second round, but has seen very little playing time this season. We don’t think the team ever intended to play him, though. Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are free agents after the season, Green Bay is already near the salary cap limit, and the team has other pending free agents that may take priority. There’s nothing certain about this stock as even if Green Bay lets Jones and Williams go, it certainly could bring in competition, but the path is clear for a major stock boost if that’s the direction Green Bay chooses.

Sam Darnold, QB, N.Y. Jets

After the New York Jets’ stunning win Sunday their quarterback future is suddenly a bit cloudier than it was before. In either event, Darnold will be ridding himself of Adam Gase, who should be fired on Black Monday. Many others who have escaped that cloud before have gone on to success. Aged just 23 years, there is still plenty of room for him to grow, it just may require time.

Adam Trautman, TE, New Orleans

The New Orleans cap situation in 2021 is a mess. The team could have a void option in Jared Cook’s contract and can ease tension on its cap situation by exercising it. Trautman has looked the part in small doses, a path to the lead job come September, and New Orleans lacks resources to consider upgrading even if it wanted to.

Harrison Bryant and David Njoku, TE, Cleveland

This recommendation may be a year early. Trade rumors have swirled around Njoku for over a year, but for a variety of reasons (especially lack of production) have not come to fruition. Cleveland heavily utilizes tight ends, but have spread the ball around in 2020 as none of them (including Austin Hooper) have topped 35 catches. Both of these pass catching tight ends will get a stock boost going forward, but will that be in 2021? Or not until 2022?

Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo

He was not drafted as part of the 2020 plan in Buffalo, but he turned enough heads in August’s training camp to force the issue. He has been productive in small doses and filled in admirably when the oft-injured John Brown has missed time, which is exactly why we bring his name up. Brown’s 2020 contract is expensive and Buffalo can get out of it fairly cheaply should it choose to do so. Davis came into the league raw and forced his way onto the field anyway. After the expected growth that occurs going into his second year, a big step up may await.

Scott Miller, WR, Tampa Bay

He battled injuries all season, but when he was healthy his explosive play-making downfield was clear. Neither Antonio Brown nor Chris Godwin are under contract beyond this season and based on usage there is reason to believe Tampa Bay will move on without them. Consider how glowingly Tom Brady referred to Miller leading up to the season and we have the makings of a potential 2021 breakout.

There are more players worth considering, but those are the ones we would prioritize over the others. If you’re interested in more, please provide feedback on the Sharks message board. There is no offseason in the tank!

About Mark Chamberlin

A big heart with a little snark. If you've got thick skin then I think we will get along just fine. If not though...