How do you consistently beat opponents in dynasty and season-long settings when you all start with the same amount of FAAB (Free Agent Auction Bidding) dollars, a rotating waiver priority, or a standings-based waiver system? Are some people just luckier than others in nabbing their guy? How do some managers seem to have triple the FAAB budget? If you’ve played dynasty or season-long fantasy football, you’ve probably found yourself wondering these same questions at one point or the other.
The reason some managers seem to assemble stacked rosters is twofold: they draft for ceiling and fill in the gaps through waivers, and they are early to the party on “hidden gems” off the wire. That last point is the whole reason we are here. In order to consistently beat dynasty and season-long fantasy football, you have to not only be aggressive on the waiver wire, but you have to know where to look to find the players your opponents will be looking for NEXT WEEK. Successful waivers do not involve simply scooping as many replacement running backs as possible after an injury occurs. It takes knowledge, planning, foresight, and a little bit of gusto. You don’t need another talking head to tell you to grab Devontae Booker after Saquon Barkley was injured, or to grab Chuba Hubbard after Christian McCaffrey went down, or to grab Elijah Mitchell after the 49ers lost three running backs. So, that is exactly what we will be doing in this piece for the remainder of the season. We’ll scour the league to find the players in the best position to be difference-makers should one thing work in their favor, and we’ll do so weeks before our competition. Your opponents can’t blow their waiver priority or FAAB budget on players already on your roster!
Oh, and since there are enough analysts in the industry telling you who the obvious pickups are, we won’t waste our time with those players here (which isn’t to say they aren’t worth an addition, it simply means those are typically the players you should expect to spend significant FAAB, or waiver priority, in order to acquire them). With that quick introduction into what we will be doing in this space for the rest of the season out of the way, let’s dig in!
The multi-week injury to Cardinals starting running back Chase Edmonds opens up an interesting dynamic with this backfield. James Conner took full advantage in Week 9, amassing three touchdowns and a 77% snap rate. Eno is a speculative add with the uncertainty surrounding how the snaps and touches will shake out in the absence of Edmonds, with room for growth should something happen to Conner.
Likely already scooped in deeper and/or more competitive leagues. Bolden has led the Patriots running backs in snap rate for three of the six weeks since James White was lost for the season. Bolden is a viable bye-week fill-in or injury replacement in those weeks we can project neutral to negative game environment for the Pats. His status is boosted in the immediate future by the head injuries sustained by both Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris in Week 9.
After starting the season as a rotational player, Quez has snap rates of 82%, 77%, 72%, 89%, and 96% over the previous five games. Expect an increased 11-personnel for the Eagles moving forward with Zach Ertz no longer in town. Truly only viable in games we expect the Eagles to be playing from behind, considering their newfound devotion to the run game (which hilariously coincides with games played without their RB1 in Miles Sanders).
Another player that is likely already rostered in deeper and/or more competitive leagues. It took Henry Ruggs III going to jail and an interim head coach for Drake to be utilized like we all thought he would be after signing a lucrative offseason deal with the Raiders. A pass game specialist, look for Drake’s role to continue to grow as the season progresses. Additional note: Josh Jacobs appears to pick up minor dings that force him from each game the Raiders play; consider Drake a pass game specialist with upside for more.
Both of these guys are largely unowned and have been playing serious snaps at wide receiver for the Lions with Quintez Cephus out. They are currently nothing more than bye week fill-ins with room to grow.