2016 Dynasty League Stashes that Could Pay Off in 2017
The beauty of dynasty football is the unexpected rise of players of which you can take advantage of with a little bit of research, a bit of luck and one or two free roster slots. Let me help take care of the research part by pointing out five players that probably will be bit players in 2016 but should rise on the depth chart in 2017 and are worth rostering today to be ahead of the curve.
Kenneth Dixon (RB – BAL)
Let me start by saying Baltimore is not a team that likes to rely on rookies. They are a veteran team that trusts experience. So those who feel Dixon will take over for Justin Forsett in 2016 are kidding themselves.
Despite the injury last season, Forsett has accounted well for himself in the last two years when on the field and, although he’s turning 30 soon, he has not been heavily used in his career and has some juice left in his legs. All of that being said, Dixon has the talent to start in this league.
He’s going to get touches this year and if injuries to Forsett or Javorius Allen occur he will get significant minutes. If he impresses, it’s entirely possible roles are reversed in 2017 to where Dixon gets the starting role, and Forsett stays on in a backup role.
Cody Latimer (WR – DEN)
Latimer has had a long learning curve; that much is clear. He has been outplayed by the likes of Bennie Fowler, Andre Caldwell and Jordan Norwood. How can he possibly have value?
First off, Emmanuel Sanders becomes a free agent after this season, and he is turning 30 soon so Denver will most likely be looking for a new starter. Andre Caldwell is no longer with the club and the reason Fowler has had slightly more playing time is that he is a special teams ace, and Peyton Manning trusted him, at least as much as you can trust a fourth receiver, anyway. Latimer has hung around and has enough potential that if he wins the third receiver job this year, he’d most likely be the man to take the WR2 job in 2017.
Bruce Ellington (WR – SF)
Ellington is a small, agile playmaker drafted in the fourth round in 2014. The 49ers’ WR corps is not very deep with Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton currently expected to start. Patton has shown flashes but has been very inconsistent, and his contract runs out in 2016.
Smith has historically underperformed and is more of a straight-line deep threat than anything else at this point in his career. While the team also has DeAndre Smelter and Jerome Simpson on the roster, Ellington is the best of that bunch, and it’s entirely possible he ends up being the third WR in 2016 and a starter in 2017.
Kenny Bell (WR – TB)
Vincent Jackson is 33 years old, and his contract runs out in 2016. He has shown signs of significantly slowing down, having only gathered five TDs in the last two years in a TD-rich career. It would make sense for Tampa to move on from Jackson in 2017 as they have a young weapon in Mike Evans and Jameis Winston who’d they’d like to get more quality receivers for.
Enter Kenny Bell, their fifth-round draft pick from 2015 who was injured and did not play last season. It’s an admittedly a long road for Bell to go from injured rookie to starter in 2017 but he impressed in training camp last year, and if he can carve a role in 2016 that’s exactly where you’ll find him.
DeAndre Washington (RB – OAK)
Latavius Murray is big, agile and fast and people expect him to step up and be the lead back in Oakland. The Raiders’ coaching staff doesn’t seem quite as hip to that idea. While Murray has played well during his tenure, he’s been a bit injury prone and does not play without the ball particularly well.
Murray will certainly be the lead dog in 2016 as Washington is a rookie and will need time to develop. That said, if Murray doesn’t solidify his standing and Washington shows enough in 2016, Murray’s contract runs out after 2016, and he could be off to free agency, leaving the starting gig to Washington.
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