As Week 9 approaches, we begin to look at our drafted rosters to optimize lineups. A key aspect of managing our rosters is the ability to remain active and not get complacent. In the past, I have worked on a Game Theory I call “The Revolving Door”. I will combine that knowledge with this article to produce My Week 10 Stash Guide. Check out the full article at www.theleaguewinners.com if you want a full explanation of the theory. For this article, I will summarize it:
“The Revolving Door”
The Revolving Door is simple. Unless you have had extremely good luck in your drafts, you are bound to have two or three players at the bottom of your lineup that you will move on from. Instead of just letting these players take up space at the bottom of your bench, you should be sending out the revolving door in favour of high-upside stashes.
The key to this theory is to break the week of games into slates. Say I have two players on my team that I wish to move on from. Instead of simply dropping them for a player I want, I will go through my flowsheet. First I will drop them for two players I like from the Thursday Night Football game. If those two stashes don’t hit, I will drop them for two players from the 1:00 p.m. games on Sunday. If those players don’t produce results I will then drop them for two players from the 4:00 p.m. games on Sunday. I continue this process for Sunday Night Football as well as Monday Night Football.
So by the end of week one, I will have rotated those two dropped players through an additional eight dart throws. You may be wondering why I would do this. It’s simple. Those players aren’t producing, so I will drop them in hopes that one of the players I stash either breaks out or has an injury in front of him opening him up for an increased role.
Some weeks, this theory produces no usable players, so I continue with it into the following week. In approximately half the weeks, however, I will find a valuable asset. From there I can then choose to keep that player or try and sell high. This strategy frequently keeps me out in front of the waiver wire. It saves me countless FAABs when I already have that week’s hot waiver added to my roster. If I don’t believe in that player, I simply flip him to someone who does. That strategy has no downside. I’m already dropping the two players, so why not take free stabs at a potential league winner? The only thing this strategy requires is some patience and planning by the person who uses it.
So, now that you have an idea of my Revolving Door strategy. Let’s implement it for Week 10 and take a look at some of the players I will look to stash where available.
Thursday Night Football (Panthers-Bears)
This is far from the most exciting game on the 2023 schedule, but it does present us with some mid-range stash options.
At running back we have two situations of ambiguous backfields. The starters Miles Sanders and Khalil Herbert are both likely rostered, so choose your favourite backup and hope they win the job in this instance. Chuba Hubbard would be my first choice, followed by Roschon Johnson, D’Onta Foreman and Raheem Blackshear. None have high value, all are mostly handcuffs and bench depth.
The receiver options are inconsistent players, yet players with potential. Jonathan Mingo and Darnell Mooney have each shown their potential, but neither has any consistency and are just speculative adds at this point.
The tight end position has two options. Cole Kmet is a great option but is not widely available. Hayden Hurst on the other hand, is likely to be available but carries likely no value.
The International Game (Colts-Patriots)
The Colts and Patriots present similar situations to the Thursday night contest but with far less potential outside of the wide receivers.
The running back options consist of two backups that we are praying hold some form of a useful role in their respective offences. Zach Moss was a league-winner in the first half of the season but now seems to be fading into oblivion with Jonathan Taylor at full health, while Ezekiel Elliott managers must constantly hope he falls into the endzone on a weekly basis.
The receiver options consist of some young upside stashes, with no safety or floor. If you need a potential home run swing, they are great options, but they are just as likely to be a total bust. Demario Douglas, Josh Downs and Alec Pierce all have the potential to be massive sleepers, but none carry any safety.
At the tight end, we see two players going in opposite directions. Hunter Henry started off hot but has fallen off a cliff. Kylen Granson has shown brief flashes and promise of relevance but has never managed to pop. He is a desperation option at best.
Sunday 1:00 Slate
This slate of games is always the most difficult because most of the teams will play in it. Here I prefer to target handcuff running backs behind injury-prone starters and upside young receivers who could be primed for a breakout. It won’t hold in week one, but young players coming off of a bye are the best targets here.
In the 1:00 slate this week we have lots of options, and as always the majority of the list consists of handcuff options. Keaton Mitchell, Chase Brown, Pierre Strong, Tank Bigsby, Kendre Miller, Jaylen Warren, Sean Tucker and Tyjae Spears are the options this week. My personal favourite would be Jaylen Warren, but all should be rostered in case they pop in the second half of the season.
The receiving options are similar, and as usual, I target young players who could see a second-half breakout. Rashod Bateman, Elijah Moore, Cedric Tillman, Treylon Burks, Jayden Reed, Tank Dell, Rashid Shaheed and Trey Palmer are my high-upside targets for this slate of games, with Tank Dell being the obvious prize in the bunch.
At the tight end, we have a handful of consistent yet boring options and a handful of young speculative adds. The boring options are David Njoku, Dalton Schultz and Taysom Hill. While the speculative targets are Luke Musgrave, Cade Otton and Chogoziem Okonkwo. The three youngsters have a higher ceiling, but all have a lower floor and no immediate value.
Sunday 4:00 Slate
The 4:00 slate of games is not as big as the 1:00 slate, but it’s still a hefty one to sort through. The same principles apply as above, handcuff running backs and young receivers.
The 4:00 slate is grim. It’s populated mostly by backups who need an injury for a chance to produce. Emari Demarcado is the only one who is currently seeing a large role, but with James Conner slated to return that role will dry up soon. Rico Dowdle, Joshua Kelley, Craig Reynolds and Antonio Gibson are all worthy of a desperation add if you are really in need of a running back, while Zach Charbonnet would seem to be the one with the highest likelihood of a second-half breakout.
At wide receiver, we have more young players that are potential breakouts. Michael Wilson, Jalen Tolbert, Jameson Williams, Quentin Johnston, Jalin Hyatt and Jake Bobo are all worth a stash in case they happen to break out but none have looked good so far. The unquestioned prize in this slate is Jaxon Smith-Njigba who finally seems to be carving out a significant role in the Seahawk’s offence.
If you need a tight end in the 4:00 slate, you have a few plausible options. Daniel Bellinger could be a useful fill-in with Darren Waller injured. Michael Mayer looks poised to break out and could also be relevant in the near future. While there are two Cowboys tight ends that are also potentially useful Jake Ferguson and Luke Schoonmaker.
Sunday Night Football (Jets-Raiders)
The Jets and Raiders game is easily the worst for stash options. There are no options that present even a remote chance of immediate value. This game is the definition of a true stash. Add them and pray they may someday be relevant.
The running backs are the youngest and have the most talent, but they will all need an injury to get a chance to produce. Zamir White, Israel Abanikanda and Michael Carter are all decent, long-term prayers.
The wide receivers are the lowest upside group of stashes in this entire article. Tre Tucker and Allen Lazard have almost no upside, although Tucker showed off his skill last week with one notable catch.
The tight-end options are solid. Both Michael Mayer and Tyler Conklin are high-end TE2s with the potential to be low-end TE1s. Add them if you need a tight end and see how they turn out.
Monday Night Football (Broncos-Bills)
The Broncos and Bills are limited to only a few relevant options, and even those are 50/50 at best on availability in most leagues.
At running back we have some ghosts of fantasy season’s past in Damien Harris, Latavius Murray and Samaje Perine. None have value outside of that of a handcuff, and even if an injury occurred ahead of them they are unlucky to become a bell cow. Jaleel McLaughlin is by far the most interesting option. He is also primarily a handcuff, but should Javonte Williams be lost to injury, he could be a stud.
The receiving options are young dart throws who could show their talent in the event of an increase in targets. Khalil Shakir and Marvin Mims could both prove to be relevant, but both will need significant changes to get them an opportunity.
The tight end options consist of one potential league winner, unfortunately, Dalton Kincaid is likely to be rostered in your league. If he’s available, add him immediately.
Bye Week Stashes (Chiefs, Rams, Dolphins, Eagles)
The bye week presents us with some muddied-up backfields to target, but none with serious potential. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, Ronnie Rivers, Darrell Henderson, Zach Evans, Jeff Wilson and Kenneth Gainwell are the options in messy backfields. If you need a running back, throw a dart and hope you land on the right one.
The receiver options are similar in their dart-throw appeal. None have any floor and a relatively low ceiling. Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney, Rashee Rice, Justyn Ross, Tutu Atwell, Braxton Berrios and River Cracraft. The prizes of this group are Rashee Rice and Tutu Atwell, if either of them is available you should add them, if not, throw another dart.
There are no relevant tight ends to stash through the bye weeks aside from Tyler Higbee who is mostly a streaming option. Dallas Goedert is going to miss some time on IR and if you feel so inclined you could take a chance on Albert Okwuegbunam.
The theme here is preparation and patience. This strategy is not for the casual fantasy manager. It’s for those of us in tough leagues who realize even the smallest edge can be the difference between winning and losing.
Not all of these stash players will hit. Realistically, most of them will miss. Even if we only hit on one of these stashes a month, it’s an extra four undrafted players that we paid nothing for, but who added value to our fantasy team.