As Week 3 rapidly 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 3 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 1 and take a look at some of the players I will look to stash where available.
Thursday Night Football (Giants @ 49ers)
This game features the Holy Grail of handcuff stashes. In the event of a long-term injury to starter Christian McCaffrey, Mitchell instantly becomes a must-start running back. If Mitchell is available on your waiver wire, he is a must-stash running back anytime the 49ers take the field.
The Giants feature a handful of options, but it’s such a messy situation that it’s a total dart throw to guess the right one. At receiver, Jalin Hyatt, WanDale Robinson, Isaiah Hodgins, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Parris Campbell are all options if you need a receiver, but you might as well spin a roulette wheel in this receiver room in hopes of landing on the right one.
Saquon Barkley appears to be set to miss some time. Eric Gray, Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell are likely to be available on your waiver wire, so take your pick at who you think is the best and stash them. My pick would be Brightwell, that’s who they turned to in 2022 when Barkley missed time.
Daniel Bellinger is a solid stash option at tight end if you need one. He is behind Darren Waller on the depth chart, so stashing the backup tight end in the event of a Waller injury is always a safe bet. Waller is one of the two tight ends whom I advocate dating a tight-end handcuff, Kittle is the other.
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.
The 1:00 slate this week has 18 teams to choose from, so stash options will be plenty. The top options, if available are Tyler Allgeier, Justice Hill and Zack Moss. All are likely to be rostered, but if they aren’t add them immediately.
As far as long-term stashes with upside if their role increases, Zack Moss, Pierre Strong, Tank Bigsby, Kendre Miller and Tyjae Spears are all excellent options. All of them have shown flashes through training camp and the start of the season and all could be excellent if they see an increase in playing time.
Jeff Wilson is a solid stash for running back needy teams as he is set to come off the IR in Week 5. If you want to get a week ahead of the waiver wire, scoop him up now.
There were a handful of young players who produced solid stat lines in Week 2. Many of them played for the Houston Texans. While I don’t expect the Texan’s offence to continue to play at the level they did in Week 2, Nico Collins, John Metchie, Tank Dell and Robert Woods are all solid stashes.
To go away from the Texan’s pass catchers, Marvin Mims and Rashid Shaheed have shown the highest ceiling of the free agent wide receivers. They should both be added if they are available.
It’s not time to add Jameson Williams yet, but he comes back from suspension in Week 7. Just be aware that he should be added in a few weeks in the unlikely event that he returns and makes an immediate impact.
We have a whole bunch of tight ends worth a waiver wire claim. None of them are season-long options with the exception of Sam LaPorta and Hunter Henry.
Logan Thomas, Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tyler Conklin, Cole Kmet and Luke Musgrave are all in the mix in the revolving door of tight-end streamers.
So, if you need a tight end this week, throw a dart on one of them and hope it hits.
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 much thinner than the 1:00 slate. I consists of basically just Roshon Johnson and Zach Charbonnet. Johnson is by far the better of the two options as he is already starting to see an increased role. Charbonnet is little more than a handcuff at this point, but with Walker in front of him on the Seattle depth chart he is a worthwhile stash.
Aside from them, the only reasonable option is to handcuff Josh Jacobs’ backup, Zamir White. Jacobs is healthy and the Raiders offence is terrible, so this is a desperation play only.
At wide receiver, it’s a mix of rookie and sophomore stashes. Michael Wilson and Jonathan Mingo have both seen little work to start their rookie season, but both are still worth stashing. Jaxon Smith-Njigba has by far the highest ceiling and has seen the biggest workload so far. He may not be available on your waiver wire, but if he is, add him now.
Other than that, the only real option is to play “Guess The Chiefs Receiver”. It’s a grim situation, but one of the bunch typically produces to some degree, so throw a dart and hope you land on the right one. Obviously, the best options are Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney if they’re available.
It’s all youth at tight end, and realistically it’s all long-shots. Trey McBride, Michael Mayer and Darnell Washington had great profiles coming into the NFL but none of them have done much since. If you have an open roster spot and need a desperation play at tight end, take your pick.
Sunday Night Football (Eagles @ Buccaneers)
The Eagles backfield is a conundrum, so if you can get a piece of it before it settles it’s a worthwhile wager. Kenneth Gainwell, D’Andre Swift and Boston Scott are likely rostered in your league, but if they are available take a shot Sunday night and hope you land the guy who gets the bulk of the workload.
There are no opportunities at receiver for the Eagles. This passing game is all AJ Brown, Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert and they are not on waivers. Look elsewhere if you need a wide receiver lottery ticket.
On the Buccaneer’s side of the ball, there is one long-shot option at each position. This offence was expected to be bad, but through two games has been surprisingly useful for fantasy. If you need a running back Sean Tucker is your best option. Rachaad White has been a mixed bag of good and bad and Tucker could receive a larger role at any moment.
Trey Palmer is a solid young dart throw option at wide receiver in the event one of the injury-plagued veterans above him on the depth chart goes down. Cade Otton is seeing heavy snap shares as a tight end and could soon see a huge uptick in production as a result.
Monday Night Football (Rams @ Bengals)
The Monday Night game has lots of options. Many of the better options are likely rostered in your leagues now as they have been hot waiver wire targets this season. Kyren Williams and Puka Nacua are easily the two best adds in this game. They are both likely rostered in your league but check just in case.
Of the remaining options that are likely to actually be available, Zach Evans and Tutu Atwell are both solid stashes that could pay off if the current starter ahead of them doesn’t pan out. Both Williams and Nacua are unproven players and should their production turn out to be a mirage, the next man up could be a value.
On the Bengal’s side of the ball, it’s just a case of handcuffs. Trayveon Williams, Chris Evans and Chase Brown could all see increased usage in the event of a Joe Mixon injury although it could be tough to decipher who would be the best option.
The only pass-catching options are Tyler Boyd and Irv Smith. Both are low-ceiling plays and are only likely to see significant usage in the event of an injury to Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins. Boyd is likely to be rostered in your league but should be added if he is available.
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.