As Week 5 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 6 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 (Broncos @ Chiefs)
The Chiefs and Broncos don’t present us with a great deal of stash options as most of the potentially relevant players are already rostered in most leagues. Jaleel McLaughlin is the big fish in this pool, but after last week he is unlikely to be available in most leagues.
Marvin Mims is the stash with the most long-term upside if he is available. if he is unavailable, Justin Watson and Justyn Ross have both emerged as potentially useful receivers in the Chiefs passing game.
There are three widely available running backs in this game that have various degrees of handcuff appeal but not are particularly enticing. Samaje perine, Jerick McKinnon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire all have potential, but none currently have much standalone value.
Greg Dulcich is eligible to come off the IR. If you are desperate at tight end, he isn’t the worst option for a potential second half breakout.
The London Game (Ravens @ Titans)
The London Game gives us even less options than the Thurdsay night game. At running back we have easily the best option in this game in Tyjae Spears. Spears appears to be slowly taking over the backfield in Tennessee and could soon explode onto the fantasy scene. Justive Hill has more current value with JK Dobbins out for the season, but it’s inconsistent value at best.
Treylon Burks has been injured and is a solid stash if he was dropped in your league. Kyle Philips is also a potential stash even though this Titans offence is not a high-flying one.
Chigoziem okonkwo was widely viewed as a potential breakout tight end in 2023 but has been disappointing. He’s worth a stash in case his usage spikes but he has little streaming value at this time. Isaiah Likely is nothing more than a deep handcuff in the event of another Mark Andrews injury.
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 a handful of potential options, many of which could be available and are 50% rostered. Chuba Hubbard and kendre Miller had usable weeks and could have minor value, while Zach Charbonnet and Chris evans continue to be injury handcuffs along with new 49ers backup Jordan Mason.
Perhaps the prizes of the group belong to the Bears. The player to target is Roschon Johnson, but if he is out this week with a concussion, D’Onta Foreman becomes the top option.
Tank Bigsby and Cam Akers also have some value as handcuffs, more so with Bigsby as he is far more talented.
Jamaal Williams is due back from injury soon and is a solid stash if you can afford the roster spot for a couple weeks.
The options at wide receiver are mostly rookies once again. Jonathan Mingo, Josh Downs and Jaxon Smith-Njigba hold by far the most upside should they see their opportunities increase in the second half.
Some other solid options are Trenton Irwin, Robert Woods, John Metchie and Braxton Berrios are all solid optionsif you are wide receiver needy.
Some dart-throw options include Terrace Marshall, Cedric Tillman and Alec pierce who have all produced the occasion relevant game and are only one injury away from potential relevance.
The tight end options in the 1:00 slate are slim. Kylen Granson and Foster Moreau highlight the only relevant options at the tight end position.
Durham Smythe could also be a useful add, but with Jaylen Waddle healthy, his role may decrease significantly.
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 presents us with almost no viable options at running back as the only potential option eas Emari Demarcado who was likely already added on waivers.
The rest of the options here are straight up injury handcuffs in Zamir White and Sean Tucker. They have essentially no value outside of an injury at this point.
At wide receiver, the options consist of some rookies with potential upside. Demario Douglas, Kayshon Boutte, Trey Palmer and Michael Wilson are all solid long-term options but none have immediate value and will just eat up a roster spot for now.
Josh Reynolds has also been usable for the Lions with all their injuries piling up. While the Lions are banged up he will continue to have fantasy value.
Similar to the 1:00 slate it long-term options and no immediate streamers with little current value. Michael Mayer appears to be earning a larger role and could easily see a second half breakout, while Cade Otton has seen the playing time that would indicate that production is right around the corner.
Aside from them, Tyler Conklin is the only startable player at tight end. He is a high-end TE2 and can be started in the right matchup.
Sunday Night Football (Giants @ Bills)
The Giants and Bills provide us with only one tangible option. Wan’Dale Robinson has seen a solid target share since his return from injury but is yet to have a true breakout. If this usage continues, he will be flex worthy in all formats.
Aside from Robinson, this game is nothing but dart-throw options. Damien Harris and Matt Breida have handcuff appeal, especially for Breida with Saquon Barkley already being injured. Realistically, neither of them has much upside.
As far as pass catchers are concerned, Khlalil Shakir, Dawson Knox and Daniel Bellinger are all decent stashes, but all will require some help to move up their respective depth charts into a useful role.
Monday Night Football (Cowboys @ Chargers)
The Cowboys and Chargers present a handful of potentially solid options that need just one piece to fall in place.
Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn, Joshua Kelley and Isaiah Spiller are all worthwhile handcuffs who have league-winning upside in the event of an injury tot he starter.
This game has the best options if you need to swing for the fences at tight end. Jake Ferguson, Luke Schoonmaker, Peyton Hendershot and Donald Parham all have the talent to be top-12 tight ends should they get the chance, with Ferguson currently being the best option and closest to a full breakout.
Michael Gallup is always underrated and has struggles to form a connection with Dak Prescott, if they manage to form a bond he has huge upside. Quentin Johnston has huge second half breakout potential but still has Joshua Palmer in his way. If he gets the chance to produce he could be a huge find on the waiver wire.
Bye Week Stashes (Packers, Steelers)
This section is where we take a look at some potential stashes of the players that are on bye this week. This is particularly useful depending on your league settings. If you can drop players that have already played but who were on your bench it’s a great idea to drop the bad ones from guys who were on a bye as they likely don’t have to clear waivers.
The best options at running back are Patrick Taylor, in case Aaron Jones continues to miss time and Jaylen Warren in case Najee Harris continues to be hot garbage.
At wide receiver, Jayden reed and Calvin Austin are both solid options to hold in case their usage spikes after the bye.
At tight end, Luke Musgrave is the easy option but Connor Heyward saw some production last week with Pat Freiermuth missing the week. Both are worthwhile stashes if you need a tight end.
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.