When it comes to dynasty fantasy football rankings and even deep benches in seasonal leagues, there is something called a “lottery ticket”. This is a late round sleeper that you draft in your dynasty rookie draft and hold onto, hoping they eventually break out. Much like the lottery, they are low cost dart throws that you hope pay off big. There’s nothing more satisfying than taking a stab on a late round fantasy football sleeper like Amon-Ra St. Brown or Russell Wilson and having that player hit. I mean, you practically invented them!

But here’s the thing about lotto tickets like Powerball or MegaMillions - you have to wait for the numbers to be called to find out if you’ve won. And most times, you don’t. In the meantime, you are clogging up your roster with low percentage plays and potentially missing valuable guys off the waiver wire. Lotto tickets are fine on your taxi squad or on deep benches but, with that last roster spot, we have a slightly better way to take chances - the “scratch ticket”.


Scratch Ticket

With the scratch ticket, we get our answers fairly quickly. These players aren’t much different from your average lotto ticket except for one important caveat - for one reason or another there is a pending real-life NFL deadline where we should get a short-term answer. Starting lineups, roster cut downs, trade deadline - there is some sort of definitive timeline. Then we can decide if we want to hold that player long-term or cut bait. Oftentimes after Week One in every format, there are hot players to add off the waiver wire so that roster spot is incredibly valuable.

Here’s a fairly obvious example - the San Francisco quarterback situation. At this current moment, we do not know for sure who the starting quarterback will be. Brock Purdy looked good last year but he’s still working his way back from offseason elbow surgery. Trey Lance is the third overall pick with mobile upside but is also fairly unproven. Sam Darnold is also… there. By Week One, we WILL have a starting quarterback. In shallower formats, single QB leagues etc., the other player might be droppable to waivers for that valuable bench spot. So let’s take a look at some situations where we can take advantage of this!

Running Back - Ty Montgomery

Last year Ty Montgomery was dealing with an apparent ankle injury after being carted off in a preseason game. He suited up in Week One but then suffered a knee injury that saw him miss the rest of the season. Before he left that game though, he played 20 snaps out of the backfield and caught three passes on four targets. Bill O’Brien is back as offensive coordinator and long time Patriots assistant coach Ivan Fears says that Ty Montgomery has a good chance of earning that third down role. That’s the same role that gave us guys like Kevin Faulk and James White. To us, it’s worth holding him to see if he has a role in Week one this year - if it’s all Rhamondre Stevenson again, we just drop him. Montgomery has RB eligibility on some sites like Sleeper but he doesn’t right now on a couple of sites like Yahoo. But we’re working on that…

And apparently, they’ve heard us.

Honorable Mentions - Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt, Alexander Mattison, Devin Singletary, Kendre Miller, Tank Bigsby, Jerome Ford, Zamir White, Sean Tucker

Wide Receiver - John Metchie

We wrote a full article on how uncertainty is your friend in later rounds for Wide Reciever Dart Throws. Well, the Houston Texans have a new coaching staff, new QB, and all new pass-catchers. How’s that for mixing it up? What we do know is that the new staff featuring HC DeMeco Ryans and OC Bobby Slowik comes over from San Francisco. The offense utilized by San Francisco (and now also Miami under Mike McDaniel) uses a fullback which leads the snaps and targets to be highly consolidated among the top two wide receivers (since the third WR often leaves the game for the fullback to come on). In SF it’s Kyle Juszczyk, in MIA it’s Alec Ingold, and HOU just gave Andrew Beck a two-year deal $6.25 million dollar deal with $4 million guaranteed. Metchie, the former second round pick, is returning from cancer treatment so we’ve yet to see him play but he was a STUD in college. He’s our favorite dart throw out of that Texans bunch though guys like Nico Collins, Robert Woods, and Tank Dell are all in the mix too. The ADP for all four in all formats is fairly cheap so pick your poison.

Honorable Mentions - Giants WRs (we like Wan’Dale Robinson), Panthers WR (Jonathan Mingo?), Alec Pierce, Tyquan Thornton, Chase Claypool, Michael Wilson, Puka Nacua

Quarterback - Clayton Tune

In superflex leagues, especially dynasty ones, ANY starting quarterback has some sort of value - whether you need them for bye weeks/injuries or whether you might be able to “pick and flip” them to a QB needy team. Or in this case, maybe the Kyler Murray owner is both. It’s hard to have a set timeline at this time of year but the reports so far have been that Murray is very likely to miss the start of the year and could miss up to HALF of the season. That’s quite a few games where anything can happen. With the recent release of DeAndre Hopkins, some are even speculating that maybe the new Cardinals regime could look to part ways with Murray as well. Clayton Tune will do battle with veterans like the 36 year old Colt McCoy so we’ll have an answer on whether he will start for them by Week One. Worth throwing him in that last roster spot and, if he doesn’t earn the job, just drop him.

Honorable Mentions: 49ers QBs, Sam Howell or Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Tannehill or Will Levis

Tight End - Trey McBride

With the disparity at the tight end position behind the legendary Travis Kelce, a lot of leagues are resorting to either tight end premium or two tight end formats. Or a combination of both. That moves the needle on what tight ends are startable and what tight ends you can start at the flex. Trey McBride is already a player that I like stashing in dynasty leagues as he profiles as a bigger version of Gerald Everett. And he’s already flashed a little bit while filling in for Zach Ertz - he even had a ten target game last year. For that game, David Blough was the quarterback and, like Clayton Tune and Colt McCoy, his hat will be in the ring again this year for that backup gig. Zach Ertz is still recovering from a knee injury so you could get a couple of usable games out of McBride early on. Or maybe they decide to move Ertz after cutting Hopkins. Or maybe McBride just wins that job outright…

Honorable Mentions - Jelani Woods, Luke Musgrave or Tucker Kraft, Luke Schoonmaker, Hunter Henry


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