If you want that fantasy football vibe year-round, you've got to get into a dynasty league. There aren't any games this time of year, but there are still decisions to be made. Mostly, you've got to figure out how to clear roster space for incoming rookies and waiver wire guys who might break out.
On a periodic basis, I'll take a look at a handful of players at the bottom of dynasty rosters -- mine, and the rosters of others in my dynasty leagues. Is it OK to kick this guy to the curb, or should he be hung onto in case 2017 is the year he breaks out as the next Victor Cruz, Robert Kelley or Adam Thielen? Here are the ones I'm mulling these days.
A.J. Derby, Denver. He started last year as the No. 3 tight end in New England, before being traded to the Broncos (and being a backup there). But Jeff Heuerman and Virgil Green basically flopped, enabling Derby to put up a trio of games with 4-plus receptions in the final month of the season. Even if my league didn't award 1.5 points for TE receptions, Derby would merit hanging onto. Keep.
Daniel Brown, Chicago. When Zach Miller got hurt last year, Daniel Brown, a converted wideout, stepped in with a couple of games with double-digit points; a touchdown against the Titans and 6 catches for 42 yards against the Lions. But Miller is expected to be back with the Bears in 2017, and Brown didn't look like a future star or anything. Dump.
Clive Walford, Oakland. Forgive the TE focus, I'll move on soon. Walford is just 25 years old and has kind of emerged as the No. 1 TE in Oakland. But it's a pretty low-level of performance: 11 times last year had just 1 or 2 catches. There's some receiving ability in the former Hurricane, but Oakland in his first two years has been either unwilling or unable to tap into it. Still, I think it is too soon to give up on him in dynasty, unless you have unusually good depth. Keep.
DeAndre Washington, Oakland. Washington was such a non-factor for most of his rookie season in the Raiders backfield committee -- inactive for several games -- that I cut him and didn't even remember I'd done so until after the season. As of Week 15 he'd rushed for even 50 yards only once and hadn't scored. So naturally in Week 16 he rushed for 99 yards and 2 TDs. Latavius Murray is headed for free agency. Only problem with Washington is Oakland also has Jalen Richard, who was better for most of the season, and might well address the position in the draft or free agency (and if they bring back Murray, Washington has no value). I say Dump, but in the sense of trying to trade him with Murray's status still uncertain, rather than simply cutting him.
Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia. Smallwood was dumped during the season and I snapped him up. He was a media darling in training camp last year, and although he was buried on Philadelphia's depth chart, let's see what things look like this August. Darren Sproles can't go on forever, Ryan Mathews is always a play away from his next hamstring or hernia injury. Keep.
Trevor Siemian, Denver. He was the Broncos starter for most of the season, and had some good games in there. But realistically, Denver is going to make a play for a veteran quarterback like Tony Romo -- probably actually Romo -- while continuing to groom Paxton Lynch as the future starter. About time to cut ties with the former seventh-rounder; if you can trade him to the Lynch owner for anything, make it happen. Dump.
Zach Zenner, Detroit. Zenner had a nice little run down the stretch for Detroit. But that production was largely dictated by Theo Riddick being injured, enabling Zenner to pile up some production as a receiver. Next year the Lions will have Ameer Abdullah and Riddick back and Zenner will be the No. 3 -- and that's if the team doesn't add anyone noteworthy in the draft or free agency. Dump him off for something of value toot sweet.
Braxton Miller, Houston. I was very intrigued by this guy early last year, when it became clear Houston was committed to him as its slot receiver from the get-go. Alas, Miller struggled with injuries and never really got his season off the ground before ultimately winding up on IR. But he did have a noteworthy 5-catch game against Oakland, and the Houston passing game should be better next year. Keep.
I'll take a look at more dynasty players every so often as we tick off the days from now until things start to heat up. If you've got some specific bottom of the roster players you want opinions on, let me know.