After a hideous waiver wire year in 2019, it’s a great time to look back at times in the last decade that actually produced heroes off the wire. The great people of the Fantasy Football Survival Kit were keen to take the walk down memory lane.
The first submission was easily my favorite: Odell Beckham Jr. in his 2014 debut season. Beckham rewrote the rules for both rookie wideout and injured players who miss the offseason. He was also a huge victory for the “talent wins out” mantra. After missing the first portion of the 2014 season, Beckham came out, played snaps right away and made some small noise in the box score in his first two games. That was nice for a waiver add but if you watched his film, you could see with the way he got open at will, something special was coming. The rest is history.
Another brand of submission that I loved here was the players who were initially drafted in the late rounds and did nothing to start off, only to be dropped by understandably impatient managers. To start off their various breakout fantasy runs, each of Devonta Freeman, Alvin Kamara, and David Johnson were blocked by at least one other back. It didn’t take long for drafters to cut bait. Then weeks later, when those obstacles were removed one way or another, those talented players emerged and won people fantasy titles. You could also assert that Aaron Jones and Nick Chubb fell under this umbrella in 2018.
There is a lesson here and it’s not one of patience. Just know that sometimes, even if you correctly faded a player in summer drafts, you can still reap the rewards of the greatness down the line if you are forward-thinking and hover like a hawk over the waiver wire.
One thing is for sure, I’ve been both the donkey who drafts-and-drops a David Johnson and also the maverick who added Alvin Kamara early before Adrian Peterson was sent packing. I’d venture a guess that goes for all of us in the fantasy world.