If your fantasy football season isn’t technically over, but your team is out of the running and you are in a keeper league, now is the perfect time to stash a few players that might see their value increase heading into next year. Players that have wound up on IR and were ditched by their owners make good prospects. So too do RBs and young WRs with the chance to be #1s on their teams. All of the QBs and TEs worthy of keeping are all rostered at this point (with the exception of), so I won’t bother with them. Here are a few situations worth keeping an eye on, and players worth stashing.
- – Charles is an obvious choice for this list, an elite player with a season ending injury. It’s anybody’s guess how productive Charles will be when he returns from a torn ACL. The good news for Charles is that he was injured in week two of this year, so he has nearly a full calendar year to rehab. Reports are that he is ahead of schedule and rehab is going well – but that is reported after just about every injury in the league, unless there is a staph infection. Another positive is that the Chiefs didn’t find a replacement that comes anywhere close to Charles. It also doesn’t hurt that will be one year older, and one year closer to retirement in 2012.
- – Britt was off to a monster start to 2011 until he tore his ACL in week three. In his two complete games, Britt totaled 271 yards and 3 TDs. Like Charles, Britt was lucky to be injured early in the season and will have plenty of time to rehab the knee.
- Cleveland Browns backfield – Madden cover boy is doing a pretty good job of burning bridges in Cleveland. After a strong 2010 season, Hillis’s unhappiness with his contract became a major distraction. He missed games with questionable injuries and illness. He will most likely test the free agency waters this summer, and most likely be disappointed. Second year player has had a difficult time staying healthy, after he completely missed his rookie season, but is probably next in line for the starting spot. had a string of productive games when Hardesty and Hillis were both out, but he doesn’t look like he has as much confidence from the coaching staff at this point.
- – The rookie has been wildly inconsistent, but you can’t deny his speed. Smith seems like the kind of player that could really benefit from a full offseason. If he develops a stronger short/intermediate game, and if continues to slow, Smith could become the teams lead receiver in the not too distant future.
- – Helu is currently the lead back for the Redskins, and has been quite productive down the stretch. He’s a powerful straight line back without many moves, but seems well suited for Shannahan’s zone scheme. He’s also been an effective receiver out of the backfield. The return of next fall could cut into Helu’s touches, but he is definitely worth keeping an eye on for a lead back at a bargain price.
- Mikel Leshoure – Leshoure was drafted in the second round in 2011 by the Lions to compliment , but tore his Achilles tendon in early August. Best’s continued concussion problems could mean a full time gig for Leshoure if he can stay healthy himself. Keep an eye on this power pack who could play a major role in an explosive offense in 2012.
- Ryan Williams – Like Leshoure, Williams was a second round pick whose season was over before it ever started. Williams tore his patellar tendon during the preseason. He should team with in Arizona, although that prospect was brighter last year at this time. After an abysmal 2010 season, Wells has been very productive in spurts this season, so Williams upside may be just a timeshare.
While most leagues’ trade deadline is long gone, these rostered players make intriguing options for next fall:
Just for good measure, here are a few fellows you may have forgotten about, but back in August they were high on the sleeper lists: