With dynasty leagues in mind, here are some players to target in trades, and some players to try to offload if you can
When completing trades in a dynasty league, we are typically looking at a 2-3 year window (unless you are all-in to win this season). That being said, trades really should not be graded as successes or failures for perhaps a year or more after they are completed. That being said, let’s lace up our running shoes and take a couple victory laps…
From my ‘Dynasty Buys’ list the last couple of weeks, we have Joe Mixon (rewarded owners with 30 carries, 150+ total yards in Week 10), DK Metcalf (has 12 catches for 193 yards since appearing on the list), and Keenan Allen (he only had a 8/68 line to show for it, but he DID garner double-digit targets finally in Week 10… it’s the small victories!).
From the ‘Sells’ list, I was perhaps one week early on Kenyan Drake, but whether you sold him before the trade to Arizona or after his debut, you probably received good value as that remains a murky backfield that coach Kliff has said he is still sorting out. Latavius Murray plummeted back to earth after Kamara’s return with only 19 total yards (though in fairness, that entire offense struggled against Atlanta). Melvin Gordon finished as the RB6 in Week 10, so that is one player I will be monitoring for the rest of this season to see if I was too hasty in selling. The point is, sometimes making a trade has immediate effects that leave you feeling great, while other times you have to wait a season (or more) to reap the rewards. It is hard to argue with the satisfaction you feel though when it does pay off sooner rather than later. On to this week’s list…
Players to Buy
Odell Beckham Jr. – Cleveland Browns
The OBJ owner probably isn’t selling low, but the fact that a buying window exists at all is promising for those owners looking to acquire the stud wide receiver. It has been a frustrating season for those expecting WR1 returns on their investments, as Beckham currently is averaging just 12.6 PPR points per game, right around where Tyrell Williams, Robert Woods, and Curtis Samuel reside. There is reason to believe an explosion in production is coming this season, as OBJ ranks 7th in the NFL in air yards, with five of those six ahead of him sitting at WR2, 10, 11, 8, 18, and Beckham at WR26. Beckham has the fifth highest target share, seeing a 25% of the total passes from Baker Mayfield. Unfortunately the Browns have not been targeting OBJ in the red zone, as he has seen a total of 8 targets from within 20 yards of the goal line. The lone completion accounts for his one touchdown on the year, another stat due for positive regression. As a Cincinnati Bengals fan, I fully expect him to have at least two huge games the remainder of this season, and all it takes is one breakout for that window to slam shut. Any chance you have to buy a potential overall #1 fantasy asset, you should pounce at the opportunity.
Diontae Johnson – Pittsburgh Steelers
Coming off a 4/64 game is nothing to get too excited about, but it was a few stats I saw on Twitter from @ScottBarrettDFB that brought Johnson to my attention. Since becoming a starter in Week 3, Johnson has run just 30 fewer routes than Juju Smith-Schuster, has three fewer targets and 20 less yards. However, his WR rating is 130.8 and Yards Per Route Run 1.69, compared to 87.7 and 1.55 for JJSS respectively. Juju has not set the world on fire himself this year, but we know he is an extremely talented player and Diontae is keeping pace with him catching passes from their risk-averse quarterback. What is more mind blowing is that Johnson has run 38% of his routes against top-20 graded cornerbacks, while Juju has run only 28% of his routes against top-20 graded CB’s. I like DJ as a cheaper buy that could pay off next year with (hopefully) improved quarterback play, and he will come at a fraction of the cost of a Juju.
Players to Sell
Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams
Woods enjoyed an 11 target, 7/95 performance on Sunday against the Steelers. I would use this opportunity to sell Woods, with contenders probably being most interested. Woods thrived in the offense in 2018, where he cleared 65 catches and 800 yards for the first time in his six seasons in the league. However, that high-powered offense in LA seems like a long lost memory meaning Woods is unlikely to return to WR1 status anytime soon. Rob should continue seeing targets in that offense while Cooks is out, playing the WR2 role behind Cooper Kupp. If you are not getting value now, the sell window could remain open for a bit longer, but either way Woods seems to have had one outlier season of great production and as such is not a player I want to be counting on for consistent performance for the next 2-3 seasons.
Jared Cook – New Orleans Saints
An unsexy addition to this list, Cook probably will not garner much in a trade under normal circumstances. But if you find yourself with depth at the position or in a rebuild, Cook finally had a decent game in Week 10 that could intrigue some contending teams. Drew Brees is back, and he targeted Cook 10 times, by far the most targets he has garnered this season. With the uncertainty among some of the top tight ends (Kittle/Engram/Hooper all injured), you may be able to find a desperate trade partner that would part with a future 2nd or unproven young asset while they make a run in 2019.