Fantasy Football: Dynasty Trade Targets Halfway Through 2017
Now that we’ve reached the halfway point of the 2017 season, we thought it’d be a good time to re-visit the dynasty conversation for those who are looking for trade targets. If you’re in it to win it this year, things change a bit because you don’t want to sell veterans who can help you win this year, but you also need to remember to remain competitive for years to come. Whether you’re playoff-bound or in rebuild mode, we’ll talk about targets to try and acquire before it’s too late.
If you were to go back to your dynasty rookie draft that likely took place in May or June, what would you have given up to sneak into the first round? A lot, right? Now think about it. What would it take to get John Ross or Mike Williams right now in a trade? I promise that you wouldn’t have to give up a first-round pick. That’s because everyone is stuck in the now and have completely forgotten why they were drafted as high as they were to begin with. We have short memories – it’s both a gift and a curse. Fortunately, we’re here to remind you of some of the players you may have forgotten about.
In this article, we’ll focus on players you should be targeting, as well as those you should be selling, capitalizing while the iron is hot. Let’s go through every team and get one player to buy, as well as one player to sell (unless competing this year).
BUY – John Brown (WR)
There are a lot of fantasy owners who have moved on from Brown, though the situation in Arizona has been less than ideal. When targeted, he’s produced, and he is a free agent at the end of this season. He may wind up somewhere with a bigger opportunity next year. Still just 27 years old, he’s entering his prime and appears to be over the whole sickle cell issue.
SELL – Larry Fitzgerald (WR)
Look, I know he won’t return a lot, but look to a team that has a shot to win the title in 2017 and offer him up for a second-round pick in 2018. Even better, if you can go and flip him and a third-round pick for someone who’s yet to get their opportunity (like John Ross or Dede Westbrook), do it.
BUY – Austin Hooper (TE)
He’s been disappointing to this point, but he literally just turned 23 years old. Outside of Rob Gronkowski, there has yet to be a tight end under the age of 25 who’s been able to truly break out and finish top-three at the position. He’s accomplished more by the age of 23 than most and will be tied to Matt Ryan for quite some time.
SELL – Tevin Coleman (RB)
There are some who still view him as a potential RB1 down the road, so using that to your advantage would be wise. The team who has him under contract decided they had to pay his teammate Devonta Freeman the highest salary in the league at the running back position to retain his services. He’s shown nothing to suggest he can be a foundation back.
BUY – Kenneth Dixon (RB)
This could easily go either way for Dixon. It’s either the Ravens welcome him back next year with open arms or they choose to go in another direction. The reason I think he’s destined to be back as the lead back is because Alex Collins is on a one-year deal and it’s unlikely the Ravens would be willing to shell out the money to keep him. Terrance West is also slated to be a free agent in 2018. Don’t pay too much for him, but if you can get him for a third-round pick, he’s worth the risk.
SELL – Javorius Allen (RB)
This may be your last chance to get something for Allen, as the Ravens have tried to find every way possible to make sure he’s not on the field. From starting Terrance West over him in 2016, to signing Danny Woodhead in the offseason, to playing Alex Collins over him. He’s just a role player who got more playing time due to injuries.
BUY – Jordan Matthews (WR)
I contemplated putting ‘none’ under the buy section of the Bills, but knowing how cheap Matthews’ stock has become, he’s a buy. It’s always rough for a wide receiver his first year in an offense and the addition of Kelvin Benjamin adds another threat to the offense that should clear things up underneath. He’s also a free agent at the end of this year, which opens the door to even better possibilities.
SELL – LeSean McCoy (RB)
Unless you’re in win-now mode, it’s time to move McCoy. We already saw shades of what could be the end at the start of 2017 when he totaled just 169 yards on 65 carries (2.6 YPC) and no touchdowns over a four-game span. He’s going to be 30 years old by the time next season starts and the Bills can release him with after this year with a $5.2 million cap hit. They’ll likely hang onto him for one more year, but his production will decline.
BUY – Curtis Samuel (WR)
Most have already forgotten about the Panthers second-round pick from this year’s draft. Rumor has it that they wanted to get him more involved in the offense, making Kelvin Benjamin expendable. A completely different player, Samuel is someone who can utilize Newton’s arm strength. He’s worth the low-cost to acquire, because there’s upside here.
SELL – Devin Funchess (WR)
This is coming from someone who told you to buy Funchess before the season began. He was cheap then, that’s the point. Now, everyone seems to think he’s in line for a lot more targets and production. Count me as someone who thinks he’s more of a complimentary receiver than a true No. 1 receiver.
BUY – Adam Shaheen (TE)
Another player most have forgotten about, as the Bears used their second-round pick to the player who some compared to Rob Gronkowski. While it was a dumb comparison, he’s going to be the starting tight end for the Bears in 2018 and will be tied to Mitch Trubisky, who has shown signs of a competent quarterback.
BUY – John Ross (WR)
One of the worst draft picks from a team-need standpoint, the Bengals botched their top-10 pick, and not because Ross isn’t uber-talented, but because they had serious holes on the offensive line. Ross is someone who carries a late-first round value in my dynasty trade chart, though you can likely get him for a second- or third-round pick in some leagues. He’s got a ceiling of T.Y. Hilton. One of my favorite buy-lows in dynasty right now.
SELL – Tyler Boyd (WR)
Some have attributed his struggles to injuries, while I have attributed them to him simply not being starting NFL talent. The Bengals gave us a big enough snapshot of what he could do in 2016 when he saw 81 targets. If I could get a third-round pick for Boyd, I’d take that.
BUY – David Njoku (TE)
Now that the hype has died down, Njoku should be able to be acquired for a late-first or early-second rookie pick. While that’s pretty much where he was selected last year, it was known to be a stacked rookie class. Just 21 years old, Njoku has a TE1 ceiling (okay, maybe once Gronk retires). He’ll be getting a No. 1 draft pick throwing him the football very soon, which will only help matters. There are only four tight ends I’d rather have in dynasty from a long-term standpoint.
SELL – DeShone Kizer (QB)
The Browns are giving Kizer every single opportunity they can for him to win this job, even after they’ve benched him two times. He simply wasn’t ready to lead an NFL team and even though it’s not a great team to lead, it’s been bad enough where they’ll be drafting a quarterback with their top pick in 2018. There are a lot of dynasty owners out there who believe he’s their quarterback of the future.
BUY – Rico Gathers (TE)
It’s been a while since the preseason when Gathers hauled in 106 yards and two touchdowns in just two games, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. His presence reminded me of Julius Thomas when he emerged with Peyton Manning a few years back, only Gathers will be tied to Dak Prescott.
(Just want to note that I also think Dak Prescott is a buy and view him as my QB3 in dynasty)
SELL – Alfred Morris (RB)
I hope that this article finds you before it’s too late. Morris has been given the starter title while Ezekiel Elliott is out, but that likely won’t last. He’s a 1-2 down back who doesn’t do anything special on the football field. The Cowboys defense isn’t good enough to burn clock with a running back like him, so they’ll turn to Darren McFadden or Rod Smith before long.
BUY – Carlos Henderson (WR) and Jake Butt (TE)
These two have been forgotten about by many, but you shouldn’t be one of them. Henderson reminded me of Golden Tate coming out of school, while Butt has a lot of Jason Witten to his game. They’ll also likely have a first-round quarterback throwing them the ball in the near future.
SELL – Emmanuel Sanders (WR)
For whatever reason, most don’t realize that Sanders is almost 31 years old. That’s around the time when wide receivers typically see a big decline in their numbers, as well as a few more injury reports. With the young pass-catchers on the roster, it’s only a matter of time before Sanders starts losing some of that massive volume.
BUY – Ameer Abdullah (RB)
He won’t be 25 years old until next June, which is younger than David Johnson. The Lions want him to be the guy, though the offensive line isn’t quite fit for his running style. Look for them to continue building the offensive line this offseason, which should help Abdullah emerge in what will be a contract year.
SELL – None
While I debated putting Eric Ebron here, his value is too low, as there is still a chance he becomes the player they thought they were getting when they drafted him in the first round. He’s still just 24.
Green Bay Packers
BUY – Davante Adams (WR) and Geronimo Allison (WR)
Sure, he’s going to cost you some coin to acquire, but know that Adams is the No. 1 wide receiver who will be tied to Aaron Rodgers as he’s going through his prime. With Jordy Nelson coming up on age-33 and Randall Cobb a potential cut-candidate, Adams and Allison should be the top dogs for the Packers relatively soon. You should know Adams is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year, but from all the interviews I’ve seen, he knows that he plays with the best quarterback in the NFL.
SELL – Randall Cobb (WR)
You may still be able to sell him with some name-value, because his production hasn’t been there. His yards per target has dipped to under 7.0 yards over the last three years, where it was almost 10.0 yards per target over his first four seasons. He’s a potential cut for the Packers at the end of this season.
BUY – D’Onta Foreman (RB)
Now that the hype has died down, it’s time to make your move for Foreman. Lamar Miller has been an extreme disappointment over the last two seasons, essentially getting what the offensive line blocks. Foreman offers game-breaking potential, something that could be deadly paired with a quarterback like Deshaun Watson. The Texans could choose to let Miller walk after this season with just $2 million in dead cap.
SELL – Will Fuller (WR)
Before you roll your eyes, remember who Fuller was expected to be when he came into the league – a field stretcher who could make some big plays for your team. He wasn’t going to be a guy who could score double-digit touchdowns. He’s six-feet-tall and 186 pounds. He’s now caught seven touchdowns on just 22 targets. Guys, this is the definition of “sell-high.”
BUY – Andrew Luck (QB)
There are some people out there who believe Luck will never be the same again. I’m not one of those people. This is just a hitch in the grand scheme of things. Just think about all those who said Peyton Manning may not be able to throw after his neck surgeries. If you have a panicking Luck owner in your league, go ahead and buy him on the cheap.
(Side note: If you can get Marlon Mack for a second-round pick, do that immediately.)
SELL – None
There simply isn’t enough value to sell. Luck will raise the value of a lot of players upon his return, so it’s probably best to just hold.
BUY – Allen Robinson (WR) and Dede Westbrook (WR)
Those who don’t like Robinson are basing it off one bad season. If you sit down and watch Robinson, he’s a phenomenal route runner who also has the size to go up and get it in the red zone. He’s a free agent at the end of this year, though I think the Jaguars make a strong pitch and tell him they’re getting him a new quarterback, and maybe Alex Smith. Even if he does go elsewhere, his quarterback situation would improve. Westbrook showed the ability on the NFL level to get behind a defense and create separation despite his smaller size. These two could be a tandem for years to come.
SELL – Blake Bortles (QB)
I know, I know. What could you possibly get for Bortles? I’m willing to bet you can get someone like Davis Webb or maybe even A.J. McCarron for him. Treat Bortles as someone who will be worthless in dynasty at the end of the year. Even in 2QB dynasty leagues, see what you can get for him before it’s too late. I do not think he’s starting for an NFL team in 2018.
Kansas City Chiefs
BUY – Patrick Mahomes (QB) and Demarcus Robinson (WR)
Some are worried about Mahomes at this time because they think Alex Smith will remain the starter while he’s on fire. Yes, but know that Smith won’t be on the Chiefs roster in 2018. The Chiefs invested way too much into Mahomes to pay Smith a hefty salary (which is what he’ll demand). Knowing that Mahomes has had a year to take the game in actually helps his development. As of now, Robinson is slated to be the No. 1 wide receiver for Mahomes, as Tyreek Hill is more of a complimentary wide receiver. There may be nothing with Robinson, but knowing his cost, the former fourth-round pick is worth the small investment.
SELL – Tyreek Hill (WR)
The hype has died down a bit, but Hill would still get you plenty in return. It’s clear the Chiefs don’t view him as a prototypical No. 1 wide receiver, as he’s failed to see more than eight targets in any one game. Without the big play, he’ll kill your fantasy team. If you can move him for someone like Corey Davis right now, I suggest doing so.
Los Angeles Chargers
BUY – Mike Williams (WR)
There are a lot of people concerned with Williams’ back injury that caused him to miss a large chunk of the season. While it’s something to monitor, you don’t often get a top-eight pick at a discount. The Chargers didn’t even need to take him (and probably shouldn’t have), but saw something in him that they felt was worth it. Tyrell Williams has looked like a bust and Keenan Allen is just a volume slot receiver. They need Mike Williams to be “the guy” in the offense, so I’m buying him at a discount.
SELL – Melvin Gordon (RB)
Not a popular take, I know. But it’s only a matter of time before a guy who continues to average sub-3.8 yards per carry is replaced. I get it, he scores touchdowns. A large part of that is because they don’t have a No. 1 wide receiver, something they tried to bring in with Mike Williams in the draft. Not just that, but Gordon seems to get nicked up every year. Running backs have a short shelf life in fantasy and Gordon isn’t an elite talent or anything.
Los Angeles Rams
BUY – Sammy Watkins (WR)
If you’re playing in a dynasty league, you need to understand a few things. The NFL season is extremely short and can have high variance. Just because Dez Bryant has struggled this season doesn’t make him a sell. When you look at his schedule you understand why, yet nobody has done this with Watkins. He’s a top-10 talent at the position and has the option to go elsewhere in 2018 as a free agent.
SELL – Jared Goff (QB)
Now that Sean McVay is out in L.A., everyone is confident that Goff will develop into the quarterback everyone thought the Rams drafted. But everyone seems to have forgotten that Goff was considered pro-ready and that his ceiling is limited by his arm strength. He’s never going to be an elite fantasy quarterback, so if you can find someone who is drinking the Kool-Aid, it’s best to sell.
BUY – Davante Parker (WR) and Leonte Carroo (WR)
This really depends on how savvy the owners are in your league, as Parker is still viewed as a top-15 dynasty wide receiver by some. Knowing that Jarvis Landry is going to be elsewhere in 2018, Parker should be in line for plenty of targets. Carroo was a third-round pick in 2016 who disappointed in his first year and was dropped in a lot of dynasty leagues. He reportedly came back into camp refocused this year and had coaches talking positively about him. Knowing that the slot role would open up with Landry gone, Carroo is the logical replacement. At 6-1 and 215 pounds, he can be much more physical than Landry was.
SELL – Kenyan Drake (RB)
How quickly one can go from someone I viewed as a ‘buy’ to someone who is now a ‘sell.’ Drake is about to get an opportunity to be the starting running back for the Dolphins, but it’s not a great or fair opportunity. The offensive line is brutal, and it would take a phenomenal talent in order to make it work. Drake isn’t on that level, so don’t be surprised to see the Dolphins draft a running back in the early-to-mid rounds in next year’s draft.
BUY – Laquon Treadwell (WR)
It’s extremely rare to think of a player as a bust without even seeing him in game action, but that’s how most feel about the second-year receiver. Adam Thielen (2021) and Stefon Diggs (2019) are under contract, but Diggs hasn’t been known to be the healthiest of players. His injuries are the reason Thielen even wound up getting a shot. Treadwell may turn out to be a bust, but he doesn’t deserve that label with just 24 career targets.
SELL – Jerick McKinnon (RB)
He finally got the shot everyone was asking for, but it’s too late from a dynasty standpoint because Dalvin Cook will be back at the start of next season, reclaiming that backfield. Sure, McKinnon is a free agent at the end of this season, but we’ve seen how bad the free agent market is for running backs. He may latch on somewhere in a timeshare, which isn’t the worst thing, but you can likely get more in a trade right now for him. If someone brings up Cook, remind them that McKinnon is a free agent after this season.
New England Patriots
BUY – Mike Gillislee (RB)
His asking price right now has to be in the gutter, though there’s reason to believe he’ll have great value next year. The Patriots have both Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis slated to hit free agency and let’s not pretend those guys are workhorse running backs. Gillislee is a solid stash for next year.
SELL – Julian Edelman (WR)
He was already someone I was selling prior to his year-ending injury, as there are just too many mouths to feed for him to get the volume he used to. On top of that, he’s going to be 32 years old next May. He’s not inside my top 50 dynasty wide receivers anymore.
New Orleans Saints
BUY – Alvin Kamara (RB)
This one is going to cost you, but it’s also going to be worth it. Even those who had Kamara fall into their lap in the late-first of rookie drafts don’t realize what they have. Most view him as an RB2 that’s stuck in a timeshare, but the Saints are giving him more and more work, and Mark Ingram will be gone after next season. Prior to the draft, I wrote up a scouting profile on Kamara where I said he reminded me of Jamaal Charles.
SELL – Michael Thomas (WR)
This one stings a little bit, because Thomas is one of my favorite wide receivers in redraft. Knowing that Drew Brees is near the end worries me. If we knew that Brees would be around for the next five years and that Thomas would be tied to him, I’d be all-in, but the Saints have already started to throw the ball much less than they have in years past. Don’t sell for anything less than WR1 value, though.
New York Giants
BUY – Davis Webb (QB)
This is for those in deeper leagues, as you don’t need to roster Webb if you play in a 12-man league with 25-man rosters. It’s only a matter of time before Eli Manning retires or the Giants move on and whoever is replacing him will inherit Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram as pass-catchers. Webb was drafted to eventually fill that role, making him an ideal target for those in 2QB leagues.
SELL – Orleans Darkwa (RB)
Most seem to forget that Darkwa was on the roster when the Giants drafted Paul Perkins and was still on the roster when they drafted Wayne Gallman. This doesn’t happen with difference-makers. Not that anyone is saying Darkwa is a difference-maker, but most think they have a starting running back with him. I’d argue that he won’t be fantasy relevant next year.
New York Jets
BUY – ArDarius Stewart (WR)
When the Jets drafted Stewart in the third-round of this year’s draft, I shed a tear, mainly because I wanted him to go to a team with a good quarterback in place. He played with a below average quarterback at Alabama and did most of his damage after the catch. He reminds me of Steve Smith with the ball in his hands, making him a target for teams that aren’t contending for the next year or two.
SELL – Jermaine Kearse (WR)
In deeper leagues, Kearse is someone who carries value as a WR4/WR5, though this is likely very short lived. The Jets have players on the depth chart they drafted with high-priority they’ll need (and want) to contribute, while Kearse is the definition of “just a guy.”
BUY – Amari Cooper (WR)
You already know. He’s my guy, I’ve never kept that a secret. He’s just 23 years old and will likely have three 1,000-yard seasons under his belt before his 24th birthday. He’s done that with Michael Crabtree on the roster, too. He’s a top-five dynasty wide receiver and one that you should be able to get at a discount right now.
SELL – Derek Carr (QB)
There are a lot of dynasty sites/analysts who have Carr as the No. 3 dynasty quarterback. I’d argue that he shouldn’t even be in the top-eight. When thinking about Carr, I think about Matt Ryan, where they’re better real-life quarterbacks than fantasy quarterbacks. Unless the Raiders turn into a team that chucks the ball up 45 times per game, Carr is going to be a borderline QB1.
BUY – Mack Hollins (WR)
As it turns out, the Eagles didn’t really need to sign Torrey Smith. After playing at least 70 percent of the snaps in each of the first four games, Smith has been steadily falling and played just 46 percent in Week 8. This is to give more snaps to their fourth-round pick Hollins who is a rock-solid 6-4 and 221 pounds. In fact, Alshon Jeffery is also on a one-year deal. It’s possible that Hollins is the No. 1 receiver for this team led by Carson Wentz next year. On just nine targets this year, he’s produced 8/164/1.
SELL – Jay Ajayi (RB)
There are a lot of people excited about this move for Ajayi, and it’s not to say it’s a worse situation, but let’s not forget why he fell in the draft to begin with. Multiple NFL medical executives said that a team would be lucky to get one full contract out of Ajayi before his knees are destroyed, describing them as “bone on bone.” Knowing the Dolphins just gave him up for a fourth-round pick, that time may be coming soon. Running backs come with enough risk as-is.
BUY – Martavis Bryant (WR)
We’ve reached the rock-bottom for Bryant as he was inactive last week. The Steelers are likely to look for a trade partner this offseason and there should be plenty of teams willing to take a shot on the talented wide receiver. If they want to get something in a trade, they’re going to need to showcase what he can do. There were multiple games to start the season where him and Ben Roethlisberger were inches off of having a monster game.
SELL – Ben Roethlisberger (QB)
Is it possible that he retires at the end of this season? Yeah, though I really don’t think so. The issue is that Roethlisberger has always been an overrated fantasy quarterback, finishing inside the top-10 just three times in his 14 seasons.
San Francisco 49ers
BUY – Jimmy Garoppolo (QB) and Carlos Hyde (RB)
Playing under Kyle Shanahan is a fantasy player’s dream, as you can see what Matt Ryan turned into under Shanahan, as well as what he’s been without him. Same can be said for Devonta Freeman, as his touches and fantasy points per game have gone down dramatically since Shanahan left. Garoppolo should have a little bit of this season and the entire offseason to digest the playbook. Considering the 49ers didn’t move Hyde at the deadline, it’s very likely they retain him at year’s end. He currently sits as the No. 9 running back in fantasy football despite playing on a team with no wins. There’s plenty of upside here.
SELL – George Kittle (TE)
If you’ve paid attention to Shanahan’s offense over the last few years, you’d see that they haven’t featured the tight end position. Even this year, with no other real weapons in the offense, Kittle has seen inconsistent targets. It’s very likely the 49ers bring in at least one big name wide receiver this offseason and may even draft one, leaving less targets to go around for Kittle.
BUY – Nick Vannett (TE)
Both Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson are unrestricted free agents after this season and most have forgotten about the athletic tight end that the Seahawks drafted in the third-round last year. He could be making an impact as soon as 2018.
SELL – Paul Richardson (WR)
Strike while the iron is hot here, as Richardson is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season and it’s unlikely he finds a quarterback who’s as efficient as Russell Wilson. It’s possible that he re-signs with the Seahawks, but knowing the Seahawks drafted Amara Darboh in the third-round this year, they may have been preparing to move on from Richardson.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
BUY – Jameis Winston (QB)
When the front office has shown so much commitment to surround Winston with playmakers, how do you not love his potential? Not only did he already have Mike Evans, but they went out and snagged DeSean Jackson in free agency, and then drafted both O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin in the first two rounds of the draft. Don’t be surprised if they snag offensive lineman in the upcoming draft. If you trade for him now, you’ve missed out on the toughest times of his career.
SELL – Doug Martin (RB)
If you checked out my series I did during the offseason highlighting when running backs lose their upside, age-29 is the one to watch out for. We’ve already seen shades of it with DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy this year. Martin will be 29 in January, making him the prime sell candidate.
BUY – Corey Davis (WR) and Jonnu Smith (TE)
It’ll cost you a pretty penny to acquire Davis, but not as much as it should. He started falling in rookie drafts when he was injured in the preseason, sometimes as low as No. 5 behind the likes of Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, and Joe Mixon. Now that he’s played just one full game on the season, the perception can’t be any better. If you can get him for a mid-to-late first round pick, do it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he’s this generation’s Brandon Marshall. Delanie Walker is showing signs of slowing down and will be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, while Smith is their tight end of the future. He’s already eaten into Walker’s production, scoring two touchdowns on the year, while Walker has caught none.
SELL – DeMarco Murray (RB)
It might already be too late, but if you can find a team competing for a championship this year, sell Murray for pennies on the dollar. He was 29 years old coming into the season and was someone who we tried warning everyone off in redraft, so it’s only natural you’d want to get rid of him in dynasty.
BUY – Josh Doctson (WR)
Some may have held onto their Doctson stock only to be upset with his performance this year, but he’s only been a full-time player the last two weeks. The Redskins appear to be in a good position to retain Kirk Cousins now that the 49ers and Kyle Shanahan traded for Jimmy Garoppolo. They were the favorite to land Cousins if he went to free agency. Him staying in Washington would be a good thing for Doctson, who the Redskins invested a first round draft pick into.
SELL – Samaje Perine (RB)
The Redskins really wanted to give Perine the starting running back job over Robert Kelley, but his play simply wasn’t good enough. Even in the time Kelley missed due to injury, Perine looked extremely pedestrian. Think about that for a minute – he couldn’t beat out a guy who has totaled just 446 yards on his last 128 carries (3.48 yards per carry) and offers nothing in the passing game. Perine is just a guy who would need a workhorse job to give you any sort of value.