Dynasty Veterans to Trade Away (Fantasy Football)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Mar 15, 2019

Le’Veon Bell may be playing football again in 2019, but you should trade him away from your dynasty roster

I play in enough dynasty leagues to know that there are owners who prefer veterans over potential. Heck, I’m one of them. But I’m talking about the guy/girl who continually buys players like Larry Fitzgerald and Julian Edelman en route to fantasy championships, depleting their future draft picks to do it. Is it right? Maybe. Does it work? Sometimes. Can we take advantage of them with certain players right now? Oh yeah.

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As mentioned above, I’m someone who loves proven talent, but there’s a time to say goodbye before they’re simply dropped from your fantasy roster. Whether it be the coaching staff, younger talent around them, injuries, or just fading ability, these are the players you should be looking to rid yourself of before it’s too late.


Tom Brady (QB – NE) Age in 2019: 42
Yes, he’s defeated father time and is considered the greatest of all-time. You know there’s someone in your league who’ll pay for name-brand value. Early consensus has come out for 2019 rankings and Brady currently sits as the QB18 in the rankings, which has some upset and view it as disrespect. Well, he may not have Rob Gronkowski back, won’t have Josh Gordon or Cordarrelle Patterson, and is likely losing Chris Hogan. Guys, he was the No. 16 quarterback in fantasy points per game last year, with all those guys on the roster. Expected Return: Mid-to-Late 2nd round pick

Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT) Age in 2019: 37
In case you haven’t done the math yet, Roethlisberger minus Antonio Brown isn’t going to be nearly as good. The problem is that he was a tad overrated in fantasy to begin with. Did you know that 2018 was just the third time in his 15-year career that he finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback? The AFC North shift started with the Ravens and Browns, and it appears the Steelers may have to think about rebuilding sooner than anticipated. Expected Return: Mid-to-Late 2nd round pick

Drew Brees (QB – NO) Age in 2019: 40
There’s a lot of talk about Tom Brady‘s age, but not many have mentioned the fact that Brees just turned 40 years old. He still shows the ability to dominate a game when asked to, but his defense has gotten better and better, which has led to him throwing one or less touchdowns in 14 of the last 31 games. With all the parity at the quarterback position, it should be relatively easy to find a replacement in your starting lineup. Expected Return: Early 2nd round pick

Running Backs

Le’Veon Bell (RB – NYJ) Age in 2019: 27
He now has a team in the New York Jets but it’s unlikely he a) gets the amount of work he was getting in Pittsburgh, and b) that his touches are nearly as efficient as they were in Pittsburgh. Most don’t realize that Bell played behind an offensive line that allowed him to be as patient as he was. If he’d played behind the Jets offensive line, he would’ve averaged sub-4.0 yards per carry and would’ve been nowhere near the top of fantasy drafts. While I’m not a “running backs don’t matter” guy, it’s going to be hard for any running back to excel behind that offensive line. Expected Return: Top-3 draft pick

LeSean McCoy (RB – BUF) Age in 2019: 31
This one may seem obvious to some of you, but to those zero-RB enthusiasts, McCoy may still have some value as a one-year type player who sees some volume, though Frank Gore certainly doesn’t help. Despite the addition of Gore, the Bills still need to address the depth at the position. It’s very likely they draft one in the top four rounds, and knowing McCoy’s recent struggles to stay healthy, it’s only a matter of time before that backup gets their shot. McCoy isn’t going to help you win a fantasy championship, so what’s the point? Expected Return: Late 2nd round pick or even Early 3rd round pick

Lamar Miller (RB – HOU) Age in 2019: 28
We’ve heard about Miller becoming a potential cap casualty for two years now, though this year might actually be the one considering they’d save $6.2 million against the cap by releasing him. The Texans are likely to invest in their offensive line and I believe it’ll be a running back-friendly team within a year or two, but Miller won’t be around for that. Running backs like him aren’t going to be handed a big role on a team at age 28, but rather kept around as insurance to the starter, or best-case, in a timeshare. Expected Return: Late 1st/Early 2nd round pick

Jay Ajayi (RB – FA) Age in 2019: 26
He’s still a free agent, but looking at the landscape of running backs around the NFL, it’s hard to see him landing in a spot where he’d net more than 10-12 touches per game. He had knee injuries coming into the draft and some doctors said that teams should be happy if he played out his entire first contract. After suffering an ACL tear in 2018, Ajayi may have to sign a one-year prove-it type deal, but there’s no shortage in talent at the running back position in the NFL. Expected Return: Mid-2nd round pick

Wide Receivers

Emmanuel Sanders (WR – DEN) Age in 2019: 32
It was absolutely shocking to see the Broncos pick up the option in Sanders’ contract in 2019, as they’ll take a $12.9 million cap hit to keep him on the roster. For a soon-to-be 32-year-old coming off an Achilles tear, Sanders is going to have a hard time making it back onto the field, let alone make a fantasy impact. Expected Return: Mid 2nd round pick

Mike Evans (WR – TB) Age in 2019: 26
Before you come at me for this one, hear me out. Evans has had all the targets he can handle for the last five years, and while he’s produced respectably, he may see a dip in production moving forward. With the emergence of Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard, it’s going to be difficult for the Bucs offense to produce consistent fantasy numbers for all three, especially when you factor in a new coaching staff. During his time as a head coach or offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians delivered a top-10 receiver six times. In each of those seasons, the No. 2 wide receiver didn’t finish inside the top-24. If you’re predicting Evans to remain a top-10 wide receiver, it means you’re fading the more versatile Godwin, which is something I wouldn’t advise. Evans has plenty of value, as evidenced by his WR7 ADP in startup drafts right now, but I believe his perceived value is greater than his actual value moving forward. Expected Return: High-end 1st round pick AND future 1st round pick (you don’t give him away for a discount)

Golden Tate (WR – FA) Age in 2019: 31
After trading away Odell Beckham, the Giants went out and snagged Tate, signing him to a four-year deal. There’s a major issue with this signing because they a) don’t have a quarterback, and b) already have two slot receivers on the team in Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. Over the last two years, Tate has caught just one touchdown on 80 targets outside of the slot, so if the Giants believe he can fill Beckham’s old role, they have another thing coming. Trying to learn his third offense in two years with a new quarterback is going to be tough. Sell while you still can. Expected Return: Late 1st round pick

Josh Gordon (WR – NE) Age in 2019: 28
There’s been some optimism around Gordon in recent weeks, but in the end, he’s got another year-long suspension, at minimum. By the time he comes back, he’ll likely be at least 29 years old and Tom Brady will have moved on to the next stage in his life. Everyone knows the ceiling that Gordon presents when on the field, but removing as much risk as you can from your dynasty roster is a smart thing, especially when moving that risk can net a solid draft pick and/or player(s). Expected Return: Early-to-Mid 2nd round pick

Tyrell Williams (WR – OAK) Age in 2019: 27
There are a lot of folks buying into the Williams hype, saying he can be a solid No. 2 opposite Antonio Brown. Well, let me start by saying there was a better version of Williams in Oakland last year, with the same coaching staff, with the same quarterback. Martavis Bryant may have off-field issues, but he’s a better receiver than Williams, and Bryant saw just 27 targets in eight games played. Williams can play a role in an offense as a situational deep threat, but you don’t want him near your fantasy roster. Expected Return: Early 2nd round pick

Sammy Watkins (WR – KC) Age in 2019: 26
Anyone who’s followed me for a long time knows that I’ve been a Watkins supporter. The talent is clearly there when healthy, but that “when healthy” isn’t often enough to justify carrying him on your dynasty squad. His ongoing foot issues seemingly aren’t going away and have caused him to miss 17 games over the last four seasons. When younger, it’s easier for a receiver to overcome those injuries, but when they start getting up there in age, it’ll only get tougher. It’s clear that Tyreek Hill is the No. 1 option in Kansas City, and Watkins will likely produce like a WR2/3 when healthy, you should trade him away if you can get that type of value in return and eliminate risk.  Expected Return: Mid-1st round pick

Tight Ends

Rob Gronkowski (TE – NE) Age in 2019: 30
He was listed in this exact article last year. The only difference this year is that he’s not going to net you two first-round picks like he would’ve last year. There’s nothing like having an asset like Gronkowski on your dynasty roster and then just watching him disappear into the abyss that is life after football, which, in turn, puts him on the waiver wire. Even if he does return for 2019, Gronkowski’s body has deteriorated a lot faster than anyone would’ve hoped. Expected Return: Late 1st/Early 2nd round pick

Kyle Rudolph (TE – MIN) Age in 2019: 30
It was a year to forget for Rudolph, as he totaled just 634 yards and four touchdowns despite the upgrade to Kirk Cousins. He was always flagged for health issues in the past but has now played all 16 games in four years straight. Despite that, Rudolph has just two NFL seasons with more than 532 receiving yards. He’s set to be a free agent in 2020, but with the talent coming in via the 2019 draft class, he isn’t likely to be fantasy relevant for much longer. Expected Return: Mid-2nd round pick

Jimmy Graham (TE – GB) Age in 2019: 33
This one seems way too obvious, but some still view Graham as a top-10 tight end. His first year in Green Bay didn’t go as well as many thought it would. I had my doubts about a resurgence in his career, though the two touchdowns he scored were far lower than even I expected. The Packers have young wide receivers coming up the ranks and are likely to add another name via the draft or free agency, which can move Graham a bit further down the pecking order. While 33 may not seem old for a tight end, you have to remember that Graham has been more of a big wide receiver than anything, and this is the age receivers tend to take a sharp downturn in production. Expected Return: Mid-2nd round pick

Greg Olsen (TE – CAR) Age in 2019: 34
For whatever reason, many have forgotten about Olsen’s potential retirement last offseason. He signed his extension, but with the way his contract is structured, 2019 may be his final season in the league. He’s dealt with foot injuries for each of the last two seasons, which is a killer to most pass-catchers, particularly older ones. Combining Cam Newton‘s recent shoulder issues and Olsen’s foot issues, it’s time to get out while there’s still some sort of value to be had. If you’re able to squeeze out a second-round pick for Olsen right now, you should. Expected Return: Late 2nd round pick

Jared Cook (TE – FA) Age in 2019: 32
After a career year in 2018 where he totaled 896 yards and six touchdowns, Cook owners should be looking to cash-in. While we just had a season of top-five production, we have nine other seasons of lackluster production. Did you really think the Raiders were going to go into the 2019 season with a receiver corps worse than Jordy Nelson, Marcell Ateman, and Seth Roberts? That’s what it would’ve taken for Cook to have a chance at repeating his 2018 season. He’s a prime sell-high veteran. Expected Return: Early 2nd round pick

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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