Dynasty Wide Receivers to Trade Before Free Agency (2021 Fantasy Football)
When playing in dynasty fantasy football leagues, paying attention to every roster move is vital to having success every year. Every move that occurs in free agency can have a lasting effect on certain players and their values for the foreseeable future.
With the offseason right around the corner, right now is the time to evaluate your dynasty rosters and pinpoint the players who may be worth trading while their value may have hit their ceiling. Taking that into consideration, the following wide receivers are guys I’d consider getting something in return for before the chaos that is free agency gets underway.
It’s no secret that this year’s crop of free-agent wide receivers is going to be littered with plenty of surefire options. Among the teams who could be on the market for some aid at the wide receiver position, the New York Jets have plenty of spending money to get themselves a true WR1 if they choose to do so. The Jets will be entering the offseason with $67.9 million in cap space (assuming the base salary cap for each team is $180.5 million, according to OverTheCap), which is the third-most in the NFL.
New York has been rumored as a team that could heavily pursue guys like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Will Fuller in free agency. Even if they don’t sign Smith-Schuster or Fuller, the Jets – at least I hope – realize that they need to drastically improve at the wide receiver position, regardless of Sam Darnold‘s future. Given New York’s interest in adding a wideout in free agency, Jamison Crowder could take a massive hit to his dynasty value this offseason.
Crowder just finished his second season with the Jets, logging 12 games as he finished as WR39 in PPR leagues in 2020. In five of his 12 games this season, Crowder finished as the WR18 or better. But with New York likely adding another wide receiver or two into the mix – plus the fact they want to get Denzel Mims more involved – Crowder could see a decrease in usage in 2021, making him someone you should consider moving as soon as possible.
The Buffalo Bills’ aerial attack saw a seismic shift in the right direction upon trading for Stefon Diggs last offseason. Aside from the noticeable improvements from Josh Allen under center, Diggs’s presence helped Cole Beasley, John Brown, and rookie Gabriel Davis immensely. Davis is poised for an expanded role in 2021, leading many to believe that Brown could be on his way out.
As the Bills prepare to make some roster moves to better themselves for next season, it’s been reported that Brown could be a cap casualty this offseason. By releasing Brown, Buffalo could create $7.93 in cap savings while incurring a dead-cap penalty of only $1.6 million. Brown was limited to nine games in 2020 due to injury. In those nine games, he produced career-bests in drop percentage (3.8) and yards after the catch per reception (5.4).
He is also just two years removed from a 2019 campaign where he recorded 72 receptions for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns, which was good enough for WR19. What makes matters worse for Brown – besides his possible release – is that he turns 31 years old in April. While it may be tough to get anything in return for Brown at this point, getting absolutely anything for him could be considered a victory.
Entering the 2020 season, everyone assumed that Henry Ruggs would become the deep threat that the Las Vegas Raiders desperately needed in his rookie campaign. Contrary to what most believed, Nelson Agholor emerged as the favorite vertical target for Derek Carr this season. Agholor would conclude his first season with the Raiders with 48 catches that resulted in career-highs in receiving yards (896) and yards per reception (18.7).
To take it a step further, Agholor finished with the second-most yards per reception in the NFL in 2020, and his aDOT of 15.5 yards was the fourth-highest among wide receivers who saw 50+ targets. Despite his breakout season in Las Vegas, it is unknown if the Raiders plan on bringing him back as he enters free agency.
Las Vegas could be another team that is aggressive in signing a top-notch wide receiver in free agency. Though, unlike the Jets, they will need to create some cap space if they hope to have a chance to snag any of the premier options on the market. Seeing that Ruggs and Bryan Edwards could see larger workloads in their second seasons – along with his impending free agency – it’s hard to envision Agholor compiling a better season than he did in 2020 (WR34), whether he remains with the Raiders or not.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.