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Dynasty Players to Sell for Contending Teams (2021 Fantasy Football)

May 22, 2021

We’re well into dynasty season, and now that rookie drafts are coming to an end, that also means it’s also time for trading season. Teams are starting to prepare for actual NFL action in a few months and are looking for help in how to better their squad. While everyone is out there posting “buy or sell” articles, it’s not really that simple. I recently wrote about some players to sell if your team was already looking at a rebuild, but this week we’ll focus on sell candidates for managers that are a piece or two away from winning it all: Contending teams.

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Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC)
I know, it feels weird to say, but new Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC) might be at his peak fantasy value right now, and he hasn’t even played a snap in the NFL. I’m not saying he’s definitely at his peak, but there’s a chance that it’s all downhill from here. So many things need to go right, even for “should be” studs, that he makes me a little nervous. However, if you’re contending and either lucked into an early pick in Superflex or decided to take a risk in the late-first-round area, then you might have just drafted him to join your team. And you know who probably wants him more than you do? Someone a year away from winning who’s willing to wait.

In 1QB leagues, the quarterback position is so watered down it’s tough to even guess what you could get back for someone like Lawrence right now. In SF leagues, he could probably net you someone like DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI), Alvin Kamara (RB – NO), or Tyreek Hill (WR – KC) or more in the right situation. To many fantasy managers, Lawrence is the answer to every question and someone easily worth reaching for, but if I’m a contender, give me the proven production of a stud WR or RB so I can make a title run this year. You always have time to figure out next year later, right?

Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
In the same vein as Lawrence, if I’m contending and think I just need some additional depth to make it to the end, then I focus on younger players that hold more value to rebuilding teams. Generally speaking, running backs are players I’m buying if I’m in contending mode, but there are a couple running backs out there right now that I think could get you a huge return in the right kind of trade. Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND) is one of those players.

To a rebuilding team, Taylor represents the next Barkley or CMC. He’s the next top three running back asset in dynasty. This means you might be able to get someone to overvalue him and send you multiple pieces back to help you weather bye weeks and injuries on your way to a title. Don’t trade Taylor just to trade him, but if you can get a huge package back like Kamara, TJ Hockenson (TE – DET), and Deebo Samuel (WR – SF), I’d seriously consider it. It’s at least worth checking the price and seeing what you can work out. Just remember: if you can’t make a trade today, you definitely don’t have to. Taylor’s value should go up once the season starts, so don’t sell low.

D’Andre Swift (RB – DET)
Another young running back I’d think about moving if I’m a contender is D’Andre Swift (RB – DET). Taylor’s rookie classmate is on a team in transition, and it’s possible that they either lean on Swift so hard that he breaks, or they give him so much rest that he’s worthless as a true RB in dynasty. Either way, his 2020 season and name alone could net you a solid return to the right trade partner even before the season starts.

If I’m moving Swift or Taylor, I’m looking for a lot in return. Much like I mentioned above, don’t sell low on Swift either. Look at the rebuilding teams in your league and see what their best WR or TE option is, and target that as a starting point. In SF leagues, see if you can move Swift for a package that includes an aging QB like Russell Wilson (QB – SEA) or Matthew Stafford (QB – LAR). You might be surprised what teams in turmoil are willing to give up in return for what they think is a terrific foundation for their new team heading forward.

Ja’Marr Chase (WR – CIN)
I recently wrote an entire article about how drafting Ja’Marr Chase (WR – CIN) could ruin your team. I wrote it because Chase is going in the second round of 1QB startups, ahead of many proven talents that I think are much less risky. Therefore, he is also a prime candidate for a list like this. Just like most rookies, everyone is seeing the ceiling and ignoring the floor. Much like Lawrence, Chase will be a top 10 dynasty asset no matter what…even though that’s not the most likely outcome.

If I drafted Chase this year and think I’m one of the top three teams in the league, he’s the first player on my roster that I’m looking to move. Wide receivers tend to hold their value better, and rebuilding teams will most likely already know this, thereby forcing Chase’s value to be even higher. So see if you can pry some top RB talent like Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN) or Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG) away from a rebuilding team and bolster your RB room for the long season ahead. You may be surprised at what they’re willing to fork over for this year’s rookie WR1.

Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS)
Someone who I think is going under the radar in almost all formats is Terry McLaurin (WR – Was). In all honesty, he could be a terrific buy if his current manager hasn’t heard enough from him this offseason, but to me, he’s a much better sell candidate for contending teams than a buy. He finished 2020 as WR20 in PPR scoring, and he’s already 25, but some rebuilding teams may see Fitzpatrick as the permanent answer and think McLaurin will be the next WR1 on their roster.

I doubt you could get someone to overpay for him, and if you don’t get the right return, he’s probably worth holding, but I think as the preseason heats up and we start to see Fitz throwing bombs to Scary Terry, his value could come out of hibernation. We always see players get hyped in camp, and McLaurin should be a prime candidate to see some of that himself. Look at your own roster and see what your weakest position is. If it’s WR, then you hold, but if you have depth there and need a solid RB2 like Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE) or Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI), I think you can build a package from there that works for both of you.

Kyle Pitts (WR – ATL)
Ah, another rookie, it’s almost too easy! Rookies are just so overvalued and overhyped at this point in the season that they’re the easiest ones to move if you’re only one or two studs away from dominating your league. New Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL) is getting so much hype as a generational talent that a rebuilding team might be willing to sell the farm for him. Not only that, but tight ends generally take a few years to return value, and as a contender, you don’t really have that kind of time to wait right now.

A tight end I’m targeting in all of my own leagues is Hockenson, so see if you can send Pitts for Hockeson plus a piece. If your team needs some RB depth, look for Hockenson plus James Conner (RB – ARI) or Pitts’ teammate Mike Davis (RB – ATL). If you need WR help, try to get something like Hockenson and Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF) or Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE). Ultimately it depends on who else the Hockenson manager has available, of course. But this way, you get a top-five dynasty TE in return who is able to put up points now without the wait, along with adding that vital depth that your team will need during this new 17-game season.

So who are you selling off before the season starts to help your team win the title? Let me know on Twitter, @AndrewHallFF, and stick with FantasyPros through the rest of the offseason leading up to Week 1. There is plenty of analysis, rankings, and ADP data to check out, and it’s always updated with the latest to help you win your title and dominate your own league!

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