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

May 20, 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. With that in mind, I wanted to offer some ideas of players to sell depending on if your team is set up to contend this year or not, starting with those that might need the most help: Rebuilding teams.

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Russell Wilson (QB – SEA)
Generally speaking, rebuilding teams are best helped by selling off aging vets that still have value before their age catches up to them. This almost perfectly describes a player like Russell Wilson. He’s had some question marks this off-season, mainly related to what team he’ll play for, but he’s still got plenty of talent in the tank that can help a team in the short term, making him a prime candidate for this first list.

Wilson finished last season as QB6 in most formats, but most fantasy players who rostered him will remember his end of the season collapse. The Seahawks in general struggled down the stretch, forcing fantasy managers to consider other options for their QB or SF spots. If I’m rebuilding, I want off of the Russell Wilson ride.

Try looking for a team stacked at WR or TE and see if their QB position needs some help. In 1QB leagues, you might have to aim lower, but in Superflex or 2QB leagues you should be able to get a stud or two in return. In either format, take a look and see if you can get a deal done that works for both sides.

Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR)
Running backs are almost always perfect candidates to sell off when you’re rebuilding. Their shelf life is almost always shorter than the other positions and there’s always more coming into the league to replace them. I won’t go so far as to say that running backs don’t matter, but they do matter less than their fantasy teammates in dynasty. This even includes studs like Christian McCaffrey.

CMC is coming off of a rough year. Prior to 2020, he was the consensus 1.01 in 1QB dynasty startups. But 2020 was not kind to him, and he missed most of the season due to injury. When he played, he was still a beast, but availability is the best ability for fantasy, and he didn’t have that. It’s also very possible that a rebuilding team who was out of it last year was able to trade for him at a discount due to this uncertainty. Now they’re looking at their team of scrubs and wondering, “well, now what?”

The easy answer is trade him. You don’t need to do it right away, but trading away CMC for younger assets who hold their value longer is a quick and easy way to help your team in the long run if you’re looking ahead to another year in rebuild mode. I would try to find someone missing a top-end player and see if you can get some draft picks or first-round rookie draft talent in return. Don’t sell short, but definitely move him before the next injury hits.

Alvin Kamara (RB – NO)
Along the same lines as CMC is Alvin Kamara. Kamara had an up and down year himself, but overall he finished as the RB1 in PPR scoring. He benefitted greatly from Drew Brees’  swan song and was able to rack up tons of points, especially in the fantasy playoffs when it mattered most. Well, if you’re in a rebuild now, it’s unlikely that you saw any of that benefit your team in the toilet bowl, so now what?

Well, even with the changing of the QB guard for the Saints, Kamara is still getting a lot of name recognition in dynasty leagues. If your team is likely to struggle again this year, AK is a perfect option to flip for something more stable and future-oriented.

Look for teams that have players like James Robinson or Myles Gaskin as a starting running back option and see if you can get a stud TE or WR from them in return. In some cases, you might even be able to do a simpler 1-for-1 kind of trade for George Kittle, AJ Brown, or Tyreek Hill if you can find the right partner. All of those players should help your team retain value into next season when you’re better prepared to compete for the title.

Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF)
Wide receivers are a tougher group to discuss in terms of selling off players for rebuilding teams. As I’ve mentioned, WR tends to hold its value better than any other position in dynasty. In a rebuild, you’re better off moving as many of your assets into stable WRs as possible to avoid losing value while you get things back on track. That’s why it’s hard to find a perfect sell candidate for rebuilding teams at the position, but for me, Stefon Diggs is a good place to start.

Diggs had the best year of his career last year, finishing as WR3 in PPR scoring. The odds are slim that he does that again, let alone does better this year. There are a ton of young WR options nipping at his heels that have the potential to beat him this year, so go get some of those.

Look for a roster with lots of WR2 studs-in-the-making and see if you can do a 2-for-1 to help them consolidate and help you gain more value on your roster during the season. Not every team will go for a trade like this, but if you find the right partner, you might be able to walk away with something like Terry McLaurin and Diontae Johnson in exchange for Diggs, which would be perfect for your team in the long term.

Chris Godwin (WR – TB)
Another great way to find players to sell is to look for those that are on the last year of a deal or who signed a franchise tag for this year. Players like this tend to be on the move, and a new home might not necessarily mean the same results. Often, players need to learn a new offense, build rapport with a new quarterback, and generally struggle to produce like they used to. So why not move them before any of that happens, right?

For a rebuilding team, Chris Godwin is a prime candidate to sell. He’s got a lot of name recognition and is staying on an offense where he shined in spurts last year. Godwin finished with more points per game than teammate Mike Evans, but since he missed four games due to injury he ended the year as WR31 in PPR scoring. This might make some managers scared to take him on, but if you strike now while the hope is high maybe you can pull off a massive deal.

If I’m moving Godwin, I’d likely want draft capital in return. He’s not quite worth enough in other WRs to make a trade worth doing, but if a contending team is one WR short they might be willing to send a first and a second in next year’s rookie draft for him. That’s about where I’d start. If you can get a first-rounder from this draft, that’s even better, but right now, those players are held in much higher regard than future picks that don’t have names yet. Throw out some offers and see what you can get.

Travis Kelce (TE – KC)
At last, we come to tight end, and the daddy of them all: Travis Kelce. Kelce is still being touted as the TE1 and will likely stay there, barring injury to himself or his quarterback Patrick Mahomes. But the top of the tight end picture is becoming more and more crowded these days, it’s not just Kelce and the rest. Other younger players are making their name known in dynasty, so maybe this is the year to get out on Kelce while you can still get a haul in return.

I’m not saying Kelce is a definite sell, but he’s a perfect option to move if your team isn’t in the hunt this year. Contending teams almost always have a stud TE to carry them to the title, so see if your league mates have a hole there that you can help them address. I’d be looking at something like TJ Hockenson, a young WR3 option, and a draft pick as a minimum to get talks going, but you could probably aim even higher and get something done depending on your league. Kelce is a rare unicorn in dynasty, but at some point, even he will fall off that age cliff, and you are better being out from under him when that fall happens.

So who are you selling off before the season starts? 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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