Dynasty Trade Advice – Players to Buy, Sell, and Hold: Week 4 (2021 Fantasy Football)
In-season trade value columns are always complicated, especially this early in the season. The value of players fluctuates dramatically, and it’s hard to determine what performances are flukes or real long-standing value changes. I also caution everyone out there not to drastically change dynasty values week to week. Too many analysts do weekly rankings for dynasty, and that’s just a poor process. But now that we have three fantasy weeks under our belts, we can start getting a better picture of our roster deficiencies and plan how to address them. This is about the time I start determining if my team can win this season or not. If you fall into an 0-3 start, don’t panic but make sure you are realistic about your team’s chances. It’s always better to be the first team in your league to “rebuild” than the second.
For this weekly column, I hope to provide you with actionable takeaways on players. Making the right moves early in the season can give you a chance to win your league and help you have a better long-term outlook in dynasty leagues. The worst thing you can be as a fantasy manager is a middle-of-the-pack team that just sits stagnant. Making moves is essential for your rosters. So let’s dive into some buys, sells, and holds so far this season.
That sound you hear is Kyle Pitts managers starting to worry. Through three games, Pitts’s numbers have not lived up to people’s lofty expectations for him coming into the 2021 season. Pitts has 11 receptions for 139 yards and zero touchdowns. Not the type of numbers you were hoping for when he was consistently getting drafted in the third and fourth round of startup drafts this off-season. I saw him get drafted as high as the first round in TE premium leagues.
The reality is Pitts was always going to struggle this season, especially early. After the Julio Jones trade, most figured that Pitts would easily get the second most targets behind Calvin Ridley. That hasn’t been the case. While Pitts sits at 17 targets this year, so does running back Mike Davis and the versatile Cordarrelle Patterson already has 15 targets on the year. In the past three games, Pitts has also seen his targets drop from 8 to 6 to 3, including not being on the field in red zone scenarios. The Falcons offense leaves little to be desired, and because of the lack of weapons, defenses are making Pitts a big part of their gameplan. Pitts just needs time to develop and a little patience from fantasy managers out there. With all the question marks surrounding him, now may be the time to go out and try to acquire Pitts in dynasty. This isn’t a buy-low situation. Managers aren’t going to just give him away, but this could be a chance to get him at a fair market price. A popular dynasty move I have seen is trading George Kittle for Pitts in dynasty, and I wouldn’t hate it from both sides if you could get Pitts and another asset that is a win-win scenario.
Verdict – Buy
I want to preface this next player by saying I have been all-in on Mike Williams this off-season. I have him on nearly all of my dynasty rosters, and he’s a big part of why I will be 2-1 or 3-0 in those leagues. Williams is currently ranked as the WR1 in PPR formats, having scored 77.5 points the past three games and leading second place by 16 points overall. Williams is on fire this year. He has 22 receptions for 295 yards and four touchdowns on 31 targets, just two behind Keenan Allen. He also has 16 more targets than running back Austin Ekeler, which you love to see as a Williams manager. Williams had 10 touchdowns in his sophomore campaign in 2018. If he can duplicate that number and he’s nearly halfway there already, we could be looking at a top 10 finish for him in PPR formats. He seems to have found a fit within offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi’s scheme. Williams has been efficient this season and looks like the steal of drafts last off-season where he was getting taken around WR50!
But if you have Williams, this could be the right time to move him. If you are moving him, you either should be out of contention this season or looking to solidify other parts of your roster. Let me be clear though, you should be selling high at this point. If you can get a 2022 1st and an asset back as a rebuilding team, that’s the type of deal I would be looking to get. If you are selling high on a contending roster, I would want two to three impact players at minimum for Willaims. If you can find a team to do that, then you have to consider moving him. If those two options are not available, then I would hold onto Williams. There are some concerns with him staying healthy, but that’s always the risk with any player. Don’t sell just because of that risk.
Verdict – Sell High/Hold
Gordon is the type of player you need to move off your rosters now, or you will never be able to. Gordon hasn’t been bad this season. He’s been a low-end RB2 and high-end RB3 this year and has shown to have some value. He received 18 carries yesterday against the Jets and scored a touchdown. He’s also gotten seven targets on the year, and with Jerry Jeudy‘s injury and K.J. Hamler tearing their ACLs, Gordon should stay involved in the offense. But now is the time to move him for whatever you can get.
The Broncos have had one of the easiest schedules in football thus far. They have beaten the Giants, Jaguars, and New York Jets. Those teams have a combined record of 0-9. The Broncos face off against five very good defenses in the next five games. The other factor in Gordon’s value is rookie Javonte Willaims seems to be slowly developing into the RB1 on the Broncos, and it’s only a matter of time before he takes over that backfield in Denver. While they may split time this whole season, Gordon’s value will decrease with each game. If I had him on my roster, I would be looking to move him before the next five games. His market price right now is around a 2022 2nd and an asset. In a PPR league, he went for a 2022 2nd and Henry Ruggs. That’s the type of deal I would be looking for if I try to get Gordon off my roster. I would prefer to move Gordon for a 2023 2nd than a 2022 2nd.
To be honest, I could have just put the entire 2021 QB class here, but I wanted to focus on Justin Fields for this piece. Fields is a player who has been under scrutiny since he got into college. That scrutiny got even worse when he hit the draft process, and it caused him to fall in the 2021 draft. The Bears moved up to grab Fields, and most assumed he would quickly take over the starter duties this year. Unfortunately, the Bears coach, Matt Nagy, is by far the worst coach in the NFL. This has led to uninspiring play-calling, and Justin Fields has not looked great this season. Instead of highlighting his strengths which would be RPOs, and moving him out of the pocket, Nagy called an abysmal game on Sunday that saw Fields complete just 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards while only adding 12 yards on three runs. He was sacked nine times, and Nagy’s play-calling was a major factor.
The bright side is this should be Nagy’s last season as the Bears head coach, and Fields will not have another game as he did on Sunday. If you are trading for Fields, you are betting on talent. Since the 2022 draft class has question marks throughout the quarterback class, now would be a good time to use some draft capital to acquire Fields now at his current market price. He may not be cheaper than he is right now.
Verdict – Hold/Buy
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