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9 Pre-Free Agency Dynasty Buys & Sells (2022 Fantasy Football)

Feb 22, 2022

With the 2021 season officially in the books for over a week now, it’s time to start kicking the tires on some speculative dynasty buys or shop around some of your athletes who could be in a worse situation after free agency. The best trading opportunities always present themselves when things are the least certain. Fortunately, our featured analysts are here to help you take advantage of that uncertainty. Read on below to see their top trade candidates mostly based on who has the best chances of being in a better or worse situation after players are done switching teams.

Q1. Which player are you trying to buy the most in dynasty leagues before free agency and why?

Allen Robinson (WR – CHI) 
“Allen Robinson stakeholders aren’t fools and won’t give him away, but they’re willing to entertain trade offers these days after A-Rob’s calamitous 2021 season. Robinson wasn’t happy that the Bears gave him the franchise tag last year, and he may have been … um … less than fully motivated. He also dealt with a hamstring injury and COVID-19. Robinson has played full 16-game seasons four times, drew 151 to 154 targets each time, and finished WR6, WR24, WR8 and WR9 in those four seasons while playing with below-average QBs. As a free agent, the 28-year-old Robinson gets to pick his team, his coach and his quarterback, and a bounce-back season seems like a reasonable bet.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Allen Robinson is disgustingly cheap in dynasty right now. He is coming off a train wreck of a season with a team he didn’t want to be on, and their quarterbacks combined to throw just 16 touchdowns. This man is still a great-to-elite talent at his position and has top-12 fantasy WR upside. Pair A-Rob with a Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, or Mac Jones and I think we see him return to his pre-2021 production. Just like the infomercials tell you: ‘Don’t wait. Call now.'”
– Robby Jeffries (The Fantasy Authority)

Cam Akers (RB – LAR)
“Akers averaged 2.4 yards per carry during the 2021 season after returning from his Achilles injury — the worst mark of any running back with at least 70 carries. But his inefficient production is partially related to the juggernaut of run defenses he faced down the stretch — San Francisco 49ers (twice) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — when in fact no Rams RB ran efficiently. 95% of his rushing yards in 2021 came after contact — the highest mark in the NFL. There’s simply being too much emphasis placed on Akers’ production when volume is the key driver to fantasy success at running back. In the Rams’ divisional playoff win versus the Buccaneers, Akers played 81% of the Los Angeles offensive snaps and out-touched Sony Michel 27 to 3. I’d expect Akers to be dialed back in as the top RB next season in Sean McVay’s consistent one-RB offense, where the team’s lead back averages 20-plus touches per game.”
– Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Josh Palmer (WR – LAC) 
“For the deeper diving crowd, Palmer is someone I want to acquire in as many places as possible. The Chargers made it a point to get him snaps in almost every game. When he got his opportunity to start in Week 14, he hauled in five of seven targets for 66 receiving yards and a score. He would play more snaps than Jalen Guyton in all but one of the remaining games and score twice more before the season ended. If Mike Williams leaves in free agency, Palmer is in line for more targets from Justin Herbert.”
– John Hesterman (Dynasty League Football)

Javonte Williams (RB – DEN) 
“Williams is ready to explode in 2022. He already showed he can be ‘the man’ in the Denver backfield. I expect new coach Nathaniel Hackett to improve the QB situation. When that happens, the offense will improve overall and give Williams more scoring opportunities. He is the future AND the present.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Q2. Which player are you trying to sell the most in dynasty leagues before free agency and why?

Mike Williams (WR – LAC) 
“There are bound to be several suitors, including the Chargers, interested in free agent Mike Williams, who’s coming off career-highs in targets (122, 18% target share), receptions (76) and yards per route run (1.97, 15th). Big Mike finished the season as the WR23 in fantasy points per game attached to Justin Herbert, but there is no guarantee he dons the powder blue for 2022 and beyond. It’s been reported per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe that Williams will get paid like a No. 1, which L.A. may not choose to do based on the big-bodied wide receiver’s full body of work. There are not many QB situations that would present a better fantasy landing spot for Williams, making him a player I’d like to move for fear he ends up as the No. 1, albeit on a middling-to-below average offense. He’s a prime ‘sell high’ at his peak value for younger guys like Darnell Mooney, DeVonta Smith, Rashod Bateman or Elijah Moore.”
– Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA) 
“In his six-game stretch last season, he was nothing short of the dynamic back he was drafted to be … back in 2018. During that stretch, he averaged 18.6 PPR points per game and had four games of 135 or more rushing yards. However, at 26 years old and with only one season over 85 carries, I’m willing to take what value I can get and let another manager foster him on their lineups.”
– John Hesterman (Dynasty League Football)

Cordarrelle Patterson (RB – ATL) 
“Patterson is going to sign with a team whose head coach will wax poetic about how much he appreciates C-Patt’s versatility — I guarantee that coach will use the words ‘chess piece’ more than once. Some of us will buy the idea that Patterson’s RB9 season in PPR leagues wasn’t a one-off. But as talented as Patterson is … it was a one-off. We saw Patterson’s production fizzle down the stretch last season. Is it really so hard to believe that the unprecedented success of a 30-year-old converted wide receiver/kick returner turned running back isn’t sustainable? In leagues where I lucked into Patterson, I’ll happily sell him for a second-round pick in this year’s rookie drafts.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL) 
“Nobody likes the thought of selling young productive players in dynasty. It’s almost the reverse of what we are taught to do from our earliest dynasty days. But I’m not here to give you the easy advice, which is why I’m looking to cash out on Schultz before free agency hits. Dallas does not have the funds to re-sign him with their cap situation and a $5.8 million cap hit on tight end teammate Blake Jarwin. The Jets, Seahawks and Colts are all teams that have a plethora of cash to spend and a need for a starting tight end. These three landing spots present either a lack in passing efficiency (Jets) or a lack in passing volume (Seahawks & Colts), something Schultz’s was spoiled with in Big D.”
– Robby Jeffries (The Fantasy Authority)

Deebo Samuel (WR – SF) 
“Samuel was incredible last year. He also has a history of missing time with injuries and had a very high workload in 2021. With Trey Lance likely taking over at the QB position, Samuel may not be called upon for as many carries. It’s not that I don’t love Samuel as a player, because I do. I think this is the potential zenith of his value and he could bring back a massive return. That’s worth investigating.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Thanks to the experts for sharing their advice! For more of their insight, be sure to follow each pundit on Twitter (click their names above) and visit their respective sites.

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