Several factors go into building a consistently elite dynasty team. One is knowing which players you should trade away before their fantasy value decreases. Let’s take a look at dynasty fantasy football running backs to trade away now.
Devin Singletary (RB – BUF)
While the Bills didn’t use their first-round pick in the NFL Draft on Hall or Kenneth Walker, they did improve the running back’s room this offseason. First, they tried to sign J.D. McKissic in free agency but got forced to settle for Duke Johnson. More importantly, they used a second-round pick on James Cook. While Cook won’t push Singletary to the bench, it will limit his upside. Furthermore, Singletary averaged only 8.3 PPR fantasy points per game last season before his strong finish to the year. He is entering a contract year. Even if he does return, Singletary will never have a consistent fantasy role in Buffalo, given Allen’s role at the goal line and Cook’s role in the passing game.
Michael Carter (RB – NYJ)
Rarely do running backs drafted on Day 3 turn into fantasy stars. Unfortunately, Carter fell into this category. He had 23 of his 55 targets in the four games Zach Wilson missed last year (5.8 per game). By comparison, Carter averaged only 3.2 targets per game with Wilson playing. More importantly, the Jets invested an early draft pick in Hall. Thus, they will put as much on his plate as he can handle, limiting Carter’s role and fantasy value. At this point, fantasy players should hope Hall suffers an injury in the preseason and can sell Carter while the iron is hot.
Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
How can Taylor be the top asset and top sell candidate? The answer is that Taylor’s value might never be higher than it is right now. Furthermore, the Colts lack a typical sell-high candidate as Michael Pittman and Taylor are the only non-rookies you want on your fantasy team. While he finished last year as the RB1, Taylor did so with only 40 receptions. The last time the RB1 in half-PPR scoring ended the year with under 41 receptions was Adrian Peterson in 2012. With Nyheim Hines expected to have a bigger role this upcoming season, Taylor should see a slight dip in his production. However, don’t trade Taylor away unless you receive a haul for the ages for him.
James Robinson (RB – JAC)
After an outstanding rookie season, Robinson regressed last year. He was the RB7 as a rookie, averaging 17.9 PPR fantasy points per game. Last year, he was the RB25, averaging 12.4 PPR fantasy points per game despite playing in the same number of contests as a rookie. While his yards per rushing attempt slightly improved last year, his role in the passing game took a massive hit. After averaging 7.2 PPR fantasy points per game in the passing game as a rookie, Robinson averaged only 3.8 per contest last year. More importantly, Robinson is coming off a torn Achilles he suffered in Week 16. With a healthy Etienne on the roster, Robinson will see his role decrease in 2022 and for the rest of his time in Jacksonville.
Melvin Gordon (RB – DEN)
Gordon has been one of the more consistent fantasy running backs. He has averaged at least 12.2 PPR fantasy points per game every year since his rookie season, including 18 or more in three of those years. However, Gordon had the worst year of his career in the passing game last season, averaging only 3.8 PPR fantasy points per game in the air.
Furthermore, he recently turned 29 years old and is at the end of his career. Gordon is still a valuable piece to a contending team as he is an injury to Williams away from a likely top-15 finish. However, fantasy teams with no shot at winning the title this year should trade Gordon away in the next few months.
Josh Jacobs (RB – LV)
While he has averaged only 3.95 yards per rushing attempt since his rookie year, Jacobs has averaged at least 15 PPR fantasy points per game every year during that span. However, the Raiders declined his fifth-year option this offseason, making Jacobs a free agent after this season. They also signed a pair of running backs in free agency and used a fourth-round pick on Zamir White.
Head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler come from New England and likely have a similar mindset of not paying their running backs. Unless he has a magnificent 2022 season, Jacobs won’t have a featured role next season regardless of where he lands. Now is the time to sell the veteran running back.
Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)
Trading away Ekeler might be a tough pill to swallow. Last year he finished as the RB2, averaging a career-high 21.5 PPR fantasy points per game. However, his touchdown rate jumped to 7.3% last year. By comparison, it was only 4.1% before the 2021 season. Furthermore, Ekeler had 25 touchdowns in his first 56 career games.
Last year he had 20 touchdowns, most in the NFL. Despite a career-high 206 rushing attempts, Ekeler failed to rush for 920 yards last season. The Chargers also used a fourth-round pick on Isaiah Spiller, who should impact Ekeler’s touchdown production. With all the weapons the Chargers have on offense, Ekeler isn’t critical to the team’s success. Rebuilding teams need to move Ekeler sometime this offseason.
Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL)
One of the most popular sell candidates this offseason is Elliott. The veteran running back has seen his yards per rushing attempt drop the past few years. At the same time, Elliott has dealt with an uptick in injuries the past couple of seasons. Furthermore, the Cowboys can get out of Elliott’s contract after the 2022 season. More importantly, Zeke’s fantasy points per game average have dropped each of the past four years. With the Cowboys leaning more on Dak Prescott and the passing game, Elliott’s days as a top-10 running back are over. Now is the time to move the veteran running back to a contending team.
Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS)
No one had their fantasy football value change more wildly than Gibson this offseason. After averaging 16.1 PPR fantasy points per game without J.D. McKissic last year, Gibson appeared on track for a featured role after McKissic agreed to a deal with the Buffalo Bills. However, McKissic changed his mind and re-signed with Washington, hurting Gibson’s value. Then, the Commanders used a third-round pick on Brian Robinson. At one point this offseason, Gibson was arguably a top-10 dynasty running back. Now, he’s a low-end RB2. Furthermore, if Robinson takes over as the goal line running back, Gibson’s fantasy value takes another hit. Now is the time to put Gibson on the trade block and hope for a fair offer.
Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)
Henry has finished as a top-14 running back in non-PPR four straight years, including last year, despite missing nine games with an injury. However, Henry showed signs of decline last year before the injury. His rushing yards per attempt dropped from 5.4 in 2020 to 4.3 last year. Furthermore, injuries have become a concern. Henry has 900 total rushing attempts over the past three years, playing in 39-of-49 possible games. He was on pace for 465 rushing attempts last year before the injury. While he is built like a tank, the end is near for Henry. Now is the time to sell high to a contender in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick and a younger running back with upside.
Cordarrelle Patterson (RB – ATL)
Over the first eight years of his career, Patterson wasn’t much of a fantasy asset. He averaged over six PPR fantasy points per game only once before last season. Furthermore, Patterson had 18 receiving and rushing touchdowns over the first seven years of his career. By comparison, he had 11 touchdowns last year. However, Patterson struggled to close out last season. Over the first 14 weeks of the year, Patterson was the RB7 in PPR, averaging 17.7 fantasy points per game. However, he was the RB51, averaging only 5.5 fantasy points per game over the final four weeks of the year. Now is the time to trade away the veteran.
Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR)
McCaffrey has been a fantasy superstar when healthy. He has averaged 25.6 PPR fantasy points per game since his rookie season. However, McCaffrey has struggled to stay healthy recently, missing 70% of the games the past two years. By comparison, he never missed a game over the first three years of his career. His struggles with injuries over the past few years are partly due to his heavy workload. McCaffrey had 729 touches during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. After those two years is when the injuries started. The Panthers will likely limit McCaffrey’s workload to keep him healthy. If they don’t, it’s only a matter of time until he suffers another injury. Trade the former superstar before another injury hits.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO)
The veteran running back has been a fantasy superstar since he entered the NFL. Kamara has averaged 13.4 scrimmage touchdowns and 20.9 PPR fantasy points per season for his career. However, he showed signs of slowing down last season. Kamara missed a career-high four games dealing with a knee injury. He also had a career-low 234.7 PPR fantasy points and a career-low 3.7 yards per rushing attempt.
Furthermore, his work in the passing game took a massive hit after Drew Brees retired after the 2020 season. Kamara averaged 6.8 targets per game in the four years with Brees. By comparison, he averaged only 5.2 per game last season. So unless you are a contending team, now is the time to trade away Kamara.
FantasyPros Staff Consensus Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings
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