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Dynasty Players to Give Up On (2023 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty Players to Give Up On (2023 Fantasy Football)

With another Super Bowl in the books, the 2022 NFL season has officially come and gone. For dynasty players, it marks the start of the 2023 season. One of the first steps is to evaluate your roster and identify players at the end of your bench who can be traded away. You need to determine if they have enough upside to remain on your team or if it’s time to move on.

Sometimes the decision is easy to make. For example, carrying an additional defense for the fantasy playoffs. The tough decisions are players you drafted in the first round a few years ago, and they sit on your bench with the hopes they will break out this year. Another tough decision is players who have been successful in the past but have dealt with injuries. There is a fine line between patience and having a valuable roster spot frozen with hopefulness.

Dynasty Rookie Draft Kit

Dynasty Players to Give Up On (Fantasy Football 2023)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC)

Edwards-Helaire was drafted in the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020, quickly stepped into the starting lineup and had a solid rookie season. He put up 803 rushing yards, 36 catches, and 297 yards to go along with five touchdowns. He was the consensus 1.01 in rookie drafts and lived up to the hype out of the gate. If he’s so good, then why is he in this article? Things change fast in the NFL, and it’s surprisingly easy to go from top dog to the bottom of the pile.

His second season in 2021 was marred with inconsistent play and a stint on the injured reserve. Dynasty managers were looking forward to a healthy 2022 for him, but once again, he disappointed. He lost his starting job to seventh-round draft pick Isiah Pacheco and spent another stretch on the injured reserve list (IR). Then, to add insult to (literally) injury, he was taken off IR and ended up being a healthy scratch for the Super Bowl this year behind Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon and Ronald Jones.

Looking forward to 2023, we have an oft-injured, inconsistent player who is best case second string and probably even third string behind McKinnon. This isn’t advocating an outright cut from your squad; it is just tempering expectations. If he looks good in preseason or the Chiefs don’t resign McKinnon or bring in someone new, it’s possible to find a trade partner with the high draft capital and strong rookie season fresh on their mind.

He is only 24 years old entering next season, so his value isn’t non-existent, but he is not the player to gamble on if you can get something decent in return from a believer looking to buy low. Keep an eye on the FantasyPros Dynasty Trade Value Chart for trade value guidance.

Michael Thomas (WR – NO)

Thomas was an absolute beast of a player for his first four seasons in the league. He was a points per reception (PPR) player’s dream averaging over 100 receptions per season during that time. He never had less than 1100 yards, and his yardage totals increased each year until his eye-popping 1725-yard season in 2019. He was a set-it-and-forget-it type of player, with his consistency being such a valuable asset.

In 2020 the injury bug bit and limited him to only seven games that season. Hopeful fantasy players and Saints fans were waiting for a return to dominance in 2021, but he ended up missing the entire season with an ankle injury. When 2022 rolled around, optimistic fantasy players again waited for a healthy Thomas before again being disappointed with another injury after only playing three games last year.

Once bitten, twice shy? Sure, but what happens after you’ve been bitten three times? You realize that 2019 was a long time ago. Chronic lower leg injuries take a toll on the body, and even losing half a step can really set a player back. It’s also worth mentioning that Thomas will be entering his age-30 season in 2023. Nagging injuries and an aging body is not the blueprint for fantasy success.

The fact that he was so dominant at one time and the hope he could do it again might be a small window to trade him away to get some kind of value other than a roster spot on hold for the chance he could return to fantasy relevance. The old saying, “the greatest ability is availability,” rings true with regard to Thomas.

Irv Smith (TE – MIN)

Smith was one of my favorite tight-end prospects entering the 2019 draft. He had all the measurables coming out of Alabama and the draft capital of being a second-round pick of the Vikings that year. So it was only a matter of time until he thrust himself into the top tier of TEs. He didn’t put up startable numbers as a rookie, but that was blamed on having to share snaps with Kyle Rudolph and learning the position.

Rudolph was set to be a free agent in 2020, but the Vikings gave him a four-year, $36 million contract extension to keep him in Minnesota. It seemed like a bumbling move to extend a player when someone like Smith is waiting in the wings, but maybe they knew he wasn’t ready. Again he had a mediocre second season splitting time with Rudolph.

In 2021 the Vikings cut ties with Rudolph clearing the path for Smith to become the fantasy success he was meant to be. However, an injury in the preseason put those dreams to bed. In 2022 optimism was high for Smith, but he ended up on IR again. To fill the hole at TE left by Smith, the Vikings traded for T.J. Hockenson, and he ended up being an excellent fit for their offense. He put up career highs across the board.

Smith will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. His landing spot will determine how much fantasy value he has going forward. He will only be 25 years old at the beginning of next season, and if he signs with a team that projects him to be a starter, there could be some optimism about his prospects. As of this time, his value couldn’t be much lower. If a favorable circumstance happens, strike while you can and get something for him rather than have an idle roster spot waiting on potential.

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

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Gary Zamarripa is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Gary, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @garyzamFF.

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