Successfully managing a dynasty fantasy football team is a game of timing. Gauging the market and either acquiring or moving on from players based on their current value on the trade market is the most instrumental way to set your team up for long-term success.
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Players on the Decline
It’s easier said than done, however. There are times when you’ll need to look far down the road and determine whether or not a player is done. More importantly than that, sometimes you’ll need to determine if a player’s decline is about to begin. That may ultimately be the last opportunity to sell that player for an excellent value on the trade market.
Today we’re diving into three players who are on the decline. Some will be easier to move than others, but all are worth exploring trading away for the proper compensation.
Selling a running back coming off of a 1,500-yard rushing season to go along with double-digit rushing touchdowns can be an unsettling feeling, but rostering aging running backs in dynasty leagues is always a precarious situation.
Nick Chubb should be in store for another good season in 2023, but consider that he is going into his age 28 season, has never been a prolific receiving weapon, and plays on a team that could eventually want to focus more on the passing game after giving up a treasure trove of draft picks and fully guaranteed contract for quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Roster construction will significantly affect whether or not you move Chubb. However, if you have a roster that looks headed for a rebuild or has profound depth at the running back position, trying to move him before he experiences any real statistical decline is an intelligent move. If you can flip Chubb for a 2024 first-round pick, that’s a move I’d be a big fan of.
It feels a little unbelievable to realize that Cooper Kupp has only recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards in two of his six seasons in the NFL. Granted, he’s come very close in a few seasons, and in 2022 he surely would have if he had stayed healthy, but that’s part of the reason we’re exploring selling Kupp here.
Kupp is heading into his age 30 season, coming off of a season marred by injury, and finds himself on a team with an uncertain future. Matthew Stafford is still the quarterback for the Rams, which is a plus for Kupp in the short term, but the wheels could come off quickly.
If he has another year of massive volume, Kupp can still be productive, but I’d instead take this opportunity to use his name value to get younger at the position. If you can swap Cooper Kupp for someone such as Pittsburgh wide receiver George Pickens with a mid-round rookie draft pick coming back to you, that’s a move I’d have a hard time passing up on.
The Cincinnati Bengals have one of the most lethal offenses in the entire NFL, and while Joe Mixon has played a part in that, it looks like his best days are behind him.
He appeared in 14 games in 2022 but only managed to rush for 814 yards, with a subpar mark of 3.9 yards per attempt. He can offset that by being a contributor in the passing game, but it’s tough to pencil in too much work for him as a receiver in an offense that will see targets primarily funneled through two stud wide receivers in Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.
When we dive further into his statistics from 2022, we can see more of the same. Mixon ranked 61st in true yards per carry, 35th in yards per touch, 49th in evaded tackles, and 47th in breakaway run rate per PlayerProfiler.
Combined with the fact that he’s been the subject of rumors regarding a potential release for what feels like the entire offseason, Mixon becomes an easy name to want to sell before the 2023 regular season kicks off. You’re likely looking at a less significant return in terms of trade compensation than either of the other two players mentioned here, but if you can Sell Mixon for a 2024 second-round rookie pick with a young player to stash, such as Israel Abanikanda or Eric Gray, it’s worth considering moving on.