In dynasty, if you’re not constantly looking for ways to improve your team through trading, you’re doing your team a disservice. Knowing when to get out on a player can drastically change the long-term outlook for your team and bring you more championships.
Here are some players that I think have either hit or are about to hit their ceilings that could get you a big return in the right deal. No, I’m not saying you have to trade these players, but these are the assets I’m starting with on my own teams.
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7 Dynasty Sell Candidates (2023 Fantasy Football)
Let’s examine seven player to consider trading away in dynasty fantasy football leagues.
Don’t get me wrong; I love Justin Herbert. I’m just not sure his ceiling is what it was once promised to be. Herbert struggled in 2022, finishing as QB17 in PPG and QB11 overall, despite playing in all 17 games. He both threw and completed more passes in 2023 than in his two years prior, but finished with the least fantasy points of his career due to his low TD totals.
Now, I get that touchdowns aren’t sticky, and there’s a real chance that he sees that number go up from his 25 in 2023. Still, even if it does, Herbert is limited by his lack of rushing production. He ran 54 times for 147 yards last year, a 2.7-yard average, and scored zero rushing touchdowns. To me, in the current fantasy landscape, if you’re not using your legs as a QB, I’m not that interested. Herbert went from being in the top-tier QB discussion to being a tier-three QB at best. I’m selling before the wheels come off to get a fair price.
I feel like the sell window on Christian McCaffrey has been open for a while now, but he’s somehow still being ignored as a sell candidate. Much like I said a few years ago when I said to sell Jonathan Taylor, I want out on RBs when they’re at the top of the mountain. That’s what McCaffrey is for me this year. His RB2 finish last year might not be a fluke, but he can’t exactly do much to get better. I’m fine pivoting to a younger RB or WR at a similar value if I can get an asset that’s on the rise instead.
The Dameon Pierce story will be one we tell our grandkids. His rise to fantasy fame after going so late in rookie drafts is definitely something worth remembering. That being said, the shine might be wearing off already. If you spent a third or fourth-round pick on him and enjoyed getting those points in your lineup, now might be a fine time to see if you can get a late first or early second for him. He finished as RB21 in PPG and RB27 overall in 13 games. The Texans didn’t draft anyone, but they did add Devin Singletary in Free Agency, so I doubt Pierce is a long-term solution. Rebuilding or not, I’ll gladly take the younger player you would take with the pick if you can get it.
The Bills are, without a doubt, one of the best offenses in the league. Stefon Diggs himself finished as WR5 in PPG and WR4 overall last year. He scored a career-high 11 touchdowns in his second-best fantasy season ever. But can he repeat that? I mean, maybe, but I doubt it. The Bills drafted TE Dalton Kincaid, and QB Josh Allen rushed more times and for more yards than any other year in his career. Diggs turns 30 in November, and I’m trying to move him before my leaguemates catch on to that fact. Waiting too much longer might leave you holding the bag on a declining asset.
Deebo Samuel is currently ranked as dynasty ECR WR22. He finished last year as WR28 in PPG and WR37 overall in 13 games. He just didn’t feel like that old Deebo we all remember from 2021. In fact, he scored about half as many fantasy points in 2022. Add to this the fact that the 49ers QB situation is far from clear, and Deebo is someone I’m avoiding with a 10-foot pole. Sure, he could bounce back, but I’d rather bet on the more likely outcome that the injuries aren’t going away, and a solid WR2 or WR3 is just who he is now. If I can package him with a bench RB to move up at WR, I’m all for doing that. I just want off the ride before I hear of another injury that limits his upside.
Man, I really want to like Calvin Ridley this year. He played well in Atlanta before getting injured and his 2022 suspension. Now he’s 28 and on the Jaguars. After missing more than 18 months of meaningful football, it’s hard to predict how much rust he’ll need to knock off. In addition, he has a new QB, a new offense and even a new number. Will we see the old Ridley who dominated as the WR2 behind Julio Jones, or will we see a new Ridley who struggles to remain relevant? It’s too soon to say, but some managers are all in. I’m fine trading him away now if I’ve held him this whole time, especially if I can get someone less risky in return.
The last entry on my list of dynasty sells is another player who just had the best season of his career in TJ Hockenson. His TE3 in PPG and TE2 overall finish last year firmly catapulted him into that tier-two tight-end conversation. He played in all 17 games and had more catches, targets and yards than ever before. So why sell now?
First, I doubt he will do it again with the addition of rookie WR Jordan Addison likely stealing a fair amount of targets. Second, tight ends just don’t generally repeat those kinds of years outside of Travis Kelce. In 2021 that was Mark Andrews. In 2020 it was Darren Waller. All signs point to Hockenson and the Vikings looking different this year, so get out while you can and before your leaguemates all realize it was just another one-year thing.