Late August is peak re-draft season, but it’s also an underrated time for dynasty. With everyone binging fantasy news and projections, and therefore fully engaged, it can be a great time to work out a trade. Below are five players who are perfect targets at the present moment.
Right after the NFL draft I traded Phillip Lindsay and the 1.12 for Moore. Since then I’ve run into a brick wall trying to trade for him, and missed out on him in both dynasty startups I’ve done. (He went 3.02 in a 12 team PPR, and 3.06 in the RDL 2.0 which is a 12 team PPR, Superflex, TE Premium). Apparently the word got out on his ridiculous rookie year comps.
But things are shifting slightly due to the massive buzz surrounding Curtis Samuel. Now it’s Samuel who has become untouchable in my leagues, as the excitement surrounding the third-year breakout candidate nears Godwinian levels.
The Samuel hype, warranted though it may be, doesn’t temper my enthusiasm for Moore. Moore has an elite profile and lots of available targets in his offense. Even if Samuel breaks out, Moore could put together a great season in his own right.
The Samuel hype, however, does create a bit of a buying opportunity for Moore. To get him, you’ll still need likely need to overpay in whatever trade calculator your leaguemate prefers1 But owners’ death grip on Moore should have loosened from a month or so ago.
Hopefully this isn’t too much of a tangent, but I think dynasty players fool themselves if they think about production over a multi-year period. We’re honestly not very good at predicting what will happen in two months, let alone two years.
But at the same time … if you play dynasty with only current year production in mind, your team will begin to look very gross, very quickly.
My personal philosophy is to target players I think will score a lot of points in the upcoming season, but who are also likely to increase or at least retain their current trade value after the season is over. I balance these sometimes conflicting objectives based on player price and how competitive my team is.
This brings me to Part 4 of my What if We’re Right Series, in which I called Boyd a “red flag buy.” The red flag at the time was his potential 2020 free agency. This brought with it the risk of a down year on a new team in 2020, and therefore lower trade value.
But with Boyd now extended through 2023, we can expect a much more stable situation entering the 2020 season. In other words, his biggest weakness (contract situation) is now a strength, and will protect Boyd’s trade value through the next offseason.
And I should add, stable dynasty value is quite a perk for a player who could be about to deliver a secondary breakout under an exciting new coaching staff.
And the best part about this new contract? It’s tough to say with certainty, because it roughly coincided with A.J. Green’s injury, but it seems like it hasn’t been priced in at all.2 In fact, Boyd’s owner may see this as a “sell high” window with Green returning early in the season and likely to ruin the party. (Shawn Siegele has covered why we shouldn’t put much stock in this argument).
I recently traded for Tyler Boyd in a large package deal (PPR):
- Deshaun Watson
- Kerryon Johnson
- Darrell Henderson
- Jarvis Landry
- Baker Mayfield
- Sam Darnold
- Marlon Mack
- Tyler Boyd
- Cooper Kupp
Fuller was another player I profiled as a “red flag buy.” Fuller’s red flag is that he’ll be playing 2020 under his fifth-year option, and is therefore at risk of being cut if he muddles through another minor-injury plagued season.3 But Fuller is reportedly his old self at Texans camp, and looks primed for a productive campaign. His teammate Keke Coutee meanwhile, recently sustained an ankle injury and looks likely to start the season slowly.
Fuller’s situation isn’t markedly different than when I wrote about him two months ago, but FFPC dynasty drafters haven’t taken him earlier than the eighth round all month, and his owner may be willing to part with him for a bargain. It will likely be a different story after Fuller’s first spike week early in the season.
While writing this I was able to acquire Fuller in non-PPR dynasty league from a nervous Ezekiel Elliott owner:
- Tony Pollard
- David Njoku
- Justice Hill
- Will Fuller
- 2020 Third
I was firmly not on the Mecole Hardman bandwagon earlier this offseason. I was happy to see him go off the board in the mid-first round of my rookie drafts, and my leaguemates obliged. He was selected as the 1.08 in my first rookie draft of the year, and at 1.05 in the next. In the RotoViz Dynasty League reboot, Hardman was selected as the ninth rookie and just the sixth non-QB or TE.
But following the news that Tyreek Hill would not be suspended, Hardman’s value has fallen dramatically. Since then I’ve drafted Hardman as the 18th rookie off the board in a startup and at 17th in a rookie draft.
Personally, I find this to be a bizarre plot twist. Here I was thinking that I was the only dynasty owner not sold on a WR with less than 1,000 career receiving yards and a career-best MSY of 17% as a mid first-round rookie pick. But as it turns out, for some inexplicable reason, drafters were only interested in this extremely raw prospect because of the production he offered as a rookie?
And now because this … what? WR40 season? is off the table … now I’m able to invest in a 21-year-old Tyreek Hill clone tied to Patrick Mahomes through at least 2022, at more than a 50% discount? And all because he doesn’t have to immediately replace Hill but gets to learn directly from his doppelganger instead? Sorry, I know that was a lot of questions, but it’s a highly perplexing situation.
Because, think about it … yes, Hardman is due for less production in 2019. But his 2020 situation retains all the upside it had 2 months ago. Tyreek Hill remains unsigned for 2020 and beyond, and the Chiefs can cut Sammy Watkins with a cap savings of $14MM after the season. If either of those WRs depart, Hardman’s ADP will skyrocket next off-season. If both leave, Hardman-hype will break the internet.
I don’t have any completed trades to report on Hardman, but the cost of acquiring him in drafts has fallen to the point where you’d have to be crazy not to send offers this week.
Despite the constant drumbeat on Hines out of RotoViz headquarters, dynasty drafters have shown little interest. This is despite the fact that Parris Campbell has missed basically all of training camp with a hamstring injury, likely opening targets for Hines in the slot.
On the other hand, Andrew Luck’s calf troubles create downside risk for the offense as a whole and for Hines in particular, as Jacoby Brissett is more likely to run when the play breaks down than to check it down to Hines.
However, the Luck injury is much bigger news in the fantasy community than the Campbell one. As a result, it shouldn’t take too much to pry Hines away this week. For example, I recently traded a second-round pick that I would project as the 2.11 or 2.12 for Tom Brady and Hines. I’m the Luck owner in that league so officially it was an “overpay for Brady,” but in truth it was an upside bet on Hines who should have a healthy Luck at some point this season — and is well worth a late second on his own.
Image Credit: Steven King/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: D.J. Moore.
- It’s always a nice edge if you can find this out. (back)
- Boyd’s ADP has increased, but I’m assuming this has more to do with his higher projected target volume post-Green injury than with his contract. (back)
- He can’t be cut if he suffers a major injury, which would cause his fifth-year option to become guaranteed. (back)