In Dynasty Trade Targets 2020 – Running Back Edition, Curtis Patrick gives away the names of three running backs he’s buying right now.
As rookie fever sets in across the dynasty community, the offseason trade window also begins to crack open. I’m sharing three of my top dynasty trade targets at the running back position for the 2020 offseason. One of these players is an elite level dynasty asset that ran into a little bad luck in 2019, the second is being overshadowed by another top rookie, and the third was highly efficient and could be a league-winning stash. These three running backs aren’t the only ones I’ll be shopping for this offseason, but they’re the three I’m targeting right now. To ensure that Dynasty Trade Targets 2020 – Running Back Edition is actionable, I’ve also listed multiple trade offers to consider for each player.
Dynasty Trade Target 1 – Miles Sanders
I think Miles Sanders is a fantasy explosion waiting to happen and could possibly win your league for you at some point. He’s that good.
As Blair Andrews notes in his research, running backs who have positive rookie seasons in total fantasy points over expectation (FPOE) tend to score more fantasy points the following year. Sanders ranked first among 2019 rookie running backs with 19.7 total FPOE. What I really like about Sanders is that the value he added on top of his opportunity came in receiving game. In fact, since 2000, Sanders ranks third among all backs selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft in rookie season receiving FPOE (reFPOE).
I really like this list of peers for Sanders. Only Matt Jones failed to preserve a multi-season fantasy floor. The former Washington third round pick fizzled out because of a devastating knee injury that derailed his career. It’s the ceiling in the group that’s tantalizing, though. Five players in this cohort went on to post at least one PPR RB3 season: Alvin Kamara, David Johnson, Matt Forte, DeAngelo Williams, and Maurice Jones-Drew.
For Sanders’ upside to truly be unlocked, it looks like the only thing that has to happen is for Jordan Howard to go away. Check out these insane splits from our Game Splits App.
In a Howard-less season, Sanders would have paced for RB10 numbers in PPR per game and RB7 overall. I have good news for you … Howard is already gone. The Eagles had him on a one-year deal and he’s now an unrestricted free agent.
What’s it going to cost you?
Which asset would you rather own in dynasty?— Curtis Patrick (@CPatrickNFL) January 28, 2020
With a value of 2020 rookie pick 1.04, Sanders is priced just behind what looks like a consensus top-3 running back tier. If you’re in need of a back and worried that Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, and J.K. Dobbins will be gone when you’re on the clock, try hitting up the Sanders owner as a consolation. Obviously, variations of this deal could work too – if you’re holding a pick in the 1.05 -1.07 range you may be able to reach a deal by adding a future second round pick.
Trade offer ideas – 2020 picks in the 1.04-1.06 range, Josh Jacobs, Le’Veon Bell + 2020 2nd, Julio Jones
Dynasty Trade Target 2 – Alvin Kamara
In case you weren’t aware, evidently Alvin Kamara is on sale.
How deep is the discount? Over 40% of dynasty Twitter says they’d rather have the 2020 rookie 1.01 than Kamara. That’s a shockingly high number and leads me to believe the trade market for Kamara could be a very fruitful one for those of us who want to acquire him.
Which asset would you rather own in 1-QB, PPR, dynasty fantasy football?— Curtis Patrick (@CPatrickNFL) January 28, 2020
The initial poll was so close that I felt compelled to zero in on his macro-market price for your benefit. It didn’t take long to find it.
Which asset(s) would you rather own in 1-QB, PPR, dynasty fantasy football?— Curtis Patrick (@CPatrickNFL) January 29, 2020
I think Alvin Kamara is being discounted due to his raw positional PPR finish of RB9, which was a relative disappointment as compared to his consensus top-four ranking across the industry and the community. However, the results were largely driven by his insanely low touchdown percentage in the receiving game. The dynamic back scored exactly zero touchdowns on 69 targets from Drew Brees and had just one receiving touchdown total on 97 targets — good for a whopping 1.03% rate. This was a far cry from his 3.8% rate in 2018 and his 4.9% rate in 2017. An extra three touchdowns would have vaulted him to RB6.
Actually, just trending touchdowns in general, Kamara was down.
- 2017 – 13 total touchdowns
- 2018 – 18 total touchdowns
- 2019 – 6 total touchdowns
To my eyes, 2019 seems like the outlier (in a bad way) in this sample.
I think another thing driving his price down is the potential Brees retirement. But would a Brees retirement actually harm Kamara?
As our Game Splits App shows, Kamara was actually better (from a fantasy perspective) without Brees in 2019. He averaged more volume and more production across all categories in his four games with Teddy Bridgewater.
Kamara is a buy for me because he’s discounted relative to his age and his elite career production to-date and he has two paths to a bounce back in 2020. His touchdown rate could regress to the positive or a Brees retirement could mean the running back sees the highest volume campaign of his career.
Trade offer ideas: 2020 rookie picks 1.01-1.03 + 2.01-2.03, Le’Veon Bell + mid-late 2020 1st, Keenan Allen + late 2020 1st
Dynasty Trade Target 3 – Tony Pollard
Tony Pollard is the only 2019 rookie running back who can boast positive FPOE in both rushing and receiving. The only one.
In fact, his 19.1 total FPOE ranked 19th among all running backs last year, regardless of experience.
After being a trendy sleeper in the late summer of 2019 based on Ezekiel Elliott holdout rumors, Pollard didn’t get the workload owners dreamed of, but when he did touch the ball, he was efficient. In a Mike McCarthy offense, I expect Pollard’s total touch count cap to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 unless something happens to Zeke. So, this isn’t a buy for 2020 production you can count on. However, it’s a move for a player who will smash if he ever gets an extended look. He already showed us he can spike big games when given the chance.
It really doesn’t take much to create a Pollard boom-week, as long as he gets just a little receiving work.
Jerry Jones compared Pollard to Kamara after drafting him. In the limited sample we have so far, it’s hard to argue with that if we’re talking about the similar ability to create big plays in the passing game. Even if Elliott stays healthy, imagine what Pollard could do in a receiving-heavy role?
Trade offer ideas: a mid-late rookie 2nd, a pair of rookie 3rds, Jamison Crowder
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