Dynasty values change more often than we as a community think, and therefore our trade targets will change as well. CJ Lang, Brandon Lejeune, Michael Royer, Sam Kelly, Cody Kutzer, and Aaron Yakel give you their favorite (current) buys!
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has set the football world on fire this year. He set the record for most touchdowns thrown by an FBS quarterback in a season (60), won the Heisman Trophy and came home with many other postseason awards. The Cincinnati Bengals need a quarterback and have the first pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Done deal right?
If Burrow is drafted, Auden Tate should see a huge boost in value. The Bengals second-year wide receiver is an imposing force at 6’ 5”, 228 pounds. He led the Bengals in red zone targets (15) and was second to Tyler Boyd for total targets (85) in 2019. This is in spite of him missing four games and playing with quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley. While not known for his speed, he has great hands and the ability to high point the ball over smaller defensive backs.
Star wide receiver A.J. Green may not be back with the team and Boyd did not exactly take the huge step everyone expected in Green’s absence. Tate definitely has a chance to be a solid option on this team next year especially with Burrow running Zac Taylor’s offense. Now is the time to buy Tate!
CJ Lang (@Clubber_Lang83)
The 2019 fantasy season is over and it’s time to review our rosters for offseason posturing and acquisitions. It’s a great time to buy low on players that have underperformed or who may be forgotten and ready to break out next season. Ian Thomas is at the top of my buy list for 2020.
Thomas flashed as a rookie back in 2018 when he was called into action when Greg Olsen went down with an injury. He grabbed 36 balls for 333 yards and two touchdowns, showing he belongs in the NFL. This season, Olsen surprisingly returned to the field, relegating Thomas back to the bench. All reports indicate Olsen, age 35 when the 2020 season starts, will finally call it quits. Thomas is expected to be the full-time starter next season unless the Panthers draft a tight end in the upcoming draft, which is highly unlikely.
The Panthers organization is under a bit of transition which may temporarily limit Thomas’ upside in 2020. They have a new coach in Matt Rhule and there are questions whether Cam Newton will be back under center. Use this uncertainty as your bargaining chip to acquire Thomas. In dynasty, he is a fantastic long term tight end prospect and can most likely be acquired on the cheap. This is a value play which could reap rewards in the future. Now, go get yourself some Thomas shares.
Brandon Lejeune (@DynastyDeepDive)
The buy low candidates who yield the best returns are many times wide receivers who enter year three ready to break out and have potential changes in circumstances. This is why my offseason buy low target is Michael Gallup.
Michael Gallup came to Dallas as an underrated player with a history of success. His immediate ability to run the full route tree led to a very nice rookie season, but it was what he did in his sophomore campaign that has fantasy owners excited. The second-year wide receiver improved in nearly every statistical category en route to a low key breakout in 2019, posting 61 receptions, 1009 yards, and 6 touchdowns in 14 games. Gallup has the ability to high point catches and win 50/50 balls for big plays, which plays into the strength of Dak Prescott who excelled with one of the best deep ball ratings in the league.
It is Gallup’s chemistry with Dak matched with the potential situation change which gives fantasy owners something to be excited about. Mike McCarthy now enters as the new head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, a coach who over the years has proven to be offensive-minded and prefers to throw the ball 60% of the time. All of this is great news as Gallup enters his third year. Gallup has shown the ability to take over a game like he did over the final two games of the season. During that stretch he caught 13 passes for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Cowboys front office has some decisions to make, but even if Amari Cooper signs with the Cowboys, Gallup produced as the WR23 in fantasy last season and should be considered a strong candidate to at least match this status in 2020. Owners have yet to bake in the cost of the scenario of Amari Cooper leaving for another team, catapulting Michael Gallup into the premier wide receiver for what should be one of the league’s top offenses. He has progressed in each season and has the skill set, chemistry, and situation to be an even more valuable dynasty asset in 2020.
Michael Royer (@Dynasty_DadFF)
Joe Mixon’s situation in Cincinnati has only gotten worse since he was drafted in 2017. According to Pro Football Focus, the Bengals’ offensive line rating - after being ranked 28th and 27th in 2017 and 2018 - fell to 30th in 2019. Bengals running backs averaged only 1.9 yards before contact from a defender, tied for 25th in the league. With the season-long injury to stud receiver A.J. Green and with Andy Dalton out for a few games, Mixon was the focal point of this poor Cincinnati offense. So why is Joe Mixon my #1 buy? His situation has nowhere to go but up.
For starters, the Bengals’ 2019 1st round pick, offensive tackle Jonah Williams, is coming back from missing the entire 2019 season due to injury. With a full offseason of training and time to build chemistry, Williams should immediately boost last season’s 30th ranked offensive line. Speaking of returning from injury, the Bengals could get their seven-time Pro Bowler Green back, barring he doesn’t leave this offseason. His return would make it much more difficult for defenses to tee off on the running game. Finally, if you’re a college football fan, you watched Joe Burrow torch the college football world en route to a Heisman Trophy and National Championship. Barring some unforeseen circumstances, Joe Burrow is going to be suiting up in the black and orange on Sundays real soon. Burrow provides an immediate superstar under center who will help the Cincinnati offense get the ball in Mixon’s hands in new, creative ways. Burrow also shows the willingness to check down to his running backs when the situation arises, boosting Mixon’s PPR value.
While all signs point towards an improved team situation for Joe Mixon, we can’t ignore the most important reason to buy Mixon; he’s extremely talented. Despite everything working against him in 2019, he still got better as the year went on. In his first eight games, he averaged 40.1 rushing yards and just over 10 fantasy points per game. However, in his last eight games those numbers skyrocketed to 102.1 rushing yards and 18.2 points per game. Over a full season those numbers would have been RB5 on the year. Now imagine what Mixon can do with Joe Burrow behind center instead of Dalton/Findlay, a receiving corp of AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross, and a healthy, improved offensive line. The Bengals are about to boast one of the best up-and-coming offenses in the NFL and Joe Mixon is going to be the primary beneficiary. Don’t be afraid to overpay for him now because Mixon is going to be a top-five running back in fantasy football next year.
Sam Kelly (@Sam_Wise730)
San Francisco 49ers
Samuel has quietly put together a very respectable season and there’s reason to believe his arrow is only pointing up. From Weeks 1-16, Samuel finished the fantasy season with 164.6 points, which barely made him a WR3 season at as WR35. If we split the season into Weeks 1-7 and weeks 8-16, we can get a better idea of how well Samuel has been playing. In the first seven weeks of the year, Samuel played over 60% of the offensive snaps in a game just once and was WR78. Yikes. Once Shanahan realized Samuel was one of his best offensive weapons, his snaps never dipped below 66% and he was the WR15 over the second half of the season.. He finished the year with 159 rushing yards, the third-most all-time for a rookie receiver. Since targets began being kept as a statistic in 1992, Samuel’s 9.90 yards per target ranks 8th overall amongst rookies with 75+ targets. The first three names ahead of him? Keenan Allen, Odell Beckham Jr., and Julio Jones. Is that good? I think that’s good.
Whenever we’re looking for dynasty trade targets, we need to consider future potential scenarios. For Samuel, the majority of his range of outcomes are favorable to an increase in opportunity and production. Samuel ranked 12th in red zone targets but had just one touchdown. Even if we don’t expect him to continue to be targeted as frequently in the red zone, we can expect a bump in efficiency. Second, elite defenses tend to not carry over year to year (think of the Jaguars from just a few years ago). If the 49ers defense takes even a small step back, game script should dictate more passing, which could increase Samuel’s opportunity. Lastly, I don’t expect Emmanuel Sanders to be back with San Francisco in 2020, especially considering they have the sixth-lowest amount of cap space heading into next season. Expect an addition via the draft, but Samuel will already be established and should be viewed as the number one receiver for the 49ers.
The only way I’ll pivot off Samuel is if he happens to ball out and completely take over the NFC Championship and/or Super Bowl. “Island games” and recency bias skew player values, even in a format where we should be considering the long haul. With rookie fever beginning to boil over, you should be able to snag Samuel at a discount.
Cody Kutzer (@CKutzerFF)
The first rule of dynasty trading is: You do not talk about dynasty trading. Ok. The real first rule of dynasty trading is: You buy low and sell high. The secret to dynasty trading is not all rules are created equal, because not all players are created equal. There are players that reside in the grey area of exceptional talent and murky situations of coaching changes or uncertain team makeup changes. Betting on the talent and taking advantage of the murky greyness can set your middling team up for powerhouse greatness. Nick Chubb is the presiding president of team murky as the Cleveland Browns are once again embarking on another year with a new head coach and general manager.
What isn’t deniable is Chubb’s talent. As a Georgia Bulldog, Chubb gained 5,130 yards from scrimmage, 6.5 yards per touch, with 48 total touchdowns according to sports-reference.com. In 2019, his first full year as the starter for the Browns, Chubb accumulated 1,772 yards from scrimmage, 5.3 yards per touch. Continued impressive totals at the NFL level, even with Kareem Hunt, sharing time during the second half of the season.
Hunt’s past success adds to the murkiness that Chubb’s current fantasy team owner is having to battle internally with. Uncertainty is creeping in, clouding the view of stability. Your leaguemate sees: the new coach, the new general manager, the added star level competition for touches, combined with the fact it’s the Browns possibly screwing everything up again, and will have a depressed valuation of Chubb. This is where the smart owner strikes. You will see the new coach Kevin Stefanski who just came from coaching Dalvin Cook and realize the value of having someone at the helm that prefers a system that marries the run with the pass. You will see a new general manager who perhaps may not see a long-term future for Hunt as a Brown, instead seeing the trade value he undoubtedly still has. You will remember the undeniable fact Chubb is talented and will thrive in Stefanski’s vision of an offense.
The smart owner will take advantage of the murky waters, reap the rewards of trading for a star level asset at a depressed value, and cash-in on a championship run.
Aaron Yakel (@yakeanbake)