There is no right or wrong way to way to win in dynasty. If the season ends in a championship then every move up to that point can be justified. However, there are strategies which significantly increase your chances at sustained success, and each of these strategies involves maximizing value in different situations. Trading is one of the most important ways of upgrading a roster in dynasty. However, knowing when to hold a player and when to trade a player can be challenging, even for the most diehard owners. The best time to trade a player is when they’re at their maximum value. The next eight articles are going to focus on the Most Valuable Dynasty Asset (MVDA) on each team. For the purposes of the discussion, the values will be based on superflex leagues, where quarterbacks are more important. I’ll take into account consensus rankings as well as average draft position (ADP) data. Identifying these players can help you extract maximum value out of other owners in your league via trades.
Chicago Bears - Mitchell Trubisky, QB
Mitchell Trubisky took a leap in his second year, due in large part to the coaching staff changes. The addition of new head coach and offensive guru Frank Nagy - combined with the addition of wide receivers Allen Robinson (free agency), Taylor Gabriel (free agency), and Anthony Miller (draft) as well as tight end Trey Burton (free agency) - drastically improved the overall play of the offense. In 2017, the Bears ranked 29th in total offense according to Pro Football Reference. They scored 264 points to go with 4,599 yards, only 2,811 coming from the passing game. In 2018, the Bears catapulted into 9th in the league, scoring 421 points to go with 5,502 yards (3,564 passing). Trubisky improved his statistics significantly from his first to second year.
He saw increases in almost every significant statistic, while also minimizing turnovers. The Bears doubled down on their commitment to the offense, by adding weapons David Montgomery (draft), Riley Ridley (draft), Emmanuel Hall (undrafted free agent), and Mike Davis (free agent). Trubisky’s Achilles’ heel may be the play of his offensive line, which ranked 28th according to Football Outsiders based on adjusted line yards, which factors in how well the offensive line blocks for the running back. They will have Kyle Long back after he ended the season on injured reserve while other guys are switching back to their natural positions, which should help.
Detroit Lions - Kenny Golladay, WR / Kerryon Johnson, RB
Finally, we have our first difference between consensus rankings and ADP! Although close, wide receiver Kenny Golladay has been ranked higher than running back Kerryon Johnson, and yet Johnson is being drafted earlier in most start-ups. Golladay showed some promise at the end of last year after starter Golden Tate was traded to Philadelphia at the deadline.
These numbers look great, but they’re a bit misleading. Most of his damage came not only after Tate was traded, but also after other starting wide receiver Marvin Jones went down with a knee injury in Week 10. He went from being the third receiver on the depth chart to the first after a trade and an injury. While he had success, his opportunity is sure to change with the return of Jones from injury and the Lions drafting do-it-all tight end T.J. Hockenson ninth overall. The Lions new offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, has only added to the concern by stating his commitment to the run. All of this suggests Johnson is due for a big bump in production in year two…and may actually be the more valuable dynasty asset. He fared well in year one when on the field (10 games: 118 rushes/641 yards/3 touchdowns to go with 39 targets/32 catches/213 yards/1 touchdown). He missed some time with injury, but extrapolated over 16 games which would have amounted to 1025 rushing yards/340 receiving yards/6 touchdowns. From 2017 to 2018, Detroit’s offensive line improved from dead last to 20th overall according to Football Outsiders. Their major addition was rookie center Frank Ragnow, who performed well last year. Hockenson excelled at run-blocking in college as well and should help take some of the pressure off of the linemen. While the Lions did add C.J. Anderson to the backfield, they may be moving on from pass-catching running back Theo Riddick, who has syphoned targets and catches away from the rest of the rushers over the years. He’s averaged between 50-100 targets each year, which could shift Johnson’s way, as Anderson doesn’t project as a pass-catcher (<2 catches/game for his career). If Johnson can stay healthy, he may vault his way into RB1 territory in this offense.
Green Bay Packers - Davante Adams, WR
Davante Adams might be my favorite player to watch in the entire league. His rise to superstardom has been meteoric to say the least. After failing to eclipse 500 yards receiving or 3 touchdowns in his first two seasons (2014-15), he exploded for 997 yards and 12 touchdowns in his third season (2016) and followed it up with another solid fourth season of 885 yards and 10 touchdowns. All of this production was done as the number two option behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target, Jordy Nelson. When Nelson was cut, Adams exploded with 169 targets/111 catches/1386 yards/13 touchdowns. His most valuable attribute was his usage in the red zone though. He had a league-high 31 red zone targets to go with a league-high 12 touchdowns inside the 20 yard line. He quickly became Rodgers’ favorite red zone weapon and he was used early and often with great success. Having his quarterback return to health after dealing with a major knee injury last season should only help his strong output. Considering he’s still only 26 years old and under contract in Green Bay (with his star quarterback) until 2021 and there’s reason to be optimistic about his continued success.
Minnesota Vikings - Dalvin Cook, RB