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.
Dallas Cowboys - Ezekiel Elliott, RB
Elliott has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons lately. While it doesn’t appear he’s been arrested, he may face punishment by the league based on his previous history that resulted in a suspension by the NFL. Without the off-field issues, Elliot is a top three running back in the league. He’s a true three-down player (played 82.71% of the team’s offensive snaps in 2018), which increases his opportunity for touches. He’s proven himself as a pass catcher, and massively increased his targets (95) and catches (77) and touchdowns (3) from previous years. Dallas runs the ball on 43.23% of its plays last year, which is the 10th highest clip in the league. After being selected fourth overall by the Cowboys in 2016, Zeke still has another two years left on his deal; in the past Jerry Jones had been outspoken on wanting him to sign a long-term extension. However, Jerry’s son, Stephen Jones, appears to be calling the shots nowadays, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be re-signed in Dallas long-term. He’ll turn 24 in July and has been relatively healthy for his career, so all signs point to him continuing to be a true workhorse. His value may dip with a possible suspension if you want to try and pry him away from his current owner. I think the biggest concern for him moving forward will be his poor decision making off the field.
New York Giants - Saquon Barkley, RB
Saquon Barkley is almost unanimously thought of as the number one overall dynasty asset, especially in PPR leagues. He’s the highest drafted running back since the Saints selected Reggie Bush in the 2006 draft. His frame (5’11”, 233 lb), speed (4.40 40-yard dash), and skill set as a receiver immediately translated to success in the NFL. He posted insane numbers as a runner (261 rushes/1307 yards/11 touchdowns) and a receiver (121 targets/91 catches/721 yards/4 touchdowns) all while playing behind an offensive line that ranked 29th according to Football Outsiders based on adjusted line yards, which factors in how well the offensive line blocks for the running back. Since then, the Giants have added a starting offensive guard, Kevin Zeitler, from the Cleveland Browns in a trade for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. It’s hard to fathom, but this might allow for even more targets in the passing game than the 121 he received last year. Ultimately, the Giants are going to be hamstrung by the play of their over-the-hill quarterback, Eli Manning. Barkley’s value could skyrocket even more if they replace him with even a semi-competent quarterback. Either way, he’s an insanely productive 22-year-old running back entering the second year of his NFL career. If you have him on your team, you’re likely holding him. If you do have the opportunity to trade for him though, do everything you can (within reason) to make it happen.
Philadelphia Eagles - Carson Wentz, QB PHI
At the end of 2018 tight end Zach Ertz may have been the name on this list after breaking Jason Witten’s record for most catches by a tight end in a single season (116 catches/1163 yards/8 touchdowns). However, this year it’s pretty obviously Carson Wentz, provided he stays healthy. Since Ertz’s great season, the Eagles have made significant additions to their offense. They traded for DeSean Jackson to give Wentz a true deep threat, drafted offensive tackle Andre Dillard in the first round to give Wentz some additional protection on the offensive line. They also drafted running back Miles Sanders and wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Combine all of these additions with the fact tight end Dallas Goedert is entering his second year in the offense and Wentz is fully healthy, and you can see why people are excited about him. The offense may spread the ball around, which wouldn’t facilitate a true #1 wide receiver/running back/tight end in fantasy football, but that should still bode well for Wentz. His only real concern has been injury, which has derailed both of the last two seasons.
Washington Redskins - Derrius Guice, RB WAS
Derrius Guice is one of the most intriguing players on this list. For one, he’s the only player who hasn’t played a snap in a regular season NFL game, but it’s honestly so much more than that. He shared a backfield with Leonard Fournette while at LSU and was thought of by some as the better running back on that team. After he inexplicably fell to the Redskins in the second round of the NFL Draft, he was widely thought of as having the second best landing spot (behind Saquon Barkley) of any rookie. He was consistently being drafted 1.02 in rookie drafts at the time as well. Then he tore his ACL in the preseason and missed the entire year. The Redskins then signed veteran Adrian Peterson to fill the void, and while he’s past his prime, he was at least serviceable. Guice was expected to make his return this year and be an every-down back, but reports came out that Guice had some setbacks in his rehabilitation from the torn ACL. Then the Redskins re-signed Peterson and drafted rookie running back Bryce Love. All reports are he’ll be fully healthy come the start of the season, but we have no idea what his role will look like in that crowded backfield. We do know that he was a great player in college. We’ll obviously know more what we have with Guice once we finally see him on an NFL field, and until then you’ll find wildly different valuations across your league. Some will still value him similarly to when he was drafted, while others may be scared away.