The best part of playing in a fantasy football dynasty league is that there is no off-season. Your roster is carried over year after year with a rookie draft every season in most cases. This makes the draft picks you select and the trades you make or don’t make carry that much more weight.
Perceived values of players will fluctuate from year to year based on things like performance, age, and roster. If you can take advantage of these perceived values at the right time, it could pay off for years to come. Let’s use Todd Gurley as a quick example. His value after his monster rookie season was as high as any running back in the league. Some were all in on Gurley while others looked at the lack of talent around him and predicted a dip in production for the 2016 season.
If you traded Gurley for someone like Julio Jones after his rookie season, (which was very possible at that time) you are probably loving life now while the other guy is still trying to get over that move. The NFL Draft is just days away and will bring a new set of circumstances for teams and players. Perceived values will once again be adjusted with the new additions, so what moves should you make before the NFL draft takes place?
1. Cash in on your 1st round pick/picks
Don’t trade your picks just because, only do so if you can get great value for them. One of the biggest mistakes made in fantasy football dynasty leagues is the blind love fest that happens with first round rookie picks every season, especially with those newer to fantasy football dynasty.
Every rookie draft should be assessed on a talent basis, not a round basis or pick number basis. What I mean by that is the 1.06 can carry a much different value than the 1.08, just because they are only two picks apart doesn’t mean you’ll land the same caliber of player.
I believe there are six players in this rookie draft that you can’t go wrong with from a talent/potential stance. If you aren’t in love with anyone then I’d start shopping the picks. Someone in your league will overpay simply because it’s a first round pick.
Trade example: Allen Robinson in exchange for 1.03
2. Start collecting 2018 1st rounders
Another mistake made in fantasy football dynasty is devaluing future picks based on the “what can you do for me now” mindset. Teams are often quick to offer up future picks because it doesn’t affect their immediate future. Send some offers to the weaker teams in your league for their 2018 first. If you can find a weak team willing to ship it out for nothing, you might just land a top-5 rookie pick next season.
Trade example: 1.11 in exchange for 2.04 & 2018 1st
3. Trade for Marcus Mariota
The stock of Marcus Mariota is about to sky-rocket after the draft. The Tennessee Titans have shown every intention of surrounding the young quarterback with weapons. I expect this to continue in a draft class that is rich in talent. The Titans have already loaded up the running back positions by drafting Derick Henry in last years draft and bringing back last years starter and leading AFC rusher DeMarco Murray.
The titans have two picks in the first round with one of those being a top-5 pick. With a less than stellar receiving corp, the chances of them drafting a potential star talent guy like Corey Davis or Mike Williams seem likely. Trade for Mariota before his owners grab on with both hands!
Trade example: Marcus Mariota in exchange for Eli Manning & 2.02
4. Haul in Allen Robinson
As I mentioned before, the perceived value of players will change from year to year based of many reasons. Allen Robinson is a guy that people seem to forget produced a 1,400 yard 14 touchdown season just two seasons ago and is only 24. Robinson has the skill set and athletic ability to be one of the league’s top WR’s year in and year out. Send some offers out for him before the Jaguars make any noise in the draft. His stock is at an all-time low (to some) so take advantage.
Trade example: Allen Robinson in exchange for Demaryius Thomas & 1.07
5. Trade up in the 1st round
Many tend to lump all first rounders into the same class which is not the case. There are six players in this draft that I would be willing to trade up for and I believe the value drop off begins at pick 1.07. Regardless if you agree or not, if you have a late 1st round pick and really want to land someone, let’s say in the top-5, try to package your 1st and a middle-of-the-pack player/pick to move up.
Trade example: 1.03 in exchange for 1.08 & 2.01
6. Toss in the towel on Adrian Peterson
Although his production moving forward is a big question, the name Adrian Peterson still carries weight. This is your last chance to trade Adrian Peterson for any sort of real value.
While a great comeback story is possible, the chances of Adrian Peterson getting back to his old form doesn’t seem very likely . He has yet to land on a roster, which is telling. Even if he lands in a good spot he will not get the workload he had in Minnesota. Find the” Viking fan” or “Adrian Peterson lover” in your league and sell now!
Trade example: Adrian Peterson & 2.05 in exchange for 1.08/1.09
7. Gamble on Martavis Bryant
Very few people on this planet have the potential that Bryant does. There’s a reason Martavius Bryant’s nickname is “Alien.” He showed exactly what he is capable of in the 21 games he played from 2014 to 2015. He turned 76 receptions into 1,314 yards and 14 touchdowns in that span.
After missing the 2016 season due to suspension following a failed drug test, the number of strikes against Bryant are starting to pile up. Emphasize that in your negotiations to trade for Bryant. You are able to land a player with as high of a ceiling as any in the league for cheap due to his track record. If Bryant can stay out of trouble moving forward he carries league winning upside.
Example trade: Martavis Bryant in exchange for 2.01 & 3.12
8. Jump aboard the Jameis Winston ship
Building your fantasy football dynasty team around a young and talented quarterback such as Jameis Winston is a good strategy (especially if you play in a 2-QB league). Winston has been a good fantasy asset in his first two seasons in the league, topping the 4,000+ yard mark in both seasons and averaging 25 touchdowns in that span.
Tampa Bay has one of the leagues best wide receivers in Mike Evans who emerged as one of the NFL’s brightest stars last season. Adding the skills of DeSean Jackson via free agency will only help Jameis Winston and the rest of the offense. The Bucs may look to make a big splash on day one of the NFL draft, potentially looking to draft a running back like Dalvin Cook if he falls there. Trade for Winston now before this offense gets even better.
Example trade: Jameis Winston in exchange for Dak Prescott & 3.12
9. Cash in on Michael Thomas
The New Orleans Saints trading of Brandin Cooks ignited the engine for the Michael Thomas hype train. This could be great news if you’re a Thomas owner. Michael Thomas surprised a lot of people last season, finishing his rookie year as the #7 WR in PPR scoring and the #9 WR in standard scoring.
With Cooks now out of the picture Thomas moves atop of the depth chart. Although he is a great player he is overvalued. While he has great upside, some of the players you are able to get for him now can’t be passed up. I’d even look to package him and land a top-3 guy if possible.
The Saints could use some depth behind Thomas and Willie Snead so trade him now before any other receiver is drafted that could take a little buzz away from the fully throttled Thomas hype train.
Trade example: Michael Thomas & 1.06 in exchange for Mike Evans/ Michael Thomas in exchange for A.J. Green
10. Let DeMarco Murray go
Murray had a bounce back season in 2016, rushing for 1,287 yards and 12 total touchdowns. If you’re keeping track that is three 1,100+ rushing yard seasons in the past four years for Murray. So why would you trade him?
The biggest reason I’d look to trade him is 2016 2nd round pick Derrick Henry. Although Henry only played in 25% of the Titans offensive snaps last season, that number will likely only go up. Murray has carried the ball 1,095 times over the past four seasons and will be 30 in February. It would be smart to keep him fresh using the younger Henry.
The fantasy football dynasty back to own is Henry. Murray is the guy to own in re-draft leagues this year but his value will only go down from this point. Package some picks with Murray to trade for a bigger name guy or trade him for a package deal with some high draft picks involved.
Trade example: DeMarco Murray & 1.12 in exchange for Jordan Howard/ DeMarco Murray in exchange for 1.06
Some people wouldn’t make these trades, others would jump on these trades. That is because the value of players/picks varies from owner to owner. Take a look at your team, set a direction of how you want to build your team, do your research, and take advantage of perceived values when the chance provides itself via trade. The NFL Draft may cause some owners to get trade happy. Be ready to capitalize!