Dynasty football is undoubtedly a marathon, not a sprint. With that said, in-season roster management is still every bit as critical as in a standard re-draft format, and arguably even more so given the potential long-term ramifications. As such, this weekly piece is here to provide you with a dozen moves it might just behoove you to make.
Continuing, these transactions will be broken down into four categories: players you should buy low, sell high, buy high and sell low. The first two are self explanatory and follow the typical stock market analogy, which is that you should pounce when the market fluctuates in your favor – if you can get the most bang for your buck or scoop up the metaphorical penny stocks who have room to grow, it could be in your best interest to do so. Conversely, the latter two categories represent a contradictory stance, and some might even consider them “desperation” moves – however, it’s my belief that buying high beats buying higher, and selling low is preferable to selling even lower.
Before I dispense my advice though, I want to provide one final disclaimer – these opinions are my own, and if you’re higher or lower on any of the players mentioned below you should absolutely stick to your guns. But even given the small sample size thus far in the season, we already have some actionable data. I believe it’s too soon to irrevocably change an opinion you spent an entire off-season cultivating, but you also don’t want to get stuck behind your peers. As such, some of these recommended moves will vary little, if at all, from my summertime beliefs, while others will represent a stark departure.
Let’s get started with Year Three of Tuesday Transactions!
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- Bilal Powell, RB NYJ – This one is pretty straightforward. Starter Matt Forte, while performing better than nearly everyone expected, simply cannot handle 30 touches per game. Powell will either start eating into the load like he did to Chris Ivory last year, or Forte will break down under the heavy usage. He could be a league winner come fantasy playoff time.
- Duke Johnson, RB CLE – After the injury to starting quarterback Josh McCown (which followed the injury to starting quarterback Robert Griffin), the Browns will be forced to throw third round rookie Cody Kessler, viewed by most as a massive draft reach, into the fire. Given that, as well as their abysmal defense, it’s easy to see Cleveland getting blown out more often than not. Duke already has ten targets (and seven receptions) through two games, numbers that could and should increase moving forward.
- Jalen Richard/DeAndre Washington, RBs OAK – I remember the late-summer school of thought that stated the Raiders showed faith in nominal starter Latavius Murray by waiting until the fifth round to draft Washington, and then claiming backfield mate Richard as an undrafted free agent. In fact, I agreed with it, and thought Murray was perhaps the cheapest ball carrier with legitimate RB1 upside. But now I’ve done a 180 – yes, Murray is leading the backfield in touches, but the Richard/Washington duo has siphoned away 26 touches over two weeks, leaving 29 for the starter. Instead of having security, he’s been challenged by players who cost next to nothing., and in essence has been reduced to a 50% market share. Richard and Washington are still cheap, and could continue to eat into the load.
- Lamar Miller, RB HOU – Bear with me here. I’m not saying you should give him up for a pittance, but if a league mate desires the Houston running back he makes for a somewhat sneaky sell. Though he’s gotten the usage, he’s actually been a bit mundane with it, averaging a mere 3.6 yards across 53 carries, and a horrific 4.2 yards across six receptions. The Texans also face the stout run defenses of New England, Minnesota, Tennessee and Denver in four of their next six games, although there are good matchups against the Colts and Lions in there as well. Obviously there’s risk involved, but his value now will likely be higher than after the week nine bye, at which point the schedule softens, and you could attempt to re-acquire his services. It’s a bold proposition, but one that could yield a net gain in value.
- Odell Beckham, WR NYG – Dynasty’s number-one asset is currently the PPR WR27 through two weeks of the season, eight spots behind teammate Sterling Shepard and two spots ahead of Victor Cruz (with the Monday night game still to come). Obviously I don’t expect this to continue, but having two other legitimate threats is going to reduce Beckham’s monopoly on passing game usage. He remains a superstar, but if you can sell him for a player like AJ Green and some sweeteners, it could be a prudent move.
- Quincy Enunwa, WR NYJ – Enunwa has looked good through two weeks, making contested catches and winning one on one matchups. But during Thursday night football, once the Bills stopped doubling Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker his usage essentially dried up. I’m not counting on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick blowing up every week, and I also wouldn’t expect many more disappearing acts from Marshall like in week one, ultimately leaving Enunwa as the odd man out. He’s the exact type of player I love to sell – he’s young and possesses a strong physical profile, making people salivate and overpay. In my opinion, you should let them.
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR CAR – Though I began to come around towards the end of the summer, I could never be accused of being a Benjamin fan. Even with his touchdowns he was extremely efficient as a rookie, and it appeared that the Carolina pass catching corps was going to get more crowded. He probably won’t keep up the torrid scoring pace, but he’s clearly the alpha dog at receiver. It’s worth checking if his market is still somewhat depressed.
- Willie Snead, WR NO – Thus far as a “sophomore” Snead has absolutely demolished his strong rookie pace. He’s caught 14/17 targets (82.4%), has scored twice and is averaging a mind-boggling 13.3 yards per target. He’s also continually given me reason to re-post this late August tweet each and every week:
Nothing gonna piss your league mates off more than when, midway through the season, they check the draft & see where you got Willie Snead…
— Eric Hardter (@EDH_27) August 26, 2016
But due to the presence of teammate Brandin Cooks, he’s still flying relatively under the radar. If your league-mates are looking to “sell high,” you should be looking to buy high.
- Tajae Sharpe, WR TEN – Much like with Snead above, he’s an every down player who simply flew under the radar due to the fact he shared the field with “more talented” players. Only in Sharpe’s case, that player (Dorial Green-Beckham) was shipped out of town, leaving the rookie as the team’s go-to guy. He might cost as much as a future late first round pick, but he’s worth it for the upside.
- Jeremy Hill, RB CIN – Different year, same results. Thus far in 2016 Hill has slogged his way to a mere 53 yards on 20 carries, chipping in an additional three receptions for 37 yards, with one total touchdown. And much like in 2015, teammate Gio Bernard has fared significantly better, rushing for 42 yards on ten carries, and adding 105 more yards through the air on 11 receptions, with a score. It’s time for Bernard to get more involved as he was in week two, and for Hill to find his way to your bench, or off your roster entirely.
- Randall Cobb, WR GB – What if he’s just not that good anymore? Or what if he wasn’t all that good to begin with? Think about it – he only had a single 1,000-yard campaign across his first five seasons, and only has one season with double digit scores. Yes, I know the arguments for him – he’s still relatively young, and if he could’ve stayed healthy he would’ve had bigger seasons. Yeah well, he’s not getting any younger, and he kept getting hurt. Those are the facts. This season he’s averaging the fewest yards per reception of his career, at a pathetic 9.0. He also isn’t getting nearly as much work in the ground game as he used to, with only four carries for 10 yards. Perhaps 2015 is closer to who he is – a decent, volume-dependent player who needs the offense to play well. For the price I’d much rather have a guy like Jarvis Landry.
- Golden Tate, WR DET – If you thought he started slow in 2015, this year has been even worse. Thought Tate has 16 targets through two games, he only has 54 scoreless yards to show for it. Continuing, the Lions have been forced to air it out, and Tate’s targets only represent a 20% target share, putting him behind Marvin Jones and barely ahead of Anquan Boldin, Theo Riddick and Eric Ebron. As it stands currently, he’s a mere sixth on the team in receiving yards. Regardless, I’m guessing there will still be those willing to invest in a big turnaround, and I’d be selling on that chance.
Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27
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