Devil’s Tradevocate

Nathan Powell

Twitter, polls, and dynasty trades are the perfect combination to see the up-to-date value of players being traded on the open market. The trade itself shows what one person is willing to trade for another asset, and the poll will indicate how close the trade is based on “market value”.

In this series, Dan Sainio and Nathan Powell will evaluate trades that appeared lopsided (65% or more votes on one side). One of us will state the case for why it was a lopsided trade while the other takes the devil’s advocate point of view, arguing for the side with fewer votes.

Disclaimer: each trade discussion/opinion is exclusive in and of itself, as there may be contradictions from trade to trade.

Trade 1

Marvin Jones and 1.12 (24%)


1.04 (76%)

Why Twitter is right (Dan)

Let me start by saying that I love Marvin Jones. Always have, and I always will. He was underappreciated in Cincy and remains undervalued today. But simply based on market value, this is a solid win for the 1.04. Rookie fever is in the air, and this pick will only gain value as we move towards the rookie draft. I could very easily see this pick (or the player perceived as the pick) move into the third round of startups, while Jones will likely stick in the fifth or sixth rounds. The 1.12 falls pretty well outside of my “top tier,” and will likely result in a low-upside receiver, a stash tight end, or an overvalued quarterback – so nothing all that great, to paraphrase. While I’ll almost always take the points in a trade, the profit here is too good to turn down.

Devil’s Tradevocate (Nathan)

WR12. That was Marvin Jones finish in 2017. WR29. That was the March ADP of the 28-year-old wide receiver who is one of the best values in dynasty fantasy football today. The general perception of this year’s rookie class is that there is a big drop off after 1.02 with a large tier from 1.03 to possibly even the early second round. The NFL draft will help create some separation between 1.04 and 1.12, but no matter what happens with the draft, getting a high-end WR2 will more than make up for the gap between the picks.

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Trade 2

Alvin Kamara and Allen Hurns (73%)


1.04 and 1.05 (27%)

Why Twitter is right (Nathan)

Alvin Kamara had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory in 2017 – with an RB3 finish – and that was with sharing a full workload with the RB6, Mark Ingram. As Kamara develops and Ingram ages, I think the gap in workload will only widen between Kamara and Ingram. If Kamara can finish as RB3 as a rookie with a split backfield, a long-term RB1 with a majority of the carries is within the range of outcomes in the near future. With the draft picks, you are getting two question marks that you hope to develop into Kamara. I’d rather take the safety in the production of Kamara, and Hurns is a nice throw-in piece now that he has landed in Dallas with a shot at the WR2 role in that offense.

Devil’s Tradevocate (Dan)

Kamara is another player I am really high on, and have been since his time at Tennessee. He was certainly underrated and overlooked coming out, but his value has likely overcorrected a bit. After a masterful rookie season, Kamara is due for some serious regression. Similar to the 2016 Atlanta Falcons, the 2017 Saints were impossibly efficient across the board. Plus, Kamara will be stuck in that timeshare for at least one more season. Hurns is a nice cheap buy, but injury concerns leave me lukewarm on his fantasy outlook.

Onto the picks… 1.04 and 1.05 will land you (according to current rookie ADP) Sony Michel and Courtland Sutton. For those keeping track at home, that’s a top RB prospect and arguably the WR1 in this class. I view Michel as this year’s Alvin Kamara. It sounds pretty far-fetched, but Michel is built for today’s NFL and the league shot-callers know that. Courtland Sutton is really the only WR in the class that projects as a true number one in an NFL offense. And, similar to the first deal we discussed, these picks will only gain value as we approach rookie drafts. If you’re going to flip Kamara for draft picks, it’ll need to be for high end picks like these.

Trade 3 (0.5 PPR)

JuJu Smith-Schuster, 1.04 and a 2019 first (29%)


Odell Beckham (71%)

Why Twitter is right (Dan)

I’ve actually come around a bit on JuJu, as he did something only five other WRs were able to do at the age of 21 (according to

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That’s a pretty great start to a career. Plus, you get to throw in the theme of this Devil’s Tradevocate (1.04), as well as a 2019 first which is already being propped up as a big time WR draft. However, JuJu’s numbers do seem a bit flukey (similar to Martavis Bryant’s breakout) due to being the third option in Pittsburgh. Add on top of that the fact that Ben is ready to retire any second, and it looks a bit more worrisome when looking beyond the numbers.

I’m not really sure that we need to talk about OBJ, one of the best WRs to grace our presence through four NFL seasons. Off-field antics are overblown by the media, so don’t let that garbage into your brain. OBJ is a top-two startup up pick and even though the potential ceiling of the incoming package may be great, I don’t see any of those pieces bringing what Odell brings. Give me OBJ with ease.

Devil’s Tradevocate (Nathan)

Oh, Twitter. I love Odell Beckham, but I’m not sure anyone gets the auto-click on a vote more than a side involving OBJ. This poll is a case of the Twittersphere not realizing how much value is on the other side of this trade. JuJu Smith-Schuster had a breakout rookie campaign with a WR22 finish despite missing two games. Smith-Schuster is going off the board in the mid-third round of startups and while he may never be the WR1 in his NFL offense due to being paired with Antonio Brown, he projects to be a very good NFL and fantasy WR2. The promising young wideout is paired with two first round picks, including the 1.04 in 2018, and these two picks help bridge the gap with enormous upside on the side opposite of Beckham.

Trade 4

David Johnson (84%)


Brandin Cooks and 1.10 (16%)

Why Twitter is right (Nathan)

David Johnson is arguably the biggest threat on the field at the running back position in the NFL, with the ability to beat teams through the air as well as on the ground. Johnson ended his rookie season in 2015 with 22.56 PPR points per game in his final five games and he followed that up with a stellar 2016 campaign where he averaged 25.86 PPR points per game. His 2017 season ended before it ever got going with a wrist injury, but when he is on the field, he has much more consistent scoring than Brandin Cooks. Cooks had six sub-10 PPR point games in 2017, he will have the big games like Johnson will, but the week to week consistency of the running back position gives Johnson the edge, even with the 1.10 on Cooks side.

Devil’s Tradevocate (Dan)

Let me start by saying I don’t really love any of the pieces involved in this deal. David Johnson is coming off of an injury after an almost 400-touch 2016 campaign. That’s two scary things for a RB right off of the bat. He’ll also be returning to Arizona in a new scheme, with an almost guaranteed worse QB, and fewer weapons around him. Strike two. The final nail in the coffin is that DJ is old enough to be Nathan’s great uncle twice removed. You’re out.

All Brandin Cooks has done is amass three straight 1,000-yard seasons while being almost two years younger than David Johnson. So you have a younger player – at a position with longer life expectancy – who hasn’t missed a game since his rookie season in 2014. Doh’kay. We haven’t even added in the 1.10 yet, which projects to be something like DJ Moore, Rashaad Penny, or Christian Kirk, according to March ADP. Um, what? Throw out Cooks’ weekly inconsistencies for a second, and look at this from a pure value perspective. Grab your torches and pitchforks. The Tradevocates are going in on this one.


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