Buying, selling, trading and drafting. Together they comprise the heartbeat of your dynasty team and ultimately dictate whether you, as a coach, will be a contender or pretender.
Each year presents numerous opportunities to add to your roster as part of your long term plan toward league dominance. I've recently highlighted "Eight Players I'm Buying" as we cross the half-way point of the 2019 season and it's time to turn our attention to those players I'm selling.
The buying and selling of players always elicits empassioned responses. After all, we as coaches have built our teams on certain players with certain expectations. We may take offense when someone in the community suggests our passion for a certain player is misplaced. Individual player views and value-assessments is what creates the different strategies and results we all seek. I don't know of a single dynasty coach who makes roster moves with the intent to lose games over a long period of time. That all said, realize these "sells" are simply from my own list given the variables I desire in players I prefer to build around. My value proposition to DLF members has always been my ability to sift through the noise, the parrots (see my previous article for more on that) and to highlight rising and falling players when there's still time to capitalize.
One quick note about the selling of players, no different than buying. This doesn't equate to a fire-sale, such that I'm unloading a player for anything I can get in return. Like everything I do, there has to be a corresponding return of value for me to consider selling, or buying, a player. If it doesn't fit into a long term plan, I'm not going to dump or acquire a player simply to be 'active'. Ultimately, I maintain a very selfish attitude when building or adjusting my teams and I never feel pressured to make a move I don't want to make.
Let's get to my list of players I'm selling:
1. Cam Newton, QB CAR
I'm a year late on this call but I don't normally focus on the quarterback position other than finding a starter I can count on for up to 16 games per year. I'm actually beginning to fall to the side of fantasy not respecting top echelon quarterbacks enough. I hear more and more about how deep the position is and it almost doesn't matter who you have as long as you are in the top ten at the position. I don't think that is purely wrong but, at the same time, there's a point differential advantage, not to mention comfort, of knowing you have a top young quarterback who provides positional scoring superiority over those below him and has ten years ahead of him.
Cam Newton no longer falls into that category and may exemplify why you shouldn't overly-invest in quarterbacks. While I don't subscribe to that opinion, Newton is an interesting case as the argument for it. Something has changed for 'Superman'. He no longer appears "super" and he's not having fun like he once did. It's purely obvious to anyone who has watched recent interviews, seen him on the sidelines or under center. The magic is gone or, at the very least, fading. His production has not been bad and in fact, 2018 saw a bit of a resurgence as he finished as the QB12 overall. Now 30 years old and recovering from yet another injury, Newton may not be back under center for the Panthers and, should that be the case, may find his way out of Carolina with only a single year remaining on his contract.
If Newton has supporters left in any league in which I'm trotting him out as a starter, I'm selling as long as I can get value in return. Quarterbacks who change offensive schemes are players I just don't like to invest in. Should Cam's dynamic and presence look like it did three years ago, I would have a different mindset but in the absence of that, I'll let someone else take that risk.
2. Kyler Murray, QB ARI
This is a bit of misnomer in that I don't own any shares of dynamic rookie Kyler Murray to sell. I've been rather vocal about not buying the hype as the rookie's value soared during the NFL Draft. I'm on record as saying that to be viable and transcendent at the position, he'll only have to accomplish what no other quarterback has to date. I have nothing against him and, in fact, have actually been moving him up my rankings but this is a case where I feel his community value is far greater than his long term potential. He's currently the QB12 in fantasy which is notable for a rookie quarterback. This is simply a ratio between his current value in the fantasy community to his long term value as a potential transcendent player at the position. I have not belief he's going to be one of those players that rises above all the rest to make for a compelling early-round selection. I'm taking the value now if I own him.
3. James Conner, RB PIT
I've learned to trust my gut when watching players. And rarely is my gut incorrect when I'm watching each rep of a running back and cringing at every hit because "this may be the one." It's disappointing for Conner as I love the way he plays, the way he runs and he's so easy to root for. But with each run comes the chance that he's going to be out for the season with another injury. He reminds me a bit of Leonard Fournette in that regard, who would be on this list if he hadn't already taken a huge hit to his value during the off-season. In fact, I was buying Fournette prior to this season. For Conner, I'm looking to move on as his production is peaking, ahead of an injury I can feel coming. The problem is that in so doing, I may be turning away from top eight production at the position over the long haul. Conner sits as the RB9 (PPR) currently. I'm willing to accept that risk and move now while I can still get top value.
4. Derrick Henry, RB TEN
At some point you have to admit when you are wrong. I fully expected Henry to be a force in 2018 and while he did show what is possible in the final three weeks of of the year, it simply hasn't transpired in 2019. The carries have been there, averaging 19 per game, the receptions have not, averaging only one per game and while he has scored five touchdowns through the first eight weeks of the season, he's still only producing as the RB11 in 2019. I don't like touchdown-dependent running backs flirting with RB2 status. The issue with selling on Henry is that he's ranked as DLF's RB17 and is currently producing above that ranking. You could make an argument that Henry is a buy based on his performance thus far but it seems to me he's producing above his ranking currently and the path of least resistance is greater competition in the future as the Titans seek to get more dynamic in the backfield.
5. Julio Jones, WR ATL
True to my listing of him here, I've already moved on from Jones in all my leagues. The 30 year, currently the WR4 (PPR) in fantasy, continues to benefit from two early-season games to support his current position. No longer a prolific touchdown scorer, Jones requires massive targets to retain his ranking and at over nine per game, he's getting enough to maintain. It's impossible not to like Jones for the type of player he is. He quietly performs, isn't high maintenance, displays no level of diva-ness and just keeps producing. While he's still an important cog in the machine of a competitive fantasy team, if you are more than 18 mos. from being competitive, shop Jones now for maximum value return, especially to those teams on the fringe of being competitive. He still brings multiple picks of return value or, better yet, a pick and player combination.
6. Odell Beckham, WR CLE
Oh let the haters storm the castle, I can hear them already. This isn't just an indictment of OBJ but also of Baker Mayfield. Fantasy was all atwitter, and I mean that most literally, about the prospects of Mayfield heading into 2019. I even found myself getting caught up in it as I headed into a couple of drafts before eventually coming to my senses. A quarterback isn't made by star-power receivers and, worse, if a quarterback can't produce with star players around him, it's a significant issue. It could be that this young offense simply needs to have more time together to establish greater chemistry, or it could be that one, or all of them, are overrated. OBJ has produced as the WR29 thus far in 2019 and truth be told, that's higher than I expected when looking up his production. He's produced more than 17 fantasy points only once (week two: 28) this season and while he seems to be trending in the right direction, I'm not ready to believe his current value in the dynasty community (DLF WR5) isn't at a significant premium to where it should be given the variables in his personal equation. Should Baker Mayfield continue his struggles into 2020, get ready for a firestorm of criticism and potential change. Any time you have a top-ranked receiver performing as poorly as OBJ has been, you must at least consider what his value would bring to allow another coach to assume that risk. I'm doing just that with Odell Beckham now.
7. Will Fuller, WR HOU
Fuller was on my sell list last year at this time and remains there now. Each year looks the same for the dynamic talent. Huge games followed by magical disappearing acts ending with some major injury. It's the same script over and over again. He's yet to appear in more than 14 games and that came during his rookie season in 2016. There's no questioning he's a dynamic talent with field-stretching ability and hands to match, but a receiver you can't depend on week-in, week-out, quickly becomes a roster clogger. Wait for him to return from his current hamstring injury, have a productive game and move him prior to your trade deadline. You'll feel great knowing you finally moved on. I own zero shares of Fuller at this time.
8. Zach Ertz, TE PHI
I've owned Ertz multiple times in the past and sold my last share of him earlier this year. The writing has been on the wall since Dallas Goedert arrived in town as a plus-level talent at the position. Goedert is the future and, arguably, in the mix here in the present. Ertz to his credit is still running as the TE7 in PPR formats and sits as the TE3 in DLF's ranking at the position, but tenuous rankings they are. The Eagles are running a lot of two tight end sets as exemplified by Ertz and Goedert earning a 90% and 75% snap-share respectively in week eight. For all intents and purposes he'll be a free agent in 2022, meaning that he has at least two years remaining in the time share unless he's traded prior to his UFA year. I expect further decline in Ertz's numbers in 2020 as Goedert begins to take a greater snap-share. Field offers now to see if you can find premium return value from a competitive team needing help at the position but waiting for a good two game stretch should increase your return potential.
And a bonus sell ...
9. O.J. Howard, TE TB
I started selling on Howard in 2018 after being relatively excited about his prospects in the NFL out of Alabama. Instead, a littany of injuries, poor consistency and a general lack of production means that I can't have him clogging my roster(s) any longer. His best finish was in 2018 when it appeared all the pieces were coming together until week 11 when he suffered a combination foot and ankle injury and he was lost for the year. That year he finished as the TE14 with 565 yards and five receptions, teasing owners with what could have been. Tight ends recently drafted have had a difficult time integrating into the NFL. Howard will be entering his fourth year and should be on track to produce. It's possible Howard is able to overcome his injuries and put together a full year in 2020 but even the Tampa Bay coaching staff seems resigned to needing to move on. If I can get any sort of return on him I'll move on and not look back. I'd move him for a ham sandwich and a either a pick or mid-tier player with upside to another coach who is intrigued by his potential.
Hope you enjoyed my little walk through players I'm cutting bait on. If you have your own players or thoughts, be sure to chime in below.