Dynasty League Football


Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Attacking the Startup Draft and Trading Jalen Hurts

We open up the mailbag to answer your questions.

Jalen Hurts

Welcome back to the DLF Mailbag, the preeminent mailbag in all the dynasty fantasy football land. This year I’ll be answering questions from you via Twitter, Discord, or the old-fashioned way (via email). We’re creeping closer and closer to the NFL Draft, with the Scouting Combine and all the data points it provided us now in our rearview. The mock drafts we will see in the next few weeks hold more water than the ones held pre-combine. All the off-season puzzle pieces are beginning to fall into place, and the dynasty season is on fire, so keep your questions coming!

Attacking the startup

One strategy that I, Scott Connor, and a few dozen of our closest friends have employed over the past three seasons is aggressively attacking the quarterback position in startup drafts. By this, I don’t mean we draft a lot of quarterbacks, though we may. Instead we attempt to trade back into the first round of startups to secure two of the first top ten (preferably top eight picks) in a draft. A typical deal will fall along these lines: trading my second, and third-round startup picks for someone’s first and eighth-round picks. A couple of important caveats: do not give up more startup picks than you get back, and do not surrender future first-round rookie picks to make these deals.

Quarterbacks are by far the most valuable assets in superflex leagues, QB1s even more so, and inside of that subset are ten elite quarterbacks who fall into three tiers. There’s the truly elite tier of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Jalen Hurts. This is based on fantasy scoring. For instance, in 2022 those were the only four quarterbacks to score 21.7 fantasy points per game. Since this is dynasty football, there are other things to consider like age, current situation, etc.

My next tier consists of Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Justin Herbert, and Trevor Lawrence. My last tier consists of Justin Fields, with Kyler Murray lurking. You target these QBs for a couple of reasons. Firstly, over the past four or so seasons, QB scoring typically flattens as you get outside of this elite tier of QBs. Secondly, acquiring these quarterbacks after a startup draft is nearly impossible in most leagues, as they rarely hit the trade market, and when they do their cost is so prohibitive that no one can actually trade for them.

One bonus point is that acquiring these elite QBs in the startup will stop you from reaching for mediocre quarterbacks to ensure that you have two starting QBs in your superflex leagues.

This strategy is subject to change. If more elite quarterbacks enter the market – CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, Caleb Williams, Drake Maye for example – then we can reassess if we still need to secure two top-ten startup picks to secure an elite QB. It’s possible we could get to a place where having startup picks at the turn is the most advantageous strategy.


There are several things you need to do to turn WR2s and WR3s into WR1s.

First, acquire your target. Do you want to trade for a player like Justin Jefferson, who is already a locked and loaded WR1 based on scoring? Or do you want to pay a little bit less and acquire someone like Drake London, who was a target hog during his rookie season, but has not yet been a WR1 based on production?

You can use the DLF Trade Finder for trades involving Justin Jefferson compared to the cost of acquiring a Drake London. Once you’ve decided on a price you’re willing to pay, make your offers. Hopefully, there are at least one or more teams in your league that have Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, AJ Brown, CeeDee Lamb, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Chris Olave, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, Garrett Wilson, or Jaylen Waddle but also lack overall depth on their roster. Those are the teams you should offer a WR2 and a WR3 for their WR1, adding a draft pick, second round or later, to sweeten the pot.

Shop players on your roster who the community is higher on than they should be, maybe a Jameson Williams, or a George Pickens (just as an example), and offer both of those receivers for the WR1 that you’re targeting from the other manager roster.

As always, the actual names do not matter. Target tiers. Send out offers to every league mate who has a WR1, using your multiple WR2 or WR3s to make a deal.

Drafting for need

I’ll work backward on this one. I have the rookie quarterbacks ranked CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, and then Will Levis. I’m not opposed to using the 1.02 to acquire a running back though in this case I prefer to attempt to trade for one instead of drafting Jahmyr Gibbs.

I’d offer the 1.02 to the Jonathan Taylor, Breece Hall, Christian McCaffrey, and Kenneth Walker managers to see if I could instead take on the known of their NFL production vs the unknown upside of Gibbs. If I can’t make a deal for a running back, I would instead see if I can upgrade at quarterback using that 1.02, Kyler Murray or Dak Prescott. I’ve omitted Jordan Love only because in most of my leagues, adding the 1.02 to Love wouldn’t get you up to the elite tier of quarterback we’re hunting.

If I can’t make that deal either, striking out in trading for a top-five running back, and failing in trading for an elite quarterback, I would use the 1.02 on the quarterback. The possibility that the quarterback’s trade value you draft at 1.02 will exceed Jahmyr Gibbs’ trade value at this time next year is too great for me to pass up on. If there was another running back in this class in the tier of Bijan Robinson, my answer may have differed, but Gibbs is not in that tier.

Trading Hurts

The short answer is it would take a monster return to acquire Jalen Hurts from me. Hurts is my QB2 and second-ranked player overall in superflex leagues. I could rattle off a list of demands but instead, let’s see if any deals can be found via the Dynasty Trade Finder that would entice me to move Hurts.

The first is a close trade. I have Trevor Lawrence as my QB6, and CeeDee Lamb as my WR6, and I could almost accept this deal except for having to include Jordan Addison. I’m not adding anything to the Hurts side in the below deal, so this would not get it done.

I consider Deshaun Watson an elite quarterback, but the 1.07 is just outside of the range of picks I would want to make this deal. The 2.02, while adding overall value to the deal, doesn’t increase the value of this deal for me. If dealing Hurts for a QB and a pick, that pick needs to be 1.04 or better.

This below deal is essentially Hurts for Justin Herbert straight-up. Pass.

In no universe would Jimmy Garoppolo and the 1.04 be enough to move me off Hurts!

None of the trades listed above would inspire me to trade Hurts away, though the first trade does provide a framework. If Addison could be removed from the Hurts side, I would consider making the move. Acquiring another QB1, even one in a lower tier, and a top-six dynasty WR is a move that would be hard to turn down.

Tyreek Hill is going to retire

After the 2025 season, Tyreek Hill will be 31 years old. Not many receivers actually produce much beyond the age of 31, even the elite ones. I’m not sure who if anyone expected Hill to be a high-valued asset at age 31.

This shouldn’t move the needle at all but if this Hill “news” is an opportunity to acquire him in your leagues at a discount, that is the only move to make. Does this news significantly impact his resell value? Wide receivers, even ones who produce at Hill’s level, lose trade value as they age, and their resell value is already lower than it should be if it was based on their production. You should be acquiring Hill for his production, not his resale value, and this news does not have any impact on that.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Attacking the Startup Draft and Trading Jalen Hurts
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Nathan Rettberg
1 month ago

Shane care to share with us you’re love of Bud Light? Seems like an odd choice with all the higher quality choices out there….?

Nathan Rettberg
Reply to  Shane Manila
1 month ago

Ok, since DLF feels the need to “love a crappy beer” to make a point I’ll switch my subscription to PFF

Nathan Rettberg
Reply to  Shane Manila
1 month ago

Very well, while I crack open a Coors I’ll say a toast to all the real women while I enjoy my shiny new PFF articles…so long, here’s to women!!🍺

Ed Geis
Reply to  Nathan Rettberg
1 month ago

Seems pretty stupid to switch fantasy content providers on the basis of “cancel culture”. If the material was crap, I could see it. Drawing a metaphorical line in the sand makes no sense when the same people have complained about certain companies and personas getting ridiculed for sharing opinions through free speech. Oh wait, that’s all Shane was doing, too.

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