Dynasty Fantasy Football: Targets Acquired

Tim Riordan

Standing still is the fastest way of moving backward in a rapidly changing dynasty landscape. The best dynasty teams are the most active in looking for ways to add value to their dynasty rosters, as part of a continuous process.

The Dynasty Targets Acquired series focuses on making dynasty buys to improve your roster, heading towards one of two key destinations – contending to win a dynasty title in 2023 or rebuilding for a dynasty title challenge in 2024. Each article in the series will highlight a dynasty buy for both contenders and rebuilders – with three trade ideas based on the DLF Trade Analyzer: Pivot Up, Same Tier or Pivot Down.

Buying as a contender is all about winning the title now, whilst leaving the window open to compete again year after year. Buying as a rebuilder is all about making the right trades to maximize roster value next season and become a contender for a dynasty championship.


Trade negotiations can often be difficult this time of year, heading into week one of the fantasy football season. Teams have had all summer to stare at their rosters, longing for the time to see them finally take the field. Finally, on the precipice of a desired championship run, why would a fantasy manager make a major shakeup to their team?

That being said, there’s something to adding the finishing touches on your team at the very last second. Maybe that rookie running back you were hoping would demand the job during training camp got placed on the practice squad. Or perhaps that veteran free agent didn’t end up signing with a team and now you’re left with a hole to fill (looking at you Kareem Hunt).

That’s the best way to approach the dynasty trade market this week, focus on filling in the gaps more than making the big, splashy, league-altering trade. The Justin Jefferson manager is psyched to see JJ put up 30 fantasy points against the Bucs this week. They’re not going to blow up their team to make a big flashy deal right now.

Here are two depth pieces that could be worth targeting in trade discussions right now, one for championship contenders, and one for rebuilders.


This may be a shocking dynasty buy right now, because almost everything on the field and on paper is telling us to sell Kamara. His value is as low as it has ever been, and that is why he is the perfect depth piece to add to a championship contender right now.

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Kamara is an outlet mall special right now in dynasty fantasy football. This isn’t the same high-end, first-round dynasty value pick he was in 2021. He’s out of style, and has been for a year now. Even the outlet stores are trying to get him off the shelf! But, he’s a great bargain because of that, and once his suspension is over, he should go back to being the lead running back for the Saints offense for the rest of the season.

Let’s address some of the negatives that are pushing Kamara’s dynasty value down lower than it should be, starting with the suspension. A three-game suspension may be significant in a redraft league, but in a dynasty league it is much more manageable, especially if the manager is already considered a contender. At this stage in the season, a contending team shouldn’t need to be looking for an every-week starter at running back. If they are, that team is likely not as much of a contender as their manager thinks. Kamara is great added bench depth with the upside to become a weekly starter. Let him sit on the bench for the first three weeks, including difficult matchups against the Titans and Panthers.

The second negative is last year’s performance. It absolutely was not the Kamara we are used to seeing. He logged career lows in touchdowns (4 total), fantasy points (211.7 PPR) and fantasy points per game (14.1). He was inefficient and impossible to trust for fantasy, going under 10 PPR points in seven of the 15 games he played last year. Despite all of that, he still finished at RB13 in fantasy points per game and RB16 in overall scoring. Credit for that goes to his receiving work. He was still fifth among running backs in targets (77), seventh in receptions (57) and fifth in receiving yards (490). He is still a major part of the Saints passing game, and with an upgrade at the quarterback position to Derek Carr, could continue to do just that. Carr’s running back Josh Jacobs was 11th in running back targets last year (64). Kamara may be boom-or-bust at the age of 28, but at the end of the year, you can count on his numbers to be there.

Finally, the Saints added significant competition for touches at the running back position with Jamaal Williams and rookie Kendre Miller. Williams, of course, led the league in rushing touchdowns last year with 17 and the team used a premium pick to bring in Miller. Miller was an exciting piece for dynasty managers, especially with Kamara’s three-game suspension looming. But, he has struggled to stay on the field through training camp and the preseason. He suffered a sprained knee in the team’s first preseason game, and now he’s dealing with a hamstring injury that could impact his week one status. It’s a lot of missed time for Miller, who missed last year’s National Championship Game with a knee injury that required surgery. While dynasty managers may be excited to see him on the field, it could be a while before he’s ready to carry a large NFL load. Jamaal Williams should be the goal-line back, and that certainly negatively impacts Kamara’s value. But, as we saw last year, Kamara can still be a successful back without rushing touchdowns.

While Kamara’s dynasty value has fallen for good reason, it has gotten to the point that he has become extremely affordable. There’s a buying opportunity to bring in Kamara and add to your bench depth for what will hopefully be a championship run in dynasty.


Pivot Up – acquiring a higher-valued asset in exchange for multiple lower-valued assets.

  • 2024 second-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick = Alvin Kamara

This is a trade I actually made recently in a dynasty league! My team had Travis Etienne and Cam Akers in the starting lineup and lacked depth behind them. I worried about going into the season with all of my eggs in Cam Akers’ basket, so I decided to go out and buy a veteran back from a rebuilding team that would have much more value this year than he would in 2024 and beyond. Kamara was the player who fit all of those criteria and my partner and I pulled off the move. A second-round pick is a valuable piece, but for a contending team, the added bench depth of Kamara is much more valuable.

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Same Tier – acquiring an asset in the same tier of valuation, in a straight-up swap deal.

Kamara is RB26 in the DLF one-quarterback Dynasty Rankings. His dynasty ADP is lower at RB29, meaning our rankers have Kamara a bit higher than the public perception. Meanwhile, Achane is ranked at RB36, but is going one spot ahead of Kamara at RB28 in ADP. That disparity is exactly what I like to see when I’m making a trade like this! Achane is much more appealing than Kamara when it comes to a rebuilding trade. Meanwhile, a contending team likely won’t use Achane much in a championship run this season. It’s a great opportunity for a win-now team to go for the gold, and a rebuilding team to move an old asset for a young and exciting one.

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Pivot Down – acquiring multiple lower-valued assets in exchange for a higher-valued asset.

This trade comes from the DLF Trade Finder Tool. It’s a pretty good win-now move for the team acquiring Kamara. Kamara, Swift and Waller are all past their prime and could be on the tail-end of their career. Despite that, they’re all players who should have significant roles in the 2023 season. Williams is a great player, but he’s coming off of another major injury and could take a while to get back to 100%. Let a rebuilding team wait for Williams, and the contender gets to enjoy three usable assets to help them win a title this year. The DLF Trade Analyzer says this trade is a big win for the Kamara side, so it might be tough to pull off this exact trade in your dynasty leagues.

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REBUILDER BUY – Quentin Johnston, WR LAC

For a rebuilding team, now is the time to find young, ascending players, on contending rosters, that won’t help their fantasy manager win a championship this year. This will differ from league to league, but players like Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jameson Williams, Javonte Williams, and Anthony Richardson could have much more value for 2024 and beyond than they have for this upcoming season. For this exercise, let’s highlight Quentin Johnston, whose dynasty value has dipped throughout the month of August.

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When the Chargers selected Johnston in the first round of the NFL Draft, it was expected that he’d be the team’s third wide receiver when they’re in 11 personnel. He could’ve even earned some snaps in two wide receiver sets with a great camp. He had a very nice camp and some good performances in preseason games, but his place on the depth chart is not where fantasy managers hoped it would be.

Daniel Popper of the Athletic has said that Joshua Palmer is earning more first-team reps in practice. He believes Palmer “will get the majority of the snaps as that third receiver early in the season.” At this point, it’s tough to imagine a scenario where Johnston becomes a weekly starter for a contending team this season.

That’s bad news for a contending team with Johnston, but great news for the rebuilding teams in that league. It provides them an opportunity to pounce on a great talent who could be a high-end WR2 for them down the road.

Johnston wrapped up the preseason catching eight balls for 62 yards and a touchdown. He’s reportedly struggled with drops throughout camp, and it showed in the team’s first preseason game. It’s not a great sign that he wasn’t able to beat out Palmer for the number three job, but Palmer was a day-two pick himself and has been a serviceable player when healthy for the Chargers. It’s a tough division and the Chargers hope to make a deep playoff run, so they don’t have the time to be patient with Johnston’s drops and growing pains in the NFL.

After this year, Johnston has a better chance to climb up the depth chart. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both have potential outs in their contracts while Palmer will be heading into the final season of his deal with the Chargers. With a “redshirt” year to mature and work on his hands, Johnston’s future should be bright in the NFL.

With Johnston’s dynasty value dipping right now, it’s the perfect time to approach a contending Johnston manager in your league, offer them a win-now player that fills a need for them, and take Johnston off of their hands.


Pivot Up – acquiring a higher-valued asset in exchange for multiple lower-valued assets.

This trade comes from the DLF Trade Finder App. We see this manager moving on from DJ Moore for two younger players, Johnston and Cook. Moore will absolutely have a better year this season, while Cook and Johnston could be great players by the end of this season, or even next year. This particular trade seems like a big win for the Johnston side, so be prepared to give up more than Moore to get two players like Cook and Johnston.

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Same Tier – acquiring an asset in the same tier of valuation, in a straight-up swap deal.

Cooper is one of several wide receivers who should not be on a rebuilding team in dynasty. He’s been around for so long in the NFL that he feels like he should be older than his actual age of 29. He has plenty of miles on those tires and could be a year or two away from retirement. Despite that, he should have a very good season this year as Deshaun Watson’s number one target on a good offense in Cleveland.

Perhaps a contending team drafted Johnston this year in the rookie draft, hoping he would be a WR3 or Flex play this season. Now Johnston feels months away from that kind of role, if he gets there at all. Cooper will plug right into that contender’s starting lineup and be a reliable WR2 each and every week for them. This trade, or a trade for a similar aging wide receiver, makes sense for both sides of the deal!

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Pivot Down – acquiring multiple lower-valued assets in exchange for a higher-valued asset.

For a rebuilding team, this is a great trade to reload for a turnaround season in 2024 or 2025. Hill is a top-three wide receiver in the league right now, but he has said he only wants to play for a few more seasons before he retires. He’s also 29 and could start to take a step back in his production as early as this season. Meanwhile, the rebuilding team gets two wide receivers with high draft capital who are attached to outstanding quarterbacks through their rookie contracts. The rebuilding manager also gets a first-round pick next season to give them another high-valued asset.

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Team context is so important this time of year when it comes to trades. You need to know what your team is trying to accomplish, and what the other teams in your league are trying to accomplish as well. The thing that makes dynasty fantasy football such a beautiful game is that it mimics the real NFL so well. Some teams are going for glory, while others understand that their teams need work to make it someday. That makes it much easier to find trades that are mutually beneficial to both managers. Seek out the managers whose teams are going in the opposite direction that yours is and try to work together to make some trade magic happen!

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tim riordan
Dynasty Fantasy Football: Targets Acquired