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 the coming year or rebuilding for a dynasty title challenge in the future. 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.


Congratulations to all of the dynasty fantasy football champions! All of your hard work since the startup draft has led up to this! All the trades, lineup decisions and waiver wire pickups have finally paid off!

If you’re here and you are not a dynasty champion in the 2023-24 season, join the club. If you are a rebuilding team, you knew this day was coming, but if you’ve been reading these articles as a contender for this season, it’s a heartbreaking feeling. I personally came up short in all of my leagues, and the feeling is the worst!

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Whether you’re a champion, a runner-up, or you’re preparing to make the number one rookie pick in 2024, now is the time to take a hard look at your team. If it’s time to start a rebuild, the earlier you accept that, the better (and quicker) it is. If you have been rebuilding, it’s time to make your finishing touches to prepare for the draft. And, if you think a championship is in your future for 2024, you may decide to start moving those draft picks.

In this article, we’ll find a player to buy for a contending team, and for a rebuilding team, in the wake of the 2023 season. This will not be the last article you see this off-season highlighting players to buy, but it may be the first. The earlier you identify these sleepers, the better! Get these players while the stink of 2023 is still on your leaguemates’ minds and before the hype begins to regrow.

CONTENDER BUY – Rhamondre Stevenson, RB NE

This was a burn-the-tape season for the New England Patriots and their offense. Hardly anything went right for this unit. The quarterbacks never made the next step. The wide receivers were, as expected, the worst unit in the league. The offensive line was subpar. The only bright spot for the Patriots was the running game, especially when Rhamondre Stevenson was healthy and on the field.

Has the Patriots offense finally hit rock bottom? I believed that last year, and this year was even worse, so hopefully now there is nowhere to go but up with this team. With a high draft pick and ample cap space, they should have the pieces they need to upgrade at quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line. The defense looked great this year, with two of its top players on IR, so they shouldn’t need to invest too much on that side of the ball. This off-season for the Patriots has to be all about fixing this offense. One part that doesn’t need to be fixed, however, is Stevenson.

Before his injury, he was on a stretch of finishing as a top 20 fantasy running back in five of six weeks. He was involved in the passing game, and only scored four touchdowns, a number that should grow with an improved offense. Through week 12, before his injury, he was the RB20 in total points, averaging 13 points per game.

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Entering his contract year, Stevenson should be more motivated than ever to have a big season and earn a long-term deal once his rookie contract is up. Ezekiel Elliott should be gone, and the team shouldn’t waste too much time looking for someone to take carries away from him next year. This is Stevenson’s backfield, but he’s not being viewed as such in the dynasty public’s eye.

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At his peak this season, Stevenson’s dynasty ADP was 33.67, squarely in the third round. His injury has pushed him way down the board to 69th overall, the 20th running back selected. Meanwhile, the expert rankers at DLF have him a lot higher on their board. He’s ranked 50th overall in the rankings, and the 12th running back overall. You’ll notice in the two charts above, the experts didn’t react to Stevenson’s injury the same way that the public ADP did. You can take advantage of this value gap and trade for a borderline RB1 going into his contract year on a football team that desperately needs him to be the centerpiece of their offense.


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

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The price tag for Stevenson right now should not be too high, despite his massive upside for next season. In this trade, completed a few weeks ago per the Dynasty Trade Finder Tool, the Charlotte Knights were able to acquire Stevenson for just Joe Mixon and Miles Sanders. Sanders was all but usurped by Chuba Hubbard down the stretch this season. Mixon had a good year, but he’s aging and no longer under contract in Cincinnati. They started to give the ball more to Chase Brown as the year went on, so it’s hard to picture Mixon having much of a future with the team that drafted him. Stevenson should easily outperform both of these players next year as long as he stays healthy.

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

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For a team that is planning to contend in 2024, this is a perfect trade. Zach Charbonnet is younger, and a more attractive option for a rebuilding team, but it should be more of the same for him in 2024. He’ll still be in a committee with Kenneth Walker, and most likely on the wrong side of that committee. Walker is under contract in Seattle for two more seasons, so this committee could be a headache for years to come for Charbonnet managers. Despite that, Charbonnet’s youth makes him a more attractive option to the dynasty public. In the image above, you can see his ADP is about the same as Stevenson’s, while his expert ranking is much lower. I’d much rather have Stevenson on my contender team for 2024.


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

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To pivot down to Stevenson, this trade from the Dynasty Trade Finder Tool is a very nice one. Jonathan Taylor has not looked like himself ever since he signed his massive extension with the Colts. And, there are plenty of examples of running backs failing to earn their extensions as early as a year or two later. Taylor is a big piece to give up, but you’re buying low on two strong players who could do much better in 2024 than they did in 2023. It’s a “win-now” and “win-later” trade, which are my favorite trades to make in dynasty fantasy football.

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Mims had such a frustrating season for dynasty managers in 2023. When he broke out in week two, it looked like he could’ve been the steal of the rookie draft. Unfortunately, that would be the only game he’d score over 11 fantasy points or finish as a top 35 wide receiver the rest of the season.

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Despite his struggles, this is essentially how we all expected his season to play out. Mims was going to a struggling offense in Denver with plenty of competition for targets ahead of him on the depth chart. There was some optimism with Sean Payton coming to town, but Payton made it clear very early on that this team had a very long way to go before it would be successful.

He was right. The Broncos ranked 27th this season in passing yards, only ahead of the Giants, Panthers, Cardinals, Steelers and Bears. The team has only attempted 479 passes this season, fourth lowest in the league, limiting the number of opportunities for a player like Mims to break out. Meanwhile, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy had very good seasons, and stayed healthy for most of the campaign. Mims needed something to break right for him to have a chance to get on the field, and that just didn’t happen. Mims only ran 214 routes this year, ranking 104th amongst all wide receivers.

There is optimism for the future with Mims in Denver. Payton has all but kicked Russell Wilson to the curb and is looking to turn this team into his team going forward. He clearly isn’t happy with the team that he inherited and will be making some drastic changes this off-season. Mims is not a player he inherited with this team. In fact, he was the first player under the Payton regime. It’s safe to assume, despite the lack of playing time in his rookie season, Mims is in Payton’s plans for the future. Meanwhile, the team can get out of Sutton’s contract this off-season with $7.65 million leftover in dead cap space and Jeudy is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Targets and routes will begin to free up on this team in the future, and Mims could be a player who could benefit greatly from that.

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

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As a rebuilding team, anyone age 30 and up is totally expendable for you. Brandin Cooks and Adam Thielen flashed at times this year, and could hold some value for a contending team, but have no value on a team that is rebuilding. Take those aging veterans, package them up, and try to hit on a high-upside lottery ticket like Marvin Mims.


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

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Here’s another trade of the same ilk, just with a more valuable wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins could be an every-week starter next year for a contending team, but as a rebuilding team, those points are not as important. This is a play to try to find the next Hopkins.


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

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This is an opportunity to buy low on a bunch of players from the 2023 draft that didn’t really come through in their rookie years. Calvin Ridley is a decent player, but he didn’t quite live up to high expectations this season, and he is older than he seems. If one of the rookies hits, it’s a good trade, if two of them hit, it’s a great trade. These are the types of trades that could really accelerate a rebuild.


This is the final edition of our Dynasty Targets Acquired series for the 2023 season. Thank you for following along this year and I hope the team at DLF helped you make some great trades this season!

tim riordan