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Dynasty League Buy, Sell - Rookie Round Up for Week 8

Each week, I'll take a look at how NFL rookies are performing from a dynasty fantasy football perspective. After a mid-season bye, I return to action this week with a look at rookie trade ideas that could help your dynasty team.

Succeeding at dynasty is an art form. Balancing current production against future value is tricky, but in general, if your team is competing for a championship this year, you should be trying to bolster your current production. Conversely, if you're not competing this year, you should be trying to bolster your future production. Ideally, you can do both! Without getting too far into the weeds, if your team is in the top four of a 12 man league, and your scoring reflects that (i.e. you don't have a bunch of fluky wins), you're competing this year.

In real life, you'd make these decisions based on your entire roster, not just rookies. But hey, this is a rookie journal, so that's where we'll focus.

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Competing Teams

Players to consider trading away:

  • Deshaun Watson - He's the No. 1 overall fantasy QB right now, so selling him may sound silly. Chances are though, in a dynasty league, he's not your only quarterback. If he is your only QB, or if your other QBs are truly dreadful, then hold on to Watson. But if you have another option that's capable of producing top-12 points, then consider selling Watson. You could also trade away a veteran QB, but there's a good chance you can get more for Watson right now, given his youth and recent strong performance. In single QB leagues, trading depth to bolster your lineup elsewhere is often a good move.
  • Dalvin Cook - He sure looked like the real deal before he got hurt, but he's not helping your team for the rest of this season. If you can swap him for immediate production, I'd consider it. In one league, I saw Cook traded for Leonard Fournette (with a couple ancillary pieces on each side). You may not get that level of value, but consider selling anyway. Running back has enough turnover that even if you get a lesser player in return, you have a great probability of hitting on another very good RB in next year's rookie draft.
  • Trent Taylor/Taywan Taylor - These guys have more than expected rookie year production, but don't profile as long-term successes. Because of that, you might not get much in return for them, but perhaps you can package them with something else in order to get an immediate contributor.
  • David Njoku - most dynasty owners realize that they shouldn't expect much rookie production from tight ends. Therefore, Njoku still has a lot of value based on his draft pedigree and name recognition. An owner that's willing to wait for Njoku to develop may be willing to give you an immediate contributor in return.
  • Kenny Golladay - he's a tantalizing prospect and if he can get back on the field, could make some noise this year. But that's speculative, and if you can find someone that's rebuilding, or just generally loves rookies, I'd consider moving Golladay's potential for something more useful right now.
  • Curtis Samuel - like Golladay, he has some name recognition and draft pedigree, so he could fetch decent value.
  • Corey Davis - I'd have to think long and hard about this, and I'd have to get a lot of value in return. But Davis' ability to contribute this year is an open question, so I'd consider swapping him for someone whose immediate production is more certain.


Players to consider acquiring:

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster - Good luck acquiring him now, after his huge Week 8 performance. I'd consider paying full price, or even overpaying a bit, to get him right now though. He's played very well this year, and Martavis Bryant sure looks to be on the outs in Pittsburgh. Smith-Schuster is in position to help your team win right now and in the long run.
  • Cooper Kupp - has been getting a lot of opportunity with the Rams. Like Smith-Schuster, you probably have to pay full price to get him, but I'd consider it if you need depth at WR. Also like Smith-Schuster, Kupp should help your team next year as well.
  • Marlon Mack - his workload has been increasing and we've seen him be productive even when Frank Gore is also productive. He offers immediate and long-term value. Unlike the higher profile rookie RBs, however, you might still get Mack at a reasonable cost if his current owner is worried about the Colts overall situation.
  • Aaron Jones - If you can convince his current owner that the Packers are likely to bring in a higher profile RB next year, then maybe you can get Jones this year. He's rather clearly usurped the lead role in Green Bay. The Packers may struggle to score with Brett Hundley at quarterback, but Jones should get plenty of opportunities.
  • Tarik Cohen - his production has really tailed off, but he's still getting opportunities and he's got the potential for a big play every time he touches the ball. He maybe has less upside than the other RBs in this list, but also should cost much less.
  • Evan Engram - his current owner probably won't want to part with him. It's worth offering full price, just in case. Engram should be good for the rest of this year and has a bright future. If Engram's owner won't sell at a price you can stomach, then consider the other TEs on the same team. Perhaps Engram's current owner will sell off a veteran instead.
  • Corey Davis - yes, I know he's on both lists. He's still a first-round NFL and dynasty rookie draft talent, and there's a chance he returns to make noise this year. If not, he'll still be a valuable asset next year.


Non-Competing Teams

Players to consider acquiring:

Deshaun Watson, Dalvin Cook, David Njoku, Kenny Golladay, Curtis Samuel, Corey Davis

This should be somewhat obvious, right? If contenders should be willing to part with these players, then non-contenders should be interested in acquiring. I excluded the two Taylors, whom I don't think have long-term potential to help your team. The rest are all players with bright futures, if not immediate opportunity. If you can get them for less than their rookie draft cost, that's a strong move to consider.


Players to consider trading away:

Cooper Kupp, Marlon Mack, Aaron Jones, Tarik Cohen

I excluded JuJu Smith-Schuster and Evan Engram. Yes, contending teams should be trying to get these guys. But as a non-contender, I'd have to get an awful lot in return for either Smith-Schuster or Engram. If I own either, I'd consider moving veteran depth that is now expendable. Kupp is a good player but long-term, Watkins and Woods are decent competition, so Kupp's ceiling might be a bit capped. As for the running backs, I think the turnover at the position is so great from year to year, that I'd be willing to sell any single RB for multiple shots at other RBs later. So I'd trade one for a pair of picks, or a pick and a player, etc.


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