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Dynasty Sell-High for 2019 - Running Backs


This is the perfect time of year to sell high on many players in your dynasty football leagues.

There are several situations where a player is presumably the starter for a team, but there's a very good possibility that the team will either draft one or obtain one in free agency. Sometimes this can be a risky move.

If the team does, in fact, end up going with a certain running back and doesn't draft or sign another one, you could miss out on some serious fantasy production. At the same time, there may be owners in your league fully convinced that someone like Damien Williams is the guy to own in Kansas City. Spoiler alert: he's the first name on this list.

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Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

The first name on this list is Damien Williams. The former Miami Dolphin will enter his sixth season in the NFL in 2019, and at this time, he is the Chiefs starting running back. We all know just how valuable Andy Reid's running backs can be, and that Chiefs offense is arguably the most explosive in the NFL. No matter who ends up getting the starting nod in Kansas City, they'll hold a ton of fantasy value. This is exactly why Williams is getting so much hype as of late, despite the fact that he's been next to worthless for his first five seasons in the NFL outside of Weeks 14-16 last year.

Kareem Hunt played his last game in Kansas City in Week 11 and is now in Cleveland. In Weeks 12 and 13, Spencer Ware stepped in and was hurt towards the end of Week 13 against the Ravens. Williams stepped in starting in Week 14 and put up 74.3 points during that time and was the fantasy RB3. Small sample size or not, many owners are viewing Williams as the answer for the Chiefs based on this production.

I fully expect them to either sign a free agent, draft a running back, or both. Williams has hardly been on the fantasy radar, and turns 27 in April. I don't like to include Twitter trade polls in articles, but I felt like I needed to mention that one I saw recently involved Antonio Brown for Williams. Seriously? Do yourself a favor and sell him to the owner that's convinced he's the answer before free agency and the NFL Draft come around and make Williams a backup at best.

 

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

The time has come once again to sell Derrick Henry in your dynasty leagues. His end of season run was Deja Vu from the end of the 2017 season as he lit it up for a few weeks. From Weeks 12-16, Henry was the RB3 behind just Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey after putting up a couple of monster games, including one where he saw 33 carries. In Weeks 1-11, Henry was the RB44. He is the definition of volume-dependant (and touchdown dependant), and the window to sell him is open again.

Running backs who are dependant upon volume and touchdowns for their fantasy production is not exactly ideal for fantasy football. With PPR being the new 'standard' for fantasy leagues, 18 targets in an entire season is awful, and that's how many he finished with. The sad part is that 18 targets are the most he's ever seen in a season. He saw 15 and 17 targets in his first two seasons in the NFL, respectively. I've been an advocate for selling Henry since his rookie season. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of it if you own Henry anywhere.

 

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

Heading into the 2018 season, many fantasy owners were very excited about the first-round pick in Seattle, Rashaad Penny. The undrafted running back from 2017 Chris Carson, ended up being the one to step up and lead the Seahawks backfield. He finished as the RB18 in PPR scoring with 181.5 points, good for 14 points per games as he played in 13 total games.

Many dynasty owners, myself included, were high on Penny, taking him in the early first-round of their rookie drafts. Penny showed flashes, but the way that Carson looked, it was hard for them to keep him off the field. According to Pro Football Focus, he led the league in broken tackles with 45. He finished the season with 247 carries for 1,151 yards and nine touchdowns. For what it's worth, Penny finished the season with 4.93 YPC compared to Carson's 4.66. Penny also caught a higher percent of his passes than Carson, 8.15 to 8.33, respectively.

So why sell Carson instead of buy? The biggest reason for me is pure talent - Penny has the advantage there. Another is the investment that Seattle made with Penny. He was a far better prospect than Carson and the Seahawks agreed, as they used their first-round pick on him. I'm fully convinced that NFL coaches who advocate for their organizations to go out and spend first-round picks on certain players, need to utilize them and show the organization that they can trust their judgment on evaluating rookies.

I'm also convinced that as Penny improves as a blocker and protecting the ball, they'll get him more involved. At best, count on Carson and Penny splitting the backfield and that we've seen Carson's ceiling. I'm selling him to the owner that's convinced Carson owns that backfield for the foreseeable future.

 

James White, New England Patriots

James White had a quietly productive season in 2018, and ultimately ended up finishing as one of the best running backs in fantasy. He finished with 259.7 PPR points, which was good for the RB8 overall. It can be tough to sell someone like White, as most dynasty owners are fully aware and on board with the young stud, Sony Michel. Your best bet is to find someone in your PPR leagues who isn't sold on Michel or the Patriots backfield as a whole, and do your best to shop White.

I fully believe you'll not be able to get an ideal return on White, but you also won't be able to buy him for what an owner may be asking. The main takeaway here is to shop around. Push the PPR value that White offers consistently year to year, and actively look to sell him. Michel is the direction that team is heading as far as the backfield goes, and that was on full display in the playoffs where he had 71 carries for 336 yards and six touchdowns. Don't sell yourself short on White, but take advantage of where he finished in 2018 and do your best to capitalize on his value.

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