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Dynasty League Sell-High Candidates

By Alex Kurpeski   Dec 12 2019

I recently came across a quote while doing research for an economics module that stated this: “Buy low and Sell high. It’s pretty simple. The only problem is knowing what’s low and what’s high”. 

In the context of fantasy football this quote is extremely relevant. Sometimes you think you’re stealing a guy from one team in a trade, only to soon realize that you paid WAY more than your trade partner would have sold that player for. Value is everything in fantasy, especially Dynasty leagues. Thankfully for you, we here at 3cosports are offering a free value check, as today we will be discussing some players who should be sold high in dynasty formats. 

QB Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson is extremely fun to watch, but he needs to take less hits

I’m a big fan of Watson. I think this guy is and always has been an absolute baller. In fact, his talent is so extraordinary that I’ve heard some NFL insiders compare his combination of mentality and athleticism to Michael Jordan (different sports I know, but just roll with it). 

So just why should you trade Watson away in a dynasty league, then? In what world is a 24 year-old passer, on pace for 4,639 total yards and 38 total touchdowns, expendable?

Well here’s some food for thought. Watson is a scrambling QB with two ACL injuries already, is once again on pace to be sacked 50 times, and has only one reliable pass-catcher on his roster (DeAndre Hopkins, slowly approaching the dreaded age of 30). If Watson continues to get hit at the current pace, he will almost surely suffer yet another devastating injury soon enough. Until Watson cleans up his borderline reckless style of play, he will always represent the greatest injury of any quarterback in the NFL. 

My advice would be to trade Watson for a safer passer (Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff) and some picks or prospects, then sit back and enjoy while another owner deals with the weekly injury scares for the former Heisman winner. 

QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The man, the myth, the Winston

Winston has been perhaps the most mercurial QB of all-time throughout his career, and his 2019 season has been the cherry on top of that very confounding run. In an all important contract year, Winston has shown off both his best and worst qualities in each game of this season, and the Seminole legend is now in a very unique position. Winston could become the first passer in NFL history to lead the league in passing yardage, passing touchdowns, and interceptions. 

It’s that last part that earned Winston his place on this list. While he’s on pace for 5,065 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, Winston has lost his fantasy owners 40 points with his turnovers alone this season. Those turnovers are the reason why Winston remains on the hot-seat in Tampa, as he has lost the team several games with his brutal interceptions and fumbles. 

While Winston should finish as a top-5 fantasy QB, he may not be the starter in Tampa Bay for much longer. Therefore, the smart move would be to send Winston to a QB-needy team in your dynasty league for some picks and a prospect (or a QB in a more stable position). 

RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Dalvin Cook is peaking at the perfect time

This may be a hot take, but injury prone running backs tend to stay injury prone for their whole careers (besides Frank Gore). While Cook has been unbelievable this season, his injury woes make me hesitant to trust him very much in the long-term, and thanks to his monstrous 2019, he can be traded for a ridiculous haul. 

The 24 year-old Cook is on pace for 60 receptions, 16 touchdowns, and 1,982 total yards, a truly incredible statline considering Cook’s long absences due to injuries in his first couple of years. It is unlikely that Cook can replicate this line again, so my advice would be to move him now. A package consisting of two first round picks and 2-3 high-end prospects should be the absolute base offer for a player of Cook’s caliber. A smart owner could pull a king’s ransom for Cook, so consider moving the Vikings star this off-season.

RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry is a bruiser back with a big contract on the horizon

King Henry’s renaissance has been glorious, as the hulking back has been the focal point of a revitalized offensive attack in Tennessee. Yet another former Heisman winner, Henry’s first three seasons in the NFL were marred by his inability to get touches in a Titans offense that was held back by the passive nature of Marcus Mariota. However, in his contract-year, Henry has arrived in a major way, as he is currently on pace to tally 1,783 total yards and 21 touchdowns. 

A true RB1 in fantasy football, Henry’s breakout could pay huge dividends for any fantasy owners who took a flyer on him in round 3 or 4. Entering unrestricted free-agency, now is the time to trade away Henry, as a move elsewhere could absolutely sink his fantasy value. There are no systems that complement his strengths as a player, quite like Tennessee’s, as his powerful downhill running style is the perfect fulcrum for the Titans scheme. When you look at the other teams that could possibly pull him in free agency, there are a lot of bad fits. For instance Tampa Bay, a scheme where Henry could be forced to shuffle off the field on passing downs, so that the offense can spread the field. While there are some interesting teams in-need of a runner like Henry (Buffalo, Indianapolis, Detroit), the presence of young handcuffs would scare me away. 

Trade Henry now before it’s too late, you won’t regret it. 

RB Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals

Drake could be a major non-factor in 2020

The Arizona Cardinals backfield is in a state of flux as we speak, with Kenyan Drake currently entrenched as the starter ahead of veteran David Johnson (remember his 2016 season? Yeah me too…) and Chase Edmonds (talented but his hamstrings may be permanently exploded). 

Since his acquisition, Drake has been a fine RB2, tallying double-digit point totals in three of his starts (he had just one of these outings with Miami). Something tells me that Drake will price himself out of the desert this off-season, with the idea that he should be a starter somewhere. Like T.J Yeldon last year, I think Drake will end up signing a deal with some team that will bury him on their depth chart, never to be heard from again. It’s my opinion that Drake’s value is as high as it will ever be, considering he has never rushed for more than 700 yards in a season. Trade him now before it comes back to haunt you. 

WR Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

Woods’s hot-streak could pay dividends for dynasty owners

Robert Woods has been electric in these past two weeks, following a slow start to the season. If he continues this hot-streak throughout the fantasy football playoffs, the sell-high potential of Woods will be through the roof, thanks to a little thing called recency bias. 

Woods is currently on pace for 88 receptions, 1,148 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown. Those are some very decent numbers, until you realize that Woods has 20 receptions in Weeks 13 and 14 combined, as well as 270 of his receiving yards (nearly ⅓ of his yearly total to this point). Woods’s inconsistencies, combined with his age (28 next season) make him a prime sell-high candidate at this point. Thanks to his tremendous playoff performance thus far, there is a possibility that some thirsty owner might pony up a juicy first-round pick to acquire him. If an offer like this is on the table, accept it before the other guy comes to his senses. Woods is a player who is trending down rapidly, thus you should move him before he becomes a sunk cost on your bench. 

WR John Brown, Buffalo Bills

Brown is a depreciating fantasy asset

John Brown is fast, this is well-established. While the 29 year-old Brown has been incredibly consistent this season (double-digit PPR performances in 11/13 games), his value can only go down from this point. 

Josh Allen’s favorite target is on-pace for 79 catches, 1,117 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns in 2019, a respectable line for a player with a reputation for being inconsistent. However, speed does not last forever, and Brown is one lower-body injury away from complete irrelevance. My advice would be to trade Brown while he’s still a WR2, as his ceiling has been reached and you can already see signs of deterioration from the veteran (season lows for catches three weeks in a row, dating to Week 12). Cash-in on Brown’s breakout while he still has some fantasy value.

TE Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons

Hooper is about to cash-out

Hooper was in the midst of a fantastic fourth-year breakout campaign before suffering an MCL in Week 10. At his pace through 10 games, Hooper was projected to tally 90 receptions, 973 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns, a campaign that would have likely landed him the honor of TE1 overall in fantasy. Unfortunately for Hooper owners, his breakout has come in a contract-year, meaning Hooper has virtually priced himself out of the cap-strapped Falcons organization. 

With several, terrible teams (with a bunch of cap space) in need of proven pass-catchers this off-season, Hooper will likely become a very wealthy young man. The only problem here is that he will likely be collecting a fat check to play for a team like Miami or Washington. Like many great free-agent tight ends before him, Hooper is destined to fail in his new home, regardless of where that may be. The nature of the tight-end position decrees it. 

So be smart about this situation. Trade away Hooper while he’s still playing at a pro-bowl level in Atlanta, for a tight end needy team may very well part with some valuable draft picks in order to bring in a player of Hooper’s caliber. 

TE Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz is a legend in Philly, but his time may soon be coming to an end

The cracks are beginning to form in Philadelphia. While Ertz is currently the team’s best playmaker by a wide margin, his contract is a major reason why the team cannot add any substantial talent to the roster, a true catch-22. With a dynamic contingency plan waiting in the wings (Dallas Goedert), Ertz may very well find himself on a new team this off-season. 

As great as Ertz has been in this last half-decade (422 receptions, 3,735 receiving yards, and 27 touchdowns), it may soon be time for the Eagles to turn the reins over to the young, cheaper Goedert. It’s unclear whether Ertz’s record-breaking production is a result of the Eagles system or his own talents (probably a little of both), but either way a move to another city could really hurt his fantasy value. The 29 year-old Ertz is nearing the point in his career where most tight ends begin to trend downwards, so for the wise fantasy owner, trading Ertz while he’s still in the elite tier of tight ends would be the move.

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