More than any season in recent memory, 2021 has tested the depth of our dynasty rosters. Injuries, especially at running back, have pushed us into Plan B and Plan C options. Much of the trade action over the next month is likely to be rebuilding teams trying to get value from contenders for running backs with short-term value. There should be plenty of win-win trade opportunities for active owners. Be careful going too all-in on 2022 rookie picks if you are rebuilding, however. As we will discuss below, the class is lacking top-end skill position talent.
The dynasty trade value chart is tailored to 12-team PPR leagues a starting lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, and one flex. It now also includes trade values for Superflex leagues in a separate column. The chart is meant to serve primarily as a guide for trades but can also be a great resource during startup drafts. If the players and picks on each side of the trade offer add up to approximately the same number, the trade would be considered even. If you receive a trade offer that sends you players with a higher total number value than the players you are giving up, the offer is worth strongly considering. Each league is different, so pay close attention to the scoring and starting roster requirements specific to your league.
Dynasty Web Apps
Please Note: Dynasty Web Apps will be updated in the coming days. They will incorporate Bob Henry’s rest-of-season projections along with the dynasty values you see below. Links will be added when updated
We recently introduced a customizable dynasty trade value chart that adjusts the player values to fit your league size, starting lineup requirements, and scoring. Thank you to all who provided feedback. The newest version is available here:
We also made a simple dynasty trade value evaluator that allows you to analyze potential deals by entering the players and picks involved. It is available here:
These are still in the early stages of development so any and all feedback is appreciated (firstname.lastname@example.org or @hindery on Twitter).
|1||Patrick Mahomes II||22||56||QB|
It has been ugly for a much-touted rookie class.
Mac Jones has been the best of the bunch but has not proven that his on-field value will translate to him being an impact fantasy performer. He is giving you absolutely nothing on the ground and is averaging 249.6 passing yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game.
Trevor Lawrence has turned it around the last four weeks after a rough start (seven interceptions through three games). He has averaged 258.5 passing yards per game over his last four and also added 5.2 fantasy points per game on the ground. The situation at Jacksonville just looks so bleak around him.
With Matt Nagy missing Week 8, Justin Fields finally showed some positive glimpses and rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown. It is hard to tell how much of the struggles this season (an atrocious 4.7 adjusted yards per attempt) is on Fields and how much is on coaching.
The most concerning development has been the total transformation of the Jets offense with Mike White at quarterback as opposed to Zach Wilson. A rookie in a bad situation gets a little bit of a pass when struggling. But what if the situation is not all that bad? It has looked just fine in six quarters with White. This will be an interesting dynamic to watch going forward and it would not be a surprise if Wilson quickly ends up in an uncomfortable spot like Tua Tagovailoa did.
- One of the interesting aspects of trying to calculate player values is noticing two players with similar profiles in terms of how you are projecting them forward that could not be more different in real life. So is the case with 44-year old Tom Brady and 23-year old Jalen Hurts. Both are top-five fantasy quarterbacks so far this season but are hard to confidently project to still be starters beyond the next couple of seasons.
- Patrick Mahomes II has come back to the pack at quarterback. He is still my QB1 based upon his track record but that is much less of a slam dunk than it was.
- Joe Burrow is playing well and all of a sudden the Bengals situation that scared people when he was drafted looks like it could be one of the best in the league. All of the Bengals' top skill position players are under contract until at least 2024. The comfort level between Burrow and this group should continue to build over time.
- Najee Harris has a good chance to end up as the dynasty RB1 this offseason. He is averaging over 20 PPG as a rookie and is RB4 in PPG behind only Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, and Jonathan Taylor.
- Jonathan Taylor is also a strong contender for the RB1 spot if he can keep up his recent pace.
- Austin Ekeler may still be underrated from a dynasty perspective. He produces big numbers, is still young, and is in a great spot moving forward. Using college pedigree or draft capital as a factor in valuation makes sense early in the career. After a few years, we have enough of a sample size to completely throw that stuff out the window.
- The injury to Derrick Henry is a gut punch to the Titans and to dynasty contenders everywhere. He was such a unique force on the field and in fantasy with his combination of solid floor and ridiculous ceiling. As mentioned here regularly over the past few months, he has been a difficult player to value. The short-term value proposition looked massive. But there was always this red flag in the back of the mind that it did not make sense to value a running back who will turn 28-years old in a few months so highly. Injuries are impossible to predict but we knew something like this was a possibility and you just never know how long a running back’s prime will last.
- Henry is in a bit of a no man’s land for dynasty value. He does nothing to help 2021 contenders. But given his age, he is not someone a rebuilding team is likely to want to rebuild around either. His unique situation could make him a strong trade target if you are a contender with enough depth to also plan ahead for next year and beyond. The injury will save his body from another 250 or so touches he likely would have had the rest of this season.
- If you are drafting a startup today (November 2nd), how can you take anyone other than Ja'Marr Chase at the 1.01 in non-superflex leagues? At the midway point of his rookie season, he is the fantasy WR3. He will not turn 22-years old until next March.
- The lone beneficiary of the Derrick Henry injury may be A.J. Brown. The Titans have no other choice but to lean heavily on their secondary star now that Henry is out. The slow start was concerning, but Brown is again one of the Top 5 most valuable dynasty receivers.
- Cooper Kupp is far and away the WR1 through eight games. At 28-years old, he is a tricky valuation. We had a very similar situation back in 2018 when 28-year old Adam Thielen was the WR1 by almost 40 points through eight games. He had 74-925-6 and was on pace to set some all-time NFL records. Similarly, Kupp has 63-924-10 through eight games this season. Kupp is playing at an elite level but Thielen does serve as somewhat of a cautionary tale. He has been a good fantasy option over the last three years but that ridiculous early 2018 pace looks like a massive career outlier in hindsight. Will we be saying the same about Kupp’s hot 2021 start or is the Stafford-Kupp connection going to keep lighting NFL defenses up for years to come?
- There is not much of a gap between Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Pittman Jr’s per-game numbers. Perhaps Pittman joins the two other second-year wide receivers in the dynasty Top 10 if he can keep pace the rest of the way. A better valuation comparison may be Terry McLaurin. Pittman is older than the typical second-year player (24-years old) and is benefitting from some injuries that have thinned his competition for targets.
|22||Robert Tonyan Jr||3|
A big picture view
There are two competing dynamics at the tight end position right now. A sinking baseline and shrinking number of impact performers.
First, the baseline for replacement-level production is lower than at any time in recent history. This is especially true if you look at replacement level in terms of players who were likely in starting lineups. Of the 12 tight ends who were the consensus starting TE1s across the fantasy industry for Week 8, only two scored more than 7.9 fantasy points (PPR). As a group, the 12 averaged under 6.5 fantasy points.
The falling baseline for replacement-level production means that if you actually had a tight end in your starting lineup who performed well (T.J. Hockenson), you had a massive advantage over the competition. His 18.9 fantasy points were 13.4 more than the average of the other 11 projected starters at the position for the week. From this perspective, there is no more valuable commodity in dynasty right now than a consistently productive tight end.
So huge fantasy performances from the tight end position are even more valuable than normal. But the other side of the coin is that we have not been getting many of those big weeks from our top-tier guys. Travis Kelce is averaging 5.8 catches for 54 yards and 0.2 touchdowns over his last five. He has gone over 65 receiving yards just once over that stretch. Darren Waller has not gone for more than 65 receiving yards since Week 1. George Kittle has been out since Week 4 and was not lighting the world on fire (57 yards per game and no touchdowns) before his injury.
Younger guys like Kyle Pitts, T.J. Hockenson, and Mark Andrews have also been up and down in terms of production. However, replacement level is so low that they are still providing us a big weekly edge over the competition. Combined with their longer-term upside, it makes them extra valuable dynasty commodities worth paying a premium for in trades.
2022 Rookie Picks
We have another month worth of data points on the 2022 rookie prospects and not much has changed. It remains a mostly underwhelming draft class, especially at the very top. There isn’t a Najee Harris, Ja'Marr Chase, or Kyle Pitts in this class. To add some context, there were 13 skill position players taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. I would set the over/under for skill position players in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at 5.5.
As someone who generally feels all rookie picks are undervalued in dynasty, the fact that the 2022 rookie class looks below average does not mean you should rush out and trade away all of your rookie picks. However, if you are a contender, it feels safer this year to make some win-now moves if you have a hole on your roster.