Week 13 is complete, and dynasty movement continues. Injuries have created new opportunities or raised long-term questions about players. Elsewhere young players are solidifying their opportunity for playing time and fantasy production. Weekly the Footballguys staff will share their thoughts on the dynasty ranking movement and answer a critical question you may face.
How do you approach trades in leagues that do not have trade deadlines?
I'm a proponent of no trade deadlines in dynasty leagues because, unlike redraft leagues, the structure is - by design - meant to work through not only the full annual cycle of an NFL season but many years thereafter.
Assuming you have no trade deadline, any time is a good time to engage in dialogue. You have to view each piece of a dynasty roster as an asset, and there are requisite costs. Holding onto a player with little to no chance of starting for you is dangerous, but filling up your roster with a bunch of second- and third-tier assets, unable to deliver massive weeks that lead to championships, is equally problematic.
To be great at trading, you must constantly monitor your league-mates standings and their roster moves. Are they a contender? Are they acting like a contender? Even though trading is meant to improve your roster, it will always be easiest to accomplish if you help the other person. I always make an offer with a firm grip on what I THINK my potential trade partner desires.
If I am out of playoff contention, then I love to look at players I want to offload for a premium price to a playoff team.
If I am a playoff team, then I consider upgrading weak spots by the same measures.
The best trades have both sides winning, although that isn’t always possible. Ultimately I am trying to win this year, next year and beyond and anytime is a good time to make my team better.
Approach these leagues with extra aggression in trading because there is no easier format to find win-win trades between playoff and non-playoff teams. If you are a playoff team with any type of hole in the starting lineup, there are six rosters in your league that you should be combing through, looking for any player that will give your starting lineup a short-term upgrade who is also going to see a big drop off in value after the season. The most obvious would be older players who project for a few remaining seasons of fantasy relevance beyond 2022 but who could help you win a playoff matchup this month. James Conner, Leonard Fournette, Keenan Allen, and DeAndre Hopkins are good examples. There should always be trade options that allow the contender to capture the short-term value of these types of players and come out ahead in the trade overall while also putting the non-contender in a better position for 2023 and beyond.
Mac Jones - New England - Seven touchdowns in nine games are hardly the growth we expected from Mac Jones in his second season. It would be easy to blame the poor offensive game plans, but until we see improvement from Jones, he has to take a big drop in dynasty evaluations.
Carson Wentz/Taylor Heinicke - Washington - With Washington on a winning stretch, Taylor Heinicke has usurped the starting role from Carson Wentz. He seems like a placeholder until they find a more permanent option, but when will that be? Wentz, on the other hand, is destined for his fourth team in four years and is a likely backup. Both are moved accordingly.
Mike White, NY Jets - White moves up to QB27 in my latest update. The easy narrative is that he is a career backup thrust temporarily into a starting role due to the highly-drafted young quarterback falling on his face and that this is just a short-term stint. However, White has a real opportunity to flip that narrative if he takes this opportunity and really runs with it. When you look at some of the throws White has made over the last two weeks, we are starting to see signs that he really may lock down this job into 2023 and beyond.
Russell Wilson, Denver - I dropped Wilson to QB22. The years of past production should still give us some slight hope that 2023 could look better than 2022. The problem is twofold. First, Wilson is 34 years old. It is not unprecedented for guys to have down years in their mid-30s and then bounce back with some big years in their later 30s (Aaron Rodgers is a recent example), but for a guy who has relied on his athleticism to buy him time to throw, this drop off is more likely to be permanent. The second problem is just how much of a jump Wilson would have to make to regain fantasy relevance. He is averaging less than 13 PPG this season (QB31).
Justin Fields, Chicago - Fields was a fantasy non-factor early in his 2022 tenure, but the coaching staff had a plan, and it's working. We've seen Fields' decision-making improve by leaps and bounds in the last few months by slowly easing him into the role. He's running in a way we've never seen before and could easily rival Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson's best seasons in the future. But Fields was also a prolific passer at Ohio State, and we have no idea of his upside until the Bears build a competent receiving corps around him, starting this offseason. Fields is a top-10 quarterback now and will stay there for years to come as long as he stays healthy.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore - Jackson falls outside the Top 10 thanks to the emergence of younger playmakers and his own uncertain future. Hopefully, he can return to MVP form in 2023, particularly if the Ravens move on from offensive coordinator Greg Roman. But it's not lost on us that Jackson is hurt again and hasn't shown the progression as a passer we would've hoped for this many years into his career.
Jordan Love, Green Bay - Have we been too hard on Jordan Love? Yes, the Packers shouldn't have used a high pick on him, given Rodgers' presence. Yes, he was a development project in college. But now we find the Packers in a potential rebuild, and Rodgers' future -- at least with Green Bay -- is in serious question. Love should know LaFleur's system inside and out, and the Packers supporting cast is enviable, particularly if they add a bonafide No. 1 receiver in the offseason. No one is ranking Love as a surefire starter, but it might be time to acquire him now cheaply. If he gets the starting job in 2023, you'll never get the chance to pay this low a price.
James Cook, Buffalo - I ranked Cook rather aggressively this week at RB17 after he played 43% of the snaps and had 20 touches in Week 13. Give me a young back with legitimate PPR upside in an elite offense over some of these 27-year-old backs who are going to see their value fall off a cliff once the fantasy playoffs are over. Cook is far from a sure thing and may end up being limited to a 30% market share of team snaps and touches behind Devin Singletary. However, we should also be open to the possibility that the highly-drafted rookie is ready to take over a 50-50 split or better down the stretch of the season and moving forward into 2023 and beyond.
James Robinson, New York Jets - Robinson fell to R62 in my rankings. Even with the Jets' top two running backs both out, Robinson was still the third back and played only nine snaps. Post Achilles injury, he is noticeably less explosive than his teammate Zonovan Knight. It is hard to see a path for Robinson to work his way back to fantasy relevance.
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