Dynasty League Sell Candidates
Dynasty fantasy football is all about knowing the right time to get out on a share of a player. Whether it be age, new personnel, or a change of scenery, timing is crucial before the bottom falls out on an asset (think Todd Gurley). Here are some interesting dynasty sell candidates in all dynasty formats heading into the offseason.
Logan Thomas was one of the better stories coming out of a strange year for everyone in 2020. Thomas was in the league 6 years before his first season with the Washington Football Team in 2020. He started his NFL career as a Quarterback out of Virginia Tech. After little success, he was converted to TE. This was a position he had not played since his high school days. There were bound to be some growing pains in his first few years, and with the Lions nonetheless. He would catch fire with WFT when Ron Rivera came to town.
He hit a modified “3rd-year breakout” at the position with Washington last year. So why would you sell Thomas after he started to hit his stride? Thomas was the secondary passing option behind Terry Mclaurin. He operated more like the team’s second WR. Thomas ran an unprecedented amount of routes, receiving a crazy amount of volume for the WFT. He was number one in routes run for TEs with 609. That speaks more to the options around Thomas than Thomas’s talent itself. Besides Mclaurin, the other WRs on the WFT failed to garner much of anything in the passing game. If you add up the targets by Cam Sims, Dontrelle Inman, they would only out-target Thomas by 10. The opportunity was there for Thomas to step up and he did.
Fast-forward to 2021. Thomas will have a new Quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick. He will also have two new wide receivers in Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries in town. Samuel won’t have a huge learning curve in Washington. He spent time with Rivera and his Staff in Carolina and has some familiarity with the offense. Fitzpatrick spent time with Humphries in Tampa Bay when Humphries dominated slot targets. The opportunities may be a lot harder to come by in this offense in 2021. The Chase Young-led defense will be keeping games closer. Ryan Fitzpatrick favors the WR position more than the TE position, but only time will tell.
The value of a top 3 TE season from last year may be fresh in some dynasty managers’ minds. Logan Thomas had the second-worst yards per reception out of the top 20 TEs. That may scare off some fantasy managers right away. That stat means nothing on its own. Coupled with having the most routes run at the position and the 3rd most targets, it was hard for Thomas to fail last year. If his opportunities go down he can easily mirror the production of Austin Hooper. Hooper was great when he was heavily targeted. He finished last season with around the same YPC and catch percentage as Thomas on 40 fewer targets finishing TE21.
Look to capitalize on last season. Taking a mid to early second gamble and giving away Thomas could pay off huge next year. If you have a competent TE stable, it wouldn’t hurt if it was even a 2023 2nd.
The departure of Julio is not the reason Matt Ryan is on this list. It may cause him to be viewed as a lesser option going into the 2021 season in dynasty formats. Ryan has had a prolific career throwing to some of the best receiving options in the game in his 12-year career. Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley have helped Ryan finish top 12 at the position all but 3 times since 2009. Health has also been on Matt Ryan’s side, as he has played 205 out of 208 games during that span.
Kyle Pitts now enters as Julio leaves Atlanta going into the 2021 season. The hype around Pitts being the greatest TE to ever play the game has been historic. Pitts may not be used as a prototypical TE, so he may help fill the void of Julio in this offense. The problem for Ryan lies with the new coaching staff in town. Arthur Smith helped revitalize Ryan Tannehill’s career in Tennessee. The success of Tannehill relied on being ultra-efficient in the passing game. It didn’t hurt that Tannehill could run the ball as well. Tannehill averaged over 200 yards and 5.5 rushing touchdowns in his last two seasons. He was so efficient, he was tied for 9th in passing touchdowns. He threw the same amount of touchdowns as Deshaun Watson while throwing 63 fewer attempts. Tannehill also tied Big Ben in Pittsburgh while attempting 127 fewer attempts.
Ryan has always been good but he has needed to throw a lot. The Falcons defense will still be bad, but it does not seem like it is Arthur Smith’s philosophy to air it out often. Tannehill in his debut season in Tennessee was on pace for 432 attempts and ranked 18th in 2020 with 481. Ryan has been Top 3 in attempts the last 3 years, and all-around 600 attempts. Matt Ryan’s lowest attempt total came in 2009 (his rookie season) and it was still 452 attempts. He has never rushed for over 150 yards. He has also only rushed for more than 2 touchdowns one time. While Ryan is still going to have a few good seasons, there is a chance that the volume for him goes way down.
Looking to the future, the Falcons may add a quarterback next year. Matt Ryan’s contract has an out in 2022. Even if it didn’t, we have now seen teams move on no matter what the expense. If the Falcon’s struggle this year, his replacement could be on the roster as soon as 2022. Look to capitalize on some of that epic Kyle Pitts hype in training camp. Ryan will still hold a lot of value in Superflex or 2 QB leagues. He can also be helpful for someone making a run in a single QB league as well.
Kenny Golladay is the youngest player on this list, but not by much. Golladay will be turning 28 in November this season coming off an injury-riddled 2020. Some speculate the missed time had something to do with Golladay’s impending free agency. Whether that is true or not it does not take away from the fact that when he is heavily utilized he can be one of the better WRs in the game.
The reason for selling Golladay is simple, few WRs make a smooth transition to a new team. Historically, there is a dip in production for a good deal of WR when joining a new team. It does not mean they are set up for failure. Many top WRs that flop a bit on a new team bounce back the following season. That is the problem with Golladay. If he has a “bad” season in fantasy players’ minds his value plummets. He then goes into the 2022 season 29 years old and a much cheaper option. If you are a middle-of-the-road or rebuilding team, it is best to get out from Golladay before the season. Look for a potential buyer excited for his new opportunity.
NEW OPPORTUNITY or Better Opportunity:
The problem here is the opportunities may not be as abundant as they were in Detroit. Golladay had back-to-back seasons of 100+ targets before going down in 2020. The Giants had 3 players at 90+ targets, and the best scoring player of the bunch was Sterling Shepard at WR43. All in a year without Saquon Barkley, who received 121 and 73 targets before missing last season. The Giants are bound to get their big free agency acquisition targets. It is tough to see those targets eclipsing the century mark. There are few Daniel Jones believers outside of New York. If a sale can be made based on 2019 Kenny Golladay, you pull the trigger. If not, you can’t afford to sell him low in 2022. Golladay would make for a great buy-low candidate next year if he doesn’t put up WR20 numbers. He is currently going as WR21 in Sleeper ADP. Shoot for a 2022 first or a player in the range of Elijah Moore for this year’s class. (Although, camp hype has already begun to set in.)Rebuild rosters only, give me a dart throw and a 2023 first.
Many dynasty and redraft managers were watching in awe as Mike Davis took over for Christian McCaffrey. It was impressive to watch him roll to the tune of over 20 fantasy points per game. Those massive quads couldn’t handle the workload as he burned out down towards the end. In 6 of his last 9 games down the stretch, he failed to hit double digits. This was despite only dropping down 2 touches per game in that time. Most of the casual managers would not pay much mind to this drop-off. He is being hyped right now as the workhorse running back in Atlanta. They made no significant additions to the backfield. The only “notable” move was letting former offseason hype candidate Brian Hill walk in free agency.
An early drop off:
Davis may have a great start to the season. Most around the industry do not expect it to last. He would be a player that if there are no bites early in the preseason, it is best to hold onto him until a big game or two. Selling to a contender or someone who believes they are one piece away from a championship run can be huge for any team. I would hope to cash in on Davis for any 2nd in the next year or two. If you are a contender, and RB is a weak spot in your lineup, you may be forced to keep him and play things out.
As of right now, Davis is in line to see a ridiculous workload. Even so, there has to be another RB on the roster or soon to be added that can compete for touches. Javian Hawkins shows those flashes of Philip Lindsay. Do not be surprised if down the stretch he is the one to take over. Could be a new addition to the team during camp that starts to eat away at opportunities for Davis as well.
Bringing it all together
Values change almost daily in any dynasty league. Knowing when to keep or move a player is going to make all the difference between being a contender or a perennial middle-of-the-road team. While you do not need to make one of these moves today, it may be best to do it within the first few weeks of the Preseason. If the offers are not even close, hold for a game or two in the regular season and hope for an offensive explosion. Otherwise, you may get caught holding the bag on some of these players.
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