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Sun Jun 14th 2020

Grading Offseason Dynasty Trades

What I Think Offseason Moves Made By Teams In My Leagues

Over the last month, I wrote about four of my five rookie drafts. I wrote about why I drafted the players for my team and commented on who I thought was the biggest reach and the best value in each round. What I did not write about were the trades that took place during or immediately after the draft. This week I thought I'd write about those trades.

 

There were more trades in my leagues than I listed here, but I chose these few trades because they give me a chance to write about players I've not already written about in previous articles. I also did not include trades made in my salary cap and contract leagues because it's harder to explain why trades were made. Here I focus on trades involving players and 2021 draft picks. I'll share my opinion on each trade. Whether you agree with me or not, you will get an idea of how other savvy dynasty owners are valuing players based on those they were willing to trade or acquire.

James Conner <=====> Mark Ingram

  • This trade is one I made in my FFPC a day after the draft with the owner who had drafted J.K. Dobbins. It was a pretty even trade, in my opinion. I think Ingram and Conner could both only have one more year with their teams. Conner's contract expires at the end of this season. Ingram has one more year left on his contract but could get cut if Dobbins steals his job, which I expect him to do by midseason. I think Ingram could have helped my team the first few weeks of the year but would become harder to start by the time Dobbins eats into his workload. In contrast, Conner has a better chance to keep his starting role over Anthony McFarland, who was drafted two rounds later than Dobbins. Before the draft, I wrongly predicted that Pittsburg would take a running back in round two, and Baltimore would not draft a running back. The opposite happened, which caused me to move Conner back up to my running back #27 and caused me to move Ingram down to my running back #42. I stuck with my rankings and accepted the first offer this owner made after messaging him to ask if he was interested in Ingram since he drafted Dobbins.

DeAndre Hopkins <=====> Sony Michel, Courtland Sutton, and 2020 pick 2.1 (Justin Jefferson)

  • This trade is another very close one in my FFPC league. In a normal dynasty league, I would definitely favor the package side of this deal. In FFPC leagues, however, teams only roster 20 players, including a defense and a kicker, so three for one deals get a lot more complicated depending on how deep the roster is of the team acquiring three players. Hopkins value has dropped, in my opinion, but not too far. I still have him as my #4 ranked wide receiver behind Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill, and Devante Adams. Still, there are many more questions about him now that he is in Arizona with a younger coach and quarterback who has a history of spreading the ball around the offense, especially compared to the target-hog Hopkins was in Houston with Deshaun Watson. Courtland Sutton is still an ascending player who has risen to be my #22 ranked wide receiver. I am not threatened by his added target competition with the additional two rookies, Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler, in this year's draft. Sutton wins in different ways than they do and has two years of NFL experience behind him. As for Justin Jefferson, I have him ranked as my #7 rookie, but in this draft, he fell to the second round. This owner must like Jackson's potential in Minnesota like I do, so he made the trade even though it meant selling his best player. Sony Michel is an excellent throw-in on this trade. I have stated before that I believe Damien Harris will replace Sony Michel as the lead back in New England this year, but I have to admit that I could be wrong, and it's Michel's job to lose to start the season. It would be difficult to lose Hopkins, but I think I would do it for this package of players, even in an FFPC league.

Zach Ertz and a 2021 2nd round pick <=====> D.J. Chark and Noah Fant

  • This trade was another one in my FFPC league, which is a tight-end premium league (1.5 PPR). Ertz was the 37th highest scoring player last year, including quarterbacks. Take out the quarterbacks, and he would be the 14th highest scoring player overall. I would not be willing to sell him and a second-round pick for Chark and Fant. I love Dallas Goedert and own him in this league, but he is not better than Ertz and will not take over the starting tight end role unless Ertz is injured. Carson Wentz loves Ertz as a target and a friend. I don't expect the drop in production that others have predicted for the last few years. Fant has tremendous upside in Denver and is an incredible athlete, but the Denver offense is not built around tight ends like the Philadelphia offense is. Denver also has far better wide receivers to target than Philadelphia does. D.J. Chark may have had the best year of this career. I was not as high on him as others even after his breakout year last year. He barely cracks my WR-3 range since I have him ranked as my #36 ranked wide receiver. I would want the Ertz side of this trade even if it were not in a tight end premium league.

Adam Trautman <=====> 2021 3rd round pick

  • This trade was one made the day after the draft by an owner who has a host of unproven tight ends on his roster aside from Mike Gesicki. The other owner has George Kittle and Hayden Hurst and drafted Albert Okwuegbunam in the sixth round. I think he made the most of the deal, given that he was strong at tight end. At the same time, it was a very fair trade because Trautman was drafted at 3.8 in this year's draft, so giving up a future third-round pick is equal in value. Trautman was my #1 ranked rookie tight end, so I believe he traded for the best tight end in this class.

Brandon Aiyuk <=====> 2021 1st round pick

  • This trade took place in a 10-team league, where the owner moved up to 2.5 (pick 15) to acquire Aiyuk. I like Aiyuk and drafted him in my Reality Sports Online league, but I drafted him and pick #18 without having to give up a 2021 first-round pick. This rookie class is particularly deep, but next year we could be saying the same thing. With rare exception, I would not trade a future first-round pick for a current second-round pick. The same owner's first pick was 2.1 (pick 11), where he drafted Ke'Shawn Vaughn. I would rather have drafted Aiyuk there if I was that high on him and kept my 2021 first-round pick intact. It's hard to do when you're in the draft and on the clock with so many good players to draft, but if an owner offers me a future first-round pick while I'm in the second round, I have to take it. This conviction would only apply in the first and second-round for me. Once we get to the third round, I think I would target the player I wanted, but in the first or second round, I would almost always trade the pick to move up one round in the following year's draft.

Kenyan Drake <=====> Phillip Lindsay, Rob Gronkowski, and a 2021 1st round pick

  • This trade was a bold one made in my favorite "Diehard" league. There are a lot of teams that are weak in their RB-2 position. The owner who purchased Drake has a solid team at every position but RB-2. He has Marlon Mack and Mark Ingram but also drafted Jonathan Taylor and J.K Dobbins. Because of this, I would have chosen the more patient route and played the Colts or Raven's running back that was getting the most snaps until it was clear that these stud rookies had taken the job, rather than give up a 2021 first-round pick. That said, the 2021 first-round pick is the best part of this trade. Gronkowski is a fading asset that I suspect will get limited snaps in his year or two in Tampa Bay. Lindsay's value dropped after being replaced by Melvin Gordon. He is a good handcuff in case Gordon gets injured, and he may prove to be more effective in his change of pace role this year. I understand what each owner was trying to do in this trade. It's close, but I favor the long-term approach taken by the owner who got the package deal in this trade.

Antonio Gibson and 2021 2nd and 3rd round pick <=====> Sony Michel and a 2021 3rd round pick

  • This trade is hard for me because I'm not a fan of either player involved in this trade. I've written before about how surprised I am that Gibson is drafted so high in rookie drafts after having very little production in his college career. He was also drafted as a "running back" on a very crowded team with proven vets and Darius Guice, who has more draft capital than Gibson. As I had written before and stated above in this article, I believe Michel will lose his job to Damien Harris this year, so I am not a fan of Michel either. I can see why a team would trade for Michel and give up more picks, thinking he has a player he has seen who has a starting role. I usually prefer players I have seen to comparable rookies of draft picks of those I have not seen, but because I do not like what I have seen in Michel, I think I would favor the unseen of Gibson and the added 2021 second-round pick here.

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