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Tue Jan 24th 2023

My Best and Worst Trades of the Year

At the end of the season, there are a few things I like to do to help me improve as a dynasty manager. I rerank the rookie class to see where I was wrong or right and how to improve my process. In case you missed it, I wrote about that last week.

 

Another thing to improve is to review all the trades I made during the season to see what I think about them now. It provides an opportunity for me to learn from my mistakes and my successes.

 

This season, I made fourteen trades. I am writing this article to evaluate what the trades look like now that the season is over. I list them here in order from best to worst.


Tyreek Hill and Darrel Williams <-----> D.J. Moore and Darrell Henderson

  • This is the trade I was most pleased with this season, and it helped me get to the Super Bowl, where I sadly lost. I took over an orphan team with D.J. Moore on my squad but quickly put him on the trading block since I value Moore far less than other dynasty managers. Another manager and I negotiated this deal to get Moore off my team and get Hill on my team. The trade occurred before the season started when Darrell Henderson was considered the Rams' starter while Cam Akers tried to come back from his Achilles injury. Darrel Williams had just signed with the Cardinals to backup James Conner. Hindsight proves the Darrells were worthless in this deal, but I significantly won the trade since Hill performed much better than Moore. Hill finished second in wide receiver points in this league, just behind Justin Jefferson, who is also on my roster. If Tua Tagovailoa had remained healthy all season, Hill could have surpassed Jefferson in total points. I gave up some years, given that Moore is three years younger, but I believed Hill would thrive even though he was without Patrick Mahomes. I was proved right. This trade looks excellent at the end of the season and in the years to come.

Amon-Ra St. Brown <-----> Nyheim Hines and a 2022 2nd round pick

  • This trade was also made before the start of the season and is a little more complex, given that it was in a salary cap and contract league, but both players were on cheap contracts guaranteed through the 2023 season. The other manager was, for some reason, eager to acquire Hines as a handcuff to Jonathan Taylor. My co-manager and I were happy to give up a second-round pick to add St. Brown to our roster for at least the next two years. He may be the player whose contract we will most likely extend at the end of next season. Sadly, we got knocked out in the semifinals, but we did take home the money for being the highest-scoring team in the league, and St. Brown started for us every week, finishing as the 8th highest-scoring receiver in the league. Hines was traded to the Bills mid-season and was unstartable in fantasy leagues this year. The other manager used our second-round pick to draft Kenny Pickett in this one-quarterback league. To put it mildly, I like our side of this trade. 

Trevor Lawrence <-----> Tyler Allgeier, a 2023 1st round pick, and $634 of rookie auction cash

  • I gave up quite a bit in a fourteen-team superflex league to acquire Trevor Lawrence, but I am still pleased that I did. I started the season with Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan as my starters in this league, so I was desperate for a starting quarterback and made this trade near the end of the season, which helped me get into the playoffs and set me up in the future with a young and improving quarterback. This league is unique because the rookie draft is an auction, and each draft slot is assigned a certain amount of money. For instance, the 1.1 is $1000, and the 1.9, the first-round pick I gave up in this trade, is worth $470. Rookie auction money carries over from season to season, so I had $634 to add to the trade. Pick 1.6 is worth $620 in this league, so I gave up the 1.6, 1.9, and Tyler Allgeier for Trevor Lawrence. It's a lot to give up, but the price is right in a fourteen-team superflex league. I'm excited to have Lawrence on my roster since he's now the 6th-ranked quarterback in my dynasty rankings.

Kyler Murray <-----> Mac Jones, Dawson Knox, 2023 3rd

  • This trade I made to add Murray to my team is a little less impressive, given that I have Josh Allen as my starter, it's a one-quarterback league, and Murray tore his ACL at the end of the season, but I'm still pleased to have made this trade. Daniel Jones is the third quarterback on my roster in this league, so I still have depth behind Allen while I wait for Murray to return to play late next season. I have plenty of depth and trade bait for teams next season when other quarterbacks get injured or underperform. I hoped I could have traded Murray or Jones by the end of the season, but I could not. I will be able to trade them next season. Because I'm a middle-of-the-pack team in this league, Murray and Jones also allow me to consider trading Allen for a hefty price. I put Allen on the trading block this week and made a few offers to see if trading Allen could help me rebuild. I'm extremely weak at tight end in this league, so giving up Knox hurt a bit, especially since Knox started performing well after I made this trade, and I'll miss the Allen/Knox stack. Still, I like Murray more than Mac Jones, Knox, and a 2023 3rd round pick.

Elijah Moore and a 2023 2nd round pick <-----> Keenan Allen

  • I traded away Keenan Allen at the last hour of the trade deadline to help a team with a great but unlucky roster get a bit younger. Unfortunately for me, Allen was the critical piece that helped the team I traded with to win the Super Bowl. Thankfully it's a ten-team league, so I traded Allen for Elijah Moore and the 20th pick of the draft. Given my roster, I am pleased with this trade. I was willing to depart with Allen because I have A.J. Brown, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tee Higgins, George Pickens, Jahan Dotson, Rashod Bateman, and Josh Palmer on my team. It made sense to add Moore to my team in hopes that he can solidify his role as the WR-2 behind Garrett Wilson for the Jets next year after they get a better quarterback on the team. Allen is one of my favorite and most-rostered players, but I needed to move on from him with a roster like this.

Zach Ertz in four different trades

  • I made almost too many trades for Ertz to list here. I added him in three leagues and traded him away in one. I won't write in detail about every trade, but I am pleased with all of them because I only wanted Ertz to help me this season, and he certainly did until he was injured in week ten. I acquired Ertz for Albert Okwuegbunam, who lost his starting role to Greg Dulcich this season. I acquired Ertz for Melvin Gordon lost his job in Denver even after Javonte Williams was injured. I acquired Ertz for Brandin Aiyuk and a 2022 third-round pick in a salary-cap contract league where Ertz and Aiyuk were both in the final year of their contracts. The only league where I traded Ertz away was in one where I'm rebuilding and have Dallas Goedert and Dawson Knox on my roster. In that league, I traded Ertz away for Romeo Doubs right before Ertz got injured. I'm happy with that trade, too. Ertz's fabulous start to the season helped my teams this season, which was all I expected.

Kenneth Gainwell <-----> Eno Benjamin

  • I made this minor trade to add Gainwell to a team with Miles Sanders on my roster. The other manager had Dameon Pierce on his roster and offered me the trade after Benjamin signed with Houston. It was a simple handcuff-for-handcuff trade, but I ended up with the only player still on his team since Benjamin was cut by the Texans and picked up by New Orleans. It was a mostly meaningless trade, but I came out on top by the end of the season, and it should be better for me in the future, too.

Khalil Herbert <-----> a 2023 2nd round pick

  • I don't regret this trade I made to acquire Herbert because he may be the Bears' starter next year after they let David Montgomery become a free agent. However, I made this trade mid-season when Montgomery was injured, and I thought I had a chance to push for the playoffs. Then Herbert got hurt, the rest of my team struggled down the stretch and failed to make the playoffs. I now have the fifth pick of the draft, so I may wish I had the 2.5 pick instead of Herbert. It all comes down to what the Bears do with Montgomery this off-season. If he re-signs with the Bears, I will lose this trade. If he does not, I won it. Time will tell on this one.

Dalvin Cook <-----> Javonte Williams

  • Now we're getting to some trades that I regret. I traded Williams to a rebuilding team near the trade deadline to add Cook to my starting lineup during the playoff push. I made it to the Super Bowl and lost, but Cook only contributed to one of my regular-season wins down the stretch and did not help me at all in the playoffs. Now, I'd much rather have Williams on my roster. There's always a chance that Williams does not recover well from his ACL surgery, making me regret this trade less, but if he returns healthy to a better-coached Broncos team and Cook looks past his prime next season like he did to end this season, I'll be disappointed with this trade. I'll be more hesitant to trade away young, injured running backs for older starters in the future.

D'onta Foreman and Eno Benjamin <-----> a 2023 2nd round pick and a 2024 3rd round pick

  • I regret making this trade for Foreman and Benjamin. I did it in a league with a competitive team, and Foreman helped me win a few games as I made my playoff push. Still, he also contributed to a few losses along the way too and never started for me in the playoffs, even though I advanced and lost in the Super Bowl. At the time, Foreman had just taken over as the starter after Christian McCaffrey was traded, and Benjamin was the apparent starter after James Conner was injured. I thought I added two starting running backs for a pretty cheap price, but Benjamin failed to earn the job and was subsequently cut by the Cardinals. Foreman saw his touches cut as Chuba Hubbard got more and more involved for Carolina near the end of the season. As mentioned above, Benjamin is now with the Saints. Foreman is set to be a free agent unless Carolina re-signs him. The only glimmer of hope I have in this trade is if Carolina does sign Foreman and does not add a running back in the draft. It's a lousy trade either way, but I hope I keep Foreman as a flex-worthy player for the next year or two.

Geno Smith <-----> Sam Ehlinger

  • This is far and away the worst trade I made this season. It looks ridiculous on paper but requires context to understand. I entered a three-team orphan auction dispersal draft last spring. It's a superflex league with only a few quarterbacks available in the dispersal. I ended up with Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz as my two starting quarterbacks and picked up Andy Dalton, Geno Smith, and Sam Howell for cheap in the draft, too. After Russell Wilson was traded to the Broncos and Drew Lock to the Seahawks, I thought Geno Smith would be the backup to Lock. Sadly, I offered Geno Smith for Elinger to lock up the Colts' quarterback position. Well, we all know how that worked out. After I made the trade, the Colts signed Nick Foles as Ryan's backup. As if that wasn't painful enough, Geno Smith became the surprise player of the year, and I got utterly hosed by this trade. The other manager in the fourteen-team superflex league got a look-what-I-found starting quarterback who dominated this season. I still made the playoffs in this league but lost in the first round. If I had Smith on my team, I would have had a much better seeding, and who knows how far I would have gone in the playoffs. I don't blame myself for the process of trading a backup quarterback for a backup quarterback, but this one bit me in the butt, and now it is one of the two or three worst dynasty trades I've ever made.

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