Three Dynasty Targets to Trade For Right Now (Fantasy Football)
Dynasty leagues are often won and lost by the trades that managers make during the offseason. During any given year, there are a handful of managers who always have a shot at winning the title, regardless of what the teams look like on paper. Things move a lot quicker than a lot of dynasty managers realize, and even a total juggernaut can be taken down by a team that’s in the middle of the pack if they make the right decisions prior to the season. Similar to the stock market, it’s obviously ideal to trade for guys at their lowest value possible, and dish away guys who don’t have much more room to run. Opportunity, contract situations, and offensive projections are crucial indicators for identifying breakouts at the running back position, while athleticism and quarterback play typically fuel the funnel at the receiver position. Here are three players to trade for in your dynasty league today.
As painful as it is to pivot away from my OG fantasy man crush Diontae Johnson, the time has come. The real value in the Steelers fantasy wide receiver group is the same guy that was drafted way too early last year. Chase Claypool displayed all world talent at times in his rookie campaign, and last season he was catching passes from a quarterback whose arm could barely skip a stone across a kiddie pool. To those of you that chose not to watch the Steelers closely, you are lucky. To put it delicately: Big Ben was atrocious, and probably should have respected the Steelers fanbase and retired in the middle of the year. Most of what makes Chase Claypool effective was in direct contradiction to what Big Ben was choosing to do in 2021. Downfield playmaking was nearly nonexistent in the Steelers offense, and Claypool is a high point, contested catch style receiver who excels past the first down markers.
From a usage standpoint, Claypool consistently jumped off the page in a bad way in my weekly snap count articles, because he never seemed to be a full time player despite his obvious talent. The primary explanation has to be the lack of arm strength from his quarterback and the need for more refined route runners in space. Claypool has room to grow in this area, but the Steelers have historically done a phenomenal job with their pass catchers with this part of their game. George Pickens is a clear threat to Claypool in the short term, but Diontae Johnson‘s new deal is anything but done. Claypool could be the top dog in this receiving corps as early as 2023, and at that point, he will be too expensive to acquire in dynasty leagues.
With Kenny Pickett under center, the downfield playmaking ability of Claypool can only improve, even if Pickett isn’t exactly Josh Allen. Claypool has slid far down the dynasty draft board, despite everything surrounding his situation improving outside of the Pickens addition. I don’t expect Pickens to be a threat to his playing time in year one, so this season will dictate what the future looks like in the Steel City. To put it simply: things can only get better from here for Claypool. Think of trading for him like acquiring Bitcoin right now. It’s possible you lose your investment quickly, but it’s also very possible that he never gets any cheaper. His potential for a third year leap, the improved quarterback talent that’s locked into a rookie deal, the Diontae Johnson contract drama looming, and the necessity to lighten the load for Najee Harris should all lead to an improvement for Claypool. The short memory found in dynasty circles can be taken advantage of, and in this case it’s a clear overreaction to a retirement tour of a season for a quarterback who was done years ago.
This may be the “chalk” pick, and it’s very possible that Pittman’s price tag is too high in a lot of dynasty leagues, but his current ADP cost and long term upside keep him in the “still undervalued” territory for me. Pittman had a healthy triple digit target total of 129 in 2021, and he crossed the 1,000-yard threshold in the final game of the season. He was able to produce an impressive sophomore season on a run-first offense with Carson Wentz behind center. He had to be efficient and win in space during obvious passing situations. Check, and Check. Pittman was excellent, and I’m willing to bet that his journey towards stardom has only begun.
Matt Ryan has been one of the more consistent throwers of the football over the past decade, and his accuracy and decision making are the perfect fit for someone like Pittman. We saw Calvin Ridley thrive alongside Ryan, and Pittman has improved in every facet of his game each and every week. His trajectory fits the mold of someone ready to make the leap into a true alpha for his team, and he’s a real threat to land near the WR1 tier in fantasy if things break the right way in his touchdown column. The passing volume in Indianapolis should increase with Matt Ryan, and Jonathan Taylor‘s epic 2021 season is tough to repeat. He’s worth the trade cost for his upside alone, but his floor should be safe going forward. Simply put: the dude was a dude, and it’s pretty clear he’s simply….. a dude. The Dude Abides. If you don’t get that reference, please Google it. Then watch the movie.
The Patriots running back room should be a target for every single dynasty manager, regardless of which one you pick. That may sound ridiculous, but the way the Patriots deploy their running backs is occasionally ridiculous. Damien Harris was excellent last season, and he didn’t necessarily do anything to deserve a bench spot. I’m not projecting Stevenson to vault Harris immediately, but his potential long term value in a run-heavy offense like the one the Patriots deploy mirrors the Ravens offensive schemes over the past few years with Gus Edwards and company. Stevenson was the 10th highest graded running back per PFF, and anyone who watched Stevenson play saw him pop off the screen fairly often during his rookie campaign. The Patriots will always utilize more than one back, and Stevenson showed some standalone value during certain game scripts in 2021. Obviously he’s a primary backup in redraft leagues, but his dynasty value would skyrocket if Harris struggles or goes down for any length of time.
The Evil Empire in New England has never shied away from giving guys a chance to win a starting spot, and the goal line role is always up for grabs in training camp. There are multiple paths to playing time for any running back on their depth chart at all times, and Rhamondre Stevenson has already shown the coaching staff he can handle the 1A duties. He’s likely priced similarly to Alexander Mattison in dynasty leagues right now, but his upside without a serious injury is quietly enticing. Go snag him now before people realize his value in this offense as the season chugs along.