Why You Should Trade for Davante Adams in Dynasty (Fantasy Football)
It’s May as I write this article defending the clear-cut best wide receiver in football. I’m talking about a guy that is one of the best wide receivers of the past decade…easily. He’s also one of the biggest difference makers in fantasy football. Davante Adams finished the 2020 season with 22.1 fantasy points per game in ½-PPR scoring. However, he’s being treated like he’s old news…especially considering rumors about Aaron Rodgers being done in Green Bay (either by trade or retiring). Davante Adams will be FINE!
Note: Unless otherwise mentioned, all statistics are based on Games 1-16. For those unfamiliar… this is the fantasy football season for the majority of leagues because many players are limited in Week 17, which skews production data.
I think you should trade for Davante Adams in dynasty fantasy football…but I’d like to preface this article by saying it’s all dependent on the price tag. It seems to me like he’s being faded pretty aggressively in the fantasy football community on Twitter from some smart people. Conversely, it seems that most analysts who publish rankings still have him ranked in the top-3 or top-5. I think that’s fair value. If I were you, I would test the waters with league-mates.
Big swings in perceived value often present opportunities to gain an edge. I believe this is one of those times.
I want to note that while Jason Moore recently mentioned that he traded away Davante in dynasty, he has him ranked as WR2 overall in dynasty…as of this writing. Every fantasy player has a price tag that makes sense. To be clear…I traded away Davante Adams in a league because the value was appropriate for my rebuilding team. It is all relative and league-dependent.
Davante Adams finished with the highest wide receiver grade last season according to PFF. He maintained a 34% target share and finished as the #1 receiver in route participation (routes run per team pass play) according to PlayerProfiler.
He only played in 14/16 games last season and still finished as the overall WR1 in fantasy football. This was good for fourth overall among flex positions (RB/WR/TE) on a points per game basis. That value is INSANE. Davante Adams provides a significant positional advantage, and I think this is the thing people are overlooking. If Davante takes a significant step back and has a lower touchdown rate, he is still the kind of player that you design your offense around.
Adams saw 28 red-zone targets last season. He converted that into 23 receptions for 14 touchdowns. He led the NFL in each of the above categories. This tells us that regardless of who’s at quarterback, he’s the kind of player that you design your entire offense around (regardless of which team he is on).
To put Adams’ dominance into perspective, he scored 6.2 fantasy points per game more than Stefon Diggs…who finished as the WR3 overall in points per game (which allows you to compare production among players who have played a dissimilar number of games in a season).
Prior to 2020, Antonio Brown had the best wide receiver fantasy season of the last decade with 294 points. Davante Adams finished the 2020 fantasy season with 287 fantasy points. IN TWO FEWER GAMES THAN ANTONIO BROWN HAD! Davante Adams is unstoppable. He has the same number of fantasy games with >26 points as Patrick Mahomes and one more than Aaron Rodgers. Again…IN TWO FEWER GAMES.
If Rodgers Returns
If Aaron Rodgers does return to the Packers next season…and he and Davante remain healthy, Adams will be an elite difference-maker in fantasy football. If that storyline plays out, then that would make him a phenomenal trade target right now in dynasty (for non-rebuilding teams). Don’t forget that Davante Adams was ranked as the consensus WR1 overall in dynasty at this point last year and also all of the last football season until April.
If Rodgers Doesn’t Return
And if Rodgers doesn’t return? Well…I think that puts Davante Adams at fair value for his current price tag. I’ve seen many comments from the Twitter fantasy football community about Davante Adams being drafted in the third round in recent startup drafts. Even in Superflex leagues, that is stupid value for a future Hall of Famer in the prime of his career. I think the worst-case scenario is that he sees poor QB play and produces as a mid to back-end WR1.
Aaron Rodgers missed some games due to injury in 2017. During that time, Adams was still very productive. If you look at his average production in the last five games he played without Aaron Rodgers… he commanded a 41% target share under Brett Hundley. His average per-game production during that time was 6.4 receptions for 85 yards and 0.8 touchdowns. That’s good for 16.5 fantasy points per game, which would have ranked 4th among wide receivers last season. He’s going to be fine even with poor QB play!
Don’t forget that Adams is THE BEST offensive weapon on the Packers, followed closely by Aaron Jones, and then there is a big drop-off. Even if a subpar quarterback is throwing him the ball, the Packers are going to do everything they can to get Adams touches. And guess what? If the Packers somehow fall from their 13-3 record, they’ll throw the ball more. To Davante Adams.