Identifying Peak Dynasty Trade Value Using SAM (Fantasy Football)

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In my last article, I introduced an expected points metric called SAM, which measured a player’s fantasy points above expected per 50 touches. This metric is very insightful for two reasons:

  1. SAM acts as a forecasting statistic–it tells us who has performed well relative to expectation, and in turn, highlights players who are likely to continue performing well in the future (and vice versa).
  2. SAM can be used to statistically find a player’s upside.

* The upside metric referenced in this article is a measure of player fantasy upside between -1 and 1. 

In this article, I will use SAM to find players who appear to be at their peak fantasy trade value for dynasty leagues. Let’s begin.

Daniel Jones:

Jones had a stellar fantasy season (for his standards) in 2022, yet his upside is incredibly low (-0.9). Jones also underperformed last season, posting a -0.2 SAM–his value is certainly at its peak.

Joe Mixon

Mixon posted a -0.4 SAM in 2022 and has one of the lowest upsides in the league (-0.94). The 26-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent in 2025, and just restructured his contract, leaving him with a $4.67 million pay cut in 2023. With a young Trayveon Williams in the backfield behind him, Mixon’s time as an RB1 may be running short.

Travis Etienne:

While many were impressed by Etienne’s first season as Jacksonville’s starting back, the stats tend to disagree. Etienne posted a -0.3 SAM in 2022, likely a result of many of his points coming from big breakout plays. His underperformance could become an issue for fantasy managers, especially as Tank Bigsby enters the mix.

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Aaron Jones:

Aaron Jones has been efficient in fantasy (+0.2 SAM), but holds very little upside (-0.26). He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2025, and with AJ Dillon continuing to take a larger role (especially in the red zone), it might be a good time to trade Jones to a contender.

Deebo Samuel:

Deebo Samuel is a tough player to read–after a phenomenal 2021 season, he disappointed fantasy managers in 2022 with a -0.2 SAM, as he averaged around 10 points per game (1/2 PPR). With a crowded offense (McCaffrey, Kittle, Aiyuk), Deebo’s production may never return to its 2021 level.

Brian Robinson:

While you may be surprised to see Robinson on this list, he posted a -0.3 SAM last season and has a very low upside relative to how much volume he saw. With Antonio Gibson back in the mix for Washington, it is a great time to trade Robinson while his value is still high.

Rhamondre Stevenson

Stevenson performed as expected in 2022 (0.0 SAM), yet still holds little upside (-0.48)–he may not be worth his current value due to his lack of efficiency. Especially in a Belichick offense, his longevity will never be certain. Look to trade Stevenson while his value is high!

Rachaad White:

A lot of excitement surrounds White going into the 2023 season as he looks to take the lead role in the Tampa Bay backfield. His -0.4 SAM was unimpressive last season, and he holds little upside on what might be an anemic Bucs offense. Dump White while you can!

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That’s all for this article, but as always, feel free to reach out on Twitter with any questions about the model, or if you want to see any other player’s SAM. Happy trading!


Ronny Kay says:

One of the worst stats I have ever seen used.

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