News & Analysis

Week 14 fantasy trade targets and ideas for dynasty leagues

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on September 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The fantasy football trade market is the fastest way to upgrade your team and the most efficient one. This goes for both season-long and dynasty leagues. You can take advantage of poor tendencies and logic from other owners in your league who tend to overreact to the “what have you done for me lately” line of thinking.

In dynasty leagues, it’s important to factor in future coaching changes, future offensive schematic changes, how the draft will impact certain players, and more. The time to start thinking about all of this is now when you still have an opportunity to take advantage. Today, we’ll break down the players who you should be looking to buy or sell in your dynasty leagues right now.

Buy

Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs could theoretically turn to rookie first-round QB Patrick Mahomes at any moment now, but that doesn’t make Smith a dying dynasty asset. The issue that has plagued Smith the most throughout his career is his inability to perform to the same standards in poor weather conditions. A potential trade to Jacksonville would provide the veteran with an even better run game to go along with the return of Allen Robinson at wide receiver in addition to Marqise Lee and emerging rookie Dede Westbrook, who earned a very strong grade in 2017 draft guide and could be Smith’s next Tyreek Hill. Smith can be had for dirt cheap right now and he has more upside than people realize.

Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns

The transition in Cleveland from Isaiah Crowell to Johnson has already started this season. Johnson has seen 28 more snaps than Crowell. Johnson has also earned considerably higher grades as a runner, receiver, and blocker than Crowell this season. He’s more elusive, he’s a better route runner and receiver, and it all aligns for the Browns to not re-sign Crowell, the impending free agent. Johnson also benefits from the possibility that the Browns could bring in a high-upside rookie quarterback while returning elite left tackle Joe Thomas in 2018.

Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots

Lewis is a free agent, but he provides a strong dynasty floor and ceiling depending on where he lands. If he re-signs with New England, he’ll get every opportunity to continue operating as the lead runner. If he finds a new home, Lewis could emerge as a featured back. Lewis has recaptured his 2015 form this season and currently leads all running backs in elusive rating after Alvin Kamara. Lewis has forced 37 missed tackles on 127 total touches. Lewis has just 15 receptions and a new team that doesn't feature players like Rex Burkhead and James White in the passing game could utilize him in the passing game which gives him RB1 upside moving forward. Lewis is still just 27 years old.

Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants

Although Orleans Darkwa has operated as the lead back since Ben McAdoo gave up play-calling duties, that wasn’t the plan entering 2017 and it’s unlikely to be the plan entering 2018. Gallman has looked explosive in limited touches and it’s important to remember he averaged 3.5 yards per carry after contact during his final season at Clemson. If and when the Giants move on from Darkwa in free agency, Gallman could have a featured role in a brand new offensive scheme that better uses his skill set.

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Mixon’s dynasty price tag is lower now than when he was drafted. The positive buzz has subsided and owners are getting impatient because the explosive splash plays have been few and far between. The important thing to take away from Mixon’s rookie season so far is that the Bengals are already ready to feature him. Things will only get better as the Bengals continue to rebuild their offensive line after losing their two best linemen to free agency last offseason and if impending free agent Jeremy Hill does not resign.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

There’s always value in trading for players in dynasty when they are injured. The recency bias lowers their price tag to some degree. Those who read our 2017 NFL Draft guide know Cook was the No. 1 back on our board and his short stint in the NFL as a rookie did nothing to change anyone’s mind. The upside to trading for Cook now is that Jerick McKinnon will be a free agent this March and it will become even clearer to the rest of the field that Cook will the featured piece in the Vikings offense moving forward.

Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants

Engram certainly doesn’t seem like a good player to buy right now given how dominant he’s been compared to most rookie tight ends in recent years. But there is more room for growth. Engram is still struggling with dropped passes and it’s safe to say Ben McAdoo’s offensive scheme did not use him to the best of his abilities. Engram’s 4.41 speed should be featured on routes down the seam, and if the Giants do hire Josh McDaniels to fix the offense, Engram could become the next weekly difference maker at the tight end position right away.

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

The Redskins season is starting to tank, but there has been no chatter that head coach Jay Gruden’s job is on the line. As long as Gruden and his offensive scheme remain constant, Reed is set for a bounceback season when healthy in 2018 as the focal point of this offense. Reed is under contract long term and recently signed so don’t expect him to be moving either.

Sell

Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon’s role has already started to diminish in 2017 even after his 2016 breakout season. This is not a knock on Gordon, but surprising rookie Austin Ekeler has been too good to take off the field. While Gordon displayed surprising efficiency as a receiver in 2016, Ekeler has offered more in this regard. Going forward, Gordon could be headed for a full timeshare.

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Thielen’s stock is at its high point as he has developed an excellent rapport with Case Keenum. If you can find me one person around the Vikings organization who believes Keenum is the quarterback of the future, this blurb could look foolish. However, in all likelihood Teddy Bridgewater will start in 2018. This means that Thielen will have to develop a rapport with a new quarterback who has shown a tendency to favor Stefon Diggs in the past.

Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets

Anderson’s stock is sky high as he continues to make big plays with Josh McCown in John Morton’s run-and-gun scheme. However, with so much uncertainty surrounding the Jets quarterback and coaching situation, the situation around Anderson could look a lot different. Without McCown and potential Morton in 2018, the former undrafted free agent could easily fall out of favor.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Landry is set to become an unrestricted free agent and the Dolphins haven’t made much of an attempt to re-sign him to a long-term deal. With the franchise tag unlikely, Landry is going to have to establish value in a potential situation that provides him with nowhere near the volume of targets he’s seen so far in his career. Landry is an easy brand-name sell high.

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