Football Offseason Win Now Targets
There is likely no better time to trade dynasty football draft picks than the offseason, particularly as we approach the NFL draft. All year long draft picks are often considered theoretical and far away. Then, suddenly, that asset known as “2018 2nd round pick” becomes an actual upcoming pick with a specific set up names to imagine drafting with it! This offseason I have been cashing out on non-premium draft picks right now in exchange for proven (boring) production, often with short shelf lives. Picks are not appropriate for contending teams, in my opinion. Real life sports mirrors fantasy in this regard – there should be no hedging in the middle – be in or out.
Here are some names with the biggest gaps between their current redraft stock, as determined by their FantasyPros consensus PPR ranks, and the latest freely available dynasty startup ADP.
- Larry Fitzgerald (33rd for redraft vs. 99th in dynasty) – Here’s what I love about Fitz, and several other guys on this list: you often only have to pay as though they’re necessarily retiring next year. That means any 2019+ production is gravy. Fitzgerald is the cheapest fringe star in dynasty, offering WR2 production for the price of 9th or 10th round startup pick. Targets, which he gets in spades, are the most predictive stat in our sport, but Fitz also has the benefit of a gaudy Pro Football Focus grade. See if you can get Fitz for a mid to late 2018 2nd.
- Pierre Garcon (66th for redraft vs 120th in dynasty) – Jordy Nelson is ranked higher in redraft, but also going 20 spots higher in dynasty for some reason. I prefer Garcon for both formats as a discount version of Larry Fitzgerald (high targets, good PFF grade), with a better quarterback. Garcon has some health risk, but may end up as better value than Fitz, because he’s slightly more likely to return for 2019 and 2020 seasons. See if Garcon is available for a mid to late 2018 2nd round pick.
- Delanie Walker (75th for redraft vs. 155th for dynasty) – Greg Olsen is going 50 spots higher and I have no clue why. That difference may shrink as more people consider Olsen’s retirement threats for dynasty. See if you can get Walker for a late 2nd or early 3rd.
- Marshawn Lynch (91 for redraft vs 187th for dynasty) – I don’t usually advocate buying up non-elite running backs pre-draft, but Lynch can be had for so damn cheap. (I gave up a 2020 3rd round pick!) A free agency “winner,” Lynch is boring and unsexy in dynasty, but he finished strong and should return to be the lead back in an offense that is due for some positive regression. See if you can snag Lynch for a late 3rd.
- James White (109th for redraft vs. 170th for dynasty) – this may be a small sample size issue with his dynasty stock improving over the offseason, but let’s take that ADP at face value. If you’re afraid of going all-in on any given season, James White is the perfect back to pursue for dynasty since he’s likely to retain his steady role and value into the future, and he won’t cost much to acquire. I love pairing White with a pair or trio of dominant wide receivers. For PPR formats, I would have expected his dynasty ADP to look much like his redraft rank on FantasyPros. See if you can get White for a late 2018 2nd.
The longer I play dynasty football, the more I think NFL prospects just aren’t for me. The aspiration of building a true dynasty with indefinite success has given way to a growing preference to focus on dominating in three year windows, get my rings, and then tear it down. That mindset frees me up to aggressively stockpile cheap, ultra productive veterans, and collect championship rings in all my leagues last year!