Dynasty Buy/Sell/Hold Report #1
Player values can swing wildly in-season in dynasty leagues. That creates prime opportunities to buy and sell players that other owners are overreacting on.
With 3 weeks of the 2022 campaign in the books, here are players to consider trading for, trading away or just holding on to.
Check out our Dynasty Trade Value Chart to help you make the best deals possible.
BUY Travis Etienne, RB, Jaguars
Etienne's been overshadowed by James Robinson, who’s tallied 51-230-3 on the ground through 3 weeks.
He’s clearly the team’s preferred lead back… for now.
Etienne, of course, is just 3 games into his pro career after missing all of 2021 with a Lisfanc (foot) injury. And if you look a bit closer at his underlying numbers — especially vs. Robinson’s — you’ll find something interesting.
Take Football Outsiders’ Success Rate metric, which “represents the player's consistency, measured by successful running plays (the definition of success being different based on down and distance) divided by total running plays.”
Robinson actually ranks last among 38 qualifiers (31%). Etienne is up at 46%.
According to Pro Football Focus, Etienne (61.0) also beats Robinson (49.5) in Elusive Rating, “the measure of success and impact of a runner with the ball independently of the blocking.” Etienne also ranks 14th at the position in PFF rushing grade; Robinson 28th.
Again, Robinson is obviously HC Doug Pederson’s current choice as the lead back. But let’s not allow that decision to hide Etienne’s long-term upside. Recall that he was a Round 1 pick and a highly productive back at Clemson.
Jacksonville’s overall success on offense — thanks largely to improvement from Trevor Lawrence — also bodes well for future production.
BUY Kenneth Walker, RB, Seahawks
We're not banking on major 2022 production from Walker. He entered the regular season behind the 8-ball following August surgery for a hernia. And, well… he’s a Seahawk.
What we’ve seen on a very limited sample is encouraging, though. PFF has charted him with 7 missed tackles forced on only 7 attempts. Rashaad Penny, meanwhile, has the same amount on 32 rushes.
Tackle-breaking prowess was all over Walker’s college tape. Receiving production wasn’t, but we’ve already seen signs of life there. He’s garnered 6 targets through 2 games, despite running only 9 routes.
Zooming out — don't be surprised if this offense shows improvement in 2023, especially if they remain on track for a top-3 pick. That’d put them squarely in play for a high-end QB prospect like Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud or Alabama’s Bryce Young.
BUY Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
We’d like to believe that if you have Godwin rostered in dynasty, you have the patience to wait out this hamstring injury – and even a down 2022 on whole if he just never makes it back to full strength. (He is, after all, still less than 10 months beyond an ACL tear.)
But it can be easy to mentally downgrade an injured player, especially if you’re competing for a title this year. And any downgrade to Godwin’s long-term status is worth buying.
Godwin turned just 26 in February. He finished last season with the 10th most receptions and 7th most receiving yards ever before the age-26 season. And that came on just the 20th most targets in that range.
There’s no question about the talent at this point. The fact that he was active for Week 1 means the ACL repair shouldn’t be a significant long-term issue. And this hamstring thing will clear up.
The biggest (only?) question on Godwin is his QB. Tom Brady is almost certainly gone after this year. Who will be next? We don’t know yet. But the last time Godwin’s QB left, his team upgraded from Jameis Winston to Tom Freakin’ Brady. None of us had that predicted as Winston was wrapping up his 2019. And it was that final Winston year that found Godwin finishing 2nd among WRs in PPR points despite missing 2 games.
So to count the QB question against the not-yet-27-year-old wideout would be a mistake.
Go try to get him.
BUY Elijah Moore, WR, Jets
Moore has been out-shined by Garrett Wilson early this season. It’s certainly possible – maybe even likely – that Wilson ends up being the better long-term fantasy asset.
But Moore remains a strong-looking prospect by basically any measure. He had the sterling prospect profile: huge market shares at Ole Miss, an 87th percentile Relative Athletic Score and strong draft capital (34th overall pick). Then he scored as the WR35 in PPR points per game while averaging 1.75 yards per route run as a rookie.
We’ll see how things shake out between Moore and Wilson. We’ll see if the Jets can ever find the answer at QB.
But betting on talent is always right in dynasty. And Moore looks like a high-end talent who’s still only 22.
BUY Treylon Burks, WR, Titans
It’s been a rookie WR breakout parade early this season. Drake London. Garrett Wilson. Chris Olave. Burks hasn’t joined the party … yet. But his metrics suggest the breakout is coming.
His playing time was limited the first 2 weeks, but he showed the ability to draw targets at a high rate. Burks saw 11 targets on 31 routes in those 2 contests – a huge 35% target-per-route rate. Then, in Week 3, he stepped into a full-time role, leading Titans WRs with a 97% route rate. But Burks tallied just 2 targets.
So we’ve seen the ability to earn targets. And we’ve seen the playing time. Now if he can just combine those in the same game – boom, Burks breakout.
Simply put, we feel as good, if not better, about Burks’ short- and long-term fantasy outlook now as we did a month ago. If his asking price has dropped at all due to a slow start in the box score, take advantage.
SELL Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
CEH sits 4th among RBs in total PPR points right now. If he’s on your team, does it even feel like that’s true?
But don’t treat this as the season we’ve been waiting for from the former 1st-round pick. It’s a mirage. Edwards-Helaire ranks 41st among RBs in carries so far. Cordarrelle Patterson matched his 3-game total in Week 1 alone.
The 12 receptions are nice, but CEH also ranks just 15th among RBs in targets. He has caught every single one so far. That’s not gonna continue. Neither is scoring on 8.8% of his total touches. For comparison’s sake: Austin Ekeler scored on 7.2% of his touches in tying for the league lead in total TDs last year. James Conner scored on 7.5% of his touches. CEH is on pace for fewer touches than both of them – just 192.7, to be precise.
He’s ceding a lot of work to 30-year-old Jerick McKinnon. Edwards-Helaire ranks just 27th among RBs in expected PPR points, according to Pro Football Focus. And he probably has just 1 more year in K.C. (Why would the Chiefs pick up his 5th-year option at ~$10 million?)
Sell Edwards-Helaire quickly, before he reveals himself as a fraud once again.
SELL Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Falcons
There’s no taking away from Patterson’s opening 3-game stretch.
He’s the PPR RB7 and ranks 3rd at the position in rushing yards (302).
If you're not a contender, though, this simply opens up a golden selling opportunity. We’re talking about a RB who’ll turn 32 in March. Sure, he’s never played anything close to a workhorse role across a full season. But we’ll still bet against Patterson as a long-term asset.
In the short-term, his lack of passing game involvement puts his top-8 pace on thin ice. Through 3 weeks, he tied for 34th at the position in routes run (44, or 14.6 per game). That’s helped limit him to just 4 receptions; 1 over the past 2 weeks.
SELL Allen Robinson, WR, Rams
We shook off Robinson’s ugly 2021 as an unmotivated player coasting in a bad offense.
That was wrong. Robinson is toast.
OK, maybe that’s overstating it. But it’s been an extremely worrisome start to Robinson’s 2022. He’s drawn just 11.8% of Rams targets through 3 weeks – half of TE Tyler Higbee’s share and a percentage point behind Bennett freakin’ Skowronek. Robinson’s .81 yards per route run ranks 72nd among 79 WRs with 10+ targets. And he sits 71st among those 79 in Pro Football Focus’ receiving grades.
If it was just those 3 games, we wouldn’t be panicking. But when it’s those 3 games plus the entire 2021 season, it’s wise to be betting against Robinson going forward.
Robinson is still a full-time player for the Rams, which won’t change at least until WR Van Jefferson returns. Maybe that pushes him to at least 1 more solid fantasy outing – and 1 last chance to sell Robinson to a contending team.
SELL Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Chiefs
So far, the returns on MVS haven’t inspired confidence.
Through 3 games, he ranks 3rd on the team in target share (16.9%). He ranks 66th in yards per route run among 79 WRs league-wide with 10+ targets.
So he’s not earning significant volume or being particularly efficient. Bad combo.
Now, sure, we’re working with small samples here. His contract (3 years/$30 million, $15 million guaranteed) suggests Kansas City will allow a long leash. But note that, per Spotrac, the Chiefs can move on next spring with a dead cap hit of “only” $4 million.
Besides, underperforming in a favorable environment isn’t a new trend for MVS. If you can find someone willing to buy-in because of Patrick Mahomes, we wouldn’t hesitate to move the veteran WR.
HOLD Justin Fields, QB, Bears
It’s clear that we can’t expect Fields to do much for our fantasy teams until and unless something drastically changes with the way the Bears run their offense. Through 3 weeks, Chicago has attempted 34 fewer passes than any other team. That’s larger than the gap between #2 Atlanta and #22 Detroit. The team has called a pass on just 41.4% of offensive plays.
Is that because Fields is just so bad at QB that his coaches can’t trust him with the ball? Unlikely. If that were the case, why put him out there at all?
More likely, it’s just overly conservative coaching. We’re not betting on this team being able to continue the 2-1 pace through its schedule without altering the offensive approach. And if HC Matt Eberflus and crew stay stubborn through a year of struggles with minimal opportunity for the franchise’s 1st-round QB, then the staff probably won’t stick around long.
The other side of that: We are stuck with whatever the Eberflus/Luke Getsy approach is for at least this season. And QB is a tougher position at which to just stash a guy for later use. That’s why we’re stopping short of a “buy” order on the long-term fantasy upside of Fields.
So the best we can do is hold on to the 2nd-year QB for now and hope for change. You’re certainly not likely to get much in trade, and Fields’ rushing ability alone makes him dangerous to drop outright.
HOLD Skyy Moore, WR, Chiefs
Moore missed a chunk of the offseason with a hamstring injury. Unsurprisingly, with a veteran-filled depth chart, the Round 2 pick has started slowly with only 1 catch (for 30 yards) through 3 weeks. Also note that he’s making a huge jump in competition from the MAC (Mid-American Conference).
HC Andy Reid said this week that Moore's “time will come" in the offense. We’re believers in his skill set, and we’d advise patience in a Patrick Mahomes-led offense.
It’s worth mentioning that Marquez Valdes-Scantling (see above) isn’t a lock to be with the team next season. And JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman are in contract years.
HOLD Kadarius Toney, WR, Giants
The upside case for Toney has been laid out. On last year’s small sample, he teased with dynamic efficiency. Even this year, the physical ability wafts off him on the rare occasion he actually touches the ball.
But that rarity is what makes him a “hold” rather than a “buy.” The Giants need his talent pretty badly. QB Daniel Jones has averaged just 6.1 yards per pass attempt through 3 games, with Sterling Shepard (off a December Achilles’ tear) as the dominant lead WR; David Sills and Richie James as sidekicks. Wan’Dale Robinson is hurt. Kenny Golladay has gone missing, and police aren’t even searching.
Yet Toney – who arrived as a 1st-round pick just last year and had no big public beef with the new staff this summer – has played 35 total snaps and garnered 4 touches.
To be fair, he was inactive for Monday night’s game against the Cowboys with a hamstring injury, after climbing from 7 Week 1 snaps to 28 in Week 2. Perhaps the ACL tear for Shepard and continued decline for Golladay helps force Toney into starter-level playing time as soon as he’s healthy and jumpstarts his season.
That possibility is why you should keep him around – and maybe even add him if the cost is low. But it’s also possible that Toney just remains a flaky player whose role and production never consistently match up with his talent.