If you’re like me then you know that there is no off-season in fantasy football. If you’re like my newly moved-in girlfriend, then you’re just now finding this out and you are very surprised by this information. Pleasantly surprised, of course, that’s what I keep telling her anyway.
What separates season-long leagues and dynasty leagues is that dynasty league success often happens in March, April or May rather than November and December. Free agency and the NFL draft are pinnacle moments for fantasy, and if your league allows off-season trading then this is the time to make your money.
Trading a young PPR dynamo like Jarvis Landry might have looked like a foolish move a month ago, but if you were paying close enough attention you could have been ahead of that curve. As soon as the Dolphins placed the franchise tag on Landry the writing was on the wall. It was simply a question of where he would go and how much his value would change.
This has been the wildest free agency periods that I can remember due to the high profile players that were on the market such as Kirk Cousins, Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Carlos Hyde, etc. On top of that, teams seem to be trading star players every few days!
When draft season comes around in August the values of players have settled to approximately where they should be.
The steals in August happen in the double-digit rounds of your draft, while the steals in March happen when you’re more on your game than your league mates.
Knowing to dump a Jarvis Landry before he gets traded or knowing to buy low on Jimmy Graham before he signs with either the Saints or the Packers and his value shot up, can be a massive difference maker (spoiler alert, he’s now a red zone threat for the best quarterback in the league. Good luck getting him cheap now!).
Being a shrewd trader in Dynasty is arguably more important than being a smart drafter. There’s only one start up draft and then after that, it’s simply rookies, which despite what many experts will tell you, are really all dart throws as these guys have not taken a single NFL snap.
There will be top rookies who are considered a “sure thing” that will meet expectations such as Leonard Fournette last season or Ezekiel Elliott two years ago, and that’s great. There will also be rookies ranked in the top three picks or so that prove to be complete busts. Thanks for that number two overall pick in my rookie draft two seasons ago Laquon Treadwell, you’ve been a great addition to my bench.
As Giants GM Dave Gettleman recently stated, “You don’t quit on talent”. Look for the guys who have shown talent on a professional level but had a down year last year or have had personnel changes that could majorly impact their value.
Remember the sophomore slump of Todd Gurley? He’s now ranked in the top three overall running backs.
Jared Goff in his rookie year looked like he would not amount to much, however after one year under Sean McVay and he’s closing in on the top ten quarterback rankings in dynasty.
The corollary is also applicable, and knowing when to part with players is equally important. When DeMarco Murray left the Titans, the value of Derrick Henry was temporarily boosted. Since the signing of Dion Lewis, however, that value has returned to approximately where it was during the 2017 season (possibly even lower if you believe in Lewis). As a Henry owner if you were keyed in to his talents then you would know he’s not a true three-down back nor a great pass catcher. The time period between the release of Murray and the signing of Lewis was a critical time where the value of Henry was likely at its peak and the shrewd owner could use that opportunity to trade him for more than he’s worth.
If you’re in a dynasty league try to make some off-season trades for established players during free agency before the NFL draft. These are the moves that can take your team from a fringe playoff team to a number one overall seed and earn you that coveted league championship. All from moves made during the “off-season”.
Be sure to check with Sports Al Dente weekly for dynasty advice throughout the off-season and once play resumes!