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Fantasy Football – Dynasty sells in the 2021 offseason

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The 2020 fantasy season is finished. If you won your league with ease, or finished with the dreaded zero win season, these must sells will aid you moving forward. This article will break down the dynasty sells for 2021, along with some acceptable values for said player. The most important rule in dynasty is getting future value for your assets and that’s what we’ll look at today.

Staying bullish on a player who is in a tough spot, has an injury history or is in the twilight of their career is the worst mistake you can make. So, while some of these sells may seem crazy, it’s all about building future value and increasing assets before your current players fade off the map.

*Please note, this article is written for PPR Superflex leagues.

Peak value sells

Selling a player at the peak of their value is the most important strategy to implement if you can get it done at the right time. It’s key to remember that you’re better to sell one or two years early than wait until it’s too late. While these players may continue to perform after trading, it’s unlikely they will ever be worth more due to past seasons of fantasy production. The teams acquiring these players are hype from past performances while your team will be getting back future production.

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Alvin Kamara – RB – 2021 Age: 26

Alvin Kamara has four RB1 seasons out of four. He was the number one fantasy running back this season and his value is never going to be higher. This is the perfect time to sell Kamara. While he’s not a traditional running back, they tend to have a drop in performance after their age 25 season. It’s also clear that without Drew Brees, Kamara is going to be less involved in the passing game:

  • With Drew Brees: Averaging 27.4 PPR points per game.
  • Without Drew Brees: Averaging 14.2 PPR points per game.
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While this isn’t awful and averages out at a mid-tier RB2, it’s not what Kamara owners are used to. With Brees likely out of the league in the next couple of years, if not sooner, Kamara’s value is going to plummet. Sell now, while you get maximum value for him. Mid-season, a team in one of my leagues traded Kamara for a Saquon Barkley on IR and a 2021 first-round pick. This is the value you should be looking for. Getting younger at running back, with the promise of future production and another first-round pick.

Expected return: 2021 – 1.01, 2021 – 1.06+, 2021 2nd.

Davante Adams – WR – 2021 Age: 28

Image Credit | USA TODAY Sports
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Davante Adams is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. His constant production of yards and touchdowns each season is beyond impressive. The craziest thing about these numbers is that he’s not even at the peak age of WR production. According to FantasyPros, a WR is most likely to produce a top five WR finish in their age 29 season – this age group makes up 12.9% of the top five finishes over the last 12 years. So you may be asking, why is this the time to sell then? Are you crazy? Both valid questions. Let’s go a bit further in-depth.

For the last three seasons, Adams has been the sole receiver in Green Bay. They’ve failed to draft or find a decent WR2 to compliment Adams, and have been relying on tight end production to fill the hole. This offseason with a slew of wide receivers hitting the market, and an extremely talented WR draft – I’d expect Green Bay to pick up some competition. The last time that Adams had a good receiver to compliment him was Jordy Nelson’s 2016 season, before his injury demise. During this time, Davante still produced WR1 numbers, but his points per game were 15.4 compared with 25.6 in 2020. Don’t get me wrong, Nelson was elite, but some decent competition for Adams will likely go against his fantasy production.

Along with the acquisition of another receiver, Aaron Rodgers just had one of, if not, the best year of his career. A-Rod has thrown for 48 touchdowns and is at the head of the MVP conversation. The combination of increased competition, along with regression in Rodgers’ play (Mahomes’ 2018 season 50 TDs, regressed in 2019 to 26 TDs) doesn’t bode well for Adams over the next couple of seasons. While he may still produce elite wide receiver numbers, it’ll likely never be this good for him again. Sell while he’s at peak value and get a massive haul.

Expected return: 2021 1.02+ and a 2020 rookie receiver such as CeeDee/Jeudy (Jefferson is the most valuable but you may not be able to get this).

Future drop in production sells

These mid-value dynasty sells are looking towards future production, more specifically a reduction in their fantasy production moving forward. Whether it’s due to age, or a change in circumstance, these players will be fantasy relevant in 2021 but have less value further in the future.

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David Montgomery – RB – 2021 Age: 24

David Montgomery had a solid 2020, finishing as the PPR number six RB on the season. It was clear Montgomery had improved as a runner adding an extra 0.6 yards per carry on the ground – up from 3.7 in 2019 to 4.3 in 2020.

However, the main factor in his increased production was in the receiving game. Montgomery received an extra 33 targets over the season up to 64, contributing an extra 28 catches on these targets. Due to these targets, Montgomery produced 438 yards and two touchdowns, roughly an extra 300 yards and one touchdown compared with 2019. This is equivalent to an extra 64 fantasy points. Without these, he would’ve finished roughly as the 22nd RB or a low-end RB2.

I’m mentioning this due to the absence of Tarik Cohen for the majority of the 2020 season, who is likely the reason for Montgomery’s increased role in the passing game. Cohen received 104 targets in 2019 catching 79 of them. After signing a 3-year extension in September 2020, he will be back in 2021 and will impact Montgomery’s upside for 2021. Sell while he has the value of a mid-tier RB1 rather than a low-end RB2.

PS. Matt Nagy has hinted at a return for Mitchell Trubisky in 2021 if the previous wasn’t enough for you.

Expected return: 2021 1.08+ (This may be an undersell but you should be able to pick up a younger, talented running back in a better offensive situation with this pick)

Adam Thielen – WR – 2021 Age: 31

Adam Thielen has been a top NFL wide receiver since 2016. In three of the last four seasons, he’s finished as a WR1 and was injured in 2019. Unfortunately for Thielen, he’s now on the wrong side of 30 and time catches up with every NFL player. According to some analysis by FantasyPros, receivers will start to decline after their age 31 season, which Thielen is coming up on. Of 29 receivers aged 31 and over, only four (14.5%) have put up WR1 fantasy numbers.

Image Credit | Getty Images
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With the breakout of Justin Jefferson and the aging Thielen hitting his gradual decline age, you should sell while stock is still relatively high. His WR six finish in 2020 was great output for a 30-year-old receiver, and his stock is unlikely to rise higher.

Expected return: 2021 2nd or trading for DJ Moore (example) + one of your 2nds.

JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR – 2021 Age: 24

JuJu Smith-Schuster is a difficult case, as if he lands in the right spot then it could revitalize his career. However, this is completely situationally dependent. If he stays with the Steelers he likely won’t improve on his current numbers, OR if he signs with a team in free agency to be a number one receiver, I’d be wary and get rid of him. JuJu has shown in the past that he has the potential to put up WR1 numbers in the right offense, as seen in 2018 – finishing as the number eight WR on the year.

YearGamesPointsPoints Per GameWR Finish
201815282.218.88
201911110.610.162
202015215.614.417
JuJu Smith-Schuster fantasy stats and finishes since 2018

2019 could possibly be written off, due to missing Ben Roethlisberger for the whole year. However, even looking at 2020, he has dropped in production. With the emergence of Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers moved on from him this offseason. He clearly has potential but as a WR2 and complimentary piece. In his 2018 season, he was on the depth chart behind Antonio Brown, at the time the best receiver in the league. This seemed to take the focus off JuJu, leaving him able to deliver top end numbers in yardage and catches. Unless he ends up at a team where a clear elite wide receiver is in front of him, he will likely end up as a low-end WR2 with upside moving forward. I recommend this article if you want to dig a little deeper into this.

Expected return: 2021 1.10-2.02.

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Chris Carson – RB – 2021 Age: 27

Chris Carson is a solid running back, who is out of contract this offseason. Teams at the moment are much happier drafting a running back in round two or three and using them until the end of their rookie deal, than pay the older running backs big money. Carson finished as the number 17 running back on the year, even while missing 4 games. He averaged out at 16.1 PPR points per game and impressed. In 2018 and 2019 he averaged 14.0 and 15.2 points per game respectively, and it’s clear he has been improving. However, in this article by Pro Football Reference, it’s clear that running backs over the age of 27 generally start to decline in their play.

Along with this, Carson’s landing spot has a big impact on his productivity. Through his time in Seattle, he has been the clear number 1 running back, in a team that has finished in the top 10 of running play percentage over his tenure (number 1 in 2018 with 52.44% of plays). It wouldn’t be surprising to see him finish as a mid-tier RB3 in 2021, in the wrong situation that puts him ina committee or a pass heavy attack. However, it would be wise to sell now especially at the zenith of his career before things take a decline.

Expected return: 2021 1.09-1.12 (again may be tough to get this at the current market value, I’d accept a high second as well).

Scrub tier – Get what you can sells

These are the players that no-one wants on their rosters going forward. Try and get what you can. Remember a 2022 fourth-rounder will not lose its value and it will at least be some form of return. This value will not decline until you reach the draft. It’s vitally important that you get something before they are worthless.

Todd Gurley – RB – 2021 Age: 27

At first look, Gurley had a decent 2020 season finishing as running back 24 on the season. However, when it’s looked at in further detail, he had a good start to the year, and then injuries caught up with him. From weeks 10 to 16 he was the number 68 fantasy running back, behind both Brian Hill and Ito Smith. With the 27-year-old running back out of contract at the end of the season, it looks unlikely the Falcons will extend him. While he may well get a deal somewhere, it seems clear he is done with RB1 work and is declining in his career. Mounting injuries, including arthritis, don’t bode well for future fantasy production.

Expected return: 2021 3rd round pick.

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Gardner Minshew – QB – 2021 Age: 25

Image Credit | Getty Images
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Gardner Minshew, “Minshew Mania”, I get it. The mustache. The likeability. However, it’s clear that there will be a changing in the guard looking forward. With the Jaguars likely to draft the touted best prospect since Peyton Manning in Trevor Lawrence, Minshew has little value going forward. The former 2019 sixth-round pick is going to be a backup to Lawrence unless a trade comes in, which is unlikely. While he is viable in DFS, you should look to offload while you can and get something for him, someone might need a low upside bench warmer.

Expected return: 2021 4th round pick.

Sam Darnold – QB – 2021 Age: 24

It’s a similar story in New York as in Jacksonville. Sam Darnold is almost guaranteed to be replaced in the 2021 draft by a top-tier prospect. However, unlike the Minshew situation, he will probably be traded from the Jets. There are a few teams who, like with Rosen to Miami, could take a shot on Darnold. He’s shown flashes at times and could be worth a punt. While this is a sell, I wouldn’t mind taking a punt on him and grabbing a couple of low-risk shares just in case.

Expected return: 2021 4th round pick.

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