New Reality No.115: Running Back Dynasty Trading - Footballguys

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of dynasty fantasy football

With three games complete for dynasty teams the sample size is growing enough to establish whether contending or building type dynasty trades are optimal. Here are ideal players and dynasty trade strategies heading into Week 4:

Primary Backup Running Back Add-On

A strategy to apply to any dynasty trade is adding on a lower level primary backup running back to an essentially complete deal. The 'one-injury-away' running back is the highest leverage player asset outside of quarterbacks and tight ends in leagues which start two. Seek out the low-level backups who have no stand-alone impact or value but would be the unquestioned starter with an injury in front of them. Also, the key is adding a player the other GM will not quibble with as a part of the trade. Here are a few examples:

For GMs who are targeting higher-level pieces in a dynasty trade being asked to include players like those above will not kill the deal. Yet, there is a few percentage points of a chance the primary back ahead of these throw-ins will be injured any single week, paving the way to a potential auto-start to use or flip after a value uptick.

Rookie Pick Add-On

A parallel strategy to adding on a primary backup running back to an existing deal is shifting to rookie picks. There are a myriad of ways to include picks in a near-final trade including:

  • Straight rookie pick request: Adding a future third or fourth-round pick to the deal
  • Rookie pick round upgrade: Including your fourth-round pick for their third
  • Upgrade within the round: If there is clarity on where in the round picks project, move up from later to early
  • Upgrade with a future year: Move a fourth in Y+1 for a third in Y+2 as an example

The Redirect

When a dynasty trade is received there are multiple potential paths to venture down with a counter offer. A GM can be selling a particular asset, buying a particular asset, or targeting a specific position as general examples. Even if a GM does not like the specific offer sent, counter-offers including the same buying or selling asset are using the information to create acceptable deals. So if an example offer is Joe Mixon for James Conner and a 2019 1st, the redirect tactic is to send a different offer to buy Joe Mixon (withholding James Conner) or send a different offer to sell James Conner (or the 2019 1st). Either way, this alerts the other GM on the difference in cost of the assets and promotes the continuation of negotiating. A straight declination halts a potential trade without an information on what your buy-sell lines are for assets and players.

Running Backs

James Conner

Despite being RB5 in PPG over the opening three weeks on a potent NFL offense and Le'Veon Bell rumored to be traded as a more likely outcome than reporting soon, Conner has a tepid dynasty trade market. There are few workhorse roles in the NFL and Conner has the fourth-most carries and is RB7 in receptions. Even if Le'Veon Bell returns during this season, Conner is the earmarked 2019 starter considering Bell's status and Conner's functionality exhibited with his first extended stint of starter workload. Yet, the market is not 'all in' on Conner as a core dynasty asset by the recent trades. Here are a few examples around the dynasty trade water cooler for trades involving Conner:

Considering the two-way benefit of Conner as a win now option in 2018, even if Bell returns later in the season, he is a value by the market. Conner teams will be well on their way to a playoff spot even with Bell back in a month or two. Conner is unlikely to have less value in January considering Bell's departure appears imminent.

Kareem Hunt

Hunt's use has been considering, especially considering the high-flying Kansas City offense in general on display. Hunt has been regularly subbed out on passing downs with a healthy Spencer Ware this season and has a single reception through three games. Hunt is a touchdown-dependent fantasy option with his current usage and fortunately saw two rushing scores in Week 3. Hunt is still carrying plenty of market value, exhibited by these example deals in recent days:

David Johnson

Johnson has struggled in the early going, but Sam Bradford and the passing game has offered minimal help on Arizona's non-existent offense. The good news is Josh Rosen offers the potential for near-term improvement and Johnson's lack of involvement in the passing game has been acknowledged and addressed (and hopefully rectified) by the offense. Johnson is one of the better buy-low candidates of the overt potential studs for the rest of the season and into 2019:

Jamaal Williams

Last week was the ideal time to shop Williams, before Aaron Jones returned and Williams logged another forgettable outing. Jones looked more explosive as a runner than Williams and Ty Mongtomery has plenty of reps on passing downs to keep all three from high-level production. Williams is still a sell for what a GM can manage this week, which only comes from canvassing the entire league with 10-20 total offers to gauge the market.

Nick Chubb

The 'simmer' period continues for Chubb behind Carlos Hyde, making Chubb more wait-and-see with minimal touches outside of a Hyde injury. Chubb remains an elite running back prospect and likely to successfully fill the lead role whether with a Hyde injury or taking over in 2019. Chubb was sagging in later rookie draft compared to those in May.