Dynasty Trade Value Chart: April

Quantifying Player Values for Dynasty Leagues

April is one of the best months on the dynasty calendar. There is still an opportunity to take advantage of some dynasty values that were created in free agency who aren’t fully priced in yet. We will discuss some players who might fit that description in this month’s article. We also get to enjoy the build-up to the NFL Draft for the next three weeks before things move fast and furious and make some last-minute moves to put ourselves in the best position to come out ahead in our rookie drafts. By the end of the month, rookie drafts will kick off.

The dynasty trade value chart is tailored to 12-team PPR leagues a starting lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, and one flex. It now also includes trade values for Superflex leagues in a separate column. The chart is meant to serve primarily as a guide for trades but can also be a great resource during startup drafts. If the players and picks on each side of the trade offer add up to approximately the same number, the trade would be considered even. If you receive a trade offer that sends you players with a higher total number value than the players you are giving up, the offer is worth strongly considering. Each league is different, so pay close attention to the scoring and starting roster requirements specific to your league.

Special note

Before diving into our usual breakdown of player and pick values, I want to briefly discuss the community aspect of our dynasty leagues and how we can help each other get through the next couple of months.

Here is a league email from the commissioner of one of my favorite dynasty leagues:

Crazy times… I hope everyone is staying as calm as possible, and that you and yours are healthy and getting through this. I’m still holding out hope that the 2020 NFL season is a go. They are operating as if it is, so we shall as well. We'll adjust off-season timeline as needed if season is delayed or even cancelled.

Since the next few months may be a huge financial question mark for some, I’m going to put our league payment deadline up to the end of the season. Some owners have not paid yet, feel free to pay for the league at the end of the season if you’re in dire financial straights. We're all family and have been in this league together for a decade...so your credit is good with me. If you’ve already made a payment and could use that money, let me know individually via email. I can paypal you from my personal bank accounts, and then pay myself back at end of the season from the LeagueSafe coffers.

Been an exciting and crazy NFL Free Agency so far. And appears NFL Rookie Draft is going to proceed as scheduled. So its nice to have a distraction from all the other stuff going on.

I love many of the ideas the commissioner expressed above. A few of my personal takeaways:

  1. At a time of social distancing when our in-person social encounters have been cut drastically, it is healthy to lean more heavily on our online friendships. Spend some time in your league chat rooms if you have them. If you don’t, see if there is interest in setting one up (GroupMe is great). Send out some trade offers or feelers. Or just check-in with your favorite league mates. Every little bit of friendship goes a long way at times like this.
  2. A lot of people are taking a big financial hit right now. I love the idea of commissioners working with people to pay when they can and suggest making some changes to payment deadlines if people need the extra cash in the short term. Going even further, if a league mate is struggling with bills and feels like they need to drop out because they suddenly can’t afford the league fees and you are in a position financially to help them out, try to do so. Many who are able to do so now are tipping extra on food delivery orders and trying to do extra to help friends in need. That’s awesome. We should try to lend a helping hand in our online dynasty communities when we can, also.
  3. Most of us have extra time on our hands right now and it is easy to dwell on the bad news. NFL free agency, the NFL Draft, and our upcoming rookie drafts provide a fun distraction that we should take advantage of. Take some extra time and enjoy the process of preparing for your dynasty rookie drafts. To that end, I hope to provide some extra dynasty content this month to help you kill the time until we can get back to some semblance of normal. Look for an article later this week analyzing the dynasty value of rookie picks. You should also check out Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio, which comes out tonight. There is enough there to occupy your mind for a good long time.

Rookie Picks

Single-Quarterback Leagues
Superflex Leagues
Pick
Pos
Player
College
Value
Pick
Pos
Player
College
Value
1.01
RB
Wisconsin
32
1.01
RB
Wisconsin
32
1.02
RB
Georgia
30
1.02
QB
LSU
32
1.03
RB
Ohio State
26
1.03
RB
Georgia
30
1.04
RB
LSU
24
1.04
RB
Ohio State
26
1.05
RB
Florida State
21
1.05
QB
Alabama
25
1.06
WR
Alabama
20
1.06
RB
LSU
24
1.07
WR
Oklahoma
19
1.07
RB
Florida State
21
1.08
WR
LSU
15
1.08
WR
Alabama
20
1.09
WR
Alabama
14
1.09
WR
Oklahoma
19
1.10
WR
TCU
13
1.10
QB
Oregon
18
1.11
WR
Clemson
12
1.11
WR
LSU
15
1.12
WR
Baylor
11
1.12
QB
Utah State
15
2.01
WR
Colorado
10
2.01
WR
Alabama
14
2.02
WR
Arizona State
9
2.02
WR
TCU
13
2.03
WR
USC
8
2.03
WR
Clemson
12
2.04
WR
Notre Dame
8
2.04
WR
Baylor
11
2.05
RB
Appalachian State
7
2.05
WR
Colorado
10
2.06
WR
South Carolina
7
2.06
QB
Oklahoma
9
2.07
RB
Utah
6
2.07
WR
Arizona State
9
2.08
QB
LSU
6
2.08
WR
USC
8
2.09
RB
Vanderbilt
6
2.09
WR
Notre Dame
8
2.10
WR
Penn State
6
2.10
RB
Appalachian State
7
2.11
QB
Alabama
6
2.11
WR
South Carolina
7
2.12
TE
Notre Dame
6
2.12
RB
Utah
6
3.01
3rd-Round Pick
5
3.01
3rd-Round Pick
5
4.01
4th-Round Pick
3
4.01
4th-Round Pick
4

We will keep it short and sweet on the rookies here because I will have an article going in-depth on valuing rookie picks by looking at past draft results that will go up on Footballguys later this week.

News and Notes

Draft news has been almost non-existent with team visits and college pro days canceled. We do not have all of the intrigue and agent-pushed stories of players rising and falling. However, there are a few players who seem to be getting a bit more buzz than they were last month:

Darrynton Evans tested extremely well at the combine, flashing 4.41 speed, and looks like a candidate to go from relative obscurity to hot fantasy commodity in the next month. Daniel Jeremiah added to the buzz with a recent tweet.

If he lands in a good spot, we could be talking about Evans as a top-15 rookie pick later this month. Antonio Gibson has a similar profile and could be a big riser if he is drafted earlier than expected.

Tua Tagovailoa posted a workout video:

He looks to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from hip surgery and it would be a surprise if he made it out of the top five of the NFL Draft later this month. In Superflex rookie drafts, Tagovailoa looks like he will be an early to mid-first rounder.

Jalen Hurts is a player who is getting some delayed buzz from his combine meetings. He is someone who has always been lauded for his maturity, leadership, and toughness. The intangibles are half the battle at the quarterback position and should buy Hurts a ticket to the top-50 or so of the NFL Draft. Given his fantasy upside as a runner, he is the biggest boom-bust fantasy option in the draft.

Pre-Draft Pick Valuation

It may change once we know landing spots but the top of this rookie class reminds me a little bit of the 2017 rookie draft in terms of how the top six or seven picks were valued. In 2017, there was a top tier that included a pair of wide receivers who went top-7 overall (Corey Davis and Mike Williams) and four running backs who almost everyone really liked (Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, and Joe Mixon). No two drafts looked alike that year. Everyone had their own personal preference and there wasn’t nearly as big a premium as usual in terms of cost to move up a few spots near the top of the draft. With the 2020 class, almost everyone seems sold on CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy as likely difference-makers at wide receiver. At running back, draft capital will provide more clarity but Jonathan Taylor, D'Andre Swift, J.K. Dobbins, Cam Akers, and Claude Edwards-Helaire should be popular. It seems unwise to give up a valuable fantasy asset to move up a couple of spots in the draft at this point.

Startups with Rookies and Value comparisons

The best way to try to understand rookie pick values prior to the NFL Draft is to look at where the rookies are going off the board in startup drafts. Here are the results of a recent startup if you want to get an idea of how the specific players are being valued in comparison to veterans before we know their landing spots. Here are some of the useful takeaways from these early startup drafts that should help you value the rookie picks in April:

Quarterback

Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa are going off the board in the QB8 to QB12 range overall and will instantly be valued as dynasty QB1s. Justin Herbert is being valued as about the QB20. Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts are being drafted just outside the top 24 at the position.

Running Back

Jonathan Taylor and D'Andre Swift are going off the board between Josh Jacobs and Miles Sanders. This makes sense in terms of expected draft capital with Taylor and Swift expected to be drafted somewhere between where Jacobs (24) and Sanders (53) went in 2019. J.K. Dobbins is going in the tier of backs that includes Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, Leonard Fournette, and Austin Ekeler. Cam Akers and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are near the top of the next tier that includes guys like Kenyan Drake, Devin Singletary, and David Montgomery. There is then a huge gap to the next group of rookie backs.

Wide Receiver

CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy are already being valued as high-end dynasty WR2s alongside names like Stefan Diggs, Courtland Sutton, Keenan Allen, and Cooper Kupp. The next tier of rookie receivers is going off the board in the WR3 range and includes names like Justin Jefferson, Henry Ruggs III, Tee Higgins, Jalen Reagor, and Denzel Mims.

Tight End

It is a weak class. Cole Kmet is being drafted as a low-end TE2 and the other top rookies are all being valued outside of the top-25 at the position.

Quarterback

Pos Rank
Player
Single-QB
Superflex
1
32
60
2
30
58
3
13
42
4
13
40
5
9
36
6
9
32
7
9
30
8
7
28
9
6
24
10
6
21
11
6
20
12
5
20
13
5
20
14
5
20
15
4
18
16
5
18
17
5
17
18
4
17
19
3
16
20
3
15
21
3
14
22
3
14
23
2
10
24
2
10
25
2
9
26
2
9
27
1
9
28
1
8
29
1
7
30
1
7
31
1
7
32
1
7
33
1
6
34
1
5
35
1
4
36
1
3

Watson or Murray?

As someone who was banging the drum hard for Kyler Murray as a dynasty buy all of last offseason, it feels strange to now find myself on the opposite side of the fence. With the arrival of DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona, Murray has seen his already soaring stock jump even higher. In fact, he has been going off the board #6 overall in most recent Superflex startup drafts. There is a solid chance he lives up to that lofty valuation but also some real downside here if he does not make the expected second-year leap. We have a recent example with some uncanny similarities. At this time last year, Baker Mayfield saw his dynasty stock get a big boost (into the mid-first round of many dynasty startup drafts) after Cleveland traded for Odell Beckham Jr. Murray is still a guy you should love having on your dynasty team but it might be worth exploring the possibility of selling while his stock is through the roof.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Hopkins trade seems to have knocked Deshaun Watson down at least half a round in Superflex startup drafts. On one level, it is understandable. The situation in Houston is a little bit messy. However, it is worth remembering Watson is a 24-year old quarterback who has thrown for 71 touchdowns and ran for 14 more scores in his 37 NFL starts. He is a proven commodity with a bright future ahead of him. Now is a great time to explore the possibility of acquiring him at a discount.

When the Music Stopped

We knew that there were more viable starting quarterback options than open starting jobs and that a few bigger names would be left standing when the game of musical chairs played out in March. There were rumors that Jameis Winston could be one of those odd men out but it was still a little bit surprising to see it play out with Winston generating almost no interest on the open market. There wasn’t a bigger loser in terms of dynasty trade value over the last month.

A trade market never developed for Andy Dalton despite his relatively affordable contract and years of starting experience. He could still earn a shot to compete for a starting job at some point but the lack of serious interest in him was telling.

Cam Newton remains the biggest wild card. Unlike Winston and Dalton, there is more reason for hope that Newton will eventually land a starting opportunity. He just needs to prove he is healthy and that is practically impossible given the social distancing that has been ordered by the NFL. It is a big gamble to draft or trade for Newton at this point but it is worth remembering how dominant he can be as a fantasy quarterback when he is right. If his dynasty owner in your league is of the mind to dump Newton, he is a worthwhile trade target if the price is right.

Running Back

Pos Rank
Player
Value
1
60
2
56
3
47
4
47
5
44
6
38
7
38
8
32
9
30
10
28
11
28
12
26
13
26
14
21
15
20
16
18
17
16
18
15
19
15
20
14
21
12
22
12
23
12
24
12
25
10
26
9
27
9
28
8
29
8
30
7
31
7
32
7
33
7
34
6
35
6
36
6
37
5
38
5
39
5
40
5
41
5
42
4
43
4
44
4
45
4
46
4
47
4
48
4
49
4
50
4
51
3
52
3
53
3
54
3
55
3

News and Notes

-Melvin Gordon III landing in Denver was close to a best-case scenario for the free agent. He left a lot of money on the table by passing on what was a strong offer from the Chargers last offseason (in hindsight) but landed on his feet in an offense that suddenly has some real upside.

-There was no trade market for Todd Gurley and he had to settle for a one-year, $6M contract in Atlanta. It is a very attractive landing spot with short-term upside and provides his dynasty owners yet another opportunity to cash out for a solid return.

-It is a tough market for running backs. The analytics side has been proven correct over and over of late when it comes to the value teams should be placing on veteran running-back contracts. With about half of the league's top backs all headed into the last year of their current contracts, things could get messy.

The negotiation between the Packers and Aaron Jones could be instructive. As this article from Rob Demovsky notes, Jones is a talented back and a perfect fit for the Packers offense. He is coming off of a monster season (1500+ total yards and 19 touchdowns), has no significant injury concerns, and is just 25-years old. Yet, the article predicts his market value is only $5M per year. Will running backs simply adjust to the new reality and accept that the market it what it is?

If running backs are viewed as disposable by NFL franchises it becomes even harder to trust their longevity from a dynasty perspective. On the other hand, we should probably be placing even more of a premium on running backs who do have real job security. For example, if Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon get extensions soon (as rumored), we should value them more highly than their compatriots who are in contract limbo.

-Given the short deals and lack of money out there for running backs on the market, Austin Ekeler’s 4-year, $24.5M contract shows some real commitment from the Chargers. As predicted here all offseason, Ekeler’s dynasty trade value has started to creep higher and higher. If the Chargers don’t draft any running backs until Day 3, Ekeler could be a top-10 dynasty back by training camp.

Fragile Value

The 2020 rookie class features at least five running backs who are likely to be starters early in their rookie seasons and at least a few others who could quickly emerge with big roles in a committee. The fear of incoming rookies is already priced in when it comes to veteran backs with a tenuous hold on starting jobs.

Some of these veteran backs could see a big dip in value by the end of the month. Others will see a nice value boost if their teams do not draft a running back early. We will look at each back in terms of the range of where their value might be in May in different scenarios.

Uncertainty brings opportunity when it comes to dynasty trades. It is a decent time to try to buy low if any of the following backs is being valued at the lowest end of their post-draft and the last chance to sell high if you can get a return nearer to their value in a best-case draft scenario.

Ronald Jones II, Range 3-11 Jones is currently sitting atop the depth chart for the Buccaneers but his hold on that position appears tenuous. In fact, the first thing Bruce Arians mentioned in his media conference call last week was acquiring a pass-catching running back, either in free agency or in next month’s draft. It is a near certainty that competition will be added and that is already priced into Jones’ dynasty value. However, the quality of that competition will have a big impact on Jones’ dynasty value. If the Buccaneers wait until later in the draft or sign a low-level free agent, Jones’ dynasty trade value would get a boost of three to four points. On the other hand, if the Buccaneers draft one of the top backs in the class in the second round, it would crater Jones’ dynasty stock.

Jordan Howard, Range 3-9 When Howard signed his two-year, $9.75M deal with the Dolphins, he says the team made no promises about any role. It is also worth noting that the contract is actually structured as a one-year deal for $4.75M with no guaranteed money beyond this season and what basically amounts to a second-year team option. The Dolphins are loaded with picks and are likely to draft a running back at some point later this month. If Miami lands an instant starter, Howard’s dynasty trade value will remain low. If the team waits and drafts more of a developmental back, Howard could be one of the bigger post-draft risers. We know Howard is capable of putting up solid fantasy numbers in a lead role and the Miami offense should be fairly fantasy-friendly again in 2020.

James Conner, Range 5-14 It does not take too much reading between the lines of some of the recent comments from Steelers GM Kevin Colbert to conclude Pittsburgh would like to improve at the running back position. It would make a lot of sense for the team to pull the trigger on a potentially elite franchise back in the 2020 draft and with a pick at #49 overall should be in prime position to do so. However, the team has just the one top-100 pick so Conner only has to dodge a single bullet to remain the presumptive starter for at least one more year. He would have a decent chance of fending off a challenge from a later pick, which would give him a bit of a boost in value heading into 2020.

Damien Williams, Range 5-15 Williams is likely to be one of the biggest movers in the month of April, one way or the other. If the Chiefs don’t draft a running back in the first few rounds, Williams is going to possess a lot of short-term fantasy value. Andy Reid’s starting running backs almost always produce RB1 fantasy numbers and Williams has done so late in the year each of the last two seasons. There is also a lot of downside risk here. Kansas City may want to add a younger, more durable, and more talented backfield mate for Patrick Mahomes II in this year’s draft. If they do so, Williams will be nothing more than a fantasy handcuff.

Mark Ingram II/Justice Hill The Ravens led the NFL in rushing. Ingram and Hill would both see a boost in value if Baltimore decides to stand pat for another year at the position. However, the Ravens are also one of the top candidates to invest an early pick in a franchise back to pair with Lamar Jackson long-term.

Devin Singletary, Range 12-22 We knew Buffalo needed to at least add some depth behind Singletary. However, the rumors that they were one of the top contenders to sign Melvin Gordon III is a good reason for Singletary’s dynasty owners to have some concern about his hold on the lead role. It would be a surprise if the Bills used another early pick on a rookie back, so it makes sense to value Singletary relatively highly at this point. However, the flirtation with Gordon means we should at least be wary of the possibility that Buffalo will use a Day 2 pick with the idea that Singletary would fit best in more of a true committee.

Marlon Mack, Range 7-14 Mack should put up strong fantasy numbers for as long as he is the lead back in Indianapolis. The question has always been about how long he might hold onto the job. As he enters the last year of his rookie deal, the Colts could look to replace him with a 2020 rookie.

Wide Receiver

Pos Rank
Player
Value
1
50
2
38
3
38
4
38
5
38
6
35
7
33
8
30
9
30
10
30
11
30
12
27
13
26
14
24
15
24
16
22
17
22
18
20
19
20
20
20
21
20
22
19
23
18
24
17
25
16
26
16
27
16
28
16
29
15
30
14
31
13
32
12
33
10
34
10
35
10
36
10
37
10
38
9
39
9
40
9
41
8
42
7
43
7
44
7
45
7
46
6
47
6
48
6
49
5
50
5
51
5
52
5
53
5
54
5
55
5
56
5
57
4
58
4
59
4
60
4
61
4
62
4
63
4
64
4
65
3
66
3
67
3
68
3
69
2
70
2
71
2
72
2
73
2

News and Notes

The past month has been fairly uneventful in terms of value movement at the wide receiver position with just a few small changes:

-The two big trades were lateral moves at best for DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs. Both project for similar volume in their new locations. The biggest beneficiaries in the deal were Will Fuller V and Adam Thielen, who should each see a bump in targets.

Fuller does not seem to have received as much of a boost in value as expected based upon recent startup ADP. While we can’t ignore the injury concerns, the upside that comes with being Deshaun Watson’s clear top target makes buying Fuller at his current prices an extremely attractive proposition.

-Amari Cooper signing a big long-term deal to stay in Dallas slightly decreases the trade value of Michael Gallup who would have shot up the rankings if Cooper would have left the Cowboys.

-On top of all the injury concerns and the lack of production in 2019, the fact that Brandin Cooks is on the trade block for the third time in his career cannot be viewed as a positive. He seems to wear out his welcome quickly and seems to drop a couple of spots in the rankings with each update.

Rookie Competition?

We talk often about the threat of incoming rookies to the dynasty values of running backs but the idea gets much less attention when it comes to the impact rookies have on veteran wide receivers. The difference in treatment is somewhat rational — there is often less of a direct impact and many offenses can support multiple fantasy-relevant wide receivers. However, we shouldn’t completely ignore the impact this loaded rookie wide receiver class is going to have on the values of veterans at this position.

The consensus is that this rookie wide receiver class is one of the deepest and best in recent memory. We should expect that something like 20 of the 32 NFL teams is able to add a starting wide receiver in this draft. The depth of talent runs that deep. This draft could transform the dynasty landscape at the position in a similar way to what we saw with the 2014 rookie class.

The advice here is not to make any major value adjustments prior to the draft but to at least take the current depth charts with a grain of salt. Do not assume young players like Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, Will Fuller V, or Marquise Brown are cemented into lead roles. Do not assume that veteran free agents like Emmanuel Sanders, Devin Funchess, Randall Cobb, or Breshad Perriman will be in the same spot on the depth chart on May 1st that they are on April 1st.

Tight End

Pos Rank
Player
Value
1
28
2
22
3
22
4
16
5
14
6
14
7
14
8
12
9
12
10
11
11
10
12
8
13
8
14
7
15
6
16
6
17
4
18
4
19
3
20
3
21
3
22
3
23
3
24
2
25
2
26
2
27
2

News and Notes

-The two biggest winners at the position in March were Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst.

Hurst lands in a plum position as Austin Hooper’s replacement in Atlanta. Matt Ryan targeted his tight ends 121 times last year with almost all of them going to the starter (Hooper for 13 games and Jaeden Graham the other three). The investment from the Falcons was relatively significant as well, with Atlanta sending a second-round pick to Baltimore for Hurst. He is now right on the cusp of being a dynasty TE1. The key will be how quickly Hurst can develop a rapport with Ryan. The Falcons offense requires the tight end to find open spots in the defense and to be on the same page with the quarterback and the quarterback’s trust in the tight end to be in the right spot at the right time is even more key than it is in other schemes.

Andrews also comes out of this as a big winner, as he should get a big bump in playing time in 2020. Last season, blocking specialist Nick Boyle led the Ravens tight ends in snaps (769). Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews were tied for second with 457 each. The big fantasy season from Andrews is even more impressive when you consider he played just 41% of the offensive snaps and struggled through a sprained ankle. Expect Andrews to leap Kelce in the dynasty tight end rankings sooner than later.

-The Cleveland landing spot was close to a worst-case scenario for Austin Hooper given the talent of the other receiving options on the team. He is likely to come in behind both Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry when it comes to targets. That being said, Hooper had a big season while playing with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. We shouldn't overreact here. Hooper is still a talented 25-year old tight end whose new team believes in him enough to make him the NFL’s top-paid player at the position.

-Blake Jarwin is a leading candidate to come from seemingly out of nowhere to be a fantasy starter in a similar manner to Darren Waller last season. He signed a four-year, $22M contract to stay in Dallas and looks poised for a breakout season as the clear starter now that Jason Witten has left for Las Vegas. He is one of the more intriguing inexpensive to acquire TE2s out there.