As the calendar turns to March, we are entering a fun portion of the dynasty season. The NFL Combine is wrapping up and draft season kicks off in earnest. NFL Free Agency is set to open in a few weeks and we have an abnormally large number of top players (especially quarterbacks) on the open market.
In this month’s Dynasty Trade Value Chart article, we will take a closer look at the biggest storylines from the combine and their impact on the trade value of the specific rookie picks. There are some tiers starting to emerge that you should keep in mind when contemplating trade deals. We will also dive into some of the news that came out of the combine media sessions as it relates to the dynasty value of veteran players.
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.
Rookie Pick Trade Value
|1.01||D'Andre Swift, RB Georgia||30|
|1.02||Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin||27|
|1.03||Cam Akers, RB Florida State||24|
|1.04||Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU||23|
|1.05||JK Dobbins, RB Ohio State||23|
|1.06||Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama||20|
|1.07||CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma||20|
|1.08||Justin Jefferson, WR LSU||17|
|1.09||Henry Ruggs, WR Alabama||15|
|1.10||Jalen Reagor, WR TCU||13|
|1.11||Tee Higgins, WR Clemson||12|
|1.12||Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado||11|
|2.01||Michael Pittman, WR USC||10|
|2.02||Denzel Mims, WR Baylor||9|
|2.03||Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State||8|
|2.04||Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB Vanderbilt||8|
|2.05||KJ Hamler, WR Penn State||7|
|2.06||Claypool, Chase, WR Notre Dame||7|
|2.07||Eno Benjamin, RB Arizona State||7|
|2.08||Bryan Edwards, WR S. Carolina||6|
|2.09||Zack Moss, RB Utah||6|
|2.10||Joe Burrow, QB LSU||6|
|2.11||Tua Tagoavailoa, QB Alabama||6|
|2.12||Cole Kmet, TE Notre Dame||6|
Superflex Rookie Pick Trade Value
|1.01||Joe Burrow, QB LSU||33|
|1.02||D'Andre Swift, RB Georgia||30|
|1.03||Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama||28|
|1.04||Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin||27|
|1.05||Cam Akers, RB Florida State||24|
|1.06||Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU||23|
|1.07||JK Dobbins, RB Ohio State||23|
|1.08||Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama||20|
|1.09||CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma||20|
|1.10||Justin Herbert, QB Oregon||18|
|1.11||Justin Jefferson, WR LSU||17|
|1.12||Jordan Love, QB Utah State||16|
|2.01||Henry Ruggs, WR Alabama||15|
|2.02||Jalen Reagor, WR TCU||13|
|2.03||Tee Higgins, WR Clemson||12|
|2.04||Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado||11|
|2.05||Michael Pittman, WR USC||10|
|2.06||Denzel Mims, WR Baylor||9|
|2.07||Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State||8|
|2.08||Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB Vanderbilt||8|
|2.09||Jacob Eason, QB Washington||8|
|2.10||KJ Hamler, WR Penn State||7|
|2.11||Claypool, Chase, WR Notre Dame||7|
|2.12||Eno Benjamin, RB Arizona State||7|
News and Notes
Let’s go position-by-position and look at the biggest storylines from the NFL Combine.
- Not that there was a lot of doubt but Joe Burrow is locked into #1 overall. He put to rest any concerns that he would holdout if drafted by Cincinnati and the Bengals did not play coy about who their choice is going to be.
- The biggest key to the draft process for Tua Tagovailoa is acing his medical checks. All reports seem to be very positive in that regard. At this point, it would be a surprise if he does not go number two or three overall in the draft. Expect both Washington and Detroit to receive some very attractive trade down packages.
- Justin Herbert had a strong combine, showing off his big arm and impressive speed for his size. While there are questions about some aspects of his game, they are fewer than the ones facing Josh Allen and Daniel Jones at this time in their draft processes. Both Allen and Jones went top-7 overall despite those questions and the expectation is that Herbert will go in that same range.
- Jordan Love continues to get a lot of buzz as a Top-15 overall pick. With his plus athleticism and fantasy upside, he should be a first-round pick in Superflex rookie drafts if he is indeed drafted as early as the rumor mill suggests.
- Jacob Eason seems to be the consensus QB5 and on a similar trajectory to Drew Lock last season (early-2nd round).
- Jalen Hurts is the big fantasy wild card in the class. He faces an uphill battle to earn a starting job and is battling Jake Fromm to be the QB6 in the class. However, if he does earn a starting gig, he is going to be a top fantasy option every week due to his running ability. He will be a big riser in fantasy drafts if he gets drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft, making him a key quarterback to watch over the next couple months..
- D’Andre Swift checked all the boxes at the combine and cemented his status as a likely top-40 pick.
- Jonathan Taylor ran even faster that expected with a 4.39. Even more importantly, he looked smooth and confident catching the ball. He may never be a huge fantasy producer as a receiver but he has made enough progress as a pass catcher to now be viewed as a true three-down back. As such, he is right there with Swift in the conversation for RB1 in the class and landing spot will probably serve as the tie-breaker to determine which of the two is the rookie 1.01.
- Cam Akers was the biggest winner of all the skill position guys in terms of improving his draft stock at the combine. His rise is a little bit reminiscent of Miles Sanders, who saw a similar rise at this time last year on the back of a strong combine performance. Assuming Akers also goes in the mid-2nd round, he is going to be a hot commodity in rookie drafts.
The rise of Akers provides us the start of some tier breaks in this draft class. In last month’s dynasty trade value chart, Akers was listed as the 7th-overall player but there was a slight tier break after the top six. After the combine, it looks like there is very little drop off from 1.01 to 1.07 and Akers is right there with that top group. The top seven includes Swift, Taylor, Akers, J.K. Dobbins, Clyde Edwards-Helaire at running back along with CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy at wide receiver.
- There is a real lack of clarity behind the top five backs listed above. Zach Moss didn’t test particularly well and it seems some teams have real concerns about his medicals. Eno Benjamin was solid but unspectacular across the board in testing. AJ Dillon ran and jumped extremely well but was on the lower end in terms of change of direction, which remains one of his bigger question marks. Anthony McFarland, Darrynton Evans, Antonio Gibson, and Joshua Kelley ran very well and will be intriguing guys to follow throughout the rest of the draft process.
- CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy were both fantastic and cemented their status as early or mid-first round prospects. There is going to be a lot of debate over the next couple months over which of the two is 1A and which is 1B. With their profiles so similar, I am going to break the tie in favor of the SEC player (Jeudy) over the B12 player (Lamb). Looking at the current Top-25 dynasty wide receivers in terms of ADP, there are 10 SEC wide receivers and 0 Big 12 wide receivers.
- The other big question when it comes to Lamb and Jeudy is going to be whether to draft them over some or all of the top tier running backs. Looking at the last handful of draft classes, it has been a better bet to go with running backs drafted in the top-50 over first-round wide receivers. My guess is we see the ADP for these two settle in somewhere between 1.04 and 1.07.
- Both Henry Ruggs and Justin Jefferson did what they needed to do to lock in first-round grades. If any wide receivers from the deep tier behind Lamb and Jeudy are going to make a leap into that top tier, Ruggs and Jefferson are two of the best bets to do so.
- We’ve been talking about the tremendous depth of this wide receiver class for a more than a year and saw that on full display in Indianapolis. If you look at the draft boards above and focus on the names of some of the wide receivers who are going to fall into the second round of rookie drafts, you have to be excited about the possibilities. Players like Laviska Shenault, Tee Higgins, Denzel Mims, Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Reagor, Michael Pittman, KJ Hamler and Chase Claypool would be first round rookie picks in most years. In 2020, most of them will be pushed down into round two (especially in Superflex) due to the talent up top. Those second rounders are going to be more valuable than in a typical year and the depth is going to extend into round three, also.
- The combine confirmed the view that this is not an exciting group of tight end prospects. Cole Kmet (4.70) and Brycen Hopkins (4.66) ran fairly well and look like mid-late second-round NFL prospects and arguably the top two fantasy options at the position. Their unspectacular 40 times actually ranked fourth and second, respectively, at their position at the combine.
- Undersized pass-catching specialists Hunter Bryant and Harrison Bryant both posted times in the mid 4.7s, which was disappointing.
- The only really noteworthy showing at the combine came from Albert Okwuegbunam, who ran a blazing 4.49-second forty-yard dash at 258 pounds. He put up some monster numbers early in his career but struggled through injuries the last two seasons. He is a real wild card at the position and a name to watch moving forward.
- Even in tight end-premium leagues, you are probably waiting until the late-2nd round of rookie drafts before even thinking about tight end.
|Pos Rank||Player||Superflex||One QB|
|2||Patrick Mahomes II II||60||26|
News and Notes
-There was surprisingly little hard news to come out of the combine in terms of Quarterback movement. NFL teams seem to be in a holding pattern while waiting to see if the new CBA will pass when the players vote. As such, the shadow negotiations with top free agents have not kicked off in full.
-There is no clarity on what Tom Brady’s decision is likely to be. He is the first domino to fall and without knowing where he is leaning, it makes predicting the landing spots of everyone else all the more difficult.
-Bruce Arians couldn’t have been much more cryptic when talking about what Tampa Bay’s plan at quarterback is. He said he knows what he is going to do at the position but has not told anyone. He contradicted himself later when he said he wanted to see which quarterbacks would be available before making any decisions.
-None of the news seems particularly encouraging for Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears did nothing at the combine to dispel the notion that adding a starting-caliber second option would be a big priority. Andy Dalton’s name continues to come up as an option for Chicago. The situation with Trubisky could play out very similarly to the way things played out for Marcus Mariota in Tennessee last season.
-Rumors persist that the Raiders are very serious about trying to make an immediate upgrade at quarterback. This is a team with a multitude of needs at a lot of different spots. However, we can not dismiss the possibility that Las Vegas will go hard after Tom Brady or another top free agent. Rumors at the NFL combine also indicated that the Raiders were big fans of Jordan Love and that a quarterback selection at No. 12 overall in the draft is a strong possibility. Derek Carr's hold on the starting job feels tenuous at best.
News and Notes: 2017 Class Turbulence
This is a topic we’ve touched on a couple times in recent months but is worth circling back around on one more time as free agency approaches. The 2017 class will go down as an all-time great one for running backs. Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara, Marlon Mack, Aaron Jones, Austin Ekeler, Chris Carson, Kareem Hunt, and James Conner are just some of the running backs from that class who rank highly in terms of dynasty value. Those guys are all set to hit free agency in the next year or two.
Contract talks could get difficult for quite a few of these guys and it shouldn’t be a surprise if we see a few of these guys holdout either this year or next. Based upon recent history, big contract extensions for running backs have been one of the worst investments possible for NFL teams. We are likely to see some of these front office decision-makers approach these contract talks with a hardline stance and willingness to walk away. With the limited career span of most running backs, the top backs and their agents are also incentivized to take a stand and try to get paid as early as possible.
It is difficult to try to price this contractual uncertainty into dynasty values because potential holdouts are difficult to predict in advance and players being forced to change teams in free agency is not always a negative. Regardless, we have seen how the expiration of their rookie contracts hurt the dynasty values of players like Le’Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon III in recent years. We can’t completely ignore this downside risk.For now, the advice here is to simply break ties against these 2017 backs until they have their extensions in hand. In practical terms, that could mean things like (1) bumping Ezekiel Elliott to RB3 because he already has his deal and some long-term stability while Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara do not, (2) drafting Miles Sanders over Leonard Fournette in a startup, (3) exploring the possibility of a mega-package of first round draft picks if you have Christian McCaffrey, or (4) attempting to sell somebody like James Conner over the next month or two if you can get a decent return for him.
We can also watch the news and try to take the temperature of some of these extension negotiations and factor that into our evaluations:
-The Bengals seem willing to give Joe Mixon a big contract extension.
-There have been some talks between Green Bay and Aaron Jones.
-Marlon Mack may or may not be negotiating an extension with Indianapolis. There were mixed messages between the press conferences of the Colts owner and the Colts GM.
-Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara are valued by their teams but carry slightly more risk because neither the Vikings nor the Saints have the salary cap space to easily fit in a top of the market running back.
-As first round picks, Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette are still under team control for two more years so there is less urgency for them to get extensions. Perhaps that changes when their 2017 classmates who were drafted in later rounds start getting big extensions.
-Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn discussed Austin Ekeler’s role moving forward while at the combine. ”When we started him, we couldn't use him as a receiver,” said Lynn. “We need a guy with him." Ekeler is not going to be the next Christian McCaffrey (who never leaves the field). However, Ekeler was a PPR RB1 last season even if you look only at the games played after Melvin Gordon III returned. If comments like this gain traction and push Ekeler’s trade value down, he again becomes a nice trade target. It also seems clear that Ekeler, an RFA, is going to be back with the Chargers.
-Chris Carson seems to have escaped without a serious injury while Rashaad Penny’s status for the start of the 2020 season is very much up in the air. Outside of the top backs, Carson is one of the safest bets for 2020 fantasy production.
News and Notes
-The Bengals have made it clear that A.J. Green will be back, indicating the team will use the franchise tag if the parties cannot come to terms on a long-term deal. If you are buying into the Joe Burrow hype, you should also be buying A.J. Green because he could put up some big seasons the next few seasons if Burrow is a big improvement over Andy Dalton.
-Michael Gallup seems to move up my rankings a couple spots at every update this offseason. He quietly had an 1,100-yard season at age 23 and he did it despite missing a couple games. His 16-game pace was 1,265 receiving yards. There has been no movement toward Dak Prescott getting a long-term deal done, which means he is almost certainly going to get the franchise tag. That would leave Amari Cooper the ability to test the market as a free agent. Dallas is not in great cap shape, so it is not hard to envision a scenario in which Gallup is the undisputed WR1 in Dallas next season.
-Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta recently noted in an NFL Network interview: “Receivers typically make a big jump from their first to second season. We think that’s going to happen with Hollywood.” Marquise Brown has more upside than his dynasty ADP would indicate. He missed most of the 2019 offseason recovering from foot surgery and then re-injured the foot in Week 5 and had trouble with a screw that had been inserted in his foot. He missed a couple games and was never fully healthy the rest of the season. Prior to the re-injuring his foot in Week 5, Brown was averaging 8.5 targets per game. After the injury, he saw more than four targets just once the rest of the regular season. Brown gave a glimpse of his fantasy upside in the playoffs, catching 7-of-11 targets for 126 yards. If he can put together a healthy second season, he should easily outperform his current dynasty ADP.
|13||Irv Smith Jr.||6|
-The rumors of a potential Hayden Hurst trade are interesting for a couple reasons. First, it potentially gives Mark Andrews a boost. Hurst was the third-leading receiver for the Ravens and played the exact same number of snaps as Andrews (457). If Hurst is traded, Andrews could see a big jump in playing time and improve upon his already impressive fantasy numbers. Second, Hurst himself has some upside if he lands on a TE-needy team as the clear lead guy at the position.
-Greg Olsen looks like a solid one-year stopgap option for dynasty teams desperate at tight end. The $7M contract indicates that Seattle envisions a fairly significant role for Olsen.
-The future for Austin Hooper is up in the air. He should have a nice market in free agency and is at low risk of falling from the fantasy TE1 tier. However, he is in a nice spot in Atlanta and could find himself worse off if he is on a new team in 2020, which has a slightly negative impact on his dynasty trade value.