March Dynasty Trade Values
On the first day of each month for the rest of the year, we will update the dynasty trade values of every player in the league. Over the next two months, we will also spend signficant time analyzing and discussing the trade value of each specific rookie pick as rookie drafts near.
In this March update, you will see below the specific dynasty trade value of each pick of a four round draft in a special Rookie Pick Value Chart. While my top 48 rookies (pre-combine) are listed in order next to the picks, the pick value is separated from that specific player and the players are just listed to put names next to numbers and to provide context.
While there has nto been a ton of offseason news yet, you will see some changes in player values since the last update. In part, that is due to my participation in a couple of real startup drafts (one of which was best ball). The process of making the tough calls while on the clock helped to crystalize my thoughts on player values and consider in-depth some of the big questions facing dynasty owners as we head into March. I came away with six big takeaways, each of which will be discussed in-depth below.
This weekend the NFL Combine begins and officially kicks off NFL draft season. Before diving into my six big startup draft takeaways, let’s talk quickly about what to watch for at the Combine.
NFL Combine Watchlist
As detailed in-depth below, Saquon Barkley (the rookie 1.01 pick in non-devy leagues) is already a top dynasty asset. Barkley’s Dynasty Trade Chart Value stands at 42. Rightly or wrongly, Barkley’s 40-yard dash time at the combine is going to have real impact on his dynasty value. Let’s put the over/under at 4.38. If he runs faster, the hype will build and his dynasty value probably bumps up a few points. If he runs in the 4.4s, the hype may slow just a bit and his dynasty value will drop a few spots. He will remain a top asset regardless but it may cost an extra second round pick to trade up to 1.01 if he blazes a faster than expected 40-yard dash time.
The Top-48 Rookies are ranked and valued in the Rookie Chart below. These rankings and values are very fluid and will change and evolve throughout the draft process. As of now, Derrius Guice stands out just a bit above the crowd as the favorite for 1.02. A 40-yard dash in the 4.40-4.45 range would help to solidify him as the 1.02. Sony Michel, Ronald Jones III, Kerryon Johnson, Nick Chubb and Rashaad Penny make up a strong chase pack at the position. We should see some separation amongst this group eventually, with landing spot being a key differentiator.
The picture at wide receiver is incredibly muddled at this point. Hopefully we see a few better than expected 40-yard dash times and combine workouts and a couple prospects start to separate from the pack. The 40-yard dash is especially important for a bigger receiver like Courtland Sutton. If he can finish in under 4.55, he has a chance to move up into the first round conversation.
Dallas Goedert and Mike Gesicki are the tight ends who are worth keeping a close eye on. A dominant combine performance could propel one or both into the top-40 picks in the NFL and maybe even into the conversation as first rounders in dynasty rookie drafts.
Six Dynasty Startup Takeaways
The 1.01 is a Top-5 Dynasty Asset
Buying on Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Mahomes
Non-Elite Running Back Value is Extremely Fragile Right Now
Tyler Eifert is The Top Target Outside first 10 rounds
2019 1st round picks? No Thanks.
Commence 2020 Rookie Pick Hoarding
The Rookie 1.01 is a Top-5 Overall Dynasty Asset
In my January Dynasty Trade Value Chart Article, I rated the 1.01 rookie pick (Saquon Barkley) as the 7th most valuable dynasty piece behind Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Odell Beckham, DeAndre Hopkins, Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson. However, when on the clock in a recent high-stakes dynasty startup with Gurley and Elliott off the board, I found myself debating between Bell, Johnson and rookie pick 1.01 (Barkley) and I chose the pick.
The biggest factor in favoring Barkley is age. He is almost exactly five years younger than Bell and Johnson. There are also some unknowns with Johnson’s situation (new coaching staff, new offensive scheme, new quarterback, etc.) that give you pause. Bell already has over 1,600 career touches in the NFL. Is there more risk in taking Barkley over proven NFL stars like Bell and Johnson? Absolutely. However, you can’t ignore the potential reward— a star of the same magnitude as Bell and Johnson but with five extra prime seasons. When it was my money on the line, I was willing to gamble on the long-term upside and take Barkley over the proven commodities. I don’t think I’m alone in this thinking based upon what I’ve seen in other startups and the general trade market. In this February update, I have bumped the value of the 1.01 up so that it is now equal to Bell in a tie for the 5th-most valuable dynasty asset.
Buying on Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Mahomes as top-10 dynasty quarterbacks
We have two new data points when it comes to judging the worth of Garoppolo and Mahomes. San Francisco showed no hesitation in making Garoppolo the highest-paid player in NFL history before he could hit free agency. Kansas City traded Alex Smith coming off of a career season to hand the reins over to Mahomes, showing they were comfortable with what they saw of him every day in practice last season to trust him as the franchise quarterback with no safety net. We have such small sample sizes when trying to judge Garoppolo and Mahomes as NFL players that it feels a bit off to bestow such lofty dynasty rankings on them and put them ahead of other more established young starters. However, when on the clock in a pair of recent startups I had little hesitation in using early picks on these two due to their youth and upside (both play for excellent offensive minds and have flashed elite playmaking ability).
Non-Elite Running Back Value is Extremely Fragile Right Now
It is almost impossible to pull the trigger on one of the non-elite running backs in the early rounds of a startup before free agency and the draft play out. Similarly, the backs from this tier should come at a discount in any pre-free agency trades that reflects the risk to an extreme drop in value. Specifically, Derrick Henry, Carlos Hyde, LeSean McCoy, Kenyan Drake, Jay Ajayi, Duke Johnson Jr, Dion Lewis, and Alex Collins are intriguing dynasty backs with major questions either about how big their roles will be next season. The free agency backs (Hyde, and Lewis) are obvious wild cards. Henry, McCoy, Drake, Ajayi, Johnson and Collins will all have their value significantly impacted by the quality of runnings backs their teams add to the roster over the next two months. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of these teams use a Day 2 pick on a running back and/or to sign one of the higher-ranked free agents.
Tyler Eifert is falling way too far
In a recent startup, Eifert went off the board as TE19, sandwiched right in between Vance McDonald and Tyler Kroft. Sure, Eifert has had an extremely difficult time staying healthy (especially the past two seasons). However, it must be remembered that he is an elite talent and still just 27 years old. It seems unlikely that the Cincinnati Bengals will franchise tag Eifert this offseason, which would make him an unrestricted free agent who could end up in a much more favorable situation with a more talented quarterback. Be willing to reach for Eifert a round or two early in startups and gamble on his upside. He is also a prime trade target for savvy dynasty owners in the weeks leading up to free agency.
2019 1st round picks? No Thanks
The 2019 rookie class looks like it could be incredibly weak and it makes sense to discount the value of 2019 rookie 1st rounders slightly in assessing trade offers. Each spring I compile a list of my top-100 developmental prospects for a lengthy article here at Footballguys. I am well into the process of researching and writing the 2018 version of that article and one of the giant takeaways is that the 2019 rookie class currently lacks a single running back that projects as a 1st-round pick. It looks like a below average class at quarterback and tight end as well. There are some talented receivers but not enough to make up for the lack of talent at the three other positions. Overall, 2019 looks like it could be the worst skill position draft class in recent years. Usually, I am aggressive in trading down in startups to acquire future 1st rounders and targeting future picks in other established leagues as well. I won’t do so this offseason for the 2019 class and will be more willing than normal to part with my own 2019 1st rounders in leagues where I’m in contention.
Commence 2020 Rookie Pick Hoarding
While the 2019 rookie class looks like a potential downer, the 2020 class looks absolutely loaded. The 2017 freshman class vastly exceeded expectations last season. Dynasty owners should already be excited about the numerous early-entry candidates for the 2020 NFL Draft. We saw true freshmen quarterbacks Too Tagovailoa and Jake Fromm (both excellent NFL prospects) battling it out for the National Championship, with a true freshman (DeVonta Smith) catching the game-winning touchdown and a pair of true freshman backs (D’Andre Swift and Najee Harris) receiving fourth quarter carries with the championship on the line. Running backs J.K Dobbins (Ohio State), Cam Akers (Florida State), Travis Etienne (Clemson) and Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) emerged as the best offensive players on their teams by the end of their freshman seasons. We also saw flashes of promise from a number of young wide receivers and a few are likely to emerge as top prospects in the coming years. For leagues that allow trading of future rookie picks multiple seasons in advance, it isn’t too early to start targeting 2020 picks for what could be an even better running back class than we saw in 2017.
What is the Dynasty Trade Value Chart?
The dynasty trade value chart is tailored specifically to a 12-team PPR league that starts one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end and a flex. It is meant to serve primarily as a guide for trades but is also 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, that is a trade offer worth strongly considering.
The Dynasty Trade Value Chart lists three separate numbers. The first column ("2018") is based upon the player's projected 2018 fantasy value as determined by season-long average draft position and statistical projections. It approximates the difference between the player's weekly fantasy points per game projection and the replacement-level production at the postion. The second column ("Future") is calculated similary but projects the player's cumulative value for 2019 and beyond. The third column has the player's dynasty trade value ("Value") and is the sum of the previous two columns.
Rookie Trade Value Chart
|1.01||RB Saquon Barkley||7||35||42|
|1.02||RB Derrius Guice||5||19||24|
|1.03||RB Sony Michel||4||14||18|
|1.04||RB Ronald Jones II||4||11||15|
|1.05||WR Calvin Ridley||2||12||14|
|1.06||RB Kerryon Johnson||3||10||13|
|1.07||WR Courtland Sutton||1||11||12|
|1.08||WR Christian Kirk||1||9||10|
|1.09||WR James Washington||1||8||9|
|1.1||RB Nick Chubb||2||6||8|
|1.11||RB Rashaad Penny||1||7||8|
|1.12||TE Dallas Goedert||1||6||7|
|2.01||TE Mike Gesicki||0||5||5|
|2.02||WR D.J. Moore||1||4||5|
|2.03||WR TreQuan Smith||1||3||4|
|2.04||WR Simmie Cobbs Jr||1||3||4|
|2.05||WR Auden Tate||1||3||4|
|2.06||RB John Kelly||1||3||4|
|2.07||QB Sam Darnold||0||3||3|
|2.08||RB Mark Walton||0||3||3|
|2.09||WR Marcell Ateman||0||3||3|
|2.1||RB Royce Freeman||1||2||3|
|2.11||RB Kalen Ballage||1||1||2|
|2.12||WR DaeSean Hamilton||0||2||2|
|3.01||WR Korey Robertson||0||2||2|
|3.02||WR Michael Gallup||0||2||2|
|3.03||WR Anthony Miller||0||2||2|
|3.04||WR Equanimeous St. Brown||0||2||2|
|3.05||WR Antonio Callaway||0||2||2|
|3.06||RB Nyheim Hines||0||2||2|
|3.07||RB Akrum Wadley||0||2||2|
|3.08||QB Josh Rosen||0||2||2|
|3.09||QB Josh Allen||0||2||2|
|3.1||QB Lamar Jackson||0||2||2|
|3.11||QB Baker Mayfield||0||2||2|
|3.12||RB Bo Scarbrough||0||2||2|
|4.01||RB Josh Adams||0||1||1|
|4.02||WR Dante Pettis||0||1||1|
|4.03||WR D.J. Chark||0||1||1|
|4.04||WR Deon Cain||0||1||1|
|4.05||WR Cedrick Wilson||0||1||1|
|4.06||TE Mark Andrews||0||1||1|
|4.07||TE Hayden Hurst||0||1||1|
|4.08||WR Jake Weineke||0||1||1|
|4.09||WR Jordan Lasley||0||1||1|
|4.1||WR Keke Coutee||0||1||1|
|4.11||TE Jaylen Samuels||0||1||1|
|4.12||TE Troy Fumagalli||0||1||1|
Quarterback Trade Value Chart
|8||Patrick Mahomes II||1||6||7|
Running Back Trade Value Chart
Wide Receiver Trade Value Chart
Tight End Trade Value Chart