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The New Reality No.98: Building for 2018

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of dynasty fantasy football

The dynasty trade market heats up in the middle of the season as owners point towards a contending for building mindset according to their 2017 results thus far. With sample size growing for the current season, owners are more comfortable projecting roles, usage, and performance than entering Week 1 or the in the early weeks. As a result, becoming more active with bolstering a playoff-caliber roster or shifting to 2018 viable options is critical. This week's edition will look at rosters building towards 2018, with next week covering contending trades.

Building Roster Trade Ideas

The general idea behind trading as a non-contending dynasty team is two-fold - shift production from the current year to the following (or future) season and in the process aid rookie draft position. For the record, I am not an advocate (nor is any dynasty league) of 'tanking' which is purposefully setting sub-optimal lineups and the like to improve draft position. As a result, I advocate using potential points instead of raw win-loss and/or points scored to order non-playoff teams for the annual rookie draft. Potential points use the optimized lineup each week a la best ball scoring to better gauge the strength of a dynasty team.

Injured Players

One of the easiest ways to shift production into the future is by acquiring injured players and selling current producers in the deal. Here is a list of notable injured (for the rest of the season or chunk of the season-to-date) players, who may be available from contenders looking to swap for rest-of-season production:

*All listed trades have been executed in dynasty trades in the past week and are the type of construction I would recommend to non-contending dynasty teams*


Luck and Rodgers are the highlight players here as rumors swirl Luck may not play for the rest of the season or need a second surgery. Rodgers has been traded for Jameis Winston and one owner even received Rodgers and a 1st in return for Russell Wilson. Shoot for contending teams where you can offer a substantial upgrade to their quarterback production this season to acquire Rodgers or Luck for 2018.

Running Backs

David Johnson and Dalvin Cook are the high-leverage names here. After a strong start, Cook is trading for palatable prices in the trade market including:

David Johnson trade ideas:

Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham Jr Jr, Allen Robinson, and Corey Davis are the highest leverage plays for 2018. Davis is working his way back on the field for 2017 but qualifies for the list considering he has not played much to-date.

Odell Beckham Jr Jr trade ideas:

Allen Robinson trade ideas:

Corey Davis trade ideas:

Tight Ends

Greg Olsen trade ideas:

Flip Short-Term Producers

The other low-hanging fruit to explore for non-contending teams in the trade market is dealing away short-term producers. The situationally-boosted running back is the most obvious category. Here are qualifying running backs, ordered by 2017 PPR PPG:

  • Ty Montgomery (Concerns over long-term viability, but committee or better role at present)
  • C.J. Anderson (Getting by on name value, but heavy rotation of three backs in Denver)
  • Javorius Allen (Injuries have shifted Baltimore backfield this season, Allen RB2-worthy in PPR...for now)
  • Jerick McKinnon (Dalvin Cook will be back in 2018, McKinnon an upcoming free agent)
  • Frank Gore (Old faithful in his mid-30s. Limited appeal outside of contenders looking for depth)
  • LeGarrette Blount (Limited appeal)
  • Marshawn Lynch (More name value than production punch this season)
  • Orleans Darkwa (Giants depth chart up in the air, Darkwa with most recent - and best - game of the season for team)
  • Adrian Peterson (Quality debut for Arizona in Week 6, but game-script dependent and unlikely use in passing game)

Here are my favorite trades found of late involving each player: