Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Davante Adams Trading, Tight End Strategy, Rookie Draft Tips and More

It’s rookie draft season and the questions that arrived in the mailbag this week make that clear. I’ll be updating my rookie-only rankings next week, but until then I thought this would be a good place to discuss where I stand in the current class. I’ve grouped a few beginner questions into the very first topic this week and will try to answer them all in one fell swoop.

I also realize that many of you have already had your rookie drafts and may be thinking about trades. To that end, there’s another section on trading veteran wide receivers at a time when some of them look like they’re going down the path of AJ Green and Julio Jones.

Finally, I opened up on some quick questions and a question I think we’ve never had but should have: How do you know if you’re a Contender?

Let’s start with the beginners.

Rookie Draft Tips

Let’s start with a quick overview of where I stand with the rookie class and I’ll use my most recent Dynasty trade chart as a way to quantify it. I think this will answer a lot of those questions, then I’ll circle the ones I miss.

The first realization is that Breece Hall is in a class by itself. The difference between him and 1.02 (Drake London) is 8.6 points on the trading chart. But then there’s not much separation at all. Here are my current top 12 with their trade chart value to show the tier breaks:

1. Breece Hall 36.7
2. Drake London 28.1
3. Garret Wilson 27.8
4. Kenneth Wanderer 27.3
5. Treylon Burks 26.5
6. Chris Olave 25.7
7.Jameson Williams25.1
8. Jahan Dotson 21.9
9. George Pickens 20.7
10. James Koch 19.6
11. Christian Watson 19.1
12. Heaven Moore 15.1

I can tell you from experience that I’m down on the field at Moore by a pretty significant margin. I might be a bit higher on Dotson and Pickens as well. As I’ve said many times over the past month, my biggest takeaway is that I’m trying to trade picks two through four for picks five through seven to get draft capital in 2023. I also try to trade picks just outside the top 7 to get back into that range.

As for Cook vs. rookie receivers, I’d take him at 1.08 while my top 7’s are gone. In a lot of drafts, Moore goes ahead of Olave or Williams, and in that case I’d still pick up the phone. Among those second line players, I ranked Cook the highest in the 2022 recast, so I’d particularly favor him against a competitor who needs a running back.

Selling an old wide receiver

So first of all, this is absolutely the right time to start thinking about the potential cliff that Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas could be headed for. You can also throw Cooper Kupp and Keenan Allen in this group. But there is a significant difference between Adams, Kupp and Adams and the other two. I expect Adams, Kupp and Allen to be the top 10 wide receivers this year. I have no idea what to expect from Hopkins or Thomas. Put another way, you may have already missed your opportunity to exchange the latter two for more than pennies on the dollar.

As I rate them, I wouldn’t trade Kupp for less than two first-round picks. For Adams, I’d accept a top-7 pick in this year’s draft and a 2023 second-round pick (or a very early 2022 second-round pick). Hopkins sits between Rachaad White and John Metchie or an early second-round pick on my latest trading map. So I’d be pretty excited if I got a premiere for him. I had Thomas in the middle prior to the Jarvis Landry acquisition and the news that he still has “hurdles to overcome.” Now I would estimate him very close to Hopkins.

As for the Hopkins plus Thomas for Fournette deal, I don’t like it because I don’t see the point of it. All three of these players should only be fielded by competitors. But if you’re a contender, do you really have enough wide receiver depth not to miss out on Hopkins and Thomas? I doubt it. But it’s close enough that I could see if you have three other launch receivers and a hole running back. It’s possible that none of these players will have much Dynasty value by the end of this season.

Tight End Strategy

Well, I think people who drafted Kyle Pitts would disagree with the notion that young tight ends never help. But there’s a decent point here, for non-elite tight ends it might be better to let someone else put them up and last them for a few years. Then try to acquire them when they are cheaper. That’s exactly what I’d love to do with Cole Kmet this offseason, but his value may have already recovered based on the possibility of what he could be. Irv Smith is another potential target.

Other than that, Trey McBride and Greg Dulcich are the only bottlenecks I’m really excited about drafting in rookie drafts this year, and I don’t want to pick either of them before Round 3. McBride in particular might be one I need to set a reminder for 12 months from now. Because of Zach Ertz, I don’t expect much from him in his first two seasons in the league, but I think his profile is definitely going up over the long term.

know your place

We’re going to end with a one off question that I thought was a very good question. I talk a lot about how you should behave differently depending on whether you’re a contender or not. But it’s not always easy to tell. Here are a few methods…

The easiest way to make that determination is probably to look at last year’s rankings. Were you one of the top four teams by record or (more importantly) points? Secondly, is there reason to believe that your team will be significantly better or worse than last season?

If you’re still unsure, I’d take a look at your league mates’ rosters. Maybe check out the top two or three squads in the league. How lucky does it take to go head-to-head with these teams?

Finally, if you really can’t tell, keep asking me Twitter. Send me a screenshot of your roster along with the details of your league format and size and I’ll at least tell you what I think.

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