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In this week’s analysis, our primary focus will be on teams that have either been eliminated from the playoff race or have voluntarily chosen to eliminate themselves. We will explore the various strategies these teams can employ to capitalize on in-season circumstances and the injuries suffered by other contenders in the league. Our attention will be directed towards five specific players, different combinations of players, and potential trade scenarios that can be utilized to gain an advantage leading up to the fantasy playoffs.
The Focus: Identifying Non-Contending Teams & Pieces to Acquire Using Current the Current Market Conditions
We have reached the eleventh week of the 2023 season, and now is the perfect time for dynasty teams to start planning for 2024. While the contenders are solely focused on fantasy production for the next six weeks, those ready to look toward the future have a great opportunity to make advantageous moves. Suppose you’re unsure whether your team fits this criteria. In that case, I recommend checking out a prior piece on “Maximizing a Failed Contender,” highlighting the criteria used to determine if you should focus on next season. It’s important to understand that as soon as the fantasy season ends, dynasty values, and player supply/demand will reset, and acquiring youth, draft capital, and insulation will become much more difficult. Therefore, it’s wise to act now and take advantage of the contenders’ current situation, especially if you have a looming trade deadline.
The Extrinsic Value of Transactions
Extrinsic value refers to the value determined by factors other than the underlying asset’s price or the return in exchange for the asset. In the context of dynasty terms, it represents the additional value gained from a trade that is not measured in draft picks or the players received. This can be seen as a consequence of the transaction, such as removing points from your roster and obtaining a higher draft pick in the following season due to the reduced team production. Although not accounted for in a trade calculator, this extrinsic value often serves as the driving force behind initiating the transactions. This holds particularly true in leagues where other astute managers are involved, who tend to be very cautious about the overall trade value while negotiating a deal. Long story short, do not forget to account for the extrinsic value when considering a deal.
Step One: Identify Players on Non-Contending Teams that Contenders Desire
This exercise offers a lot of flexibility. Although I will mention five players that meet specific criteria and are candidates to be dealt to other teams, don’t restrict yourself to just these five players. Imagine yourself as a contending team and think about whether you would be interested in a particular player if you wanted to acquire production. If the answer is yes, you have found a player who could fulfill this objective.
Step Two: Identify Players on Contending Teams that Non-Contenders Desire
This list is less restrictive in several ways. A non-contending team is not concerned with current performance or situation but instead focuses on the future value of this transaction. This could involve an injured player expected to recover fully or a player underperforming due to various circumstances like injuries to teammates, coaching issues, or lack of productivity. As a portfolio player, I frequently rely on my rostership percentage to identify the most desirable targets within this group. The greater your flexibility with the player list, the higher your chances of completing deals.
Step Three: Initiating the Transaction and Obtaining Information
If you are not a dynasty player ready to take action, you are unlikely to read this article. However, it is often overlooked in strategy pieces like this that it is unlikely the right offer will magically appear in your inbox. In most cases, the offer that aligns with fair value and motivates you to make the deal will not be initiated by the other party. As the proactive manager, it is up to you to identify the type of deal you want and propose it to the other side. Whether you receive an acceptance, rejection, counteroffer, or written feedback, the response from the other party provides valuable information. This is another extrinsic value gained simply by sending the trade offer.
Step Four: Evaluation of the Information Obtained
It is common for the first offer to be rejected, but assessing the information received in the response is crucial. Did you receive a counteroffer? Does the counteroffer align with the value you initially proposed? What are the differences between the original offer and the counteroffer? Understanding the reasons behind the impasse in trade discussions is essential to deciding whether to proceed with the transaction. Our initial objective in this article was to offer our production at a higher price in return for future value or production. Is the revised offer still in line with this fundamental principle?
Step Five: Maximizing Your Moves After the Deal
Assuming the deal has been finalized, it may be tempting to walk away and declare “mission accomplished simply.” However, there are additional steps you can take to enhance your extrinsic value. For instance, if you have freed up a roster spot through the trade, add another player from the waiver wire. Similarly, if you have acquired a player eligible for injured reserve, place them on IR and utilize the vacant roster spot to add another player from the waiver wire. Additionally, if you have acquired a player eligible for the taxi squad, don’t forget to demote them to the taxi squad, as this can help reduce your potential points and boost your future draft pick. Ultimately, when you complete a deal, consider how you can maximize its impact by making any necessary follow-up moves that can further enhance the extrinsic value of your roster.
The Trade Candidates
After outlining the five-step process, we return to the first step and search for players on non-contending teams that contending teams are interested in acquiring. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list. Still, for this article, I have selected five players I have high exposure to in my portfolio and will seek opportunities to sell using this approach.
Jordan Addison, WR MIN
I currently hold 18.9% of Jordan Addison in my dynasty portfolio, the highest percentage among all moderate/high-end assets. Addison is currently ranked as the WR10 on Keep Trade Cut and is the 33rd overall player in superflex, tight-end premium formats. With a Trinity Score of 7.22, he falls into the back-end WR2/high-end WR3 category. This indicates that he holds significant non-production dynasty value, considering his age and consistent improvement as a rookie. I actively seek to diversify by trading him to a contender needing production.
Considering the imminent return of Justin Jefferson and a backup quarterback throwing him passes, it is improbable that contenders perceive Addison as anything more than a temporary player in a wide receiver/flex position. Although he can contribute to a contender, it is unlikely that his addition will significantly impact the team’s performance. My strategy with Addison is to speculate that he will maintain his current level of performance in the foreseeable future and trade him for future draft picks or another position before that “leveling off” becomes evident. I would aim for a deal involving at least a 2024 first-round and second-round pick or a trade where I include him in a package to acquire an injured Joe Burrow or Anthony Richardson.
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB DET
I am currently holding 15.1% Jahmyr Gibbs across the portfolio, and considering the lack of top-tier production from running backs and the limited number of in-demand players at that position, it appears to be a favorable time to sell. He is currently ranked as the RB3 on Keep Trade Cut, making him the 17th most valuable player in the league. He also ranks sixth in the league in points per game and averaging over twenty PPR points in his last four games.
Given the current running back landscape, the presence of David Montgomery, and the upcoming departure of offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, there are valid reasons to consider cashing out on Gibbs. Since finding a suitable running back option in a trade is extremely difficult, it seems that a cross-positional deal for Gibbs would be the most optimal choice. This is likely a situation I am asking for a future first-round pick along with an injured or situation-impacted wide receiver such as Tee Higgins or Jaylen Waddle. In the end, moving a running back here would be a “pure value” transaction where I open the discussion with the highest-valued proposals I deem reasonable.
Jaylen Warren, RB PIT
Jaylen Warren checks in with a current ownership of 20.8% in the portfolio. Despite being ranked as RB25 and just outside the top 100 in overall landscape rankings, Warren’s recent “starter” status and consistent out-performance of other running backs in his backfield suggest that his value will continue to rise. However, it’s important to note that Warren is a running back without any capital and will likely remain in a committee for his entire career. While committees are no longer as daunting as once, players like Warren will rely on efficiency, big plays, and situational receiving opportunities to generate significant production.
As such, it may be wise to consider moving away from Warren at this point in spots where I am not in a position to take advantage of the recent production. While the liquidation price is likely a mid-2024 second-round pick, targeting a team that has lost a quarterback like Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, or Daniel Jones may be a more favorable option.
C.J. Stroud, QB HOU
CJ Stroud, currently tied with Jordan Addison at 18.9% in my portfolio, has gained the most value of any player this season. The manager who has Stroud on their team now has the QB7 in points per game and possesses the fourth-ranked player in dynasty, according to Keep Trade Cut. Stroud’s potential is highly sought after, and all teams in the league would likely be interested if he becomes available.
However, even though Stroud is a valuable asset for a team focused on the future, it’s worth considering trading him for a deal that includes players like Joe Burrow or Anthony Richardson, along with a future first-round pick. This approach may be more suitable for a contending team that has lost Burrow or Richardson.
Lamar Jackson, QB BAL
Lamar Jackson holds a significant share in my dynasty portfolio, with a 17.0% rostership. Despite his impressive performance from an NFL perspective this season, he ranks QB12 in points per game for 2023. However, the general perception of Jackson as an elite producer in his position remains unchanged. Considering the availability of other notable quarterbacks like Burrow and Richardson on contending teams now might be the opportune moment to sell Jackson.
While I still have faith in Jackson’s future, his history of missing time in previous seasons during this season suggests that a move may be necessary sooner rather than later. In any potential trade, I would prioritize acquiring the same quarterbacks mentioned earlier and carefully evaluate the return I receive. Additionally, I would be open to trading Jackson for a very early 2024 first-round pick and other assets that can contribute to my future success. Adding a stable wide receiver in the deal with an early 2024 first-round pick is likely the optimal target range.
In this type of deal, numerous options are available for a non-contender to sell to a contender. I have specifically focused on players to whom I have significant exposure and will closely monitor which teams would be the best fit to trade these players away. The good news is that all of these players are highly sought after in the market, and I am more than confident that I will continue to have exposure to them in the future. This exercise aims to align assets instead of the need for current production appropriately. Now that you have reached this point in the article take a moment to evaluate your dynasty rosters and consider potential actions to be taken for your non-contending teams.
Follow me on X @CharlesChillFFB for further analysis. Good luck with your endeavors, and I will be back for more Techtonic Transactions after week twelve!