This edition of Tradeosophy is about players to target in trades going into the 2019 season. There are few rules I go by when trading in the offseason besides the “Golden Rule”. For more details on these rules, you can find the first Tradeosophy article here.
The Golden Rule
Almost always get younger in the offseason.
The offseason is a time to replenish. I almost always have an eye for getting younger, but there are times to get older players too. It usually makes more sense to get an older player from a non-playoff team during the season. That is usually where the best value will be.
The players listed in this piece are players that I believe team owners may be sleeping on. Some of them have a chance to really breakout while some of them could just simply be players you can acquire at a really good value to fill some lesser holes on your roster.
Players to Target Now
- Josh Allen (BUF)
Allen did not have a great rookie season throwing the football. He somewhat made up for it with his legs, running for 631 yards and 8 touchdowns. I saw enough out of Allen to believe that there is a chance he gets better as a passer in the years to come. Buffalo is a tough place to play quarterback, but I think Allen has the chance to be steady there for a long time.
- Sam Darnold (NYJ)
Like Josh Allen, Darnold is going into his second year. Darnold is more of a pure passer and may be harder to get in a trade with the New York Jets hype machine in full force. I think the 2018 quarterback class will prove to be a really good one starting with Baker Mayfield and these other two young quarterbacks.
- Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)
This is the year for Jimmy. He played out the stretch in 2017 and he was put on IR in 2018. 2019 could be his last chance to make the case to be a legitimate top 10 fantasy quarterback. He’s still young, he’s looked good while on the field, and a good team is being built around him. The opportunity is certainly there, but proceed with some measure of caution.
- Dalvin Cook (MIN)
Cook is headlining this list for the second year in a row. I still believe in his talent, and I still believe he has the potential to be a top five dynasty running back for years to come. He also still has a hefty price tag, but I believe the price will only continue to go up.
- Melvin Gordon (LAC)
This is just a short term, reactionary move if the Gordon owner in your league is panicked about a potential holdout. Depending on your roster, maybe send over a wide receiver and a pick, or even straight up Mike Evans. The Chargers have a window right now, and I doubt they go into this season without Melvin Gordon.
- Tevin Coleman (SFO)
Last year I put Coleman on this list because he was in a timeshare and would become a free agent in 2019. Well now he is reunited with his old offensive coordinator in what a lot of people would say is a crowded backfield. I say Coleman wins the job and is the lead back in San Francisco.
- Damien Williams (KCC)
While everyone has googly eyes for rookie Darwin Thompson, go get Williams. Thompson hasn’t proven to be Kareem Hunt yet. Williams is going to get the first crack at the job and maybe he keeps it. I say go for it if the price is right. He could be a beast this year!
- Sony Michel (NEP)
Similar to Williams with the drafting of Damien Harris, and not to mention the presence of James White and Rex Burkhead, people are down on Michel. I don’t know how it is going to work in New England, but I think Michel is the best running back there and he will be the one to own. Trade for talent while other owners worry about opportunity.
- Chris Godwin (TBB)
He was the sixth wide receiver on this list last year. It may be too difficult to get Godwin in your league, but if somebody in your league is okay trading a #2 wide receiver, I would take a chance. Maybe get younger by moving Julio or A.J. Green for Godwin and a pick. Call me crazy, but I think Godwin is going to be much closer in production to Mike Evans than most people think and he is only 23.
- Zay Jones (BUF)
I think Jones becomes the clear number one wide receiver for the Bills this season. Jones became a different player at the end of the year. I’m on the record with Josh Allen, and I think him and Zay are going to be kind of a thing. Zay seems like a technical route runner to me, and sometimes that type of player will take more time for things to click.
- Antonio Calloway (CLE)
It’s easy to understand why nobody is talking about Calloway. The Browns still have Jarvis Landry, and they’ve added Odell Beckham. Couple that with Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and David Njoku and it becomes apparent that there are many mouths to feed. I think Calloway wins the third wide receiver spot, becomes a student of the game, and ends up surprising a lot of people.
- Dede Westbrook (JAC)
Dede has game and he has a chance to prove it with a new quarterback this season. The bad news is that Nick Foles is that quarterback, but maybe, just maybe these guys click and Dede has a nice season. I think it’s possible.
- Jamison Crowder (NYJ)
Crowder somehow crept his way back onto this list after I had mentally written him off for so long. Being in Washington has been tough on wide receivers the last several years. Now with the Jets, he might be going into a perfect situation. With a new regime in New York and a lot of new weapons, Crowder could get an early opportunity to inject some consistency into that offense.
- Phillip Dorsett (NEP)
Phillip Dorsett was a first round pick, and at this point that means absolutely nothing. He was drafted way too early, but that’s not his fault. He is the next tenured wide receiver behind Julian Edelman, and he has a most important rapport with Tom Brady. If you need a #4 or #5 wide receiver with a high floor, I think Dorsett can provide that to your team.
- Dallas Goedert (PHI)
No secret here as Goedirt is a great young talent behind another great talent who is in his prime and just got a contract extension. Maybe that makes him available though. Targeting Goedirt is a talent over opportunity move that I would do any day of the week.
- Chris Herndon (NYJ)
Herndon starts the season with a four game suspension stemming from a June 2018 DUI. Herndon was a fourth round pick last year out of the U. He came on in the middle of the season as he started to click with fellow rookie Sam Darnold. He’s not under the radar as a player, but he is as a breakout candidate.
- Haason Reddick (ARZ)
Reddick will turn 25 early this season. He was the thirteenth overall pick in the 2017 draft. Since arriving in Arizona, he’s played OLB for two different coordinators in two years. The new coaching staff plans on moving him into the middle this year which could turn into a nice unexpected bump in production.
- Matthew Judon (BAL)
For leagues that reward sacks and especially sack yardage, Judon, a true OLB is primed for a big year. He turns 27 in August, so he may not be very hard to get. In Baltimore, much of the focus has been on Patrick Onwuasor after losing linebackers C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, and Terrell Suggs while not drafting much at the position. Onwuasser may be the guy in the middle, but Judon will be set free around the outside.
- DE Derek Barnett (PHI)
Barnett is going into his third year for the Eagles. He was a 1st round pick that showed flashes during his rookie year. Last year he started the season off well, but ended it on injured reserve. Now, with less competition on the defensive line, I believe Barnett has a breakout season and makes a name for himself.
- DE Sam Hubbard (CIN)
The hometown Ohio State alumni, Sam Hubbard, is going into his second year in the NFL. After drafting safety Jessie Bates in the second round last year, they drafted Hubbard in the third. In limited action Hubbard played well. With an aging defensive line in Cincinnati, I think he takes a step forward this year and eventually takes over the roll full time.
- DT Javon Hargrave (PIT)
At 26-years-old, Hargrave has become a really good player for the Steelers. He hasn’t had a ton of fantasy production, but last year he showed he could disrupt the pocket at an almost elite rate. If you need to start a defensive tackle, Hargrove can be solid for you with upside potential.
- S Justin Reid (HOU)
Reid was the fifth safety taken off the board in last year’s draft. He’s a good tackler and overall player. While Derwin James is the clear cut safety to own from the 2018 draft, I think Reid will turn out to be the next guy. The Texans saw enough in him last year to let Tyrann Mathieu go in free agency.
- S Jessie Bates (CIN)
Bates was selected in the second round last season. He came on last year, but then kind of fizzled out towards the end of the season. Shawn Williams (28) was the guy there last year, but I think Bates is the future. Talented safeties usually take a year to grasp the NFL game. You’re most likely not going to get Derwin James, but if you can get Reid or Bates this offseason you’ll be in pretty good shape.
- CB Rasul Douglas (PHI)
If you’re in a league that has to start cornerbacks, Douglas is an ascending player. Interceptions come and go, but a good tackling defensive back is someone worth holding onto. In Rasul’s second season last year, He had 45 tackles and 2 interceptions in just the final five games of the season. As a top three corner in Philly this year I think he puts up big numbers for probably the least coveted position in dynasty football.
The Bottom Line
Targeting players early in the offseason is key to building your team. Not everyone is paying attention like you, and before players get all hyped up they can already be on your roster. Remember the golden rule. Start the season by getting younger. If you need veterans later you will have the assets to go get them. Timing is everything.