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12 Trades That Will Take You from Worst to First (Part 1)

12 Trades That Will Take You from Worst to First (Part 1)

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

A couple of months back I did an article titled Let’s Rebuild a Team Together and while I did not get the feedback I was hoping for, I still found a way to make it work. Initially I wanted the article to be something where you guys could have input on trades and things of that nature to help rebuild my team but with the difference of opinions on players it would have been difficult to say the least. The team we are talking about today is one I felt great about coming out of my startup but after Christian McCaffrey, Julio Jones, and Joe Mixon all went down to injury I knew a rebuild was my best option. When rebuilding a team, a lot of variables go into how long that rebuild will take but I found the thing that slows down rebuilding the most is lack of trading. In any rebuild, trading is the quickest way to completely change the outlook of your team. I was fortunate enough to be in what I feel is one of the most active leagues in all of Dynasty Owner and because of this I was able to turn my team around in one season.

Around the middle of October, I started to realize my team was not going to win and I had several players set to get huge extensions the following season and knew it was time to pull the trigger. I sent a single message in the league chat saying that every player on my roster was available for the right price. Shortly after our league had its first trade. Since that day, my league has pulled off exactly 50 trades (from what I can see in news and activity) and counting with numerous draft day trades. Overall, in this league I have pulled off 12 trades all with rebuilding my roster in mind and I will share the finished product with all of you at the end of next week’s article. I am sure some weeks I sound like a broken record when talking about how important trading is when rebuilding but today, I will put my money where my mouth is and show you all just what I mean. I was curious to see how different my original team looked compared to the team I’m rostering now and came to find that I only have five players left (kickers not included) from the team I had originally drafted, all in under one full year. The five players I have remaining are Justin Jackson (1 year, $570,000), Michael Pittman (3 years, $2,153,212). Anthony Miller (1 year, $1,338,425), Quintez Cephus (3 years, $899,822), and Dallas Goedert (1 year, $1,406,068). As you will see, I did not draft young and had to trade good veterans away to get young pieces back.

In this article I will list and breakdown every trade I have made up to this point. The article will have two parts with each article having six trades geared towards rebuilding your team. I will cover things like how and why I made the trade, salary implications for my team (if any), benefits of the trade, and how the trades look close to a year later. I have been wanting to do this article for a while now and decided the time has finally come. I hope you guys enjoy these trades and I hope it helps everyone understand how owners value players a little bit better.

(All trades are listed in the order they were made)

(All player contracts listed are their current contract)

Trade 1 – (10/29/2020)

Sent – Christian McCaffrey (5 years, $16,015,875), Julio Jones (3 years, $22,000,000)

Received- 2021 1st, 2022 1st, Jalen Reagor (3 years, $3,317,669), A.J. Green (1 year, $6,000,000)

The very first trade I made in Dynasty Owner involved the fantasy G.O.A.T. himself, CMC. As I have said repeatedly if you are wanting to rebuild quickly you must be willing to unload your productive veterans. I did not want to move CMC but knowing that he had already signed a massive extension I knew the time had come. Heading into this I wanted to stay as flexible with the cap as possible and as you will see later that decision turned out to be a good one. My main concern at this point was Julio Jones and his massive salary that was going to be tough to trade, so I made it a point to package him with CMC regardless of whether it was going to add more value to the trade or not. The owner I was trading with did not have the space to fit both contracts on their roster and I knew I had to do more to make this deal work. I am sure some look at the trade and are baffled I took on A.J. Green but when you look a little deeper, you will see it makes perfect sense. I had no intentions on winning and would have ample cap space when moving Julio so I took on the worst one-year contract I could find on the other owner’s roster which happened to be Green. The reason I made sure it was a one-year deal is so I could move on from him freely at the end of the year opening close to $20 million in space instantly. Overall, I was upset losing CMC but thrilled to have a ton of cap room coming my way, as well as two 1sts and Jalen Reagor to start building with. The trade helped both owners with him getting win now players for his championship run and myself getting a young player with great draft capital and two 1st round draft picks. Looking back on the deal I would say it is an even trade with him getting CMC and Julio back at full strength while I build to the future.

Trade 2 – (10/29/2020)

Sent – 2021 3rd, Joe Mixon (4 years, $12,000,000)

Received – J.K. Dobbins (3 years, $1,432,359)

The second trade I made was basically a plus one to trade number 1, it was made on the same day with the same owner. Before making either trade I had initiated talks in the league chat and this owner expressed major interest in making his team better for the playoff run. I was also able to find out through chat that he was a huge Bengals fan and wanted more of their players on his roster. Once I had this information, I knew he was the only home for Joe Mixon in this league. I remember after making this trade I was elated to land Dobbins for Mixon as a rebuilding owner.

When sharing the trade with Tim and Steve on the Dynasty Owner podcast the overwhelming reaction in the chat was negative because Dobbins had not found the field all that much at this point. I mention this because when rebuilding you must trade for the future and not right now which is exactly what I did. I knew Mixon was set to get a new deal the following season while Dobbins would remain cheap for the foreseeable future. Fast forward roughly 10 months and I would take Dobbins over Mixon 10 times out of 10 as a rebuilding owner and it only cost me a 3rd round pick. If you are one who reads my articles often you will see that I am doing what I preach the most, which is no running backs on second contracts when you are in a rebuild, especially the beginning of one.

Trade 3 – (10/31/2020)

Sent – Kareem Hunt (2 years, $6,000,000), Leonard Fournette (1 year, $3,250,000), DeVante Parker (3 years, $7,625,000),

Received – 2021 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Antonio Gibson (3 years, $1,233,159). O.J. Howard (1 year, $6,013,000), Andy Isabella (2 years, $1,157,469), Greg Olsen (Retired)

The last in season trade I made was probably my favorite trade because it required quite a few counters and a lot of thinking in terms of keeping the other owner under the salary cap while keeping a deal that made sense. The other owner in this trade contacted me after noticing I was blowing my team up and he needed reinforcements to help with his championship and Chase for the Ring run. If I remember correctly, he was in the Top 20 of the Chase for the Ring at the time of this trade. In the first conversation we had I flat out told him that he could have every player on my roster aside from Dobbins who was my first building block. The initial offer I wanted to send would have put him over the cap by almost $12 million, which meant I needed to get creative. Initially I did not want to take on much salary but when realizing I had no other choice; I quickly went back to the strategy of finding players on a 1-year deal that I could walk away from penalty free after the 2020 season. Unfortunately, the players he had on 1-year deals he was not willing to part with at the price I wanted (aside from Olsen), so I had to settle on O.J. Howard who was on a 2-year deal. I did not mind adding a player like Howard because he is still a young talented tight end and has not looked horrible during his time in the league. Looking back at this trade now most, if not all would say I got the better end of the deal, but the trade also helped the other owner win the League Championship, which can never be considered a loss. Overall, I am extremely happy with this trade as I was able to shed a bunch of salary while picking up three draft picks and an absolute stud in Antonio Gibson.

Trade 4 – (3/22/2021)

Sent – Jameis Winston (1 year, $5,500,000), Latavius Murray (2 years, $3,600,000)

Received – Dionte Johnson (2 years, $1,070,241)

Going into my first Dynasty Owner offseason as a rebuilding owner I had one major goal in mind which was to capitalize on news when it breaks. In 2020, when Drew Brees went down the Saints turned to Taysom Hill over the former number 1 overall draft pick, Jameis Winston. The move shocked more than a few people and left most wondering if Winston would move on from the Saints after just one year. Oddly, enough news broke, and Winston re-signed with the Saints and seems to be on track to start for the team in 2021, even after Hill signed a potentially massive contract. The only world this news makes sense in is in the NFL world but after all that is a part of this awesome game we play. When the Winston news started swirling, I knew I would be wanting to move him while the iron was hot, and it worked out when I had an owner contact me to acquire his services shortly after. The owner who contacted me needed a quarterback and a running back while I was a rebuilding owner without a stud receiver on my roster, which is where I always start at when rebuilding. The result of these conversations is the deal you see above. I feel lucky I was able to make this deal because I had four starting quarterbacks on my roster in Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Ryan Tannehill, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, two of whom are in better situations now because of free agency. This meant Winston was truly an afterthought on my roster who may not even be starting in 2021 knowing the Saints. When looking back at this trade to see who won I would have to say it is still undetermined, if Winston gets the starting nod and cuts back on his turnovers the other owner will have a solid starting QB in a great offensive system, while I have an exceptionally talented receiver whose QB is getting closer to retirement every day that passes.

Trade 5 – (3/24/2021)

Sent – Corey Davis (3 years, $12,500,000), 2021 1.05 and 3.12, 2022 2nd

Received- 2021 2.06, A.J. Brown (2 years, $1,413,092)

In this trade I did something I told everyone to do when free agency started, send out trade offers for the players you are going to drop. I had zero intentions of keeping Corey Davis at his new salary, so I sent out multiple offers. At this point in my rebuild I was sitting on four 1st round draft picks and knew I was in position to really make some noise if I could continue to find willing trade partners. If I can remember correctly, I sent the owner Davis for his 2nd round pick and after a few back-and-forth counters, we finally agreed on a trade. The owner wanted to move into the 1st round, and I had zero issues letting him for a player like A.J. Brown and I threw in a 2nd round pick without hesitation. When I sit back and think about it, this trade did not have to happen and would not have happened if I did not take a few minutes to send out offers for a player I no longer wanted in Davis. When looking back at what this trade turned into for both owners, I would say right now it looks better for my team but if Davis plays like he did last year, and he can turn the 1.05 into a solid player, the deal may have a different outcome. As you will see later in the article the other owner ended up flipping the 1.05 for a 2022 asset and makes the trade completely undetermined as far as who wins or loses. The only negative for my team about the last two trades mentioned is that Brown and Johnson are due to get new contracts at the same time and may present a problem in the future.

Trade 6 – (3/28/2021)

Sent – 2021 1.12, 2022 1st, 2022 1st

Received – 2021 1.05, 1.06 and 3.06

I found this to be one of the most unexpected trade offers I have received since joining Dynasty Owner. Just four days after trading the 1.05 away for A.J. Brown I was offered a trade to get the 1.05 back as well as the 1.06, but I had to move off three 1st round picks to get a deal done with one being this year at the 1.12 spot. At first, I did not want to take the deal because well, who wants to trade three 1sts for two. When looking at the deal closer I knew it made a ton of sense and had to be done. If you ever hear people talk about knowing your league this is one of the many reasons why. I could have just glanced at the trade which I would have rejected and moved on, but after looking deeper I realized that two of the three 1st round picks were not mine and both original owners had very solid teams that are unlikely to produce a top 5 draft pick. After realizing that I started to think about the only thing holding up the deal which was my 2022 1st round pick. As a rebuilding owner the last thing you want to do is trade your future away, so I made a conscious decision that if I was going to make this trade I needed to try and make a run in 2022. Shortly after, I decided to take the trade and start loading up for a 2022 push and a massive 2023 run at a championship and potentially the Chase for the Ring. It is still too early to tell who won this trade and will come down to whether you prefer two top six rookies or three rookies in the 8-12 range of the 1st round, as well as who hits on their draft picks.


If you cannot tell that I love trading yet just wait until next week when I reveal six more trades I have made with this roster. I wanted to do this article to show anyone who is frustrated with a bad team that it is possible to turn it around in just one season. While I do feel I still have one or two more trades to make before I am ready to call this roster complete, I am incredibly happy where I am at now. I have mentioned this before, but I will again, if you are having issues trading in your league you can either wait until closer to the season when owners tend to trade more often, or you can hit the chat room hard and drum up some old-fashioned trade talks. Be sure to check out Steve and Matt’s articles/videos every week to continue increasing your Dynasty Owner skills and as always good luck on your Chase for the Ring!

Original Team (all player contracts listed are current)


  • Daniel Jones (2 years, $6,416,014)
  • Sam Darnold (1 year, $7,561,929)
  • Jameis Winston (1 year, $5,500,000)

Running back

  • Christian McCaffrey (4 years $16,015,875)
  • Joe Mixon (4 years, $12,000,000)
  • Kareem Hunt (2 years, $6,000,000)
  • Leonard Fournette (1 year, $3,250,000)
  • A.J. Dillon (3 years, $1,321,458)
  • Latavius Murray (2 years, $3,600,000)
  • Justin Jackson (1 year, $570,000)
  • Ryquell Armstead (2 years, $716,439)
  • Malcom Perry (3 years, $842,622)

Wide Receiver

  • Julio Jones (3 years, $22,000,000)
  • DeVante Parker (3 years, $7,625,000),
  • Michael Pittman (3 years, $2,153,212)
  • Anthony Miller (1 year, $1,338,425)
  • Sammy Watkins (1 year, $5,000,000)
  • Russell Gage (1 year, $654,049)
  • Quintez Cephus (3 years, $899,822)

Tight End

  • Dallas Goedert (1 year, $1,406,068)
  • Will Dissly (1 year, $777,568)
  • Jared Cook (1 year, $4,500,000)


  • Greg Joseph (1 year, $780,000)
  • Brett Maher (free agent)
  • Matt Prater (2 years, $3,250,000)

Check out next week’s article to see just how far this roster has come!

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