By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)
Dynasty Owners! Welcome back to another article in my off-season series of helping each of you rebuild your rosters. As we head into the off-season, the first couple of articles will be about cleaning up your rosters before the free agency period hits. Yesterday, Steve Van Tassell let you know what players to amnesty and while only one of the players in today’s article have fallen that low, I do feel it’s time to move on from all of these players if you are not a serious contender.
In today’s article, I will cover seven of the bigger names in all of fantasy football who I feel it’s time for rebuilding owners to move on from before it’s too late. Each year I see rebuilding owners hold on to, or trade for older players who will likely only cost them positioning in their upcoming draft by winning weeks for them. I don’t want any of you to be in that predicament when we kick off 2022. I always say it’s better to move the player a year early vs a year too late.
Before we jump into today’s article, I will continue my little tradition of covering this past week’s NFL games as well as a look into the divisional round matchups. In last week’s AFC Wild Card match-ups, I hit on all three games selecting the Bengals, Bills, and Chiefs all to come away victorious which ultimately happened. The only real shocker on the AFC side was the fact Josh Allen’s team did not have to punt the ball once the entire game against a Bill Belichick coached defense. If the same Bills team we saw Sunday shows up against Kansas City, we could see the Bills in the Super Bowl in February. On the NFC side of the ball, I had the Rams, Cowboys, and Buccaneers winning with the Cowboys being the only blemish for the week. In all fairness to myself, I chose the 49ers when I had money on the game in a football pool that I play with some of my buddies. I don’t think I could put money on the Cowboys in the playoffs as it seems whatever can go wrong will go wrong in Big D.
In this week’s matchups we will start on the NFC side with the Packers taking on the 49ers and the Rams heading to Tampa Bay. In the first matchup, I feel the Packers have a decided advantage simply because of Aaron Rodgers. The 49ers will be able to run the ball, but Rodgers will be too much to handle in the end. In the second game. I feel we will see somewhat of an upset with the Rams getting past the defending champion Buccaneers and Tom Brady, leaving an NFC Championship matchup of the Green Bay Packers vs the Los Angeles Rams. The one way to truly affect Tom Brady is by getting pressure with the front four and no team does that better than the Rams. On the AFC side, we have the Number 1 seed Tennessee Titans taking on the Cincinnati Bengals, followed by the matchup of the season with the Bills traveling to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs. In the Bengals vs Titans game, I feel it will come down to one thing and one thing only which is how well Derrick Henry plays after missing the back half of the season. At the end of the day, I think the Titans are just a bit too much for the Bengals to overcome and will pull out a win by the slimmest of margins. In what has the potential to be one of the best games we have seen in recent memory, we have the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs vs the Buffalo Bills. In this matchup both teams have fantastic rosters with top tier quarterbacks who should produce a ton of fireworks. Even after thinking on this for a couple of days, I am still torn but am going with the Bills on the road after dominating a very good Patriots defense last week.
Now for the moment you have all been waiting for, the seven players rebuilding owners need to move on from this offseason. Players listed are in no order.
- Jalen Hurts – (QB – PHI) – 3 years/$1,506,292
Jalen Hurts is the first player on a list I am sure not many want to be on. I know you have all heard me say that quarterbacks on cheap contracts are Dynasty Owner gold, but I feel Hurts is an outlier when it comes to that statement. Hurts struggled in 2021 with his accuracy and if we are being honest, it doesn’t seem like he is going to be a long-term answer at the quarterback position barring a fantastic 2022 season. While there is a shot Hurts is no longer the starter in Philly next season, it is not likely leaving you a window of this off-season to move on from him. If you are rebuilding and keep Jalen Hurts, he will likely win you games which is only something you want from a true building block when rebuilding your roster not someone who may lose their job in a year.
2. Travis Kelce – (TE – KC) – 5 years/$14,312,500
In the Number 2 spot we have the living legend and possibly the best tight end to ever play himself, Travis Kelce. Kelce is now 32 years old and while he had a fantastic 2021 season, he showed small signs of decline. The main key to expedite a rebuild is to trade away stars for good value at the right time in their career. What I mean by this is you wouldn’t want to move on from a player like Kelce if he is just 25 or 26 years old because he becomes a building block for your team at that point. With him being over 30, it’s unlikely he will be producing at a high level when your team is ready to win in a couple of years. In 2021, Kelce finished as the TE2 in Dynasty Owner and will likely be the favorite to finish as the TE1 in 2022, meaning there will be no shortage of suitors when moving Kelce. Be sure to hold Kelce to a higher standard in a trade as it’s nearly impossible for a contender to find a sure thing like Kelce at the tight end position.
3. Derrick Henry – (RB – TEN) – 3 years/$12,500,000
King Henry! Yes, this one pains me quite a bit, but I do feel it is time for any rebuilding owner to move on from Derrick Henry. As almost all of us know, running backs do not last long in the NFL and while there are certainly outliers, I am not betting my rebuild on it. At this point in Henry’s career, you aren’t going to get insane value for him, but any contender will certainly be interested in his services. At the current moment, Henry is 28, on a huge deal for a running back, has a ton of mileage on his body, and just missed half of the season due to injury which is a glaring sign it’s time to move on. One thing I will say is that I would wait until after the playoffs to trade Henry because if he does what we are used to his trade value will go up some. Optics mean a lot in fantasy football trades.
4. Davante Adams – (WR – GB) – 1 year/$14,500,000
I honestly think this is the player that will draw the most criticism for being on the list but hear me out. In a rebuild, the main thing you want to target is young or cheap talent and Davante Adams is neither. At the time of writing, Adams is 29 years old, heading for a new contract, and possibly a new team this off-season. As many of us know, switching teams or getting paid is not always a good thing. No, I am not saying Adams is going to fall off next season as he will likely be dominant again but there are a lot of variables for a 29-year-old receiver on a rebuilding roster. I think there are two ways to go about moving Adams. The first is being patient and waiting to see if he lands in a good place (with Aaron Rodgers) on a decent contract. If he does Adams should provide a haul that can jump start your rebuild in a hurry. On the other hand, I understand wanting to take a little less and trade him now to avoid the potential loss of value if he ends up without Rodgers on a massive deal.
5. Alvin Kamara – (RB – NO) – 5 years/$15,000,000
Honestly, it may just be me, but Alvin Kamara seemed off in 2021 especially when it came time for the Dynasty Owner playoffs as he scored in the single digits in Weeks 15 and 16. Kamara is still somewhat young at age 26 but he has had a massive workload throughout his career and I do not see him being anywhere near the same player he is now in a couple of years you’re your rebuilding team is ready to compete. At $15,000,000 per year, it’s hard to justify keeping Kamara on a rebuilding roster and we will get into the strategy of it later in the off-season but for now just remember running backs that are expensive and on a second contract are running backs who rebuilding owners should stay away from. Leave the aging big money running backs for championship runs and out of the loser’s bracket.
6. Mike Williams – (WR – LAC) – 1 year/$15,680,000
Let me take a quick half of a victory lap as I have been a Mike Williams truther for a long time now. Maybe the years and years of heartbreak is why he finds himself on this list! In 2021, Mike Williams finished as a WR1 for the first time in his career finishing 12thoverall on the season at the receiver position, only for the incoming off-season to bring many question marks. Williams heads into the off-season in the same situation as Davante Adams with both getting new contracts and potentially new teams away from their current superstar quarterbacks. I personally feel you should capitalize on Williams’ 2021 season quickly, but I also understand being patient. The one scenario that would scare me away from being patient is a contract north of his current $15,680,000 salary.
7. Ezekiel Elliott – (RB – DAL) – 6 years/$15,000,000
In the lucky number 7 spot we have Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott finished as the 7th ranked running back in Dynasty Owner in 2021, but if were being honest his future looks murky, especially for rebuilding fantasy owners. Elliot was hurt in the second half of the season and his production fell along with it which will hurt his trade value some, but I feel now is the time to move on. As applies for both Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry, as well as Elliott, running backs heading into their second contract belong on contending rosters. If you are a rebuilding owner at any stage, you should be looking to move Zeke even if it requires taking on a bad contract of similar value. Let’s not forget Zeke also has Tony Pollard (2 years/$766,945) to deal with.
Thank you all for reading and be sure to check back for more rebuilding content throughout the off-season. My fellow analysts here at Dynasty Owner will also be releasing content every week with Steve handling many different, mostly contract-related topics, Matt covering players who will be free agents in 2022 right now, and Nate who covers the incoming rookies. I hope you enjoyed this week’s article and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!