While sitting each day waiting out the slow, dreadful period that exists between NFL free agency and the NFL Draft, dynasty managers will tinker with every possible part of their dynasty roster before draft day arrives. Right now, there’s a natural buying window before for managers to chase a player that they believe in, but risk is looming over each potential deal because the upcoming draft presents an opportunity to throw a wrench into any player’s situation.
I don’t really care for the phrases “buy” or “sell” when it comes to fantasy football because, as we know, any player can be bought or sold. Everyone has a price. Regardless, here are some candidates that I am currently* interested in trading for.
That said, as always, trade at your own risk.
* = I reserve the right to change how I feel about these players. Situations could change, but where we sit pre-draft, I’m comfortably in on these players. All positional rankings are from KeepTradeCut.com. All scoring is from a 1/2 PPR perspective.
Michael Carter, Running Back, NYJ – 22-years-old, RB24
Why do people hate Michael Carter? It doesn’t make sense to me. He is a guy who had some real flashes of excellence with the limited opportunities he was given during his rookie campaign, despite being on a treacherous offense.
While Carter only reached a 50% or higher snap share in eight games last season, he was still able to be 15th at the position in target share (11.5%) by hauling in 36 catches on 55 targets, which presents a really solid, high floor to build on.
With an awesome base as a pass catcher, he made the absolute most of his opportunities when the ball was in his hands. According to Pro Football Focus, of those who had at least 100 touches last season, nobody forced more missed tackles per touch than Michael Carter. Bottom line, a back at Carter’s age with his target volume and his ability to evade tackles should be much more sought after right now.
Is he unwanted because of injury concern? He missed some games in 2021 – three from a high ankle sprain, and two from a broken wrist suffered in training camp. Sure, there’s some risk, but even when taking that into consideration, he is going to have an even larger opportunity heading into year two.
I’d assume that most people who are concerned with Carter are predicting the Jets to draft a running back in either round two or three because they have four top 70 picks. Again, sure, there’s some risk, but what if they don’t? They have plenty of glaring needs elsewhere on this roster. Last year, defensive-minded head coach Robert Saleh spent his first four selections on offensive players. Will he do that again? And if he does, will one of those for sure be on a running back? My belief is that they should stack defensive picks early, add some more Zach Wilson insurance up-front, and then a pass catcher in a pretty deep pool of receivers. The keys to this backfield belong to Michael Carter. Buckle up!
Curtis Samuel, Wide Receiver, WSH – 25-years-old, WR68
This season we will see offenses do their best to release their team’s version of Deebo Samuel and Cordarrelle Patterson. While one of these players is a bully to the entire National Football League, the other is an elite athlete in a universe of elite athletes. It’s going to be nearly impossible for someone to replicate these two.
Deebo Samuel is nothing short of a superhero. He leads the league in grown man strength (lb for lb because, ya know, shoutout Aaron Donald). With the football in his hands, he is basically Thor at the end of Thor:Ragnarok, as his knees are driving through the faces of tacklers, and lightning is shooting down into his soul.
And had Patterson made the transition to wide-back three years ago, he would have been, like, 85% of what Deebo Samuel is now. Nonetheless, wildly versatile and effective.
For every one Deebo or Patterson, there will be a dozen or so Nagy-Gabriel/Fischer-Austin-esque attempts at this style of player. That said………. we did see a more finesse version of this player only two seasons ago.
*Severe Dwight Schrute scream,* “MR. CURTIS SAMUEL, WASHINGTON COMMANDERS!!!”
It was only two seasons ago that Curtis Samuel finished as the WR25 – less than a handful of points away from players like DJ Moore, Diontae Johnson, and Terry McLaurin.
In 2020 he saw nearly 100 targets and was given another 41 touches on the ground. The path for Samuel to have top 20 upside was to leave Carolina (check), become a true number two on his team (kinda-check — watch the draft), and play with a good quarterback (*winces*).
A year removed from playing only five games, Samuel has an opportunity to return to being a versatile weapon in Washington’s offense.
While he’s essentially left for dead, there isn’t a receiver as cheap as Samuel that presents this much upside. He can be had, realistically, for a late second or early third and an expiring player. If you want to win the lottery, you have to buy a ticket!
Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver, Bal – 24-years-old, WR28
Somehow, Marquise Brown is still under 25 years of age, yet he’s clinging onto WR3 status in dynasty, despite being very productive the last 1.5 years. Make it make sense. And for the record, basically every piece of the Baltimore offense is someone to target right now, but I favor Brown over Bateman.
The tale of the tape for Hollywood is simple – who’s playing quarterback?
In 2022, Brown finished as the WR23 overall and WR25 in PPG (10 game minimum), which feels disappointing, especially when you consider that Brown started the season on absolute fire.
In games with a healthy Lamar Jackson (W1-10), Marquise Brown was the WR8 overall and the WR9 in points per game. The rest of the way, Brown was the WR61 (!!!) overall.
Brown began to see an increase in his targets at the end of the 2020 season, which led to him dominating week 12-17 (WR11). From that point forward, again, with Lamar, Baltimore peppered him with targets and found more ways to get him the ball down the field, which led to progress in their passing attack. They were trying to double down on this in 2021.
2020 Week 12-End — WR11, WR17 PPG, 6.8 targets/game, 13.0 y/c, 8.24 y/target
2021 Week 1–10 — WR8, WR9 PPG, 9.1 targets/game, 13.83 y/c, 8.77 y/target
Last year, Brown saw 146 targets (9th), 91 receptions (12th), and a 26.7% target share (12th). In fact, he only received 9 less targets than Mark Andrews over the entirety of the season, and likely could have been the team leader had Lamar stayed healthy in 2021. He offers just ridiculous, sickening speed that gives the offense another gear. He should absolutely remain the true number one receiver on the team.
So why fade? On KeepTradeCut.com, he’s in the same realm of pass catchers as Darnell Mooney, Brandon Aiyuk, Courtland Sutton, etc.
Hollywood has shown great consistency throughout the last two seasons as a focal point of a top offense. He is a fringe WR1 and a safe WR2. He can explode for a big game any given week. He’s young. He has shown large sample sizes of being a plug-and-play guy. And he can be had for a late first, or a package with a second round pick as the focal point. Go buy the dip before Action Jackson has these guys at the top of the league again.