Many dynasty GMs are excited about these players heading into 2021, but perhaps they should be wary of these big-name assets instead. Here’s why these players should be considered dynasty sells at their current ADPs and market valuations. In this article, I reference players’ April ADP data courtesy of Dynasty League Football compared to where they stand in my 1QB dynasty rankings and my superflex dynasty rankings.
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Big-Name Dynasty Sells
Alvin Kamara – 5th overall in 1QB startup ADP – RB5
My concerns with Alvin Kamara following Drew Brees‘s retirement center around a likely decline in both receiving volume and touchdowns. In 2019, Kamara saw 97 targets, which ranked fifth among running backs, and he logged 107 targets in 2020, which was the second-most among running backs behind only J.D. McKissic. The high target volume makes sense for McKissic and Kamara, as Alex Smith averaged just 5.0 intended air yards per pass attempt (IAY/PA), which was the lowest in the league, and Brees wasn’t far behind as the third-lowest with just 6.3 IAY/PA.
Unfortunately for Kamara, his targets and receptions figure to decrease whether it’s Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill under center in 2021. When we last saw Winston in 2019, he had the second-highest intended air yards as a passer with 10.5 IAY/PA, and Dare Ogunbowale and Ronald Jones combined for just 86 total targets. And in the four games last year where Hill started, Kamara averaged just 4.0 targets per game, less than half of the 8.3 targets per game he saw when Brees was the starter in 2020.
Last year, Kamara also led all running backs in red-zone targets with 19 targets inside the 20-yard line, and he ranked sixth among running backs in 2019 with 11 red-zone targets. But in the four games with Hill last season, Kamara saw just one total red-zone target over that span. A staggering 57 percent of Kamara’s fantasy points came from his receiving production in 2019, and an astounding 50 percent of Kamara’s fantasy point total came from his receiving production in 2020.
While Kamara should continue to be a prominent piece in the Saints’ offense in 2021 and can produce as a back-end fantasy RB1, it would not be prudent to expect continued top-three fantasy production considering the expected decline in receiving volume and scores. Kamara is among the recommended dynasty sells if any league mates still value him as an elite dynasty asset, and it may be possible to get a second-round rookie pick or more on top of one of the many spectacular sophomore running backs from the 2020 class. I have Kamara ranked as my dynasty RB7, still fairly high, but just 18th overall.
J.K. Dobbins – 14th overall in 1QB startup ADP – RB9
Many are excited to see J.K. Dobbins excel as a sophomore, and while he may be a very talented running back, it might be time to pump the breaks and consider Dobbins among the best dynasty sells at his current value. It’s true that the Ravens have been the most run-heavy offense in the league for two years in a row. Baltimore has also ranked first in red-zone rushing rate last season and second in 2019, so there are certainly plenty of opportunities for rushing yards and touchdowns in that offense.
However, it’s far too early to crown Dobbins as a fantasy star simply because of the offense. The Ravens all but phased out Mark Ingram‘s involvement after their Week 7 bye last season. From Week 8 onward, Dobbins and Gus Edwards were both active in nine games. Over that span, Dobbins played on 53 percent of offensive snaps and averaged 12.1 rushing attempts per game while Edwards played on 32 percent of offensive snaps and averaged 9.7 rushing attempts per game. In the red zone, Dobbins saw 22 carries, and Edwards saw 23 carries. Those splits are hardly encouraging. Even assuming that Dobbins’s role will grow in 2021, Baltimore is expected to continue using a committee approach at running back.
Two other factors also limit Dobbins’s upside. The first is the fact that Lamar Jackson has led all quarterbacks for two straight years in rushing attempts, both in general as well as in the red zone, which leaves fewer opportunities for both Dobbins and Edwards. The second is touchdown scoring rate. Among running backs who logged 125 or more carries in 2020, Dobbins ranked second-lowest in carries but second-highest in touchdown rate, having scored on 6.7 percent of his rushing attempts. Only three other running backs managed higher than a 6.0 percent scoring rate on the ground last year (one of them being Kamara, which is another concern for him), and just one running back achieved that mark in 2019.
Dobbins will have week-winning upside, but his production may be inconsistent from week to week, and his season-long upside may not be quite as high as many are projecting given the competition for touches and impending regression in scoring rate. A further concern is the fact that the Ravens’ running backs have seen the fewest targets in the league over the last two seasons, which severely caps Dobbins’s fantasy ceiling in PPR formats. Despite the popular perception of Dobbins being a locked-in fantasy RB1 with elite upside, he’s actually projected as more of a high-end RB2 and will need to be incredibly efficient to outperform that projection. I have Dobbins ranked 36th overall as my dynasty RB16.
Aaron Rodgers – 16th overall in superflex startup ADP – QB11
After being left for dead by a lot of dynasty GMs after a disappointing 2019 campaign in Matt LaFleur’s first season as the Packers’ head coach, Aaron Rodgers bounced back in a big way in 2020. So why does he close out this list of dynasty sells? Rodgers finished as the no. 10 fantasy quarterback largely due to a logging a career-high 48 passing touchdowns, but the odds of him coming anywhere near that MVP-level touchdown total again in 2021 are slim to none.
Green Bay’s offense was surprisingly balanced, as they ranked just 22nd in the league in situational pass rate. Even in the red zone, the Packers ranked just 18th in pass rate. Moreover, in his 13 seasons as a starter, Rodgers has averaged 34.7 pass attempts per game, and his 2020 mark of 32.9 pass attempts per game was the fourth-lowest rate over that span. Clearly, passing volume did not meaningfully factor into Rodgers’s high touchdown total last year.
Instead, his touchdown total was the result of an insanely-high scoring rate of 9.1 touchdowns per pass attempt, a career high. Rodgers’s career average touchdown rate is just 6.3 percent, and he’s only logged a touchdown rate of over 7.0 percent in four of his 13 seasons. For additional context, the average NFL passing touchdown rate over the last two seasons was 5.0 percent in 2020 and 4.9 percent in 2019. Lamar Jackson, who led the league in his 2019 MVP season with a 9.0 percent passing touchdown rate, regressed to a 6.9 percent scoring rate last year. That was still good enough to be the fourth-highest among quarterbacks, but clearly Rodgers’s 2020 scoring efficiency is unsustainable.
Rodgers can still be a serviceable back-end fantasy QB1, but it’s unlikely that he’ll have another elite top-five fantasy finish in 2021 or ever again. His ADP should be far closer to those of Matt Ryan (58th overall – QB22) and Tom Brady (64th overall – QB25) rather than where it currently sits just behind Joe Burrow and Russell Wilson in the second round of superflex startup drafts. It would be wise to sell the soon-to-be 38 year-old quarterback after a career year, especially when Rodgers may have his sights set on a budding career as a TV show host. I have Rodgers ranked 60th overall as my dynasty QB17.
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