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Dynasty Football: Three Players to Sell After a Career Year

The hardest thing to do in dynasty football is to have a long memory. After all, there are only 17 games a year. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the most recent results.

That’s not to say you should be looking at the “Not For Long” league in anything more than three-year windows. Given how quickly aging and trends change, takes from just a few years back often look silly.

But most casual fans have trouble looking back further than a year. Consider the roller coasters that public perceptions of some teams went on in 2023.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, it took all of seven games for the public to dress down the team that was the toast of the league since their Super Bowl run last year. The Denver Broncos went through phases of being a laughing stock, to people claiming that Sean Payton just needed time to turn them around, to fielding questions about intentionally losing.

If you’re able to dig a bit deeper than just the results of last year, you may find incongruent data between who should be valued and who is being valued. While not everyone is into players coming off of career years, if you find the right goldfish, you might just be able to sell some assets at peak value.

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Three Players to Sell in Dynasty Football Leagues

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, DET

This is no knock on St. Brown’s talent. Being a former 4th-round pick doesn’t define you once you’ve put up a 1,500-yard, 10-TD season. It has granted Brown the honor of being the consensus WR4 in dynasty football, with a bit of a gap between him and Puka Nacua or Garrett Wilson.

It’s well-deserved. But there is still a tier break between Brown and the big three in Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and Ja’Marr Chase. Ignoring the obvious generational talent in Jefferson, Amon-Ra’s name certainly belongs with CeeDee and Ja’Marr (and Puka too if he takes another step next year). But I wouldn’t value them quite the same way.

Sure, CeeDee did parlay an eerily similar first three years in the league, both of them posting 900+ yards, 1100+ yards, and then 1,350+ yards, 20 touchdowns for CeeDee, 21 for Brown. But while I won’t hold Brown’s lack of college pedigree heavily against him, I still have to regard Lamb and Chase’s pedigrees as a plus.

And for every Lamb breakout, there’s the flip side of this story. It wasn’t long ago that Chris Godwin, a former third-round pick, was coming off a breakout third year and in the first round of dynasty startup drafts. He has been fairly average since then.

The year before, at the top of the dynasty auction was JuJu Smith-Schuster. A breakout sophomore campaign of 1,426 yards had him pegged as the next big thing. As we all know now, that turned out to simply be a career year. Don’t get caught in this trap with Brown.

Breece Hall, RB, NYJ

Hall has a couple of things going for him in terms of his perception. For one, he was the top back in the draft two years ago and the only player coveted as a do-it-all option in dynasty drafts. People haven’t quite forgotten how much Hall cost in that draft, just like they won’t be forgetting any time soon the price of Bijan Robinson before last year’s draft.

The other is the return of Aaron Rodgers. Hall’s mercurial season was, much like Garrett Wilson’s, defined by the lack of any talent at the quarterback position in New York. That meant few scoring opportunities for the team as a whole.

But for Hall, that wasn’t the problem that you can sell it to be. He still scored nine touchdowns, tying him for 12th with seven other running backs. Not special, but also not reflective of just how bad that offense was.

He also had an insane volume down the stretch due to how inept the passing attack was. In Week 16, he was given 20 carries and 16 targets, a total that would make most wide receivers blush. In Week 18 he had a whopping 37 carries. These are numbers you just don’t see, and won’t see with better quarterback play for the Jets.

There’s obviously still a ton of talent here but prior to this uptick in volume, there were questions forming mid-season about Hall’s ability to work on the ground. Entering his third year as RB2 or 3 depending on how your league sees Jahmyr Gibbs, sell the career year from Hall.

Jordan Love, QB, GB

Speaking of Aaron Rodgers, we now turn to his successor in Green Bay. Much like Lamb and Brown, it’s a bit eerie how much their first three years are similar.

For starters, there’s the obvious storyline of both quarterbacks waiting for their turn to start after being drafted at the end of the first round. Each man held the clipboard behind a future Hall of Famer who pretended like they weren’t there at all.

The symmetry of these experiences has caused a bit of a frenzy around Love. Love’s initial campaign had a 32:11 TD:INT ratio; similar to Rodgers’ 28:13, and 120 more yards passing.

But despite his draft-day slide, Rodgers’ talent was never in question. And he ended up as one of the greatest quarterbacks in history. No precursor predicts that kind of outcome.

If someone is stuck on history repeating itself, take advantage of Love’s career year. It helps to have a longer view than most, but don’t go back over a decade for ideas.

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1 Comment
  1. Dave says

    I could not disagree more with the analysis and the recommendations re: selling Amon Ra St. Brown and Breece Hall.

    ARSB is a focal point of the Detroit offense. There is no expectation that the Lions will either draft another WR (to seriously challenge him) or sign one in FA. There are rumblings that a WR will be added to take the Josh Reynolds role, but that remains to be seen. The options are 1. ARSB; 2. LaPorta; 3. Jameson Williams or RB; 4. WR3. That is where the Lions offense is currently. The difference between someone like ARSB and the exemplar of JuJu is that ARSB has done it multiple years (every year he has been in the league to be exact; 90/912/5 his rookie season) AND has done it being the focal point. Remember, JuJu’s big season came in the shadow of AB.

    As for Breece Hall, anyone who followed the Jets (and how could you not given the coverage afforded Aaron), knows that the Jets offense was a mess; specifically O-Line and QB. Pencil in Aaron at QB and the Jets offense goes from putrid to, in the very least, competent. AVT should be back from injury and one has to imagine other upgrades to the line will occur. Not to mention the possibility of adding a real life No. 2 WR (all due respect to Lazard) and suddenly, Breece Hall can, as the kids say, cook. He is a year removed from his ACL injury and demonstrated a level of progress that Javonte Williams owners can only dream about. Breece Hall should have breathing room in a functional offense; thus while volume may decrease, quality of touches will increase – both in the passing game and running game. Additionally, one would expect goal line opportunities to finally materialize in a functional offense.

    Obviously, one is doing a lot of speculating, but I disagree with the analysis and would certainly not recommend owners sell ARSB and Breece Hall. Furthermore, the article does not suggest what type of return you should look for in such a deal? Are you trading Breece Hall for James Cook and an early 1st? ARSB for Brandon Aiyuk and a 1st? Its one thing to tell someone to sell an asset, but it rings hallow when there is not at least some suggestion of expected return to give context.

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