Welcome to the official ‘lull’ in the dynasty calendar where most rookie drafts are winding down and there’s nothing exciting on the immediate horizon. The season is still a good 3+ months away and there’s not too much news to get stuck into. This period of time I like to refer to as the deadzone where managers typically take a break from their team for a few days or weeks before training camp arrives. Here I explain why you should remain active and offer some tips that can help you get ahead of the competition this offseason!
Waiver Wire Watch
A lot of the big breaking news in the NFL has been and gone with free agency and the draft but if your league runs daily/weekly waivers, take advantage now! I’m not saying go crazy and unload a bunch of guys at the bottom of your roster, but do pay attention to any snippets of news and act quickly. A recent example is the signing of Darrell Williams to the Cardinals. A 27 year old RB that was likely sitting on waivers and immediately has a clear path to be RB2 on a high powered offense. Some of these lesser signings are worth throwing a couple of faab at and Williams proved he could handle a decent workload when he thrown into the RB1 role with the Chiefs last year. He’s now only 1 injury away from plenty of production on the Cardinals if anything happened to James Conner.
Don’t Trade out of Boredom
This time of the season is the quietest in the calendar so many managers feel they have to do something and throw around trades that don’t really benefit their team. Take time to review your roster following the rookie drafts and evaluate where you’re at as a team. Don’t just review you’re team either, have a look at the other teams in your league and decide if you’re in better or worse shape for a championship run this season. I like to use the offseason to build up a picture of where the other teams in my league are at. For example – If you’re aiming for a championship run, find someone who clearly looks like rebuilding and identify some players who they might be willing to trade for future picks and speak to him!
You’ve Drafted Best Player, Now Trade for Need
Hopefully you drafted the best possible player available in your rookie draft, remember don’t draft for need unless the two match up. You can now use your valuable asset as trade bait to go after your position of need and often you can get more in return than if you would have stayed and reached for the rookie in that desired position group.
Rebuilding? Identify your assets
If you are not all in this year you might want to think about identifying who you can get the most value back from trading away. You don’t want to be rostering too many veterans on a rebuild who themselves are a decreasing asset, move them on smartly! By smartly I mean don’t always just slap them on the ‘Trade Block’ I find that this is often as seen as a way of welcoming lowball offers. Instead identify contenders in your league and message them saying that you could potentially move on from your veteran and it will benefit both teams.
Identify Assets You Can Flip
I love putting together lists of players whose values are low right now but are only one thing away from spiking in value. For example I have guys such as Jimmy G, Baker Mayfield & Rob Gronkowski on my list at the minute, all with question marks hanging over their heads but are one move/breaking news away from shooting up in value. I like trading for these guys right now. These two QBs I think are certainly better than a handful of ‘current’ NFL QBs such as Davis Mills, Marcus Mariota, Sam Darnold & Drew Lock/Geno Smith so I can see them both being traded for before the season begins. If I trade for them now I’m likely paying a fraction than if I was to trade for one of them if they get moved to the Seahawks or Panthers for example. The same scenario with Gronk, it’s up in the air whether he is retiring or not but I’m not buying it and he’s hanging round with Tom Brady, I think it’s only a matter of weeks before he returns to the Bucs and with it brings a big spike in value for this season as one of the top TEs in the league.
Playing Superflex? Sort your QB!
Finishing with the most important position group in superflex formats, the QBs. Have you got 3 minimum QBs on your roster? If an injury hits, have you still got 2 startable QBs? If the answer is no you need to go and make a trade for someone that is (If you have any plans to compete this year).
I recently tweeted out an exercise looking into the surprisingly volatile state of the QB market and found that there are only 11 QBs that I know will be guaranteed starting QBs in 3 years time – Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson*, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford & Aaron Rodgers. You can argue the deep class of 2021 (Lawrence, Lance, Fields, Wilson, Jones) all have very good chances of still being starters in 3 years’ time but without any of them impressing very much in year 1, organisations can make drastic changes pretty quickly.
If you play in a standard 12 team league that means 11 guaranteed, safe QBs don’t spread very far between the teams. QBs remain the cornerstone of any successful team and knowing you have at least 1 if not 2 of these players means you are set up for success now and long into the future.
If you don’t have any of these guys then you better be finding ways of moving up to get one. Sure it’s fine going into the season with Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa right now but this time next year they could potentially both be replaced as starting QBs for their respective teams (I like to always think the worst case scenario so I’m prepared). Be smart and don’t leave it too late to look into moving off these sort of QBs when their value is high.
Image Credit: Michael Chow – USA TODAY Sports