Right now is the perfect time to be sending out those dynasty trade offers. This stretch of time is prime for pouncing. NFL rosters are loaded with players that could see massive value spikes in 2021 or are undervalued dynasty circles. Whether you are rebuilding a currently vomit-inducing roster to compete in 2022 or loading up for a smack-talking championship run, it’s time to craft those proposals. Here are my top five players to get on your rosters. Let’s get to trading.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
(ADP: WR18, 73.0 Overall)
Keenan Allen was on a blistering pace last season with Justin Herbert under center. In those 13 games, Allen averaged 18.5 fantasy points per game (PPR), 10.6 targets per game, 7.3 receptions and 73.4 receiving yards per game. Allen would have finished as the WR5 in fantasy points per game behind only Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs and Calvin Ridley. At age 29, Allen is an underrated dynasty asset. In his current contract with the Chargers, the dead cap doesn’t flip until 2023, when they can cut him and save 16.3 million. The team would be eating money if they let him go before that season. If you’re attacking dynasty with a two-year window in mind, Allen is a perfect dynasty trade target.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
(ADP: WR31, 93.2 Overall)
Right now is the perfect time to hoodwink your league mates and roster Jerry Jeudy. In many circles, the pre-draft hype on Jeudy has died down to a dull roar. The reality is that Jeudy could be Denver’s unquestioned number one receiver as soon as 2022. Courtland Sutton is an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season. Jeudy was used as Denver’s deep threat last year, ranking seventh in the NFL in deep targets (25). Unfortunately for him, Drew Lock isn’t an accurate passer to any area of the field, especially deep. Jeudy ranked 105th in catchable target rate (62.8%). If Teddy Bridgewater is under center this year, that will change, as he was 13th in deep ball completion percentage and seventh in catchable pass rate with Carolina. The arrow points up for Jeudy, so send out those offers now before your league gets wise.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
(ADP: RB17, 51.7 Overall)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire didn’t live up to the hope and hype, but he was far from a total bust in his rookie season. Edwards-Helaire was the RB23 in fantasy points per game (13.5, PPR). His ability to create plays behind Kansas City’s wretched offensive line was impressive. The Chiefs’ line ranked 30th in open field yards per Football Outsiders. Edwards-Helaire still ranked 12th in breakaway runs and 17th in evaded tackles. His pass game prowess doesn’t pop on paper after a season with 36 receptions and 297 receiving yards, but if he’s running routes with the same frequency as last year, this could be his yearly floor. Last season, he averaged 22 routes per game in his 13 games. If he had logged a full season, he would have ranked fourth in routes run at the running back position behind only J.D. McKissic, David Montgomery and Ezekiel Elliott. All the stars are aligning for Edwards-Helaire to break out in year two and pay off on last year’s headlines.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
(ADP: QB22, 57.5 Overall)
Matt Ryan is coming off a season in which he limped to the finish line as the QB15 in fantasy points per game (18.3). A full season of Julio Jones and the arrival of Arthur Smith could cure all that ails Ryan. With Jones in the lineup last year, Ryan averaged 22.7 fantasy points per game (QB10), 309.6 passing yards per game, and his yards per attempt sat at 7.9. Without the Atlanta receiving stalwart in the lineup, Ryan’s numbers fell off a table, as he averaged 18.5 fantasy points per game, 256.2 passing yards per game, and his yards per attempt dropped to an anemic 6.5.
Arthur Smith will breathe new life into this passing attack by injecting more play-action passing. Under Smith, Ryan Tannehill led all quarterbacks with 100 or more dropbacks in play-action passing rate (36.4%). Ryan finished at 22nd utilizing play-action on 25.8% of his dropbacks. Ryan did, however, roll up the 10th highest completion percentage difference (6.3%) and fourth-most play-action passing yards (1,490). With Smith at the controls and a receiving trio of Jones, Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts leading the way, Ryan could enjoy a late-career renaissance.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
(ADP: WR27, 90.5 Overall)
Cooper Kupp is free from the timidness of Jared Goff and should bask in the gunslinging light of Matthew Stafford this season. In 2019, Kupp enjoyed a WR7 season in fantasy points per game, but that dried up last year as he fell to WR30. The culprit was Goff, who finished with the lowest yards per attempt (7.2) of his career under Sean McVay.
Kupp’s underlying metrics are still strong. In 2020 among all wide receivers with 50 or more targets, he ranked 28th in yards per route run (1.89), immediately behind Keenan Allen and ahead of Terry McLaurin. Kupp still led the Rams in red-zone targets (12) last year, so the ability to find his way back to double-digit touchdowns is intact. The Rams can’t cut Kupp until 2023 without eating money in the process. He’ll compete for the team lead in targets and operate as the primary red-zone option for the next two seasons. Buy the dip and enjoy a resurgent season.
Kupp’s underlying metrics are still strong. In 2020, among all wide receivers with 50 or more targets, he ranked 28th in yards per route run (1.89), immediately behind Keenan Allen and ahead of Terry McLaurin. Kupp still led the Rams in red-zone targets (12) last year, so the ability to find his way back to double-digit touchdowns is intact. The Rams can’t cut Kupp until 2023 without eating money in the process. He’ll compete for the team lead in targets and operate as the primary red-zone option for the next two seasons. Buy the dip and enjoy a resurgent season.
Derek has written for Fantasy Data, 4for4, Player Profiler, and as a co-author of the best selling Fantasy Football Black Book Series. His DFS, redraft, and dynasty takes have been projected to the masses with recurring guest roles on Sirius XM and DK Sweat. Born in Louisiana, he is a diehard Saints fan (Whodat). Derek now resides in Fort Worth, Texas, with his beautiful, football-loving wife and three kids.