Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (2024)

Trading players is essential for long-term success in any fantasy football dynasty league. Taking risks on promising young talent can truly transform your roster, but it's often challenging to part ways with established players to land potential future stars.

One common thread below pertains to running backs. Because of the physical demands, they have shorter careers compared to other positions. The high contact rate and repetitive nature of duties can lead to injuries and wear and tear on the body. Since 2010, 94 running backs have scored at least 250 fantasy points in a season. Nearly 70% of those seasons took place between the ages of 23 and 26. While these guidelines are not necessarily the be-all and end-all, identifying backs who can still help a potential trade partner during the next season or two is a great way to get younger and maximize your return in a deal.

Determining which players to acquire or trade can be like walking a tightrope, so let's highlight a handful of players on each side.

Players to trade for

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (2)Tyjae Spears, RB, Tennessee Titans: Spears is the player you should target in the Titans' backfield, even though Tony Pollard signed a three-year, $24 million contract in free agency. Spears finished with the ninth-most targets among running backs and racked up more than 800 yards from scrimmage as a rookie. That's quite impressive considering Spears mainly played on passing downs in a committee with Derrick Henry. The Titans have a new head coach and playcaller in Brian Callahan and an offensive line that could have a breakout season under legendary O-line coach (and Brian's father) Bill Callahan. Fantasy managers shouldn't worry about Spears being in a timeshare with Pollard, who got a career-high 252 rushing attempts in Dallas last season, but averaged a career-low 4.0 yards.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (3)Jaylen Warren, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Can you blame the Steelers for not picking up Najee Harris' fifth-year option? Considering how Warren performed last season, now is the perfect time to trade for him. He showcased playmaking ability in his second NFL season, finishing with career highs in both rushing and receiving yards, and finished as the fantasy RB22. Now, with a new offensive coordinator in Arthur Smith, who has a history of maximizing the talent of his running backs, and an improved offensive line in Pittsburgh, Warren's potential is even greater. Given these circ*mstances and his high ceiling, Warren is an excellent player to target.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (4)Kendre Miller, RB, New Orleans Saints: Miller's rookie season was marred by injuries, but don't overlook him. In Week 18 against the Falcons, he showed promise with 14 touches and 15 fantasy points. Now's a great time to trade for him, but be patient because Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams are still around. However, Kamara is on the downside, entering his age-29 season and has just one rush of at least 30 yards over the past three seasons, and it wouldn't be surprising if Miller outperformed Williams in training camp to seize the backup job.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (5)Justin Fields, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Let's be real: Fields wasn't set up for success with the Bears, dealing with a weak offensive line and limited playmakers, yet he still averaged 17.7 fantasy points per game thanks to his dual-threat ability. Now he's in Pittsburgh and will compete with 35-year-old Russell Wilson, who's on a one-year deal. If Wilson struggles, Fields could start sooner than later, or Fields could just win the job during camp. In the worst-case scenario, Fields finishes his rookie deal and hits free agency next offseason. There have been only three quarterbacks to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. The 25-year-old Fields is one of them, which makes him a valuable dynasty trade target.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (6)Diontae Johnson, WR, Carolina Panthers: Johnson has averaged 8.3 targets per game in his career, but it hasn't always translated to fantasy points, as he's averaged just 11.1 over the past two seasons. However, in Carolina, he has minimal competition for targets and will be working with second-year quarterback Bryce Young. Many expect the Panthers' offense to improve under Dave Canales, who revived Geno Smith's and Baker Mayfield's careers. Most dynasty managers look through the rearview mirror instead of straight ahead. Use this to your advantage by trading for Johnson, who is entering his age-28 season.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (7)Will Levis, QB, Tennessee Titans: Levis made his Titans debut in Week 8 last season, impressing with 238 passing yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. While he threw just four more touchdowns in his next eight starts, he did have a notable comeback win against the Dolphins late in the season. He averaged just 11.3 fantasy points per game, so clearly improvement is needed. The additions of Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd to the wide receiver room, joining DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks, will help Levis, and the offensive line is improved. Now's the perfect time to acquire Levis before he takes the sophom*ore leap under new coach Brian Callahan.

Players to trade away

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (8)Gus Edwards, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Edwards has averaged 10.7 fantasy points in his 35 career games with 10 or more rushing attempts. Now reunited with offensive coordinator Greg Roman, his workload looks promising. Roman's offenses ran the ball more than 50% in Baltimore. However, Edwards doesn't contribute much in the passing game, is competing with J.K. Dobbins and rookie Kimani Vidal for touches and is 29 years old. If there is a team in your league looking to win now and in need of backfield help, this is your last chance to get something in return for Edwards.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (9)Saquon Barkley, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Barkley's outlook is optimistic, as he signed a three-year contract with the Eagles, whose offense ranked seventh in rushing attempts and first in run block win rate last season. Barkley is averaging 20.1 touches and 17.5 fantasy points in his career, and he is lethal as a runner and receiver. Other than a torn ACL suffered in Week 2 of the 2020 season, he's been relatively healthy, playing at least 13 games every other season. At 27 years old, his dynasty value is unlikely to get any higher than it is, making now the perfect time to capitalize.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (10)Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos: Williams had a suboptimal season from a statistical standpoint, averaging a career-low 3.6 yards per carry and finishing as the RB29 despite missing just one game. However, it was a positive to see him average a career-best 16.5 touches. At only 24 years old, Williams went into the offseason healthy. However, the Broncos will have a rookie quarterback in Bo Nix, and Williams will also face competition in a crowded, unsettled backfield that includes holdovers Samaje Perine and Jaleel McLaughlin, as well as rookies Audric Estime and Blake Watson. Some dynasty managers view Williams as a bounce-back candidate, and those are the ones you should target for a trade.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (11)Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers: Herbert's situation isn't great. He has a new coach in Jim Harbaugh and aforementioned offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who both lean heavily on the running game. It's easy to see that coming to fruition, especially since WRs Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are no longer on the team. Herbert has averaged 274.1 passing yards and 19.1 fantasy points per game in his career, but given these organizational changes, it's difficult to view him as anything more than a high-end QB2. However, many dynasty managers still see the 26-year-old Herbert as a QB1 based on name recognition. Use that to your advantage.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (12)DJ Moore, WR, Chicago Bears: Moore set career highs in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns last season, averaging 16.8 fantasy points per game. However, this season he'll be competing for targets with Keenan Allen and rookie Rome Odunze, both projected for more than 100 targets. The trio will also be catching passes from rookie quarterback Caleb Williams. Additionally, offseason addition D'Andre Swift will command his share of targets. You know what you must do, even though it will be painful.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (13)Amari Cooper, WR, Cleveland Browns: This will be Cooper's third season with the Browns. The elite route runner has averaged 8.1 targets and 14.8 fantasy points per game since moving to Cleveland, but 2024 will be the final year of the soon-to-be 30-year-old receiver's contract. It remains to be seen whether the Browns and Cooper will negotiate a contract extension or seek a trade down the road. While Cooper is projected to lead the Browns in targets, offseason addition Jerry Jeudy and veteran TE David Njoku aren't far behind. Considering his age and contract situation, now might be the time to move on from Cooper.

Players to trade for, trade away in dynasty leagues (2024)
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