Inevitably, whenever I put out the call for Dynasty questions I get plenty about the incoming draft class and rookie draft picks. While it's completely understandable, it's also not something I'm prepared to dive into in early February. There are two things I want you to take away from that.
One, it's extremely important in Fantasy Football (and life) to acknowledge what you don't know. It doesn't mean you'll never know it, I'll have strong opinions on this class in the next month or two, but it does mean you should embrace your current uncertainty, not try to bluster over it.
Two, I strongly believe the best time for a rookie draft is the week following the NFL Draft. I'd even hear the argument that it's better to wait until July or August, though that requires more patience than I have. But I do believe what the NFL tells us a lot about how they value players on Draft Day is important information your entire league can have before they select which rookies will be on their roster for (hopefully) the next five to 10 years.
Before we get to your questions, I do want to circle back to the "what you don't know" point. That extends to the rookie draft itself as well. As an industry, we behave as if we're better at predicting the future than we are. Last year Clyde Edwards-Helaire became the No. 1 rookie pick while Antonio Gibson fell to the third round in many drafts. In 2019, N'Keal Harry had a consensus ranking higher than DK Metcalf and A.J. Brown. In 2018 Royce Freeman, Sony Michel, Kerryon Johnson and Derrius Guice were consensus top five picks. This isn't to say that there isn't enormous value in early rookie picks, because there is. But I also wouldn't shy away from letting someone overpay you for one.
Kamara's dynasty value
Is it time to sell Alvin Kamara— Eric J Kasnia (@ekasnia) February 16, 2021
Coming out of the box hot, I like it! As with any trade question, price becomes the determining factor, but in a vacuum, I would answer this with a lukewarm 'almost'. At the very least, it's time to earnestly listen to trade offers.
Kamara has been phenomenal in his four seasons in the NFL and 2020 was his best year yet with 1,688 yards from scrimmage and 21 total touchdowns in 15 games. An argument could be made that Kamara's usage has kept him fresher than the average 26-year old back, so you don't have to worry about wear and tear as much. I generally agree with the argument that receptions are less damaging to running backs than carries, but I mostly believe that age is more important than carries or receptions.
Kamara won't turn 26 until July, so there's a real chance you have four more months to spin his age as a positive. Just know that you're 12 months away from detractors penalizing you for his age in trade negotiations. Running back values are that fickle. There is one running back in my current top 24 Dynasty running back rankings who will be 27 or older when the 2021 season begins; Derrick Henry at No. 11. The highest-ranked 28-year-old? Melvin Gordon at No. 29.
Kamara's value could hold up better than Henry's or Gordon's but it's almost certainly going to deteriorate. And that's not even factoring in the likely loss of Drew Brees.
The main determinant for me as to whether I'm dealing Kamara: How likely it is that I think I'm winning a title in 2021? If I truly believe I have one of the two or three best teams, I'm going to try to win a championship, that's why we play the game. If I'm anywhere close to the middle of the pack (or below), I'm dealing Kamara to get younger, assuming I can find a trade partner.
Grade the trade
We're going to work from the assumption that Philly Phan here is in a rebuild because this is exactly the type of trade I'd make in a rebuild. While the trade chart says this is an A+, I might drop it down to an A because you are giving up the best player in the deal... but that's a short-term statement. If you make the right pick at 1.02, there's a very good chance you'll have the most valuable player in the deal as soon as this fall.
Surprise TE breakouts
Looking for a surprise year 2 TE breakout. Any thoughts on Trautman, Kmet, or anyone else making the jump?— John Ayers (@AdroitAyers) February 16, 2021
This is such a tough question because of the many unique paths tight ends can take to Fantasy relevance. It's one of the hardest positions to pinpoint a true breakout and it's also one of the hardest to give up on because even very good tight ends can struggle for multiple years before figuring it out in the NFL.
Cole Kmet and Adam Trautman are definitely my top two Dynasty tight ends from the class, with Kmet being a step ahead of the class. But there is much uncertainty surrounding both right now, including who will be throwing them the ball. In a vacuum, I would rather have Kmet than Trautman, but relative to the current perception of their value, I think Trautman is the one I'd be trying to acquire.
One more note, while I don't expect a Year 2 breakout, I do like the idea of adding and stashing Harrison Bryant or Albert Okwuegbunam. I like both as potential late bloomers and their price should be very reasonable.
How to approach back-end roster decisions
Before we get to the players involved, a philosophical answer: I'm most concerned by not giving up good players, followed closely by not giving up players whose value could change significantly over the next couple of months. Youth is a heavy-handed tiebreaker. That methodology makes this a difficult question.
The easier answers are Darrell Henderson and Jamycal Hasty. Henderson is a year younger than Hasty, was a better prospect, has shown far more in the NFL, and has a clearer path to a feature role. I'm holding Henderson and cutting Hasty. The receivers aren't as easy.
Josh Reynolds was one of my targets coming out of college, but he fell behind Cooper Kupp and never quite worked his way into a feature role. He turns 26 years old today, so he isn't exactly young, but he is a free agent and his value could change significantly if he lands somewhere like Detroit as a No. 2 receiver.
Speaking of Detroit, Quintez Cephus is a 22-year-old who is currently the No. 1 receiver on the Lions roster. Now, I expect they'll bring back Kenny Golladay and/or make significant additions to the receiving corps, and the new regime has no attachment to Cephus, but I'd still be hesitant to cut a player this young with a real potential opportunity in front of him.
I said above that age is a heavy-handed tiebreaker and Cephus' age is too much to ignore. I would regrettably cut Reynolds in this situation if I had to choose between the two receivers.
EMAIL OF THE WEEK
I'm in a 12 team Dynasty league where last year I focused on rebuilding. I now have both Kittle and Waller. My RBs are Saquon Barkley, Austin Ekeler, Melvin Gordon, Mike Davis, Tarik Cohen and Damien Williams. I have 4 good WRs and Josh Allen as well. Should I keep both tight ends and force another team to play a crappy tight end of should I trade one to beef up my RBs? Which one would you trade and who would you target? I do have Austin Hooper as well as a backup if I trade one.
First things first, I would never hold a second elite tight end just to keep him from the league. You may choose to flex him, and that may be a good choice depending on your league settings. But if Kittle and Waller won't both fit in your starting lineup, I'm trading one of them. Kittle is the one I value the most but they are close enough that I would trade him if he commanded significantly more in return than Waller.
My plan would be to pair one of those tight ends along with one of your running backs (not Barkley) or receivers for another truly elite player, preferably a top-five receiver. That could turn this into a truly dominant team.