When I set out to do a Dynasty mailbag I fully expected multiple questions about the Dynasty value of Cam Akers and Michael Thomas. While I did update their rankings and tiers over at Dynasty Fantasy Football Central, I hadn't really gone in depth on the Dynasty value of either player. That will change today. 

What I didn't expect was a lot of questions about Dynasty start ups and rookie drafts. Which is a good reminder that just because we do most of our Dynasty drafts earlier in the offseason, not everyone does. In fact, it seems a lot of people have theirs in August. 

With that in mind, it's a bit of mixed bag this week, pun intended. But I think we need to start with what has been on everyone's mind.

What to do with Cam Akers?

Akers Achilles' injury certainly puts his long-term future in question. Chris Towers looked at the past history of running backs with this injury, and it's awful. But science continues to make advancements, and there are reasons to hope Akers could be the first back to fully recover from this injury. There aren't enough reasons to actively try to buy low, but definitely enough to stash.

I wouldn't sell for pennies on the dollar, but if I had a true contender with a closing window, I would consider dealing Akers to make a push for the title. In that situation, you're probably trading for an older player on a team that isn't as good. Examples of players I would target are Julio Jones, Chris Carson or Ryan Tannehill

Assuming you can't land anyone that good but really want to move Akers, I'd consider settling for someone like Tom Brady, Brandin Cooks, or Robby Anderson. If Akers comes back you'll regret it, but the odds are most definitely against him.

Michael Thomas trade value

I dropped Thomas outside of my top-30 with news of his injury. And I kind of thought I'd be one of the low guys on him because I was before the injury. That's partially because Thomas is already 28, but mostly because of questions surrounding Thomas' production post-Drew Brees. Now that he's also going to miss most of the first half of 2021, I can totally understand trading him. 

I'd much rather have Higgins, who ranks 16th in my Dynasty wide receiver rankings. But a mid-2022 first seems like a lot to give. And it probably is too much, depends on exactly where that pick lands. I currently value a random 2022 first and Thomas as being worth about 25% more than Higgins. if your pick lands in the top five, that gap will only grow. But if you make the finals this year, the deal was well worth it. 

It may not be Dynasty related, but we broke down our latest full-point 12-team PPR mock draft on the newest episode of FFT:

The weird thing about evaluating Thomas is that he should be worth more to a contender, but the injury makes this year a question mark. If you're a team that isn't really competing but you have Thomas on your roster, I'd probably hold him and hope that he shows well before the trade deadline. If he's a top-12 receiver again by mid-season you'll get a lot more from a contender than you would right now.

Going for it?

Greg has been stuck in the middle for a while, and he wants out. That's the spirit! I'm just not sure Greg is looking to move in the right direction. Sometimes the best way forward starts with going backwards.

Having Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara at running back is awesome for 2021 and a little bit scary moving forward. Best case scenario, we'll be looking at them next year expecting them to fall off a cliff. The lack of depth on this roster (Latavius Murray at RB3, Michael Pittman at WR4) is equally frightening. If Kamara or Elliott get hurt it's quite likely your championship hopes are dead and their Dynasty value is plummeting. I don't think Javonte Williams (or anyone you're taking at 1.06) is changing that.

All that being said, you have elite running backs, a top-five quarterback and very good receivers. If you want to make one last run at it, I'm with you. I would be trading all your draft picks this year for a stud. I would consider trading all of your draft picks next year for another. If you're going to go for it...Go!

A couple of sample options:

1.6 + 2.6 + 3.3 for Austin Ekeler or DeAndre Hopkins or Travis Kelce.

Your four 2022 picks for Keenan Allen or Darren Waller or Chris Carson and a piece.

If you're unable to land at least one stud I would strongly consider shopping Elliott, Kamara and Chris Godwin. You could rebuild around Dak Prescott, A.J. Brown, Diontae Johnson and the best of the 2021 Draft class.

Prepping for a start up draft

Two different questions here, but there are a few answers that apply to both. Even in Dynasty leagues, I don't like to be tied to a plan, but once I'm a few picks in I have to commit to one. And a lot of it, like redraft, will be based on your league. 

If they are boosting rookies into the first two rounds, and taking receivers much earlier than normal then I'll start with elite running backs and Patrick Mahomes, and grab older receivers in the middle rounds to go with a win-now mentality. But if running backs go early, I have no trouble starting with young studs like A.J. Brown, Calvin Ridley, Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb and building that way. In fact, I probably prefer the second route. The point being, by Round 4 you should know if you're competing in 2021 or not and adjust accordingly.

A few other uniform differences:

  • I'm fine with Patrick Mahomes in Round 1.
  • I'm not taking a tight end in the first two rounds, the best are not young and the position doesn't historically age well.
  • The age curve is not uniform. I start worrying about running backs at 27, but receivers are generally fine until 31 at least, and age doesn't seem to matter at all for the elite quarterbacks.
  • The later rounds are a great time for highly touted 2020 rookies who didn't do much last year.

Rebuilding with 2021 rookie picks

Heath's dynasty talk and Cam Akers' injury provoked me to blow up my 12-team standard dynasty team.

I traded Michael Thomas (pre-injury) for pick 1.5 and Goedert, Ekeler and Zack Moss for picks 1.8 and 1.11. I have pick 1.7.

So armed with picks 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, and 1.11, I'm thinking Pitts and then load up on young RBs (probably Carter, Javonte, Sermon) since RBs have the highest trade value and mine are old.

Am I crazy to pass up potentially Chase, DeVonta, or Waddle with my current lineup of Golladay, JuJu and Laviska and take some flyers for 3rd and 4th round WRs? Any suggestions for WR dynasty sleepers to target?

Love the show!


Thanks Adam! I love what you've done so far with your rebuild, I don't love your current plan moving forward. I prefer to begin my rebuild with receivers and quarterbacks because their careers are so much longer. If you hit on a couple of running backs you could waste half of their good years trying to put a good team around them. 

My plan in your situation would be to try to use 1.7 and 1.8 to get into the top four. Then I would grab the best two receivers (or Kyle Pitts). If you came out with Ja'Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts, that would be incredible. And I would anticipate one of Williams, Carter or Sermon lasting to 1.11 if you really want a running back from this class.

The fact that this is a non-PPR league does make it a little bit harder to build around the receiver, but being bad in Year 1 of a rebuild is kind of part of the plan. Presumably, you'll be able to use your high draft pick (hopefully 1.01) on a running back next year. 

Speaking of which, make sure you've removed all the talent from your team by the time you get to the draft. If you still have some stragglers, see if you can trade for another 2022 first, to give you another shot at running back next year. You don't want to have any chance of being a .500 team this year, that can seriously delay a rebuild.