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Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Advice: Running Backs

Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Advice

Hello everyone and welcome to the second edition of this Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Advice series. After covering the quarterbacks, I’ll be talking about some must buy and sell players at the running back position. Running backs are the hardest players to trade in dynasty, particularly this early in the off-season.

The running backs you acquire have to be players that won’t find themselves in a reduced role this off-season. While the backs you sell have to be ones that are young and productive enough to garner value on the trade market. With that in mind here are 5 running backs I’m either buying or selling this off-season. At the end of each player profile is a list of possible trade options as well.

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Christian McCaffrey – San Fransisco 49ers

Christian McCaffrey is in a unique place in the dynasty fantasy football landscape. He is going into his seventh NFL season, with an injury history, and is still a consensus top 5 dynasty fantasy running back. If this doesn’t scream sell, I’m not sure what ever will.

While he did finish as the RB2 in PPR leagues in 2022, last year was not all roses for McCaffrey either. Elijah Mitchell was a very large part of the game plan when he was healthy, particularly through San Fransico’s playoff stretch. There were also games he didn’t receive the target volume we are accustomed to seeing due to the other talented players in the offense.

Not to mention the steep drop off in value we have seen from running backs recently at this stage in their career. 2023 is likely the final off-season fantasy managers will be able to get proper value for him. With that being said, dynasty managers are typically wary of aging dynasty assets, so McCaffrey won’t be a target for everyone.

Nonetheless, as we get closer to the season those with contending teams will likely be looking for running backs to fill out their roster. Go ahead and skip trying to acquire 2023 rookie picks, as that is where you’ll get the worst value for a player like McCaffrey. Instead, look at acquiring a young wide receiver or 2024 rookie picks instead.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Advice: Sell

Possible Trade Options:

Late 23 First + 24 First Round Pick
DK Metcalf
Kyle Pitts
Garrett Wilson

Najee Harris – Pittsburg Steelers

Najee Harris is being ranked outside the top 12 dynasty running backs according to many websites and this seems like an overreaction. He finished as the RB14 in PPR leagues last year, and while he did play in all 17 games, he was far from healthy a lot of the year. He suffered a Lisfranc sprain in the preseason that ended up limiting him for the first half of last season.

Furthermore, the Pittsburgh Steelers were going through a change adjusting to a rookie quarterback. While Kenny Pickett had some very good moments, he was still very up and down, and didn’t target Harris anywhere near as much as Ben Roethlisberger. He also finished the year strong ranking as a top 15 running back in four of his final five games.

Looking toward 2023 I think Najee Harris will be the featured player in the offense as the Steelers won’t want to put too much on Picketts’ plate. D’Andre Swift, Joe Mixon, and Tony Pollard are players commonly ranked in front of Harris I would easily swap out for him. Now is actually a great time of year to buy running backs as well, as most dynasty managers attempt to empty their pockets of them.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Advice: Buy

Possible Trade Options:

Joe Mixon
Late 23 First Round Pick
DJ Moore

Dameon Pierce – Houston Texans

While young productive running backs are considered gold in fantasy football, I’ll be looking to sell Dameon Pierce where I can this off-season. He is coming off a year where he accumulated over 1100 all purpose yards and finished as the PPR RB28. This is despite him missing four games and not starting off the season in the lead role.

Regardless, there are a lot of warning signs that Pierce is a sell candidate in 2023. Going back to college, he wasn’t overly productive at the University of Florida and didn’t come into the NFL with an elite athletic profile either. While he was productive in fantasy last year, he wasn’t overly efficient in many areas, particularly in the latter half of the season.

My biggest concern for Pierce is the deep 2023 rookie running back class and free agent pool. We have seen time and time again running backs with lower draft capital who were productive get replaced the following season. As a result, I’ll be looking to sell high on Pierce for a safer asset.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Advice: Sell

Possible Trade Options:

24 First Round Pick
Jahan Dotson
JK Dobbins
Diontae Johnson

James Cook – Buffalo Bills

James Cook is one of my favorite dynasty fantasy football buys of the off-season after a slow rookie season. He finished as the RB44 in PPR leagues, going just over 700 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. It wasn’t the season that many fantasy managers hoped for, nonetheless, there were plenty of signs of hope.

The first is Devin Singletary is an unrestricted free agent this off-season. Singletary handled the bulk of snaps this past year, and him leaving would potentially slot Cook as the RB1 in the Buffalo Bills’ backfield. While this would be nice, it isn’t a necessity for Cook, as his playing time increased gradually throughout the entire season.

Additionally, he was far more efficient in his limited opportunities, and he hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of his talents yet either. He was known as a pass catching running back out of college actually, and that part of his game was hardly used this past year. Cook was a second round pick in the 2022 draft and Buffalo will likely want to see what they have in their young running back. He is a great player to request to be thrown in as part of a larger deal too.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Advice: Buy

Possible Trade Options:

Late 23 2nd Round Pick
James Conner
Dawson Knox
Sky Moore

Tyler Allgeier – Atlanta Falcons

The argument I made to sell Dameon Pierce will be a similar argument I use for Tyler Allgeier as well. Although he was one spot lower than Pierce in PPR rankings, he did finish the year on a much stronger note. Allgeier actually ranked as top 15 running back in four straight games to end the season. He also had a very productive collegiate career at BYU, accumulating over 2700 yards in his final two collegiate seasons.

Why then is Allgeier a sell in dynasty fantasy football leagues? It’s nothing personal as he showed talent as a runner last season ranking top 20 in breakaway runs, evaded tackles, and yards per touch (Player Profiler). The reason is simple though, players like him just don’t have a long shelf life in the NFL.

Running backs without draft capital or elite athletic profiles are simply long shots in fantasy football. The offense is a huge unknown, and there will be running backs with better resumes available in the 5th round of the NFL draft this year too. While some are predicting a top 12 running back season for Allgeier, he is a sell for me, particularly given the Atlanta offense could struggle again in 2023.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Advice: Sell

Possible Trade Options:

Early 2023 2nd Round Pick
Rashod Bateman
Christian Kirk


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