Between the combine, free agency, and the NFL Draft, there’s a lot going on in the NFL over the next couple of months. We do our best to not only assess current player value but to predict how it may change in the future. Let’s take a look at three players that look like solid buy-low trade targets for dynasty fantasy managers.
Dynasty buy-low trade targets for fantasy managers
There’s a common misconception when it comes to the term “buy-low.” The presumption is often that the player’s value is low. In reality, a buy-low target is any player whose perceived value is lower than your valuation of him.
Today, we’re going to look at three players who I believe are currently priced lower than they should be. Dynasty managers should consider trying to target these players in trades at a discount.
Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Here are some facts about Travis Etienne. He’s 23 years old with no NFL tread on his tires. The Jaguars drafted him in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s playing with Clemson teammate Trevor Lawrence. Yes, Etienne suffered a serious foot injury as a rookie. The good news is it occurred in the preseason, and he is already just about fully recovered. Fantasy managers should have no concerns over Etienne’s health in 2022.
The primary concern for fantasy managers about Etienne is James Robinson. Here are some facts about Robinson. He’s a former UDFA. The team watched him put up over 1,400 yards as a rookie in 2020 yet still drafted Etienne. And he’s coming off a Week 16 torn Achilles.
Etienne was a consensus top-five pick in 2021 dynasty rookie drafts. He didn’t take the field and play poorly. He just got hurt. Entering 2022, Etienne is being valued about a full round lower in dynasty startups than he was at this point last year. There are concerns about his foot, Robinson’s role, and the quality of the Jaguars’ offense.
Robinson was a top-five running back in 2020 on a terrible offense. Etienne has first-round draft capital and is likely more talented than Robinson. As an adept pass catcher (12.2% college target share), Etienne can still rack up fantasy points with his team trailing via the passing game. Dynasty managers should target Etienne as a buy-low candidate. See if you can pay a low RB2 price for a dynamic young running back who has the ceiling of someone like D’Andre Swift.
AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers
There are several reasons to like AJ Dillon as a buy-low target in fantasy. First and foremost, he’s good at football. Dillon only had a 42.5% snap share last season. Yet, he still managed 1,116 yards from scrimmage and 7 touchdowns.
Over the second half of the 2021 season, the Packers started to shift more toward Dillon as their primary runner. Yes, Aaron Jones was banged up with a knee injury, but the move to Dillon had begun before Jones got hurt. Despite not opening the season as the goal-line back, Dillon out-carried Jones in the red zone 39-34. Dillon also proved himself as a receiver, posting five games with at least 3 receptions. Entering 2022, I already prefer Dillon to Jones for redraft purposes.
Once we look beyond 2022, the outlook for Dillon gets even brighter. Even if he remains on the wrong side of the timeshare in 2022, things are pointing upward beginning in 2023. Jones will be 28 years old by the end of this season. The general consensus belief is that he won’t be with the Packers next year. If and when Jones leaves, Dillon is going to be the primary back. Of course, the Packers will utilize another back in tandem with him, but he should be at least a 65% snap share guy.
Dillon is currently being valued as a low RB2 in dynasty. He’s behind guys like Jones and Ezekiel Elliott, who are on the back nine of their careers, making him a top fantasy trade target. Try to poach Dillon from a manager who may not realize Jones is likely gone after this season or just doesn’t see Dillon as a potential RB1.
DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
It should come as no surprise that DK Metcalf’s dynasty value took a hit after Russell Wilson was traded to Denver. His managers are understandably concerned about his production declining with a lesser quarterback. Those looking to win now may go into panic mode and try and move Metcalf. That’s where you come in. Time to buy-low!
Metcalf is still just 24 years old. He’s one year removed from a 1,300-yard season. Metcalf has posted double-digit touchdowns in each of his last two campaigns. This is an incredibly talented player that will succeed in spite of his quarterback if he has to.
Here’s a fun little nugget about Metcalf’s disappointing 2021 campaign. He actually averaged more points per game with Geno Smith (17.2) than with Wilson (13.9). Whereas a guy like Tyler Lockett is much more reliant on an accurate quarterback and precision timing, Metcalf is a freak that can dominate with raw athleticism. He’s just unlikely ever to be bad.
Things change quickly in the NFL. Right now, Drew Lock is the presumptive starting quarterback for the Seahawks. There’s no chance Lock is their quarterback of the future, though. As early as 2023, the Seahawks could have a new quarterback. Metcalf has at least around 6-8 years left as a dominant receiver. Bet on his talent and on the Seahawks finding him a quarterback sooner rather than later. Metcalf is an excellent buy-low trade target from a manager concerned about his short-term value.