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Dynasty RB Trade Targets: Christian McCaffrey, Michael Carter, Travis Etienne, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn

Are you in a dynasty league? Are you looking to buy low on an undervalued RB? Here are some of our favorite dynasty RB trade targets.

If you compete in a dynasty league, it’s never too early to look ahead to next season — or to talk trades with opponents who aren’t as savvy as you. With that in mind, these are some of our favorite dynasty RB trade targets for the 2022 fantasy football season.

Top NFC Dynasty RB Trade Targets for 2022

These two RBs are on opposite ends of the fantasy spectrum. One is elite when healthy, but can’t stay healthy. The other is almost worthless but could be a weekly fantasy contributor.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

What are you willing to pay for Christian McCaffrey, and what does your opponent want? Those are the key questions for any effective trade negotiation.

I’m betting in most dynasty leagues, the person who has CMC did not win. This would mark the second straight season CMC has vastly underperformed your opponent’s expectations. She or he might be ready to cut bait.

Some things to remember about CMC. First, when healthy, he’s a top-three RB, hands-down. Second, he comes with obviously big re-injury risks. Third, he’ll turn only 26 this summer. Sure, he’s played just 10 games since the end of his age-23 season. But on a pure PPR level, arguably no one has his ceiling.

I think CMC will be somewhere around an RB8-RB10 this next preseason. If you can package Cordarrelle Patterson (RB7) or James Conner (RB8) in a two-for-two deal, I’d do it. I’d even trade Leonard Fournette (RB6) straight up.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As Tom Brady continues to age (yes, he supposedly ages), Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl window will continue to narrow ever so slightly. At some point (47 years old? 52?), the team will move on without him, or he’ll decide he’s done enough record-breaking for one lifetime.

For now, however, we’re staring at an interesting scenario. In a few weeks, Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones will be free agents. Presumably, the Bucs will re-sign one (likely Fournette), but I doubt they’ll sign both.

With Fournette sidelined, 2020 third-round draft pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn has earned a bit of an audition. And from where I’m sitting, he’s easily passed the test.

Don’t be surprised if the team eyes Vaughn as an 8-10 touch RB in 2022, giving him RB3/4 value in this high-powered offense.

Top AFC Dynasty RB Trade Targets for 2022

These two rookie RBs have extraordinary long-term fantasy potential. One demonstrated it this year. The other missed the entire season with a foot injury. Both should be top dynasty trade targets.

Michael Carter, New York Jets

Ty Johnson is not the answer in New York, and neither is Tevin Coleman. The Jets drafted Michael Carter to be no less than their lead back — and possibly their bell cow. This season’s RB29 has the toolkit to be a locked-in starting RB for the coming years. Coming off a promising rookie campaign in which he averaged a respectable 11.7 fantasy points, Carter should only improve in 2022.

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This won’t show up on his point total, but we have to keep in mind that Carter exited early with injuries in two separate games (Weeks 11 and 17). In those contests, he had a combined 117 rushing yards on only 12 carries. Carter is just getting warmed up. If the Jets can commit to feeding him in the passing game as they did in Weeks 7 and 8 (17 combined receptions for 162 yards), he could climb into the top 16.

Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars

Remember him? If you’re in a deep dynasty league, he might still be in someone’s IR slot. Travis Etienne was picked 25th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s an exceptional receiver, catching 85 balls for 1,020 yards in his final two college seasons. He also ran for nearly 5,000 yards and 70 touchdowns across four college seasons. Simply put, Etienne has breakout fantasy potential.

Etienne missed the entire 2021 season with a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. Assuming he’s ready to go Week 1, he’ll have RB3 upside as a complementary component to Jacksonville’s underappreciate backfield, led by James Robinson. The hype surrounding Etienne probably has softened a bit these past few months. You might be able to get him for RB4/5 value.

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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