It has been several weeks since “Days of Our Lives” was playing out in the Indianapolis Colts headquarters — angry running backs, unwavering owners, a trade request, a denial, a change of heart, and a deal that never came.
Since the drama of the Jonathan Taylor trade talks before the season, things have quieted down in Indianapolis. But is now the time to move on from Taylor while fantasy football managers forget about the drama? Has Taylor’s stock risen back up as we get closer to his potential return? Let’s dig in!
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Should Fantasy Football Managers Trade Jonathan Taylor?
Taylor is an extraordinarily gifted running back. Very simply, you don’t become a back with 2,000 all-purpose yards from scrimmage in a single season without being talented.
But two years after Taylor’s amazing sophomore campaign, contract negotiations have created bad blood in Indianapolis. While Taylor is nursing back to health from an ankle injury that forced the Colts to keep the running back on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start the year, we still have not heard if Taylor plans to play with the team when he clears the injury report.
As managers, should we be holding Taylor and waiting for his triumphant return? Or should we get out now while we can still get value for the back?
Personally, I have serious apprehensions about holding onto Taylor. We have no idea how healthy he will look when he returns from injury. And that is if the back decides to return to the field at all. Taylor could easily sit out the 2023 season or wait for the Colts to trade him. Who knows how long that could take?
A few years back, Le’Veon Bell sat out while in contract disputes with the Pittsburgh Steelers. When he finally returned to the field, he never played a full season again. When he returned, he had one more year of 1,200+ yards from scrimmage, but he wouldn’t see even 500 yards in his final two campaigns after that.
This is a slippery slope with Taylor. I would move on from him while I can still get decent value for the running back — and while other managers may have backed off from the panic button that everyone had pushed on Taylor weeks ago.
What Should Fantasy Managers Look To Acquire When Trading Taylor?
One of the great things going for any manager looking to trade Taylor is his name. People know who Jonathan Taylor is. Managers know he was the RB1 in fantasy just two years ago. This always helps when talking trades.
When negotiating, another manager will try to downplay Taylor’s value. But if they are talking to you about a deal, they clearly have interest. Start by seeing if they are willing to give up some draft picks. Taylor could be a great add for a contending team, and draft picks aren’t getting those teams any fantasy points this season.
If it is a player you want to aim at, I would gladly trade Taylor for any of the following players in a straight-up deal: Mark Andrews, Calvin Ridley, Brandon Aiyuk, Drake London, or Austin Ekeler. Each has advantages and disadvantages depending on where your team is at now, but there is a name there for everyone.
The fact is, Taylor’s best years may already be behind him. He had an injury-riddled 2022 and has started 2023 by missing at least the first four games. He is arguing about his contract and his focus right now does not seem to be on the football field. It may be best to move on and get some value while there is value to be had.
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