10 Win-Win Pre-Draft Trades
With around 6 weeks to go before the DynaBowl Rookie draft it’s time to do a little fantasy deck-shuffling. I’m going to suggest 10 trades, one centred on each team, that should be a win for both sides and make sense moving into the 2016 season, and I’m going to start with…
East Flanders Dungeoneers
Needs: Players, picks.
This roster is slowly coming together, with a diligent job being done by GM Pete Conaghan, but it could still use some strengthening across the roster. I wouldn’t be looking to gain any players over 27 years of age, really, and picks would be a bonus. There’s no real bell-cow running back option so that would be ideal, but not essential.
Expendable: Anyone 28 or older, really.
The Trade – Out: Brandon Marshall, WR, ($19, 1 year)
Marshall is 32, and has 1 year left on his reasonable contract. An extension is a prohibitive $74. While he is still producing he’ll only serve to move the Dungeoneers away from the higher picks, when they’re ready to compete he’ll be close to retiring. There is no reason to keep him on the roster. The question is the value. Aging and with only one year left, his value is low so the best they can hope for is a half-decent pick and/or young player.
In: Champions of the Sun give Jay Ajayi, RB ($10/3), 2016 pick 4.10
Contributors can be found in the 4th round, more likely on the defensive side but Matt Jones and Thomas Rawls both went in this range in 2015, while Ajayi is a high ceiling, low floor option. Miami clearly weren’t that keen on him, given their off-season pursuit of CJ Anderson, but he should get a chance this year. He has an injury history too, but he’s the kind of young boom or bust prospect the Dungeoneers could really use. The Champions get a boost in the pursuit of the repeat championship for minimal cost.
Here Comes The Brees
Needs: WR, LB, picks
Reviewing the roster, it’s deeper than I thought it was, with decent options at QB, RB, TE, DT and DE. However, despite the (excellent) purchase of Allen Robinson and the presence of 18 different options, the WRs still lack a little something. After Robinson there’s the declining Fitzgerald, the hobbled Smith, the banned Bryant, and… erm… a lot of mediocrity. No team can be filled with studs but a little more depth would be nice. There’s a bit of a rebuild going on so younger players and/or picks would be a nice return.
Expendable: Most of the wide receivers, anyone who won’t be contributing in 2017.
Out: Devonta Freeman, RB ($8/1)
Given the cap space available, an extension, even if only for a couple of years, should be on the cards, just pull the money forward. However, the management team have indicated that no such thing will happen. Freeman could, of course, be a one season wonder, and an extension could wind up being a millstone, especially if they could get the player back cheaper in 2017 free agency, but if they’re resigned to not competing this year and not signing Freeman to an extension there is no reason not to cash in now.
In: Kelkowski give 2017 3rd round pick (moves to a 2nd round pick if Freeman is a top 5 back or Kelkowski make the DynaBowl)
There’s no WR on this roster that would definitively improve the Brees roster in the longer term and would also make sense for Kelkowski to lose. The trade makes sense for the Brees on two levels – the 2017 draft is supposed to be a deep one, and the price for one year of a player is a good one, and Kelkowski can’t afford to offer Freeman an extension so the Brees know they can have a shot at getting him back in 2017. Meanwhile, Kelkowski get a contributor to their weakened RB corps to round out what is otherwise a pretty competitive line-up.
Needs: Cap space, WR, TE, DE, LB
Expendable: Expensive contracts
Tamworth would have been a competitor for Freeman, except they have a pretty decent RB corps already. Instead some WR depth would be nice, and one won’t be picked up in the draft – not one you could expect to contribute immediately anyway as their highest pick is 2.09. Given the money already spent on the roster, though, this is tough. The players with the kind of money they should be looking to save are, at least, the ones with value to the roster – Rodgers, McCoy, Jeffrey, Thomas, Ebron, Keuchley. Of those, the most expendable are McCoy and Ebron…
Out: LeSean McCoy, RB (XX), 2016 pick 4.03
Karlos Williams looked great in year 1 and has something to build on. He poses a real threat to McCoy and Tamworth are keeping him. Freeing up $59 of cap space in 2016 gives Tamworth all sorts of options and losing a player who may or may not be a starter or major contributor is not the worst situation. A deal like this could then pave the way for a trade for Freeman, or any number of other players.
In: DynaForOne Firebirds give 2016 pick 2.05
A bump up in the rounds gives them a chance of picking up a contributor, most likely targeting a WR, with a lower pick focusing on an RB. For the Firebirds, they have the cap space to take a risk on McCoy. They need to do something about their running backs after Lynch retired in the off-season and where CJ Anderson is the only guaranteed starter in 2016. McCoy is a risk but dropping down the draft a little is a risk worth taking, when contributors can still be found at that depth. With 3 other picks in the top 15 they can afford to fall down a little considering McCoy’s talent and upside.
[NB This was going to be the 2.02 pick until that got traded and I couldn’t arsed to rework it]
The People’s Republic of the 4th Dynmension: Dynasty of Sadness
Needs: Depth, DT, DE
This is a roster which has subtly come good, if only the players can all stay fit. There’s quality at each position, perhaps with the exception of defensive line. The problem is there aren’t too many sellable assets the Sadness would be happy to sell. Byrant and OBJ both have plenty of time left in their careers so a sale now would only be postponing any potential success. Likewise, the young building block RBs might be desired but logically would stay put while the older ones like Blount probably wouldn’t make much, if anything on the market. You might see Brees as saleable but only 10 starting QBs are needed so it’s a crowded market place, he won’t fetch much at all. So, in needing depth and defensive stars, what desirable assets can they afford to sell?
Out: 2016 pick 1.01
Ezekiel Elliot is the likely number one pick but we saw in 2015 that GM Manboob isn’t afraid to sell a high pick if he’s getting good value. This is a draft not awash with offensive talent, but defensive talent is there to be had so more picks a little lower down the draft might make sense on that front. Likewise, a high number of picks in the top 25 increase the odds of hitting with one of them.
In: Dynasore Losers give 2016 pick 1.04, Donte Moncrief, WR ($2/1), 2016 pick 3.09
With two ageing running backs and little beyond that, the Losers are desperate for a young elite RB option and shouldn’t be afraid to spend to get one. Moncrief has potential and may turn into something but at the moment is still a prospect. He won’t become elite but he should be an adequate WR3/4. The Losers would be reluctant to give him up but with Elliot as the prize they should be prepared to make the sacrifice. The two picks give the Sadness further ammunition to restock in the draft.
Adrian Peterson. Matt Forte. Jordy Nelson. These are the three best offensive weapons on the Losers roster, and they also have free agent James Jones and retiree Percy Harvin in there. The Losers may already have done the best trade they can do in bringing in Jarvis Landry, exactly the kind of player they need on the roster. The problem is they need to do it another 3 or 4 times.
Out: Adrian Peterson, RB ($35/1)
The Sadness trade above suggests one way they could go, selling some assets to get the best player in the 2016 draft. The alternative is to try to gather as many picks as possible and refresh the talent pool, and the best way to do that will be to sell the aging players off. All three mentioned before are on good deals, with 1, 2 and 3 years left respectively of lower than contract average value. Nelson would probably be the herdest sell due to his return from injury. No one knows if he can be the player he was before it and, at this stage, we don’t know if the Packers will be trying to replace him in the draft. Peterson seems like the obvious sell – he has one year left and is unlikely to be renewed due to his value (by the Losers or any prospective owner) so could be re-won in free agency next year. Why not try to make a profit on him now? The argument against is if Losers GM David Slater believes he can have one last hurrah and win it all before he goes into a full rebuild.
In: Kelkowski give 2017 2nd round pick
Basically the same reasoning stands as for the proposed Devonta Freeman move detailed earlier. The pick is an outright 2nd rather than conditional because Peterson has a far longer history of success. The Losers could, instead, push for Kelkowski’s 2nd round pick in this year’s draft in order to replace Peterson immediately, but in a weaker class they would probably prefer to wait a year for stronger options. Weakening performance in 2016 would also have the potential to push for the number 1 pick in 2017 which would open up some elite options.
Needs: RB, WR, depth
We’ve already discussed how short the Firebirds are at running back, with Lynch’s actual retirement and Gore effectively retired. Ryan Mathews could be in a good spot in Philly now they’ve moved up in the draft (unless they moved up to guarantee they get Elliot), but they could still use a little something more. Likewise, Julio is clearly an elite WR but Sanu is more risky now he’s outside of Cincy, while players like Snead, DGB and Edelman are probably WR3s at best. They have 2 first rounders this year with which to start the restock, but could use some further depth.
Out: Julio Jones, WR ($60/3)
OK, so here’s the contentious one. Well, the really contentious one. I needed a blockbuster in this article and here it is – recommending a team sell its best asset. It’s a massive risk, I don’t deny it, and it relies on confidence in the scouting to turn the return into something worthwhile, so how is it justifiable?
The Firebirds have the fewest running backs and wide receivers rostered in the league. And that’s before you factor in that Lynch and Colston are no longer playing. They need to restock. They’re an injury away from not being capable of submitting a valid lineup. Well, a fit lineup. Good job there aren’t injuries in the NFL. Now obviously there will be roster cuts from other teams but stocking up with the dregs aren’t really going to help them. My suggestion is to maximise the return from their best player. He will never be more valuable, and he’s had a few injury concerns in the past. The worst thing that could happen to the Firebirds is keeping Jones and then losing him to injury halfway through the year, destroying both his value to the team and on the trade market.
Instead, cash-in now and rebuild this team. We’ll discuss a fair return for one of the top 3 WRs in the league below.
In: Here Comes The Brees give 2016 pick 3.05, 2 x 2017 1st round picks, 2017 2nd round pick, Isaiah Crowell, RB ($40 total over 4 years), Phillip Dorsett, WR ($21 total over 3 years), Martavis Bryant, WR ($12 total over 3 years),
Firstly, why do the Brees do this? To get one of the best players in the league and become the favourite for the DynaBowl title in 2016 and beyond. Pairing Julio and Allen Robinson together, along with their other offensive weapons makes this team an offensive juggernaut. The question is only how much they have to pay.
2017 is supposed to be a great class, but there are no guarantees so losing both the first round picks they have for a player of Julio’s class is a no brainer. I’m projecting those 1sts to both be lower in the round so a 2nd goes along with it. Alternatively the Firebirds might want to try to get a conditional 2018 first based on where those 17s fall in the draft.
As for players – I would allow the Firebirds to have any offensive players on the roster outside of Luck, Robinson, Lee, Miller, Freeman, Martin, Eifert and Ertz. And perhaps Jackson, but if he was what it took to do this deal I’d give him up. I’ve bundled those together that I think would help the Firebirds most – Dorsett, Bryant and Crowell. They’re all players with question marks next to them – Dorsett and Crowell based on talent and usage, Bryant because of his drug suspensions – but there’s a chance they could net a decent return. The real prize, though, is the picks, which will give GM Neil Hawke the chance to rebuild this roster over the next two years.
Needs: LB, DE, eliteness
No single position leaps out on this roster as being required, but no single position makes you think “They’ve got that locked down, not need to worry about that”. A feeling which starts at QB, where 6 are currently rostered but none feel like a guarantee. Having already traded for Aaron Donald, there’s not really the collateral to deal for another elite player to lift one of the units up a level. Likewise, the weakest units (that aren’t wholly governed by the randomness of interceptions and forced fumbles) are the DE and LB groups and no one is going to sell one of the kind of quality required to pump these units up to the next level. Instead, trying to get some mid-to-late round picks to bolster the defense in the hopes of hitting a home run should be the order of the day.
Expendable: Fringe players
Out: Bilal Powell, RB ($1, 2 years), James White, RB ($1/2)
Both have the potential to score a decent amount of points if they get a chance due to injury but neither is the main guy. Powell has the greater chance to do something as he’s likely to share time with Forte. They’re both nice options to have, but are surely more suited to the team with the primary backs…
In: Dynasore Losers give 2016 pick 5.04, conditional 2017 5th round pick should either player score 100 points in 2016
Fortunately the Losers have both the primary backs in Forte and Lewis so could grab both for a low pick. Useful insurance policies for sure and if nothing comes of either of them it’s not a huge amount to have given up.
Champions of the Sun
Needs: What do you get for the team that has Trent Richardson? Seriously though, he’d probably just like more depth.
I’m on record as not being a fan of the Allen Robinson trade so, ideally, he’d just undo that, but otherwise the reigning champions are stacked and should look to consolidate their position in any way they can. Other teams may be reticent to deal but there’s one deal which jumps out to me.
Out: 2016 picks 1.05, 1.10
In: DynaForOne Firebirds give 2016 pick 1.02
If the Champions like the look of one player in particular, why not try to move up and grab him. Assuming Elliot is the number 1 pick this would allow the Champions to take whichever WR they prefer. In exchange, the Firebirds end up with 3 picks in the top 10 giving them a greater chance of finding a hit or two on whom to base the future of the franchise. Sure, they don’t get their choice of the top WRs, but that probably shouldn’t be their aim. The two teams are at opposite ends of the spectrum – the Champions can afford to fall for one guy, take him and risk a bust. The Firebirds need a hit or two so more choices is better.
Kelkowski Don’t Play By No Dyna Rules
Needs: More time and attention in this analysis, RB, TE, DT
Look, the NFL draft is rapidly arriving and this should really go up before then so this ‘analysis’ is pretty weak from here on out. What’s that you say? It’s only weak from here? Fuck you, buddy, did you pay for this content?
Now go look at the Brees’ and Losers suggested trades and pick one of those you like. That’s what Kelkowski should do.
Alternatively, here are some other options: Get Antonio Andrews from the Bombermen for a 6th round pick. DeMarco “Darren Anderton” Murray was known as an injury waiting to happen until his annus mirabilis at Dallas. Now he’s back behind a pretty terrible offensive line, best to get some insurance.
Sorry, I’ve done them a bit of a disservice here, but they have already been mentioned in those 2 other trades. Give me a break. I don’t see you writing a draft preview, do I?
Needs: DT (they have 1!), a player who knows how to win in the playoffs?
Expendable: Look, I’ve been trying to say who’s expendable throughout this, but the truth is, any player is expendable for the right price. Who would they actively want rid of though? Jamaal Charles before he breaks down completely (and to save some money), and they have good enough WRs to be able to afford to lose one, if they’re generating greater quality.
Seriously though, I’m going to try to piece together a good trade here, if only because the Hard men haven’t been mentioned yet, unlike those harlots Kelkowski.
Out: Tavon Austin, WR ($16/1), Tyler Lockett, WR ($3/2), 2016 pick 1.08, 2017 1st round pick, 2017 4th round pick
In: Julio Jones, WR ($60/3)
OK, so this is a do-over from earlier, but actually it makes a lot of sense. The Firebirds get 2 young WRs who could prove to be very good players, along with 3 picks, while the Hards end up with Antonio Brown, TY Hilton and Julio Jones to try and get over that final hurdle of … well, a playoff win. The picks aren’t as good as those offered by the Brees, but then the players are arguably better.
Dyna Hard have a good roster that’s not crying out for young players to develop, they’re looking for the missing piece that will put them over the top. The Firebirds have been discussed a lot already, but these would be more useful building blocks.