Dynasty Fantasy Draft Strategy | Six Players to Fade in Dynasty Startups

by Seth Diewold · Draft Strategy
Dynasty Fantasy Draft

PlayerProfiler is home to award winning dynasty rankings and tools. Our Dynasty Deluxe package includes complete Dynasty Rankings, Rookie Rankings, Trade Analyzer, Draft Planner, Mock Drafts, and more. Check it out. Below, Seth Diewold identifies six dynasty fades – players to avoid in drafts and trade away. 

Tank Dell (ADP: 52 overall, WR20)

No doubt Tank Dell is an exciting player, but at player No. 52 overall and WR20 overall according to Keep Trade Cut, Dell is ranked too highly for my taste. There are multiple concerns as we enter 2024. No. 1 is the addition of Stefon Diggs into the offense. This should cause a reduction in target share for all the wide receivers in the Texans offense even though the passing volume should remain high.

The second concern is that Dell played on just 65.9-percent of snaps and dealt with injuries on and off throughout the season. These ranged from a concussion in Week 5 to a calf strain in Week 12 to a broken fibula in Week 13, which sidelined him for the rest of the season. Finally, I’m worried about Dell’s ability to separate on a consistent basis with increased competition for targets. Last season, Dell ranked No. 43 in Target Separation amongst wide receivers, which isn’t terrible, but isn’t great either. He only managed to rank No. 86 amongst wide receivers in total route wins. 

Brock Bowers (ADP: 48 overall, TE4)

Brock Bowers is not in a good situation, at least not initially. He is talented, but the selection of Bowers was a head scratcher on NFL Draft night. The Raiders selected Michael Mayer the year before with a high second round pick. Now, Bowers enters a situation where the Raiders appear to be a team that likes to run the ball quite a bit with Gardner Minshew or Aidan O’Connell behind center.

Bowers is also going to face significant target competition in Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, and the aforementioned Mayer at the same position. All of this points to a lackluster start for one of college football’s premiere talents. Don’t expect Bowers to produce in Year 1. Once the rookie shine dims, Bowers will be reasonably priced and a buy in Dynasty, but not now. 

C.J. Stroud (ADP: 4 overall, QB3)

There is no question C.J. Stroud is a good NFL quarterback. He proved that last year, and now we are dealing with the market overcorrecting. Yes, he is young, which we don’t care as much about at quarterback, and yes, the Texans offense is going to be good, but it has been a struggle to find an upside case for Stroud. Stroud is never going to be a quarterback who provides a ton of rushing upside. Last season, Stroud ranked No. 19 in carries, No. 21 in rushing yards, and No. 12 in rushing touchdowns amongst quarterbacks.

Stroud also finished as the QB11 overall and the QB7 in fantasy points per game, and Stroud did miss two games in the regular season. Therefore, the overall finish should have been higher, but there is no way I can take Stroud over Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, or even Anthony Richardson. All of those quarterbacks have the rushing upside to finish as the QB1 overall in fantasy football. Stroud does not.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (ADP: 65 overall, WR25)

Look, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a good player, but I’m not convinced he’s a great player. He’s going to be facing serious target competition yet again facing D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Does Smith-Njigba have potential upside? Yes, but he failed to consistently produce last season. The Seahawks offense, led by Geno Smith, doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence for multiple wide receivers to produce at elite levels.

My guess is Smith-Njigba gets a slight bump in target volume, but finishes closer to WR40 than WR20. Smith-Njgba was not targeted down the field much at all during his rookie season. Last season, Smith-Njigba ranked No. 95 amongst wide receivers in Average Depth of Target. The second year receiver would need to see a lot more targets to score amongst the top-20 wide receivers unless the ADOT increases significantly this season. 

Zach Charbonnet (ADP: 131 overall, RB31)

Zach Charbonnet is one of the more expensive running back handcuffs out there, and to be honest, I’m not sure why. He does have some skill in the passing game, but Kenneth Walker is a much more talented running back who has proven he does have the ability to catch passes. Charbonnet won’t beat out Walker. Therefore, Charbonnet is completely dependent on a Walker injury to see significant playing time. There are backup running backs in better offenses that I prefer in Dynasty. What about Zack Moss (139 overall, RB32), Tony Pollard (142 overall, RB33), MarShawn Lloyd (143 overall, RB34) or Jaylen Wright (148 overall, RB35), just to name a few. I would prefer all those players over Charbonnet in Dynasty. 

Tee Higgins (ADP: 58 overall, WR23)

Even though Tee Higgins is on this list, now is not the time to trade him. Dynasty gamers need to be patient because the clock is ticking on his time in Cincinnati. When he gets traded to be the No. 1 wide receiver on another offense, that will be the time to trade him. That being said, I don’t want to draft him in Dynasty Startups.

Higgins only finished higher than his WR23 rankings once in 2021 (WR12 in fantasy points per game), and he only played in 14 games that year. Last year, Higgins ranked No. 77 in Target Separation, No. 42 in Yards Per Route Run, and No. 46 in target share amongst wide receivers. Granted, some of that time was without Joe Burrow, but still, Higgins was not earning targets last year at an impressive rate, nor was he winning on his routes.

See Seth’s QBs and TEs to target in dynasty startups here: 7 Players to Target in Dynasty Superflex Startup Drafts | QBs/TEs