FFB Market Watch: Trade These Veterans Now!

by Matty Kiwoom · Trades Buy/Sell

What does stand up comedy and playing in dynasty leagues have in common? The answer is timing. Timing is important for both art forms. Yes, I called fantasy football team building an art form. Whether that means acquiring a player before he fully breaks out or getting rid of a player whose value is about to crater, timing is key. The time has come to trade these veterans now!

Just because a player produced in a given year does not mean that they will carry those stats to the following season. Sometimes you have to thank a player (not literally) for their services and then move on. Let’s breakdown these five veterans and reveal why team builders should be aggressively trying to sell.


Ezekiel Elliot

The Dallas Cowboys’ running back has been a fantasy star since he entered the NFL in 2016. Even last season Ezekiel Elliot finished as the RB7 overall. He ran for just over 1,000 yards and scored 12 total touchdowns. In dynasty, Zeke is like a duck in the water. On the surface everything looks a certain way but under the surface tells a different story.  

Ezekiel Elliott Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

What the Metrics Say

From 2020 to 2021 Ezekiel Elliot has seen a decline in Opportunity Share, Yards Created, and Dominator Rating. Zeke’s Opportunity Share fell more than 14-percentage points and for the first time in his entire career he finished outside the top 25 in Dominator Rating. The tailback is becoming less and less of a factor in the passing game. His receiving yards have decreased at least 15-percent each of the last three seasons. He may have been the RB7 overall but he was RB15 on a points per game basis. Get out now before the bottom completely falls off.

Trade Targets

Here are three trades that team builders should explore that Player Profiler’s Trade Analyzer support but are realistic (within 20 Trade Value points):

Ezekiel Elliot for Courtland Sutton and James Robinson 

Ezekiel Elliott for A.J. Dillon

Ezekiel Elliot for Chase Edmonds and a 2022 round 2 rookie pick


FFBMarketWatch | Zeke? #fantasyfootball | #dynasty | #DallasCowboys | #fyp | #foryou

♬ original sound – Matty Kiwoom

Adam Thielen

Adam Thielen has been a legitimate fantasy weapon since 2016. The Viking has finished as a WR2 or better on a points per game basis in four of the last five seasons. In 2021, he finished with 67 catches, 726 receiving yards and ten tuddies. All that was good for 15.4 points per contest, aka WR14. Thielen has scored the eighth-most fantasy points at the wideout position over the past five years. That is the reason why he still carries value, and why team builders who roster him should be looking to move on quickly and aggressively. 

Adam Thielen Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

What the Metrics Say

Touchdowns are a major part of Adam Thielen’s value. He was the fourth-most touchdown dependent wide receiver in 2021. Thirty percent of his total fantasy points came from finding pay dirt. A number that will be hard to maintain given he saw just 15 Red Zone Targets, which was outside of the top 20 at the position. 

The wide receiver accounted for 17.1-percent of his team’s total receiving yards. That leaves the veteran outside of the top 45. Players like Jakobi Meyers, Marquez Callaway, Quez Watkins, and Laviska Shenault finished ahead of him. He also finished outside of the top 25 wide receivers in Alpha Rating. That is a metric that combines Hog Rate, Air Yards Share, Target Share, and Dominator Rating

From 2020-2021, Adam Thielen has seen a decrease in a number of underlying stats:

Touchdown-dependent players with fading underlying metrics are must sells. And even though Thielen has been good for so long, he is no different. Sell all the shares.

Trade Targets

Here are three trades that team builders should explore that Player Profiler’s Trade Analyzer support but are realistic (within 20 Trade Value points):

Adam Thielen for Kendrick Bourne and Nico Collins (DeVante Parker works with Collins too)

Adam Thielen for Cordarrelle Patterson, Kene Nwangwu and a 2022 round 3 rookie pick

Adam Thielen for KJ Hamler, Auden Tate and a 2022 round 2 rookie pick

Dawson Knox

Dawson Knox is coming off of his most productive season as a professional, with 49 receptions on 71 targets. Knox racked up 587 receiving yards and hauled in nine touchdowns. He was TE11 overall and TE9 in Fantasy Points Per Game. After failing to break the top 20 at the tight end position, he finished a TE1. His 2021 campaign reminds me too much of 2020 Robert Tonyan, so while his value is at an all time high…sell, sell, sell. 

Dawson Knox Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

What the Metrics Say

The bar for tight end success in fantasy football is the lowest in the game. All it takes is a handful of touchdowns to catapult up the fantasy rankings. I always fade players who were too touchdown-dependent, and the tight end position is no exception. In 2021, there was no player in football that was more touchdown reliant than Dawson Knox. He finished the season with 164.1 fantasy points, and 32.9-percent came on finding the end zone. I understand good players score touchdowns, but relying on it year to year is bad process. 

Knox ended the 2021 season outside of the top 10 in multiple key metrics:

According to PlayerProfiler’s Dynasty Rankings, the Buffalo Bill is the 13th-highest ranked tight end. If the tuddies do not come as easily as they did in 2021 (which is certainly within the range of outcomes), then Knox could find himself in the TE17-20 range. That is why team builders should be aggressively shopping him.

Trade Targets

Here are three trades that team builders should explore that Player Profiler’s Trade Analyzer support but are realistic (within 20 Trade Value points):

Dawson Knox for David Njoku and Kenny Golladay

Dawson Knox for Evan Engram and a 2022 round 2 rookie pick

Dawson Knox for Christian Kirk

@mattykiwoom FFBMarketWatch | Dawson Knox? #fantasyfootball | #dynasty | #billsmafia | #fyp | #foryou ♬ original sound – Matty Kiwoom

Miles Sanders

Miles Sanders has been in the league for three years and has always been more hype than production. His highest finish was in 2020, and that was RB17 with 14.2 Fantasy Points Per Game. Last season was easily the worst in the NFL. Sanders scored less than 10 ppr points per contest and was RB45 overall. He is still just 25 years old, and believe it or not, the former second round draft selection is still a thing to many fantasy gamers. That is why team builders who are still holding onto him need to abandon ship now before his dynasty value sinks to the ocean floor.

Miles Sanders Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

What the Metrics Say

Since the tailback’s best and worst fantasy seasons came one right after the other, it is obvious how bad the drop off was. Firstly, it is clear that the Eagles lost faith in Miles Sanders because his touches declined. His Target Share in the offense fell nearly three-percent, and his overall Opportunity Share plummeted over 25-percent. Players who lose opportunities are not players worth holding onto in a dynasty league.

Not only has Sanders witnessed a downtick in opportunities, he was also less effective when he had the ball in his hands. He had 484 (No. 30 among qualified running backs) Yards Created in 2021, which was about eight-percent less than 2020. He had 32 (No. 43) Evaded Tackles, and that was 14 less than his 2020 total. Right around a 44-percent decrease. He finished with a 10.0-percent (No. 49) Dominator Rating. That number was 21.9-percent (No. 18) just one year before. In both 2020 and 2021 he played in 12 games, so this isn’t a sample issue. This is an issue but it reflects his ability not his time on the field. 

Sanders has fallen outside the top 30 running backs in PlayerProfiler’s Dynasty Rankings. This may be the last chance to move on from the Philly tailback. Will team builders get 100-percent return? Absolutely not, but in short order, his value may drop to zero. So get out now!

Trade Targets

Here are three trades that team builders should explore that Player Profiler’s Trade Analyzer support but are realistic (within 20 Trade Value points):

Miles Sanders for Rashaad Penny and David Njoku

Miles Sanders for Amon-Ra St. Brown

Miles Sanders for D.J. Chark and Kevin Harris

Dalvin Cook

Clearly, I believe that the Minnesota Vikings are getting long in the tooth in their skill positions. Earlier I mentioned that Adam Theilen is a must sell, and now I am putting Dalvin Cook into the same category. Each of the last three seasons, he has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and has been a top 10 performer in fantasy football. Even though the fantasy star isn’t universally regarded as a top tier dynasty back any longer (PlayerProfiler has him at RB15), he still possesses enough value to capitalize if you roster the veteran. Do the right thing and move him before the 2022 season. 

What the Metrics Say

Volume is key for running backs in fantasy football, and in 2021 that was certainly the case for Dalvin Cook. He had a 70.5-percent (No. 4) Snap Share, 249 (No. 5) carries, and a 79.7-percent (No. 5) Opportunity Share. All three indicators suggest he should remain a high end dynasty asset. But do the effectiveness and efficiency metrics support that notion? In short, no, but let’s dive in.

Cook has always been tough to bring down. However, last year there was a noticeable decline in some of his numbers. His Juke Rate fell four-percent. If that doesn’t sound like a big deal, that dropped him from sixth-best to No. 30 in the league. Just like Miles Sanders, Cook created less yards, evaded less tackles, and was far less dominant from 2020 to 2021. Not good for a player who is perennially an RB1 in fantasy. 

Being a weapon in the passing game has been a major reason for Cook’s success over these past three seasons. Last year, the dip in his receiving numbers was noticeable. He averaged 58.5 targets in 2019 and 2020. Last year, he had 49 (No. 26) total targets. About a 16-percent decrease. No bueno. He also averaged 440 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020. He reached 224 (No. 37) in 2021. And he played just one less game in 2021 than in 2019 and 2020, so this isn’t a sample size thing. 

Running backs do not typically slide down the hill, they fall off of a cliff. Do not be left holding onto Cook when that cliff comes. 

Trade Targets

Here are three trades that team builders should explore that Player Profiler’s Trade Analyzer support but are realistic (within 20 Trade Value points):

Dalvin Cook for Tony Pollard and Darnell Mooney

Dalvin Cook for Travis Etienne 

Dalvin Cook for D.J. Moore


FFBMarketWatch | Dalvin Cook? | #nfl | #fantasyfootball | #Vikings | #fyp | #foryou | #foryoupage

♬ original sound – Matty Kiwoom

Trade These Veterans Now!

One of the most important characteristics for successful team builders in a dynasty format is the ability to distinguish sell windows and then capitalize on those opportunities. It is not easy to move away from a player that has been good for multiple seasons. But as the best always say, “it is better to be a year too early than a year too late.”

Veterans like Ezekiel Elliot, Adam Thielen, Dawson Knox, Miles Sanders, and Dalvin Cook should not only be shopped this offseason, but the team builders who roster them should be aggressively selling. Get out! Get out now while you still can and trade these veterans now!

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