Each week of the NFL season I will highlight risers and fallers in dynasty leagues — one player to trade for, one to trade away, one to add and one to drop.
Trade for: Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
It took only a couple of weeks off due to an ACL injury to make fantasy players forget just how good Kupp has been.
Through the first five games of the season, Kupp was the WR4, averaging more than 21 fantasy points per game. Even after missing the past two and a half games, Kupp still leads Rams receivers in red-zone targets (11) and the entire team in targets inside the 10-yard line (7) and 5-yard line (3).
Sean McVay said earlier this week that there was a good chance Kupp is ready for the Rams’ Week 9 game in New Orleans. Kupp saw a major uptick in his dynasty value based on recent ADP, jumping from 64 overall and WR31 in the preseason to 38 overall and WR21 this month.
Kupp’s injury was only a minor setback and opens a small buying window for dynasty players who might not have been there otherwise.
Add: Josh Adams, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Since losing starting running back Jay Ajayi to a torn ACL in Week 5, the Eagles have been working to find the right combination of usage among their three healthy backs.
Second-year back Corey Clement got the first shot at a heavy workload but failed to show the upside he flashed a season ago. The Eagles then turned to Wendell Smallwood as their “lead” back, but he wasn’t the answer either.
Then this past week, Adams was given his chance, leading Philly in carries and yardage on a 9-61 clip. The rookie’s playing time has quickly climbed to 61% of the offense’s snaps after he didn’t play at all in Week 6.
Adams is still available on most dynasty waiver wires and makes for a nice midseason target.
Trade away: Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
It’s hard to deny the impressive performance of Mack over the past two weeks when he’s finished as the RB2 and RB3, respectively. He set a career-high with 126 rushing yards in Week 7 then bested that mark in Week 8 with 132 yards, scoring twice in each game.
But my concern with Mack is his health. He’s played in only half of the Colts’ games this season, dealing with foot and hamstring injuries. There was even some worry that Mack might not play this past week as he was battling an ankle injury.
After a pair of highlight-reel performances by Mack, his value has never been higher, and he could easily be sold for a future first-round rookie pick (or more).
Dynasty ADP demonstrates just how volatile Mack’s value can be. Entering the season, Mack had climbed to a rank of RB33 based on his expected role as the Colts’ lead back, but the injury to begin the season pushed him down to RB47 and outside of the top 130 overall.
Mack will undoubtedly have a major jump in next month’s ADP data, making him an even stronger “sell high” player.
Drop: C.J. Anderson, RB, Carolina Panthers
I have to admit, I had high hopes for Anderson in Carolina. He signed with the Panthers after being dumped by the Broncos, and he looked like the perfect complement to elite pass-catching running back Christian McCaffrey.
The Panthers had used run-down veteran Jonathan Stewart as their workhorse ball carrier while CMC was catching passes and making plays. It made perfect sense that Anderson would be a better version of Stewart. But that’s not how it has played out.
We started to hear reports and comments from the coaching staff late in the offseason that it planned to get McCaffrey the ball as much as possible as both a runner and as a receiver. And that’s just what it has done. Anderson has only 21 carries and one reception, playing around 10% of Carolina’s snaps.
Normally I would preach patience in cases such as this one, or at least suggest trying to sell for the bare minimum, but I think that’s a fruitless attempt at this point. Anderson has value only to the McCaffrey owner in dynasty leagues, and very little value even in that case.
Drop him and find a player who might help you down the road.
Pictured above: Marlon Mack
Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports