5 Players to trade away in Dynasty Leagues before Week 1

Consider trading these players in Dynasty League formats to capitalize on their market value
Mar 14, 2024; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley speaks during a press conference after signing with the team. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2024; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley speaks during a press conference after signing with the team. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Much like real-life NFL managers, the offseason is a crucial part of the dynasty fantasy football game. Unlike traditional redraft leagues, championships are often truly made in the offseason.

Redraft formats put a heavy emphasis on in-season trades but the best transactions in dynasty leagues will occur in the offseason. Player value is high, information is scarce, and most managers have yet to reactivate their football-minded brains.

With the 2024 NFL offseason coming to a close, most teams are beginning their preparation for the month-long preseason. Before the season begins, trade these five players prior to Week 1.

Travis Kelce

Kelce has seemingly been an ageless wonder for the past three years but 2024 may be the season he finally declines. The star tight end will turn 35 in October while most others in his position have typically began their decline at 30.

In the dismal field of tight end, Kelce will still hold value even if he sees a significant drop-off. But after turning back the clock with a 1,338-yard season in 2022, he put up just 984 yards in 2023. His touchdown numbers also decreased from 12 to five.

His 984 yards were still good enough for a third-place finish in standard leagues but dynasty managers never want to be in a position relying on a player even mulling a potential retirement. After securing his third championship ring in 2023, Kelce's life is seemingly perfect with Taylor Swift on his arm and his legacy already set. Yet he will be returning for what could potentially be his final year in 2024.

Tight end will seemingly always be a difficult field to navigate and in its current state, some managers may still find it preferable to ride Kelce until he retires, even if it will be for just one more year. Just be aware that the value he brings to the position may only be for another year and his name recognition still gives him considerable merit in the trade market.

Saquon Barkley

There is always excitement around star players in a new situation, especially when one as talented as Barkley has been so clearly hampered by a team like New York that never established a stable offensive line for him to work with. Now Barkley will move on to playing with the best team he has ever been with and a substantially better blocking unit.

However, given the optimism surrounding Barkley in his seventh year, his trade window may never be better. As an injury-riddled 27-year-old who has visibly lost most of the burst and explosion that built his name, Barkley will be slightly overvalued by most.

Even with D'Andre Swift notching 1,049 yards in 2023 on 4.6 yards per carry, Philadelphia only gave him 14 carries per game. Swift received just a 58% snap share as Nick Sirianni frequently rotated Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott into the rotation.

Under Sirianni, this offense has not historically utilized running backs as often as other teams. Though Scott is no longer on the roster, Gainwell is still listed as the backup with the team also drafting Will Shipley in the fourth round. As an aging veteran, it is very plausible to see the Eagles limiting Barkley's workload as often as possible.

Christian McCaffrey

There may never be a better time to trade McCaffrey than the 2024 offseason. While he put up a vintage year in 2024 to finish as the RB1, McCaffrey played a full season for the first time since 2019.

Having developed a reputation as a fantasy superstar, McCaffrey is obviously a stud when he plays but has recorded just four 1,000-yard seasons through his seven years as a professional. Likewise, he has posted 10 or more touchdowns in a single season just twice.

Touchdowns were a significant part of McCaffrey's game in 2023, notching 21 total scores to lead the league. Expecting that production to sustain in 2024 is unreasonable, as is relying on an elusive back to maintain his elite athleticism at 28.

The last time McCaffrey had a 1,000-yard season, he played in just three games the following year. Wear-and-tear has tended to take a serious toll on him as a professional as he enters the year running backs have historically dropped off.

As a receiver, McCaffrey's volume has also dropped off in San Francisco with George Kittle and Jauan Jennings emerging as Brock Purdy's preferred checkdown options. Purdy has claimed to be working on improving his game as a runner in 2024 which will further chip away at the value of McCaffrey.

Raheem Mostert

Mostert had the year of his career in 2023 but in a long-term project like dynasty fantasy, he did nothing but increase his trade value. Looking beyond his numbers from last season, Mostert is a 32-year-old injury-prone running back who relies on speed an athleticism now playing behind an inconsistent offensive line.

While he had his moments with San Francisco, 2023 was still the first year Mostert rushed for 1,000 yards. His second-best year, an 891-yard campaign with Miami in 2022, was only good enough to finish as the RB27 in fantasy, a far cry from his RB2 end position in 2023.

On paper, Moster is projected to be the Week 1 starter but has essentially found himself in a timeshare with De'Von Achane. In just 103 carries in 2023, Achane racked up 800 yards and eight rushing touchdowns; clearly unsustainable numbers but nonetheless proving his elite speed.

Mostert and Achane provide similar skill sets as runners but the latter is 10 years younger at 22 and has given more value as a pass catcher, posting more receiving yards in four fewer games. Achane is expected to see more volume in 2024. If he can even take half the leap that many expect from him, Mostert will take a hefty step back.

Stefon Diggs

Diggs is now a Texan, beginning the third chapter of his career after two successful tenures with Minnesota and Buffalo. The prospects of his potential success with gunslinger CJ Stroud are exciting, but moving from catching passes from Josh Allen to the young phenom is merely a lateral move from a fantasy perspective.

Diggs could still have a top-10 season but entering his 10th year in the league, he will turn 31 before Week 14. Historically, production in receivers dips after they turn 30 and Diggs' regression was semi-prevalent in 2023 when he had seven games with less than 50 receiving yards.

While he has put up six straight 1,000-yard seasons, his competition for targets will increase in Houston. With Buffalo, Diggs was the primary target of Allen, who attempted over 34 passes per game in 2023. His 160 targets were nearly double that of Gabe Davis, who was second on the team with 81.

In Houston, Diggs will have to compete with the volume of Nico Collins, Tank Dell and Dalton Schultz, all of whom saw over 80 targets in 2023. Stroud matched Allen's volume with 33 pass attempts per game but spread the target share equally with Collins' 109 leading the group.

At this point in his career, Diggs is a finished product and will not get any better. The best-case scenario for managers will be a repeat of his 2023 season and anyone able to swap him for youth or an alternative positional need should do so.