Dynasty: Three sleepers RBs to trade for

Kenneth Gainwell offers lots of potential

By: Keith James

I love making deals. Don’t you? Dealmaking is the greatest part of dynasty fantasy football. Sure, there are deals to be had in redraft, but in one-year sample size, most league managers are leary to trade. In Dynasty, however, trades are an important tool for building your league dominating squad. In this article, I will showcase three under-the-radar running backs to trade for in your dynasty league. 

Trading is all about perceived value. It’s taken me a long time to understand how to successfully trade. Trades need to be fair but as a fantasy manager, you need to find value before it pops. We know that running backs have about a 3-4 year window before they fall off a cliff. Take a look at Leveon Bell and Todd Gurley. They were no about it top three picks just three seasons ago, now they aren’t even on an NFL roster. The greatness of running backs falls fast. In order to get out of an aging running back room is to find young talent that is ready to start making waves on game-day. 

Here are three running backs that fit that profile. They are being drafted with low ADPs and due to injury or ineffectiveness can be dynamic fantasy assets you are able to acquire for a cheap price. 

Darrynton Evans RB55, Tennessee Titans (ADP-220, Sleeper)

I like to target running backs that have high upside and are buried on the depth chart. Evans has both of these features. Not many people are aware of Darrynton Evans, but he is an explosive back, that ran a 4.4 forty coming out of college. Evans was the Titans 3rd round pick in 2020 out of Michigan beating Appalachian State. Due to injuries last season, Evans barely saw the field. 

Evans is no doubt buried on the depth chart. He is running behind one of the greatest power backs the NFL has even known. Derrick Henry is an alien. At 6’3 and 240 pounds, he is a dude that may very well buck all the trends of running backs dipping in production at age 27. But in fantasy football I play the odds and the odds say his cliff is coming. What usually ends up happening is injury. Henry is now entering his 6th NFL season. He has over 1,200 NFL touches. He is a great player and in standard leagues should be a top 3 drafted player but time catches all kings. 

When Henry gets dinged, Evans could be a league winner ready to catch passes and offer a different look to the Titans. Try to scoop Evans as an add on to a bigger trade and he could have league-winner potential. 

Chuba Hubbard RB50, Carolina Panthers (ADP-136, Sleeper)

Christian McCaffrey (CMC) is one of the best players in football. Not just at the running back position. He is an overall top 3 talent in the NFL. CMC also was dinged, a lot last year. He had multiple injuries that lead to him only playing in 3 games for the Panthers. I say that to say this, CMC has been brutally overused. He was such fantasy goodness for so long because the Panthers quite literally ran their entire offense through him, and he played every game. Last year was the first year he showed kinks in his armor.

CMC has over 1,000 NFL touches in his four years in the NFL. Much like Derrick Henry, he has been pounded and it showed up last season. CMC never missed a game until last year and my fear is that once star RB’s begin to get banged up, the injuries usually don’t stop. 

Enter a once shining star, Chuba Hubbard. Hubbard would have been a 2nd or 3rd round pick had he come out in 2020 but he chose to stay an extra year where he drastically disappointed NFL scouts. In 2019, Chuba Hubbard wowed at Oklahoma State. He rushed for 2,094 yards in 13 games. At 6.4 yards per carry, he was a big play waiting to happen at any moment. He also had a blazing 4.36 forty clocked at his pro day. Due to COVID and other factors, Hubbard had a down year that leads to him being drafted in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Chuba is explosive. He can take a crack in the defense to the house on any play. Built-in the shape of Raheem Mostert, he is a slim, fast, break-away threat. If he hits a hole, he’s gone. If the injury bug continues to nip at CMC’s heels, Hubbard could be a weekly fill-in player that may look to do damage of his own for your team. By year three, Hubbard may own the backfield in Carolina.

Two years from now CMC will be hitting his age 27 years in the league and will be due for a decline. CMC is not built like Henry, he is smaller and shiftier. Great for prime running backs years, but once the injury bug hits it tends to hit again and again. 

Offer a 2nd round pick for Hubbard and see if anyone bites. If not, again try to grab him as a throw-in to a bigger trade and walk away with a piece that will pay dividends for your squad down the road. 

Kenneth (Kenny) Gainwell, RB45, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP-122, Sleeper)

Saving the best for last, Kenny Gainwell is an afterthought back that will provide fantasy results immediately. Gainwell was the reason Antonio Gibson didn’t get much run at Memphis. Gainwell was too good for the Tigers to take off the field so Gibson was used a receiver. Kenny Gainwell’s traits remind me a lot of Austin Ekelar. 

He is a shifty, satellite back that can catch the ball out of the backfield and do some damage. Gainwell is set to have a long career in the NFL. The area where Eagles starting back, Miles Sanders, struggled last year was in the passing game. This leads me to believe Gainwell will get run starting week 1. He is not only a guy waiting for an injury to get his chance, he is also a dude that can do some damage in his rookie year on 7-10 touches per game. 

Gainwell fits what Nick Sirianni did with the Colts. His profiles are to be used in the same fashion as Nyheim Hines was last year. For those of you that forgot, Hines was RB15 on only 152 touches last year and brought a lot of good fortune to fantasy teams. Gainwell could do the same this year. I don’t believe he gets enough looks to be an RB2, but he could easily be an RB3 and used often in a flex spot. If an injury happens to Miles Sanders, watch out for Gainwell to have himself a year.

His ADP of 122 has remained fairly stable this offseason. He is being drafted in the 10th round of dynasty leagues and usually in the 3rd round of rookie drafts. This is where a fantasy manager finds value. He was not a high-end asset but with the passing volume continuing to rise in the NFL, pass-catching backs like Gainwell are becoming must-own fantasy assets. Look to get Gainwell on your team by offering low draft capital and watch when he becomes an annual RB2 you can have locked and loaded for the next 4 years. 

The time is now to find sleeper RBs

Value plus volume equals fantasy success. All three players on this list offer little value to the uninformed league owner. Get a league owner excited by offering a solid player like Chase Claypool, ask for a player ranked slightly below Claypool like DJ Chark, and attach Evans, Hubbard, or Gainwell to the trade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑