Three Flex Players to Trade Away in Dynasty

Trade away these three flex players

By Calvin K (Twitter: @Calvin_SGF)

For most leagues, fantasy championship week has arrived, and the heartbreak and jubilation set to occur on the coming weekend will signify the end of the 2021 fantasy season. For purely redraft players, this time of year marks the beginning of a long wait for next season, but for dynasty players, a whole new season of trading and startups begins. Dynasty trades often occur mostly in the first few months following a previous campaign, so there’s never a better time to try to acquire and ship off players. Here are three flex-caliber guys you should look to trade away.

1. Elijah Mitchell (RB, San Francisco 49ers)

I’d recommend holding onto Mitchell through the season if your league doesn’t have a trade deadline, as it’ll likely give potential suitors one more good performance in Week 17 against Houston to consider. Mitchell is a talented player who had a great season this year, but he’s still someone you should look to trade away, as his role isn’t particularly safe in San Francisco.

Mitchell has had a great season statistically, but Kyle Shanahan’s tendency to use multiple RBs and rotate starters often means his role is not necessarily locked in, even for next year. Shanahan’s running-back-by-committee approach has made many average or decent RBs look like superstars, with players such as Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, Tevin Coleman, Carlos Hyde, and others putting up solid production in recent years.

The fact that San Francisco drafted not one, but two rookie RBs this year in Mitchell and Trey Sermon signifies their willingness to move on to the next guy, a trait that is concerning when considering Mitchell’s dynasty value. Wilson, Sermon, and others, possibly including Mostert, will be around to challenge Mitchell for next year’s starting role, and while Mitchell’s youth may keep him as the starter, fantasy managers should be wary of possible sudden changes and look to trade him away after this year.

2. JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers)

Smith-Schuster’s dynasty value went down after he got hurt and went out for the rest of the year, but it’s still time to trade him away in dynasty as soon as possible. Smith-Schuster will be a free agent this offseason, but wherever he signs, his situation likely won’t ever be as good as it was with Pittsburgh over the last few seasons.

Smith-Schuster’s breakout year came alongside lots of soft coverage with Antonio Brown taking double-teams, but since Brown left, Smith-Schuster has struggled to produce similar numbers. His average depth of target has tanked tremendously, and his skillset now makes him almost exclusively a player who operates close to the line of scrimmage. With rare exceptions (Deebo Samuel), that role is not good for fantasy, and because Smith-Schuster doesn’t have WR1 talent or running back ability like Samuel does, it should be tough for him to compile major fantasy points in the future.

NFL teams seem to sense Smith-Schuster’s non-alpha skillset, as they allowed him to return to Pittsburgh on a relatively cheap one-year deal, so whatever team signs him probably would do so to make him a WR2 or WR3. That won’t represent much of an upgrade, if any, from his value in Pittsburgh even if he does manage to produce, and it could spell total disaster for his fantasy value if he lands on a WR-needy team that generally struggles to move the ball. Free agency often springs excessive hype for available WRs in dynasty leagues, so the time to capitalize on that potential value is now.

3. Tyler Lockett (WR, Seattle Seahawks)

Lockett should be someone you’re looking to sell high in dynasty for multiple reasons. For anyone who’s followed my content for a while, you know that I often rail against Lockett in general. This is for the reason that his inconsistency often causes him to tank your fantasy week, making him often left on the bench for when his outlier big weeks do come.

On top of that aspect, which is my usual narrative, the struggles of this Seahawks team as a whole leaves potential for QB Russell Wilson to exit Seattle via a trade after this year, potentially tanking Lockett’s value. Without Wilson, who he has played with for his whole career, Lockett’s value could plummet as the Seahawks go into rebuilding mode, which would only exacerbate his inconsistency. Finally, Lockett has been thoroughly outplaying DK Metcalf over these last few weeks, but historically, Metcalf has been this offense’s WR1, so there’s regression potential there as well.

Lockett’s production over the last few games has been very good. However, overall, the harm he does to fantasy teams with inconsistency, along with the other factors mentioned, means he should be someone you’re looking to trade away.

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