With the fantasy season over now is the time of NFL draft research and dynasty trades. After looking back at 2018 and putting in research on the numbers I came up with a list of players I recommend exploring selling this off season. I am focusing on impactful fantasy players who I believe are at a high point in value after the 2018 season.
This includes some big fantasy names, I am not saying they will be bad next season, I believe the potential return is worth exploring. I am not looking to get rid of any of these players, but believe the right move could be very beneficial.
Williams probably helped plenty of people win their leagues this year. He took advantage of the Kareem Hunt situation and Spencer Ware being injured. The biggest concern for me is looking at the rest of his career Williams doesn’t appear to be that talented.
He has never averaged over 4 yards a carry in any previous season and before this season his career yards per carry was 3.6. This season there was only 1 target he didn’t catch out of 24, for his career he has been a solid pass catcher, but more in the 75% catch range. He is not going to bring in over 90% of his targets over a full season. He has been in the league for 5 years now, I don’t think he suddenly becomes a more talented player this year.
The truth is the value is the role and not the player. There is no guarantee that Williams will hold onto this role for long. The Chiefs did give him a contract extension, but I don’t think that gives him a stranglehold on the job. Even if he keeps the job for 2019 he is most likely not a long term starter in Kansas City. I would be looking to slip him for something that has more potential long term value.
This is the most obviously sell high to me, which may mean finding the right trade partner will be difficult. However, you only need to find 1 owner that believes the stretch at the end of the season is the real Derrick Henry.
In 2 games Henry had 38.5% of his yardage for the season, in the other 14 games he averaged 46.5 yards a game and had 6 TDs. He is not a reliable option and it is not just a matter of volume. He had double-digit carries in 9 of those 14 games. It is not like he is in a great situation on a dynamic offense either.
Basically, if you buy into Henry as a high-value fantasy player you are choosing to believe 2 great games over 45 games of mediocre play. His history shows he is not much more than a flex play where you are hoping for a TD when you start him. If anyone is willing to pay RB2 value for Henry I will be happy to move him.
Do not be fooled by the highlights from 2 games, he was on waivers in multiple leagues I am in when he had the explosion in week 14 and for good reason.
A lot of Allen’s value is derived from the volume he receives as the top option for Philip Rivers. My concern comes from the expectation that his volume will come down moving forward. His target share in 2018 was 26.9% and in 2017 it was 27.9%. Those are great numbers, but is it reasonable to expect them to continue? In 2018 Mike Williams emerged has as a weapon and he will likely demand more targets in 2019. Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler combined for over 9 targets a game in 2018, they should continue to be used effectively in the passing game moving forward.
The other big change from 2018 to 2019 is the return of Hunter Henry. In 2017 Henry and Antonio Gates combined for 114 targets, close to 20% of the team’s pass attempts. In 2018 Gates and Virgil Green combined for 72 targets and around 14% of the team’s targets. Henry is going to make the tight end position a bigger part of the Charger offense again in 2019. When that is combined with involving Williams more and the RB utilization in the passing game, it is hard to see Allen staying at such a larger target share.
Allen also does not have the touchdowns to offset a dip in volume. He had 6 TDs in each of the last 2 seasons. With Henry and Williams will both serve as bigger targets in the redzone. Gordon will continue to score TDs, it is hard to imagine a big uptick in Allen’s TDs.
Another threat to his target volume is the decrease in passing volume overall from the Chargers in 2018. They had their best season since 2009 and Rivers has his lowest passing attempts since 2009 as well with 508. From 2010 to 2017 Rivers averaged around 572 pass attempts a season and in that time frame the Chargers never won more than 9 games.
The Chargers have some good players on defense and a great running back in Melvin Gordon, which means they would be smart to keep Rivers closer to 500 attempts if possible. Less attempts combined with my expectation that his target share decreases and Allen is more of a WR2 moving forward for me, but I believe it will be possible to move him for WR1 value this offseason.