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Case Study: Dynasty Trades HQ Listener League – Productive Struggle Part 4

In the final part of the Productive Struggle Case Study, @JSnake_DFF will break down the moves he made during the regular season to win the ship! Make sure to check out the other parts if you missed them!


In part four of this case study, I will discuss my strategy going into the 2021 season, including my trades and waiver claims that led to me winning the ship in 2021. If you want to read part one about the start-up draft, click here. For part two about the moves made in the first season, click here. For part three about the moves made during the first offseason/ rookie draft, click here.

Superflex Dynasty Regular Season: August-December 2021

Waiver: Added Devonta Freeman

Freeman was my top waiver add at the beginning of September, and I was able to add him in three leagues. He proved to be a solid flex play in this league, especially after the Ravens’ bye week. Freeman is an example of the type of player I am looking to add off of waivers because even if my season began to fall apart, I could move him for an injured upside player or a 2022 second.

Traded Tylan Wallace & 2022 3rd for Ty’Son Williams

I must have a thing for Raven RBs because I made this trade immediately after adding Freeman. My thought was to lockdown the backfield, and Williams had just had two games with over 10 PPR points. I also was not worried about the value of trading Wallace and a 2022 third. This trade did not work in the long run, but I would still be aggressive and make this move because if Williams took over the Ravens backfield, he would have been a startable player and potentially moved for 2021 second if I wanted to.

Waiver: Added Rex Burkhead

Burkhead was another player that I added where I could because of the potential increase in opportunity on the Texans. He was a flex-worthy player based on the opportunity he was receiving. Again, always stash players like Burkhead and be quick to drop them if you don’t need them anymore.

Traded Kadarius Toney, 2022 2nd, & 2023 2nd FOR David Montgomery

David Montgomery (Chicago Bears)

Alright, everyone, this trade is one of my favorites for how my team was constructed. Before this trade, I did not have an RB2 and was plugging in either Freeman or Pollard, and I knew if I wanted to give myself the best chance in the playoffs, I needed a solid RB2. Montgomery proved to be just that, especially during the playoffs! I will add that moving two second-round picks hurt, but I expect Montgomery to be a solid RB for multiple more seasons, and he is someone I can potentially move for a first-round pick next season.

Traded Evan Engram & Trey Sermon FOR Rob Gronkowski

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – SEPTEMBER 13: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

To complete this trade, I had not to fall prey to opportunity cost. In this example, I realized that Sermon’s value was no longer the second-round pick I used to draft him, and honestly, his value isn’t even a third-round pick. So, I moved Engram, who has been so hit and miss, and Sermon for Gronk, a certified top TE during the 2021 fantasy playoffs. Gronk proved to be a crucial part in me comfortably winning the championship game, so the move was worth it!


  1. Be very aggressive on the waiver wire and always look for the diamonds in the rough. If you find just one player that turns into a flex worthy player, you can help your team not be hit hard by injuries.
  2. If you notice a team need and you are a playoff team, make a move that is not going to be an overpay. Go after a different player or just hold if a team is demanding an overpay
  3. As I mentioned before, don’t fall trap to holding onto players just because you paid up to get them on your team. Always adapt to the new values of the players on your team.
  4. This team is now set up to compete for years to come. I also still have my first round pick for the coming up rookie draft, so you do not always have to sell all your rookie picks to win a ship.


Throughout this 4-part series, I talked through every draft pick, waiver move, and trade I made to take my team from the 1.02 in a rookie draft to the championship team. I hope you can see that I did get lucky with some of the moves and draft picks I made, but I also made terrible moves that did not derail my goal. In my opinion, part of luck in dynasty fantasy football is always going for trade offers that help your team, and you never know what offers may be accepted. Lastly, if you draft a team with the productive struggle in mind, there are three things to remember:

  1. Be very aggressive trading back in the start-up, but also don’t trade just to trade. Always accrue value.
  2. Look to trade for players that have either upside or stable value and move players that are decreasing in value or do not help your team.
  3. BE PATIENT in a productive struggle draft. I was able to turn my team around in one year, but I would always plan on two years. Do not rush to compete or you may set your team back from competing long term.

This is the final part of this case study, but I will be doing two other case studies over the next month. I will also be looking into rookie hit rates and rookie values over multiple seasons. Best of luck this offseason, and be aggressive in making moves!

Rookie drafts are approaching fast. Be prepared with the #1 mock draft tool on the market. And it’s FREE. Available for iPhone and Android. Become a DynastyGM subscriber and sync your leagues with the Dynasty Nerds App to mock draft your actual teams.

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