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Frustrating Start to 2022 Season Makes Several Premier Players Exceptional Trade Targets 

The 2022 season has had some surprise names at the top of scoring leaderboards and other big names dropping. @timbmartens asks if you can take advantage of the market being low on a few undervalued talents?

The 2022 fantasy season has been… odd, to say the least. As we planned for the season all summer, we set our rankings, we circled our breakout players, and we stood by those cornerstone pieces we knew could carry our teams.  

We enter Week 5, and a quarter of the fantasy season is behind us. And just like everyone predicted, the top twelve players at each position group include Jamaal Williams, Cordarrelle Patterson, James Robinson, Christian Kirk, Jared Goff, and Geno Smith.  

With the unpredictable nature of this season also come some very disappointing starts for some players that we have highly regarded in our dynasty rankings. Circumstances for many of these players have caused their 2022 output to be far below what we would hope for as a valued asset, and some owners may be getting impatient.  

With this in mind, now is the time to strike if you are a middle-of-the-road or rebuilding team. Owners who believe they can compete for a title are looking for ways to find the final pieces to get them that coveted championship. If you take a chance now, there are good odds you can get a premier talent at a significant discount.  

Let’s look at a few players who have had their stock go down since the start of the year but are still valuable dynasty assets. 

Kyle Pitts, TE ATL 

The start of the season has been very slow for the top-ranked dynasty tight end. Through four games, Pitts has only tallied 20 fantasy points in 0.5-PPR. That is good enough to land as TE21 on the year thus far. 

With only ten receptions on 22 targets and no touchdowns, Pitts owners are starting to feel a bit nervous. Is this guy going to pan out? Have I been valuing him too highly? Should I get out now before his value completely plummets? 

If you are a team with assets you can move and want to build for the future, reaching out on Pitts is a great idea. Pitts is only turning 22 this month. He is an athletic freak, with speed faster than some wide receivers, but in a tight end body.  

Before the year began, this was the type of deal we were seeing that would need to be offered to acquire Pitts: 

Now, just four weeks into the season, these are the trades we are seeing for Pitts: 

Pitts is a premier talent and player at a premium position. If you read my article last week on tight ends, you know that the landscape is barren right now. Getting a 22-year-old who projects to be a top-five tight end for nearly a decade is something to take a stab at.  

Yes, there is a gamble with Pitts. Things haven’t looked great to start this year. But I chalk this up much more to Atlanta not having a reliable passing QB than Pitts not having the talent. Buy while the value is the lowest it may be for years. 

D.J. Moore, WR CAR

I feel like I’m having déjà vu. Another season, another disappointing output from one of the league’s most promising receivers. But this time, it’s even worse. 

Moore is a fantastic receiving prospect. And while he has never fully broken out, he has consistently been productive. Three straight seasons of 1,100+ yards and four touchdowns are pretty consistent. 

However, this season with Baker Mayfield has been challenging. Moore only has 13 catches on 29 targets and one touchdown. He sits as WR50 on the year right now. 

Don’t get me wrong. It is tough to rely on Moore in 2022. Until Carolina figures something out at QB, Moore’s numbers will probably not rise up into a top-12 receiver’s output. But that is why it is time to take a shot if you are building for the future. 

Moore is still only 25. If you build for 2023, he will be a 26-year-old receiver with three strong seasons under his belt. He has immense talent and hopefully will have a better quarterback situation. 

And look what you could trade to acquire Moore right now in some leagues: 

These prices are very low for a stud like Moore. The 2023 class doesn’t look like a strong receiving class while being very strong in quarterbacks and running backs. If you need future WR help, getting Moore for just one first-round pick is not a bad deal at all.  

Najee Harris, RB PIT 

Harris burst into the league a season ago and had a fantastic rookie campaign. He was RB4 on the year in 0.5-PPR. He led all running backs with 74 receptions. The guy scored ten touchdowns. 

A season later, things have not gone his way. Harris currently sits at RB25 on the season. He has just 250 total yards from scrimmage and looks more like a late RB2/early RB3 than a top-five guy. 

But I am not ready to write off Harris, even if a frustrated owner might be. Gaining over 1,600 yards with ten touchdown seasons rarely happen as a fluke. And while Harris entered the league a little older as a rookie, he is still only 24 years old.  

A team competing for a title may see that 2022 is shaping up to be a rough season for Harris. If they want to compete now, they may look at moving him for a piece that can help them get over the top. Some are doing this already: 

There have been plenty of running backs this year overplaying where we perceived their value. If you are looking to the future for your team, Harris could be a fantastic target. Moving a back who has been successful and doesn’t project to be good a few years from now would be a great move. Harris is young, talented, and frustrating to his owners right now. Take advantage of it! 

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