Welcome! If this is your first time reading this, the ‘Trade Alert’ article is a weekly piece that aims to identify players who are about to have a change in value. Whether that means an increase or decrease doesn’t necessarily matter, because the idea is to identify the player before the change and make the appropriate trade decisions. It’s obviously a task that is easier said than done, but hopefully, this article will help you make a few moves that can improve your roster, regardless of the situation your team is in.
Last week’s article was geared towards acquiring 2020 draft picks for depth players that rarely see your starting roster. I am still looking to acquire as many 2020 and even 2021 picks as I can. I’m using my depth as a tool to make my team good in the future while being cognizant of making sure I don’t leave my roster too thin. As always, for reference, assume that the values I am providing, unless otherwise noted, are for 12-team, PPR leagues. For example, an “early” 1st round pick refers to 1.01-1.04, a “mid” 1st would be 1.05-1.08, and a “late” 1st is 1.09-1.12. Let’s get to this week’s players.
This week’s article is going to highlight a handful of TEs that I believe you should try to acquire before their respective prices increase. We know that having an edge at the TE position can put your dynasty team in an extremely advantageous position. While most of the TEs I will be emphasizing have yet to fully “break out”, I believe they have the potential to do so. The TE position is one that takes the most time to develop. Many of these names are of younger players who should be taking their biggest steps in development soon. Not every player will have the same outlook, but these are the players I am looking to acquire.
The first player in this category is Darren Waller. He likely will have the highest price tag amongst all the names that I will mention. Waller has burst onto the TE scene in 2019 to the tune of TE7, despite only having played 5 games to date. Waller’s emergence wasn’t completely out of nowhere. He became a bit of a hard-knocks star after being featured on the HBO series and has rewarded those who picked him up during the preseason. If you are unfamiliar with his story, Waller is a former WR from Georgia Tech, who was drafted late in the 2015 draft by the Baltimore Ravens. They converted him to TE, but after several drug-related suspensions, Waller was waived. He signed with the Raiders before the 2018 season, but only had a minor role. At 6’6 and 255 lbs, Waller has ideal size for a TE, and I believe his role will continue to be very prominent in this Raiders offense. One of the only knocks against Waller is his age. Being a 2015 draft pick, he is a bit older, having turned 27 last month. I’d be willing to give up anything short of a 1st round draft pick for him. I’m not sure a 2nd round pick would get the job done, but I’d be willing to package a pick with a player to get Waller.
The next player on my list is Bills rookie and former Ole Miss Rebel, Dawson Knox. Knox started slowly this year; as he was hampered by a nagging hamstring injury he suffered in July. However, since returning to the field, Knox has steadily seen his role increase for Buffalo. He, like many of these young TEs, has a limited immediate upside. However, I think he’s shown that he has the receiving ability to develop into an elite fantasy TE. I think you could acquire Knox for a 3rd round pick, and I’d be willing to pay that. Depending on your league, you may be able to unload a veteran or short-term play for Knox. The owner in your league is likely not using Knox every week, and due to his slow start, you could likely get him at a discount.
The next name on this list is someone we have all become somewhat familiar with, Dallas Goedert. However, he might be a tougher player to acquire. The dynasty community is very aware that Goedert is next in line to assume the very coveted ‘Zach Ertz’ role in the Eagles’ offense. While it would be somewhat surprising, the Eagles could choose to move on from Ertz after this season. I think it’s rather unlikely that it happens, but there will be a time when Goedert gets his day as the leading TE in this offense. His current price is a high 2020 2nd, which I think is a fair offer. However, if the Goedert owner is in need of more immediate production at the TE position, you could take advantage of this opportunity and buy a player with elite upside.
Moving on, the next player I’m looking to acquire is Broncos rookie Noah Fant. There was a considerable amount of hype for Fant because of Flacco’s propensity to throw to the TE in Baltimore. However, since his arrival in Denver, Flacco has seemingly leaned on the WR corps in the passing game more than ever before. This isn’t ideal for someone looking for immediate production from Fant, but it’s great news for us looking to add him. I’d love to acquire him for anything less than a 1st. If I have a late 1st I’d still be interested, but I’d like to receive something in return. I think Fant is an elite athlete that should develop in the next couple of years into a useful asset.
Irv Smith Jr.
The next player I’m interested in is another underutilized rookie, Irv Smith Jr. He, along with the entire Vikings passing game, got off to a slow start this year. You might be noticing a theme here, I’m targeting rookie TEs that I was high on coming into the year, that has yet to have a “breakout” game. I think the Vikings passing game has shown us signs of life the past two weeks, and it’s only a matter of time until Irv takes over for Kyle Rudolph. Irv Smith’s current value is a late 2020 2nd, and I think that’s about what I’d be willing to pay. I’d be much more comfortable if I could get him for a 3rd or a 2021 (projected) late 2nd, but I think Smith has a ridiculous amount of talent, and will eventually be utilized in this offense.
There is a handful of other TEs that I’m moderately interested in. I certainly am not as optimistic about these last few as I am on the aforementioned players. It’s possible that you can add some of these guys for next to nothing. I am going to check in with the owner, and see if they are ready to abandon ship on any of these next names.
Gesicki has been nothing but a disappointment so far in Miami. After posting absurd numbers at the 2018 combine, Gesicki was drafted in the 2nd round by the Dolphins. Unfortunately, things didn’t click his rookie year, and so far in 2019 things aren’t looking brighter, as the entire Dolphins team has been hot garbage. I’m not ready to throw in the towel on Gesicki yet though. Part of it is his crazy combine numbers, but most of it is because of how long the position takes to develop. Gesicki was somewhat of a glorified WR at Penn State, so it is understandable to see a steep learning curve. I’d inquire about adding him and would imagine you could get him for a late-round draft pick.
Our next player is Gerald Everett. He had a career day a couple of weeks ago against the Seahawks but otherwise has been a bit of a letdown. There was a lot of hype surrounding him as the “new Jordan Reed” in the McVay offense. Unfortunately, that’s never materialized, and as someone who has a few Gerald Everett shares, I can attest to the frustration that he has caused. But, I’m not quitting on Everett just yet. His game against Seattle shows that he has the talent, but needs to develop consistency and a more defined role. I’d be trying to get Everett for a 3rd round pick if I can. If he can carve out a consistent target share, he could prove to be a great value.
Ian Thomas & Jonnu Smith
Our final two names are Ian Thomas and Jonnu Smith. These two players are grouped together because they have a somewhat similar outlook. Both Thomas and Smith are waiting in the wings behind two TEs that are near the end of their respective careers (Greg Olsen and Delaine Walker) and are in offenses that have shown to be TE friendly. Both of these guys should be able to be acquired for an extremely low price and are in line to take over sooner rather than later. The appealing part for me is that they both will be taking over having spent time developing at the TE position, so they may be able to go from irrelevance to consistent producer rather quickly. They are currently valued as a mid 3rd round rookie pick, but I think you could get them cheaper. I don’t know that it’s a guarantee that they will turn into Olsen or Walker, but I’d be a buyer at their current costs.