I have nine draft picks and my dynasty rookie draft is less than a month away. I need to make space - fast!

General Strategy

First, having nine picks is part of my strategy for staying at the top of my league year after year. I have written about this in various articles, including these:

To summarize, draft picks always going up in value, peaking on draft day, while players generally peak in value about 3-year into their careers and start to decline in fantasy value. By keeping these dynamics in mind and trying to be very efficient with how we handle our team assets (players and picks) our team will have a tendency to increase in value.

Based on this strategy, I now have the following picks heading into my dynasty rookie draft: 1.06, 1.09, 2.02, 2.04, 2.11, 3.02, 3.04, 3.07 and 3.12.

As usual, increasing the size of my treasury during the draft is always a high priority. I will try to end up with more and higher picks after the draft than I use. For example, I will try to trade my high-round picks (e.g. 2.02 and 3.02) up a round into the future. There will likely be some rookie that someone in my league thinks is way undervalued still on the board (and they will probably be right, but they will most likely guess wrong), and can justify sending me what they assume will be a low 1st round pick to get that player right then. I might try to sell the 2.11 for a future 2nd (which would have a 10 out of 12 chance of being a higher pick in the future), or the 3.07 for two future 3rds. Draft picks are never more valuable than they are on draft day. All team managers are present and active. Rookie hype is at an all-time high.

I got my 1.06 and 2.04 picks this year by trading up from the 2nd and 3rd round last year.

And if I have an extra 2025 1st round pick near the end of the fantasy regular season, and I need to fill a hole in my roster going into the playoffs, I might be able to target a near-the-end-of-career veteran to help me in the playoffs. The goal of the regular season is simply to get to the playoffs. Then your treasury of picks can come into play to make very targeted moves if needed at the end of the regular season to give your team some playoff super boost.

Furthermore, I believe this year's rookie crop is a deeper pool of talent compared with last year. Last year, I only thought there were four draft-worthy rookies - I got two of them, Anthony Richardson and Dalton Kincaid. This year I consider 13 rookies to be draft-worthy, and some of them will be likely be hanging around in the 3rd round. So I want to keep all my draft picks, even my 3.12 since it is reserved for picking up a defense. (I currently don't have a defense and we don't have waivers in my league until after Week 1.)

This puts a lot of pressure on me to scale down my roster. We have a 24-man roster, and with nine picks, I must scale down to 15 players before my draft.

Who To Drop

Figuring out who to drop is easy. It isn't about figuring out their value to you, it is about figuring out their consensus value. I use ownership percentage as my first metric to determine who to drop. However, a site that has consensus dynasty player values is also a good way to find who has the lowest consensus value. If they have a low consensus value, then they have a greater chance of hanging around on the waiver wire for you to pick up later if you still want them.

However, dropping players is an inefficient use of your resources. It is much better to trade away players, than to drop them. Even if you get less than they are worth, it is better than dropping them. And you get to keep a draft pick that is going up in value rather than hold on to the players that are losing value.

So this leads to the art of selling, which is the real challenge - trading players away rather than simply dropping them.

How To Sell

Now we get to the fun part of this article. Since the end of last season, I have been whittling down the size of my roster. These are my trades so far:

Gave Up Received Back Date
Devin Singletary, RB Low 2nd round pick (2025) January 17

Jordan Mason, RB

3.02 pick (2024)

Low 2nd round pick (2025) January 25
3.10 pick (2024) High 3rd round pick (2026) March 1

Mike Evans, WR

Marcus Mariota, QB

Indianapolis Colts

2.07 pick (2024)

2.08 pick (2024)

High 3rd round pick (2026)

Low 3rd round pick (2026)

Tyler Boyd, WR

Elijah Moore, WR

Alec Pierce, WR

2.02 pick (2024)

2.04 pick (2024)

High 1st round pick (2026)

High 2nd round pick (2026)

March 10
Elijah Moore, WR 3.12 pick (2024) - replaces D I traded in previous deal March 13
Alec Pierce, WR Kyle Philips, WR - I like Kyle as a talent and he is getting a lot of work with Levis right now. April 24
Jelani Woods, TE Low 3rd round pick (2026) May 4
Cam Akers, RB High 3rd round pick (2025) May 4

I like to make a Trade Balance Sheet to see overall progress in trading. The trade balance sheet is essentially the above table, but cancelling out the assets that are the same in both columns. Here is my Trade Balance Sheet:

Gave Up Got Back
Mike Evans, WR High 1st round pick
Devin Singletary, RB High 2nd round pick
Cam Akers, RB High 2nd round pick
Jordan Mason, RB High 2nd round pick
Marcus Mariota, QB Low 2nd round pick
Jelani Woods, TE Low 2nd round pick
Indianapolis Colts Tyler Boyd, WR
Mid 2nd round pick Kyle Philips, WR
Mid 2nd round pick

That's not a bad off-season haul so far. I cut my roster by 5 players, and gained some nice picks for this year and future years. Yes, it hurts to lose Mike Evans, but he is an aging asset, and based on my strategy and calculations I can probably turn two of the high 2nd round picks I received in that trade into 1st round picks, so 3 1st round picks for Evans is simply an offer that came my way that was too good to turn down.

But these trades weren't just dropped in my lap. I had to work to make them happen. I had to sell them. I did this by using the leagues message and article systems.

It isn't always about making a deal happen. It is more about being active. Letting people know what you want to do, and also putting yourself in their shoes. I don't force anything, but I do advertise. So here are some examples articles I posted in my Dynasty League:

Why Brandin Cooks is a Thing (January 12)

On pace for 254.2 fantasy points in 2024!

Brandin Cooks joined the Cowboys in the 2023 off-season. He had to learn the playbook and get on the same page with Dak. In his first 8 weeks he scored 47.8 fantasy points, a meager 5.98 fantasy points per week.

However, in the back half of the season, Brandin became Dak's #2 target. He scored 127.1 fantasy points from Week 8 to Week 18, averaging 15.89 fantasy points per week. That pace puts him on track for 254.2 fantasy points over 16 games next year.

Where can you find a receiver like that? And only for a high 3rd round pick. There have only been 2 WRs out of the 9 drafted in the 3rd round in the last two years that have scored more than 100 fantasy points their rookie season.

So what are you waiting for. Come steal Cooks from me for a high 3rd round pick before I change my mind.

Get Some Leaven with Devin (January 26)

At the beginning of the 2023, Damien Pierce was expected to be the Texans lead back. But Devin Singletary was outperforming Pierce and took the lead role in Week 10 and hasn't looked back since.

From Week 10 through Week 17, Singletary took 130 carries for 626 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and 3 TDs. He also made 20 receptions for 149 yards.

He has scored an average of 14.3 fantasy points per week. He is only 26 years old, so still has juice left in the tank.

Fantasy Pros has him valued as a mid-2nd round pick: https://www.fantasypros.com/2024/01/fantasy-football-rankings-dynasty-trade-value-chart-january-2024-update/

I paid the 2024 2.03 pick for him to help me in the playoffs when Brian Robinson was out, and he helped me get to the championship game.

Singletary is now Houston's lead back. Will Singletary re-sign with the Texans? We don't know for sure, but it looks likely:


So if you are looking for some depth at RB in a very weak 2024 RB class, now's your chance to get some leaven with Devin!

It's FREE - Build better lineups with DFS Lineup Explorer

GE - We Bring Good Things To Life!!! (January 17)

Gerald Everett that is!

Based on average fantasy points per week, Everett was the 19th TE in 2023 - a solid TE2. He's 29 years old, which isn't old for a TE and he is an unrestricted free agent in 2024. He's too good of a talent not to land somewhere, and where he lands will greatly determine his role and fantasy value.

So if you might be looking for a TE2 to improve your TE corps, then Everett could be your guy. There are no free agents available in the league near Everett's performance level, and I am just looking for a low future 3rd round pick.

Fantasy Pros has him valued as a 3rd round pick: https://www.fantasypros.com/2024/01/fantasy-football-rankings-dynasty-trade-value-chart-january-2024-update/

So think GE. If he lands right, he could "bring good things to life" for your team!

2nd-post (January 18)

It's occurred to me that some of you young pups might not know the GE jingle and just think I'm crazy. :lol:  So I thought I'ld post a GE moment so you can see what you might get in exchange for a future 3rd round pick:

See, I am completely sane! :-P

Mason In The Conversation (January 25)

Jordan Mason is the 49ers 3rd RB behind Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell.

Of course, as long as CMC continues to stay healthy and perform as he has, neither Mitchell nor Mason will make much of a fantasy impact in 2024.

However, CMC will be in his 8th year and 28 years old for the 2024 season, past the usual drop off point for running backs. Will he slow down or be injured in 2024? Nobody knows, but father time is not on his side and if he does then Mason's in the conversation.

Mason has easily outperformed Mitchell in 2023, averaging 5.2 YPC versus Mitchell's 3.7. There are some reasonable scenarios in which Mason takes over the 49ers backfield in 2024 and if he does, he has potential to be a top NFL back. And even if he doesn't, CMC is going to fade eventually, which could give Mason lead back opportunity at some point.

He is a bit of a dart throw, but with the weak RB class this year, he is probably a better dart throw than an RB you can pick up in the 2nd or 3rd round of the 2024 rookie draft.

Elijah Moore For The Score (March 11)

Elijah Moore is entering his fourth year in the NFL. With a high 2nd round pick, Moore landed with the Jets and Zach Wilson his 2021 rookie season, a WR's nightmare.

In 2023, citing frustration (see Footnote 1), he managed to wiggle his way free from the Jets and got a new start with the Cleveland Browns and DeShaun Watson.

Watson ended up not being much of an upgrade over Wilson, but as Watson was finding his footing and Moore was continuing to learn the playbook, Moore finally scored his first TD as a Brown in Week 10. But the QB carousel continued, as an injured Watson was replaced first by Dorian Thompson-Robinson and then Joe Flacco.

Flacco fired on all cylinders from Week 13 on, and helped Moore get this nice revenge touch down against the Jets in Week 17:

In summary, a wide receiver typically takes 3 years to get to his peak output but a receiver's development can been stunted from the conditions Moore has endured. Moore has upside (as he has shown his desire to play and develop by requesting to leave the Jets) if the Browns can get their QB situation under control. There is even a chance Flacco will start with the Browns in 2024, as Moore has secured the starting job opposite Jerry Jeudy.

Get an eager and young Elijah Moore for the score!

Footnote 1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elijah_Moore

Look To Boyd To Fill The Void!!! (March 13)

Tyler Boyd is a 29 year old WR free agent coming off a stacked Cincy roster that includes Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

A favored landing spot for Boyd is the Steelers, who just let go of Diontae Johnson and Allen Robinson II. The Steelers will be looking for an experienced veteran as part of their 2024 WR corps, and Boyd is just the man for the job.

Boyd is a talented slot receiver who had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in a less crowded receiving corps with the Bengals in 2018 and 2019. So if he lands with the Steelers or some other team with equivalent need at receiver, he stands to have some upside in 2024. He has a high floor as a decent flex option for any team needing a little depth at WR.

Enjoy some of his 2023 highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwClJFmfq-k

Fantasy Pros March Dynasty Trade Value chart has him valued as a high 2025 3rd round pick. https://www.fantasypros.com/2024/03/fantasy-football-rankings-dynasty-trade-value-chart-march-2024-update/

So if you are looking for some dependable depth at WR with some upside, look to Boyd to fill the void!!!

Global Trade Offer (May 4)

Hi, I haven't figured out my draft strategy yet, and don't know who I will drop. Earlier this season, I thought it would be easy to make the drop decisions, but as the off-season has progressed, it seems the players in my drop list have become more valuable, but I am still leaning toward making room on my roster for all my picks, which means dropping seven guys. Most of my guys are more than 50% owned, which means they have value.

Here are players I might trade if anyone is interested:

Minshew has a good shot at becoming the Raiders starting quarterback. In my opinion, Minshew deserves to start in the NFL.
Akers was a top 1st round pick before his injury. How well has he recovered, can he become a top back again???  It's all up in the air.
Boyd looking for a new home. He is a skilled WR and he is just looking for the right place to land - targets, QB, and pay...  If he lands okay, he can make a nice WR2 or WR3 addition to your team, with streaming WR1 potential.
Kyle Philips - Philips is a talented and solid WR that just hasn't had a lot of opportunity. Now he is notably doing a lot of work with Will Levis. Philips is a sleeper with very big upside potential.
Gerald Everett - an upgrade at QB with Caleb Williams could boost his fantasy value - esp. a rookie QB might look to drop off to his TE a lot.
Tanner Hudson - up and coming TE for Cincy - with Burrows back - has good upside.
Jelani Woods - I haven't really planned to drop him. I believe he has Kelce-isq talent and at least will be the Colts starting TE if he can be healthy this year.
Greg Zuerlein - anyone need a kicker for Week 1?

I have to double check, but I think I would take a future 3rd for anyone or combo of 2 or 3 of them. Not because I don't think they are worth more, but because I know I need to drop a lot of players. You can say that if I drop them you can pick them up on waivers later, but so can everyone else. A trade is how you grab a couple of them now. I believe most of these players add good depth to a roster, and I think some rosters in this league might benefit from some of this depth at one position or another. And since I am asking for future picks, it doesn't take away from your draft this year.

2nd Post (May 9)

With my trades of Akers and Woods, I only need to drop four more. So these are the guys on the block now:

Kyle Philips - who I recently traded for because he is good WR that just hasn't had an opportunity, and he is now working a lot with Will Levis. Looking like he will be a starter this year.
Gerald Everett - now has Caleb Williams to throw to him. And rookies might look for the TE escape value more often
Tanner Hudson - with a healthy Joe Burrows
Greg Zuerlein - in case you need a kicker Week 1, but would prefer to use a future 3rd pick for him.

Any and all of these guys can be picked up for a 3rd. Even if you want all four for a single 3rd, they would be yours.

Trade Proposals & Drops

In addition, I looked at rosters and tried to understand the various needs of the teams. I made proposals, and proposals were made to me. Currently I have multiple trade offers out for where I offer to trade Gardner Minshew (QB), Tyler Boyd (WR) and Gerald Evans (TE) for a low future 3rd round pick. There are still a lot of managers  in the league that haven't been active so far this season. I believe these players do add depth, especially Minshew and Boyd, to some teams such that they are worth more than my ask. So maybe I will get these trades when these managers become active, maybe I won't.

These are not necessarily the players I would drop if the trades don't go through. I am down to 19 players now and I only need to drop 4 more before my draft. My current roster is:

The players that are bolded are the players I am trying to trade. The players that are underlined are the 4 players I would drop if the trades don't work out. I show the percent owned after these players. You can see the players I am trying to trade have a high ownership, and the players I would drop mostly have a low ownership.

I value Kyle Philips more than Tyler Boyd, but the consensus is with Boyd. I have a better chance of trading Boyd away, than I do with Philips, and if I drop Philips and nothing changes, I have a good chance of being able to pick him up again sometime after the draft (since I plan to sell picks during the draft, I will have roster space to pull him back on if I like). Similarly I value Hudson more than Everett.

I hope this article was fun and helpful. Wishing you all the best with your dynasty rookie drafts.