Each week of the NFL season I will highlight risers and fallers in dynasty leagues — one player to trade for, one to trade away, one to add and one to drop.
Trade For: Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Collins was a popular choice across all fantasy formats in the season opener thanks to a weak Bills defense, but he disappointed with only 13 rushing yards on seven carries, finishing fourth on his own team in rushing.
This should not be a concern, though, as this usage was strictly related to game flow. Even starting quarterback Joe Flacco was out of the game by the middle of the third quarter.
Collins did lose a fumble, which is also likely to blame for his limited playing time. But his backup, Kenneth Dixon, suffered a knee injury and will “miss some time.” The Ravens were already working with a limited running back depth chart, and this essentially ensures Collins of a heavy weekly workload.
Coming off a disappointing Week 1 performance and finishing outside the top 40 fantasy backs, Collins can possibly be acquired for a prospect and a future second-round draft pick.
Add: Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers got bad news when veteran tight end Greg Olsen left the season opener with what is presumed to be a serious foot injury, and possibly even a repeat of the fracture that kept him out for nearly half of the 2017 season. If that is the case, the next man up is fourth-round pick Ian Thomas, who impressed throughout training camp.
Thomas tested as an elite athlete with a 91st-percentile SPARQ score. The Panthers even gave him first-team reps in camp. And although Thomas will likely be the fourth option in the Carolina passing game, there is a chance he never relinquishes this starting job considering Olsen contemplated retirement this past offseason.
Thomas should be a priority add, especially in tight end premium leagues. I’ll be looking to spend at least 15% of my yearly FAAB budget on him in my leagues.
Trade Away: Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Another disappointing Week 1 running back performance came from Freeman, who totaled only 50 yards and was outgained by his more explosive backfield mate, Tevin Coleman.
After multiple RB1 fantasy finishes over his career, including an overall RB1 finish in 2015, Freeman carries a great deal of name value in the dynasty format.
Last season was rough for Freeman, who played without his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and also missed time with a knee injury. But 2017 could be a sign of things to come, as Freeman is already banged-up only one game in. As a Freeman owner, my first move would be to package him with a pick or low-level starter for an underrated back like Chargers RB Melvin Gordon, but moving down in value is also an option while targeting a young unproven player like Browns RB Nick Chubb and also acquiring a draft pick.
Drop: Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos
What more do we really need to see of the disappointing Booker, who has been given multiple chances to be the starter for the Broncos (or at least play a large role in a committee backfield)?
Booker has struggled in all aspects and has now been overtaken on the depth chart by rookies Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay (another top waiver wire add for the week). Booker also touched the ball just four times in Week 1.
Barring an injury to one of the rookies, this is what we can expect from him going forward. He is simply no longer worth a roster spot outside 28-man roster leagues or larger.