2021 Dynasty Football QB/TE Buy and Sell

by Rob Lorge
2021 Dynasty Football QB/TE Buy and Sell

Welcome to the 2021 Dynasty Football QB/TE Buy and Sell article.

In dynasty football, we’re always on the lookout for what players to buy and who to sell. All the re-drafters get to sit back and wait until August, but when you're in a dynasty league, it never stops. You always need to be cognizant of the changing landscape and how the off-season moves are dictating player values.

We've seen a lot of off-season movement and it's had a big effect, positive and negative, for several players. It's important in dynasty leagues to be able to recognize those changes and be able to pounce on them. With all the transactions we’ve seen, we’re going to be looking at some of the best dynasty football buys and sells at the quarterback and tight end position for the 2021 season post free agency.

Even the notion of buying and selling is different in dynasty leagues than it is in re-draft. In re-draft, we're only worried about the here and now, this one season. For dynasty, we're looking at this year and multiple seasons down the road.

In any dynasty league I'm playing in, I work within a 1-3 year agenda. It's crucial you take an accurate representation of your roster. This will impact what players you're looking to buy and sell.

This week we're going to be looking at some quarterbacks and tight ends who've seen their dynasty values rise and fall since the end of free agency. It's important to remember just because a player might be listed as a buy or sell, it's more so an indicator of how their value has changed since free agency.

As the owner of your dynasty league team, you need to have an accurate perception of how competitive your team is. If you know that, you'll be able to use these changing values to accomplish your goals, whether that's competing for a championship in 2021 or making a run in 2023.

2021 Dynasty Football QB/TE Buy and Sell

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Quarterback Buys

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

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It's amazing to see how low Tua has fallen in the eyes of dynasty owners. It's almost as if this kid is already being completely written off and if there's someone in your league who feels that way, now is the time to make an offer. Tua is only 23 years old. He was just a rookie last year and it was his first time playing since suffering a serious hip injury in his last season at Alabama.

The Dolphins' skill players were lacking when they were healthy, but Tua rarely even got that group. DeVante Parker missed two of Tua's starts. Mike Gesicki missed one and Preston Williams missed seven. Myles Gaskin, their starting running back, missed five. Despite one of the worst supporting casts in the NFL, Tua managed to complete 64 percent of his passes and had a 2.2:1 touchdown to interception ratio. He also added three rushing scores.

Not that PFF is the end all be all, but his 65.4 score is not terrible by any means. Just as a reference point, Josh Allen's rookie season was scored at 65.3. That's not to say Tua will be Josh Allen "good", but just that it's far too soon to be writing Tua off.

The addition of Will Fuller is going to do wonders for this offense. It's going to add an element defenses didn't need to plan for in 2020. Tua will get a full offseason as "the guy" and without having to work his way back from an injury.

Miami is also well-positioned to draft one of the top pass-catchers in this year's draft. If that happens, Tua's dynasty value should begin to climb. After fielding one of the best defenses last season, I expect the 2021 NFL Draft to be all about Tua. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they add Devonta Smith, the best left tackle on the board at No. 18 and the best running back at No. 36.

The time to buy Tua is now. This is especially true if you're in the middle of a rebuild.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

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I'm a lot less sold on Jalen as a passer than I am Tua. Last year, Tua completed 64 percent of his passes, Hurts was at 52 percent. 74 percent of Tua's passes were on-target compared to just 60 percent for Jalen. 18.8 percent of Tua's were deemed off-target and Jalen was at 26.7 percent. That should only increase the buy now mentality for Tua, but it paints a more cautionary picture for Hurts. Still, however, if you're in a complete rebuild, he's a buy.

That’s because of what he can do on the ground. This is the X-Factor at quarterback. We're all looking for running backs that can catch 50 balls and we're looking for quarterbacks who can run. Jalen showed he can do that and then some. In just four games last year, he compiled 354 yards rushing and three touchdowns. With that kind of efficiency on the ground, he does not need to be the most gifted passer.

Jalen, like Tua, was working with a very subpar group of pass-catchers. Luckily, most mock drafts have zeroed in on a wide receiver for Philadelphia at No. 12.

Head Coach, Nick Sirianni just said the other week there will be a quarterback competition in Philadelphia, but no one should be buying this. The backup is Joe Flacco and their trade from No. 6 to No. 12 likely takes them out of the "will they still draft a quarterback?" question. If this decreases the cost of Jalen, even better. I love the upside he brings with his legs and we saw that already last year even as a rookie working with a depleted roster.

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

Okay, let's get this out of the way right away. Sam Darnold has been awful. He's been atrocious. Sam Darnold being listed here as a buy is more relevant in any two-quarterback leagues or superflex dynasty leagues than any single quarterback leagues where I'd take a more wait-and-see approach unless the cost of acquisition was so low. But if you're in a superflex or two-quarterback league, Darnold is an interesting buy.

He's been in Adam Gase's offense for most of his professional career. We've seen Ryan Tannehill, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, Robby Anderson and Kenyan Drake all have career years after leaving Adam Gase. Darnold has always been running for his life in New York. He's also been throwing to one of the worst set of pass-catchers for the better part of his three-year career.

In Carolina, he'll have a solid offensive line and some of the best offensive weapons in the league. Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore and Robby Anderson are some of the absolute best run after the catch guys in the league. They're going to rack up some additional yards for Darnold he doesn't have to earn.

This will be the first time since USC he'll actually be coached by someone who is competent. This one is more of a leap of faith buy, but there's a lot of things to like about the landing spot. We also need to remember, Darnold is only 23 years old. He's still incredibly young and for at least the time being, Carolina seems committed to making it work.

Check out Keith Lott's article if you’re looking for more insight into the Sam Darnold to Carolina trade and what it means for fantasy football.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

I'm looking to acquire Tua in almost any situation if I'm competing now or rebuilding. Hurts and Darnold are certainly guys I'm more open to acquiring if I'm in a rebuild phase on my roster. Stafford however, is an "I'm trying to win right now" kind of acquisition. Because of his age at 33 and his injury history, if he's on someone's roster who isn't ready to win, he's a real nice buy-low.

I absolutely love Stafford in LA with Sean McVay. He'll have some of the most complete set of weapons he's ever had and a really good offensive line. PFF had the Rams' offensive line in the top-10 after the 2020 season.

Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Van Jefferson and DeSean Jackson is an exciting group of pass-catchers. And we can't forget what Cam Akers did at the end of the 2020 regular season and into the playoffs.

Matthew Stafford has been a backend QB1, top QB2 for most of his career and now he's walking into the best situation he's ever been in. He doesn't offer anything with his legs anymore, but his arm talent will be enough to keep him in the 10-15 range for quarterbacks. If I'm in any sort of two-quarterback or superflex league and ready to compete for a championship, the upside Stafford brings in his new home is enough to make me want to acquire him.

Quarterback Sells

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

After the 49ers drafted Trey Lance with the third overall pick, the writing is on the wall for Jimmy G. He is not their long-term quarterback. Jimmy G has been a fine player when he's been healthy. That's been a big question mark unfortunately. Since joining the 49ers, he's only played 16 games once in four seasons. The other three seasons he has 15 games, combined.

When he played all 16 games, he was great. He had almost 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns. That's a solid Qb2, but that was in Kyle Shanahan's offense. No matter where he goes next, the landing spot won't be as safe. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. The 49ers have been adamant about Jimmy G being the starter this season and with the Lance selection, that's probably true.

Still, there's no longevity here. He's young enough and he's shown enough talent when healthy to get another job, we just don't have any idea where that's going to be. We might have felt comfortable about him being a solid enough QB2 in New England, but with Mac Jones going there, that takes this landing spot out. I highly doubt you'll get much for him at this point, but if you can trade him, do it.

Cam Newton, New England Patriots

Cam Newton was terrible last year. He was pulled from numerous games and never looked comfortable as a passer. Still, he's Bill Belichick's quarterback and the Patriots just spent a ton of money on Nelson Agholor, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. If you can find a member of your league who buys all things Patriots and there's usually one in most leagues, you should be looking to sell Cam Newton.

Newton is not the long-term answer for the Patriots. His value might never be higher than it is right now with the rejuvenation around the Patriots roster and some of the additions they made to their pass-catching unit, but I'm not buying any of it.

I've heard all the excuses for the 2020 season for Newton, but you can't excuse your way out of eight touchdown passes. Nick Foles had more and he started less games and his coach wasn't Bill Belichick.

Tight End Buys

Irv Smith, Minnesota Vikings

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Irv Smith is one of my favorite sleeper tight ends in re-draft formats and especially here in dynasty. He'll just be 23 years old at the start of the 2021 season. He came into the NFL as a gifted athlete with a lot of upside, which he hasn't been able to fulfill yet playing behind Kyle Rudolph. Kyle Rudolph is a New York Giant now and the starting role is all Smith's.

Last year when Rudolph missed the last five games of the season, Irv Smith capitalized in a big way. He averaged 11 points per game, which was good enough for a ranking of TE5 during weeks 13-17.

The Minnesota offense is not very pass-heavy, but it's consolidated. There simply aren't that many mouths to feed. There's Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and after that, it's wide open. Yes, Dalvin Cook will get his fair share of the pie too, but there's still plenty to go around for Irv Smith to be a top-10 tight end.

It should also be noted Adam Thielen will be 31 years old at the start of the season. If there's any decline or lack of efficiency from Thielen it could mean even more work for Smith. He's an absolute buy in all situations, competing or rebuilding.

If you’re not completely convinced on adding Irv Smith to your dynasty roster, check out 4for4’s Brandon Niles dynasty article on him.

Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints

Adam Trautman was a rookie last year and didn't provide much as a pass-catcher. He was mostly playing behind Jared Cook and Josh Hill. Drew Brees also got hurt, which impacted the passing game of the Saints.

Brees is gone now and we're not exactly sure who the quarterback will be. It could be Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill. I'm hoping for all Saints' fantasy players the winner of this competition is Winston. I think that's better for Kamara, Thomas and Trautman.

When Winston was the starter of the Buccaneers in 2019, he targeted his tight ends 108 times. This resulted in 70 catches for 770 yards and five touchdowns. In 2018, Winston threw to his tight ends 105 times. The results were 71 catches for 902 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Winston has shown us he likes targeting the position and the Saints are severely lacking pass-catchers right now. For all intents and purposes, it's going to be pretty much Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara out there. This means there's a huge chunk of targets Trautman could earn if he's capable.

I love the upside here because of Trautman's own talent and athleticism, Winston's history targeting tight ends and the upside of Sean Payton's offense. He's a big time buy for me if I'm in the middle in a rebuild.

Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks

I was really torn between giving this final spot to Tyler Higbee or Gerald Everett. Ultimately I went with Everett, but Higbee is another tight end I'm looking to buy in all situations. I love the addition of Matthew Stafford to that offense with McVay. Everett got the edge here though simply because there's less competition for targets in Seattle.

Last year, Russell Wilson threw it to his three tight ends 106 times. The two most targeted ones are gone. David Moore, their No. 3 wide receiver is also gone. Right now, there's an opening for the third weapon in the Seahawk passing game and whoever is catching passes from Wilson is in a really good spot.

The other positive for Everett is the new Seattle offensive coordinator is coming from the Rams' coaching staff, the same team Everett previously played for. I love looking for these coach-to-player connections.

Everett's production has been modest, with his two best seasons averaging 39 catches for 413 yards on 61 targets. If he's able to soak up 20-30 more targets of the 106 Wilson threw to his tight ends last year, there's an avenue for Everett being a useful tight end.

Tight End Sells

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Even before all the trade rumors surrounding Aaron Rodgers, I would have been entertaining offers on Robert Tonyan. It's not that he's a must move, but I'm be looking to cash out big.

He's a prime time regression candidate. In 2019, Aaron Jones had 16 rushing touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers had 26 passing touchdowns. In 2020, Jones had nine rushing touchdowns and Rodgers had 48 passing touchdowns. This tells us, the Packers are likely to have less passing touchdowns in 2021. He had a 9.1% touchdown percentage in 2021. His career average is 6.3%.

Tonyan scored 11 touchdowns on 59 targets. This is an absurd 18.6% touchdown rate. For reference, Travis Kelce was at 7.5%. Davante Adams, the guy who led the league in touchdowns, his touchdown rate was 12%. So, we know Rodgers' touchdown total is very likely to decrease. We also know Tonyan's touchdown rate is very likely to decrease. You combine the two of them and without a massive uptick in volume, Tonyan's touchdowns could be cut in half.

And this is all assuming Rodgers is actually starting for the Packers in 2021. This seems to at least be somewhat in the air right now. If I'm able to move Tonyan after his huge 2020 season, I'm definitely entertaining offers.

Hunter Henry/Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots

I'm putting these two guys together because they're both on the Patriots and you'll remember I already had Cam Newton in the sell list for quarterbacks, so I'm not a believer in the Patriot offense. The offense, however, as it relates to these guys isn't really the problem. They're each other's problems.

I know, everyone is going to talk about Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and how awesome those two were. And maybe there's a chance that's what happens, but the history on two tight ends from the same team being fantasy relevant on a regular basis is not very good. Gronk and Hernandez is the exception, not the rule and I'm certainly not looking to chase the outlier.

If you're able to sell someone in your league on Bill Belichick and Cam Newton and how those in New England were able to use Gronk and Hernandez, I'd be jumping at the bit. I don't think either player will be bad, but the consistency and the volume will be all over the board. You're never going to feel confident in starting either one. They're both tied to New England for the foreseeable future and as I mentioned above, Newton isn't their long-term answer.

The selection of Mac Jones might actually increase their trade value and I'd recommend using that window to make a deal.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

I do really love Tua as a buy candidate so it might seem weird seeing Mike Gesicki listed as well. The addition of Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller however, do not bode well for Gesicki.

As it stands right now, however, the Dolphins are widely considered to add one of those big-time pass catchers in the draft. That's great for Tua; it's not great for Gesicki. He's already going to fall behind Will Fuller for targets and Tua's attention. With Waddle, he'll fall even more. This will leave Gesicki fighting with DeVante Parker as the third or fourth option in the Miami passing attack.

The past two seasons, Gesicki has been right up there at the top as the number one or two passing option. That volume made him so attractive. If they do draft another pass catcher in the draft, Gesicki won't just fall one spot, he could fall two or more.

With Tua's youth and the Dolphins' steady defense, I don't expect a high-volume passing attack that would allow 3-4 pass catchers to be supported for the Dolphins in 2021 or the near future. If I'm able to sell Gesicki on the promise and upside he showed in 2019 and 2020, I'm all for it. I think his role could shrink in 2021 with the Waddle and Fuller now in Miami.

Be sure to come back next week when we take a look at some dynasty running backs to buy and sell following the NFL Draft.

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1 comment

2021 Dynasty Football WR Buy and Sell - Fantasy Six Pack May 13, 2021 - 2:31 pm

[…] you haven’t had a chance to read the previous installments of my Dynasty Buy and Sell Quarterback/Tight End and Running Back series, be sure to do […]


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