One of the key strengths of a good dynasty fantasy football player is knowing when is a good time to cut bait with players who might not be useful the next season.
The New England Patriots have been notorious for knowing when to let a player walk a year too early rather than a year too late. The Green Bay Packers have had mixed results in letting certain players go, but are mostly best at it on offense.
To gain an upper hand in your league, you must put on the cap of a good general manager and see where you can trim the fat to get a return of more valuable assets. If one has Packer players on their team, it might be harder to cut that emotional tie, but I’m here to help you make a logical decision—or provide confirmation bias.
Which Packers should you be letting go?
Trade: Aaron Jones, RB
This designation comes with heavy caveats. Jones had a terrific RB3 season last year, while surpassing 1,000 yards for the first time in his young career and adding nearly 500 receiving yards. He’s just 25 years old and appears to be a big part of head coach Matt LaFleur’s game plan going forward.
However, Jones will never be as valuable of an asset as he is right now. A study by Apex Fantasy Leagues found that the most common age for a running back to experience his peak is at ages 24 and 25. That’s not to say they aren’t productive after 25, as production only dips slightly, but if you’re not ready to compete by this season, then I would trade him for as many draft picks as possible to find another running back that more closely meets your competitive timeline.
Additionally, Jones will be an unrestricted free agent after this coming 2020 season. He’ll be expecting a new contract and if the Packers don’t sign him to an extension during the season, there’ll be a lot of uncertainty for what his 2021 playing situation will look like.
As I mentioned before, Jones carried a lot of passing game value in 2019, but Jones’ proficiency in that area may be replaceable. According to Football Outsiders, Jones was 32nd among running backs in receiving DVOA and 27th in receiving Defensive-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR). DYAR measures “the value of performance on plays where [a] RB carried/caught the ball compared to replacement level.” By those ranks, it appears that Jones will have to prove his value even more as a pass catching option.
If your dynasty team is ready to take down some folks in the playoffs, then hang on to Jones for dear life. He’s still got some productive years left in the tank. Revisit his value in 2-3 more seasons.
In short: trade him if your team sucks, but keep him if you’re ready to compete.
Keep: Davante Adams, WR
As odd as it sounds, I don’t truly believe we’ve seen the best of Davante Adams just yet. Where Aaron Jones might be in his current peak, Adams is still ascending—so long as he avoids serious injury. He’s played all 16 games in a season only twice in his six-year career, but his best season was in 2018 where he missed a game and still put up 1,386 yards.
When Adams’ targets surpass 120 over the course of a season, he’s good for at least 200 fantasy points which is good for double-digit points over the course of a 16-week fantasy season— should your team make it to the championship.
Those targets should still be there for Adams going into 2020. Despite a heavy number of mock drafts giving the Packers a wide receiver in the first round, I don’t project that receiver (or any they might pick up in the draft/free agency) to take targets away from Adams. With Jimmy Graham projected to be let go, that frees up 60 targets and the 111 targets between Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling could be divvied up to give a new, more talented pass catcher some opportunities.
Keep: Aaron Rodgers, QB
I started writing this making a case for trading Rodgers until I got myself to the point of keeping him. At 36 years old, Rodgers still has a good amount of value being QB9 last season and QB6 in 2018. Also, being in his second year in Matt LaFleur’s offense should be a bonus for him since it usually takes a while for any quarterback to integrate himself into a new scheme. The age is really the determining factor.
There are plenty of young QBs with upside that you can seek out to replace Rodgers’ fantasy production to some degree, but if your dynasty league runs two-QB or Superflex, then a lot of these quarterbacks will be occupied. You can take your chances with a rookie QB in the draft, but that also means you have to make sure that you are in a position to obtain one and that you don’t miss on the selection.
The only times Rodgers hasn’t been a top-ten fantasy QB is when he hasn’t played a complete season. He hasn’t looked like the Aaron Rodgers of old the past two seasons, but he’s still putting up good enough stats. The best move would be to hold onto Rodgers and try to draft a young QB as an insurance policy.
I may be one of the few who still believes in Rodgers as a top QB, but when someone says he’s not a good fantasy option, in my very best Howard Ratner voice: I disagree.