Fantasy football owners are the most impatient people in the world. Some owners are able to take advantage of this. Big names bring in big returns, here we talk some sell high IDP players.
There are some big names in the IDP world who may be nearing the tail end of their respective careers. Others are coming off career years and some are hoping they take the next step to a higher tier. If you play your time wisely, now could be the time where you can receive a nice haul for some of these players while not being affected by their eventual downfall. This article is strictly for dynasty purposes for the best possible return. Let’s take a look at my top IDP to sell high players.
Trey Flowers – Defensive End Detroit Lions
2019 Stats: Three tackles (two solo), one tackle for a loss and a one QB hit.
Trey Flowers was a prized acquisition for the Lions as they were in need of some defensive end help. Flowers was coming off three solid seasons with the Patriots where he totaled 164 tackles (100 solo), 25 tackles for a loss, 21 sacks, two passes defended, three forced fumbles and 59 QB hits. The 59 QB hits are a very promising number showing he provides good pressure on the quarterback, but I am tempering expectations.
Flowers played on the Patriots who were almost always ahead forcing the opposition into more passing situations. That allows for more pass rush and sack opportunities. The Lions gave Flowers a big boy contract to the tune of five years and $90 million. That is a contract you give a player you expect to be your primary pass rusher. The Lions are not the Patriots and are in an incredibly tough division. They will not be ahead half as much as the Patriots were. This could provide high tackle numbers for Flowers as he is great at setting the edge, but his sack numbers will remain lower.
The expectation was that Flowers would make a jump as the primary pass rusher for the Lions. He was being drafted as a DL15 when we were gathering ADP information this offseason. Flowers has only played on 59% of the Lions defensive snaps. The defensive line for the Lions includes A’Shawn Robinson, Romeo Okwara, Damon Harrison Sr., Mike Daniels, Da’Shawn Hand and himself. Hand is finally coming back from injury and should eat into more snaps. Flowers is a sell-high candidate as he will not meet expectations.
Antoine Bethea – Safety New York Giants
2019 Stats: 17 tackles (nine solo)
Antoine Bethea is one of the best-tackling safeties the NFL has seen. Just last season he led all safeties in tackles with 121 total and 100 of those were solo. Bethea is being used virtually as a linebacker and is averaging almost nine total tackles a game through the first two games. Why am I selling him then?
Now might be the last chance you get to sell Bethea with any real value. He is 35 years old this season and in his 14th NFL season. Needless to say, Bethea cannot have that much time left in the league. His tackling prowess though gives him high intrigue still from teams who are still competing for a championship this season. Sell him to a contender for another talent in return or simply for draft picks, now may be the last time you can.
Demario Davis – Linebacker New Orleans Saints
2019 Stats: 10 Tackles (seven solo) and one tackle for a loss.
Demario Davis is at a point where he needs to be sold now or his value may decrease even more throughout the season. He is coming off his two best seasons as an NFL pro. His last two seasons, he produced a combined 245 tackles (171 solo), 24 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. After production like that why am I selling him? There are actually a couple of reasons, age, contract, and surrounding talent.
Davis is 30 years old this season and he plays a position that receives a good amount of body punishment. Making 120 tackles a season on average will take its toll on the body. Davis’ contract is also over after 2020, leaving just one year remaining on his contract. Once that contract is done, I do not see him receiving another starting job, especially considering, he will be 32 when that time comes.
The Saints also recently traded for Kiko Alonso earlier this season. Though it looked like he was not in the plans much as he has barely seen the field, he was nursing an injury. Alex Anzalone has gone on IR and the Saints have not made any moves to acquire another starting-caliber linebacker. Kiko is coming off of three consecutive 100 tackle seasons of his own and is the best linebacker Davis will have played next to in a while. Sell Davis now before Alonso eats up production and Davis is left with an expiring contract and shaky future.
Carlos Dunlap – Defensive End Cincinnati Bengals
2019 Stats: 13 Tackles (six solo), three tackles for a loss and a sack.
Carlos Dunlap is off to yet another hot start to the 2019 season. He is averaging almost seven total tackles in his first two games. Get out from under him now and sell him to a DE needy team. If you date back to last season, Dunlap was a menace to start the season. In his first eight games, he posted 26 total tackles, six tackles for a loss, seven sacks, five passes defensed and two forced fumbles. During his last eight games, he totaled 21 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, three passes defensed and a fumble recovery.
Dunlap posted seven of his eight sacks in the first eight games of the season. From the looks of things, his age may be catching up with him. Rookie Sam Hubbard out-produced Dunlap the last half of the season and has picked up right where he left off in 2019. Hubbard has started 2019 with 15 tackles (eight solo), two tackles for a loss and two sacks. The Bengals also have Carl Lawson lurking in the background, waiting for Dunlap to leave to take over on the edge. Lawson himself had 8.5 sacks his rookie season in 2017 before tearing his ACL in 2018.
Dunlap carries a heavy dead cap hit for this season of $11,250,000 but that drops to $4,500,000 in 2020 and only $2,250,000 in 2021. Either one of those two is easy for the Bengals to eat if Dunlap slows down again and they want to continue their rebuild with the youngsters moving forward. Dunlap’s time as a full-time starter could be finished as soon as next season.
Calais Campbell – Defensive End Jacksonville Jaguars
2019 Stats: Seven tackles (five solo)
Here me out when you are reading this, I love Calais Campbell. He is an amazing talent with 81.5 career sacks and 642 career tackles. He is coming off his two best seasons as a pro where he posted 67 tackles and 14.5 sacks in 2017 and 72 tackles and 10.5 sacks in 2018. There are a couple of problems here though, he is getting old and we are not sure the direction of the team.
Campbell, though it has not seemed to matter, is 33 years old this season. He also has one year remaining after this season on his contract which carries a dead cap hit of only $2,500,000. Even if he sticks out next year with the Jaguars, which is actually the worst case, he will be splitting time with now rookie Josh Allen and Yannick Ngackoue, who the Jaguars are likely to extend. Campbell is an aging high-level producer and should still carry solid value after posting his two best professional seasons in the last two seasons. Sell him now before his value takes a dip.
When looking for players who are solid sell high candidates, you are looking for guys who are nearing the end of peak career but can still net you a solid return. Trey Flowers is the exception here where the expectation was set too high for him and I think you should sell before that role or lack thereof is exposed. Antoine Bethea, Demario Davis, Carlos Dunlap, and Calais Campbell are all still productive players but are on the wrong side of 30, but can still net you a solid return for contenders. If you own any of these guys, I would at least put some feelers out to see what you can land.
Follow me on Twitter @JoeyTheToothIDP. Tune into the IDPGuys weekly podcast for the most up to date info to help you win your leagues. Be sure to visit our sister site www.dynastyfootballdigest.com for anything you need to know dynasty football related. For all of my IDPGuys articles visit here. For all of my Dynasty Football Digest articles visit here. Remember…the Tooth has the taste for IDP.