Fantasy Football Trade Targets: Quarterbacks

Kyler Murray
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

February can be a low time for many football fans. Not only is the weather less than ideal, but we are also now more than six months away from meaningful gridiron action.

But for dynasty enthusiasts, this is a great time to start improving your roster via trade. Buying low and selling high is one of the key weapons in the arsenal of the successful dynasty manager.

First, let’s take a look at some of the quarterbacks that make solid trade targets, and a few that makes more sense to consider moving away from this offseason.

Buy Low

Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals) – During the lull in activity in the week preceding the Super Bowl, word broke that Murray has unfollowed the team via social media and was unhappy with the amount of blame he received for the team’s late-season collapse and playoff failure. While this may or may not be a legit beef, there’s almost zero chance Murray is getting traded or going to be able to legitimately use baseball as a negotiating ploy. Odds are, he’ll be right back in Arizona this summer and this will all be forgotten.

In terms of straight fantasy points, Murray is an elite option. He ranked fifth overall in fantasy points per game and is still just 24 years old. Kliff Kingsbury has built his entire offense around Murray’s skills and the Cardinals also don’t have a clear starting running back under contract for next season, which will put more emphasis on Murray. If the manager in your league is buying into the hype, it makes a great time to throw out trade feelers for a top-5 dynasty asset.

Jameis Winston (New Orleans Saints) – Although his season was cut short after just seven games, Winston was playing pretty well for the Saints and will command starting offers in free agency this spring. Ideally, a reunion in New Orleans would be ideal but with the Saints mired in a desolate salary cap situation, that looks unlikely. Tom Brady‘s retirement could also pave the way for a return to Tampa, but Winston should have no shortage of potential destinations.

Mason Rudolph (Pittsburgh Steelers) – It was good news to hear that Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement early rather than keep the franchise guessing. To be fair, Roethlisberger was cooked last season and the club would likely have moved on anyway, but the Steeler will now be in the market for a new starter for the first time since 2004.

Rudolph hasn’t done much to warrant fantasy excitement, but in a down year for rookie passers, Rudolph may be given the opportunity to start and at least be a bridge quarterback. While he certainly isn’t a player fantasy managers want to rely on as a potential starter, Rudolph should be on the radar as an inexpensive Superflex option and odds are he won’t cost much at all in assets. In fact, Rudoph might be available on many waiver wires, making him the ideal “buy low” QB2.

Marcus Mariota (Las Vegas Raiders) – Another under-the-radar option that can be acquired dirt cheap, Mariota is still just 28 and possess the dual-threat capability to be a solid reclamation project in today’s run/pass option league. Since he hasn’t been a starter in three full seasons, there is almost no risk in adding Mariota via waivers or as an ultra-cheap QB4/5 trade target. A swap of late-round rookie picks might be adequate enough.

Sell High

Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles) – Fresh off a top-10 fantasy performance in 2021 and still just 23, Hurts hardly seems like a player to trade away. However, it appears that this is the rare case where Hurts is a much better fantasy signal-caller than NFL passer, and the Eagles’ apparent lack of Hurts as the long-term answer mirror that train of thought. Philadelphia has been linked to Deshaun Watson, all of last season’s rookie passers, and now rumors of potential interest in Russel Wilson have plagued tabloids and don’t bode well for Hurts’ long-term viability.

Going back to the latter point, Hurts also hasn’t impressed as a passer. While he did lead all quarterbacks with 10 rushing scores, Hurts had fewer than 200 passing yards in 9 of his 15 starts. Hurts also accumulated a lowly 69.2 pass grading at Pro Football Focus, which ranked 26th among qualified quarterbacks in 2021. While the Eagles did make an unlikely run to the postseason, there are serious questions if the Eagles can make a serious run with Hurts and that makes him a volatile dynasty option.

Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers) – Although he has one year remaining on his deal, Garoppolo is expected to be traded this offseason to make way for San Francisco to start Trey Lance. While the 49ers were successful with Garoppolo under center, he wasn’t a true difference-maker and the Niners were actually 3-0 when he didn’t throw a touchdown in a game and 5-2 in games where he threw for fewer than 200 yards.

For Garoppolo to not thrive under the tutelage of an elite offensive mind like Kyle Shanahan is concerning. If he’s traded to a lesser team with an uncreative play-caller or subpar rushing attack, the bottom could fall out quickly. While he’s only really relevant in Superflex formats, it still might be a good time for fantasy managers to move on.

Taysom Hill (New Orleans Saints) – Hill couldn’t event bet out journeyman Trevor Siemian to take over as the Saints’ starter and that was with Hill superfan Sean Payton at the helm. Now, Payton is gone and the Saints are in salary cap hell. Hill is almost certain to be back with the club because of his ridiculous $19 million dead cap cost if he were released but he may be relegated back to his part-time and special team role.

Hill simply doesn’t look good enough to be a viable starting quarterback. He completed just 58.2% of his throws and was graded out as PFF’s No. 45 passer last season. Now Hill can produce top-notch rushing numbers, and if that appeals to one of your league-mates, see if you can cut bait now on a player who will be 32 in August and whose days as a potential starter appear to be very limited.


 

About Jody Smith 138 Articles
With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction.Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.