Dynasty: Upcoming RB Free Agents

Maybe your season in your dynasty league is already over, or maybe you are bound for the championship game. Doesn’t matter for this thread: now is one of the most important times in a dynasty season.

I call it: the first draft for next year.

Earlier on, I already took a look at a few QBs that may (or may not) be available on your waiver wire, and that might be worth stashing for the offseason.

Now, let’s take a look at RBs that will become free agents after this season. While chances are slim that you will find a stash-worthy RB on your waiver wire, you will still have to evaluate your RBs and decide whom to keep, and whom to trade away (if your league allows off-season trades, which IMHO all dynasties should) or even cut (in case your league cuts non-keepers at the start of the new season, rather than right before the draft).

So let’s take a look at RBs with expiring contracts.

Saquon Barkley
Yep, he’s playing on his 5th year option and will be a UFA shortly. No fantasy implications here, though. The Giants are likely to give him a new contract, and even if not, he will easily find a new team that will give him a prominent role. If you have him, you hold him.

Josh Jacobs
The Raiders certainly wish they had accepted the 5th year option by now. Alas, they haven’t. Now they either have to franchise-tag him, give him a new contract - or let him go, which seems to be the least likely option. Hold him or try to buy him with a discount, pointing out his uncertain future. Jacobs is young enough (turns 25 next year) to be worth a gamble.

Tony Pollard
Now this will be interesting. Pollard looked better than Zeke this season. Alas, Zeke still has a contract next year. Pollard does not. This could lead to an ugly situation. Pollard will want the same money as Zeke gets, but the Cowboys won’t offer nearly as much and rather franchise-tag him. If you have Pollard, try to sell him high if you can get a good offer.

Miles Sanders
If the Eagles bring him back, he’ll still be stuck behind a rushing QB. The best case scenario is that they let him go and he finds a team that deploys him as a lead back. That seems unlikely, though. I’d sell him.

Kareem Hunt
Hunt will be 28 next year. He hasn’t seen too heavy usage recently, so he may not fall off the age cliff just yet. But he also doesn’t have a lot of upside, either. Sell him, if you can. If not, hold him and hope for the best.

David Montgomery
See “Sanders, Miles”.

Devin Singletary
He’s gotten better over the years. Good enough that the Bills want to keep him around? I have my doubts. Sell him if you can.

Jeff Wilson
Wilson is playing on a 1 year contract, and he’s doing it well. But there is no guarantee the Dolphins will bring him back. And even if they do, he’ll turn 28 next year. Sell him. I wouldn’t even blame you for cutting him, if you have better prospects you’d like to keep.

Damien Harris
Harris lost his job to Rhamondre Stevenson, who’s clearly the better RB. I don’t expect the Patriots to keep Harris, and if he can find a starter role solely based on his rather strong 2021 season seems doubtful at best. Keep him and hope for the best, or cut him if you must.

Jamaal Williams
Detroit loves him, and he loves Detroit. I think he will stay around, which certainly warrants holding on to him, even though he will turn 28 next year. If you find another owner who wants to trade for him, do it, though. I don’t see Williams’ dynasty value rising any higher than it is right now.

Alexander Mattison
Here is an intriguing situation: Dalvin Cook is under contract for another 3 years, but the Vikings would save $21m against the cap if they cut him loose after this season. At the same time, Mattison’s contract expires. This can turn out either way. I’d hold Mattison, or try to buy him low, based on the scary (on paper) scenario. Mattison is still young enough (25 next year) to warrant a gamble. As is Kene Nwangwu, who’ll remain under contract for 2 more seasons and could step into the RB2 role next year.

D’Onta Foreman
He’ll not be fantasy relevant next year. Sell or cut.

James Robinson
He slotted in behind Michael Carter and undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight. I don’t see the Jets offering him a new contract. I’m afraid he’s done. Cut.

Latavius Murray
He turned out surprisingly useful down the road this season. But he’ll be 32 next year. Don’t even think about him.

Zonovan Knight
Here’s another interesting situation. After Breece Hall’s season was over, Knight clearly outperformed Michael Carter. But Carter still has a contract next year. Knight does not, but may have garnered interest from other teams. He’s a player I will definitely stash for this offseason, gambling on him finding a team that will give him a certain role.

More free agents that are not worth a lot of consideration, if you ask me. The number in brackets is the player age next season:

Darrel Williams (28)
Darrell Henderson (26, busted out this year)
D’Ernest Johnson (27, could maybe inherit the Kareem Hunt role)
Jerick McKinnon (31, won’t repeat his current spike in usage)
Kenyan Drake (29)
Melvin Gordon (30, he’s done)
Raheem Blackshear (24, sleeper, one for the watch list)
Raheem Mostert (31,getting old)
Rashaad Penny (27, as talented as he is injury prone)
Sony Michel (28, maybe worth a stash in deep leagues)


The problem with RB’s is you never know what you’ll get when they go to a new team. You can get Mike Davis, who basically disappeared from the planet when he went to the Falcons from the Panthers. Or you could get Priest Holmes, who became a fantasy god when he went from the Ravens to the Chiefs.

Caveat emptor.

Here’s a run down of the haves and have not’s spending money for next season as of now. It is only a guideline but helpful in trying to project what teams will do in the FA maret.

You can also click n their free agents to see team by team FAs, market value on some, etc, etc. It is the best research tool I have found for FA.

Zak, I want to buy Jacobs at a discount and am pointing to his uncertain future.

As his prior cost was Cam Akers, I will even do this with no discount and just send Cam back to you. Thanks for the advice.


You would be surprised how often that works. Sometimes, you don’t even have to point to the uncertain future, for his owner to surrender him. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I have tried that for 2-3 years in a row, but found that number to have very little significance in the end. It’s incredible how much cap space can be created by restructuring contracts. Of course, by doing that, teams are pawning their future, as they have to pay key players for longer than they intend to play them. And with a restructured contract, it becomes almost impossible to trade a player away.

I use Spotrac for a long time already, but stopped tracking team cap projections as a measure for predicting player moves.

I played capologist for a few years before info became so available. I had to go to the NFLPA and search local articles to know anything. I am familiar with teams finding cap space.

The space is a helpful piece of the puzzle. I add team’s other FAs this and next year, market value, depth of position, tag cost, etc, etc.

A bit off topic but just watched the CBS Fantasy trio. They listed their view on the top 5 targets in dynasty to try and add now.

1 D Watson
2 Dobbins
3 London
4 Burks
5 Pitts

Spotrac is a very valuable source, that helped me a great deal understanding how player contracts are structured, and that a player having 3 contract years remaining can still mean he could be gone next year.

So I certainly didn’t want to talk down Spotrac. It’s just the team cap situation that I find to be less relevant than I inititially thought.

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I did not read it that way and you were right in your thinking. Cap space will give you a good start on a team playing FA but far from the final word. You have no idea of the amount of info I compile on players I have high interest in.

And NO Akers was not one of them. lol