Your franchise team is selected, if not check out my team rankings here, and it is now time to start making it your own team. Where should you start though? I will give you a couple of trade targets at each position that you can key in on to try and improve the areas you need to address. Some options will be young, some will be old, but all will have a reason to be here on this list.
Jameis Winston – NO: If you have read any of my team reports you will know I like Winston as the best available QB option and a top trade target. Rated 14th based purely on passing attributes, Winston can help a lot of teams right away. At only 26 years old he still has some upside, but with the cap situation in New Orleans, I don’t think he will be the long term answer there.
Jordan Love – GB: Again, in my team reports I explain why I am not a believer in Jordan Love as the future in Green Bay. This dislike of Love in Green Bay doesn’t mean another team, like the Steelers for instance, couldn’t find value in bringing Love in and starting him day 1. Love has some upside but the normal development means you have to start him year 1 to really maximize his progression.
Dak Prescott – DAL: This one may surprise some, however, good Cowboys owners should be open to discussions here. The Cowboy’s long term cap health could be an issue and re-signing Prescott could make those issues more pronounced. If the right deal came around I’d be very much open to moving Prescott for a corner and another piece as I look to sustain a dominant team for the whole cycle.
Kareem Hunt – CLE: Part of the embarrassment of riches on Cleveland’s offense, Hunt should be the prize for anyone looking to acquire a back. Still only 25 years old, Hunt’s combination of speed and strength is one of the best in the entire game. With Cleveland’s needs on defense, it should be expected that Hunt can be had for a defensive piece.
Phillip Lindsay – DEN: Similar to the situation in Cleveland, the Broncos have two quality backs to work with. Some may prefer to keep Lindsay over Gordon but the issue there is Gordon’s contract is a massive cap hit to move while Lindsay is on the last year of his deal. I don’t really like giving one HB a large second contract, so the prospect of giving two of them a new contract means Lindsay has to go in my mind.
A Colt Back – IND: I won’t limit this to just one because it comes down to preference for most. Marlon Mack is a quality back on the last year of his deal making him an obvious target after drafting Jonathan Taylor. On the other hand, the speedy Nyheim Hines may be more of your style and it wouldn’t be out of the question to pry him away either. Depending on how much the Colts owner likes Jonathan Taylor it’s not out of the question that both could be had.
A Bengals Reciever – CIN: If you’re a team looking to win now then AJ Green could be the prize in terms of wide receivers. Still one of the best receivers in the game, Green probably doesn’t make a ton of sense to re-sign for a rebuilding Bengals team making him a likely trade piece. A Madden favorite, John Ross is also in the final year of his previous deal. Depending on what the Bengals owner does with Green, Ross could potentially be on the block.
Marvin Jones – DET: Not quite at the level of Green, but also a little younger, Jones is another piece a team looking to win now may covet. The Lions are most likely heading into a rebuild that the 30-year-old Jones won’t be a part of, especially as he sits in the last year of his contract. One of the better downfield jump ball guys in the game still makes Jones a worthwhile target.
Preston Williams – MIA: The second-year Miami Dolphin is one of my sleepers this year. Stuck behind DeVante Parker and then a bunch of speed Williams may find himself buried in a lot of leagues. The 6 foot 3 inch Williams has enough speed (91) to get by people, but it’s his 93 Jumping and 86 Spectacular catch ratings that get me excited about what he can become.
A Bucs Tight End – TB: The Buccaneers seem to have a couple of ways to go here. If they are planning more for the future, a trade of Gronkowski to a team looking to win now and in need of a TE badly could be willing to pay for him. If the Bucs owner is in win-now mode it may make sense to part with O.J. Howard and get a nice defensive piece in the secondary for Brady’s last year.
David Njoku – CLE: With the addition of Austin Hooper this offseason it would seem that Njoku is a piece to be had. At only 24 years old, Njoku still has a lot of upside and combined with his athleticism he may be one of the most intriguing trade targets on the offensive side of the ball. Potentially not as fast as a guy like Howard, Njoku’s 93 jumping rating makes him a freak in the red zone.
Gerald Everett – LAR: Some Ram’s owners would probably prefer to move Higbee, however, his contract makes that prohibitive so Everett finds himself on the outs. Everett is a poor mans Njoku, a little slower and a little older but still a quality TE option if you can get him. Everett is another guy on the last year of his deal so the compensation here shouldn’t be too steep.
Alex Mack – ATL: Mack still finds himself as one of the best offensive linemen in the game at 34 years old. The issue for Mack comes down to money and his advanced age. Being on the last year of his contract, on a team in a tight cap situation, the Falcons shouldn’t re-sign him meaning they should try and get something for him.
An Eagles Lineman: If your league starts with pre-existing injuries off then the Eagles have a wealth of talent on the line to choose from. You could go after younger guys like Seumalo or Dillard if you are looking for more of a project. If you are in the hunt now, the recently signed Peters could be an option to get you through a single year.
Demar Dotson- DEN: Assuming he is there on the roster at launch after being recently signed by the Broncos this would be a smart trade target. The Broncos signed Dotson due to the opt-out of Ja’Wuan James, but he obviously won’t be out in-game so you now have a double up at the position. Dotson should still have enough juice to be a nice one year rental for someone.