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Dynasty Trade Targets: Win-Now Mentality (2023 Fantasy Football)

Family, Football & Being An Ally

by Nate Polvogt

“Family, Football & This Adventure We Call Life” is a year-round column by Nate Polvogt that shares a Colorado dad’s outlook on life and his fantasy football advice. Nate heads toward the upcoming NFL Draft with his win-now dynasty trade targets and a message about inclusivity.”

“I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.” – Barack Obama

If you pay attention to the news or use social media occasionally, you know about the recent Bud Light can controversy. The company will sell rainbow-adorned aluminum bottles of the iconic beer in support of Pride Month, starting May 27. In addition, they will donate $1 from the sale of each case to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), an organization that supports LGBTQ acceptance. 

This shouldn’t have been a shock to anyone in the consumer world. In recent years, many corporations have moved to increase awareness and support the fight for equality for those in the LBGTQ community. Anheuser-Busch certainly isn’t alone. Our local beer magnate, Molson-Coors, has been an advocate for years. They sponsor the Denver Pride Fest and the Center on Colfax, an LGBTQ community center in the city, among other efforts.

An Angry Response

The pride bottle brought criticism against Anheuser-Busch from many people and organizations.

Then they doubled down.

The company recently brought in well-known transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney as a brand ambassador and sponsor of the light beer. This caused a specific fraction to lose their minds. Certain pundits, podcasters and media personalities have called for a boycott of the light beer. In addition, musician Kid Rock posted a video of him shooting the traditional blue cans with an AR-15 rifle. Finally, country legend Travis Tritt announced he took the beverage off his tour rider.  

This was bound to happen, given the growing acceptance of the LGBTQ community and, more specifically, the transgender community. Unfortunately, it’s the sad reality of a very divisive climate in our country. 

However, the loudest are not the most prevalent. 

Look For The Helpers

Everywhere you turn these days, despite the noise, you can find people, communities and brands supporting the LGBTQ community. 

• On March 18, The San Jose Sharks’ Twitter account announced they would Tweet out LGBTQ facts during their match with the New York Islanders instead of live game updates.

Coca-Cola has been a significant advocate for the community. They publicly aided in the fight against anti-LGBTQ legislation in their home state of Georgia and beyond. They also offered transgender-inclusive health insurance to all employees.

Harry’s, the mail-order shaving razor company, offers insurance that includes gender-affirming care and moved to change all bathrooms in their facilities to gender-neutral in 2019. 

Getty Images, in conjunction with GLAAD, have created guidelines to aid photographers and team members in better understanding the nuances of gender identity and the LGBTQ community. 

PayPal offers benefits to LGBTQ employees that cover surrogacy and adoption services and provide access to free mental health support. 

Gympass offers a collection of articles and guides to help people be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community in workout spaces. 

Taking A Stand

It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the vitriol surrounding LGBTQ rights. However, as loud as some are, others quietly make an enormous difference in these people’s lives. And whether you want to admit it or not, they are human beings like the rest of us. They deserve the same respect and opportunities as the rest of the human race. 

My sincerest hope is that we as a society are getting closer to the hate and misunderstanding of the LGBTQ community being a thing of the past. It’s no one’s business who another person loves or what gender they most identify with. I will not shy away from the fight for inclusivity. Respect for people just trying to live their lives like the rest of us is very important to me.  

On To Football

Fantasy sports are our respite from the world outside. It’s a place to focus on a fun game we love, but it isn’t without its own challenges. Many in the fantasy sports community are also a part of the LGBTQ community. In playing along with them, we support them. My advice is for everyone, regardless of how they identify or who they love. So, keep having fun with an eye on making our leagues as inclusive as possible for anyone who wants to play.

Having an inclusive league atmosphere is as important as having a diversified roster once the season begins. You never know what injuries or underperformances could derail a player’s season and your chances at a fantasy championship. That’s why making moves in the offseason to add depth to your rosters is paramount.

Without further adieu, let’s get to it in this week’s edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild: Win-Now Dynasty Trade Targets.”

Win-Now Dynasty Trade Targets

I’ve spent a lot of time lately pondering players that are flying under the radar. Many are being dismissed that could help you win in my dynasty leagues as soon as this year. It isn’t easy to pour through the data to find that diamond in the rough, but oh boy, is it worth it.

Here are two players that could shift your fortunes in 2023 on your way to winning it all:

(All stats and rankings courtesy of PlayerProfiler)

HOT — Habanero Pepper

Calvin Ridley (Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars)

Many questions are floating around the return of embattled wide receiver Calvin Ridley. After serving a suspension for the entirety of the 2022 season for gambling on NFL games, he is officially back. However, after a year and a half away from football, many are concerned that the talented pass-catcher won’t be the same dynamic player. 

dynasty trade targets

Calvin Ridley scored 26 TDs in his first three seasons.

We last saw Ridley in Atlanta in 2021. He was cooking before landing on season-ending Injured Reserve (IR) with an ankle injury. He averaged 10.4 targets and 6.2 catches in five games and had 282 receiving yards and two touchdowns. All this in an offense anchored by an aging Matt Ryan on a team that finished the season 7-10. 

Ridley will now slot in with Jacksonville for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who has been on the upswing since the departure of head coach, and trainwreck, Urban Meyer. 

While he will be competing for targets with Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram, it should be noted his best work was done on the same field as former Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. With his ability to work both the middle of the field and downfield, it stands to reason he will quickly become one of Lawrence’s favorite targets. 

What To Do

Acquiring Ridley in dynasty formats is admittedly a risk. We haven’t seen him healthy since the 2020 season when he finished as the overall Points Per Reception (PPR) WR5. However, his ranking as the WR38 makes him a reasonably cheap acquisition in most leagues.

Per the PlayerProfiler trade finder tool, Ridley is mostly being moved as a toss-in to even out value in existing trades. If someone is tired of waiting on Ridley, throw out an offer of a 2023 third-round rookie draft pick and a veteran – think Baker Mayfield in superflex formats – to get a receiver with a potential WR1 ceiling in 2023.

HOT — Scotch Bonnett Pepper

Isaiah Likely (Tight End, Baltimore Ravens)

Given how murky the tight end landscape is in fantasy football, you wouldn’t think the second tight end on a team with veteran elite bookend Mark Andrews would be on anyone’s radar heading into 2023. However, Baltimore’s Isaiah Likely isn’t just any tight end.

Isaiah Likely was the PPR TE27 as a rookie.

In his rookie season, Likely ranked second among all tight ends in slot targets (40) and fifth in slot routes (132). In addition, he ranked 12th in red zone targets (11) at the position. The most important part of that mountain of stats is this:  Likely gets used as a slot receiver at a higher rate than most tight ends. This typically leads to more opportunities, which means more chances to amass fantasy points. 

He finished 2022 as the PPR TE27. However, the new-look Ravens’ offense will provide Likely plenty of opportunities to become fantasy relevant. New offensive coordinator Todd Monken has successfully run his version of the vaunted air-raid offense at both the collegiate and professional levels.

In addition, the team has signaled that they want to get away from the run-heavy schemes of former coordinator Greg Roman. If this holds, Likely could quickly become more of a wide receiver than a tight end.

What To Do

Acquiring Likely as your anchor tight end in dynasty formats is a risk. Mark Andrews is still an elite pass-catcher and shows no signs of slowing down. However, outside of Andrews, the Ravens receiving options are thin at best. Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) and Nelson Agholor round out the receiving options. None of them are considered elite at this point in their careers. Bateman could have a breakout year. However,  Agholor and OBJ are at the back end of their careers, perhaps limiting their production.

The range of outcomes for Likely is wide. He could again be in the TE20 or worse range. However, he also has a TE1 tier ceiling in the new Ravens offense. Fortunately for you, his current value is low, making him one of the few perfect dynasty trade targets. Therefore, you can acquire him for a 2024 fourth-round rookie pick or ask for him as a toss-in to even out an existing offer. 

I hope you find my spicy and not-so-spicy value dynasty trade targets useful. Until next time!   

The weather is warming up, and summer is fast approaching.  Here’s a punny dad joke to get you in the mood for swimsuit season.

What do sheep do on a summer weekend?
Have a baa-baa-cue.

As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @NatePolvogt.

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