Originally posted: September 12, 2017
The purpose of this column is to help readers take advantage of perceived and anticipated player values for trading. What we try to do here is isolate players whose values are currently down but could go up, and vice versa. What we are not trying to do is advise you to trade or trade for these players at any cost. It’s important to get proper value in trades and to remember to avoid making a trade unless it measurably improves your team.
We will also from time-to-time suggest trading players that we like a lot. When we do, it’s often because the player was drafted as a backup and isn’t exactly needed; therefore, the goal is to improve your team in another area.
Players To Trade For
Russell Wilson (QB, Sea) – Seattle continues to have OL issues, and they once again crapped the bed on the road, but we’re not panicking for Wilson. Seattle ran a Week 1-low 48 plays vs. Green Bay, and Wilson threw 27 passes (and still, Doug Baldwin dropped 4/63 receiving). We had Seattle with a top-10 schedule against the pass this year in our projected SOS report, and Seattle has SF, Ten, Indy, and LAR in their next four games, which looks like a nice slate. If you feel a need at QB and can get him at even the slightest of discounts, we’d move to acquire the now-healthy Wilson who ran for 40 yards on only 2 carries in Week 1.
Carlos Hyde (RB, SF) – We wouldn’t go crazy and sell the farm to get an injury-prone guy on a team with very little depth at all offensive positions, but the fact is Hyde looked damn good in Week 1. Hyde tied a career-high in targets (6) in Week 1, and he played on 80% of ‘Niners snaps while handling 64% of their team running back carries, too. In short, he’s got a huge role for offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan, and a slim and trim Hyde has never looked this dynamic (contract year). If you’re in need of some RB help and have depth elsewhere, he’s a good one to look at this week.
Alvin Kamara (RB, NO) – We pushed Kamara while pulling far away from Adrian Peterson the final few weeks of the preseason, but what went down in Week 1 was still quite startling to us. The rookie Kamara led the Saints’ running backs in snap rate in Week 1 (50%), and Kamara also led the Saints’ in team share of carries (33%). Meanwhile, Peterson only played on 15% of Saints’ snaps vs. Minnesota and Mark Ingram got almost all of his production late, in garbage time. If Peterson is indeed dead, then Kamara could go down as the value RB of the year for fantasy, and it doesn’t hurt that their schedule checked in as the 7th easiest for RBs per our SOS report earlier this year. Kamara looks fantastic in this offense, and he has already shown a lot of poise running the ball in the NFL. Before the hype really starts building after another strong showing or two, we’d like to get him on our side right now.
Joe Mixon (RB, Cin) – There was absolutely nothing positive about Mixon’s pro debut, but if his owner is paying attention, he or she knows that all too well, so Mixon’s perceived value took a hit. Perhaps his actual value did as well, since Mixon, Gio Bernard, and Jeremy Hill are locked in full-blown committee and might be playing behind one of the worst O-lines in football. These are important points that need to be considered, but Mixon did lead the group in carries in Week 1 against the Ravens. Yes, he posted a miserable 9 yards (1.1 YPC) while adding 3/15 receiving on 3 targets, but the Raven defense looks next level early this year, so it’s somewhat understandable. The Bengals also trailed the entire game, so Gio saw the most snaps with 29 followed by Mixon (22). Jeremy Hill played only 10 snaps, so it’s only a matter of time before Mixon becomes the top option in this backfield. He can’t be used for fantasy until the fully commit to him, but you can bet on his talent now if the price is right.
Chris Hogan (WR, NE) – We definitely hyped Hogan this summer, and his Week 1 performance was both confusing and frustrating. But things are looking up. For one, Hogan led all Pats’ receivers in snaps (73-of-81) in Week 1, and he ran most of his routes from the slot, where slot counterpart Danny Amendola’s status is unknown heading into Week 2. Additionally, the team had to place WR Malcolm Mitchell on IR, so they are quickly thin at WR, meaning Hogan will have a huge role the rest of the season. Hogan last week didn’t seem to be on the same page as Tom Brady, which is contradictory to everything we’ve heard about the connection this summer. Brady was off his game, but that won’t likely be the case this week and in future weeks with their great schedule. Hogan, in fact, could go off this week against the Saints, which would cause his value to soar. According to ProFootballFocus, the Saints had three of the worst 25 corners in the NFL in terms of yards per coverage snap allowed in Week 1, including two of the top eight. And for Hogan in particular, PJ Williams was an absolute disaster out of the slot, as Adam Thielen repeatedly burned him.
Terrelle Pryor (WR, Was) – Pryor didn’t play particularly well against Philadelphia in Week 1 – he dropped several passes, including one that could have been a 55-yard TD, and he may have lost another bomb in the sun – but he was targeted on 11 of Kirk Cousins’ 40 passes (27.5%) and there was some positively to his debut given his lackluster preseason. Pryor led the Redskins in both target share (28%) and team share of air yards (45%) in Week 1, and Pryor’s 45% of team air yards were third-most among all receivers in Week 1. With Jamison Crowder dealing with a hip injury, TE Jordan Reed reportedly playing through a broken toe, and Josh Doctson drawing the ire of his head coach, a huge role looks inevitable for Pryor, who we should note is an unrestricted free agent in March. The Redskins certainly aren’t going to be relying heavily on their shaky running game, so Cousins will be slinging it plenty, and plenty to Pryor. Get him now.
Davante Adams (WR, GB) – We did rank Adams aggressively this summer, and it’s certainly possible that we oversold him. His Week 1 stats weren’t great, but it’s worth noting that while Aaron Rodgers chucking high-percentage passes to Randall Cobb, Adams led the Packers in team share of air yards (43%) in Week 1, so his passes were a lot tougher to complete in the opener. Most importantly, he was something of a sacrificial lamb for Green Bay, spending a lot of his time working on CB Richard Sherman. Cobb, meanwhile, was often on a backup slot corner. We still believe in Adams, so if his value took a hit, we have no problem trading for him.
Martavis Bryant (WR, Pit) – In his first game back in nearly two years, Bryant looked like a guy who, well, hasn’t played in two years. He finished with just 2/14 receiving on 6 targets against the Browns in Week 1, but he did at least play 83.3% of the snaps (50/60). Bryant may be prone to duds here and there, but he has huge upside each week because of his big-play potential and red-zone ability, and we could see that this week as Viking CB Trae Waynes continues to prove himself vulnerable in coverage. The Steelers are also home, so Bryant’s value may be about to rise considerably, and most teams won’t play Antonio Brown without any extra attention as the Browns did in Week 1, so Martavis is going to get his chances to go off this season. Buy low on him if any owners are looking to bail after just one game.
Jeremy Maclin (WR, Bal) – It’s hard to glean much from the Raven passing game after Week 1, as QB Joe Flacco needed to throw it just 17 times in his first game back from a preseason back injury, completing just 9 passes. Maclin made the biggest impact, scoring on an easy 48-pass on a slant route with the Bengals sending the house, and he did look good. Danny Woodhead is out 4-6 weeks per the NFL Network, and with little going on at TE, we think Flacco will be leaning heavily on this veteran receiver out of the slot and/or the Z receiver spot, just as he’s done in the past with vets like Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Smith. Maclin is very sneaky right now.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Car) – We don’t love Benjamin, but we did warm up to him in the preseason because it was clear that his reliability is worth something. He’s off to a slow start, catching only 1 pass for 25 yards while playing only 60% of the snaps, but that was his first real action with his QB Cam Newton, who did take a deep shot to Benjamin right in front of the endzone in Week 1. There will be better days and many TDs in Benjamin’s future, so he’s a solid guy to get after a bad game.
Players To Trade Away
DeMarco Murray (RB, Ten) – One of the reasons we liked Murray so much heading into 2016 was the fact that he went from touching the ball 449 times in 2014 to only 237 times in 2015. In 2016, he was back up to 346 touches. He doesn’t look bad, but it does look like he’s lost a speck of juice, and more worrisome is their OL, which has struggled this year going back to the preseason. We’re not going to give him away on the heels of a disappointing performance in Week 1, and Murray still played on 73% of the snaps while Derrick Henry saw just 28% of the snaps, but that surely was a monumental letdown against a Raider D with myriad problems at LB. Add into the equation the presence of Henry, who can vulture short TDs and more, and we’d be okay moving Murray for support elsewhere if we needed that and if we were in solid shape at RB without Murray.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR, Ari) – Larry tied all receivers for the second-most targets (13) in Week 1, but the vibes are horrible in Arizona. He’s not ancient at 34 years old, but Fitz seemingly had to be talked into returning to football in 2017, and he did apparently suffer what looked like a severe groin injury (no word on any injury). But this OL in Arizona looks bad, and his QB Carson Palmer, whose 3.2 Adjusted Yards per Attempt was fourth-worst in the NFL in Week 1, looks old. Things were looking shaky with David Johnson, and now they will be without the guy who gained 36% of the Cardinals’ yards and scored 39% of their TDs in 2016. Fitz has tailed off in the second half of each of the last two seasons, but this year there may not be a lot to tail off from. We don’t want to see at a big loss with the Cardinals looking like a bad offense, but before things get worse, we’d prefer to sell now with a solid return.
Jason Witten (TE, NYG) – Death, taxes, and Witten killing the Giants, these are all certainties in life. As expected, Witten got it done against Dallas, converting 9 targets into 7/59/1. If an owner in your league doesn’t exactly realize that killing the Giants is just what he does, Witten could be a good throw-in right now to sweeten the pot in a larger deal.
Source: Fantasy Guru
As a non-profit entity, we do not have the staff to cover the NFL like other great websites. When we find great articles, we pass on the information and give credit where credit is due. The content on our website is provided for FREE and solely to assist the participants in the Fantasy Gives fantasy football fundraiser, where we utilize fantasy sports as a means to support non-profit groups.
This post was adapted from their premium service and WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND PAYING FOR A SUBSCRIPTION TO THEIR WEBSITE! Please visit Fantasy Guru for subscription details.