Fantasy Football Day Trader: Week 10
Welcome to the Fantasy Football Day Trader, where I present my favorite players to invest in as well as those to fade. Fantasy football is a lot like the stock market, and this article series is meant to assist you with your investment portfolio. I’m here to present my fantasy opinions for your consideration, and these are players that I’m actively trying to trade for/away in my personal leagues. This article series will present fantasy players that I’m looking to move and the price tag that I think is fair. You should always try to assess your trade partner’s valuation of players before jumping to a price tag that you assume is fair. If you’re new to fantasy or if you’d like a refresher on general trade strategy, we have an evergreen article from 2019 to help: The Art of the Fantasy Football Trade.
We’re well into the fantasy season, which means we have solid data and tape on players. We also have a pretty good idea of which NFL teams are good, which ones have strong defenses, and how those defenses perform versus the different fantasy positions. This week’s trade article is going to use playoff schedules as a basis for targeting or fading fantasy players. If you have a winning record and a strong shot at making the playoffs, consider these moves. Alternatively, if you’re below .500…you should be focusing on making moves to win now. There is a value proposition for these two types of people. Teams that are 3-6 or worse should be scraping and clawing for a victory in Week 10 – even if that means trading away a player like Joe Mixon, who’s on bye this week. Conversely, teams that are 6-3 or better can sacrifice a poor week now in order to strengthen their roster for the playoffs. NOTE – I am using the typical playoff schedule of Weeks 15-17 when referring to strength of schedule in the playoffs.
Alright, let’s get to it!
Investments (Trade For)
Melvin Gordon (RB, Broncos)
Gordon has been solid this season despite splitting work with rookie Javonte Williams. Williams has 121 touches on the season for 601 all purpose yards and two touchdowns (81 fpts). Gordon has 134 touches on the season for 640 all purpose yards and 6 touchdowns (108 fpts). Both backs have been playing pretty well and usable for fantasy. However, people tend to gravitate toward rookies in fantasy, especially in the second half of the season. They’re like a shiny new toy and it’s easy to craft a narrative that this will become Wiliams’ backfield over the coming weeks. But I don’t think that’s going to be the case…I think they’ll both stay involved. Gordon is probably less expensive in trades, and I think he’s worth a shot. Playoff schedule: CIN (6th easiest for opposing RB), @LV (13th), @LAC (4th). Price Tag: RB2 | Risk Rating 3/5 (Medium)
James Robinson (RB, Jaguars)
Robinson is currently the RB16 on a points per game basis. He’s also seen 19+ touches in four of his last five games. Robinson is a stud NFL player but he doesn’t carry the same name recognition as others with his level of production. Fun fact: J-Rob is outproducing Dalvin Cook so far this year in points per game. Robinson is a mid to back end RB1 when healthy, and he has a juicy playoff schedule: HOU (10th easiest for opposing RB), @NYJ (1st), @NE (17th). Price Tag: RB1 | Risk Rating 2/5 (Medium-Low)
DeVonta Smith (WR, Eagles)
Smith has been up and down so far this season, but that’s expected because he’s a rookie on a team with a running QB. Smith has four games below five fantasy points and three games above 15 fantasy points. Rookies tend to improve as the season progresses, and DeVonta Smith won the Heisman Trophy for a reason after all. He’s a risky player with upside, and I think it’s worth gambling on him. Playoff schedule: WAS (2nd easiest for opposing RB), NYG (15th), @WAS (2nd). Price Tag: Flex | Risk Rating 4/5 (Medium-High)
Marquise Brown (WR, Ravens)
Hollywood Brown is the WR6 overall on a points per game basis. The guy is electric on a great offense that targets him in the red zone. He has 6 touchdowns on the season! Hollywood only has two games this season under 16 fantasy points. That’s wild. Hollywood doesn’t have the same name recognition as others in his tier because everyone remembers the slow start he had last season. The Fantasy Footballers mentioned Hollywood on Monday’s podcast as a great trade target – I couldn’t agree more. Hollywood has a good schedule over the next three weeks but has a middle of the pack strength of schedule for the playoffs. Price Tag: Back End WR1 | Risk Rating 3/5 (Medium)
D’Andre Swift (RB, Lions)
(Evergreen). Price Tag: I would hand over my house and car | Risk Rating 0/5 (zero risk)
Fades (Trade Away)
Damien Harris (RB, Patriots)
Damien has been fine for fantasy, but he’s been inconsistent. He’s good when he gets into the endzone…which he has done in each of the last five weeks. I think it’s a good time to sell, especially considering he plays the two toughest defenses for opposing RB’s in the playoffs. Playoff schedule: @IND (31st easiest for opposing RB), BUF (32nd), JAX (19th). I kept the terminology in the form of “easiest” for opposing RB’s to stay consistent with the “Investments” section. Price Tag: Flex | Risk Rating 2/5 (Medium-Low).
I typically do NOT trade for quarterbacks because the streaming method works pretty well in a pinch. Conversely, playing the “streaming RB” or “streaming TE” game is a lot more difficult. Obviously don’t undervalue the player, but sometimes you can use a top-6 QB and another piece to acquire a top-10 RB, top-10 WR, or top-5 TE.