Fantasy Football Day Trader: Week 5
Welcome to the Fantasy Football Day Trader, where the writers at The Fantasy Footballers team up to present our 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. We’re here to present our fantasy opinions for your consideration, and I can tell you firsthand that we preach what we praise. This article series will present fantasy players that we’re looking to move and the price tag that we 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 last year to help: The Art of the Fantasy Football Trade.
Fantasy Football Day Trader: Week 5
We are entering the second quarter of the season. Whether you’re 0-4, 4-0, or somewhere in between…There is plenty of time left in the season to become a strong playoff contender. Before we get into our writers’ trade advice, here are three trade tips for Q2:
- Timing is key. Always make trades that process before the current week’s slate of games. Sometimes fantasy GMs will make a trade on a Friday that involves a player who played on Thursday night. This is a recipe for disaster because other players involved in the trade could get injured or see significant changes in circumstances (injury to another player, coaching change, trade to a different NFL team, etc.). When this happens, it creates confusion and animosity. Imagine being locked into a trade for Saquon Barkley the weekend that he tore his ACL. YIKES! Another scenario where timing is important relates to waivers. Many fantasy GM’s will make a 2 for 1 trade before the waivers process so that they can scoop up additional players off waivers. Keep in mind to check your league settings because some leagues institute a “wait period” of up to 48 hours before a trade is actually processed (sidenote: if this happens in your league, you should change your settings to immediate trade processing). Finally, monitor trade offers that you’ve sent to league mates and remember to cancel trade offers that would lock your roster through the weekend.
- Trading is team and league dependent. At the end of the day, the goal is to win a championship…not win your trade. Fantasy GM’s who have a 4-0 record have different goals than those with a 0-4 record. If I had a 4-0 record and a solid team, I’d be trying to trade for players like CMC and Deebo Samuel who could help your team more in the future (playoffs) than they will now. If I’m 0-4, I would be trading for players that have good matchups this week (i.e. Darius Slayton) so I can win now. Also, player valuations can vary tremendously from league to league. I’ve personally seen the most variation in QBs…Leagues filled with veteran fantasy players often devalue the QB position while newer fantasy GM’s have a tendency to treat QB’s like gold. Know your league, and don’t be afraid to make a trade that you think benefits your team even if you don’t “win the trade”…Although the goal is always to maximize trade value.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks. Being safe is great…if you like to finish in fourth place. While there are certainly exceptions, there is often a correlation between fantasy GM activity and fantasy success. Are you playing to win or are you trying not to lose? It’s true in sports and it’s true in fantasy football – fortune favors the bold. That’s the fun of fantasy football…you get to call your shot and see how the chips fall. For example, I’m a huge Calvin Ridley fan. This offseason in a dynasty league, I traded away Tyreek Hill in return for Calvin Ridley and a couple of rookie picks. At the time, it looked like I made a foolish deal…but it’s looking pretty good now. Now to be clear, I’ve made PLENTY of bad trades too…but I’d rather go for it and fail than sit still and hope my number is called.
Investments (Trade For)
Woods is currently the WR25 on the season on a points-per-game basis. Woods is a perenially undervalued receiver, and he’s coming off a bad week (6.7 fantasy points). He also has eight rushes on the year so far, indicating he’s a key offensive weapon for the Rams. Woods isn’t a sexy name, but he is a strong WR2 play every week. He’s also never played fewer than 12 games in a season, so he is typically someone you can rely on week in and week out. Fantasy GM’s have a tendency to gravitate toward flashy names and Robert Woods is not one of them. I admit Woods has a couple of tough matchups coming up, but he should be just fine. You could likely acquire Woods as a back-end WR2 value, which he should outperform for the rest of the season. Price Tag: WR2.
As seen in Rob’s weekly Ten Things we Learned article series… Gibson broke out in a huge way in Week 4, but a lot of the people who roster him will think it’s a time to sell high. You should use that as an opportunity to get him onto your team. His snap share has increased for three weeks in a row, and he saw a season-high target total this past week. Gibson is a talented player who was the main reason the Football Team let go of Adrian Peterson, and they’re slowly ramping up his involvement in an offense that needs playmakers. I’d be looking to deal for Gibson, and have no problem adding a premium for this big week. He has RB2 upside but can likely be acquired for less. Price Tag: RB3/WR3
As seen in Rob’s weekly Ten Things We Learned article series…George Kittle erupted on Sunday Night Football, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that Deebo Samuel is healthy and ready to go. He had an electric rookie campaign, and the Niners have very little receiver competition in front of him. Kittle is basically their WR1, but Deebo is next on the pecking order. A lot of the people who drafted him have either dropped him or are disappointed in him for this performance. Shanahan was being cautious with his workload I’d assume, and this is likely just the beginning. Deebo finished as a high-end WR3 in 2019 and has another offseason in a complex scheme under his belt. He’s waiting for his quarterback to return, and he’s working back to full speed. Deebo is the perfect player to trade for right now because his cost doesn’t reflect the ceiling that will develop over the next three weeks where bye week depth is crucial. Price Tag: WR4 / bench player package.
Kenyan Drake (Ryan Weisse – @TheFantasyFive)
You have approximately 3 days to pull this deal off. Drake is far better than he is showing and his current manager has to be frustrated. However, after he plays, and destroys, the Jets this week, that window will close. Drake is still averaging 16 carries per game and, while his usage in the pass game is minimal right now, you have to believe that Kingsbury will get more involved. The schedule opens up well for the Cardinals starting this week. Get Drake now. Price Tag: A 2-for-1 deal, you’ll need to give up two WR2s or RB2s, or one each.
Backup RB Mike Davis has certainly impressed fantasy managers ever since he took the reins for an injured Christian McCaffrey. In his two games as the lead back, he’s finished with 23.1 and 22.1 PPR points, finishing as the RB9 and RB7, respectively. Those two games were also the Panthers’ only victories so far this season. Additionally, Davis is averaging 4.4 yards per carry, which is better than McCaffrey’s 3.8. Because of stats like these (and our good ol’ friend, “recency bias”), some fantasy GMs are getting nervous that Davis may have earned a permanent role with higher usage – even when McCaffrey returns. Some are even worried that Davis could possibly usurp CMC altogether. I know it’s crazy, but this is 2020 so anything is possible. Reach out to McCaffrey managers and do a quick temperature check to gauge their desperation. Try to offer a combo of volatile players that recently balled out, like Joe Mixon and Jarvis Landry. If you can afford it, then you’ll have a bona fide stud RB1 on your roster for the second half of the season. Price Tag: Low RB1/High RB2 + WR3.
Justin Jefferson has been nothing short of impressive over the last two games. In that timespan, he led ALL wide receivers in receiving yards (278), finishing as the WR5 with 44.8 PPR points. And through the first quarter of the season, he is the WR1 in yards per route run (3.70), indicating that he has been extremely efficient despite the limited opportunities to start the season. The biggest change for Jefferson is in his snap count, which started to increase in week 3. For the first two games, he was averaging only 61.3% of the snaps. Over the last two games, that number increased to 77.9%. With the added opportunity on the field, it looks like the Vikings are committed to featuring him in the passing game. If the Justin Jefferson fantasy manager is still doubting his production after his lackluster start to the season, I would take advantage of that and acquire him immediately. It seems that he and Thielen will continue to dominate the targets in this offense, making him a WR2 at the worst. But if the last two weeks are any indication, Jefferson has WR1 upside with a very favorable schedule ahead. Price Tag: Mid-to-High End WR2
Fades (Trade Away)
The 49ers team is decimated with injuries. Through Week 4, McKinnon leads the team in rushes (34), targets (18), total yards (295), and touchdowns (4). Fantasy GM’s probably grabbed him off the waiver wire or drafted him super late. McKinnon currently sits at RB11 overall in total points. Teammates Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman will be returning at some point, and Mostert will likely slide right back into his alpha role. Also, don’t forget about Jeff Wilson Jr. and Kyle Juszczyk, who also see opportunities. McKinnon has been very productive and should remain involved for the remainder of the season as long as he stays healthy…but Kyle Shanahan shuffles the 49ers backfield similar to Bill Belichick in New England. This is more about the lack of predictability than it is about McKinnon’s talent. McKinnon’s in-season value is at a career-high and he’s been in the league since 2014. I think McKinnon will be an up and down flex play for most of the season. Price Tag: RB2 / Solid Flex.
Just like my Todd Gurley recommendation last week, Ingram did you a favor by scoring a Week 4 TD…move him now. While Gurley did have another solid game in Week 4, an Ingram bounce-back is unlikely. Unlike Gurley, Ingram is fighting off quality competition for carries in Gus Edwards, JK Dobbins, and his own QB. He played just 14 snaps last week and only had eight carries. That TD salvaged his week and trade value for one more week. Move him! PS- I still advocate moving Gurley. Price Tag: High Upside Anything, maybe go after Robert Tonyan while he’s on bye.
Carson currently sits as the RB5 on the season, but he hasn’t gotten there the way we expected. He has five total touchdowns this season but three of them came in the first two weeks, through the air. His other two came as one yard plunges in Week 4. The Seahawks, either by design or necessity, have unleashed a pass-first offense led by Russell Wilson. In doing so, Carson’s usage has taken a hit. He’s currently 19th in the league in rushing yards and 17th in running back targets. He’s been great to have in your lineups so far, but the scoring efficiency is likely to go down. Not to mention, his running style and injury history should always be considered. I love the idea of touting Carson as the RB5 on the season and trying to get two players in return. Price Tag: RB2 + WR2.
Who are you investing in and fading for Week 5? To all the great footclan members with trade questions – please reach out to us on Twitter! It’s easier to respond to messages and see notifications in a timely manner. Happy trading!