Fantasy Football Day Trader: Week 6
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 6
I don’t think we’ve ever had a fantasy football season as chaotic and unpredictable as 2020. About half of the players we considered elite in August has disappointed fantasy GM’s with significant missed time or underwhelming fantasy production. Furthermore, everyone has been dealing with the added complications of games being postponed and schedule changes. If you have a positive record and/or you’re in the top half of points scored in your league, consider yourself lucky. Let’s dive into three trading tips for the week before our writing staff unveils their trading targets.
- Fight or Flight. It’s time to assess your team. Check the standings and look at your ranking, points for, and points against. If you’re in a keeper league or dynasty league, now is about the time that you should decide if you can compete this season or if you should trade “win now” players (i.e. Todd Gurley) for future assets (i.e. rookies, injured players like Saquon, future draft picks, etc.). Heck, even if you’re in a redraft league – you might want to consider allowing future pick trading. For example, I traded away my 2021 fourth-round pick for AJ Brown and a 2021 seventh-round pick in return. I’m trying to win now and my leaguemate had bad fortune and decided to start planning for next year. The great thing about this is that it creates a win-win environment…even the terrible teams are excited because they’re stocking draft picks for next year. Note that in money leagues, those who trade future draft picks should be forced to pay next year’s league fees in advance to avoid issues. Note: plenty of 0-5 and 1-4 teams can turn things around – so don’t give up yet! …Unless you’re purposely tanking for next year.
- Production > Player Name. Now that we have five weeks of NFL games behind us, we have a decent amount of film and data to evaluate fantasy production. It’s human nature for us to be drawn to player names that we’re familiar with (i.e. A.J. Green, Michael Gallup)…but this creates a personal bias. Conversely, we tend to undervalue new players that we’re not as familiar with (i.e. James Robinson, Myles Gaskin). Use this to your advantage! Many fantasy championships have been won because savvy owners trade for productive fantasy players who don’t have great name recognition. Additionally, many of the “fresh names” are players that were grabbed off waivers, which often means they can be acquired at even more of a discount.
- Peek at the Playoffs. It’s still early and a lot can change, but you should start looking at the strength of schedule for playoff weeks…especially if you’re 5-0 or 4-1. #FootClan members have access to the strength of schedule charts broken down by position. Here’s a little sneak preview as of mid-October:
- QB – Ravens, Chargers, Chiefs
- RB – Titans, Buccaneers, Bears
- WR – Ravens, Bears, Rams
- TE – 49ers, Broncos, Saints
- D – Cardinals, Cowboys, Browns
- K – Bears, Cowboys, Buccaneers
- QB – Texans, Vikings, Lions
- RB – Bills, Steelers, Jaguars
- WR – Panthers, Dolphins, Jaguars
- TE – Raiders, Rams, Packers
- D – Patriots, Chiefs, Packers
- K – Lions, Patriots, Bills
Investments (Trade For)
Myles Gaskin (Jeff Greenwood – @TheFantasyEng)
Gaskin is the type of player that was grabbed off waivers and those who roster him aren’t quite sure what to do with him. He’s been productive, but he doesn’t carry the name value of others with similar production and he’s on a seemingly uninspiring Dolphins offense. This is exactly the type of player that you can acquire at a discount. Earlier this season, Jordan Howard was stealing goal line touches. Not anymore! Howard was a healthy scratch in Week 5, indicating that the team trusts Gaskin with the important touches. In fact, now Gaskin has the sixth most rush attempts inside the red zone among all NFL players. He only has one touchdown on the season despite logging 87 touches so far this season – the touchdowns will come, but he’s shown that he’s an every-week starter even without the boost from touchdowns. Gaskin has faced three of the top-5 run defenses (for fantasy purposes): New England, Buffalo, and San Francisco. Moving forward, he has a very enticing strength of schedule including two matchups with the Jets coming up. I am making moves for Myles Gaskin, and you should too. Price Tag: Flex | Risk Rating: 2/5 (low risk)
Jonathan Taylor (Marvin Elequin – @FF_MarvinE)
Jonathan Taylor is currently the RB21 in PPR leagues, despite receiving the 11th most opportunities (rush attempts & targets) among running backs. And after receiving 67% of the snaps in week 2, we have seen his snap rate steadily decline over the last 3 weeks as Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins have been more involved. Furthermore, per PlayerProfiler, Taylor is ranked as the RB46 in yards created per touch (0.54) and the RB27 in juke rate (14.6% – evaded tackles per touch). So why should you trade for an RB who has seen a decline in snaps and has been less efficient with his touches? First off, the Indianapolis Colts have the easiest rest of season schedule for RBs per the Fantasy Footballers’ Strength of Schedule report. In addition, Taylor will get to face the Raiders and Texans in weeks 14 and 15, who have given up the 2nd and 4th most fantasy points to RBs. While there are a few tougher matchups mixed in between, Taylor could be a league winner towards the end of the season. In addition, we have to remember that Taylor is still a rookie acclimating to the league. So despite his inefficiencies, I am banking on Taylor’s talent and volume. If fantasy managers are slightly underwhelmed by his recent performance, go acquire him now and get ready to plug him into your lineup when the games matter the most. Price Tag: High-End RB2/Low End RB1 | Risk Rating: 2/5 (low risk)
Le’Veon Bell (Peter Chung – @FF_Hypeman)
As Warren Buffett once famously said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” Well, now’s the time to pounce on your opponent’s fears and nab yourself a potentially high-end RB for pennies on the dollar. Prolific RB Le’Veon Bell is now a free agent after finally escaping the clutches of New York’s head coach and fantasy-despoiler, Adam Gase. However, some fantasy GMs may be panicking now that Bell is without a team. In fact, he was downright dropped in one of my home leagues. But it helps that he was released as it allows other suitors to send him offers without paying for the $6 million baggage (plus $8 million injury guarantee in 2021) that came with his contract with the Jets. He may have originally left the Steelers to secure the most guaranteed money possible, but I believe he’s more willing to sign a friendlier deal for a contending team that will utilize him properly. And remember, this is Le’Veon flippin’ Bell we’re talking about. You know, the perennial All-Pro, Pro Bowler who frequently ended as a top-end fantasy RB1 before Gase ruined him. The pass-catching rusher who averaged a career 6.4 targets per game before Gase limited him to an average 1.5 targets this year. The fantasy phenom who averaged a whopping 21.9 PPR points per game in his career… all before Gase. As demonstrated by Ryan Tannehill, DeVante Parker, Robby Anderson, and Kenyan Drake, liberation from Gase’s regime is a Matrix-like rebirth into fantasy glory. It should be an improvement for Bell regardless of which team he ultimately signs with, although it’s admittedly still a gamble. If you can stomach the wait and have a decent record, Bell might just be a winning lottery ticket that will help boost your team to a championship. Try to offer a “temporary” RB1 like Mike Davis or Alexander Mattison, who values will plummet once their respective starters return. Price Tag: Low RB2 or High WR3 | Risk Rating: 5/5 (high risk)
Tyler Lockett (Ryan Weisse – @TheFantasyFive)
Before you @ Jeff, me, or The Fantasy Footballers: Yes, Lockett was a Fade just two weeks ago. That advice made sense then, and this makes sense now. He’s coming off of 2 down games and on bye in Week 6. This is the perfect time to acquire him for far cheaper than he should be. The way they play in Seattle, great games will also yo-yo between Lockett and Metcalf. For every down, there will be an up and if you get him now, you’ve gotten some downs and a bye week out of the way. Price Tag: I don’t advocate trading RBs for WRs but maybe a WR2 and RB3 | Risk Rating: 2/5 (low risk)
Austin Hooper (Rob Wilson – @TheFFGator)
Austin Hooper continues my odd, unplanned run on tight end analysis here – but it’s worth it. Hooper had been completely worthless in fantasy lineups through the first three weeks, but he’s had back to back games with five receptions and caught a touchdown in week four. His usage in the Cleveland offense has grown a lot in the past eight quarters, and the Browns offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski is notorious for using his tight ends in his scheme. Hooper and Mayfield talked about their early-season connection during training camp, and it appears to be coming to fruition slowly but surely during the regular season. His target share has ascended the last three weeks, with this past week reaching an astounding 27%. It’s not just a one-week thing, every metric including his actual production is on the rise. He won’t blow the doors off many fantasy matchups, but he’s never been that guy (and frankly, not many people are at the tight end position). If you don’t have Kelce, Kittle, Andrews, or Waller…. you’re likely struggling at tight end. Hooper is a prime target for teams who roster Ertz, Gronk, or someone else who’s been awful in your lineup. It’s a sneaky move, but one that could pay dividends if this continues. Price Tag: Depth piece / waiver value | Risk Rating: 3/5 (medium risk)
Raheem Mostert (Rob Wilson – @TheFFGator)
The Niners looked TERRIBLE on Sunday, and I don’t use caps lock lightly. They couldn’t hit water from a boat, and they couldn’t get a single thing going on either side of the ball. This is precisely the reason you should take advantage of the output and target Raheem Mostert. While he was out, Jerick Mckinnon lit up the box score and looked solid doing it. The second Mostert returned, Mckinnon was sent to the corner store to get everyone coffee. Mostert tallied 14 touches for 119 yards but failed to find the end zone so his box score doesn’t reflect his opportunity. Mckinnon had a whopping 3 touches for 5 yards and was simply there to give Mostert a water break. Raheem the dream is the bonafide top dog on a rushing offense that will be just fine, which is a hard combination to find in the modern fantasy league. The person who has Mostert may think something along the lines of ‘I just don’t know which guy it will be this week’, or ‘the offense looks terrible’, and I promise you – it will be easier than you think to deal for him. Mostert will finish the year as an RB2 if he can stay on the field, and now is the time to go get him. Price Tag: RB3 or bench WR3 | Risk Rating: 2/5 (low risk)
Fades (Trade Away)
Mark Ingram (Jeff Greenwood – @TheFantasyEng)
The Ravens have been dispersing touches to Ingram, Gus Edwards, and J.K. Dobbins. Ingram has been averaging about 10 touches per game, and he’s been decent with them. If Ingram is on your roster, you probably don’t know what to do with him. He’s startable as a flex option in a pinch, but you’re never happy to play him. This is what we call a roster-clogger, folks. Unless an injury happens to one of the other RB’s, Ingram won’t help you much in fantasy. Furthermore, the Ravens have a very difficult upcoming schedule – so Ingram will be basically unusable from Weeks 7-12: Bye, PIT (2nd best defense against opposing fantasy RB), @IND (6th), @NE (3rd), TEN (7th), @PIT (2nd). You won’t be able to get much in return for Ingram, but you might entice an RB needy team that is desperate for starters. I would try to package Ingram and another player for someone like Miles Gaskin. Price Tag: back end Flex | Risk Rating: 2/5 (low risk)
A.J. Brown (Peter Chung – @FF_Hypeman)
The world just witnessed stud receiver A.J. Brown dominate on primetime in an upset win over Andy’s bold Super Bowl pick, the Buffalo Bills, on Tuesday Night Football. He amassed 21.2 PPR points under the national spotlight, making him Week 5’s WR11. It’s a tiny sample size, but he’s now averaging 8.5 targets in two games this year — a huge improvement over his average 5.25 targets per game that he saw in 2019. Simply put, Brown finally looked like the WR1 we all expected on draft day. But much like Craiglist deals or that errant Tinder match, things are not always what they seem. Brown benefitted from softer coverage after Buffalo’s All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White was declared out. He also saw more valuable targets with fellow wideouts Corey Davis and Adam Humphries inactive, who are both expected back this week. I believe this was his ceiling, while Week 1 was his floor (ended as the WR59 against the Broncos). He will certainly have great games again, but I’m betting there will be some clunkers mixed in. However, there are some that believe he will only have top-12 games for ROS, like at the end of last year. If your leaguemate is one of those people, then capitalize by trading Brown for a “struggling” lead RB like Jonathan Taylor or Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Price Tag: Low RB1 or High RB2 | Risk Rating: 4/5 (medium-high risk)
Devonta Freeman (Marvin Elequin – @FF_MarvinE)
Devonta Freeman has assumed the lead RB role after Saquon Barkley suffered a season-ending knee injury. In 3 games, he is RB43 in total opportunities and is currently the RB38 in PPR points per game. The good news for Freeman is that he has received more and more touches each game. He is coming off of his most productive game, where he received a season-high 17 carries, generated 87 scrimmage yards, and scored one touchdown. Despite the positive trend, I still hesitate to rely on Freeman unless I am in a deeper league. Per PlayerProfiler, he has been fairly inefficient with his touches, only generating 0.39 yards created per touch (RB49) and evading a tackle on only 12.8% of his touches (RB48). What’s even more worrisome for Freeman is his upcoming schedule. Per the Fantasy Footballers Strength of Schedule Report, the Giants have the 4th toughest schedule for fantasy RBs the rest of the season. In addition, the Giants’ offensive line has been by far the worst in the league per Football Outsider’s Adjusted Line Yards metric. If I can find a RB-needy fantasy manager, I would package Freeman with another flex-valued RB to receive someone like David Montgomery or Antonio Gibson, two players who have a much better schedule ahead. Price Tag: High End Flex RB | Risk Rating: 4/5 (medium-high risk)
Darius Slayton (Ryan Weisse – @TheFantasyFive)
You remember how everyone talked about consistency being an issue for Amari Cooper. You remember how frustrating it’s always been rostering Brandin Cooks? That is the exact mold that they pulled Darius Slayton from. Let me paint you a picture if you keep him on your team: He has a great week (Week 5) you start him Week 6, he duds for the next two games and you bench him, he has a great game on your bench, you start him…the cycle continues. His points will do you no good when they are on your bench (unless your league uses that as a tiebreaker–he’s great for that) and it will be rare that you guess his Boom games. The point is to sell high and you need to move players like Slayton after a big game. Price Tag: Any RB2 or an underperforming WR1..say maybe, Tyler Lockett | Risk Rating: 3/5 (medium risk)
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!
thanks for the article! Would you trade Drake for Bell? I have Zeke and Justin Jackson, figure I could fill that RB2 spot with Jackson in the meantime while we wait for Bell to land somewhere.
I love this. Been waiting for an article like this. Maybe it’s been buried? Either way I see it now and will be checking every week 👍
I highly doubt you could trade AJ Brown for a low RB1/high RB2.