Fantasy Football Day Trader: Week 7
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
Welcome to Week 6 of the Fantasy Football Day Trader series. Before we dive into our writers’ favorite investments and fades… Let’s review three trade tips for Week 6.
- Plan ahead. There are few better feelings than making a great fantasy trade. It’s even better when you are able to trade away a fantasy player that is on bye when you face your trade partner. When you’re evaluating trade options, you should absolutely look at your fantasy schedule. Are you in third place and you face the league leader in Week 10? Are any of your players on bye in Week 10? Check out their roster and try to buy a future win- well before your actual matchup.
- Don’t be afraid to share your fantasy tools. You might not want to hear it, but if you’re in a league that is timid with trades and waiver wire action…The best way to engage your league mates is to get them hooked on fantasy football. What better way than telling them about your favorite fantasy football podcast The Fantasy Footballers? Or showing them the trade calculator website that you love? It’s great to win a fantasy championship, but it’s even better to play in a league that’s competitive and filled with smart fantasy players. Oftentimes, fantasy players are timid to make a trade if they aren’t experienced. At the end of the day, fantasy football is about having fun and it becomes even more fun when your league mates are as invested in winning as you are. And if you are way different in valuing a player than a trade partner, why not try to see their perspective?
- Pay attention to schedules. There are two teams that are currently scheduled to be on bye Week 13: The Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many leagues start playoffs in Week 13. Check your league’s schedule and then look at your roster. I recommend testing the waters to trade away players on the Panthers and Buccaneers to see if you can work a fair value trade that improves your chances of winning in the playoffs. Of course, don’t make a trade unless you receive a GOOD return…there’s no reason to panic. However, the playoffs are even more chaotic than the regular season so you have to focus on winning one week at a time.
Investments (Trade For)
Noah Fant (Jeff Greenwood – @TheFantasyEng)
Noah Fant is TE5 on the season on a points-per-game basis…ahead of Darren Waller and Mark Andrews. In fact, he’s scored at least 15.7 points every week that he’s played with Drew Lock. Both have been out due to injury, and I imagine many fantasy GM’s undervalue Fant. He could easily outscore Mark Andrews rest of season (ROS), although I still like Andrews more. Fant is an excellent trade target for the murky tight end position. I either want to have a top-tier tight end or stream the position and in this rare case – I’m willing to trade down from one of the top tight ends to acquire Noah Fant and another solid piece if your trade partner doesn’t truly recognize Fant’s value. In my main fantasy league, I am trying to trade Mark Andrews and Darius Slayton for Robert Woods and Noah Fant, for context. Fant has a pretty solid strength of schedule, while Andrews has a bye and then some difficult matchups coming up. To be clear, this is not me doubting Andrews. You have to understand that a lot of fantasy players only want to make trades where they receive the best overall player, and you can still win trades by being on the other side of that kind of trade. The image below shows Noah Fant and Mark Andrews‘ strength of schedule (honestly a fantastic perk for #footclan members). Price Tag: Flex | Risk Rating: 3 (medium risk)
Marquise Brown (Marvin Elequin – @FF_MarvinE)
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has been slightly disappointing from a fantasy perspective. Over the first 6 games, in PPR, he has ranked outside of the top 24 in 5 of those games. So why is Brown an ideal trade target? For one, he continues to see the opportunity, even though it has not translated into fantasy production. In 2020, Brown ranks 18th in targets (42), 3rd in air yards (674), and 3rd in weighted opportunity rating (0.70). So while this Ravens offense has been less than stellar, ranking 31st in yards per game (177.8), Brown continues to remain one of the main targets for Lamar Jackson. After their bye week, however, we could see a much more productive player. From weeks 8 to 16, the Ravens have the easiest fantasy WR schedule. In fact, 6 of their next 9 games are against opponents who rank in the top 12 in fantasy points allowed to the WR position. Furthermore, in the fantasy playoffs, Brown will face the Browns, Jaguars, and Giants – who have given up an average of 33.3 half PPR fantasy points to WRs. Go trade for him now, since his upside far outweighs his current trade value! Price Tag: High End WR3/Low End WR2 | Risk Rating: 3 (medium risk)
Carson Wentz (Peter Chung – @FF_Hypeman)
Like my wife says whenever my lactose-intolerant self indulges in a scoop pint tub of ice cream, “Really? That’s a bad idea.” I’m sure most of the #Footclan felt the same when they saw this entry. But just hear me out. Yes, like many of us in this COVID-stricken world, the once-promising QB and current Eagles’ pinata Carson Wentz has not had a great 2020. His depleted o-line and fledgling offensive weapons have left him battered and despondent each week. He’s already been sacked a whopping 25 times – the MOST in the league! His best healthy weapon is perennial practice-squad JAG Travis Fulgham (although he has been impressive). But despite all these flaws, Wentz is still somehow the QB7 on the year among active starters, outproducing prized QBs like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. He’s scored multiple TDs in five of six games and has 12 total so far, tied for 10th best in the position. Four of those are rushing TDs, which is third-most among QBs, more than Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson. In his last game against a ferocious Ravens defense, Wentz managed three total TDs and his highest fantasy score, though it sure wasn’t pretty. He’s expected to have WRs DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor, RB Miles Sanders, TE Dallas Goedert, and OT Lane Johnson back sooner than later. He also gets to face the charitable Dallas defense in the fantasy championships (Week 16). Most fantasy managers are willing to trade Wentz away for peanuts right now, and some may have dropped him altogether. His perceived value is so low, that he’s not even mentioned on CBS’ latest trade value chart! While I wouldn’t advise anyone to reach for him in standard leagues, he should definitely be targeted in 2QB or SuperFlex leagues. Try to offer panicking managers someone like Antonio Gibson or D.J. Chark, though you may need to sweeten the pot in deeper 2QB leagues. Price Tag: High RB3 or Low WR2 in 2QB/SF Leagues | Risk Rating: 3 (medium risk)
Jonathan Taylor (Aaron Larson – @aalarson)
If you can weather one week of Jonathan Taylor on your bench, now is the perfect time to jump at the opportunity to acquire him on the cheap. Taylor is viewed by many as underwhelming given the sky-high expectations that were thrust upon him after the opening week Marlon Mack injury. That viewpoint may be a bit unfair; Taylor currently ranks as the RB15 overall on the season. Top-15 running backs are hard to come by, The Colts also happen to have the easiest remaining schedule for fantasy running backs (Thank you #FootClan premium tools). You should be able to leverage the unwarranted disappointment in Taylor’s fantasy production and his current bye week to get a nice discount, putting your team in a position to roll out a possible league-winning running back who’s past his bye down the second-half of the fantasy season. Price Tag: Low-End WR1 | Risk Rating: 2 (low risk)
Fades (Trade Away)
Austin Ekeler (Jeff Greenwood – @TheFantasyEng)
Ekeler is a really solid running back on a team that has flashed on offense. However, he might not be back until Week 10 or later since his original timeline as of 10/9 was a return in 4-6 weeks. A report recently came out that it’s looking like it’ll be on the longer side of the projected timeline. Listen, it’s simple – Ekeler should be great when he returns. But does he return Week 11? Are you playing him his first week back? Realistically, Ekeler is a fantasy piece that ONLY helps fantasy GM’s who will make the playoffs. If you have a losing record and/or are missing major pieces on your fantasy team, I recommend trading away Ekeler to win now and make the playoffs. Conversely, I think Ekeler is a great trade target for teams that are 6-0 or 5-1. Trade value is all relative. Price Tag: High-end RB2 | Risk Rating: 4 (medium-high risk)
Adam Thielen (Peter Chung – @FF_Hypeman)
As the popular saying goes, “One occurrence is an anomaly, two is a coincidence, three is a trend.” This particularly rings true for Vikings star receiver Adam Thielen. Though he has performed remarkably for fantasy managers as the current WR2 in half PPR formats — and surprisingly the WR1 in standard — Thielen has a notable history of regression as the year progresses. Last year, he averaged a respectable 13.5 fantasy points per game (FPPG) in the first half of the season. In the second half, his average plunged to a miserable 1.6 FPPG. To be fair, he was playing through a lingering hamstring injury and only started in three games after Week 8. So, let’s look at the year prior when he didn’t miss any time. In Weeks 1-8 in 2018, Thielen averaged 20.6 FPPG. From Weeks 9-17, it plummeted to 10.7 FPPG! It doesn’t help that he’s now 30 years old and competing with a budding, record-breaking superstar in rookie WR Justin Jefferson. To make matters worse, the Vikings are projected to have the seventh hardest remaining strength of schedule for WRs, and the SECOND WORST playoff schedule. As we approach the latter half of the NFL season, now is the time to trade Thielen away for a maximum return before he starts to decline. Price Tag: Low RB1 or High RB2 | Risk Rating: 4 (high risk)
Chase Claypool (Aaron Larson – @aalarson)
I know, Claypool has broken out. I’m not arguing that. But as this article series emphasizes, trading is all about maximizing value on your roster. I’m not advocating you trade him away for a handful of beans. Rather, send out a deluge of trade offers to your league-mates that you’d expect them to reject. While Claypool is absolutely a viable starting fantasy wideout for the rest of the season, Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and even Eric Ebron are likely to score their fair share of fantasy points for Pittsburgh. You might be able to flip Claypool for a weekly starting receiver and a usable fantasy flex option and strengthen your roster for the second half of the fantasy season. Price Tag: WR2 + Flex | Risk Rating: 3 (mid risk)
Who are you investing in and fading for Week 7? To all the great #footclan members with trade questions – please reach out to us on Twitter at our handles above! It’s easier to respond to messages and see notifications in a timely manner. Happy trading!