Fantasy Football Day Trader: Week 8
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 7 weeks into the season and teams are starting to take their form. In this week’s article, I’m going to dive into the more extreme fantasy formats: keeper and dynasty, where fantasy managers keep some or more of their players next year. I had a short writeup last week, but I’m going a little deeper and bringing it up again – go out there and make some trades!
If you’re not in a keeper or dynasty league, I recommend starting with keeper – my favorite format. Anyway, in keeper or dynasty…I would start to rebuild for next year if your team is 1-6 or 0-6 and you’re in the bottom half in points scored. Fantasy football is riddled with luck, and that’s just a very unlikely situation for a team that goes on to win the championship. I’d rather stack my roster for next year. Specifically, when I say “rebuild”…I mean trade away “win now assets” for assets that will accumulate in value in the offseason.
You should ALWAYS play your optimal lineup to maintain the integrity and competitiveness of the league.
However, trading away older players for picks, injured players, and young players with upside is perfectly fair game. This presents a clear value proposition for both parties (team looking to win now and team looking to win next year). For example, Travis Etienne, J.K. Dobbins, and Cam Akers can’t help you in 2021…I’d be targeting them in a trade during a rebuild. Conversely, if I had a strong team and a decent chance to win this year, I’d be shedding those players for other players that can help me win a championship this year. That’s the goal afterall, isn’t it? I’m in three dynasty leagues. One is a full rebuild. Like, it’s a mess. I’m contending in the other two leagues. Don’t forget that the first guy/gal to tank usually gets the biggest prize. You set the trade market value and can rattle off a handful of trades and fill the biggest needs among “win now” players. There’s a limited number of “win now” teams and a limited number of assets they’re willing to trade. Keep that in mind. Also, if you trade away your players that are producing NOW, you reduce your weekly output. Ultimately, this drives your team toward an earlier draft pick next season. Win win.
Examples of players to invest in for “win now” teams / shed for “rebuild” teams: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, most running backs with 3+ years of high usage, Adam Thielen, Julio Jones, Robert Woods, Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Jarvis Landry, Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, FAAB, etc.
Examples of players to shed for “win now” teams / invest in for “rebuild” teams: Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, Deshaun Watson, Travis Etienne, J.K. Dobbins, Cam Akers, Allen Robinson, Calvin Ridley, Michael Gallup, Chase Claypool, Kenny Golladay, Jerry Jeudy, Laviska Shenault, DeVonta Smith, Darnell Mooney, Jaylen Waddle, Rashod Bateman, Terrace Marshall Jr., future draft picks, etc.
Alright, let’s get to it! Oh – and I now have a recurring guest in this article series…at least if Kyle let’s me continue to do this. Who is it? If you know me, you already know the answer.
Investments (Trade For)
Pass Catchers in Philly, Miami, Carolina, & Denver
Andy tweeted out Monday with some great advice: throw some darts on pass catchers (WR, TE, RB) in Philly, Miami, Carolina, & Denver. Why? Those appear to be the teams with the greatest likelihood of trading for Deshaun Watson. Much like the intro of this article, the Texans are a rebuild team. And they’re not using their best asset – Deshaun Watson…why keep him on the roster if you’re not going to play him? To be clear, I am not endorsing Watson – this is a fantasy football article. It makes complete sense why an NFL team would not want to keep Watson on his roster. It also makes sense why an NFL team would try to trade for him. There is a clear value proposition for both parties depending on what their primary and secondary team goals are. If Watson is traded, it’s probably a clear indicator that the receiving team will try to start him immediately. Will he be suspended? I don’t know the answer to that question, but some very knowledgeable people believe he will not be suspended. The advice is simple: gamble on some trades with the fantasy relevant players on these teams and try to pay fair value. If Watson gets traded and starts playing QB for one of these teams, the offense should improve immediately.
Leonard Fournette (RB, Buccaneers)
Playoff Lenny was drafted in the eighth round in fantasy drafts, but he’s been excellent. He’s scored 15+ fantasy points in each of the past four weeks. Fournette does not have the name value as an RB1, but that’s how he’s performing. You might find a manager that rosters Fournette who’s willing to trade him at RB2 or flex value – especially if he’s the RB3 for that team (which could easily be the case based on his preseason ADP). His workload has been pretty significant this season, and he’s performing. Tom Brady is a decision-maker for the Bucs, and he is the kind of guy that values players who are good under pressure. Fournette showed us last year that he fits that description. Make some moves…play to win, not to “not lose”. Price Tag: RB2/flex | Risk Rating 2/5 (Medium-low)
George Kittle (TE, 49ers)
Kittle has been a disappointing fantasy asset for those who drafted him in the second or third round this preseason. He only has one week above 10 fantasy points, and he’s on the injured reserve (IR). He was injured last year and disappointed in fantasy last year too. The 49ers have question marks at QB. Jimmy G is not the answer, but Trey Lance looks like he needs time to develop. Kittle is injured and can’t help you until November 7th at the earliest. These are things going through the mind of the person who rosters Kittle. While you shouldn’t expect top-2 production rest of season, Kittle still provides a positional advantage and also gives you the flexibility to not play the “stream tight ends” game. Having a weekly starter at the TE position provides a sneaky benefit that you don’t have to roster two tight ends or constantly have to make waiver wire moves. Kittle is a stud NFL player, and I think the 49ers will look to get the ball in his hands when he returns from injury. Price Tag: WR2 / back-end RB2 | Risk Rating 4/5 (Medium-high)
Mike Gesicki (TE, Dolphins)
It’s simple – it’s hard to find a weekly starter at the TE position. Plus, re-read the intro. Price Tag: Flex | Risk Rating 2/5 (Medium-low)
Myles Gaskin (RB, Dolphins)
Gaskin has been up and down this season. Two games under three fantasy points. Two games above 15 points. I don’t know what to do with Gaskin, and you probably don’t either. He has some weeks with single digit opportunities and some with decent workloads. I think the talent is still there and he’s worth a dart throw because he appears to fall into the category of a player that should produce if given the opportunity. That’s a valuable category to be placed in. Honestly, I’m not a huge Gaskin person and I don’t think he’s on any of my teams, but RB’s are hard to come by and he’s worth a dart throw in my opinion. Price Tag: Flex | Risk Rating 4/5 (Medium-High)
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)
Marquise Brown (WR, Ravens)
I had Mark Andrews in my “Fades” section a few weeks ago, and he took a step forward afterward. You don’t win every bet. That being said, I had faded Andrews because Hollywood was the person Lamar wanted to target in the red zone. That pendulum has swung back in the favor of Andrews. Andrews has 16 red-zone targets to Brown’s 10. Also, rookie Rashod Bateman is now taking targets – he has 6 in each of the past two weeks. Bateman, a first-round pick in 2021, has the upside to be an alpha in the NFL. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hollywood. But this trade isn’t about Hollywood, it’s about his limited workload in an offense that has other solid pass catchers. Plus, Hollywood has 12 touchdowns in his last 13 regular-season games. That’s unsustainable, although I do think he’s the kind of player that will have a high touchdown rate moving forward. Don’t panic on Hollywood, but consider him as a trade asset for a suitor that is good with numbers. Price Tag: Solid WR2 | Risk Rating 3/5 (Medium)
Damien Harris (RB, Patriots)
Harris has been hot and cold this season. He’s coming off two weeks of solid production. The two weeks before that? He had fewer than 7 carries each week. His workload is unpredictable, which has been the common theme in New England in recent history, outside of the LeGarrette Blount year (2016). Harris is a pretty good running back with a sporadic workload on a team that’s not that great. He doesn’t see a lot of targets. I’d be trying to package Harris with another player to upgrade at RB. Price Tag: RB2 | Risk Rating 3/5 (Medium)
Tee Higgins (WR, Bengals)
I thought Higgins would be the WR2 in Cincy. He’s not. He trails Tyler Boyd in targets, and Burrow is spreading the ball around to other players like C.J. Uzomah and Joe Mixon in some games. Higgins has been hot and cold throughout his young career. I originally wanted to have Higgins in the “Invest” section…but the data and lack of production tells a different story. The guy has been averaging 9.5 targets per game over his last four games, but he’s only scored 10+ fantasy points once. I still like gambling on the upside of Higgins in dynasty, but I’d shop him around in all formats. Price Tag: Flex | Risk Rating 3/5 (Medium-low)