Fantasy Football Day Trader: Week 9

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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 to help: The Art of the Fantasy Football Trade.

The older I get, the more I value time.  Time is something that can’t be reproduced or traded.  Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, but clearly we all use our time differently.  I wish I had more time to spend with my family.  I wish I had more time to spend at work.  I wish I had more time to play sports and exercise.  And of course, I wish I had more time to watch football.  I feel like I’m spread thin in nearly every part of my life.  Life comes at you fast, especially for those of us that have kids.

I used to write a weekly email for my main fantasy league.  One that’s not quite so PG.  In fact, I’ve been writing emails to friends for as long as I can remember.  It started in college with close friends that I grew up with – we would go back and forth about weekend adventures.  Then it grew to satirical emails to college buddies during and after undergrad.  I love writing.  A lot.  I don’t know why because I’m not a great writer and I’m just a mediocre storyteller.  But I love to do it.  I do it as a way to connect and keep in touch.  I do it for laughs and sharing emotion.  I’m an emotional person after all.  Writing is a way to stay close with friends I don’t see very often.

I often think about the time my way-too-successful college buddy gave me a handout that I didn’t fully understand at the time.  This is a guy with nearly a 4.0 in Biomedical Engineering that went on to Harvard to get his PhD.  Oh, and he was the captain of the lacrosse and hockey teams in college.  Oh, and he was part of the secret society at my college.  Now he’s working for a company that’s trying to manufacture human organs to be used for transplants – crazy stuff.  Capulli, I appreciate you dude – but you make the rest of us feel like peasants.  Anyway, Capulli wanted to write about his senior year hockey season but didn’t want to take credit.  So he wrote a full article and put me down as the author and submitted it to the school newspaper.  He asked me to edit it as I see fit beforehand, but I’m lazy and he’s smarter than I am.  “Looks good”, I said.  I still have a copy of that paper.  I think it was meant as a gift.  A feather in my cap and a potential stepping stone – I think he realized how much I like writing before I did.

Outside of fantasy, I’ve been writing less and less.  I just don’t have the time.  I miss it.  Sometimes leaguemates will reach out and ask for my weekly email.  I think I’ve only done it once or twice this year.  I used to write 10 bold predictions and 10 not-so-bold predictions, but the meat of it was the intro.  Then, another guy in the league would reply back on Tuesdays and tell everyone how dumb I am for being wrong about my picks.  It was a nice little back and forth.  It got the league talking and interacting.  I finally got around to doing one this past week after a couple of requests – which I take as an incredible compliment.  It was great.  I talked about a pretty awkward interaction at work that can’t be mentioned on this website.  Then it just expanded into satire and my attempt to make my leaguemates laugh.  Everyone started chiming in, and the chat was on fire over the weekend.  Heated debates about stupid things.  It was great.  Everyone in my league is in their 30s.  Mostly Engineers.  Many of us have a wife and kids and/or other responsibilities.  It’s a very active league, but the chat had been pretty light.  My bold predictions article had a page and a half of storytelling and then three bold predictions.  I think my fourth said “that’s all I got, smell ya later”.  None of us have a lot of free time (except for Dooman), but when we have an excuse to talk smack, relive the glory days, or get into pointless debates – everyone chimes in.  It’s awesome.  I think I’m going to make time to do the weekly article again.  It’s the reason I got into writing fantasy.  It makes for fun banter.

If you’re in a league with friends and family, I suggest doing something similar – a weekly email.  It’s worth carving out the time for it.

Alright, let’s get to the actual trade article!

Investments (Trade For)

Julio Jones (WR, Titans)
Julio is a legend, but he’s been battling injuries this season.  And he hasn’t been very productive in games that he’s been active.  I mean the dude has only surpassed three receptions in one of five games played in 2021.  Those who drafted Julio are frustrated and probably ready to shed him…although everyone is aware of the Derrick Henry injury, which will open up touches for Julio, AJB, and Jeremy McNichols.  I would be happy to gamble on Julio if I’m a team with a record of 5-3 or better.  Conversely, losing teams should consider trading away Julio for others that can win now. Julio is a gamble, but he is an elite NFL talent and it’s in the realm of possibilities that he produces as a top-5 or top-12 WR in the playoffs.  To be clear, I would not overpay for Julio…but he’s pretty cheap and has upsie.  Price Tag: High End Flex | Risk Rating 4/5 (Medium-High)

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Khalil Herbert (RB, Bears)
Shout out to Mike Wright for touting Khalil Herbert before the 2021 NFL draft.  He’s been productive when given work, averaging 12.3 fpts/game over the last four games  That being said…Herbert is in a crowded backfield with Damien Williams and David Montgomery, who will be back soon.  I’m still betting on the talent that is Khalil Herbert.  I think Monty will reclaim the alpha status, but I believe Herbert will steal 10 touches a game – enough to be dangerous.Price Tag: High Eng Flex | Risk Rating 4/5 (Medium-High)

D.J. Moore (WR, Panthers)
Moore is an elite NFL talent with a mediocre quarterback.  DJM scored 12+ ftps/game in each of his first four games this season.  Over the past four games, his best game was 10.3 pts.  But if you look closer, he nearly had a touchdown catch on Sunday (which would have put him at about 15 fpts).  Moore is a high-end WR2 that has the potential to pop any given week.  Plus, if the Panthers trade for Deshaun Watson before the deadline, Moore’s value will skyrocket.  Price Tag: High Eng WR2 | Risk Rating 2/5 (Medium-Low)

T.J. Hockenson (TE, Lions)
Hock is a stud tight end with a 21.8% target share.  But players like Kelce, Pitts, Andrews, and Waller are viewed as a tier above TJH.  He started off hot but has been mostly unproductive over the past six weeks.  While the Lions have not been good, they’re scrappy and they fight hard.  Hock should continue to be an integral part of the offense and be a productive fantasy TE.  Don’t forget that he was drafted to be great!  He’s a stud athlete in Year 3 of a position where it takes a few years to break out.  I’m gambling on TJH.  Price Tag: High Eng Flex | Risk Rating 2/5 (Medium-Low)

Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Dawson Knox (TE, Bills)
Knox is ranked TE4 on a points/game basis.  The dude is a young stud on a high powered offense.  Knox has been out (hand) but should be back relatively soon.  Don’t forget that Knox has scored six touchdowns over his last six games.  He also has seven red zone targets over that time.  I think Knox is the real deal, and he’s a plug-and-play kind of player…which is super valuable at the TE position. Price Tag: Flex | 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)

Michael Carter (RB, Jets)
Michael Carter Jr. has been seeing an increased workload while teammate Tevin Coleman has been missing time due to injury.  Carter just had a monster game against Cincinnati, who has a good defense….but they’re ranked 11th easiest when it comes to RB production.  Carter blew up in a great Jets win…The Jets are streaky and really not that great, they won’t be scoring 34 points every week.  There is a narrative that Carter will take over the lead role as the season progresses.  I think this is likely the case, but I think it’s going to be tough sledding the next couple of weeks.  Carter faces tough defenses over the next two weeks: The Colts (ranked 3rd toughest against opposing RB’s) and The Bills (#1).  Also, Coleman (hamstring) will be back at some point.  I do think Carter will be a productive fantasy player, but I think this is “trade high” opportunity.  Package him with a WR and try to upgrade at RB.  Price Tag: Flex | Risk Rating 3/5 (Medium).

Tyler Lockett (WR, Seahawks)
I had Lockett as a “fade” earlier in the season.  He’s streaky.  Wilson is coming back, and Lockett just had a monster game.  Lockett will have some great weeks and some poor weeks.  I’d be looking to trade him away on a peak.  Price Tag: WR2 | Risk Rating 3/5 (Medium).

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