Welcome to Week 6 trade targets and trade ammunition! Trading is an important and exciting part of fantasy football. Owners should do their own research and trust their gut. I encourage trading, especially because it increases the competition in your league! This article highlights players I want to buy as well as those I want to sell. Every week, I make trade offers (often successful) in my personal leagues – so these are my true opinions that I personally act upon. That being said, don’t jump to conclusions. Capitalizing on trading is about taking advantage of true value versus perceived value. Don’t sell too low or buy too high. Happy trading!
Notable hits so far this season:
- Sell: Sammy Watkins (Week 1)
- Buy: Saquon Barkley (Week 5, before injury timeline shrinking)
- Buy: Chris Carson (Week 4)
Notable misses so far this season:
- Buy: Aaron Rodgers (Week 1)
- Buy: O.J. Howard (Week 1)
- Sell: Austin Ekeler (Week 1)…little too early…
Sony Michel, RB Patriots
This one is not for the faint of heart. Speaking as one myself, Sony Michel fantasy owners are disappointed. They spent a 3rd or 4rth round pick on a player that looked incredible in the playoffs last season for the Superbowl champion New England Patriots. Through the first four weeks of the season, Michel averaged a putrid 2.8 yards per carry (ypc) on arguably the best team in the NFL. The Patriots have a top-5 offense and the number one defense in the league…why is the lead back struggling to get things going in the run game? Well, for one – he wasn’t catching the ball so defenses knew what to expect when he was on the field. The Patriots are a scheme-heavy offense, and Sony Michel has been a one-trick pony.
Fortunately, things changed in Week 5 against the Redskins. Although the Redskins are a juicy matchup, Sony Michel delivered far more than anyone could have hoped for. He had 16 carries for 91 yards (5.7 ypc) and logged his first three receptions of the season on three targets for 31 yards. He also ran the ball in for a touchdown for the third time this season. Skeptics will point to the fact that fellow back Rex Burkhead was inactive (as well as rookie Damien Harris), so Michel’s opportunity was inflated. In reality, he was consistent with his average of 16 rushes per game but did add three more touches in the receiving game. What’s more likely, that his involvement in the passing game was a fluke? Or that the Pats wants to turn him into a dual-threat because he’s a solid pass catcher and it confuses defenses? I pick the latter.
Sony Michel owners have been waiting for the right time to sell their early bust pick this season. Now is the time to strike. Sony Michel remains one of the most likely candidates to score multiple touchdowns on any given week. Sony Michel leads the league in rushing attempts (13) and rushing yards (29) inside the 10-yard line for the Patriots, who have scored the second-most points among NFL teams through five weeks. While RB touchdowns are unpredictable, I’m going to say that Michel (the exception) has a high probability of reaching double-digit touchdowns this season. Michel remains a solid RB2 play while many owners are willing to package him for next to nothing. The Patriots’ WR and TE are thin and have been injured, so I expect a more run-heavy offense as the season progresses. I recommend buying Sony Michel at a fringe RB2/3 cost, if possible.
Damien Williams, RB Chiefs
Williams missed two weeks due to injury and underwhelmed (5.3 pts) in his Week 5 return. As did pretty much every KC Chief. The Chiefs have a plethora of RB that have shown productivity so far this season: Damien Williams, Darrell Williams, and Lesean McCoy. Not to mention rookie Darwin Thompson, who many (including myself) projected to become a huge factor as the season progressed (not looking promising). I think most Chief players are in the “buy-low” category, but who better than the lead RB who can probably be bought at a flex price? In fact, I’d be looking to add both Damien Williams and Darrell Williams if possible, as at least one of them has been start-worthy almost every single week and both have upside for multiple touchdowns any given week. Damien Williams nearly had a touchdown catch and remains a (risky) RB2 with elite upside on a week-to-week basis.
TY Hilton, WR Colts
Hilton is the WR9 on a points-per-game basis. However, he missed Week 4 and put up a disgusting 5.7 points (0.5-point scoring) in a juicy Week 5 matchup against the Chiefs, a matchup that the Colts won despite Hilston’s lack of involvement. Many owners view him as a back-end WR2 due to his injury concerns and his connection with his relatively unproven QB. He’s disappointed owners two weeks in a row…However, he is absolutely a back-end WR1 on a solid offense. He’s tied for second-most targets within the red zone in the NFL and is first in most receptions in the red zone despite missing a game! His touchdown upside is immense. Additionally, he’s entering a bye-week and you may be able to capitalize on sacrificing Week 6 points for future production, especially if the Hilton owner has a losing record. Hilton has a mix of difficult and juicy matchups rest of season, and he remains an elite wide receiver in the NFL. I’d buy Hilton if his cost is a mid-to-late tier WR2.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR Cardinals
Larry Legend has at least five receptions in every game this season. He leads the Cardinals in targets and receptions. He also leads the NFL in targets inside the 10-yard line (7). Kyler Murray, rookie Cardinals QB, has the second-worst touchdown percentage (2%) in the league. The Cardinals have reasons to improve on offense as the season progresses and the team develops chemistry. Larry Fitzgerald would be the primary benefactor of an uptick in passing touchdowns. Additionally, Fitzgerald was cheap in fantasy drafts, so many owners would be happy to sell him at mid-tier WR3 value after two straight weeks with fewer than nine points. He’s still the WR26 overall on the season and should remain a solid WR2 moving forward. I like Fitz as a depth piece with upside to be an every-week “must start” if things fall into place for the Cardinals.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR Texans
Hopkins rebounded a bit this past week, but it was his teammate Will Fuller that shined bright as Deshaun Watson went off. Hopkins is still a top-3 receiver in the league, but some owners might be willing to sell him at back-end WR1 / high-end WR2 value. While Hopkins probably won’t repeat as a top-4 receiver in 2019, he still carries upside to be the WR1 overall on a given week. We have five weeks of fantasy data, and some owners are going full-tilt too soon! This one is an obvious one, but worth mentioning nonetheless.
Allen Robinson, WR Bears
A-Rob looked great this past week. He’s a great wide receiver on a shaky offense. I may be wrong with this one, but my gut tells me that Robinson will continue to be inconsistent throughout the season. His best games (before Week 5) were against Green Bay and Minnesota, which are two excellent defenses…what? He stunk against Denver and Washington. I think the Bears will have several boom games and Robinson will go off, but they’ll have just as many (or more) games with few opportunities for Robinson to produce. Additionally, the Bears can win with mediocre offensive play due to their incredible defense. I think Robinson will be a headache for start-sit decisions moving forward, so I would personally get out while you can! Package him with another piece to upgrade for a WR1 or RB1. He still has name recognition from his stellar 2016 season. He’s also coming off a 25.2 point performance. I’d sell if you can get good value!
Austin Ekeler, RB Chargers
Ekeler has been fantastic so far this season. He’s the RB3 overall through Week 5. This past game with Melvin Gordon back, Ekeler scored 14.8 pts in 0.5-point scoring primarily through the air with 15 receptions for 86 yards. That won’t happen every week. To put it in perspective, only six other offensive players (WR, TE, RB) have logged over 11 receptions in any single game this season. Furthermore, Melvin Gordon (12 rush attempts & four receptions in Week 5) will continue to get more involved as the season progresses. Ekeler is absolutely a great football player and integral to the Chargers offense, but he’s being valued as a solid RB2. In reality, he will be more of a safe RB2 (with upside) moving forward. Additionally, the next four matchups are against solid defenses: Steelers, Titans, Bears, Packers. Oh, and he plays the Vikings and Jaguars in the playoffs (still startable but not ideal). If you can get top-tier RB2 value for Ekeler, go do it. And make an offer for Melvin Gordon if he can be purchased lower than RB1 value as well.
Ezekiel Elliot, RB Cowboys
HOT TAKE ALERT! I think Zeke has stepped down into the 2nd tier of RB. He’s averaging four points per game less than he has during any other season in his career (2016-2018). We’re five weeks through the season, so we have a solid sample size. Last year, he caught more than two passes in 14 of his 16 games. This year, he’s only done that once in five games. He’s been less involved in the passing game and less involved in the running game. He’s averaged at least 20.3 rushing attempts per game every season before 2019. This year, he’s averaging just 17 attempts per game while teammate Tony Pollard is averaging seven attempts per game. Zeke remains efficient and elite as an NFL talent, but I think he’s more of a top-10 RB moving forward rather than top-3. I wouldn’t rush to sell him, but if you can flip him for Lev Bell plus a WR2 or top-6 TE (Mark Andrews, Darren Waller), I’d jump on it. Especially if you can get a newer name WR like DJ Chark, who owners tend to be skeptical about.