Welcome to the weekly Trade Targets & Ammunition article! As usual, I’ll outline my personal favorite trade targets and ammo. As you’re making trades, keep an eye on bye weeks. Players that have already had their bye week are more valuable. Also, don’t be afraid to ask open-ended questions to potential trade partners like, “how would you rank your WR?”. Information is power. Happy trading!
James Conner, RB Steelers
This is all predicated on the idea that Conner practices this week and will return to action in Week 8…
Fantasy owners of Steelers stars Juju Smith-Schuster and James Conner don’t know what to do with them. They spent such a high draft pick to get them, but they have underwhelmed. I will say that Conner has two weeks above 22 points…but his under four are all at 12 points or below. Conner has a questionable designation due to a knee injury, so his availability is unclear as of Monday afternoon. Additionally, rookie Benny Snell rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries in their last matchup (Week 6). So there are questions of workload and health surrounding Conner. I view this as an opportunity to buy Conner low.
Five of Conner’s next seven matchups are against teams that are top-7 in terms of rushing yards given up to opposing offenses. I’m optimistic that he will return to health and still maintain a healthy volume. Even with Snell’s 17 carries in Week 6, Conner touched the ball 23 times. Conner also received seven targets while Snell was only targeted once. Excluding Week 5, Conner has been targeted at least four times every single week…and he’s caught every single pass except for one. The Steelers are throwing short passes incredibly often, which is terribly frustrating for Juju owners but very beneficial for Conner.
For teams that have a middling record, I recommend taking a shot on Conner if you can obtain him for middle or back-end RB2 value. Don’t overpay…but if you want to win a championship, you have to take chances.
Devin Singletary, RB Bills
Singletary put up a dud in Week 7 against a juicy Miami defense. Singletary is a big wild card, and no fantasy expert really knows what he’ll be rest of season. He could be a league winner if he takes over from the infinite Frank Gore. Or he could be a roster clogger if Gore maintains the lead RB position, complemented by Josh Allen’s rushing ability. I view Singletary as a lottery ticket, and I would buy him at flex value especially if I can get him for a WR (I believe back-end WR2s and WR3s grow on trees).
Courtland Sutton, WR Broncos
Sutton has been a solid fantasy option this year, ranking 22nd in points per game just behind DeAndre Hopkins. He’s been targeted at least seven times every single game this season, and he’s had some tough matchups but remains productive. Sutton is coming off two mediocre weeks but should have better weeks ahead. I think it’s worth it to buy Sutton if you can pay flex value for him. It’s just not fun to own Broncos this year, but production trumps perception.
Kenny Golladay, WR Lions
Kenny G is so smooth. He has been a bit frustrating for owners since he hasn’t been helpful for two of the past three weeks (Week 5 bye and Week 7 dud). So if you can get him from an owner that is looking through a short-term lense, I would do it. Excluding Week 7, he’s been a stud and received eight or more targets every week. If you throw away Week 7, he’d be at 14.5 points per game which is equivalent to WR8 on the season. I do expect Marvin Jones to have another monster game or too, which will hurt Golladay. But Kenny G will help your team far more than he hurts it. I’d buy him at a middle to back-end WR2 price if you can.
Tyler Lockett, WR Seahawks
Lockett has been viewed as a consistent, low-end WR1 this season. In reality, he’s been super safe but hasn’t really helped you win with the exception of a huge Week 3 (26.9 points). He only has one week under 10 points but only one week reaching 15 points or more. If you take away his huge performance, he would be averaging 11.3 fantasy pts/gm (WR32). “Well that’s not fair, he earned that game,” says the Lockett truther. OK, let’s take away his worst game, too. He jumps all the way to WR31 on the season.
You may be thinking…why would I buy a player who has been mediocre outside of one week? Well, in his next four games he plays three teams that are top-6 in terms of allowing the most passing yards to opposing offenses. I have a feeling he will blow up in at least one of those games. For that reason, I think he’ll win you a week and be pretty good otherwise. Note that he does have a tough matchup against the team that allows the least passing yards to opposing offenses (49ers), but I have a feeling he’ll be OK with Wilson’s electric QB play.
Tyler Lockett, WR Seahawks
Yes, I know. I have Lockett as a buy…but he’s really a rental for me. This is a pre-emptive sell (future). I’m putting him as trade ammo to let you know that I am trying to sell Lockett in a package deal for a top WR1 after his blowup week (my projection)… If you can’t sell him after a big week, I would sell him for high-end WR2 value before your trade deadline. If you can sell him before his Week 10 matchup against the 49ers, you’ll avoid a tough matchup and his bye week. I view Lockett as a good rental for the next couple of weeks.
Melvin Gordon, RB Chargers
Gordon looked bad on Sunday. And bad last week. And bad the week before. Without his touchdown reception, he would have only scored 1.4 fantasy points this past week. He also lost a very costly fumble that directly led to a Chargers loss. Fortunately for him, Ekeler has two fumbles on the season – so he’s not bulletproof either. Gordon is the opposite of “on fire”, and his teammate Ekeler continues to look like the superior player. This upcoming week, Gordon faces a tough Bears defense. I’d sell Gordon if you can find a league mate who is a truther and will spend back-end RB1 value. Gordon still has a chance to turn things around, but it doesn’t look good. I will say that I’d buy Gordon at flex value if someone is going full-tilt the opposite direction…
Mark Ingram, RB Ravens
Ingram has been a stud this year, and he came at a discount. However, he’s entering a bye week. The next matchup: The Patriots, who have an incredible defense. So that’s two weeks where Ingram won’t contribute much to your lineup. Also, he faces tough matchups in Weeks 13 – 15 in the 49ers, Bills, and Jets. These teams are top-6 in terms of allowing the fewest rushing yards so far this season.
Interesting fact 1: Ingram’s best two fantasy weeks occurred in Week 1 and Week 3. Interesting fact 2: Lamar Jackson had his fewest rushing attempts of the season in Week 1 and Week 3. Jackson averaged nine rushes per game in the first four games of the season. That jumped to an average of 16 rushes per game over the past three games. Jackson is an excellent runner, and it’s a direct threat to Ingram especially considering that Jackson has the potential to vulture touchdowns from Ingram on the goal line. Gus Edwards and Lamar Jackson have more combined rush attempts inside the 10-yard line than Mark Ingram this season. I project that Lamar Jackson will continue to use his rushing abilities as a crutch moving forward. I recommend selling Ingram as an RB1.
Brandin Cooks, WR Rams
Cooks has been a back-end WR pretty much every year of his career. He now falls into the 1b or 1c in LA, behind breakout star Cooper Kupp. I think better days are ahead for Cooks, who’s topped 1,080 yards in every season since 2015. He’s only 26, and my gut tells me his value is at an all-time low. I just bought him in my dynasty league (my worst 2020 1st round pick + Matt Breida for Brandin Cooks + opponent’s best 2020 2nd round pick…I had three 2020 1st rounders, so I had the flexibility to sell one here).