As we cruise through the middle of the football season, I encourage you (as always) to test the waters and make some trade offers. Tip of the week: Identify the position you want to improve and the position you want to trade away to do so. Then, look at the other teams in your league and try to find one that compliments your goal. Bonus trade tip: Look at the benches of your opponents for players that you like. Typically, if an owner has a player on their bench, they will be far more likely to trade them since they probably view them as a depth piece.
Robby Anderson, WR Jets
Robby Anderson has had a strange start to the season with a calf injury and catching passes from backup quarterbacks due to Sam Darnold’s mono. He broke out this past week with five receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown, and he looked electric doing it. Darnold came back in a big way, and I think the Jets will emerge as a productive offensive unit. That helps Lev Bell, Chris Herndon, and Robby Anderson who have a juicy upcoming schedule after tough matchups against the Patriots and Jaguars. Robby Anderson was likely either dropped or riding the bench in your fantasy league. If he was dropped, I’d spend heavy to buy him. If he’s rostered, go buy him now.
Let’s look at Anderson’s previous six games with Sam Darnold, who has a ton of upside as a player that was once discussed in the first overall draft pick discussion in 2018. Anderson has 54 targets (9 per game) and 14.7 fantasy points per game, exceeding 15 fantasy points in four of six games. Only seven wide receivers have more than 54 targets so far in 2019. Chris Godwin has 54. His 14.7 fantasy points per game during that stretch would put him at WR7 this season, just ahead of Julio Jones. He was Mike’s #MyGuy this season for a reason.
Michael Gallup, WR Cowboys
Gallup has been a sneaky target monster in a Dallas offense that’s third in passing yards so far this season. Gallup has seven targets in each of his four games this season. He missed Weeks 3 & 4 to injury, so owners have been frustrated with him this season. Gallup is a rental for me for the next several weeks, where he should produce solid points…especially if Amari Cooper misses time due to injury. I’d be looking to sell high on Gallup around Week 11, before he faces New England, Buffalo, and then Chicago. Gallup doesn’t have name recognition, which makes him an easier trade target in fantasy.
DJ Chark, WR Jaguars
DJ Chark has been a surprisingly solid player this season. The Jaguars fell apart this past week against New Orleans and Chark was unable to produce in a tough matchup. Like Gallup, Chark has little name recognition and can likely be purchased on the cheap. He’s scored fewer than seven points in two of the past three weeks. However, he’s had four games with at least 15 points and averages over seven targets a game. Chark is a good trade target, as fantasy owners may be skeptical about him and/or Gardner Minshew, who should be better moving forward.
Le’Veon Bell, RB Jets
I talked about Le’Veon Bell as a trade target a couple of weeks ago, and he can still be purchased in most leagues. As mentioned in the Robby Anderson section, the Jets have a juicy matchup after a tough two weeks. Bell has maintained incredible volume and the Jets look like a much better team now that Darnold is back. So far this season, opposing defenses only had to worry about one player: Bell. As Darnold feeds the ball to pass-catchers like Robby Anderson and Chris Herndon, it should help open things up for Bell.
Mark Andrews, TE Ravens
Andrews is scoring 12.3 points per game. For reference, George Kittle is averaging 11.4 points per game. While I’d rather have Kittle than Andrews, Andrews can be bought for far less. It’s been a struggle for teams without a solid TE, as the waiver wire options (TE13-24) are only averaging 6.3 points per game. What’s worse is that those averages are volatile, as you pretty much have to play the “who catches a touchdown” guessing game and hope you’re right. So most weeks, you’re ending up with less than 6 points. Andrews is productive, trustworthy, and probably the least expensive out of the elite tight ends. He provides a 6+ point positional advantage, which is equivalent to the difference between the WR12 (Adam Thielen, 14.3 pts/game) and the WR56 (Mike Williams, 8 pts/game). Furthermore, if you have a high-end tight end, it frees up your bench for other positional players with upside.
Terry McLaurin, WR Redskins
Scary Terry has been on fire this season despite playing on the league’s 30th best offensive in terms of points scored per game. He has five touchdowns through six games, which is tied for 2nd most among all wide receivers in the NFL. He is a solid player, but he’s on a bad team that fired their head coach this past week. There are a lot of questions marks around the Redskins. Additionally, McLaurin’s next three matchups are: 49ers, Vikings, Bills. Those teams are all top-6 in the NFL in terms of fewest points allowed to opposing teams. After that, he plays the Jets, Lions, Panthers, and Packers…who are solid defenses for the most part. I recommend packaging Terry with another player to upgrade at a position. Since McLaurin has little name recognition, I’d float out some offers but don’t trade him for anything less than high-end WR2 value.
Calvin Ridley, WR Falcons
Calvin Ridley is a great player. However, he’s playing for a team that has a lot of mouths to feed (Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, Devonta Freeman). While Matt Ryan has thrown for over 300 passing yards in six straight weeks, Ridley only has two games above 64 receiving yards. Additionally, Ridley only commands a 15.3% market share so far this season. The touchdowns (4) have elevated his fantasy stats, and touchdowns are difficult to predict. Ridley has four games above 12 fantasy points, but I expect that he’ll be more volatile moving forward. I recommend selling Ridley as a WR2.
Stefon Diggs, WR Vikings
Diggs is a tremendous NFL talent. However, I don’t trust Kirk Cousins or the Vikings’ passing offense. Simple as that. I may be wrong on this one, but answer this question: did you even start him this week? And if you did…did you feel good about it? Will you feel good starting him next week? I would personally trade Diggs to a Vikings fan or to someone who is sold on his resurgence. Don’t sell low, but throw out some offers and see if anything sticks.
Joe Mixon, RB Bengals
Gross. Hand up, I was a Mixon advocate entering this season. He did it last year with a miserable offensive line. But he hasn’t done it this year. He’s only had 15 touches in three of six games this season. The volume isn’t there to counterbalance his lack of efficiency. Mixon has faced some solid defenses, so his schedule hasn’t done him any favors yet this season. He remains a GREAT player…but he is fighting an uphill battle. Think of it this way: he was handed a plastic knife and asked to cut a steak up into pieces. If you can trade Mixon for mid-level RB2 value, I would do it.
Sidenote: Go buy Mixon in dynasty if you’re in rebuild mode. The Bengals’ 2019 1st round draft pick O-lineman (Jonah Williams) will be back next year.