Fantasy season is upon us, so it’s officially the best time of the year. The first couple of weeks in fantasy football are challenging because teams change over the offseason, so it’s arguably the hardest week to project accurately. Additionally, this is the time in the season that perceived value changes the most drastically across the board. NFL experts and fantasy owners now have a second set of information to judge fantasy players on: Week 1 production. Some people get stuck in the trap of throwing pre-draft projections out the window, while others are stubborn and ignore week 1 production. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, and you can capitalize on trades when you are able to take advantage of shifts in player value.
While other owners are focusing exclusively on waiver wires, you should take advantage of trades. Consider 2-for-1 trades now more than ever so you can attack the waiver wire too. Check out my offseason article Advanced Trade Strategies to find out why you should trade and some strategies to try.
Week 1 Trade Targets
Aaron Rodgers (Week 1 QB24)
Fantasy owners were fading on Aaron Rodgers coming into 2019 with questions about his supporting cast and a brand new head coach. He underperformed in week 1, but keep in mind he was playing against one of the league’s best defenses and it was an away game. I think Rodgers will finish the season as a top-4 QB, but many owners are panicking. I’ve been in on Rodgers this year for the first time ever.
Jared Goff (Week 1 QB28)
Goff put up a stinker in week 1. I’m neutral on Goff in general, but I would trade a backend flex player for the QB of a top-3 offense if I had roster depth.
James Conner (Week 1 RB32)
The Patriots looked like one of the best football teams we’ve seen in the past twenty years. They crushed the Steelers on both offense and defense. The Steelers are better than they looked Sunday night, but many fantasy owners are on full tilt since Lev’eon Bell and Antonio Brown are no longer with the team. The Steelers will bounce back and hopefully stop passing to the bum that is Donte Moncrief.
Kerryon Johnson (Week 1 RB35)
Kerryon was a #MyGuy this year for a reason: talent. The question is whether or not his coaching staff will give him the touches he needs. He had 18 touches in week 1 and underperformed against an easy matchup (Cardinals). While I don’t think he will return the 2nd round draft price, I think some owners are too quick to write him off.
Justin Jackson (Week 1 RB36)
I bet the Chargers go to a more balanced carry count between Jackson and Gordon moving forward. I wouldn’t pay much for Jackson, but he’s someone that owners are contemplating dropping, so I would make an offer for the worst player on my bench for him.
Leonard Fournette (Week 1 RB28)
I’m neutral on Fournette, but he should be a solid RB2 when active. I’d offer a flex player for him and see if I get a bite.
Davante Adams (Week 1 WR66)
Davante Adams is special. His route running literally brought Chad Ochocinco to tears, which is really weird but that also gives me confidence in him. The Packers will be better moving forward, and Adams remains a top-5 WR who is the cheapest he’ll be all season.
Brandin Cooks (Week 1 WR69)
Buy. The. Rams. Period.
Mike Williams (Week 1 WR77)
I love Mike Williams, and I may be wrong on this one. I think he’ll break out this year and he costs you very little after a bad week 1. He has an injury concern but is worth the discounted price tag.
Julio Jones (Week 1 WR32)
Julio is a top-5 WR and someone who lost with him might go full tilt. Test the waters.
Travis Kelce (Week 1 TE11)
Sammy Watkins will never have another game like that in the NFL, but Kelce might. If I were the Jags head coach, I’d scheme to shut down Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in Week 1. Hill is out and Sammy will now see the top corners. Kelce will shine bright, buy him at his dip in value.
Zach Ertz (Week 1 TE17)
Ertz is still top-3 but owners have been reading the articles from fantasy experts throwing shade on him and then he put up a dud in week 1. Buy low.
OJ Howard (Week 1 TE30)
The Buccaneers will be better moving forward. He could still be a top-5 option and might only cost you a mediocre RB3 or WR3, so I think it’s worth a shot.
Trade Ammo – Players to consider shedding
Austin Ekeler (Week 1 RB2)
Look, Ekeler will be great…until Gordon shows up. He’s not going to put up RB2 overall numbers again this season, although he should be top-15 and consistent. That being said, his value will never be as high as it is right now. Don’t let recency bias get in the way of winning your league. Float a ridiculous offer to the Melvin Gordon owner, who’s sweating his butt off.
Derrick Henry (Week 1 RB3)
I just don’t like him as an RB. I could be way wrong, but I want nothing to do with him. He caught a pass for 75 yards and a touchdown. He’s not a pass catcher, and that’s what you need to be in order to be a top-10 option at the position. Sell high.
Sammy Watkins (Week 1 WR1)
The lizard king is polarizing. He’s perennially a “this is the year” guy. I think he’ll be good, but I think his stock price is too high with his performance and the Tyreek Hill concerns. Kelce is gonna be the guy.
Larry Fitzgerald (Week 1 WR11)
Larry Legend is one of my favorite players of all time. He’s going to be good this year, but I still don’t trust the Cardinals. He’s a great player to own this year, but test the waters to see if you can package him in a 2 for 1 trade to an Arizona Cardinals optimist (like the Kyler Murray owner).
Mark Andrews (Week 1 TE3)
I love Mark Andrews, don’t get me wrong. But the Ravens won’t play the Dolphins every week. If you can flip Andrews at a top-4 TE price, I’d do it. Only sell if you can get peak value.
Happy trading! Let me know if you were able to make some trades and/or if you have feedback (twitter: @jeffgreenwould).