Welcome to the Fantasy Football Day Trader, where the writers at The Fantasy Footballers team up to present our 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. We’re here to present our fantasy opinions for your consideration, and I can tell you firsthand that we preach what we praise. This article series will present fantasy players that we’re looking to move and the price tag that we 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 from last year to help: The Art of the Fantasy Football Trade.
Fantasy Football Day Trader: Week 4
We are now in October, folks. The mornings are chilly in New England. Pumpkin spice is in the air. It’s sweater szn. My neighbor put up his incredibly disturbing Halloween decorations again, and I can’t stop thinking about what they do with them in the “offseason”. Ahh, life is good. Let’s dive into three trade tips, inspired by quotes from one of the greatest investors of all time: Warren Buffett.
- “We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” Takeaway: Trust your process, do your homework, and trust your gut. I remember Jason Moore picking Juju Smith-Schuster as his #MyGuy in 2018, when he broke out. To be clear, that was an aggressive move considering teammate Antonio Brown was the clear alpha on the Steelers (for new NFL fans: Antonio Brown was the elite of the elite…but…well, just google what’s happened since). It turned out that Jason was spot on. He kept talking about how he trusted the film and Juju was just different. Don’t be afraid about taking a shot on a player you’re drawn to…as long as you know what you’re getting into.
- “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” At the end of the day, fantasy football is a fun game to play with friends and family. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t take advantage of league-mates who have limited information – whether they’re new to fantasy football or missed an injury update. That being said, if you have a league-mate who really knows what they’re getting into and wants to bless you with a lopsided trade – GO FOR IT ALL DAY.
- “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.” There are plenty of players who have disappointed so far this season…but we are still very early on. A lot can change. I guarantee that some of the players who have disappointed so far this season will bounce back and provide an incredible return rest of season. Don’t be afraid to take a shot on a player like Kenyan Drake, Cooper Kupp, etc. who still has incredible upside.
Investments (Trade For)
Joe Burrow is the QB10 overall right now. As a rookie. With a shortened preseason and no preseason games. With little assistance from A.J. Green and Joe Mixon. Burrow ranks top-5 in both passing attempts and rushing attempts so far this season. He’s averaging over 270 passing yards per game and he’s thrown 2+ touchdowns each of the past two weeks. He is also a talented runner, which significantly boosts fantasy production for QBs (i.e. 1 pt for 25 yds passing vs 1 pt for 10 yds rushing). According to the strength of schedule tool (available for #FootClan members), Burrow has good matchups in three of the next four weeks. He’s been sneaky productive for fantasy this season, and he might even still be on your waiver wire. Burrow is only rostered in 62% of ESPN leagues and 73% of Yahoo leagues. You may be thinking, “why would I trade for someone that isn’t even rostered everywhere?”
Well, I feel that strongly about Burrow. He is likely very easy to acquire in single QB leagues, especially if the owner has him as his 2nd or 3rd QB. On that note, I rarely roster multiple QBs unless the waiver wire is thin for QB’s. If you have a solid QB but little depth at RB/WR/TE, consider trading down at QB to bulk up at RB, WR, or TE and plug Burrow in. Remember that QB is probably the easiest position group to stream, so there is limited risk in trading down at QB. I bet you could acquire Joe Burrow for a fringe flex player on your bench coming off a decent week, and I’d take that deal 10 out of 10 times. Burrow’s future is yet to be determined, but the sky’s the limit. Burrow is a player with a lot of upside, and I’m investing for nearly free. Price Tag: QB10-18 overall
Parker is starting to heat up and after this week’s game against Seattle, your buy-low window will be closed. He could’ve had a much bigger game against Jacksonville after securing all five of his targets but they didn’t need him all that much. Seattle is giving up HUGE production to WRs and Miami will need to throw a lot this week, and his schedule stays pretty friendly leading up to his Week 11 bye. If you’re balling on a budget, check your waivers or throw a cheaper offer out for his teammate Preston Williams. Price Tag: Mid-range RB2.
Moore was one of the more highly touted wideouts this past offseason, including by yours truly. At this point I’m not changing my tune, instead, I’m doubling down. His first three weeks feel admittedly disappointing, but they actually haven’t been as bad as it seems when you look at some of the peripheral stats. He leads the Panthers in targets with 26, which is ninth-most among all wide receivers in the league. He’s also getting the kinds of targets you like to see for fantasy football success, deep shots. He’s accounted for 49% of Carolina’s air yards and has the fourth most total air yards in the NFL. Most fantasy managers probably don’t realize how close Moore should be to finally breaking out and now is your chance to acquire him for cheap. Price Tag: Low-End RB2/WR2
I was hesitant to draft David Montgomery heading into the season simply because of how inefficient he was in his rookie year. Despite receiving the 12th most opportunities (carries and targets), David Mopportunity would only finish as the RB34 in PPR points per game last year. Three weeks into the season, we are seeing a much-improved player. What jumps out immediately is how efficient and effective he has been with his touches. So far this season, according to PlayerProfiler, Montgomery is averaging 5.2 yards per touch (RB20) and 2.16 yards created per touch (RB9). By comparison, he ranked outside of the top 40 RBs in each of those metrics last year. In addition, per the Fantasy Footballers strength of schedule report, the Bears have the easiest RB schedule for the rest of the season. And with Tarik Cohen out for the season (ACL tear), Montgomery should have plenty of opportunity going forward to be a consistent RB2 with RB1 potential. Price Tag: Mid-to-Low WR2/RB2
Life without Michael Thomas is a difficult one for the Who Dat Nation. Though he’s only missed one game in his five-year career with New Orleans, he has now missed two more due to an ankle injury. Then there’s the Saints, a team who hasn’t suffered back-to-back losses since 2018 and… just lost consecutive games against the Packers and Raiders. The team is clearly desperate for Thomas to come back and revitalize their offense. Same goes for fantasy managers who used their first-round draft pick on him. If that’s not you, then there’s a decent chance that particular league mate is 0-3 or 1-2 and getting antsy. They recognize Thomas’ talent but have injury concerns and can’t wait much longer. Of course, savvy #Footclan members will know not to trade away Thomas right now. As Jason said on a recent ‘Ballers podcast, “if you traded Michael Thomas, here’s what you did. You absorbed the three bad games – the missing games, the injury game – you absorbed that from your league. And then you gave Michael Thomas coming back to someone else.” Don’t be that person. Instead, be the person that takes advantage of said person, and trade for Thomas at a panic-driven discount. He’s the reigning fantasy WR1 on a high-octane offense that is eager for his return. If you have the depth and win record, try to offer a combo like James Conner and Michael Gallup or Joe Mixon and Julian Edelman. Price Tag: High RB2 + Mid WR2
Fades (Trade Away)
Lockett is currently the WR2 overall on the season after a monster 32.5 point performance. He also had good fantasy games in Weeks 1 & 2. This is the same player that only scored more than 7 fantasy points once from Weeks 10 – 16 last season. Lockett should continue to be an every-week starter, but I think we’re currently seeing his peak. I also think D.K. Metcalf is the 1a in Seattle. Tyler Lockett is exactly the type of player I’d like to trade away in a 2:1 deal where I’m getting two back. This is the type of trade where you should be able to acquire two solid pieces in return (i.e. RB2 & WR2). Price Tag: Top-10 WR.
The only thing worse than knowing they will watch Gurley’s workload is seeing that it’s a part of a four-way split. The Falcons aren’t going to be in a lot of run-friendly game scripts and aren’t using Gurley much in the passing game. In other words, all the reasons you drafted him are going out the window. He managed to put up a decent fantasy day in Week 3 and still has some name value, use that and move him now. Price Tag: High Upside WR2/RB2.
As alluded to by the title of this article series, you want to treat fantasy football trades like the stock market. Acquire affordable assets and flip them when they reach peak value. If Davis is on your roster, you likely added him off waivers last week and were handsomely rewarded. It’s unlikely that he’ll gain any more value in coming weeks as Christian McCaffrey nears a return from his ankle injury. Once CMC is back, Davis will have little if any fantasy worth. Find a running back needy manager in your league and see what you can get. You could potentially add a reliable flex option to get you through the grueling bye weeks, something that Davis is unlikely to do. Price Tag: Reliable FLEX
Will Fuller (Marvin Elequin – @FF_MarvinE)
Relying on Will Fuller week to week can sometimes be a stressful experience. Not only is he fairly inconsistent, scoring 10 or less PPR points in 47% of his career games, you also have to worry about his injury risk. Each week you have to hold your breath and hope that he stays healthy for four quarters. We are only 3 weeks into the season, and we already got a taste of that in week 2. After a stellar performance in week 1, Fuller would briefly leave the game in week 2 due to a hamstring injury, finishing with 0 targets on 63% of the snaps. And then this past week, he would surprise us by not appearing on the injury report and finishing as the WR30 in PPR leagues. So while Fuller has matchup-winning upside, it will be difficult trusting him in your lineups week to week. If you can find someone who is willing to buy into the upside, I would absolutely trade him away for a WR with a higher floor, such as CeeDee Lamb or Julian Edelman. Price Tag: Low WR2
What? Why would you give away Aaron Jones, star RB for the red-hot Green Bay Packers? Jones and QB Aaron Rodgers have been nothing but ELITE so far. Jones is currently the overall RB2, while Rodgers is the QB6. The “Angry Aarons” have successfully dispelled any fears that they would be replaced by the Packers’ first two draft picks, QB Jordan Love and RB AJ Dillon. But here’s the thing – Jones’ insane fantasy production appears to be contingent on lead receiver Davante Adams’ health:
Aaron Jones Under Head Coach Matt LaFleur
Per game averages WITH Davante Adams:
• 15.15 carries
• 3.6 targets
• 1.0 TDs
• 15.4 pts
• 14.8 carries
• 6.5 targets
• 1.8 TDs
• 27.6 pts
w/o Adams: RB1+WR2= pic.twitter.com/6pLU5WjBw2
— Peter Chung (@FF_Hypeman) September 30, 2020
Jones nearly doubled his fantasy production in his six games without Adams since head coach Matt LaFleur joined in 2019 (note: included Week 2 vs DET this year as Adams was hurt repeatedly during the game and did not finish). Jones essentially becomes a reliable WR for Rodgers when he’s missing his favorite target in Adams. Fun fact, Jones scored ALL his receiving TDs last year when Adams was inactive. He was the RB11 in the first four weeks last year when Adams was playing. In Weeks 5-8 without Adams, Jones shot up the ranks to become the overall RB1, having nearly 20 points more than runner-up Christian McCaffrey. When Adams returned in Week 9 onward, Jones regressed back down to the RB8. It’s obvious that Jones is a top 12 RB – regardless of the health of his colleagues. But it’s also obvious that his enormous top two upside requires Adams’ absence. With Adams possibly back on MNF against the Falcons and their bye week afterwards, Jones’ target share should regress, thus lowering his phenomenal ceiling. If you have holes in other positions, why not trade Jones for a fringe RB1 and WR1 combo like Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Adam Thielen? He’s on fire right now and will stay hot ROS. But I’d suggest trading him before the flames cool off a bit. Price Tag: Low RB1 + Low WR1
B_Don and Donkey Teeth are back after most of week 7 is in the books (just waiting on MNF)…