PLAYERS TO TRADE FOR
Trey Lance (SF) — I really don’t know what’s up with Justin Fields, but I know I’m not very interested in him after seeing his body language look so bad in Week 5, and that language was consistent with his actual production. Lance is all over the place and has looked in over his head, but he’s at least running, and he’s doing it a lot. It’s a long season to go still, so things could change dramatically for Lance in the coming weeks. But even if it takes well over a month until he’s in as the starter and ready to produce, I’d be willing to trade for him now because the immediate outlook for him is not good, so his asking price should be reduced. But Jimmy Garoppolo is pretty shaky and is still a major injury risk. If Lance is the man by Week 12, their schedule down the stretch is sublime: vs. Min, @Sea, @Cin, vs. Atl, @Ten, and vs. Hou Weeks 12-17.
Dalvin Cook (Min) — It’s risky, of course, but you can probably get Cook this week for 75 cents on the dollar, or maybe even cheaper than that if his owner is dying for wins now. They do have a bye in Week 7, which is a good angle to pass along to a Cook owner desperate for wins now. It’s that same bye that could help measurably improve Cook’s sore ankle, especially if they opt to hold him out in Week 6. If they do, that would give Cook just under 30 days without taking a snap, which would be huge in his recovery.
Myles Gaskin (Mia) — It seems like Brian Flores has been showing Gaskin some tough love, but, uh, dude, your team is 1-3 and you stink, so maybe you should stay committed to Gaskin. After an essential benching in Week 4 with a season-low 23% snap share, Gaskin played a season-high 69% snap share in Week 5, and lo and behold, he’s actually good! If they can’t turn their defense around, and it’s not looking good, they will need a good receiving back getting a lot of work as they play from behind. That’s Gaskin, so his value could still be inching higher in the coming weeks. Just keep in mind that there is downside if Flores continues to think he’s like Bill Belichick or something.
Josh Jacobs (LV) — I really don’t like him much and never have, and I don’t have confidence in his ability to stay healthy. But with former HC Jon Gruden being a confirmed moron, things are looking up for Jacobs. Gruden and the rest of the dum-dums in Vegas paid Kenyan Drake damn near starter’s money, even though everyone around the league hates the Drake, and now they are eating it as they deserve to. Maybe Drake can get into the good graces of the new coach, but this backfield looks like it’s all Jacobs to me now. He’s got 10 targets and nine catches in the last two weeks, which is huge. His stock is up, but it may not be done rising.
Cooper Kupp (LAR) — Now that we got the overcorrection for Robert Woods out of the way, it’s worth noting that Kupp’s value was through the roof two weeks ago, yet it’s settled down big time the last two weeks. He’s still going to be costly, but it seems to me that Matthew Stafford has come back down to earth the last two weeks, coinciding with their interest in getting Woods going. So perhaps Stafford will start looking more for Kupp.
Adam Thielen (Min) — He has 0 TDs and only 5/86 total receiving the last two weeks, so his value took a hit. I’m guessing he scores this week.
Allen Robinson (Chi) — I’ve been holding off on listing him repeatedly in this article, and I’ve been waiting until he hits rock bottom. We may be there now. His matchups look good the rest of the way, so if you can get him for at least fifty cents on the dollar, he’d be one heck of a WR3 or flex in a PPR league. I have him in my #1 league, a 14-teamer, and he’s been tumbling down my own depth chart where he’s now my WR4. But as far as the trade market goes, I will not sell low, and I’m actually interested in buying low. My reasoning is simple: he and Justin Fields quite literally could not be worse so far in three full games.
TJ Hockenson (Det) — After two weeks of the season, Hockenson looked like a league winner, and since then he’s looked like a league loser. Hockenson is playing through a knee injury that’s limiting him in practice, and it’s clear he’s receiving extra attention. He’s also blocking more in the run game, so what we need is for them to be playing from way behind, as he was in the first two games of the season when they gave up 76 points. They have given up only 62 points in three games since, but the schedule shows a lot of matchups against good offenses forthcoming. They also have a bye in Week 9, which isn’t too far away. There’s some risk, but I can’t shake how damn good he was the first two weeks, so I’d be interested in taking him off someone’s hands.
Further compounding Hockenson’s sluggish past three games are all of the Lions’ injuries across the offensive line. Hockenson was left in to pass block three times against the Vikings and did a ton of work as a run blocker, and when that happens, it’s hard to also scheme up a bunch of targets in the passing game because Hockenson is exhausted from all the blocking. Hockenson got just three looks against Minnesota and turned them into 2/22 receiving. You likely don’t have any better options than Hockenson, but until he gets over this knee injury and the Lions offensive line gets healthier, it is going to continue to be a very up-and-down stretch. (GB)
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT STILL GOOD BUY-LOW GUYS:
Tua Tagovailoa (Mia) — This is on the very low-end, but Tua at least fits the profile of a guy whose value is likely rising soon. He’s expected to return to the lineup in Week 6, and man do they need him because Jacoby Brissett has not been good. The outlook on Tua doesn’t look nearly as good as it did a month ago, but Miami does have the Jags, Falcons, and Texans Weeks 6, 7, and 9 (Bills in Week 8), so Tua could get a nice boost in production, thanks to a nice upcoming slate of games.
Javonte Williams (Den) — He keeps getting better, and better, and better while Melvin Gordon is looking older, slower, and less able than ever to create on his own. Maybe I’m being a little hard on Melvin, but I’ve never really liked Gordon. That’s not the case with Williams because I have the gift of sight.
Sony Michel (LAR) — I listed a pro-Michel prop for Week 5, which hit, and in the blurb I mentioned how the usage of their two backs from Week 2 (Michel had 10 carries, Darrell Henderson had 13) was probably more in line to what they wanted from these two, and that played out in Week 5, with Michel getting 11 carries to Henderson’s 17 (they both got 1 target).
A.J. Dillon (GB) — I got a little too excited about him this summer, but here he comes! The Packers have been putting more on Dillon’s plate the last two weeks after he totaled exactly 26 scrimmage yards in each of his first three games on a 29% snap share. He totaled 15/81 rushing with a 16-yard catch on a 40% snap share against the Steelers in Week 4 before posting 8/30 rushing and 4/49/1 receiving on a 33% snap share against the Bengals. My belief that his receiving ability was being underappreciated has come to form, and while Dillon’s ran only 10 routes compared to Jones’ 29 routes in Week 5, Dillon’s receiving skills have been strong, and I think it will definitely continue. Dillon’s now a legit flex starter and a possible RB1 if Aaron Jones misses time.
Brandon Aiyuk (SF) — Again, I will list him until his value rises, because it will rise. We did see some more small signs of life in Week 5
Robert Tonyan (GB) — I was not personally high on Tonyan this summer, but at this point, he’s already long overdue for some regression, which means the TDs should start coming. And his targets have to increase. He is ideally a TE-premium or larger league recommendation at this point, though, since he may not even be a 12-team TE1 even if he gets going.
Michael Thomas (NO) — Despite their Week 5 success, this passing game is very much a week-to-week proposition, and most of their success has some big and flukey plays. The Saints are off this week, but Thomas has a chance to return for their next contest. If his owner is already in dire need of a W, then he/she may be willing to give Thomas away for immediate help.
OTHER PLAYERS I’D BE WILLING TO TRADE FOR NOW BEFORE VALUE GOES UP:
Michael Gallup (Dal) — He is eligible to return off IR any time now, so he’s a good bet to resume practicing and return either this week or next.
PLAYERS TO TRADE
Kareem Hunt (Cle) — He’s a really good player, so this is hardly a sell-at-all-costs recommendation. But Hunt is a little over his skis so far this year (maybe), with 17, 18, and 18 opportunities the last three weeks. He’s RB6 on the season, which is fairly absurd for a player who is his team’s RB2. Granted, it’s been even more run-heavy than expected in Cleveland, but if he’s not an automated starter for you, then you can probably afford to flip him for a really nice upgrade elsewhere. For example, if you needed a WR, I’d bet you could trade Hunt for a guy like Terry McLaurin, or a low-end WR1.
Nyheim Hines (Ind) — Welp, we tried to lean on the expected gamescript with Hines in Week 5, and it worked out horribly. Here’s an overview of games and season so far, in case you didn’t know: solid in Week 1, worthless in Week 2, very good in Week 3, literally worthless in Week 4, and hopeless in Week 5. I’d want to get rid of this guy just to preserve my mentals.
Dalton Schultz (Dal) — Dalton is clearly producing over his skis to open the season, and at least part of it is due to the absence of WR Michael Gallup, who is set to return very soon. Schultz wasn’t even the top TE on his team that we fantasy players were looking at this summer, and we fantasy players know what’s up. Unless you think he’s putting up 88/952/10 this season, and as long as you don’t truly need him, I’m guessing selling high on him right now will be a good move.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT STILL GOOD SELL GUYS:
Corey Davis (NYJ) — I did like Davis this past week like a lot of people did, and it was nice to see him come through. But I never have a problem flipping this guy coming off a big game, because he’s always been matchup-needy in terms of when he produces. The Jets still have a bad OL, a rookie QB in need of a lot of seasoning, and multiple wideouts who are more than capable of commanding targets, like Jamison Crowder, who quickly re-established himself in Week 4.