Trade Targets for Week 9
Author: Marc Schwartz (@fantasyfballOG)
While Demaryius Thomas dominated the trade deadline headlines, the Golden Tate trade likely has more meaning to the fantasy football world. And I have seen casuals get silly in the days since. I have seen Stafford hit waiver wires, and I have seen people dumping Alshon Jeffery for peanuts, out of fear that he will now be losing many of his targets to Tate. Please take advantage of anyone who is not very enthused about having Jefferey on their team.
Golden Tate is very good at what he does, but what he does isn’t similar to what Alshon Jefferey does. Tate dominates on inside routes, often from the slot, and is able to use his quick feet to gain separation, and to eat up chunks of yards after the catch when he gets space. Jeffrey exclusively plays outside, and is one of the more physical receivers, consistently beating tight, one-on-one coverage. In other words, they complement each other perfectly. Think of Tate as just a much better version of the Agholor role.
There are no losers in this trade from a fantasy perspective, other than Nelson Agholor. Jeffrey’s production so far this season would put him on pace for just about 1100/13 over 16 games, which is WR-1 material. Wentz is fully capable of going bonkers with this offense the rest of the way, and they’ve all but given up on any real running game. Jeffrey might even have the luxury of getting some weaker corners in certain matchups, as they rotate Tate out of the slot in 3 and 4 wide sets, because Tate can function outside, while Agholor and even Matthews are better off inside. Tate is going to cause serious issues for defenses, and Jefferey is well suited to take advantage. Pay the low end WR-2 price tag for Jefferey from anyone misreading the situation, and get yourself low endWR-1 production.
All too often the team that wins your fantasy league is the one that got an out-of-nowhere RB-1 finish from a running back who was worth little in mid-season. Every little bit of effort counts in fantasy, but nothing matters more than chasing RB’s who have the potential to win leagues down the stretch. And out of every running back currently valued as an RB-3 or worse, Aaron Jones might just be the most likely to go off.
There are some obvious signs here, so you’re not going to pick Jones up for nothing. The Montgomery trade clears a path for more snaps, and Jones did just come off of a respectable box score with 86 yards rushing and a touchdown. But Jones hasn’t been much more than a tease thus far, and nobody really trusts the Packers to do the right thing, which is to let Jones dominate the backfield. We’ve all heard about how great Jamaal Williams is at pass-blocking. Meanwhile, Williams is barely out targeting Jones in the passing game. Also, Williams has been terrible, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. You would think someone within the Packers coaching staff would notice that Jones is going off at over 6 yards per carry in that same offense. The fact that Jones is starting games now could be seen as an indication that the coaches aren’t completely insane; that they know Jones is the superior runner.
We know the coaches have made an error in not using Jones enough, and giving Williams way too many opportunities. They have some excuses though. And not just that Williams was a higher draft pick; he does actually have more tools than Jones. But he just can’t put it together, and to this point, has been a guy who underachieves on game-day. Meanwhile, Jones has been overachieving on Sundays ever since his first game last year Enough is enough now, and I think last week was the breaking point. The Packers will still use Williams, especially now that Montgomery is gone. But Jones is now THE GUY. He doesn’t have all-pro talent, but he’s very efficient with his touches, and he always seems to find a hole. Rodgers is playing as well as anyone, so Jones now has a very unique opportunity to break out in a big way. The asking price for Jones is probably that of a high-end RB-3. I think it’s worth swinging for the fences with him.