Trade Targets for Week 4

Author:  Marc Schwartz (@fantasyfballOG)

Reaching:

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Leonard Fournette – It’s simple with Fournette:  He’s an Rb-1 if he plays.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t been playing.   And there are some growing concerns about Fournette’s hamstring, with some thinking it could be more serious than the Jaguars initially disclosed.  So why would we want to buy into that risk?  Because RB-1’s don’t grow on trees, and because he can now be had for an RB-2 price tag.   Be honest with yourself about your team.  Can you win as is?  What are you missing?  I see many teams who have depth, but lack the fire power to make a big run.  You’re better off going for it all than settling into mediocrity. 

I believe Fournette can be had for the equivalent of an early 3rd round value from certain team owners.  But you have to sell the deal a bit.  Try a 2 for 1, and add the following comment, “You probably heard Fournette’s hammy might be worse than initially thought.  Who knows, right?   Look, I have the depth to roll the dice on him and I’m a gambler.  I thought this was a fair deal for you if you’re looking to unload the risk.”

We’ve heard a lot of talk about the Jaguars backup RB’s, but they’ve made it clear that they aren’t in the same world as Fournette.  He’s gold if he goes.  

Keenan Allen – Allen has been quiet for two straight weeks, and the most popular fantasy news blurb site in the world had the audacity to mention him as a possible WR-2 as a result.  Blasphemy!  Allen had a quiet 5 game stretch last year starting in week 5, before exploding into a league winning player for the stretch run.  He’s an elite WR in an elite situation; he’ll be big time.

Did Mike Williams just have a career day against the Rams?  Yes he did, because of Keenan Allen.  The really good defenses, like the Rams, have the option of focusing enough attention on a true stud like Allen to quiet them down.  Sometimes they can get away with it, and sometimes a guy like Mike Williams blows up as a result.  This is the biggest reason why even the best WR’s have a handful of extremely quiet games each year.  The important thing to realize is that the average or worse defenses don’t have a chance to contain a guy like Allen.  And some of the really good D’s will elect not to bracket him, so as not to destroy the integrity of what their defense does as a whole. 

The Chargers don’t have to play the Rams again this season. Allen is still a top 5 guy.  If the team owner who has him is buying into the “WR-2” hysteria, go and get him for the equivalent price of a back end WR-1.

 

Dumpster Diving:

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Mark Ingram – Everything appears to be going wrong for Mark Ingram’s value.  The Saints defense looks like it’s the worst in the NFL.   Alvin Kamara is destroying fantasy.  Brees is back to throwing on every down. He’s still suspended for this week, and will likely need a tune up game to shake the rust off in week 5.  So what could a between the tackles runner like Ingram have to offer this team? For starters, more than the 3.8 ypc that Kamara is averaging this season.  Ingram has averaged an elite 5.0 ypc over the past two seasons. 

People forget how ridiculous Ingram’s stats were last year, even with the Kamara blowup.  He had 1,540 total yards, 58 receptions, and 12 touchdowns. In other words, he was an RB-1.  His setup doesn’t seem to be quite as ideal as it was through much of last year, but it’s still solid.  The defense is going through a rough patch, but they have too much talent not to get better.  The Saints will surely be protecting leads at times this season.  And there is no way Kamara can handle 30 touches and catch 14 passes per week, as he did against Atlanta in week 3. 

Ingram is a proven asset, and you should be able to get him tossed into a deal for well below his true value.  Value him as an RB-2, and see if you can get him for an RB-3 price tag.  

Quincy Enunwa -  IF you could use a dependable WR-2, this is your last chance to get a good deal on Enunwa.  After two solid performances to start the year, Enunwa’s 4 catch, 57 yards in week 3 didn’t help anyone who started him.  Darnold looked like a rookie, and plenty of people saw that play out as it was the Thursday night game.  Furthermore, the Jets face the Jaguars this week, a detail you will share with whoever has him as you discuss trade possibilities.  Most people still don’t believe in this guy, so you can get a very good deal on him.

What matters is that Enunwa had 10 targets on Thursday.  Darnold will be up and down this season, but Enunwa is clearly the guy here, and he’ll have 1,000 yards almost by default.  The Jets use Pryor and Anderson to stretch the field, but Enunwa is easily their most dependable mid-range receiver.  He’s 14th in targets this season, making him a steal if you get him at his perceived WR-3 price.

 

Lesean McCoy – Let me be clear: You are not paying much for McCoy.  You shouldn’t have to.  Some savvier team owners realize that they’re better off holding onto him than selling him for 20 cents on the dollar.  But savvy team owners probably didn’t draft McCoy in the first place.  Chances are that whoever has him looks at him as nothing more than dead weight.  He’s hurt, he’s been ineffective, and the Bills are…..probably bad.

If you can unload some WR depth, or you hit on two big QB’s, trade the extra piece for McCoy and see what happens.  McCoy is currently on the wrong side of the HOF bubble, and he knows it.  He needs another good season, maybe two.  He was excellent in the Bills playoff game last year, so it’s not like he’s suddenly lost all of his ability.  The rib injury is more of a pain management issue; he’ll be able to run at full speed when he’s back on the field.  Most importantly, Josh Allen can do some things, and he’s still running for his life on every other play.  This means there will be plenty of dump offs and screens.   71 of Allen’s 196 yards passing were to running backs.  And though most of it did come on one play to Ivory, the Bills had a 4 possession lead early in the game.   McCoy will catch plenty of screens when he’s back.

Allen’s ability to run can also help kick start some type of running game for Buffalo.  We’ve seen that play out over and over in the league.  We’re not suddenly thinking the Bills are a powerhouse after one shocking game.  And McCoy won’t be scoring many td’s.  But there are certainly paths for McCoy to be productive, and his price should be absurdly low.

 

Trade Bait

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Tyler Lockett -  Congratulations on hitting with a late round pick on Lockett.  Now it’s time to really cash in on a player who has been a bit fortunate thus far.   Playing without Baldwin, Lockett has been “the guy” for the Seahawks, and that’s translated to a touchdown in each game this season, with yardage ranging from 59-77 in each of those games.  Plenty of people fired him up in week 2 and 3 as a flex, and he’s paid off.

But let’s look a bit closer.  Locket only has 12 receptions on the season, and hid 17 targets are 44th in the league at WR.  This is with two games that had very positive game scripts, and without the true target hog of this team, Baldwin, on the field.  Baldwin will return soon, and I don’t think that bodes well for Lockett.

Lockett is probably more of a hold in Standard leagues, where his big plays will continue to provide decent value.  But in PPR, I just don’t think you’d ever want to play this guy once Baldwin comes back.  He’s a great “tip the scale” piece to get YOUR GUY in a trade right now. 

 

Tip

Here’s an aggressive tactic I highly recommend using in big $ leagues.  If there’s  a player you really like on another team, and you know they have a bad matchup coming up, go ahead and start setting the hook with some pre-trade talk BEFORE THE GAME.   For example,   If you saw that Keenan Allen was playing against the Rams in week 3, you could have pitched a message to the team owner with him saying, “Hey, just wanted to let you know that I’m interested in putting together a package for Keenan Allen; he’s one of my favorite players.  I can’t put an offer together this week because I need to see one more game out of a few of my guys, but we’ll talk next week. “

So in the event that the bad matchup produces the predictably bad stat line, as it did, you may have just won the mental game involved in the trade.   All of a sudden the team owner is thinking to himself, “I wonder if he still wants him?”  

Marc Schwartz