The Trade Report – Week 4 Buys & Sells

Week 4 Trade Market

In this weekly series, I’ll be observing a few players each week that I would be targeting in trades and a few players that I would be looking to cash out on. There’s a theme where these aren’t all buy lows or sell highs this week but they’re players I think you should be willing to pay the price for. These recommendations assume a standard format, but would likely change very little in another format. If you have any specific questions about trades then feel free to ask me on Twitter, at @ZakDewitt.

Buys

Deandre Hopkins (HOU) – Hopkins has been a target monster this year. However, after seeing 16 and 13 targets in Week 1 and 2 respectively, and then only seeing eight targets in Week 3, you may be discouraged. Don’t be. Hopkins still had seven receptions on those 8 targets, showing that Deshaun Watson could be more efficient in getting him the ball. Hopkins is easily the best offensive weapon on that team and Watson is showing fairly well for a rookie quarterback. Watson should continue to lock onto Hopkins and pepper him with targets, which will give Hopkins a nice, solid floor.

Joe Mixon (CIN) – The time has likely passed for you to buy Joe Mixon “low”. You should still go buy him and be willing to pay the price. Going into the NFL draft, some experts pegged Mixon as the best running back in the class. Sadly, he was buried on the depth chart behind Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. However, after switching to Bill Lazor as the Bengal’s new OC, Mixon led the backfield in touches in Week 3. He had 18 carries and three receptions. Some owners may be disappointed with his week though, as he failed to score and therefore didn’t have a great fantasy week. Use this likely small window to buy Joe Mixon before he truly breaks out and the price skyrockets.

Todd Gurley (LAR)  – The premise behind buying Todd Gurley right now, is that some owners are trying to sell him high due to his upcoming schedule. After playing Dallas this week, his next six games will be vs. SEA, @JAX, vs. ARI, @NYG, vs. HOU, @MIN… This looks rough on paper but a lot of those defenses aren’t playing as well as they have in the past. Seattle has struggled against the run this year, and Arizona’s defense hasn’t looked great like the past. Jacksonville’s defense has played amazing but struggled against the run. Even if these defenses are able to shut down Gurley in the run game, his usage in the passing game will continue to give him a very safe floor in these games. The Rams’ offense looks leaps and bounds better than it did last year under Jeff Fisher, and that should provide Gurley with plenty of opportunities, even against stronger defenses. Take advantage of some owners selling Gurley, and buy him while you can.

Brandin Cooks (NE) – We finally got our breakout game from Brandin Cooks. He had five receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Even in Week 1 and 2, Cooks was a couple chances shy of having huge games. The Patriots are utilizing his strengths and targeting him on deep balls. Not to mention, Tom Brady lead the NFL in the percentage of his throws that are deep balls. This will continue to mean big games for Cooks. He is easily the most talented wide receiver on that team and his usage will likely increase going forward. That being said, dealing for Cooks will likely depend on your roster construction. Cooks will likely continue to be somewhat boom/bust so you should only go out and trade for him if you a few “floor” receivers to pair him with. If you have the floor players, allowing you to survive the busts, the booms will be completely worth it.

Chris Carson (SEA) –  Chris Carson has taken over as the lead back in Seattle. Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch in Week 2 and Lacy and Rawls only combined for two total snaps in Week 2. The Seattle backfield is now only Carson’s. C.J. Prosise will continue to be involved as the pass catching back but he is often injured and Carson has shown he is a capable pass catcher. HC Pete Carroll has said he’s been impressed with Carson so far and Carroll is typically not one for “coach speak”. Carson will continue to see the majority of the work and snaps in Seattle and you need to go out and get him now before he has a blow up game. Which could certainly come against the Colts in Week 4.

Sells

Jay Ajayi (MIA) – We all drafted Jay Ajayi as a stud. I’m starting to get worried though. He really struggled against the Jets last week. He showed up that he is still somewhat boom/bust, as he had an amazing Week 2 and then followed it up with 11 carries for 16 yards in Week 3. He also struggled with a knee injury, which we all fear for Ajayi. This is somewhat of a conditional sell. I would sell him if you can equal value for him. This knee injury really worries me, and that boom/bust for a running back is not something you want. If you can cash out on Ajayi, I would gladly do it.

Marshawn Lynch (OAK) – Sell Marshawn now. He is not seeing the volume you want for a starting running back on your fantasy squad. Marshawn was on the sideline for a considerable amount of the game against Washington. Marshawn has only played 41 percent of the team’s total snaps. That is not good. Jalen Richard and Deandre Washington are staying involved and that takes away from Lynch’s touchdown upside. He is currently the RB30 but I think you may be able to get more for him based on name value. Target the Raiders fan in your league and try and unload Lynch for an RB2 or WR2.

Jordan Howard (CHI) – I’m back again telling you to sell Jordan Howard. Except now, you can get more for him. Howard had a great week last, posting 23 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns. However, this was in positive or neutral game script. I still don’t believe that the Bears will be in that situation often, which will lead to Tarik Cohen being on the field more. Howard did catch all five of his targets for 26 yards but I still don’t think he’s a good pass catcher. Cohen will continue to be involved, which will inevitably diminish Howard’s production. I would be seriously trying to get out from under Howard while his value is high. You should be able to get RB1 value for him, even if he may only contribute as a lower RB2 for the rest of the season.

Chris Thompson (WAS) – And again, more deja vu from last week. You should still sell Chris Thompson. He is scoring touchdowns at an ungodly rate and Jay Gruden has said that his usage will not increase. He is still only a scat back and will continue to be used as such. He is still not seeing a ton of touches each week and that will not change. Yes, he’s been phenomenal and electric to start the season, but you cannot expect that to continue. He will likely only see passing down work and very minimal rushes. Remember that he is on a historic touchdown per touch rate. You should be able to get great value for him and you should try shopping him to a running back needy team.

Kyle Rudolph (MIN) – Rudolph finished as the TE3 last year and there is no way that’s happening again. His production was largely buoyed by a struggling offense and Sam Bradford being the check down kind. Rudolph got peppered with targets but that is no more. He has seen a grand total of 11 targets through three weeks. This is due to the emergence of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs as great wide receivers who open up the Vikings passing game. Dalvin Cook also provides them with a much needed spark on offense. Rudolph is simply not as needed as he was last year. Sure, he will have usable games but I would not feel the least bit comfortable starting him. I would try to trade him for anything you can but if you can’t trade him then I’m okay cutting him and just streaming the position.

Thank you for checking out my new article The Trade Report! I will be bringing this to you every Friday for the remainder of the season. If you have someone you feel would be a great fit for The Trade Report feel free to tweet me @ZakDewitt or email it to us at Trophytime@tffgurus.com. Until next week good luck and I hope they hit accept on your trade offer!

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