The Trade Report – Week 5 Buys and Sells
Week 4 was another brutal week in a brutal year for tight ends. So far: Hunter Henry, Delanie Walker, Tyler Eifert are lost for the year with Greg Olsen, Evan Engram, Jack Doyle, OJ Howard missing multiple weeks. And don’t forget young guys like Dissly, Butt, and Hurt also missing time. So, in order to help you navigate these tricky waters, my Buys will be dedicated solely to the tight end position.
- Rob Gronkowski (NE): There hasn’t been a better time to buy the best tight end in history, for years. As it stands right now, Gronk is the TE7. Not bad, but not nearly up to his lofty standards. Right now is the perfect time to buy Gronk, because he’s about to explode. The Patriots’ offense has sputtered most of the first quarter of the season and with Gronk as Brady’s only reliable target, he’s drawn double and even triple coverage most snaps. With Edelman back, and Gordon getting up to speed, teams won’t be able to key on him as much. Buy Gronk now, while his price isn’t astronomical.
- Cameron Brate (TB): With OJ Howard out of the way, for the time being, Brate is poised to take his place as Winston’s underneath target. Last year, Brate finished as the TE10, and that was with Howard still in the picture. Without Howard, look for Brate to regain Winston’s trust and provide a nice stopgap for your injured tight end. Buy Brate now, he shouldn’t cost you too much.
- Zach Ertz (Phi): It’s important for someone to admit when they were wrong. I was wrong about Ertz. I thought, with Jeffrey coming back, Agholor’s emergence, and Goedert’s mismatch potential, Ertz would suffer. Furthermore, I thought Foles would rely too heavily on the tight ends, while Wentz would spread the ball around more. I was wrong. Since Wentz has come back, Ertz has averaged 12 targets a game. In fantasy, volume is king. Ertz will only get better, and his floor is higher than any other tight end out there. He’s worth the buy.
- Jordan Howard (Chi): We’ve played this game before with Howard. All last year, it seemed impossible to trust Howard. He’d follow up 22 carries, 100+ yards, 2 touchdown performance with a 3 carries, 10-yard game. Matt Nagy finally got Tarik Cohen (*Bonus Buy*) involved an appropriate amount. Even with the Bears having a very RB-positive game script for Howard, it was Cohen that got the call. Cohen is Tyreek Hill-lite and Nagy knows it. He’s about to get Cohen more involved in both the running and the passing game. That spells trouble for Howard owners. Hopefully, you can use Howard’s pre-season draft capital to sell him for something useful.
- Devonta Freeman (Atl): Freeman is coming back from injury this week. So what? Over the past two seasons, Coleman has taken more and more snaps from Freeman. The Falcons offense hummed with Freeman gone, with Coleman being one of the focal points. Some owners might be excited to have Freeman back, but I’m not buying it. With his return, his price may never be much higher. Sell while you still can.
- Calvin Ridley (Atl): This one seems crazy. Ridley has set the fantasy world on fire, scoring more touchdowns than Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and Julio Jones combined. You’re probably feeling pretty good for having drafted him so late. That being said, he is a prime regression candidate going forward. Let’s look at his usage this season vs. Atlanta’s “third” receiver, Mohamed Sanu. Sanu out-snapped Ridley 218 to 160. Out of total offensive snaps, that’s 80.4% to 59%. You might be thinking, well that’s because it took time to get Ridley up to speed. Well, last week the gap widened even further, with Sanu being on the field for 79% of offensive snaps and Ridley only 54%. If you’re low on receiver, I wouldn’t suggest you take him out of your starting line up. However, if you’re weak elsewhere (like tight end) and can spare the receiver, I’d sell Ridley while his value is so high.
I hope you enjoyed my article and I hope some of these Buys and Sells help you out. What did you think? Did I miss someone? If you want to let me know where I was wrong or if you’re just looking for free fantasy football advice, you can find me on Twitter @Sam_Wise730 or you could use our company handle @tffgurus. Also, feel free to check out the podcast page @trophytimepod and shoot us a follow. See you next week.