Trader's Alley: Week 11 Players to Buy Low, Sell High, Hold
It’s crazy to realize this, but we’ve reached the penultimate edition of Trader’s Alley. With the Yahoo! trade deadline already passed, and ESPN’s hitting next Wednesday, fantasy players across the globe will lose a crucial element to building a contending team: trading. That will put more emphasis on the waiver wire, and it could also force plenty of players into last-minute trades. I try to offer some solid targets to trade for, and trade away below, before the final deadlines hit. As always, good luck, and happy trading.
Trade for … the Giants passing offense
Daniel Jones, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton are heading into their bye week, but when they emerge they’ll face an extremely favorable fantasy schedule. First up is a date with the beatable Bengals defense, then the swiss-cheese Seahawks squad, followed by the Cardinals and Browns (two more exploitable defenses). Players like Jones, Shepard, Slaton and maybe even Evan Engram aren’t likely to be coveted by their fantasy managers, so it may not take that much to pry one of these players loose.
The Giants offense is finding its footing, and Jones is playing better football for fantasy, as he’s scored six total touchdowns with four turnovers over his last four games, and he ranks as the QB12 in that span. Shepard has caught at least six passes in each game since returning from injury, and could be on the cusp of a breakout performance in this upcoming slate. I’d focus on Jones and Shepard, but Slayton and Engram could be targeted as well.
The market: Daniel Jones, Darrell Henderson Jr., and Jakobi Meyers were swapped for Melvin Gordon and Tua Tagovailoa. Sterling Shepard was traded straight up for Darnell Mooney, Antonio Brown, J.D. McKissic, and Taysom Hill. He was paired with Will Fuller in exchange for Todd Gurley and Darnell Mooney.
Trade away … Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
DISCLAIMER: You only trade Cook if you can get a king’s ransom in return. This is by no means a case to just cut bait with one of the best players in all of fantasy football. The reason Cook appears as a trade away this week is purely because of his fantasy playoff schedule, which features a murderer’s row of road matchups against the Buccaneers and Saints sandwiched around a home date against the Bears. Those teams are the three toughest for running backs based on 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) metric. Case in point, it took Cook 34 touches on Monday night to post 15.2 PPR points against the Bears -- Cook’s lowest PPR output this season. Yet, that’s also the upside with Cook. Even in a terrible matchup, he saw the volume to produce in fantasy.
The concern with those playoff matchups is that the Saints and Buccaneers offenses are, to put it mildly, worlds better than the Bears. If they’re able to exploit the Vikings average defense more than the Bears, that could put the Vikings in more of a pass-heavy script, with Cousins needing to push the ball downfield instead of checking it down to Cook. As I said, Cook will very likely still produce in the fantasy playoffs. But if your roster is hurting in numerous other positions it’s at least worth entertaining offers and seeing what type of haul you can get back in return.
The market: Cook was exchanged by himself for Aaron Jones, Stefon Diggs, and Tyler Lockett. In another league, Cook and Patrick Mahomes brought back Brandin Cooks, Deshaun Watson, and Boston Scott. Cook and Jerick McKinnon brought back Derrick Henry in a different league. And Cook was paired with Terry McLaurin in exchange for Nick Chubb and Keenan Allen.
Hold … Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
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