Trader's Alley: Week 5 Players to Buy Low, Sell High, Hold
Week 4 was a journey, and I for one am glad we all made it through. Hopefully, the scheduling hiccups didn’t cause you too much lineup distress. With one quarter of the NFL season (and even more of the fantasy season) in the books, it’s becoming more important to make moves to bolster rosters and secure wins. Several of my trade targets below have long-term upside with favorable schedules or situations upcoming. So enough blathering, let’s get to a few of my favorite players to trade for, trade away, or hold heading into Week 5.
Trade for … James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
The Jaguars said Robinson was their lead back before Week 1, and they’ve stayed true to that commitment. Robinson has handled 94% of the backfield carries and 52% of the backfield targets. Aside from a few roadblocks against the Chargers and Steelers, Robinson’s upcoming schedule is incredibly favorable for running backs with cakewalks like the Texans (twice), Lions and Packers all in the next several weeks. Robinson went for over 100 total yards last week, but failed to find the end zone which could create a mini buy-low opportunity.
The market: Robinson appears to still be a hot commodity on the trade market, being sent for Russell Wilson straight up in one league, while he was swapped for Travis Kelce, Odell Beckham Jr., Kareem Hunt, and Zach Ertz in others. It might take a decent offer to pry Robinson away, but the reward could make the cost worth it.
Trade away … Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
This one is tough, because Sanders has handled roughly 78% of the backfield opportunities (carries and targets) since returning to action in Week 2. He’s played 77-78% of the snaps in each game as well. In his first game back he scored two times and looked to be the featured back we all hoped for when we drafted him back in the summer. Since then? Well, the Eagles offense is a mess, Sanders has failed to find the end zone, and his touches have decreased every game (24 to 22 to 15).
The Eagles defense has struggled this season, and the team is often falling into pass-heavy game scripts. That could be in play in the future as the Eagles have to face high-powered offenses with the Steelers, Ravens, Cowboys, Browns, Seahawks, Packers, and Saints in seven of their next nine games. Those could turn into shootouts which might benefit Sanders. Or … he could be relegated to 15 touches and minimal catches as Carson Wentz tries to pull the Eagles back into these games with his arm. Sanders’ share of the backfield work and playing time are encouraging, but there are plenty of other red flags with the Eagles that could make it worth shopping Sanders.
The market: Sanders was traded for Jerick McKinnon and Robert Tonyan. He was swapped for T.Y. Hilton and Josh Allen. Sanders and Amari Cooper were traded for Melvin Gordon and DK Metcalf. He was traded for straight up for Tyler Lockett, Raheem Mostert, Kenyan Drake, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and David Montgomery in a variety of leagues.
Trade away … D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers
While I love DJ Moore as a player, I think it’s fair to consider cutting ties in fantasy if the right deal is available. Moore’s peripheral numbers are very good. He’s fourth in the NFL in air yards share (42.72%), and he’s second on the Panthers in target share with 23%. However, for whatever reason, he’s not cashing in on that opportunity. Moore has four or fewer receptions in three of four games, hasn’t crossed 65 receiving yards in any of those three games, and has yet to score a touchdown through four weeks.
Now, his volume and air yards totals speak to regression to the mean in the touchdown column (i.e., he should score and score soon), but Moore has seen 10 targets over the last two weeks compared to 16 for Robby Anderson and 15 for Mike Davis. This could be game-script related, or it could be a shifting in the balance of power in the Panthers passing attack. Either way, while the peripheral numbers are encouraging, the production is not, and it could be worth shopping Moore.
The market: Moore was traded for David Johnson and Robby Anderson in one league. He was swapped straight up for Kenyan Drake in another. One manager paired Moore with Evan Engram for Mike Evans and Mike Gesicki. And in a bigger deal, Moore and Kyler Murray were exchanged for Matt Ryan, Zach Ertz, and Allen Robinson.
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