Trader's Alley: Week 10 Buy Low, Sell High, and Hold
Welcome to the Week 10 edition of Trader’s Alley for the 2021 fantasy football season. We’re just a few weeks away from many leagues’ trade deadlines, which should give you and your league mates a bit more of a sense of urgency about getting a deal done. Even if your squad is struggling, it’s imperative to stay vigilant and continue sending high-quality offers. The best way to get a deal done is to proactively send out an offer. There’s no better time than this week.
Below is my Buy Low, Sell High, and Hold recommendations heading into Week 10. In addition to this article, don’t forget to use the 4for4 Trade Evaluator to try and mine even more value out of your moves. And remember, these recommendations are just the beginning of your fantasy trade considerations. Every league and every team is different. These are just some of the players who I’m interested in this week.
Trade for Aaron Jones
Jones’ 5.3 PPR fantasy points against the Chiefs in Week 9 was his lowest score since Week 1, but unlike that game where the Packers all but abandoned their star running back when they were trailing, the Jordan Love-led Packers continued to lean on Jones, as he saw 14 opportunities, which was still shy of his previous four-game average of 18.2, but not egregiously low, especially considering the game flow and the quarterback situation. Jones is one of nine running backs to average 17 or more expected PPR fantasy points over his last five games, which is doubly impressive considering he ranks outside the top-15 at his position in opportunity share.
Jones’ per-touch efficiency has been somewhat lacking this season, ranking 25th in yards per opportunity and 31st among running backs in true yards per carry, but he continues to rank among the elite backs in elusiveness, ranking 16th among all players in yards created per touch, and sixth in total yards created. Best of all, the 4for4 Hot Spots tool indicates the Packers have the eighth-easiest remaining strength of schedule (via aFPA) for running backs, making this the perfect time to make a move for one of the game’s elite running backs. I’m trying to package lower-tier RB1 and a FLEX WR to try and acquire Jones’ service for the rest of the season.
Trade Patrick Mahomes
What first looked like negative variance for the Chiefs’ offense now looks like a trend, with Kansas City continuing to struggle offensively against the Green Bay Packers, scoring a paltry 13 points, their lowest total of the season. To the Packers’ credit, they’re now ranked in the top-10 in PFF’s team defensive rankings and in aFPA to opposing offenses, but Mahomes played flat-out poorly for portions of last Sunday’s game, throwing for a season-low 166 passing yards and 54.1% completion percentage. Mahomes has now finished outside the top-15 quarterbacks in fantasy scoring for three straight weeks and has failed to reach even 6.0 yards per pass attempt in four of his last five, and five of his last seven starts. And even so, I can nearly guarantee that someone in your fantasy league will see Mahomes’ September finishes (and his previous season finishes) and be willing to bet on Mahomes bouncing right back up to his previously elite status.
While that’s certainly in his range of outcomes, that’s now far from a guarantee for Mahomes, who now ranks 21st among quarterbacks in adjusted yards per attempt, and 24th in catchable pass rate. The Hot Spots tool rates Kansas City’s remaining schedule as the most difficult in the league, with Mahomes staring-down playoff matchups against three elite defenses, the Broncos, Chargers, and Steelers, in Weeks 13 through 16. I’m leveraging Mahomes’ elite name-brand to secure a low-end QB1 and an additional starting running back, where possible.
Trade CeeDee Lamb
Lamb is one of the game’s brightest young stars, and already has one week this season where he’s finished as the top overall wide receiver in fantasy. But even on the Cowboys’ offense, which had been elite prior to their Week 9 shellacking at home against Denver, Lamb continues to be a highly volatile player in your starting lineup, having finished outside the top-50 wide receivers in fantasy scoring four times in the last seven weeks. The Cowboys are inexplicably avoiding giving Lamb full-time snaps, as he currently ranks WR35 in route participation rate, and the WR38 in red-zone targets, and ranks outside the top-24 players in targets in per route run and in expected fantasy points per game.
Despite the volatility of his usage, it’s pretty impressive that over the last six weeks, Lamb is one of just five wide receivers to average double-digit expected fantasy points (via PFF’s EP model), and still scored three or more fantasy points more than expected. His talent is undeniable, and he’s made the most of fluctuating usage, but as we head towards the fantasy playoffs, we should be chasing more consistent volume, and Lamb, despite week-winning upside, can help us acquire exactly that. Still the WR10 in our rest of season rankings, I’m not moving Lamb unless I get fair value, but traders should be able to utilize Lamb as the primary piece in a deal for a high-end RB1.
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