Week 3 Swap Meet: 5 of the Most Traded Players This Week (Fantasy Football)
Two weeks into the fantasy football season, owners should be able to see where the strengths and weaknesses of their teams are. There have been a number of preseason top-ranked RBs and WRs that have failed to reach their expectations so far. In deeper fantasy leagues, many could be left scrambling for a starting QB, with Nick Foles, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian, Eli Manning and Cam Newton all watching from the sidelines this week.
These things have led to panic and transactions aplenty. These are five of the most-traded players from this week. You may notice that all five have underperformed from a fantasy perspective thus far, but brighter days do seem ahead for them. If you do find yourself involved in trades with these names in them, I will give you a few names of relatively equal value that you can consider or at least gauge the player’s value off of. All rankings and values given take half-point PPR scoring into consideration.
Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
As noted above, we have seen a high number of QBs go down to injury already. This has led to many owners trading for QBs, with Aaron Rodgers being a popular trade piece. Owners of Rodgers are rightfully disappointed with his return on investment so far since they had to draft him relatively high. Despite making a few of the magical plays we are accustomed to, this run-first Green Bay offense has yet to take off fully. They have also faced two tough defenses, in the Bears and Vikings, and they will face another in their matchup against the Broncos 0n Sunday. This has led Rodgers to be ranked QB22 through two weeks. So, some owners who lost their starter are trading for him, disgruntled owners are trying to get some value in return, and others see the potential ceiling this offense brings Rodgers from a fantasy perspective and are trading for him. No matter which boat you find yourself in, these are three names that have similar values to Mr. Rodgers.
- Devin Singletary (RB – BUF): While it looks like he will miss Week 3, the electric rookie RB has impressed with the Bills and will earn a larger workload, if he stays healthy. He has totaled a 12.7-yard average per carry on 10 touches, and his longest run has only been 23 yards. This shows just how well he has done every rush.
- Josh Gordon (WR – NE): Gordon has seen a big hit to his value with the addition of Antonio Brown. However, he is still an extremely talented player on one of the best offenses in the league. He will finish the season well, but as with most Patriots, his numbers could be inconsistent.
- Darren Waller (TE – OAK): Waller has emerged as a terrific TE option in fantasy as the athletic TE for the Raiders. He should continue seeing targets and making the most of them.
Mike Evans (WR – TB)
It has been a tough start of the season for both Mike Evans and his fantasy owners. Before Week 1, Evans got sick but played through it in a game that had over a 100-degree heat index. He was noticeably affected, and it showed with his performance. Evans then had to turn around on a short week to play a divisional game against the Panthers. Evans looked a bit better, finishing with 61 yards, but it still wasn’t to the elite level that many expect from him. What has made matters worse for fantasy owners is seeing the success Chris Godwin has had alongside him. Godwin currently sits at WR11, while Evans rests at WR71. I personally feel the illness is the most to blame for Evans’ current ranking, but he also faces tougher coverage than Godwin. This will begin to even out, as Godwin continues to put up numbers. With the Giants matchup this Sunday, it could be your last time to buy low for Evans. But at his true, current value, these are three players who are around the same value range.
- Joe Mixon (RB – CIN): Due to an ankle injury, it has been a rough start for Mixon, just like it has been for Evans. As he gets healthier and the offense gets better with A.J. Green’s return, Mixon should return as a solid fantasy contributor.
- Antonio Brown (WR – NE): As I said with Gordon above, he will finish well, but his numbers and targets may be inconsistent depending on the week. However, there is no doubting his talent. Brown simply has the giant red flag of his character.
- George Kittle (TE – SF): While the 49ers picked things up last week offensively, Kittle has yet to be fully on the same page as Jimmy Garoppolo. He sits at TE14, but he has top TE potential.
Stefon Diggs (WR – MIN)
There are a couple of things to note when discussing the disappointing start for Stefon Diggs. First, he is in an offense that drastically limits his potential. The Minnesota Vikings want to look like they did in Week 1 when they passed the ball a total of 10 times. When things aren’t going as well on the day, Kirk Cousins is forced to pass more, which leads to more opportunities for Diggs, but Cousins’ inconsistencies and lack of skill presents other challenges. In the 10-pass game, Diggs saw just two targets but caught them both for 37 yards. Against Green Bay, Diggs saw seven targets, but only recorded one catch. Luckily, it was a 49-yard gain that went for a touchdown. The other factor for Diggs is his health. He was dealing with an injured hamstring in Week 1 and was noticeably limited. As a player that has dealt with numerous nagging injuries, some owners fear the hamstring, or something else, will present itself later this season. Diggs will have his big weeks, but because of the factors of this offense that were discussed, he will be inconsistent. This has caused him to be traded a lot this week, with some trying to sell high. These are some players that could be featured in return for Diggs.
- Marlon Mack (RB – IND): The Colts decided to give Marlon Mack a huge workload. He looked good behind that big line, but he has already gotten injured. If he can get healthy and see his workload dialed down slightly, he could be a very solid RB2 for the rest of the season.
- Julian Edelman (WR – NE): I’ve already discussed the other two Patriots WRs, so we might as well throw another in. Tom Brady will lean on Edelman in crucial moments, but there will be few of those if they keep dominating opponents. Edelman’s value will also come mostly from his receptions, as he is not a big threat to score touchdowns.
- Mark Andrews (TE – BAL): Andrews has been the top TE in fantasy through two weeks, but he very well could be someone’s second TE that they are trying to sell high. While he should be a solid contributor throughout the full season, it’s tough to expect Andrews or the Ravens offense to keep up this pace for a full 16-game season. We have to keep in mind their opponents.
Leonard Fournette (RB – JAC)
We knew Fournette’s rushes would be reduced with the addition of John DiFilippo as offensive coordinator. However, he has been relatively disappointing with his touches so far, but it’s mostly due to not finding the end zone yet. He is RB25 through two weeks and has seen his rushing average improve to 4.0 yards per carry, but it appears that 100-yard rushing days may be rare for Fournette, who hasn’t recorded 100 yards on the ground since the AFC Divisional game back in the 2017 season. His poor performance on Thursday Night Football may lead to his value dropping some more, but these are three players that represent similar values to the power RB.
- Josh Jacobs (RB – OAK): The Oakland rookie is a bit banged up heading into Week 3, but the Raiders have leaned on his skill heavily through two weeks. He will get a big workload the rest of the season, and his offensive line will improve with the addition of Richie Incognito, who is back from suspension this week.
- Mike Evans (WR – TB): As I stated above, better days should be ahead for the star receiver, but he has not produced yet this season.
- George Kittle (TE – SF): Kittle is the TE14 so far, which is alright, but he will improve as his connection with Garoppolo becomes stronger.
Devonta Freeman (RB – ATL)
Not only has Devonta Freeman started slow from a statistical standpoint, but he has also been splitting backfield snaps, as he has his entire career. In the Week 1 blowout, he played 51 percent of the snaps, and then he played 63 percent in the Week 2 game against the Eagles. This snap share has led to 11 and 14 touches, respectively. So, the workload isn’t at an elite level, but what he does with the touches is more important. Unfortunately, he has a 2.2-yard rushing average and has totaled 54 yards on his six catches. Freeman currently sits at a disappointing RB48. However, the defensive fronts for the Vikings and Eagles are very talented, and the Falcons will not see that level of skill every week. Some are panic trading after these two weeks, while others see potential in Freeman with his upcoming schedule. These are some of the equivalent names.
- Kerryon Johnson (RB – DET): Johnson is another RB that has struggled early on, but there is no doubt that he is the guy in the Detroit backfield. While finding running lanes may continue to be an issue, he should become more involved in the passing game as the season goes on.
- Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA): Lockett is fresh off of setting his career-high in catches, but his value seems tied to game flow for the run-heavy Seahawks.
- Mark Andrews (TE – BAL): As stated above, Andrews has been the top TE in fantasy through two weeks, yet he still has RB2-like value. It’s unlikely that he keeps his current pace up, but he should be a solid fantasy contributor as one of Lamar Jackson’s favorite targets.
Zach Brunner is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Zach, follow him @FantasyFlurry