Let’s Make a Deal: 10 Players to Target in Trades in Week 2 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Due to a lack of preseason games, fantasy managers had strong reactions to several Week 1 performances. Add in injuries to some key contributors, and fantasy football rosters were often in disarray.
It’s no surprise that fantasy managers looked to the trade market to help improve their rosters, even with the season barely in its infancy. The chart below shows the number of trades completed by managers that have incorporated their teams into MyPlaybook since Monday alone:
|RANK||PLAYER||# OF TRADES (9/14-9/17)|
|1||Michael Thomas (WR – NO)||1,472|
|2||Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE)||1,276|
|3||Malcolm Brown (RB – LAR)||1,144|
|4||Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)||1,129|
|5||Nick Chubb (RB – CLE)||1,044|
|6||David Montgomery (RB – CHI)||945|
|7||Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE)||945|
|8||Chris Carson (RB (SEA)||939|
|9||James Robinson (RB – JAC)||929|
|10||Le’Veon Bell (RB – NYJ)||917|
We have plenty of tools to help you make the right deal. They include our trade analyzer and trade finder, both of which can be found in MyPlaybook. And our weekly trade chart, which can be used to evaluate all deals in standard, half-PPR, and full-PPR formats. As you can see, the most traded players include those who suffered injuries, whose Week 1 performances drastically changed their season-long outlooks, and some whose trade value varies widely depending on who you ask.
Given that the 10 players listed above are the ones being dealt most often, the savvy fantasy manager should be looking to capitalize on trading high or buying low where they can. So, let’s examine each of the players on the list and consider the potential deals that await. Note that these potential deals are based off of buy-low and sell-high opportunities as identified in our weekly trade value chart.
Odell Beckham Jr., Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt
This article is being written on Thursday afternoon, before the Browns play the Bengals on Thursday Night Football. Therefore, it makes little sense to try to come up with trade offers now for Beckham, Chubb, or Hunt, as all three players will see their values change after tonight.
Chubb’s snap share dipped significantly after Hunt returned from suspension last year, and Hunt narrowly out-snapped him (49% – 48%) and out-touched him in Week 1. And that wasn’t simply a product of the game script – Hunt had eight touches to Chubb’s seven in the first half against Baltimore.
There’s every reason to expect this trend to continue. If it does this week, then dealing away Chubb for anything in the same vicinity as his draft-day price is the right move. Conversely, dealing for Hunt at a slightly inflated price may be worth it. But because you’re likely reading this just prior to or after the Browns’ Week 2 game against the Bengals, recommending potential trades doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as I mentioned.
Nor does it with Odell Beckham Jr., the second-most traded player this week. The cost to acquire Beckham in a trade varies greatly. Some have looked at the 10 targets and his route running in Week 1 and tried to buy. Others saw the dropped pass and harkened back to his sub-par performance last year, and looked to trade him away.
With Beckham, Chubb, and Hunt, we’ve seen one game against an elite defense and with zero preseason contests. So, in truth, none should be heavily traded before tonight’s game. If Thursday night looks similar to Week 1, then we’ll surely be talking about all three next week. If not, they’ll be far less traded in Week 2 than Week 1.
Your most traded player of the week is Thomas, whose high ankle sprain will likely keep him out for a few games. It’s a tricky situation for any fantasy manager looking to trade away or trade for Thomas. On the one hand, he was likely a first-round pick in fantasy, so trading him away at a discount should be abhorrent to every instinct as a fantasy manager. On the other, wins are critical, particularly early in the season, and a player who could return significant value but who can’t help you now is worth dealing.
If you roster Thomas and are concerned about your team’s immediate future, swap him for any top-10 receiver, including Adam Thielen and Allen Robinson. Neither comes close to Thomas’s ceiling, but they’ll provide excellent production for the next several weeks and beyond. If you’re starved for running backs, any strong RB2 or better is a fine return. Remember, high ankle sprains can affect players for several weeks, particularly if they rush back. Locking in solid production with a Chris Carson-esque player (more on him below) is a safe play.
Conversely, if you’re looking to trade for Thomas, see if a Will Fuller or Marquise Brown is enough for the acquisition. Neither should be worth as much as Thomas for the remainder of the season (assuming no setbacks), but both had big Week 1 games and should be at the height of their value.
Brown is another player who will have a vastly different trade value after Week 2 than he does now. If he puts up another huge game and takes control of the Rams’ backfield, then he’ll start creeping into RB2 status. If he fumbles and Cam Akers steps up against the Eagles, well, Brown won’t be worth much.
Moving Brown now is the right move if you were able to snag him off waivers. The unknown potential almost always surpasses the likely production in a situation like this, and there is almost certainly going to be some fantasy manager willing to deal. And we know, Sean McVay would prefer a committee if he can swing it, so the safer route is to turn Brown’s potential into actual production.
In a 1-for-1 trade, look for a Zack Moss, or even buy low on James Conner if his fantasy manager is wary (though his full participation in practice on Thursday makes that less likely). If you need a receiver, Michael Gallup or Will Fuller is the range to look at. Or, even better, package him with another player for an upgrade, such as pairing Brown with D.J. Chark for Kenyan Drake (a trade that I saw and applauded yesterday).
If you traded away Taylor this week, I hope you got a boatload. Seriously. This isn’t a “capitalize on the mayhem” opportunity. This is a “phew, I lucked out and have an RB1 the rest of the way” type of opportunity.
Put aside how talented Taylor is or the fact that he’ll be running behind one of the best offensive lines in football. He struggled a bit as a pass-catcher in college and yet in his first game, he saw six targets and caught all of them for 67 yards. In other words, take your expectations for him, add a good five fantasy points per game, and you have the actual result.
To put in plainly, if you’re reading this and rostering Taylor, the trade to make is no trade. None. Don’t do this to yourself. Enjoy the incredibly safe floor and the unlimited upside.
If you are trying to trade for Taylor, first, hope that your trade partner isn’t reading this. Then, well, in a 1-for-1 situation, be prepared to pay a ton. If you can trade for him straight up for Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins, do it. If it costs you any running back outside of the top six or seven, do that, too.
Otherwise, your best bet is to try to include a borderline elite player (like Adam Thielen or someone in that range) and add someone on whom you can sell high, like Ronald Jones or Malcolm Brown. But whatever the cost is, it’s likely worth it.
Montgomery presents a buying opportunity for savvy fantasy managers. He totaled just 14 touches for 74 yards in a soft matchup and was largely invisible at the end of the game while the Bears attacked through the air.
But Montgomery had been battling a groin injury coming into Week 1, and prior to suffering the injury in the preseason, had been valued as a borderline RB2. Given the perception in the market, it’s unlikely that fantasy managers rostering Montgomery are going to be able to get his true value.
Those looking to acquire Montgomery, however, may be able to buy low – but they likely need to do it now before this weekend against the Giants. After last year and Week 1, the perception of Montgomery will simply not match his actual worth in fantasy circles unless and until he has a big performance. Sell high on solid WR3 types like Jamison Crowder, Diontae Johnson, and John Brown, or see if you can flip Ronald Jones after his strong performance against the Bucs.
Carson’s two touchdowns should have been enough to assuage fantasy managers’ fears, but his mere six carries canceled that out. They shouldn’t.
Carson is a solid RB2. He has the exact same value as he did when you took him with a second- or third-round pick on draft day. So, if you’re considering dealing him, make sure it’s only for someone in that range or higher, such as Austin Ekeler, Aaron Jones, or Chris Godwin (assuming he clears concussion protocol soon).
But if the fantasy manager rostering Carson is nervous, go ahead and see if you can somehow buy low. Be more than willing to give up Raheem Mostert, David Johnson, or Todd Gurley, or a borderline WR1 like D.J. Moore.
One week doesn’t often drastically change a player’s fantasy outlook absent some sort of injury, but Week 1 did with Robinson. It wasn’t that his final line was all that impressive (17 touches, 90 yards), but he got every carry from the Jacksonville backfield. Every one.
Put aside what you think about the Jaguars offense (it’s probably better than you thought) or their likely game scripts going forward (they’ll still be negative, don’t be fooled). Robinson is a running back you can start each week.
With that said, opinions on Robinson going forward differ significantly. Whether you can acquire him depends on the fantasy manager who rosters him. But Robinson isn’t a buy-low or a sell-high. He’s a hold. What you saw in Week 1 is what you should see most weeks.
But, if you’re looking to acquire him, selling high on a receiver like Anthony Miller or Parris Campbell may do the trick. But as someone rostering Robinson, I would want more, like Zack Moss or David Montgomery.
For those looking to acquire Bell, I like your boldness. Bell won’t return until Week 5 at the earliest after he was placed on the IR with a hamstring injury. When he does, he’ll come back to a team almost surely out of playoff contention and with little use for a veteran running back.
With that said, Bell needs to prove his worth to try to squeeze in one more contract, and Adam Gase needs to try to win as many games as possible to avoid being fired. So, Bell will likely continue to see 15 touches per game upon his return.
But, I mean, this is not a player who you should be trying to trade for or away. If you are looking to acquire him, anything other than the cheapest of the cheap offers (Boston Scott, D’Andre Swift, etc.) should be out of consideration. If you’re dealing him, shoot for a Tarik Cohen or a receiver like Jerry Jeudy or Preston Williams.
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