Let’s Make a Deal: 10 Players to Target in Trades in Week 4 (2020 Fantasy Football)
It’s probably just the oddities of the 2020 season, but it certainly feels that evaluations of players vary wildly depending on the fantasy manager right now. Joe Mixon, A.J. Green, Marquise Brown. Some fantasy managers are willing to buy low on such players, while others are desperate to move them off their rosters, even at a fraction of their draft-day values.
As has been par for the course this season, there were an incredible number of deals this week. The chart below shows the number of trades completed in leagues of managers that have incorporated their teams into MyPlaybook from Monday through Thursday of this week:
|RANK||PLAYER||# OF TRADES (9/28-10/1)|
|1||Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)||2,087|
|2||James Robinson (RB – JAC)||1,714|
|3||David Montgomery (RB – CHI)||1,598|
|4||Todd Gurley (RB – ATL)||1,571|
|5||Kenyan Drake (RB -ARI)||1,462|
|6||Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE)||1,388|
|7||Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA)||1,315|
|8||Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE)||1,276|
|9||David Johnson (RB – HOU)||1,210|
|10||Mike Davis (RB – CAR)||1,203|
There are some recurring names on this week’s list of the most-traded players. In particular, the four most traded players were all in this article last week, and some the week prior.
As we do every week in this article, let’s take a close look at each of the players being dealt, and use the trade value chart to see if we can find some buy-low or sell-high opportunities.
Heading into last week’s game against the Eagles, Mixon was the 37th-ranked running back in half-PPR formats. He’s now 38th.
In other words, nothing has changed with Mixon, at least not in terms of how fantasy managers view him. Some are simply ready to move on. His porous offensive line and lack of production show no signs of changing, and those rostering him are potentially dealing with a 1-2 or 0-3 start.
But remember that Mixon finished strong last season, ending as the 16th-ranked running back. And he was the sixth-best running back over the final seven weeks.
So what are the differences in the 2019 and 2020 versions of Mixon? Well, things are actually better right now for Mixon through three games.
- 2019 season through three games: 13 touches and 46 total yards per game
- 2020 season through three games: 19.6 touches and 74 total yards per game
Fantasy managers are absolutely entitled to give up on Mixon. But I’d STILL buy low if I could. Running backs who get his volume are rare, and, again, we’ve already seen Mixon turn things around after looking like his season was lost.
I’d value Mixon as the equivalent of a strong WR1, but understand, even though Mixon should be valued that way, it does not mean fantasy managers looking to trade for him need to offer that. I’ve seen Mixon traded for receivers in the WR2 range recently, including Keenan Allen and D.J. Moore. As someone rostering Mixon, I would hold him if that were the offered return. But if I’m looking to trade for him, I’d have no issues paying that price.
“Robinson will likely continue to be one of the most traded running backs in fantasy this week, as managers rostering him look to sell high on his massive performance. But, truthfully, this is more like a buy-high situation.”
That’s what I wrote in this article last week after Robinson’s two-touchdown performance against the Dolphins on Thursday night. And the same holds true today. Robinson is a rock solid RB2, and should be valued accordingly.
That equates to WR1 value, as it does with Mixon. But, also as with Mixon, fantasy managers should be able to acquire him for less. The stigma surrounding Robinson – essentially that he “can’t” be this good because fantasy managers hadn’t heard of him until shortly before the season – will keep the cost of trading for him lower than it should be.
Montgomery is always going to be one of the most-traded players this season. That’s just how it’s going to be. Some fantasy managers, like me, highly value the reliable option, even if he is often unspectacular. Others see a lack of explosiveness and want to move on immediately.
Montgomery has almost no chance of finishing as an RB1 this year. He’ll likely rarely top 100 yards rushing in a game and won’t be heavily involved as a pass-catcher, though the loss of Tarik Cohen may change that a bit.
Unlike Mixon and Robinson, Montgomery comes with a ceiling that means he shouldn’t be overvalued in fantasy. Last week, I mentioned trying to sell high on Julian Edelman or John Brown, before the latter’s injury. Although fantasy managers can’t sell high on either player, Montgomery’s lackluster Week 3 performance should keep Edelman as a reasonable return. Michael Gallup, however, seems like the perfect sell-high candidate in order to buy low on Montgomery this week.
If you are rostering Gurley, now is the time to try to sell high. His 14-carry, 80-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Bears may look great on paper. But Brian Hill saw 34% of the snaps and looked more explosive, and Gurley again did not factor into the passing game.
With that said, fantasy managers rostering Gurley shouldn’t just give him away. There’s still plenty of value in a running back who is locked into 15-20 touches and will see goal-line work. But that value doesn’t necessarily match Gurley’s Week 3 box score.
Selling high on Darrell Henderson for Gurley is worth the risk in my opinion (though there is risk, to be clear), as is swapping Tyler Boyd or even Odell Beckham Jr. If you’re rostering Gurley, hold out for someone more reliable, like Robert Woods or Adam Thielen.
Gurley’s value is, for the most part, in the eye of the beholder. So be cautious with your initial offer. Your potential trading partner may put a significantly different value on Gurley than you do.
I really only learned during my AMA session on Reddit this week that the fantasy community is deeply concerned about Drake. I mean, I had assumed a little concern, sure. But it sounds like fantasy managers are moving toward a full-blown panic.
It’s true. Drake has scored just one touchdown this year, hasn’t gotten much work in the passing game, and has lost some touches to Chase Edmonds. And Kyler Murray‘s video game-like skills as a rusher have stolen some goal-line opportunities.
But perhaps it’s time for fantasy managers to reassess their expectations generally of the running back position. Drake ranks fifth in rushing attempts this season. He is tied for seventh in touches. He plays in an offense that is ranked top-10 in yards per game.
Drake is going to be fine. And if you are looking to deal for him, your best bet would be to do so before this weekend when he plays the Panthers. Drake is worth as much as nearly any wide receiver in the game, so if you can swap him for someone like Amari Cooper, assuming you’re solid at running back, you’ll be getting the better end of that deal. But start with a lower offer.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham has been a disappointment to most fantasy managers this season, though his performance is pretty much exactly what they should have expected. The Browns are intending to run the ball early and often, and with several options in the passing game, the six targets that Beckham has seen in each of the past two games should be the norm.
But, some fantasy managers are still stuck on what they saw from Beckham for most of his career, and perceive his value as higher than what it really is. If you’re rostering Beckham, your best bet is to wait until after this weekend, when he plays the Cowboys and should likely have a big game.
Beckham should be valued as a strong WR3, and that’s not a typo. If, after Sunday, you can swap him for an RB2 or a high-end WR2, as I suspect you will, you should do it.
Some things just are the way they are, and Gaskin is your starting running back for the Dolphins. There’s no dispute about that fact any longer, even from the most stubborn fantasy managers. Gaskin wasn’t expected to get the majority of the touches at running back for Miami, but he has, and he’s now earned them.
Gaskin has ALMOST everything you want in a running back. A high weekly floor in touches. Heavy involvement in the passing game that should insulate him from being game-scripted out of fantasy production.
But he doesn’t score touchdowns. Jordan Howard is the goal-line vulture to end all goal-line vultures, and unless Gaskin breaks a long run, he’s unlikely to find the end zone.
Still, Gaskin is almost certainly under-rostered and undervalued in the market. He’s not an RB2 at this point, but he’s trending in that direction. And so, if you are rostering Gaskin, you should wait until after this weekend when he likely produces in a shootout against Seattle, and his value rises.
But, if you’re looking to move him now, selling up for Devin Singletary or Melvin Gordon is the right move, if you can find a fantasy manager who values him accordingly. At receiver, shoot for CeeDee Lamb or Michael Gallup. Otherwise, your best bet is to wait another week, after which Gaskin’s value will be higher.
As of this writing, the extent of Hunt’s groin injury is unknown. The latest word is that it is reportedly minor, but if he is forced to miss this weekend’s game against the Cowboys, then you can ignore everything you’re about to read on him.
Hunt is an RB2 this year. Absent a Chubb injury, his volume is capped, but there are enough running back touches to go around in Cleveland to make both backs viable weekly plays. If the Browns are playing from ahead, they’ll lean into both running backs. If they’re playing from behind, Hunt should get work in the passing game.
If another fantasy manager is willing to give you a top-six receiver in exchange for Hunt, you can take that deal. But not less. Not in a year when running backs who receive guaranteed touches are a rare commodity. If you’re thinking of a 2-for-1, shoot for a solid WR2 with a lesser replacement running back, such as Terry McLaurin plus Melvin Gordon.
Much like Todd Gurley and David Montgomery, fantasy managers rostering Johnson are likely frustrated. Even with getting the vast majority of the running back snaps in Houston, Johnson has yet to garner more than 15 touches in a game.
But Kansas City, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. Those are Johnson’s first three opponents, the latter two of which rank second and first in defensive DVOA against the run, respectively. His next four are Minnesota (23rd), Jacksonville (9th), Tennessee (22nd), Green Bay (27th).
Johnson’s value is likely at its season-long low-point right now, absent an injury. Swoop in and try to acquire him before Sunday. Darrell Henderson, Melvin Gordon, Robby Anderson – all make fine buy-low offers that have a chance of being accepted. But if you’re rostering Johnson, hold steady, at least for another week.
There isn’t too much to analyze with Davis. He’s an RB2 so long as he starts at running back for the Panthers, which will be a minimum of two more weeks and possibly longer. But, there’s little-to-no chance he has much value in the second half of the season.
Davis can help now, which means that if you need help, I wouldn’t oppose dealing someone with greater long-term value like Le’Veon Bell or J.K. Dobbins. For receivers, Allen Lazard or Corey Davis would be a fair deal.
But context matters. Davis is a locked-in starter at running back for now at a time when such a commodity is rare. So, “fair value” is a malleable term, and don’t be afraid to do what you need to do if you’re in desperate need of a win.
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