Let’s Make a Deal: 10 Players to Target in Trades in Week 5 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Injuries continued to take their toll on fantasy rosters in Week 4, and the result was a significant increase in trading activity. 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 (10/5 – 10/8)|
|1||Kenyan Drake (RB – ARI)||2,347|
|2||David Montgomery (RB – CHI)||2,100|
|3||Joshua Kelley (RB – LAC)||1,996|
|4||Todd Gurley II (RB – ATL)||1,984|
|5||Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS)||1,814|
|6||Melvin Gordon III (RB – DEN)||1,786|
|7||Mike Davis (RB – CAR)||1,748|
|8||Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA)||1,657|
|9||Julio Jones (WR – ATL)||1,613|
|10||David Johnson (RB – HOU)||1,555|
Last week, the top-10 most traded players were dealt a total of 14,824 times. This week, there were 18,600 trades involving the top-10 most traded players. With injuries to Nick Chubb and Austin Ekeler, fantasy managers’ running back depth has been tested. So it’s no surprise that nine of the top 10 most-traded players were running backs.
Here, as we do every week, we’ll examine the situations of each of the most-actively dealt players. And, using the trade value chart, we’ll see if we can find some deals that fantasy managers may want to propose.
Drake has been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy, particularly after last week when he gained just 35 yards in what should have been a smash spot against the Panthers. Drake has seen a ridiculously-low five targets on the season, and Chase Edmonds has found the end zone more often.
It’s possible that Drake is bothered by his vague pre-season injury that had him in a walking boot, though there’s been no indication that the ailment is hampering him. Whatever it is, Drake’s production this season raises red flags, such that even buying low is a risky proposition.
With that said, yeah, buy low. Drake is still my 19th-ranked running back on the season, enough to make him worth roughly a JuJu Smith-Schuster type of receiver. I’d continue to be willing to part with that type of asset if I needed a running back, though I think Drake can be had for lower and I’d start there with my offers.
But be warned, this is not a Joe Mixon “hurry and go run out and buy low” situation that we discussed last week. Whether it’s Drake’s health or the offensive philosophy, something just seems off with the running game in Arizona. So although Drake presents a buy-low opportunity, the operative word is low, and only pay full price if you are in real need of a running back with upside.
The Repeat Offenders
Last week, I wrote: “Montgomery is always going to be one of the most-traded players this season. That’s just how it’s going to be.” And, unsurprisingly, he checks in as the second-most traded player this week.
Todd Gurley was the fourth-most traded player this week and was the third-most last week. Kenyan Drake, Mike Davis, Myles Gaskin, and David Johnson all appear on the most-traded list for the second week in a row, too.
For the most part, the same reasons offered last week as to why these backs were being traded apply today. Montgomery, Gurley, Gaskin, and Johnson are all the type of low-ceiling/guaranteed-touch running backs who can be highly valuable depending on the fantasy manager. With byes starting, injuries to several prominent players at the position, and COVID-19 concerns forcing potential postponements/cancellations, running backs with a guaranteed floor can be incredibly valuable, as my friend Kyle Yates so aptly put it this week:
Me in August: No, I don’t want Le’Veon Bell on my fantasy football roster.
Me now: WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TRADE ME LEV BELL SO I CAN HAVE A STARTING RUNNING BACK?!
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) October 7, 2020
They’re not entirely in the same tier (Gurley, Johnson, Montgomery, Gaskin is the order in which they should be valued in my opinion), but all offer . . . well, a warm body. If you can sell high on Gurley after his two-touchdown game, such as for an Amari Cooper, then do so. But Gurley does have a light schedule coming up, and with Julio Jones’s injury, the Falcons could lean into the running game a bit more. Don’t give him away.
Montgomery is what he is at this point, and although fantasy managers can expect him to maintain the increased work in the passing game he saw last week, this is not a savior for your team. Montgomery’s value is lower than Gurley’s (and this is being written prior to the Thursday night game), but swapping him for a Kenny Golladay or D.J. Chark-type of player would make sense if you need a receiver.
As for Johnson, fantasy managers should try to wait until after this weekend, when his value will hopefully be higher after the Texans take on the Jaguars. Johnson has been less than impressive in mostly difficult matchups, and with Duke Johnson back, fantasy managers are almost certainly not willing to pay full price. If you’re rostering Johnson, hold firm for now, unless you can get a similar return as you could for Montgomery.
As for Gaskin, it depends on the the particular situation. If you do need some guaranteed touches, then Gaskin fits the bill. He hasn’t had fewer than 13 touches or 66 total yards in any game this season, and although he lacks touchdown upside, that sort of stability is useful for fantasy managers. Still, Gaskin is merely on par with a John Brown-type of receiver, so that should be the range in any deal.
As for Davis, I said this last week: ” 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.”
Other than it’s a week later, nothing has changed. Davis will be an excellent play this week against Atlanta, but is unlikely to have significant value over the second half of the season. If you can survive this week and are in good shape, consider making an offer for Austin Ekeler or Nick Chubb, and fortify your team for the long haul.
Kelley’s inclusion on the list of the most-traded players surely has to do with Ekeler’s injury, which should keep him out of action for four-to-six weeks. Kelley will presumably take on the heavier side of the platoon work in the backfield, with Justin Jackson garnering more of a role going forward, too.
Kelley’s value is difficult to assess. He’s a rookie who has lost fumbles in back-to-back games, and he faces the Saints and Jets in the next two weeks. There’s certainly a plausible path for Kelley’s value to stay right where it was prior to Ekeler’s injury.
But the Chargers likely aren’t going anywhere this season, and Anthony Lynn has turned over the starter’s role to Justin Herbert. They’ll want to see what they have in Kelley. So, although the youngster will surely split time with Jackson, it’s probable that he’ll see upwards of 15 touches per game, and produce like a borderline RB2.
If you roster Kelley and are strong at running back, considering trading him for someone like Diontae Johnson, D.J. Moore, or Tyler Boyd. Yes, there’s a chance he could be worth significantly more than that if everything breaks right, but so, too, is there a chance that he’ll be worth significantly less. Bank the production now if you can trade him for a reliable asset.
Antonio Gibson and Melvin Gordon
I’ll address Gordon and Gibson together because fantasy managers should value them similarly in trade discussions. Both are coming off games that resulted in a gain in trade value. Gordon touched the ball 25 times for 118 yards and two scores against the Jets, while Gibson totaled 128 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens.
Gordon will have to deal with Phillip Lindsay‘s return, likely beginning with this weekend against the Patriots, and Gibson will now see a quarterback change. But both should be reliable RB2s, with Gordon a bit more valuable in standard formats, and both equally valuable in PPR leagues.
I’ve received more questions about Jones’s trade value than any other player this week. Here’s my frank take on it: unless you can buy incredibly low, don’t bother trading for or away Jones. Just don’t. We don’t know how much time he’ll miss with his hamstring injury (if any), and so you’re necessarily evaluating a trade without all the data.
With that said, some managers just love to deal, so if I were valuing Jones as of this moment, it would be as a lower-end WR2. I peg him with the same value as D.J. Chark and Kenny Golladay, and just below Robert Woods and Terry McLaurin.
If you roster Jones and you desperately need a replacement, that’s the area in which I’d be looking. If you’re targeting Jones, be prepared for the possibility that he’ll miss significant time either now or after a potential aggravation of his injury. If you have the depth, go ahead and make a move. But really, I’d prefer not to include Jones in any deal at this point.
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