Let’s Make a Deal: 10 Players to Target in Trades in Week 7 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Fantasy managers are as engaged as ever as we approach the second half of the season. Trades continue to be consummated at a robust level, as managers look to fill holes created from bye-week issues and injuries. Here are the most traded players since Monday in leagues of managers that have incorporated their teams into MyPlaybook:
|RANK||PLAYER||# OF TRADES (10/19 – 10/22)|
|1||Le’Veon Bell (RB – KC)||1,920|
|2||JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT)||1,888|
|3||James Robinson (RB – JAC)||1,840|
|4||Kenyan Drake (RB – ARI)||1,752|
|5||David Montgomery (RB – CHI)||1,721|
|6||Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC)||1,634|
|7||Mike Evans (WR – TB)||1,611|
|8||Devonta Freeman (RB – NYG)||1,586|
|9||Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA)||1,553|
|10||Jerick McKinnon (RB – SF)||1,485|
As we do each week here, let’s examine each player and, using the latest trade value chart, propose some potential deals for fantasy managers.
(Note: Devonta Freeman’s value plummeted after Thursday night’s game against the Eagles, when an ankle injury forced him to leave the game. Wayne Gallman performed extremely well after Freeman’s exit, and Freeman should not be a trade target heading into Week 8. If you roster Freeman and can trade him for anything Flex value, do so).
Chiefs Running Backs
For the second straight week, both Le’Veon Bell and Clyde Edwards-Helaire were two of the most traded players. Here is what I wrote about them in last week’s article:
“Fantasy managers have no idea how the Kansas City backfield will break down. But for now, I’ve moved Edwards-Helaire to RB15 in my ROS rankings, and Bell to 30th. So, if there is an opportunity to buy-low or sell high based on those rankings, I would personally do so.”
Nothing has changed from last week. Edwards-Helaire still ranks 15th for me for the rest of the season (in half-PPR formats), and Bell 29th (because Raheem Mostert‘s injury dropped him behind Bell). Despite his enormous game against the Bills, I still expect Edwards-Helaire to see roughly 2/3rds of the running back touches with Bell active, and Bell the remaining third.
But, I will reiterate, we’re flying blind a bit with this situation and it’s mostly educated guesses. Understand that there is risk in dealing for or away Edwards-Helaire or Bell. So there’s no shame in holding firm with either back.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is worth buying low on, but, again, let’s stress the word “low.” Smith-Schuster shouldn’t be valued anywhere close to high-end WR2 status at this point, and instead should be viewed only as a middling WR3.
Over the last three weeks, Smith-Schuster has seen 14 targets and caught 10 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. That’s just a 15% target share over that span, despite Diontae Johnson being in and out of the lineup. With the emergence of Chase Claypool and the Steelers’ success, there’s little reason to expect Smith-Schuster to return to the dominant form he once showed.
With that said, fantasy managers are no longer valuing him as such. On our “who should I trade” page, the two most common searches for Smith-Schuster are trades for Justin Jackson and D’Andre Swift. I would make either deal, though Swift is an equal return. Flex running backs, or receivers like Brandin Cooks, may get it done.
I would feel comfortable making those deals. Smith-Schuster’s target share, while unimpressive, still leads the Steelers, and he had one of the most historically great starts to a receiver’s career. There’s enough of a track record to make buying low – again, stress that operative word – worth doing.
Find someone in life who looks at you like fantasy managers look at the possibility of trading Kenyan Drake. He is not only on this list each and every week, but he’s almost always one of the five-most traded players. Again, let’s harken back to last week’s article:
“Drake is my 22nd-ranked running back going forward, and I think that is likely a higher value than the market places on him. Despite the risks, I would look to sell high on Ronald Jones or Devonta Freeman for Drake, or try to swap him for a rising receiver like Tee Higgins. Fantasy managers rostering Drake are panicking. There is an opportunity for those looking to take the risk.”
If you did take the risk, you were rewarded, as Drake had 164 yards rushing and two touchdowns against the Cowboys. It was a soft matchup, but Drake ran in a much more north-south fashion, and looked decisive and strong. In addition, the Cardinals left him in at the end of the game in a blowout in what appeared to be an effort to get him over the 100-yard-rushing mark, suggesting they were interested in buoying his production and confidence.
Drake moves up a bit in my rest-of-season rankings – to 18th at running back – but his perceived value likely matches his actual value at this point. If there are still doubters, I would be looking to trade someone like Myles Gaskin or David Montgomery, or a receiver like Will Fuller or Robby Anderson.
To varying degrees, two other players on the most-traded list represent buy-low opportunities: James Robinson and Mike Evans.
Robinson is a buy-low candidate because his name is James Robinson. 70 total yards in Week 6 and 53 total yards in Week 7 obscures the fact that he had 17 and 16 touches in those games, 11 targets total, and scored a touchdown.
Devine Ozigbo is on his way back, but Robinson has done more than enough to keep the alpha role in that backfield. He’s game-script proof and gets the goal-line work. If fantasy managers knew his name before the start of the season, they’d have no concerns.
Value Robinson as a borderline RB1. That means you can and should look to swap someone like Todd Gurley, Ronald Jones, or Drake for him. And if you can get him for anything less than a top-10 receiver, you should do so.
Evans presents a buy-low opportunity, too, though one that is not quite as clear-cut. He has scored six touchdowns in his six games, and has seven receptions and over 100 yards receiving in two of them.
In the other four games, he has nine receptions for 55 yards combined. He has been held to 10 or fewer yards in three of his six games, and those three were the games in which Chris Godwin was active.
With that said, although Evans should be lower in your rest-of-season rankings than he was in your draft rankings, the perception of him is lower than his actual trade value. On an episode of the FantasyPros Football Podcast this week, Kyle Yates discussed how he saw Evans as more of a low-end WR2. And, although I disagree, that does seem to be close to the market view on him.
I would trade for him at that price. Evans has battled through nagging injuries all season long, but none looks close to preventing him from playing. Two of the three games without Godwin were blowouts, and Evans was recovering from his hamstring injury in Week 1 against the Saints. And there’s little reason to expect the end-zone targets to cease.
Here’s what I said last week when discussing David Montgomery and Myles Gaskin as “hold” candidates:
“As I’ve said every week, David Montgomery is destined to be one of the most-traded players for the entirety of the season. He is the perfect blend of guaranteed and solid production with lack of explosiveness and upside, which makes him attractive to fantasy managers struggling for bodies at the running back position but less enticing to managers rostering him. But with Tarik Cohen out for the season, Montgomery will factor in more in the passing game and should have plenty of value, so feel free to swap someone like Antonio Gibson or Cooper Kupp. If you roster Montgomery, however, you should probably just hold and enjoy the production.
“As for Myles Gaskin, he was a major rest-of-season riser this week after he found the end zone, largely thanks to Jordan Howard being inactive. If Howard is sidelined going forward, Gaskin can be considered a borderline RB2 for the remainder of the season. If Howard returns and garners the goal-line work, Gaskin is a Flex play.
“I’d value him as the former. There’s little reason for Howard to siphon carries from the superior runner in Gaskin from here on out. The youngster is also game script-proof, given how much he factors into the passing game.
“In other words, I wouldn’t trade Gaskin if I rostered him. And I’d sell high on Ronald Jones or Freeman to try to acquire him if I could.”
So, yeah, there you have it with both of those backs. You can’t sell high on Antonio Gibson or Devonta Freeman anymore, and I’d be more reticent to trade Ronald Jones for Gaskin after a second huge outing from Jones last week.
Finally, Jerick McKinnon is one of the most-traded players this week. McKinnon obviously has more of an opportunity now with Raheem Mostert dealing with a high-ankle sprain, but we saw JaMycal Hasty get the majority of the fourth-quarter work against the Rams.
If you’re rostering McKinnon, I would hold him. He’s a startable option this week, but it’s really difficult to know whether he’s a sell-high or a buy-low candidate, or neither. If somehow an opposing fantasy manager is willing to value McKinnon as an RB2, then take any deal that comes your way. Otherwise, start him this week, and see how his value shakes out. Otherwise, you’re mostly shooting in the dark.
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