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The Trade Market: Fantasy Football Targets & Players to Sell (2021)

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Oct 19, 2021
Leonard Fournette

If anyone has ever told you that you can win your fantasy football league at the draft, they were straight-up lying to you. It’s simply fiction that someone will have the same roster they did on draft night at the end of the season.

Injuries happen, roles change in NFL offenses, and some players simply don’t progress the way we anticipated going into the season. For various reasons, the team you selected will not be the same one that you win a championship with in your league. You need to adapt and be prepared to adjust as the season progresses.

This article will seek to help you do just that each week moving forward. I’m going to be highlighting several players that have moved up and down my rest-of-season rankings, which can create some unique buy-low or sell-high opportunities. Additionally, I’ll look at several popular searches in our Who Should I Trade tool and seek to provide my thoughts and analysis on which side I prefer.

Let’s dive in.

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Rest-of-Season Rankings Risers

Josh Jacobs: Now that Jacobs has returned from his injury, he has to move up rankings again based on his guaranteed volume. Jacobs naturally has to move up with so many other RBs in the fantasy football landscape struggling to get significant work – plus all the injuries around the league. He moved from RB23 a week ago to RB18 in my ROS rankings.

Leonard Fournette: How can we not move Fournette up? He’s now completely cemented his starting role in this offense, although we should still see Gio Bernard and Ronald Jones factor in from time to time. Fournette’s slowly been creeping up my rankings each week, but he’s now completely locked into mid-range RB2 territory. He went from RB26 to RB19 in my ROS rankings.

AJ Dillon: Dillon has now seen 23 touches the past two weeks combined, and he’s slowly working his way into FLEX consideration. While he was previously just a high-level insurance RB for Jones in this Packers offense, he’s now beginning to offer standalone value in the same way Tony Pollard does. He’s now RB36 in my ROS rankings versus RB45 previously.

Ja’Marr Chase: At this point, we need to give Chase the respect he deserves. He’s a locked-in WR1 every single week moving forward. He was WR15 a week ago, and he’s now at WR8 in my ROS rankings.

Diontae Johnson: Despite the offensive woes for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Johnson continues to come with an extremely high floor each week. That’s invaluable for fantasy purposes as a WR2, and that’s where he lands in my ROS rankings. He went from WR25 to WR18.

Jaylen Waddle: Entering the season, the hype was there for Waddle due to his skillset combined with the fact that he has a tremendous connection with Tua Tagovailoa. With Tua out from weeks 2-5, though, Waddle’s production struggled, and he was simply used as a substitute for the running game with a very low ADOT. With Tua back, though, Waddle’s ADOT took a massive jump, and he put together a dominant performance in week six against the Jaguars. As long as Tua’s healthy, Waddle comes with tremendous upside. He went from WR40 to WR30.

Cole Kmet: There’s typically not a ton of movement at TE in my ROS rankings unless someone has a massive performance. Kmet worked his way back into the offense at least this past week, and he goes from TE26 to TE22 in my ROS rankings.

Matthew Stafford: Stafford’s had a few down performances recently, but he made up for it with this outing last week. The production could have been even higher if they were playing a team that would have kept the game closer, but they were up big at the half. Looking ahead to Stafford’s upcoming schedule, he has to move up rankings. He went from QB8 to QB6.

Rest-of-Season Rankings Fallers

Aaron Jones: As mentioned above with Dillon, we’re starting to see the workload be divvied up slightly here in Green Bay. While Jones still sees plenty of work to be a reliable mid-range RB1, it’s something to consider, and it bumps him down the rankings slightly. Especially with other options getting back and healthy, Jones drops from RB2 to RB6.

Myles Gaskin: Who else put Gaskin back into their starting lineup this week against Jacksonville? After a 10-catch performance against Tampa Bay, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Gaskin would be the lead option again against the Jaguars. Still, the Dolphins tricked us all again, and Gaskin finished with an abysmal performance. There’s simply no way you can trust the Dolphins RB room right now, and Gaskin dropped hard in my ROS rankings from RB32 to RB40.

Trey Sermon: This isn’t necessarily a reactionary move from something that happened this past weekend – obviously with SF on their bye – but in spending more time thinking about it, there’s no way we can view Sermon as a starter for fantasy. He dropped even further from the week prior from RB40 to RB52.

DK Metcalf: Without Russell Wilson, this Seahawks offense is going to be nowhere near as explosive. Metcalf is still a valuable fantasy asset, but the upside is now gone. He’s my WR13 in ROS rankings now versus WR9.

Amari Cooper: Cooper’s been solid so far this year, but he hasn’t been getting the target volume that we were accustomed to seeing from him. He finished as the WR1 in that first game against Tampa Bay, but he has yet to finish higher than the WR22 in Half PPR scoring since that point. He’s gone from WR13 to WR17 in my ROS rankings.

Marquise Brown: Brown’s been incredible for fantasy so far this season, but he’s essentially been the sole option in this offense. With Rashod Bateman making his NFL debut this past week, Brown’s production took a massive dip. We will still see him have big performances here or there, but we’ve seemingly moved back to where trying to predict them will be a nightmare. He fell from WR20 in my ROS rankings to WR29.

Sam Darnold: While Darnold’s abysmal completion percentage from this past week was not entirely on him – the Panthers receivers could not catch anything – he certainly hasn’t been playing well over the past couple of weeks. We thought we had a potential QB1 on our hands just two weeks ago, but he’s now fallen back to QB18 in my ROS rankings.

The Trade Market

Each week in this article, I’ll look at our Who Should I Trade tool that we have here at FantasyPros and some of the most popular searches to offer my thoughts. Check out this amazing free tool and receive expert analysis immediately!

Mike Evans or James Robinson: At this point, I want the proven RBs that can give me depth. Evans will bring some big performances here or there, but Robinson’s going to be as steady as they come. I’ll take consistency right now.

Joe Mixon or Calvin Ridley: Ridley’s certainly been a bit of a disappointment this year, and Mixon’s been on fire recently. This is a pretty easy one for me.

Keenan Allen or Leonard Fournette: This one’s close, and it would all depend on how deep I am at WR versus how thin I am at RB. If I desperately need an RB, I think this is a fair trade to make.

Austin Ekeler or CeeDee Lamb: Lamb’s coming off of a dominant performance, but there’s the possibility that Michael Gallup coming back messes up the target share in this offense. Additionally, the top-tier RBs are worth accumulating if you can. I’ll take the Ekeler side.

Antonio Brown or Javonte Williams: Williams has the potential to be great for fantasy football, but he’s still locked into a 50/50 split with Melvin Gordon. AB comes with ridiculous upside each week that can help you win matchups. I prefer the Brown side.

Mike Evans or Darrell Henderson: Evans is volatile, but he does come with week-winning upside. However, Henderson’s produced in some tough matchups so far, and the schedule opens up moving forward. I’d trade Evans for Henderson.

Darrel Williams or Michael Pittman: This depends on where Pitman is on your roster? Is he a depth piece, and do you need a substitute at RB for a few weeks? You could make this move in that situation. However, in a vacuum, I’d prefer Pittman for the remainder of the season.

Tee Higgins or Zack Moss: This one’s pretty close, and it all depends on what you need on your roster. I think this is a fair trade, but I’d prefer the Higgins side of it.

Zach Ertz or Kenny Golladay: Gross. With Ertz moving on to Arizona, there’s the possibility that he becomes a key focal point of this offense. With Golladay doing next to nothing this season, plus his current injury status, I’d prefer the Ertz side of this trade.

Miles Sanders or Jerry Jeudy: Right now, Sanders is doing nothing other than filling a spot on your bench. Jeudy has the potential to come back into the lineup and soak up targets in Denver, so I’ll take the Jeudy side of this trade.

DK Metcalf or Josh Jacobs: This depends on how badly you need an RB, but I’d prefer the Metcalf side of this trade still if everything’s equal.

Robert Woods or Courtland Sutton: After looking like a rock-solid team the first few weeks of the season, Denver has regressed significantly in some tougher matchups, and they’re being forced to throw the ball a ton to compensate for it. Sutton’s now seen 25 targets over the last two games, which would easily seem like we should be taking his side of this trade, right? However, Jerry Jeudy is set to return to the lineup here and soon, and we could see those targets for Sutton come crashing down. Woods is in a much better offense, and he’s going to have more scoring opportunities than Sutton for the remainder of the year. I’ll take Woods.

AJ Brown or Jakobi Meyers: Brown has certainly disappointed so far this year, but that could change here on Monday Night Football this week. Brown has the upside to be a top-12 fantasy football WR, while Meyers just simply doesn’t in this offense. This is the AJB side of it for me.

Tyler Boyd or Amon-Ra St. Brown: Boyd and St. Brown are both simply volume plays this year. They rarely find the end zone due to their roles, and they are merely FLEX plays in Full PPR formats. However, which player has the better chance of seeing consistent volume each week? St. Brown’s going to remain heavily targeted moving forward in a Lions offense that will be playing from behind nearly 100% of the time. Boyd has to compete with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins for touches, which means the volume might not be consistent enough. I’ll take St. Brown at this point.

Allen Robinson or Mecole Hardman: Robinson has not been good so far this year, but the Bears will have to open things up offensively at some point. Hardman’s been consistent the past couple of weeks, but it’s still risky to start him. I’ll take ARob still at this point, but it’s close.

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Kyle Yates is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kyle, check out his archive and follow him @KyleYNFL.

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