There are two very important things to remember coming out of week one of the fantasy season. You’ve heard the first one time and again, but It bears repeating:
The second is less shouted from the rooftops as it is whispered in back alleys, but if you want to set your team up for success, it is equally as important:
- DO NOT OVERREACT TO WEEK 1 PERFORMANCES!
- Other people will overreact. TAKE ADVANTAGE!
Here is our week 2 trade advice.
Robert Woods – WR – Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff wasn’t great this week and that hurt the stat lines for all of the Rams receivers. Any one of them could be a trade target this week, but Woods is the one you should go after. He led the team in target, catches, receiving yards. None of that is surprising as he led in each of those categories last year, as well. He also had more rushing carries than rookie favorite Darrell Henderson this week, posting 16 yards on the ground.
This is a receiver whose floor will keep him relevant every week. We may have seen it this week and he still managed double-digit points. He’ll be a WR2 more weeks than not all year on an offense that can score points. You want that.
EXPECTED COST – Duke Johnson, Marvin Jones, O.J. Howard
Aaron Jones – RB – Green Bay Packers
The Packers offense looked bad as a whole this week. Some of that has to be credited to an impressive Bears defensive front, but some of it also comes down to the starters ironing out the kinks in Matt LaFleur’s new offense. This is the first new offense Aaron Rodgers has had to learn since he’s been in the league, after all.
The first place to look when identifying RB trade targets is the carry counts. Jones had 13 carries in week one. That was 16th most in the league. Digging deeper, you’ll see that 10 of those came in the second half, when Rodgers and LaFleur started to get more comfortable running that offense together. The concern over Jones in the offseason was fellow back Jamaal Williams and his potential to eat into the workload. His five carries give us a peek at the planned usage of these two backs. In short, Jones is the guy. Go after him this week and watch him climb the rankings over the next few weeks.
EXPECTED COST – Phillip Lindsay, Dede Westbrook, Robby Anderson
James Conner – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers
Here is another offense that struggled. And struggled might be putting it kindly for the Steelers in week one. Conner didn’t look much better, failing to break many tackles, missing (kind of) open holes, and generally moving more slowly than he is capable. The Conner owner in your league is almost certainly freaking out as they drafted him in the first round to be a cornerstone of their squad. This is a great chance to cash in for nickels on the dime. Conner did only log 10 carries, but the team only ran 60 plays as a unit, so that number is deceiving. He also logged four targets through the air. That is the place that Conner will be able to thrive this season. The offense will get it together; he has shown the ability to run better, and as Ben Roethlisberger continues to search for a replacement for Antonio Brown’s targets, expect Conner’s receiving numbers to provide a nice cushion in most games.
Conner represents a home run shot in trade this week. Go after him, and if you can land him at the right price, you’ll be looking at your league-mates through the rearview mirror most of the season.
EXPECTED COST – Leonard Fournette, Adam Thielen, George Kittle
- Jamison Crowder – WR – NY Jets
- Tyler Boyd – WR – Cincinnati Bengals
- Tarik Cohen – RB – Chicago Bears
- Mike Evans – WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Stefon Diggs – WR – Minnesota Vikings
- Kerryon Johnson – RB Detroit Lions
Lamar Jackson – QB – Baltimore Ravens
I know this sounds crazy. Why would you want to trade away a five-touchdown quarterback? The answer is simple. He’s not a five-touchdown quarterback (anymore). Jackson completed only 17 passes on 20 attempts this week. That is the 30th most pass attempts in the league. That is the quarterback Lamar Jackson is. He scored a passing touchdown on almost 30% of his completions. The best season of all time in this category came in 1943 and sits at 13.9%. There hasn’t been a season over 10% since 1954. Even Patrick Mahomes in his incredible season last year only maintained an 8.6% touchdown rate. I can’t scream it loudly enough. LAMAR JACKSON IS NOT WHO HE WAS THIS WEEK.
Cash in on his incredible success now before he’s lined up against anybody other than the Miami Dolphins. While you’re at it, throw his receiver, Marquise Brown, in the trade.
EXPECTED RETURN – Nick Chubb, Mike Evans, Josh Jacobs
Julian Edelman – WR New England Patriots
This one hurts. I spent all of draft-season stockpiling Edelman shares and in a blowout game and negative game script, he still managed to demand 11 targets. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t manage to score a touchdown here to boost his stock, but the minute the Patriots inked the deal with Antonio Brown, Edelman’s bust ticket was punched.
Brown plays on the outside, so he won’t threaten Edelman’s snap share, but between Brown, James White, and Rex Burkhead, there are too many intermediate distance pass catchers on this field. As quick as Edelman still is at 33, Brown is quicker. As much trust and rapport as Edelman has built with Tom Brady over the years, James White has locked up the outlet role.
Edelman has another couple of games in him while Brown learns the offense and gets comfortable on the field, but if you don’t move him now, you may not be able to later.
EXPECTED RETURN – Allen Robinson, Hunter Henry, David Montgomery
Sammy Watkins – WR – Kansas City Chiefs
Sammy Watkins was the number one scoring player in all of fantasy football last week (depending on your scoring format). Add to that Tyreek Hill going down for several weeks with a collarbone injury and some may say I’m crazy for suggesting it, but you must move Watkins now.
In my defense, Watkins is a 60% catch rate receiver who caught 80% of his balls this week. He is a four catch a game receiver who had nine catches this week. He’s a 16 yards per catch guy who had 22 yards this week. Worst of all, he is a 12 game per year receiver. Sports Injury Predictor has Watkins labeled a high injury risk and his injury history report reads like an epic novel.
Add his week one performance to Hill’s extended absence and you should not have trouble finding an incredible return for Sammy Watkins. Take that while you can.
EXPECTED RETURN -Mike Evans, Le’Veon Bell, Chris Carson
- Mark Ingram
- John Ross
- Marlon Mack
- Derrick Henry