Last week went fairly well as I ranked in the Top-10 for experts accuracy on FantasyPros. On Twitter (@JWeigal), I started adding some important pickups and start/sit changes as injury information comes out. Due to the Tracy Walker injury for Detroit, I picked up and started Irv Smith Jr. in some leagues and warned of the downside of Adam Thielen/Justin Jefferson on Twitter. With the trade deadline approaching for many leagues, the focus will be on the biggest risers and fallers for the remainder of the season. I’ll touch on some trade targets today as there are some underrated players for whom everyone should be going for. We’ll also get into the history of rookie wide receivers as it ties into the trade targets of the week.
This year more than ever, tight end and running back production has a fine line between starter and complete bust. Last year we had eight tight ends average 10 points (1/2-point per reception league) per week over the first nine weeks. This year we have four total but several others are on the border and trending up. Many will not part with the elite tight ends of the year but there are several trade candidates to consider.
Let’s get started.
Running backs should be traded for at all costs due to the lack of depth. There are 25 wide receivers averaging at least 12 fantasy points per game (1/2-point per reception league) compared to 18 for running backs. Many running backs have been forgotten in the wave of injuries. I just traded for Chris Carson in one league because the asking price was not too high and he is expected to return this week. He was the fifth-ranked running back while starting before the injury. Joe Mixon and Miles Sanders were beginning to turn the corner before their injuries and they may also come cheaper. An offer should be made to acquire any of the elite or starting running backs.
T.J. Hockenson is the safest bet especially with Kenny Golladay out. He has had 10 fantasy points or more in each of the last three weeks. He had only one game of fewer than eight points this year (7.3 points). The targets and touchdowns are there to make him a safe trade target. Hayden Hurst is the next safest bet for trading. He had a slow and inconsistent transition into the offense but his role is safe even if all the other weapons are healthy. Over the last six weeks, he has seen less than six targets just once and less than 50-yards just once. He is not a sexy start, but he has a safe floor.
Rob Gronkowski has the best ceiling of all mid-range tight ends moving forward. Last week he had just one catch for 2 yards (six targets) but that will make it easier to trade for him. In the previous three weeks he had over 12 fantasy points and has also had six or more targets four out of the last five weeks. His sluggish game last week might cause panic in his owner but there is no reason to worry. Tom Brady had a rough game and Marcus Williams (New Orleans free safety) cannot be forgotten as an inconsistent but potentially elite safety. Despite some terrible mistakes at times, he has received elite grades two out of four years from Pro Football Focus.
Noah Fant has a lot to be figured out. With Albert Okwuegbunam gone, likely for the year, the targets should increase. The problem is that the rookie wide receivers are emerging to steal the production in his place. He has not had 50-yards receiving or a touchdown since Week 2. Dalton Schultz went from unknown superstar back to average after Dak Prescott went down. Some leagues have dropped George Kittle, Zach Ertz or Dallas Goedert. Immediately stash them if so. I just picked up Kittle in one league as it is possible he is back for the fantasy playoffs.