During the course of the fantasy season it is important to know when to make the right moves. Knowing the right time to dump an aging veteran, a big name that isn’t producing, or a guy who is playing way worse than he should can be the key that wins your season. Below is a list of players you should consider trading now, or soon, to receive maximum value in return.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Since week two, Watson has scored 128 fantasy points. He is currently the top ranked QB, as well as the top overall fantasy scorer. So why sell? For one, he’s a rookie. His crazy numbers are hard for a veteran to replicate week-in and week-out, let alone a rookie who only has five career starts. He also has a rather difficult schedule for the rest of the season.
ROS (Rest of season)- The rest of the season schedule for Watson includes four matchups (two of which are playoff weeks) with top-10 defenses in terms of least passing yards allowed:
- @Seattle week 8, 8th overall
- @Baltimore week 12, 7th overall
- @Jacksonville week 15, 2nd overall
- Pittsburgh week 16, 1nd overall
Keep in mind that Watson’s big games were against four of the top-12 worst passing defenses in the league (Kansas City and New England being 28 and 32 respectively).
Selling Point-Regression is bound to happen for the rookie. It would be wise to sell while he has incredible value, unless you don’t have another option.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Alex Smith has looked like a stud this year! He’s already thrown for 15 touchdowns (had 15 in 2016) and has scored above 14 points every week. We have also seen Smith take more of a gunslinger approach this season, which is a far cry from the usual game manager mentality he’s had throughout the years. Smith has never produced at this level in his entire career and should be sold due to a tough schedule ahead.
ROS – The rest of the season schedule for Alex Smith includes two top-10 pass defenses.
- Denver week 8, 6th overall
- LA Chargers week 15, 8th overall
Selling Point- Alex Smith is having a career year, which is likely to regress with a tough road ahead and lack of receiving options. Trade him while his value is high.
DeMarco Murray, Tennesse Titans
The Titans backfield has looked less than stellar on multiple occasions so far this year, and the fact that Derrick Henry has largely looked better than Murray doesn’t bode well for the seventh-year back. Murray’s durability has been a question all season long and it’s only a matter of time before he sits out a game and allows Henry to take over.
ROS– DeMarco actually has an easy upcoming schedule. The Titans don’t face any top-10 rushing defenses for the rest of the year.
Selling Point– Murray remains on the injury report weekly and is in danger of losing his job if Henry continues to do well in an expanded role. Sell before Henry takes over and you’re stuck in a 50/50 timeshare or worse, unless of course you own both.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
The reasoning should be obvious to most. Zeke is set to finally serve his suspension in the next few weeks. Now, there’s still a chance he could play for the remainder of the year, but it would be wise to sell him now or risk losing him for nothing. As the Eagles continue to make the Cowboys’ playoff hopes look slim, it may be more incentive for Elliott to serve the suspension this season.
ROS- Zeke is one of the few fantasy studs you would start regardless of matchup. If you own him and his suspension is lifted, start him with confidence every week.
Selling Point– If you own Elliott, you’ve been in this spot all year. But now that his inevitable suspension is looking like it’s right around the corner, try to sell for as much as you can get.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
The loss of Aaron Rodgers is devastating to the Packers offense, and will undoubtedly affect Jordy Nelson the most. Together, the duo have connected on 64 touchdowns over their careers, which currently is the most in the league. At this stage, third-year backup Brett Hundley is largely an unknown, and the chemistry between him and Jordy is mostly untested. Because of Hundley’s lack of experience and McCarthy’s refusal to take chances with the young quarterback, look for the Packers to lean more on the running game and quick-hitting passing attack, likely leaving Jordy’s big play ability under utilized.
ROS- The Packers only have two games against top-10 defenses in terms of least receiving yards allowed (Pittsburgh 1st overall, Baltimore 7th overall).
Selling Point- The Rodgers/Nelson connection was a thing of beauty and will undoubtedly go down as one of the best duos of all time. Nelson will still produce some weeks, but not at the level he enjoyed with Rodgers. Sell high and hope that Hundley doesn’t end up being a Rodgers 2.0.
Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots
The Patriots have so many weapons that it’s nearly impossible to predict who will go off in a given week. Through seven games, Brandin Cooks has only amassed over 100 yards once and has only scored three touchdowns. While he’s posted fairly respectable games, four games over 85 yards, the touchdowns just haven’t been there. Looking ahead at the schedule, it doesn’t look to get any easier for the former Oregon State Beaver.
ROS- Brandin Cooks has one of the more difficult schedules ahead for any number one receiver:
- LA Chargers week 8, 5th overall
- Denver week 10, 6th overall
- Miami week 12 & 14, 17th overall (but underrated)
- Pittsburgh week 15, 1st overall
Selling Point- Brandin Cooks will still have his breakout games here and there, but due to the unpredictability of the Patriots offense and the strength of schedule, selling him high may be the way to go.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Much like the Murray/Henry situation, the Titans drafted rookie Jonnu Smith in the third round to compete with Delanie Walker. Although Smith’s numbers aren’t alarming, they may be a cause for concern for Walker owners. Through six games, Smith has two receiving touchdowns to Walkers zero (one rushing). Walker does have the advantage in receptions (32 to 11), but the early success of Smith is something to keep an eye on.
ROS- Walker has good matchups against Baltimore, Houston, and Indianapolis. However, he has two matchups against top-10 defenses against tight ends in the playoffs.
- Cincinnati week 10, 4th overall
- Pittsburgh week 11, 9th overall
- San Francisco week 15, 3rd overall
- LA Rams week 16, 5th overall
Selling Point- Walker still has some good matchups left to create value, but has a tough end to his season. Consider trading him if his value goes up, because the threat of Smith stealing touchdowns in the red-zone is real.
Honorable Mention Sell-Highs:
QB- Russell Wilson, Cam Newton
RB-Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram
WR- Amari Cooper, Dez Bryant, Will Fuller V
TE- Austin Serferian-Jenkins