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  • Taking a look at the fantasy football trade market heading into Week 5.
By Jennifer Eakins
October 03, 2018

With four weeks of the NFL season in the books, we’ve reached what’s generally the most active time on the trade market in the fantasy football world. The haves and have-nots are established in all leagues, loosening up trade discussions. Every fantasy owner knows his or her teams strengths and weaknesses, which also creates opportunities in the trade market. In short, this is the ideal time to improve your team through a trade.

Looking at multiple factors for a trade target will serve you best, including schedule, potential floor and ceiling, and health of surrounding teammates. You’ll see references to 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) metric in this column, which we rely on heavily to determine weekly matchup strength. As the season progresses and more data is available, aFPA becomes even more reliable, thanks to its rolling 10-week data.

Buy

Quincy Enunwa, WR, Jets

New York has lost three straight contests after a convincing Week 1 victory over the Lions. Enunwa is still the Jets’ leading option in the passing game, and ranks 16th among all receivers in targets through four games. Six of his looks have come in the red zone, giving him some attractive touchdown upside. While Enunwa has a difficult matchup in Week 5 against Denver’s 11th-ranked defense in wide receiver aFPA, his successive four tilts include teams that allow an average aFPA of 40.25 PPR points to the position weekly. As an added bonus the Jets battle the Texans and Packers, teams ranked 28th and 23rd, respectively, in receiver aFPA in Weeks 15 and 16. The 26-year-old’s volume and upside, along with his team’s recent slump, land him in the buy column this week.

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers

Yes, Tampa Bay has a bye this week, but trading for Winston could pay off in the long term. This Buccaneers team is significantly lopsided, ranking 32nd in total defense. The run game is entirely ineffective, ranking 31st in rushing first downs, but the passing game has been electric, minus last week’s fiasco in Chicago. From a fantasy perspective, this is a recipe for success for the quarterback, and Winston will be back under center as the starter in Week 6. It’s unlikely his current owner will place too high a value on him, especially in one-quarterback leagues where starter-worthy performance is easier to find than ever. Now is the perfect time to trade for Winston and stash him until his favorable matchup with Atlanta in Week 6.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Packers

Graham is one of the few tight ends who fits in the middle of the TE1 class, clearly not elite but worth starting every week. He’s averaging 9.7 PPR points per game, which ranks 13th among tight ends, but has bounced back since scoring just 2.8 points in Week 1. Graham has been on the field for 235 of the Packers’ 282 snaps, and has the sixth-most targets at the position this season. With Randall Cobb nursing a hamstring injury and Geronimo Allison (concussion) questionable for Week 5, we could see even more of Graham in the slot or out wide when the Packers visit the Lions on Sunday. In such a down year for his position, Graham is like a port in a storm. Dealing for him while he’s possibly perceived as underperforming could have long-term benefits on your fantasy roster.

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Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons

Freeman is set to return from a knee injury that has cost him three games, as soon as this week. Tevin Coleman has been serviceable as the lead back in his stead, totaling 249 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown on 54 touches. Still, the Falcons will welcome back Freeman with open arms, and while the knee problems date back to last season, he should get right back atop the backfield rotation in Atlanta. Given his three-game absence, and legitimate concerns about his health, he could come at a discount relative to his draft-day price. There are some risks here, and injury optimism has burned even the wisest fantasy owners, but this is a gamble worth taking, no matter where you are in your league’s standings.

Sell

James White, RB, Patriots

White has been a monster this season, ranking sixth among running backs in both standard and PPR leagues. He split the backfield relatively evenly with Sony Michel in Week 4, playing 49% of the snaps, catching eight passes for 68 yards and a touchdown, and carrying the ball eight times for 44 yards, all with the Patriots nursing a comfortable lead. The concern, though, is that White isn’t likely to handle many goal-line touches with Sony Michel emerging last week, and Julian Edelman’s return could cut into his receiving volume. This is shaping up to be the best season of White’s career, and he has legitimate value as an RB2 going forward. The fact that he’s genuinely good will only make him more attractive on trade market, though, and he may have already reached his high point of the season.

Corey Davis, WR, Titans

Davis had himself a day against the Eagles in Week 4, grabbing nine of 15 targets for 161 yards and a touchdown. He doubled his previous high watermark in fantasy scoring of the season, and Marcus Mariota looked healthy for the first time since suffering his elbow/hand injury in Week 1. Yet, Mariota is still dealing with the effects of the hit he took to his arm in Week 1, and that could compromise Davis’ fantasy value going forward. The fantasy community has loved Davis since last season, and his breakout could be your ticket to a more reliable player with nearly equal upside. It doesn’t help that the Titans play the Jaguars, Giants and Redskins in Weeks 14 through 16, all teams with defenses ranked in the top-10 in wide receiver aFPA.

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Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears

After three weeks of subpar numbers, Trubisky led all quarterbacks in Week 4 with 354 passing yards and six touchdowns, adding 53 yards on the ground, translating to 43.46 fantasy points. Trading a quarterback is a real challenge, and Trubisky was struggling before his outburst against the Buccaneers. With that said, plenty of fantasy owners are distracted by the shiny new toy, and there was a lot of optimism surrounding the Bears’ offense coming into the season. If there’s a quarterback-needy owner in your league, perhaps the person who lost Jimmy Garoppolo, see if you can capitalize in the trade market on Trubisky’s huge game.

Hold

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks

Russell Wilson has struggled to get Seattle’s passing offense going this season, with the team ranking 27th in total offense. Part of that is due to perhaps due to Baldwin’s absence since Week 1, but he returned to the field last week, catching five of seven targets for 41 yards. He led the team in targets, and while that didn’t lead to a big fantasy day, it was a great sign in his first game in three weeks. If you waited out his injury, it would be rash to deal him now that he’s back. Baldwin is a generally reliable player whose easily Wilson’s top target and the best playmaker at the quarterback’s disposal. Given his injury, and the team’s overall performance, it’ll be nearly impossible for you to get fair value for him if you make him available in a trade.

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