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  • Taking a look at the fantasy football trade market heading into Week 7.
By Jennifer Eakins
October 17, 2018

With bye weeks ramped up for the next five weeks, fantasy owners may not be able to fill the holes on their teams solely via the waiver wire, and may need to turn to the trade market. Now is the perfect time make a deal and get your teams ready for a postseason run.

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

David Johnson, RB, Cardinals

Johnson ranks 10th among backs in PPR points this season, which A) seems impossible given Arizona’s struggles, and B) is not exactly what those invested in him expected. His upcoming schedule, however, could help him start playing like an elite RB1. His next three games are against teams ranked 26th, 23rd and 29th in running back aFPA. Additionally, he gets friendly defenses in the Lions and Falcons in Weeks 15 and 16, typically the semifinal and championship weeks in fantasy leagues.

Odell Beckham, WR, Giants

Beckham, a WR1 in WR2 clothing, hasn’t lived up to his end of the bargain this season, which makes it the perfect time to make a deal for him. Despite Eli Manning’s struggles, Beckham still ranks 13th at his position in PPR leagues, averaging 17.7 points per contest. Volume is not an issue, as he sits fourth in the league in targets. To sweeten the pot, New York only faces one defense ranked in the top 10 in wide receiver aFPA for the rest of the season, with five games against teams ranked 22nd or worse.

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Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns

Landry has surprisingly seen a dip in production since Baker Mayfield took over as the starter, going from 18.3 PPR points in Week 3 to outputs of 13.4, 11.9 and 3.1 points the last three weeks. He’s still getting plenty of work, though, sitting in the top 10 in the league in targets, and that should pay off with Cleveland’s favorable upcoming schedule. Their next four games before a Week 11 bye are against the Buccaneers, Steelers, Chiefs and Falcons, all of which are ranked in the bottom-half of the league in wide receiver aFPA. Coming off a poor Week 6 performance with a likely rebound on the horizon, Landry is the quintessential buy-low candidate.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams

Cooks may have just one touchdown this season, but his 505 yards rank 10th in the league. He’s third among the Rams’ offense in targets, just two behind Cooper Kupp, even after sitting out most of Week 5 with a concussion. With the way this Los Angeles offense has been putting up points, having a part of their receiving corps could certainly improve any fantasy squad, and Cooks should see an increase in volume with Kupp likely out the next game or two.

Sell

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson is banged up and his offensive line hasn’t been doing him any favors. If Watson misses any time, Brandon Weeden takes over under center, which would be a terrible development for everyone tied to Houston’s offense. Even with Watson, the team’s upcoming schedule is rough, as the next two defenses they face rank sixth and fourth in wideout aFPA. Hopkins is always going to draw attention on the trade market, with good reason, and this is an advisable time to trade him for a major upgrade elsewhere.

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Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers

In his first game back from a foot injury, Olsen caught four of his seven targets for 48 yards. He was on the field for all but one Carolina snap and immediately grabbed his old role. Given that he has injured the same foot the last two seasons, re-injury is always a concern. On top of that, Olsen and the Panthers face Washington and Philadelphia the next two weeks, both of which are in the top 10 in tight end aFPA. There’s bound to be an appetite for a reliable tight end on the trade market, but Olsen isn’t the threat he used to be. You can use that brand name to your advantage.

Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

You hung onto Ingram for four weeks with zero production, so why sell now? Well, he’s not exactly a must-sell, but now is a wonderful time to get big value for the Saints back. He stepped right back into his role from 2017, carrying the ball 16 times for 53 yards and two scores in Week 5. He should maintain a similar volume, as we saw last season that both he and Alvin Kamara can thrive in the same backfield. However, New Orleans’ next three opponents are the Ravens, Vikings and Rams, all among the top 10 in running back aFPA. They also face the Steelers in the fantasy championship in Week 16, the fourth best team at defending backs from a fantasy perspective at this point of the sason. Ingram will put up numbers, they just may be inconsistent, considering the tough defensive fronts ahead and the presence of Kamara.

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Hold

Alex Collins, RB, Ravens

Some may be calling to try to deal Collins this week after he finally found the end zone twice, thanks in part to a perfect game script against the Titans. His volume was reassuring, as he out-touched Buck Allen 19 to four, getting all those touches on just 27 snaps. With injuries decimating the running back landscape, Collins is one to hang onto. Baltimore’s next few games may not be ideal for the 24-year old, but after their bye in Week 10, the Ravens’ schedule is a favorable one for the running game.

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