With the season past its halfway point and many trade deadlines in fantasy leagues approaching in the next month, the chance to strike on a season-altering deal is now.
If there is a player you think can produce bigger second-half numbers, buy low now. If you are worried about one of your superstars, sell high now. For the most part, after nine weeks in the season, you should know what you have in your lineup, but there is always the chance to improve.
With my weekly trade-value chart, you’ll be able to do so via a trade. With a month or so to go before most leagues enter their playoffs, the last thing you can afford down the stretch run is to get ripped off.
Notes: The top 100 players were determined by using the current ESPN standard-scoring league rankings, calculating each player’s “value over replacement player” (VORP for short) and by projecting a player’s value for the rest of the season.
VORP was calculated by determining how many additional (or fewer) points per week a player scores compared to the best bench player at his position in 10-team leagues (No. 11 quarterback and tight end; No. 26 running back and wide receiver, taking the flex into account). Games missed due to injury or suspension count against a player’s VORP.
Any player not listed has a trade value of one. Remember, this is only a guide—your team needs and areas of strength should always determine any potential trades.
|1||1||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||10.9||30|
|11||2||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||6.8||27|
|18||3||Matt Stafford||Detroit Lions||4.3||24|
|19||4||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers||2.8||24|
|38||5||Philip Rivers||New Orleans Saints||3.0||17|
|39||6||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts||2.8||17|
|40||7||Tony Romo||Dallas Cowboys||2.4||17|
|45||9||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||-2.1||15|
|69||10||Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||0.2||9|
|70||11||Colin Kaepernick||San Francisco 49ers||-0.7||9|
|71||12||Robert Griffin III||Washington||-1.6||9|
|80||13||Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons||0.6||5|
|81||14||Andy Dalton||Cincinnati Bengals||0||5|
|87||7||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||2.3||3|
|95||15||Alex Smith||Kansas City Chiefs||-1.9||2|
There is movement at the quarterback position this week, folks. With news that Aaron Rodgers could be out four to six weeks, his value is drastically diminished. He remains on this chart because folks might want to buy low on him and stash him away for the playoffs if they are confident they’ll reach that stage.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady shoots way up the rankings, though honestly, I have no idea how to value him. I believe he’ll be the Brady of old in the second half with his weapons healthy once again, which makes me think I value him too low, but he’s been so mediocre from a fantasy standpoint to this point that I think I have him valued too high.
Gah. If you believe his performance against the Steelers was a sign of things to come, go out and get him now. If you think it was an outlier, stay away.
Nick Foles is one more week away from making this list. If he puts up another solid performance—and I think he will—there’s no way the Philadelphia Eagles will go back to Michael Vick. But if he’s only mediocre, it’s possible Vick could return as the starter. It’s complicated, so for the time being, Foles doesn’t hold much value.
Okay, enough of the confusion—let’s do a trade theoretical.
Let’s say you have Andy Dalton and Cam Newton at quarterback, but you have lost a lot of players at your other positions to injuries and desperately need help. You know getting rid of Newton will bring you back more value in a trade, and you also know he faces three teams in the next three weeks that are ninth or better in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks.
You are in the heat of a playoff push and are worried that Newton’s production might wane slightly. Plus, you know you can add Foles or Case Keenum on waivers and play matchups. What types of deals should you expect to get in exchange for Newton?
There are obviously other types of deals you could pursue, but you could easily turn Newton into two nice players for your team.
|2||1||Matt Forte||Chicago Bears||9.6||29|
|3||2||Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs||9.3||29|
|4||3||Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings||8.6||29|
|6||4||Knowshon Moreno||Denver Broncos||8.0||27|
|7||5||Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks||6.7||27|
|8||6||LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles||6.7||27|
|12||7||Frank Gore||San Francisco 49ers||6.3||26|
|13||8||Reggie Bush||Detroit Lions||5.8||26|
|15||10||Eddie Lacy||Green Bay Packers||3.8||26|
|25||11||Stevan Ridley||New England Patriots||2.2||22|
|26||12||Chris Johnson||Tennessee Titans||4.4||22|
|27||13||Arian Foster||Houston Texans||3.1||22|
|29||14||Fred Jackson||Buffalo Bills||4.4||20|
|30||15||Zac Stacy||St. Louis Rams||0.9||20|
|31||16||DeMarco Murray||Dallas Cowboys||1.3||20|
|41||17||C.J. Spiller||Buffalo Bills||-1.0||16|
|42||18||Ray Rice||Baltimore Ravens||-1.2||16|
|43||19||Giovani Bernard||Cincinnati Bengals||2.6||16|
|55||20||Danny Woodhead||San Diego Chargers||1.8||12|
|56||21||Le’Veon Bell||Pittsburgh Steelers||0||12|
|57||22||Andre Ellington||Arizona Cardinals||1.1||12|
|58||23||DeAngelo Williams||Carolina Panthers||1.0||12|
|59||24||Steven Jackson||Atlanta Falcons||-4.1||12|
|63||25||Darren McFadden||Oakland Raiders||0.9||10|
|64||26||Ryan Mathews||San Diego Chargers||0.6||10|
|65||27||Chris Ivory||New York Jets||-2.7||10|
|66||28||Pierre Thomas||New Orleans Saints||0.1||10|
|67||29||Trent Richardson||Indianapolis Colts||-0.6||10|
|89||30||Mike Tolbert||Carolina Panthers||0.4||3|
|90||31||Maurice Jones-Drew||Jacksonville Jaguars||-0.1||3|
|91||32||Lamar Miller||Miami Dolphins||-0.1||3|
|92||33||Darren Sproles||New Orleans Saints||-0.5||3|
|93||34||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||Cincinnati Bengals||-1.0||3|
Running Back Notes
A lot of people will think that the loss of Rodgers will increase Eddie Lacy‘s fantasy value, as his usage will go up. Other people will feel his production will actually decrease since teams are more likely to stack the box, not fearing Seneca Wallace’s ability to beat them through the air.
Let’s say you are in the latter camp and you also owned Rodgers, so you now need to upgrade at quarterback. Plus, you are weak at wide receiver and tight end but have good running back depth.
What types of players could you get in exchange for Lacy?
Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy keep creeping up the rankings, because each has produced like RB1 options the past several weeks. And yes, I think C.J. Spiller should return to being nothing worse than an RB2 from here on out too.
As for Ray Rice, well, I’m torn. He’s better than this, but he hasn’t looked good at all, and the offensive scheme seems hell-bent on ignoring him if the running game isn’t productive early. It’s odd how the Ravens seem to constantly underutilize their best offensive player, but it’s nothing new.
Meanwhile, Arian Foster, given his injury concerns, continues to slide down the rankings, not unlike the Houston Texans in general.
|9||1||Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions||6.8||27|
|15||2||Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys||4.7||25|
|16||3||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||4.6||25|
|17||4||Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears||4.4||25|
|20||5||Wes Welker||Denver Broncos||4.9||23|
|21||6||Demaryius Thomas||Denver Broncos||4.6||23|
|22||7||DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles||4.9||23|
|23||8||Andre Johnson||Houston Texans||3.8||23|
|24||9||Josh Gordon||Cleveland Browns||1.0||23|
|35||10||Jordy Nelson||Green Bay Packers||5.9||18|
|36||11||Vincent Jackson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2.4||18|
|37||12||Victor Cruz||New York Giants||2.9||18|
|44||13||T.Y. Hilton||Indianapolis Colts||2.1||15|
|46||14||Antonio Brown||Pittsburgh Steelers||2.8||14|
|47||15||Eric Decker||Denver Broncos||2.0||14|
|49||17||Torrey Smith||Baltimore Ravens||1.3||14|
|50||18||Keenan Allen||San Diego Chargers||0.5||13|
|51||19||Alshon Jeffery||Chicago Bears||2.8||13|
|52||20||Denarius Moore||Oakland Raiders||1.1||13|
|53||21||Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona Cardinals||0.9||13|
|54||22||Danny Amendola||New England Patriots||-4.2||13|
|72||23||James Jones||Green Bay Packers||-2.5||7|
|73||24||Terrance Williams||Dallas Cowboys||-0.3||7|
|74||25||Cecil Shorts||Jacksonville Jaguars||-0.4||7|
|75||26||Harry Douglas||Atlanta Falcons||-0.9||7|
|83||27||Steve Smith||Carolina Panthers||-1.1||4|
|84||28||Golden Tate||Seattle Seahawks||-1.1||4|
|85||29||Steve Johnson||Buffalo Bills||-1.3||4|
|86||30||Mike Wallace||Miami Dolphins||-1.5||4|
|98||31||Roddy White||Atlanta Falcons||-6.7||2|
|99||32||Riley Cooper||Philadelphia Eagles||0||2|
|100||33||Aaron Dobson||New England Patriots||-0.6||2|
Wide Receiver Notes
Yes, I think the value of Jordy Nelson and James Jones takes a major hit with Wallace under center. It’s hard to go from Rodgers to Wallace and completely retain your fantasy value. Let’s keep it real: It’s like going from Johnnie Walker Blue to a box of wine.
Beyond that, the biggest changes this week are T.Y. Hilton’s value seeing a major boost after his three-touchdown performance against the Houston Texans and Andre Johnson‘s value skyrocketing with Case Keenum under center.
One player who is interesting is Vincent Jackson. He’ll post absolutely epic numbers some weeks, only to disappear in others. And with Mike Williams done for the year and Doug Martin still sidelined, teams can pay extra attention to Jackson on the outside.
Let’s say you don’t like riding Jackson’s roller coaster and you have suitable wide receiver depth but need to upgrade at other positions. What type of players could you get for him in a deal?
- Colin Kaepernick and Darren McFadden
- Andre Ellington and Jordan Reed
- Danny Woodhead and Charles Clay
- Tony Romo
- C.J. Spiller and Aaron Dobson
- Ray Rice and Mike Tolbert
I won’t sugarcoat it for you, folks—after the top 26 receivers, things get pretty ugly at the position. Even players like Mike Wallace and Steve Smith have value primarily for what they’ve proven capable of in the past, not for what they’ve done this season. If you don’t have two of the top 26 players at your receiver, find a way to get one.
|5||1||Jimmy Graham||New Orleans Saints||9.9||28|
|28||2||Rob Gronkowski||New England Patriots||-2.8||21|
|32||3||Vernon Davis||San Francisco 49ers||4.9||19|
|33||4||Julius Thomas||Denver Broncos||4.8||19|
|34||5||Jordan Cameron||Cleveland Browns||3.7||19|
|60||6||Tony Gonzalez||Atlanta Falcons||2.0||11|
|61||7||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||1.4||11|
|62||8||Antonio Gates||San Diego Chargers||1.1||11|
|76||9||Martellus Bennett||Chicago Bears||0.9||6|
|77||10||Charles Clay||Miami Dolphins||0.8||6|
|78||11||Greg Olsen||Carolina Panthers||0.5||6|
|96||13||Coby Fleener||Indianapolis Colts||-1.1||2|
|97||14||Timothy Wright||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-2.2||2|
Tight End Notes
What’s so crazy about Jimmy Graham‘s consistent performance this year is that, at this point, he isn’t even healthy. And yet he’s still averaging more fantasy points per week (16.4) than every non-quarterback except Matt Forte (16.6).
He’s insanely valuable, folks, and at this point, if you aren’t getting back Peyton Manning or one of the top three quarterbacks, you really should reconsider trading him at all.
Of course, that Rob Gronkowski guy is pretty good too. Expect really big things from him after the bye.
It’s rare you get such a definitive and consistent top-12 at any positions, but that’s what we’ve seen at tight end this year (with the exception of Gronk’s long injury, that is). If you have one of the top five, you are getting amazing value at the position. Gonzalez, Witten and Antonio Gates are solid values as well.
At this point, if you have one of those eight tight ends, you really shouldn’t be dealing him unless you’re able to nab a player like Jordan Reed off of waivers and you need emergency help at other positions.
Or maybe you waited and expertly grabbed Gates and Jordan Cameron. Let’s say you are worried that Cameron has reached double-digit points just once in the past five weeks and you need depth elsewhere. What could you get for him?
Pretty solid packages for a tight end that you probably took a flier on in your draft in the first place.
|72||1||Kansas City Chiefs||9.0||8|
|94||4||San Francisco 49ers||2.1||2|
Defense/Special Team Notes
If we were doing trade values by VORP alone, the Kansas City Chiefs would be the fifth-most valuable commodity in all of fantasy football. It’s hard to imagine the defense averaging 15.9 points per week the rest of the way—and since streaming defenses is such a viable strategy, it’s hard to value the Chiefs defense too highly—but it has definite trade value.
The San Francisco 49ers are added to the list this week, as they’ve scored eight or more points six of the past seven weeks. They are one of four defenses that you should be starting pretty much every week.
Hit me up on Twitter—I’ll answer your fantasy lineup questions and commiserate with all of you Aaron Rodgers owners. Fantasy can be so cruel.