Hello, everyone. My name is Tim, and I’m addicted to fantasy football trades.
I don’t always make trades, of course, but I’m constantly on the phone with my fellow owners, looking for ways to improve my team. I’m really proud of the trade that landed me Stevan Ridley for Jay Cutler a month ago, but I’ve gotten far more unorthodox than that.
I’ll trade for waiver placement so I can nab that player that is about to blow up. In keeper leagues, I never hesitate to deal away late-round draft picks. I once offered a ham sandwich for Eli Manning, though the deal fell through due to my lack of dijon mustard.
The point is, I’m constantly evaluating player value, looking at creative trade scenarios and trying to improve my team. Consider the following trade-value chart and analysis a glimpse into my wheeling and dealing mind.
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 scored 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||11.3||30|
|10||2||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||7.7||26|
|18||3||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||5.1||23|
|20||4||Matt Stafford||Detroit Lions||4.7||22|
|24||5||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers||3.4||21|
|39||6||Philip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||3.5||16|
|40||7||Tony Romo||Dallas Cowboys||2.8||16|
|41||8||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts||2.4||16|
|53||9||Colin Kaepernick||San Francisco 49ers||-0.3||12|
|54||10||Robert Griffin III||Washington||-0.3||12|
|58||11||Andy Dalton||Cincinnati Bengals||1.7||10|
|59||12||Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons||2.5||10|
|79||13||Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||0||5|
|80||14||Jake Locker||Tennessee Titans||-3.5||5|
|81||15||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||-4.1||4|
|96||16||Alex Smith||Kansas City Chiefs||-0.2||3|
Three quarterbacks are trending up this week—Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton. Just one of them is worth selling high and that is Dalton, who either has taken a big step toward being one of the league’s top quarterbacks or is simply on a hot streak at the moment.
Hold on to Newton and Kaepernick—I have a feeling both are just heating up.
But let’s say you have a really good quarterback as your starter and think you can use Dalton’s recent hot play to bring aboard another decent player or two. What kind of deals can you expect to get in exchange for Red Head Redemption?
They may not be blockbusters, but those are the types of deals that can give you the depth to survive the bye weeks. If you have Dalton, I say sell, sell, sell right now!
As for buy-low candidates, Russell Wilson (his value will take a bump once Percy Harvin returns), Jake Locker (18 or more fantasy points in his last three games) and Tom Brady (he’ll wake up at some point, trust me) are all excellent options down the stretch.
Michael Vick drops totally out of the rankings this week as he simply can’t be trusted with his continued issues with injuries.
|2||1||Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs||10.2||29|
|3||2||Matt Forte||Chicago Bears||8.6||28|
|4||3||Knowshon Moreno||Denver Broncos||7.9||28|
|5||4||Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings||7.5||28|
|6||5||Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks||6.7||28|
|7||6||LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles||6.7||27|
|8||7||Frank Gore||San Francisco 49ers||6.2||27|
|9||8||Reggie Bush||Detroit Lions||5.7||27|
|15||9||Arian Foster||Houston Texans||4.4||24|
|17||11||Eddie Lacy||Green Bay Packers||2.2||24|
|27||12||Fred Jackson||Buffalo Bills||4.7||20|
|35||13||Chris Johnson||Tennessee Titans||1.8||17|
|36||14||DeMarco Murray||Dallas Cowboys||1.7||17|
|37||15||Darren McFadden||Oakland Raiders||1.8||17|
|38||16||Stevan Ridley||New England Patriots||0.8||17|
|43||17||Ray Rice||Baltimore Ravens||-1.0||15|
|47||18||DeAngelo Williams||Carolina Panthers||1.3||13|
|51||19||Zac Stacy||St. Louis Rams||-1.8||13|
|52||20||Le’Veon Bell||Pittsburgh Steelers||-1.0||13|
|60||21||Danny Woodhead||San Diego Chargers||1.6||9|
|63||22||Giovani Bernard||Cincinnati Bengals||1.0||9|
|65||23||Ryan Mathews||San Diego Chargers||1.2||9|
|66||24||Trent Richardson||Indianapolis Colts||-0.5||8|
|67||25||C.J. Spiller||Buffalo Bills||-2.1||8|
|68||26||Maurice Jones-Drew||Jacksonville Jaguars||-0.2||8|
|82||27||Steven Jackson||Atlanta Falcons||-4.7||4|
|83||28||Andre Ellington||Arizona Cardinals||1.0||4|
|84||29||Darren Sproles||New Orleans Saints||0.3||4|
|89||30||Lamar Miller||Miami Dolphins||-0.7||3|
|94||31||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||Cincinnati Bengals||-1.2||3|
|95||32||Mike James||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-5.8||3|
Running Back Notes
It’s not so much that I’m worried about LeSean McCoy but rather that two weeks with seven or fewer fantasy points in a row have me forecasting his value more cautiously, as does the fact that he’s been more effective this year with Vick under center than Nick Foles (more on that here).
He’s still an RB1, but he’s no longer a top-three option at the position.
I continue to judge Arian Foster‘s value cautiously as well, due to his injury concern and the utter shambles that the Texans have fallen into this season. In a season with so much uncertainty at the position, it seems only appropriate that two of the more consistent performers this year should now raise questions.
At this point, the top 11 players at running back are so valuable that you really should only consider dealing one of them if you have insane depth at the position or someone absolutely blows you away with a trade.
Let’s say you have been crushed by injuries and you know there is a player desperate for, say, Matt Forte. You’ve been savvy on the waiver wire, adding players like Zac Stacy and Andre Ellington, so you think you can deal him to build depth elsewhere.
What could Forte bring you in exchange?
I expect Ray Rice to be dramatically better coming off the bye, so now is a great buy-low moment for him. Your chance to buy low on Stevan Ridley has probably passed, but you can still target players like Trent Richardson or C.J. Spiller if you want to pay pennies on the dollar for a running back that could blow up in the weeks to come.
|11||1||Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions||7.3||26|
|12||2||Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys||6.0||26|
|13||3||Jordy Nelson||Green Bay Packers||7.5||26|
|19||4||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||5.1||22|
|21||5||Wes Welker||Denver Broncos||5.4||22|
|22||6||Demaryius Thomas||Denver Broncos||5.1||22|
|23||7||Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears||4.4||22|
|25||8||DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles||4.4||20|
|26||9||Vincent Jackson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4.2||20|
|32||10||Josh Gordon||Cleveland Browns||2.0||18|
|33||11||Victor Cruz||New York Giants||3.4||18|
|34||12||Torrey Smith||Baltimore Ravens||2.1||18|
|42||13||Eric Decker||Denver Broncos||2.5||15|
|43||14||Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona Cardinals||1.4||14|
|44||15||James Jones||Green Bay Packers||-1.2||14|
|45||16||Antonio Brown||Pittsburgh Steelers||2.9||14|
|48||17||Andre Johnson||Houston Texans||0.2||13|
|49||18||Denarius Moore||Oakland Raiders||1.3||13|
|55||20||Alshon Jeffery||Chicago Bears||3.1||11|
|56||21||Terrance Williams||Dallas Cowboys||0.8||11|
|57||22||Justin Blackmon||Jacksonville Jaguars||-2.7||11|
|61||23||Anquan Boldin||San Francisco 49ers||0.4||9|
|62||24||Cecil Shorts||Jacksonville Jaguars||0.1||9|
|64||25||Jarrett Boykin||Green Bay Packers||-3.5||9|
|74||26||T.Y. Hilton||Indianapolis Colts||-0.2||6|
|75||27||Harry Douglas||Atlanta Falcons||-0.5||6|
|76||28||Steve Smith||Carolina Panthers||-0.4||6|
|77||29||Keenan Allen||San Diego Chargers||-0.4||6|
|85||30||Marvin Jones||Cincinnati Bengals||2.4||4|
|86||31||Nate Washington||Tennessee Titans||0.2||4|
|87||32||Golden Tate||Seattle Seahawks||0||4|
|90||33||Rueben Randle||New York Giants||-0.4||3|
|91||34||Steve Johnson||Buffalo Bills||-0.5||3|
|92||35||Mike Wallace||Miami Dolphins||-1.2||3|
|93||36||Hakeem Nicks||New York Giants||-1.2||3|
Wide Receiver Notes
Believe it or not, on a week-to-week basis, the most valuable wide receiver in all of fantasy football is… Jordy Nelson. He’s been pretty darn consistent, too, scoring eight or more fantasy points in every game this season. That type of consistency is incredibly valuable.
You might be tempted to sell Nelson high right now, but the truth is, his current level of production seems sustainable given his role in the offense, his absolutely wonderful hands and the fact that Randall Cobb remains shelved due to injury.
Of course, Calvin Johnson has absolutely erupted for 63 fantasy points in the past two weeks, which is as many as Anquan Boldin has scored this season. Long live the king.
One player you might consider ditching is Victor Cruz, who has gone four straight games without a touchdown and has tallied eight fantasy points or more just once in that time. If you wanted to deal him to earn a package of players at other positions, what could you expect to get in return?
- Danny Woodhead and Giovani Bernard
- Andy Dalton and Trent Richardson
- Justin Blackmon and Antonio Gates
- Andrew Luck and Greg Olsen
You could still get some nice value for Cruz, but keep in mind that you are selling him with his value in decline, not on the rise.
Players like Jarrett Boykin, Terrance Williams and Marvin Jones will continue to see their value rise if they continue to produce. There are a lot of former waiver additions at wide receiver that now have legitimate value in fantasy leagues—don’t be afraid to go out and get one of these guys just because they didn’t start the season as drafted players.
I’ve talked in the past about how injuries or suspensions can adversely affect a player’s VORP but don’t reflect how valuable they’ve been in games played. Look no further than Josh Gordon, whose VORP would be 5.1 (tied for fifth among wide receivers) if we only took into consideration games played.
But huge weeks can also affect a player’s value from time to time in a unique way.
No, I’m not talking about Marvin Jones here. Three double-digit performances in a row is a trend, not a fluke. Rather, I’m talking about Antonio Brown, who had 31 fantasy points in Week 3 and has tallied just 42 points in his six other games.
Brown still remains a solid WR2 because he is very consistent, if unspectacular, scoring at least five fantasy points in every game this season and seven or more points five times. But you might be able to convince an owner to overpay slightly for Brown if he hasn’t factored in how much Brown’s huge Week 3 performance skewed his actual value.
One last note: Once it becomes more clear when Harvin will return, he’ll obviously be on this list. If he plays this week, you’ll see him here next week. But until we know, it’s hard to gauge his value.
|14||1||Jimmy Graham||Tight End||9.1||25|
|28||2||Rob Gronkowski||New England Patriots||-4.7||19|
|29||3||Jordan Cameron||Cleveland Browns||5.2||19|
|30||4||Vernon Davis||San Francisco 49ers||5.1||19|
|31||5||Julius Thomas||Denver Broncos||5.0||19|
|69||6||Antonio Gates||San Diego Chargers||1.7||7|
|70||7||Martellus Bennett||Chicago Bears||1.7||7|
|71||8||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||1.6||7|
|72||9||Charles Clay||Miami Dolphins||1.6||7|
|73||10||Tony Gonzalez||Atlanta Falcons||1.4||7|
|99||12||Greg Olsen||Carolina Panthers||0||2|
|100||13||Heath Miller||Pittsburgh Steelers||– 2.9||2|
Tight End Notes
I’m slightly worried about Jimmy Graham. He played just 18 snaps and had three receptions on Sunday, battling through the pain of a partially torn plantar fascia. Of course, he still had two touchdowns and 15 fantasy points, so if he’s on the field, his value remains high, but I think we could see his production wane slightly in weeks to come.
As you can see, there is a clear group of “elite” options at the position and then a pretty significant drop, which makes the top five at the position quite valuable. Let’s say you think you can pry Jordan Cameron away from an owner who also owns Rob Gronkowski, because your tight ends have stunk—what might you have to give up to get him?
- Robert Griffin III and Keenan Allen
- Alshon Jeffery and Maurice Jones-Drew
- Anquan Boldin and Cecil Shorts
- Philip Rivers and BenJarvus Green-Ellis
It may seem a steep price, but the value you’ll be getting with Cameron over the majority of tight ends will help your team more than you think.
If Jordan Reed is sitting on another team’s bench, and you are hurting for a tight end, dangle a player like Lamar Miller or Steve Johnson in a trade to get him. He looks like he’s going to be a solid TE1 for the rest of the season and should only see his value increase from here on it. Buy low on him while you can.
|78||1||Kansas City Chiefs||8.0||6|
Defense/Special Team Notes
Gasp—the Chiefs defense had just four fantasy points this week. Don’t fret, folks—this unit is still crazy valuable. Same for the Seahawks and Panthers. Seattle has failed to reach double-digit fantasy points just once this season, while Carolina has reached double-digits five weeks in a row.
All three of these defenses are worth pursuing in a trade if you have the bench depth to give up a decent player in a deal.
Hit me up on Twitter—I’ll answer your fantasy lineup questions, offer additional trade advice to pair with this chart and make jokes about the Rams offense because, you know, it’s easy prey.