Trade Winds: Week 7

So maybe you’re sitting at 2-4, or at 1-5 for the fantasy season right now. You’re so desperate because this is essentially a make-or-break week for you. The trade wires have been vibrating like crazy this week with teams in similar situations wheeling the dealing, trying their best to stay afloat. You’ve watched it all, wondering if there are some moves you can make.

But your team has DeMarco Murray, and Delanie Walker, and Demaryius Thomas, and the Seahawks defense. That should be enough, right? Yet, there you are at 1-5, and you’ve completely lost confidence in your starters. What should you do? I feel your pain. It’s not like you’ve been able to “set it and forget it” this year, because when you’ve done that you’ve still lost, for whatever reasons, even with that lineup.

When is it time to cut bait with some of your high draft picks who still haven’t panned out? Can you afford to wait another week on these kinds of players, or would it be worth it to trade them for what little value they now have in order to try and pick up some wins and get back into the playoff race? While I love the waiver wire, we all know that most times the players who are worth the price are those who are sitting on other teams.

Here are a few players who have had a rough time of it overall this season, and their trade value at this moment:

Adrian Peterson (RB) – This is definitely the time to sell high on Peterson. His value will not be any higher than it is right now, and you could get 2 RB2s, 2 WR2s, or a combination of the two, for him right now in most fantasy leagues. I don’t think at this point in his career he can handle the kind of workload he got that first week in the desert. If you grabbed him from the waiver wire before last week it’s time to cash in. Trade bait for 2 of: Tevin Coleman, DeAndre Washington, Wendell Smallwood, Mohamed Sanu, John Brown.

DeMarco Murray (RB) – His name has some cache. After all, he’s been one of the best running backs in the league (statistically) for three of the past four years (forget his “sabbatical” in Philly). But he’s dealing with some issues that have hampered his production, and he’s got a backup who is performing well right now. You can’t count on him to gain ground in your fantasy league. Look at where you are now. But because of his name you can get some quality players who will get you over the top in close games. I’m thinking a 2 for 1 deal. Trade bait for 2 of: Doug Martin, Alex Collins, Jerick McKinnon, Tyreek Hill, Michael Crabtree, Jarvis Landry.

Jordy Nelson (WR) – You can still get a solid return for Nelson right now, or even for his teammate Davante Adams, because no one knows right now how much of a dropoff from Aaron Rodgers that Brett Hundley will be. Honestly, I think for Nelson it won’t hamper his production too much, but you never know. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and if he has a particularly poor week this week you won’t be able to get as much back for Nelson as you can right now. Trade bait for: Dez Bryant, Doug Baldwin, Mike Evans, Todd Gurley.

Matt Ryan (QB) – Talk about big names — Ryan has one of the biggest, but his production hasn’t matched it. Yet he’s starting in more than 80% of leagues from week to week, even now. I guess people feel like they used a third round pick on him, it’s hell or high water, but they aren’t really picking high water. Which works out well for the Ryan owner who wants to trade him. It will work out even better if you play him this week against the porous Patriots defense (when he should perform like 2016 Matt Ryan), then you can get a great return for him. Trade bait for: DeShaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Jordan Howard. Or a combination of: Michael Thomas, Chris Hogan, Jay Ajayi, Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry.

Kareem Hunt (RB) – Remember those first three weeks, how Hunt was racking up video game numbers in that juggernaut KC offense? Well, he’s had yardage but no TDs in the past four weeks, which looks like what I expected from him going in. The thing is, his starting percentage hasn’t gone down, which means the perception is he’s still scoring at will. Take advantage of that, especially after he just went for over 100 total yards again on Thursday night. Trade bait for: LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon, Devonta Freeman, Brandin Cooks, Dez Bryant.

Alshon Jeffery (WR) – I know, Carson Wentz is on fire, but Jeffery has been a pretty big bust so far this season. That’s because Wentz is spreading the ball around, but also because of the coverage Jeffery gets, and the emergence of Nelson Agholor in the slot. But in a good matchup (with Josh Norman probably out) on Monday night, Jeffery should remind people why he is supposed to be the #1 WR in Philly. That’s the perfect time to trade him, after such a performance. He could easily get you any 2 of: Pierre Garcon, Rishard Matthews, Adam Thielen, C.J. Anderson, Tarik Cohen, Wendell Smallwood.

Jordan Reed (TE) – Similar to Matt Ryan, this is not the Jordan Reed you signed up for when you picked him early in the draft, but his name still carries a lot of value. I think many fantasy owners are holding their breaths, waiting for him to be fully healthy, and thinking the production will come along. But with the physicality of Vernon Davis, and with Reed still not quite healthy, I don’t see it happening this season. He can, however, fetch you a good ransom in return, with the scarcity of quality TEs out there. Trade bait for 2 of: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Evan Engram, Cameron Brate, DeSean Jackson, Marqise Lee, John Brown, Tevin Coleman.

The key is to recognize whose name is big but whose stats don’t quite match up. There are many such players out there either set into lineups or riding the bench because their owners can’t quite let them go. Don’t be one of those owners waiting around for production while your own fantasy team suffers as a result. We are at the point in the season where every move counts. So make some moves.

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