The bye weeks are hitting in earnest now, and those summer sleepers are getting harder and harder to dedicate roster space to. Now is when the front-runners can leverage those Ws in the bank to fill their benches with the Zero RB darlings who have yet to blossom. Let’s take a look at some Week 5 fantasy trades that can position your team for success whatever your current record may be.
Buy Jared Goff
Depending on whether Josh Allen is able to suit up this weekend, there are up to 11 teams that have already turned to a new starter at QB. Chances are good that your fantasy team is scrambling as well. The Goff hatred has gone way too far based on a handful of interceptions, so if you are at risk of starting Colt McCoy or Luke Falk, go ahead and make an offer for Goff in leagues where trading locked, bench players is permitted. His efficiency hasn’t been great, but the Rams are still scoring points, and he’s leading the league in passing attempts per game. He’s also third in yards per game, with an impressive 330 yard average.
Buy Nyheim Hines
The Colts have been battered with injuries once again in the passing game. Devin Funchess is on IR and Parris Campbell has no timetable for return after an abdominal procedure. T.Y. Hilton is questionable with a quad injury, and Marlon Mack is questionable with an ankle.
Last year under similar circumstances, Hines was used extensively as a receiver and reached nine targets on four separate occasions. If Hilton misses time, the wide receiver group is Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers, and Deon Cain, which is probably a bonus for both tight ends. Hines is currently the RB50, so he should not be difficult to acquire–you could attempt to swap him for another RB that is more of a long-term stash like Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson, Gus Edwards, or Malcolm Brown.
Buy Mark Walton
In a lost year, it sure looks like Miami is going to churn through its whole roster to see who they might want to keep for the future. The Kalen Ballage experiment, if not dead, seems to be on life support. Walton is just 22 years old and was picked in the fourth round last year ahead of players like Ito Smith and Chase Edmonds (and Ballage himself). In terms of opportunity, I think he compares favorably to guys like Jamaal Williams or even Peyton Barber, but will be far cheaper. If he doesn’t play well, of course his floor is zero, but we’re looking for upside with these end-of-bench roster spots.
Sell Gus Edwards
Edwards is similar to Malcolm Brown or Damien Harris, in that they’re stashes who could move into very serious value with an injury to the starter. But while the Rams and Patriots rushing attacks have become more questionable through four weeks, the Ravens are averaging 206 rushing yards per game. Fantasy players have had their preseason confidence gutted already, but faith in the Baltimore ground game remains high. Trading RBs who haven’t done anything is usually tough, but Edwards is a piece that could facilitate a deal with the Mark Ingram manager or a front-running team that is happy to roster big-upside stashes.
BUY A.J. Green
This recommendation is not really based on any particular optimism about Green. Frankly, he’s a shutdown candidate. However, his value–and fantasy players’ willingness to keep holding him–are dropping, even as he’s getting healthier and closer to returning. The negativity is largely based on reports that he’s falling behind projected return dates from the summer, which weren’t accurate in the first place. People seem to be acting like this was a six-to-eight week high ankle sprain that suddenly appears to be much worse than that. But his MRI revealed a ligament tear and he had surgery. With John Ross on IR, the current Bengals WR corps is Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, and Alex Erickson. There’s a ton of opportunity for Green whenever he can make it back on the field.
BUY or SELL Robert Woods
The Rams are the textbook example of a team that’s offensive weapons were all over-drafted considering how much depth the roster has. After five games, it’s shaking out that Cooper Kupp continues to be a red zone beast, despite his injury last year. Woods and Brandin Cooks are still getting solid target shares, but with Gerald Everett entering the mix along with Tyler Higbee, the squeeze is on, even with the largest passing pie in the league.
The interesting change from Week 5 is that Cooks is in the concussion protocol. This creates an opportunity to buy or sell the possible short-term target boost that a Cooks absence would likely mean for Woods. Independent of the Cooks injury, Woods has been a solid starter in the 14 ppg range, so the Cooks injury could be the catalyst for a WR-needy team to pull the trigger on moving an RB like Phillip Lindsay, James Conner, Marlon Mack, or Kerryon Johnson, who have been scoring in a similar range. And if you need a WR, Woods remains a safe play on a good offense, and he should no longer demand the prices that we saw in the preseason when Kupp’s health was still viewed as a question mark.
BUY Jared Cook
As a longtime Cook truther, I beg you to take my advice here with a grain of salt. In many leagues, a TE producing like Cook is not worth a roster spot. But if you are a 4-0 team that nevertheless has a big hole at TE, then Cook is worth a look. This is for the typical reason–his opportunity has been decent, but his efficiency has been trash.
We see here that he’s actually the TE14 in targets, and somehow TE98 in fantasy points over expectation per game. It’s difficult to even name 98 tight ends, so there is a lot of room for positive regression here, and the eventual return of Drew Brees should only help that.