Who wants to play “let’s make a deal,” starring virtually everyone on your fantasy team… except, you know, the good players. That seems to be the theme these days as the trade winds are whipping fast and furiously entering Week 6. Based on your record, you may have to part with some good players in an attempt to fill out the rest of your roster. So, back by popular demand, here are some players to consider when making trades.
Consider Trading For
- D’Andre Swift: He’s averaging the second-most targets among running backs while being the Lions’ primary running back. That’s a nice combo.
- Stefon Diggs: The only thing missing from Diggs’ 2021 résumé is the endzone. His other stats line up with his stats from last season when he finished as the WR3.
- Terry McLaurin: Don’t worry, McLaurin is still the alpha male in Washington’s offense. One bad game shouldn’t deter you, especially since he’s still racking up targets.
- Trey Lance: 14.6 points with no touchdowns and an interception? That’s a solid floor to have. Imagine what Lance can do when he starts scoring.
Consider Trading Away
- Antonio Gibson: J.D. McKissic’s injury paved the way for Gibson to boost his stock, yet he’s still losing valuable carries and targets to McKissic. His ceiling is a borderline RB1, not a top-six running back.
- Cordarrelle Patterson: He’s seeing the same number of targets per game as Darnell Mooney and Noah Fant while seeing a similar number of touches per game as Javonte Williams and James Conner. We can’t expect him to be this good the rest of the season… right?
- DeAndre Hopkins: He’s only a sell-high if you can find someone who thinks Hopkins can still be a top-five fantasy receiver. The Cardinals are spreading the ball around too much to make that happen again.
- Kareem Hunt: He’s been a godsend in fantasy, but can we really expect Hunt to score every game while playing fewer snaps than Nick Chubb?
While you scour the trade market for players to bolster your team, here are some other players who can impact your lineups this week—for better or for worse. Feel free to ask me any start/sit questions on Twitter @ZachCohenFB!
As always, I included OwnersBox prices to give you an idea of each player’s value. If you haven’t signed up yet, playing on OwnersBox is easier than scoring a TD on the Chiefs! All jokes aside, visit OwnersBox.com or download the OwnersBox app on iOS or Android and use the promo code Drew9 today and you'll get a free $10 entry into the $25K NFL Week 6 Contest.
Start: Joe Burrow at DET ($6,800)
Burrow hasn’t had the best start to the season, but it hasn’t been bad, either. He’s currently QB19, yet he’s had just one game below 17 points. That tends to happen when you throw three picks. Luckily, Burrow also tossed multiple touchdowns in each game. At a minimum, we should expect him to keep up that pace against the Lions. Speaking of Detroit, many people may be writing this matchup off as lopsided in favor of Cincinnati, but the Lions have lost three games by just one possession, which means Burrow could be more of a factor down the stretch. He has good enough value to make him a sneaky start in your lineups. The same can be said for Taylor Heinicke and whoever starts for the Dolphins; both have enticing matchups against the Chiefs and Jaguars, respectively.
Other Players to Consider: Taylor Heinicke, Tua Tagovailoa/Jacoby Brissett
Sit: Kirk Cousins at CAR ($6,400)
The 2021 season truly has been a tale of two Kirks. After averaging 24 points through the first three weeks, Cousins scored less than 24 total points in the last two. Since he’s not much of a threat on the ground, Cousins’ fantasy value is directly tied to touchdowns. That explains his drastic drop in production following Week 3. Another reason you shouldn’t start Cousins—who is the QB13 so far—this week: Carolina’s defense. They’ve been surprisingly good this season. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 184.6 passing yards against them, including Dak Prescott (188 yards) and Jalen Hurts (198). If you start Cousins, you’re banking on an offensive explosion from Minnesota’s passing game. Those chances seem slim, so keep Cousins out of your lineup this week.
Other Players to Consider: Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield
Start: Devontae Booker vs. LAR ($5,800)
I know what you’re probably thinking. “Start Booker against the Rams’ defense? You’re nuts!” I may be nuts, but there’s a method to my madness. On the surface, yes, the Rams have a tough defense. But they’ve also allowed an average of six catches and 47 receiving yards to opposing running backs. While that’s spread across every running back they face each game, the Giants have leaned pretty heavily on one running back in their games. After Barkley left with an ankle injury, Booker played 60 of 68 snaps, which is on par with Barkley’s usage. Booker may see even more receiving work if the Giants play from behind, as I suspect. We also don’t know who will be suiting up in New York as Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton are all questionable (as of Wednesday). That all sounds like a prime opportunity for Booker to rack up points. He’s a low-end RB2 this week.
Other Players to Consider: Kareem Hunt, Brandon Bolden
Sit: Josh Jacobs at DEN ($6,100)
When healthy, Jacobs has been a solid player so far. He’s averaging 14.8 points, but in the one game he didn’t score in, he put up just 10.7 points. If you start him this week, he’ll need a touchdown to truly maximize his value. Otherwise, his workload just isn’t enough, though it’s nice to see him getting some more targets this season. His matchup against the Broncos isn’t great, either. Denver has allowed just two rushing touchdowns all year despite facing James Robinson, Saquon Barkley, and Najee Harris. Look, Jacobs isn’t a bad running back to start. He just has a low ceiling. There are better running backs available with more promising matchups.
Other Players to Consider: Myles Gaskin, Darrel Williams
Start: Chase Claypool vs. SEA ($5,700)
This is less about JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s injury because he played in the slot and Claypool typically does not. If anything, Ray-Ray McCloud will likely fill Smith-Schuster‘s role. However, Claypool does have the skill set to be moved around the Steelers’ offense. He’s also averaging 17 yards per catch on roughly eight targets a game—though a 15-target game skews that number a bit. I’m more interested in Claypool’s role in a nice matchup against Seattle. The Seahawks secondary has allowed about 43 points per game to opposing wide receiver units. In each of their five games, only once did they prevent a receiver from reaching 20 points… and it was when Julio Jones scored 18.8. The matchup combined with Claypool’s role in Pittsburgh translates to a starting spot in your lineup.
Other Players to Consider: Michael Pittman Jr., Kadarius Toney
Sit: Allen Robinson vs. GB ($5,500)
Plain and simple, you can’t start Robinson anymore. That’s especially true with Justin Fields at the helm. Across the last four games, Robinson saw between three and six targets each game. To make matters worse, Darnell Mooney has led the team in targets. To make matters even more worse, the Bears are just not passing the ball enough. They have the second-lowest neutral pass rate in the NFL. That means they’re running the ball 62% of the time on first and second downs, excluding the final two minutes of each half. As talented as Robinson is, his bad situation hinders his fantasy value. Unless Chicago revamps their offense *cough* Matt Nagy *cough*, keep Robinson out of your lineups going forward.
Other Players to Consider: Henry Ruggs, Marvin Jones
Start: Hunter Henry vs. DAL ($4,700)
I already praised Henry in my waiver column on Tuesday, so here’s me cheating my way out of typing new words again:
“Henry has quietly been putting up solid numbers this season. Despite averaging 71% of New England snaps, he’s been scoring more points each week. That includes two touchdowns in the last two games. It helps that he’s seen the team’s second-most targets in the last three weeks, too.”
Henry is a must-start based on the sheer lack of startable tight ends, especially in a game where New England may be forced to throw more often than they like.
Other Players to Consider: Zach Ertz, Ricky Seals-Jones
Sit: Jared Cook at BAL ($4,100)
I was asked about starting Cook this week, and my answer is undoubtedly: NO. Cook is TE15 based on total points and TE16 based on averages. Don’t let those numbers fool you. He’s way too volatile to start and would need a touchdown to salvage his day. He’s had just two double-digit performances while averaging five targets a game. Cook’s not even a good streaming option because Donald Parham Jr. has been the team’s go-to tight end in the red zone. If you desperately need a tight end to toss into your lineup, pick up Ricky Seals-Jones. He scored 9.1 points on a hearty eight targets, and he sat out just one play. Seals-Jones is a safer option than Cook, who should remain out of your lineups at all costs.
Other Players to Consider: David Njoku, Robert Tonyan
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