Nothing impacts fantasy football quite like injuries do. We all saw the gruesome injury of everyone’s preseason darling, Jimmy Garoppolo, take place this past week, destroying not only Garoppolo’s season but also hurting the values of San Francisco’s skill players. Other players, some recent waiver wire pickups, took advantage of the opportunities they were given, increasing their fantasy trade values ahead of Week 4.
There isn’t any other fantasy sport where players’ stocks rise and fall quite like football. I’m here to help you sift through players you should be looking at buying and selling and what you can get in exchange for them on the trade market.
Fantasy Football Trade Candidates: Stock up
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions. Before Johnson rushed for north of 100 yards against the Patriots on Sunday, could you — without looking — name the last Lions running back who eclipsed the century mark and when? I said don’t look! Well, since you cheated, yes, it was Reggie Bush in 2013. Johnson’s carries have progressively risen with each passing week, getting five in Week 1, eight in Week 2, and then topping out at 16 on Sunday in the team’s win over the Patriots. Johnson and LeGarrette Blount both saw 16 carries, but Johnson out-snapped Blount 33 to 26. He’s now averaging 5.6 yards per carry and has 10 receptions, which gives him even more value in PPR formats. All that being said, if you own Johnson, there might not be a better time to shed him for something more reliable. Like I mentioned, Blount still saw 16 carries in a game where Johnson looked fantastic, so even though Johnson’s upside is far superior, the Lions like Blount. He can net you a solid return (a.k.a., a WR2) now that he’s going to be discussed as an RB2 for Week 4.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals. Through three weeks, the Bengals leading receiver is A.J…wait, it’s…Tyler Boyd. Green has more targets and one more catch, but Boyd is the one averaging 16.6 yards per reception and leads the Bengals with 249 yards. We entered the year thinking John Ross was going to be the second man up in the passing game, but Boyd has definitely jumped over him on the depth chart. Boyd has seen at least seven targets in back-to-back games while scoring a touchdown in both and going for 90-plus yards. Boyd ranks 15th in receiving yards, and Green, although he says he’s OK, is dealing with a groin injury, meaning that if he’s limited at all in the next couple of weeks, Boyd could potentially take on even more of a role. There is nobody hotter on the waiver wire this week, and if you had already scooped him up after his Week 2 performance, you could leverage him to a team who needs a wideout or flex for a viable running back or another receiver with a body of work much more consistent than Boyd’s.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Redskins. If we’re being honest, I completely doubted =Peterson this year, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. That said, he’s proving everyone wrong. Peterson is fifth in yards, third in carries, and tied for fourth in touchdowns, but he’s just one behind the leaders. The thing that benefits us who are trying to acquire Peterson is that he sprained his ankle last week and the Redskins are on a Week 4 bye. People could be worried about the ankle he was able to play on in Week 3, so it wasn’t that serious, and because of the lack of running backs who consistently give us points, they could be looking to move All-Day for someone else. We should pounce on that and offer a WR3/RB3 package because if Peterson continues seeing this sort of volume, there is no telling what one of the best running backs of all time can do.
Fantasy Football Trade Candidates: Stock down
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts. After watching 60 minutes of the Colts and Eagles, we have to be alarmed about what we all witnessed. First, let’s just get it out of the way now: Was Chad Pennington hiding under that helmet? The arm strength matched up perfectly. I mean, the Colts had to bring in their backup on the last play of the game for a Hail Mary just to give them a shot at winning the game. Luck still produced 15 fantasy points, thanks to 33 yards on the ground, so it wasn’t an awful game, but he’s not moving any needles averaging 4.1 yards per completion in a contest where he threw the ball 43 times. Now, he does have trade value, which is why I think you should look to move him now. He’s thrown the ball 30 times or more in all three games this year and has completed at least 62-percent of his passes in each. With the lack of running back depth in the league, as well as the influx of breakout wide receivers, target teams in the market for a QB or a team that’s been streaming one. Luck could snag you an RB/WR3 type — someone you could slot in at your flex position.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals. Although you probably just used a very high waiver claim on Bernard last week, we should look to move him now before we can’t get anything for him. I’d primarily target Joe Mixon owners who will likely want to handcuff him, especially with reports that Mixon thinks he’ll be suiting up for Week 4. If he doesn’t play as he continues to recover from surgery, Bernard will have plenty of value for this upcoming week against a Falcons team that allowed Alvin Kamara to catch 15 passes out of the backfield. Bernard had 17 touches for 86 all-purpose yards and a touchdown last week, and he was the only Bengals running back to even get a touch.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers. I could just insert most of the 49ers offense here, but I’ll stick with their top pass catcher. Goodwin was impactful last week, catching three passes with one going for a touchdown. Goodwin broke out last year catching a career-high 56 passes and going for 962 yards. While he definitely still has value, he was a borderline WR2 with Jimmy Garoppolo. With C.J. Beathard, or whomever else the 49ers may throw out there, he’s more of a risky WR3. Goodwin’s big-play ability will never go away — as evidenced by his 16.4 career yards-per-catch output. If you’re deep at wideout, Goodwin could snag you a top-10 tight end or so. I wouldn’t shoot for the stars aiming for a running back, but if you’re weak at TE, Goodwin could net you one.