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Early Fantasy Football Trade Targets

The time has finally come. the end of summer is slowly creeping upon us and with it comes the start of the NFL season. Labor day weekend has come and gone. for most of us, that marks the end of our fantasy draft season. As the dust settles on leagues and owners fawn over their rosters, not everyone is happy with theirs. IT may be time to take a look at some early season trade targets.

Not all drafts go the way we plan and sometimes we don’t always get the guy we want. Maybe you hesitated while on the clock and ignored your gut feeling on who to choose. Maybe you got sniped just before taking your golden goose. Whatever the case may be, it’s not the end.

Just because the draft timer strikes zero doesn’t mean you can’t have the guy you want. lucky for you, we have some early season trade targets to help you decide on who you should be heckling your league mates about! Let’s dive in and get the trade juices flowin’.

Early Season Trade Targets

Royce Freeman- RB, Denver Broncos

The hype surrounding Royce Freeman over the past few months has become too much to ignore. To be honest, it’s completely justified. The kid has looked every bit as advertised for the Broncos. As soon as Freeman was drafted it was speculated that he would push Devontae Booker for touches. That thought soon became a reality.

Earlier this week, Vance Joseph announced that Freeman would be the Broncos starting running back. Music to the ears of owners who got to steal him in their drafts in the early summer. For the owners who weren’t so lucky, the news likely means they have to pony up (pun intended) a pretty penny to get Freeman on their rosters now.

Freeman is walking into a sizeable workload in Denver with little resistance which makes him a hot commodity. Case Keenum is no stranger to using his RB1 in the receiving game either. As we can see in the chart above Keenum’s RB1 last season had over 12% of the overall target share; which was well above the league average. The added use in the receiving game, as well as opportunity, make Freeman a guy worth trading for.

Go find his owner and see if you can snag him before week one kicks off. If you cant, there’s little chance you will be able to after he explodes in season. Word of advice, play on the fact that he’s a rookie and that the unknown is always a lingering thought. See if you can get Freemans owner to budge on a trade.

Corey Davis- WR, Tennessee Titans

Corey Davis is a guy who made little waves this offseason. That’s a good thing. Last season was a little rough for the stud receiver. Early in the season, he dealt with some hamstring issues that led to him missing significant time. Even when he did come back he never quite made a fantasy impact for people who took a chance on him.

This season looks to be completely different. Davis is still locked and loaded to be the WR1 for the Titans. All the praise coming out of camp has been that Davis has been healthy and looks like a stud. He should be able to walk into a healthy target share under new head coach Mike Vrabel.

The chart above shows the WR1 yards per target under QB Marcus Mariota. As you can see, last season the WR1 averaged just over nine yards per target. Plug Davis into that role and the opportunity screams fantasy points galore. For a big body receiver like him, that statistic will be huge this season. Davis will likely be a huge factor in the Red Zone as well which only furthers his value as a huge trade target.

The uncertainty of where Davis may finish is something traders can use to their benefits. With a healthy offseason and no major additions to the receiver core Davis will thrive. Davis has high WR2 upside and can be a roster-changing acquisition if you can get him. It would be smart to use Davis’ lack of production last season as a primer to get his owner to trade him.  If you can, it’s likely you can snag him without giving up an arm and a leg. Just don’t let his owner know about this article.

Zach Ertz- TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Last season Zach Ertz solidified himself as a top-three fantasy tight end. He led the Eagles in receiving yards and came second in targets only to Alshon Jeffrey. This season is no different. in fact, this season could be even better. With Alshon Jeffrey sidelined for the foreseeable future, Ertz looks locked to be the top receiving threat for the Eagles. That makes him a huge trade target.

Ertz’s ADP was in the fourth round for all the offseason which means you likely missed out on him unless you absolutely loved him in your draft. That’s ok though. It may cost you a bit more than you would like to snag Ertz from his current owner but, it a move that pays off. Even when it doesn’t feel like it at first.

Above we take a look at a possible trade scenario using the FFStatistics Trade Analyzer. In this example, the owner is using the tool to see if trading Christian McCaffrey for Zach Ertz is a good trade. The owner has Todd Gurley, Christian McCaffrey, and Chris Carson (not shown in pre-trade) as their starting running backs. We can also see that their starting wide receivers are Brandin Cooks and Corey Davis.

Trade away CMC for a TE? Isn’t that insanity in a full PPR league? Well as we can see above, it actually isn’t. After entering the pre and post-trade team information and clicking ‘Analyze’ we see that the trade is far from insane. it is actually a logical one. The image above shows that trading for Zach Ertz actually increased the team’s weekly fantasy points per game.

Every trade scenario is a different one and should be treated as such. In this instance, we see that even giving up a high profile RB like Christian McCaffrey isn’t a bad move to go and snag Zach Ertz. It may not feel great at first, but we don’t lie at FFStatistics. Go out and trade for Ertz, increase your fantasy PPG, win your league, be awesome.

For full use of the ‘Trade Analyzer’ tool go to the top of the page to the ‘Data Tools’ drop down tab, click the tool, enter the player and team information, and analyze away! Happy trading!








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