By now, almost every fantasy owner has completed their draft and is eagerly waiting for the NFL season to start. However, the fantasy football season does not start at kickoff on Thursday night. It has already begun. Every day big moves happen in the NFL that may drastically affect the value of a player that you have drafted…or a player that you could trade for. Now is the time when fantasy owners are paying the least attention to daily NFL news, which means it’s the perfect time to try and fleece your opponents in a trade. In order to do this you need to know which players have dropped in value since the fantasy draft, and which players have risen.
In the past few weeks, Damien Harris has gone from splitting carries with Sony Michel, James White, and Cam Newton to being the undisputed RB1 in New England. After all the moves the Patriots made, Harris is still being drafted as low as RB26 even though he is now in an excellent situation. If you are looking to make a preseason trade, go after Harris. His value has gone up and no one has seemed to notice. He essentially has the backfield to himself running behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. A good strategy that could be used to trade for Harris is making him the least valuable player in the trade. This way Harris will not be the main part of the trade and his true value will be less considered.
Trade Away: Joe Mixon, Diontae Johnson
Acquire: Damien Harris, Cooper Kupp
Any plan that Sean McVay had to give Darrell Henderson more than 15 carries per game was scrapped when the Rams traded for Sony Michel. Yet, Henderson is still being drafted as early as the 4th round in many leagues. Most people seem to think that since the Rams are poised to have a good offensive season with the addition of Matthew Stafford, that means every single player on the offense will be a good fantasy play. This is simply not true. The only upside to Henderson is that he will likely get the majority of goal line carries, which means he will score a few touchdowns. However, his potential upside does not make up for his lack of touches throughout the game. Sony will become the lead back in LA and Henderson won’t start on most fantasy teams by Week 4. It’s time to trade him now, while you still can. A good strategy for this trade is to go for a later round RB with a higher upside or a lower floor than Henderson.
Trade Away: Darrell Henderson, Tee Higgins
Acquire: Michael Carter, Brandon Aiyuk
DJ Moore just might have the highest ceiling of all the mid-round wide receivers. Moore has shown flashes of excellence in his first three seasons in the league, but this is by far the best situation he has ever been in. Last year Moore notched his second 1000-yard season in a row. He did this with Teddy Bridgewater at QB and Christian McCaffrey, the head of their offense, out for most of the season. This year, McCaffrey is back and the Panthers acquired Sam Darnold who is about to play his first season with above average options on offense. This entire offense has chips on their shoulders. They have the potential to be one of the biggest surprises in the NFL. The Panthers newfound offensive production will lead to more red zone targets for Moore, and also more big play touchdowns. The best part about Moore is that he has a super high floor as well. Coming off back-to-back 4 TD, and 1150+ yard seasons, Moore is basically guaranteed to at least be a serviceable WR2 on any team. He is a great player to target in a trade before the season starts. A good strategy for this trade would be to offer a WR with a similar ADP to Moore.
Trade Away: Chase Claypool, D’Andre Swift
Acquire: DJ Moore, Myles Gaskin
Last year, DK Metcalf got less than 6 receptions in 10 different games and under 65 yards in 7 different games. This type of inconsistency is unacceptable for someone who is widely considered a WR1. Other receivers drafted around Metcalf have put up very good numbers in almost every game they played last year. He may seem like he should be good because of all the crazy highlight reel plays he makes, but you don’t get extra fantasy points for being flashy. Yes, Metcalf would be fun to root for, but he won’t win you most of your fantasy games. The good part about Metcalf is that he is one of the most talked about players in the NFL, so he should be very easy to trade away. A good strategy for trading Metcalf would be to go after a receiver with a similar ADP. Almost all of them are better options.
Trade away: DK Metcalf, Miles Sanders
Acquire: Calvin Ridley, Chase Edmonds
Many people don’t think it’s a good idea to trade before the season starts, but in reality it’s the best time to try to acquire undervalued players before everyone realizes how good they are. It’s important to be able to recognize the difference between a player that has good fantasy value and a player that is just popular with the public. If you are able to trade for a player who is undervalued in this year’s draft, you are setting yourself up for an excellent fantasy year. Trading before the season starts is one of the most creative things you can do to strengthen your fantasy team.