Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer: Is it time to cut bait on Robert Woods?

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With four games in the books, fantasy football managers are starting to get a feel for how their drafts went as we compile more and more data and film. The fantasy football trade analyzer helps us look for potential targets that rival managers could be hitting the panic button on in Week 5. 

Additionally, it highlights players that you might want to sell before a downward turn in production.

Whether it’s due to a string of underwhelming performances shifting the narrative, or a breakout on the horizon, these players could be potential trade targets before Week 5 games are underway.

Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears

Believers rejoice and join me in celebration, for he has arrived! Anyone who has been reading my content knows I have been pounding the table for Mooney. He was a favorite of mine in 2020 and captured my heart in the offseason as my top WR breakout candidate. And despite head coach Matt Nagy’s propensity to frustrate everyone to no end, Mooney’s season might have received the jolt we had been waiting on this last Sunday.

With Justin Fields at the helm, Mooney had a career day. He led the Bears with 7 targets while hauling in 5 receptions for a career-high 125 yards, including a 64-yard bomb. The first-round quarterback brings a vertical dimension to Chicago’s offense, one that meshes perfectly with Mooney’s skill set. On Sunday, Fields completed 5 passes of 20+ yards, including 3 that went 30+ yards downfield. Of course, this was against the hapless Detroit Lions, so we must wait and see if this trend continues. 

Mooney is the Bears’ most productive receiver through the first four weeks, with 226 yards on 17 receptions (26 targets). You might think I’m crazy, but Mooney may actually be Chicago’s WR1 — sorry, Allen Robinson. Mooney could be viewed as a sell-high candidate given the potential return of Andy Dalton under center, but I feel this is the start of something big for the second-year wideout.

I refuse to think this connection is going to get Nagy’d up. Yes, he is now a verb — it’s going to stick.

Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos

I’m assuming you actually have a life like a normal person. First off, what’s that like? Secondly, it’s actually challenging to sit and watch every play from every game. I only do it because someone is willing to pay me to do so. I say this because unless you watch the games, you’re typically only able to rely on box score stats as your fantasy research in any given week. In doing so, you lose context. And you also would be missing out on the abusive running style of Javonte Williams.

Williams is currently the RB36 in PPR formats while averaging 8.9 points per game. He’s yet to receive more than 14 carries in a game or have more than 65 yards rushing. I mean, Melvin Gordon is averaging nearly 5 points more a game (13.4). But here’s the thing — Gordon is the nice guy, and Williams is the person their significant other tells them not to worry about.

Williams is top 10 in broken tackles per attempt. Additionally, he has seen 7 targets over the last two games, suggesting the team may implement Williams as more than just a bruising back. Even in a dead split in opportunity share, Williams is putting up RB3 numbers. Once he fully takes over Denver’s backfield, he has high-end RB2 upside. Williams is on my shortlist of players to trade for before Week 5 rolls around, as I think his value will only increase.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Sometimes it’s difficult to pull off trades for players that were surrounded by preseason hype. But snagging someone like Lamb could be worth the headache. 

Lamb has seen a combined 8 targets over Dallas’ past two games and is coming off a 13-yard performance in Week 4. The Cowboys have tried to get their rushing game going, and in doing so, Lamb’s role has been reduced. He was also facing a Panthers defense that’s been among the league’s best against WRs. Furthermore, Dallas was leading for nearly the entire game. 

Lamb is too talented for this slump to last, and the second-year WR will have better days ahead. Those might even start in Week 5 when the Cowboys take on the New York Giants. I would suggest attempting a trade for Lamb before next week’s coin flip, as his price could skyrocket by halftime.

Players to trade away

With solid games under their belt and positive narratives surrounding them, these players could be sell-high candidates if you’re looking for maximum return.

Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR, Atlanta Falcons

What Patterson is doing is fun to watch — I will give him that. And if you have him on your fantasy roster, I am sure you have enjoyed the ride. But what you think is a world-class roller coaster is really one of those country fair rides held together with duct tape that you see on the news for all the wrong reasons.

Patterson is coming off a 3-touchdown game in which he only played on 23 of Atlanta’s 76 offensive snaps. In an alternate timeline where Derrick Henry doesn’t exist, Patterson would be the RB1 in fantasy football. He is averaging 1.85 fantasy points per touch, which is nearly half a point more than Alvin Kamara in 2020 (1.40) and 0.63 more than Christian McCaffrey’s record-setting 2019 season (1.17).

Simply put, what Patterson is doing is not sustainable. I would absolutely be looking to sell high in the lead-up to Week 5.

Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills

On a points per game basis, Moss is the RB14 in fantasy football, averaging 15.2 points per contest. He is handling roughly 13 touches per game and averaging 4.2 yards per carry. However, his statistics have ballooned thanks to 4 touchdown runs in three games. Those 4 scores are just one shy of what Moss managed in all of 2020 (13 games). 

While Moss does have 13 red-zone carries, Josh Allen is right behind him with 10 –, and we know those scoring opportunities could begin to lean in the QB’s direction. Moss is consistently splitting carries with Devin Singletary, so if he suffers any drop in TD efficiency, he’ll start to free-fall in weekly scoring. While some are viewing Moss as an RB2, he’s closer to an RB3/flex, meaning you should look to trade him while his value is at its peak.

Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

I hate this one — I honestly do. But what have we seen from Woods that should inspire confidence moving forward? While Woods finally had his first top-30 finish in Week 4, he had only 3 targets and 18 yards until the game’s final drive. 30 of his 48 yards and his touchdowns came at the end of the game in garbage time. Even on a day where Matthew Stafford threw 41 times, Woods was an afterthought.

Prior to Week 4, Woods had managed weekly finishes of WR46, WR44, and WR65 in PPR — all of which are a far cry from his WR14 ADP just a month ago. But that is the nature of the beast. ADP doesn’t mean diddly squat when it comes to on-field performance.

But to some, ADP can still affect trade value early in the season. If you can find a fantasy manager who still believes in Woods and offers a solid return, I would take it. I say this as a manager who has Woods on several of my fantasy teams and is wondering where I went wrong in life.