We have made it through five weeks of the fantasy football season. Regardless of your record, you should always try to improve your roster. To do this, you can use the waiver wire or, of course, trading players. We have already established that many people do not trade for various reasons. Please read my article for advice to help you make more trades here.
Before we talk about players to target, we need to cover some trading misconceptions. You will see analysts tell you to “sell high” and “buy low.” In theory, that makes sense to maximize player value. However, if everyone is telling you to sell high on Clyde Edwards-Helaire, then your league-mate saw the same advice and will not want to buy high. Remember, player value is different for every fantasy manager, and each league will have different market values established. The best way to make a trade is to find a way to help both teams. It is okay to buy high or sell low if you believe the trade helps your team.
I promise you will win some trades and lose some trades. We cannot predict the future, so you won’t know how the trade went until the end of the season. Do not let previous trade “losses” prevent you from making other trades. If you have a better team, try to target 2-for-1 trades where you get the best player, but you are giving the other team more depth to help their struggling team. I prefer to get the best player in 2-for-1 or 3-for-2 trades, but if your team has been a bit struck with injuries, then getting depth may be the best way to improve your team.
Finally, manipulating bye weeks is a helpful trading strategy. The bye weeks start Week 6 so pay attention to the bye weeks of the players involved in the trade. If possible, trade for players that already had their bye week and trade away players that have not had their bye week yet. Why? This strategy will allow you to avoid benching those players for bye weeks. Therefore, you do not need to find a lesser replacement value for a starter because you never bench that starting slot.
Now let’s talk about some players you should make some trade offers for to build a championship roster!
Fantasy Football Trade Targets
WR Jaylen Waddle – Miami Dolphins
At first, Waddle was going to be a buy-high player. However, he is nursing an injury, and Tua is out for an unknown amount of time. Plus, Tyreek Hill is perceived as the WR1 on the Dolphins. Therefore, you should put out some trade offers to see if Waddle’s value has dropped a little. In Weeks 2-4, Waddle had just one fewer target than Hill. Plus, Hill is dealing with some injuries of his own after the Week 5 matchup. Teddy Bridgewater was placed in concussion protocol early in the Week 5 game, and Waddle had a quiet day with 3rd-string QB rookie Skylar Thompson.
We hope Tua will heal quickly because while Teddy Bridgewater should not negatively impact Waddle’s fantasy output, an extended stint with Skylar Thompson could hurt everyone. Waddle is known for his yards-after-catch ability, and Bridgewater is accurate with short passes. Jaylen Waddle is currently a fantasy WR1, so he will not be cheap to acquire. Try to trade away an RB2 that may be overperforming right now or a low-end RB2 with a boom/bust WR2.
WR Chris Olave – New Orleans Saints
This rookie wide receiver is off to a great start to his career. He has a 27.5% target share and an insane 699 air yards through Week 4! That is 188 yards more than Courtland Sutton, who is second with 511 air yards. Olave has a 44% team air yard share too. Air yards do not guarantee fantasy points, but seeing Olave be targeted deep so frequently is positive. He has the 12th-highest yards per route run with 2.56, just above Cooper Kupp (2.53). Anything over 2.00 is considered really good.
Unfortunately, Jameis Winston has an injured back and will miss at least two games. Andy Dalton could slightly lower Olave’s perceived value, though I doubt it. Olave is now in the concussion protocol too. While we can never predict when a player will clear the protocol, you should take advantage if your leaguemate has any concerns. Chris Olave is worth it, so offer an RB2, and enjoy the exciting rookie on your roster.
WR Christian Kirk – Jacksonville Jaguars
The man broke the wide receiver contract market last offseason because of the “Jacksonville tax.” Well, Kirk has been great so far! He had a down game in Week 4 due to bad weather and Lawrence fumbling the ball four times, and Week 5 was not much better in a low-scoring game against the Houston Texans. You might get lucky, and the other manager is concerned about Kirk after his recent play since the Jaguars have such a negative reputation in fantasy from past seasons. Kirk will continue to produce well with his 29.3% target share as Lawrence continues to be a better quarterback. I never recommend sending low-ball trade offers, but I think a low-end RB2 is a reasonable starting point to get a trade done in light of his last two weeks.
RB Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders
So many people want to doubt Josh Jacobs. He is a good running back and gets plenty of touches. The best part is Jacobs averaging three receptions per game. He is averaging 17.5 carries per game. Jacobs can be a productive fantasy running back with 20+ touches per game. He is currently the RB7 through four weeks, but people still seem to doubt that he can maintain that through the season. Wide receivers are volatile by nature, so trade away a WR2 to bolster your running backs with a stable player like Josh Jacobs.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs
Let’s get the obvious one that everyone is talking about out of the way first. CEH is on a great offense, but everyone is saying “sell high” because his touchdown rate (9.26%) is unsustainable with his snap share. It will be hard to “sell high” because every fantasy analyst tells you to do that. You should still trade away CEH because he will not be an asset in your starting lineup all season. However, you can offer a reasonable trade and still get a starting-caliber player to help you win.
RB Najee Harris – Pittsburgh Steelers
Najee Harris is a talented running back but is attached to a dysfunctional offense. Last season, Harris was the RB4 in half-PPR and RB9 in points per game. That is a GREAT rookie season! He maximized his fantasy points by catching 74 of his 94 targets. In 2022 through four games, he is on pace for 42.5 receptions from 46.75 targets, and he was pretty terrible again in Week 5, but that was to be expected against Buffalo.
It is still early in the season, but a drastic shift in the offensive scheme from last season negatively impacts Harris’ fantasy value. Kenny Pickett starting at quarterback now will not save Harris, but you can try to sell that optimism in your trade offer. In Week 6, Harris will play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have a strong run defense. If Harris somehow has a good game, try to trade him away immediately. Unfortunately, his value may plummet after the Tampa Bay game, so you may have to wait for one decent game to sell him at any value. You most likely drafted Najee Harris as your RB1 in the first or early second round. You cannot expect to recoup that value back in a trade, but you must try to trade now before his value declines more.
WR Marquise Brown – Arizona Cardinals
Marquise Brown has been a target monster for the Cardinals. He is 4th amongst wide receivers with 45 targets! From Weeks 2-4, he had a target share of 32.6% (4th highest) while averaging 14 targets per game (1st highest). Then in Week 5, he had another 10 targets! Unfortunately, the Cardinals are still a dysfunctional team. Also, DeAndre Hopkins will be back from his suspension in Week 7, and Rondale Moore only played one game this season due to injury. Therefore, Brown is getting funneled targets, but that will slow down soon. Now is the time to trade away Brown after his best fantasy performance of his season. His spectacular Week 5 should only increase what you can get out of him.
Other players to trade away: RB Christian McCaffrey, RB Leonard Fournette, RB James Robinson, RB James Conner, RB Antonio Gibson, RB Jeff Wilson Jr., WR Deebo Samuel, WR Diontae Johnson, TE T.J. Hockenson
Finally, a quick piece of advice: every player should be tradeable for the right price. If you struggle with figuring out player value, then use one of the numerous trade value charts to give you a baseline to start. However, never hold tight to exactly what the trade value charts say because they do not consider the nuances of your specific roster and league. Good luck and happy trading!
The next article for this series will be back in four weeks after Week 8.