If any of you started your Fantasy Football season in the Adam Gase-esque, 0-2 predicament that I find myself in, the trade market and waivers are your best, and perhaps only, friends. While messing around with tight ends, defenses and kickers may give you an additional point or two here and there, which cannot be underestimated, the core of your team (QB, RB, WR) is where the adjustments need to start. You need to look for trades early in the fantasy season before you get too attached to the running back that continuously puts up duds, and you find yourself telling yourself “one more quick,” but by then it’s too late. If you reside in a league where some of your competitors have too much pride to even consider a realistic trade offer (you know who you are), the waiver wire is full of hidden gems. I’ve laid out a trade and waiver wire option each to target now, while their market value is lower than it will be in a week or two. The statistics I refer to are in standard ESPN PPR formatted leagues, as that’s what most sane people should find themselves in.
Trade Target: Jared Goff, LAR
Jared Goff is rostered in 84.8 percent ESPN leagues, but given the surprising early season performances of Lamar Jackson and (soon to be overpaid) Dak Prescott, it is likely he is slotted into the QB2 role. Goff has performed to that level as well, averaging 14.3 fantasy points in the first two weeks, however in Sean Mcvay’s offense, with the amount of weapons he has it’s difficult to see how he doesn’t put up QB1 caliber numbers soon. With Cooper Kupp looking fully recovered and then some from his torn ACL, along with the dangerous deep threat in Brandin Cooks and the reliable Robert Woods, Goff has a plethora of targets to hit. Matchups against an undisciplined Browns defense, followed by a visit from the inconsistent Buccaneers, Goff is an intriguing trade target for the immediate future.
Waiver Wire: Josh Allen, BUF
In years past looking to a Buffalo Bill, especially a quarterback, for any type of fantasy production is something you probably wouldn’t even consider. Fantasy owners are still living in the past as Allen is only rostered in 30 percent of leagues, despite averaging 19.1 points, while leading the Bills to a 2-0 record. Opposing defenses are wary of his increasingly more accurate rocket arm, so much to the point where it opens up rushing lanes for him to attack, which provides invaluable fantasy points. Allen and the Bills host a Bengals teams, coming off a week in which they gave up nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns to Jimmy Garropolo, equating to 22.2 fantasy points. Pick Allen up for a week of 20-plus points until the Patriots intercept him three times in Week 4.
Trade Target: Joe Mixon, CIN
Many, myself included, drafted Mixon in the second round, fully expecting him to put up minimum RB2 numbers and possibly show low-end RB1 potential. Given that fact Mixon delivered two deplorable, single-digit performances, it is easy for some owners to give up on him. That is why now is the perfect time to buy low. All hope is not lost for Mixon as he showed last year that he has incredible PPR value, while being the feature redzone back over Giovanni Bernard. If his current ankle ailment proves as insignificant as the Bengals are claiming and his snap count total continues to increase (29 to 38), Mixon is someone you can fleece a fed-up owner for.
Waiver Wire: Malcolm Brown, LAR
There were rumors all offseason surrounding how Sean Mcvay would use Todd Gurley in the regular season, following a disappointing playoff run highlighted by a near no-show in the Super Bowl. Gurley, in both the passing attack and the red zone has seen a reduced workload, leading to the emergence of Malcolm Brown. Brown was given three series to himself as the feature back in each of the first two games and if he continues to average 5.3 yards per carry the points are bound to follow. A two-touchdown performance in Week 1, while only getting 21 snaps is the type of potential brown exhibits. Even in his second fiddle role, Brown is worth picking up and that’s without mentioning the inevitable Gurley injury.
Trade Target: Juju Smith-Schuster, PIT
The second Adam Schefter sent out the tweet that Big Ben was out for the season, JuJu fantasy owners let out a collective groan. Fantasy “experts” claim this drops JuJu’s value exponentially and to an extent it may, but not as much as the Matthew Berry’s of the world want to believe. I know there is literally a single half of professional film on him, yet I am a huge Mason Rudolph believer. 112 yards, two touchdowns with a 63.2 completion percentage with a Seattle defense that was in his face for the entire second half is something that is being totally overlooked. Not to mention his first completion was a 45-yard bomb to JuJu, who he targeted six times in just one half. The success I’m predicting for this Rudolph-JuJu partnership isn’t unwarranted as he threw for nearly 5,000 yards his senior year of college. This is an impressive feat for any college quarterback, regardless of the historically inept defenses of the Big 12. Nobody is questioning if JuJu will be JuJu; the concerns of fantasy owners lay within the change at quarterback, of which I have none. Trade for him now while his value is unreasonably low, instead of after he puts up 25 points against the Niners on Sunday.
Waiver Wire: Demarcus Robinson, KC
Demarcus Robinson’s value is changing for the same reason as JuJu’s is, just in the opposite direction. That reason is the play at quarterback and you’d be well pressed to find someone better to help unknown wide receivers put absurd numbers up than Patrick Mahomes. The absence of Tyreek Hill gives any combination of Robinson, Sammy Watkins and even Travis Kelce the chance to put up 20-plus points(maybe in the first half). Last week the beneficiary of Mahomes generational arm talent and Andy Reid’s ruthless offensive playbook was Robinson, who put up 35.2 points in a drubbing of the Raiders. If Mahomes continues to trust Robinson as a reliable deep threat, the fantasy production could be akin to Tyreek Hill just last year. That’s a consistent 20 points a game, with a relatively high ceiling. If Robinson isn’t available, teammate Mecole Hardman is a equal-caliber second option, as he added 16.1 points on six targets in Oakland. There are some offenses, like the Chiefs and Patriots, where there are surprise contenders to give you the fantasy boost required on any given Sunday.
Tamir March is a campus correspondent at The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.