Trade target review: how did we do?

As trade deadlines pass and we are left with only waivers to fill the ‘grass is greener’ void.

Gone are the days of looking longingly at opposition rosters, compiling fantasy dream lineups, badgering poorly communicating trade targets and spending hours on trade calculator trying to find that one player to unlock the deal. Oh, just me then?

The mark of a truly great analyst is to chart both the successes and failures of his predictions and recommendations. With that in mind we look at back at some of the many hits and unfortunate misses of the trade corner.

This week we begin with the lovely list of the players I successfully predicted to go off for your teams or to trade away before they faded away your playoff hopes.

Buy

Michael Gallup

By far my biggest hit has been recommending Dallas’ talented pass catcher Michael Gallup. Although not yet elevated to Amari Cooper levels of fame in the Kellen Moore offense, Gallup has been putting in work since I recommended moving for the Colorado State product.

Admittedly Gallup had me worried, following my glowing recommendation with just 4 targets and 34 yards at home to the Eagles.

However it seemed the bye week provided Gallup with a chance to read my article to galvanise the sophomore wideout. Gallup (and the Dallas passing game) have been on fire since. An MVP level Dak Prescott’s 29 targets culminating in 257 yards and 2 touchdowns over the last 3 games.

The season 13 targets Gallup saw last week bides well for owners as the target share grows in Gallup’s favour. With the offense leaning less on Ezekiel Elliot and the run game and putting games into Dak’s hands, Gallup will look to take full advantage.

Zach Ertz

It took 2 games for Zach Ertz to get going after I circled him as a prime trade target following the Eagles loss to Minnesota. Ertz presented known pedigree at a great value in a difficult position for consistency. It seemed like a no brainer.

Perhaps Carson Wentz was paying attention after all, as he raised Ertz’s targets to double figures. Ertz repaid his Quarterback with 197 yards and a touchdown in his last 2 games.

Wentz seems to have finally realised baby hands Agholor and oft-injured Alshon Jeffrey cannot be trusted to handle the Eagles passing game. In addition head coach Doug Pederson seems hesitant to put the offence in the hands of talented rookie Running Back Miles Sanders. Ertz remains is the logical option and will slowly elevate to become Wentz’s top options once again. Owners rejoice.

DJ Chark

Chark looked like a surefire pick yet had my analyst credentials on the ropes, being held to just 32 yards off a healthy enough 9 targets in London against the Texans.

A mere week after recommending the LSU product it looked like owners should have been selling the impressive pass catcher.

So let’s hope all Chark owners held the Jaguars Wide Receiver through the bye week, as he rewarded us all with a glorious 104 yards and 2 touchdowns in Nick Foles’ return in Indianapolis.

Jacksonville’s premier talent still gets a delicious looking matchup against the league’s worst defence against Wide Receivers; Tampa Bay. The Jaguars also travel to Oakland to take on 9th worst defence against Wide Receivers in the Championship semi-final. Baby Chark rightly taking savvy owners to the promised land.

Hunter Henry

An outlier 22 point game would usually be a good window to sell your asset for optimal value. But Tight Ends have become a whole different property altogether.

Henry had a great schedule in front of him against big name ‘scary’ defences and a well documented injury history further diminishing his value, The Arkansas product looked like a fantastic target for Tight End hungry teams looking for a possible lottery ticket.

Held to a respectable 47 yards off 6 targets in the following game at Chicago , Henry has rewarded traders with a consistent 11 points in the last 3 games.

Henry has accumulated 26 targets and 230 yards over this time and although has yet to blow up as he did against Pittsburgh, constant double figures at the Tight End position will be more than welcome to almost every team. Reliable Tight Ends remain few and far between.

Sell

Robby Anderson

Although a player I love watching in real life with a great social media presence, it was tough for me to recommended selling the green rocket. But I’m so glad I did.

By far my most successful sell call, Robby has yet to put up more than 7.1 fantasy points since burning the Dallas secondary for 125 yards and a touchdown in week 6. The target share has fallen from a healthy 8 to a paltry 3 for the last two games, with last weeks 7.1 point total being his highest since that Dallas game.

Admittedly the schedule eases up from here on out and Sam Darnold finally looks like the mono-free 1st round pick the Jets hoped. Sadly, a semi-final against the terrific Ravens defence will probably make him useless as a Championship asset. Let’s hope you all sold.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Valdes-Scantling ran Robby Anderson very close for the best sell call over the last few weeks. With experts determined to prove that Aaron Rodgers second pass catching option has value, Valdes-Scantling was tipped for more success following a brilliant 133 yards and a touchdown against Oakland in week 7.

The issue with that performance was that MVS blew up off just 3 targets and a paltry 33% of snaps. It was a target share and an involvement that was never destined for long term success.

So what happened next? Well MVS has yet to get more than a single point since the performance against Oakland, with just 5 targets COMBINED in the 3 games since. It seems Rodgers Wide Receiver 2 prophecy is a myth.

Latavius Murray

Latavius Murray was the no brainer call after an astonishing back to back 30 point games in Kamara’s absence. Murray’s bump was dependent on Kamara missing time and the ex-Viking was held on the sidelines as the returning Kamara became the feature back once again.

His 80% snap count dropped to 30% following the bye week and the limited usage held Murray to 7.1 points over the following 2 games.

Murray has undoubted value as the handcuff to a strangely injury prone Kamara this year, yet any owner who did not cash in on the mega games will be kicking themselves as trade deadlines pass.

Thanks for reading, come back next week for the handful of players I may have got wrong…

-Dre @lil_carat

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