In this edition of Trade Calls I hone in on seven players to make a move for in trade negotiations, one way or the other. Whether it's upcoming schedules, overreactions due to underperformance or unexpected fantasy-point explosions, look to move this list of players ahead of the Week 4 slate. Let's dig into the good stuff.
BUY LOW: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Keenan Allen's 29 targets this season rank him fifth among wideouts and he owns a whopping 26 percent target share in the Chargers passing game. That volume puts Tyrell Williams' second-ranked team target share of 16 percent to shame. Phillip Rivers clearly loves his No. 1 receiver, but the duo has struggled through a couple of difficult matchups early in the season including Denver and Kansas City. Still, Allen has managed either 100 yards or a touchdown in two of his first three games and is the only wide receiver on the team with a red zone target so far.
Currently, Allen is ranked as the WR14 in PPR formats, proving he's capable of producing safe numbers even in tougher matchups. His target totals are 10, 10 and nine through the first three games, and coming off a six-point outing in standard scoring, there's no better time to buy. In Week 4, Allen faces an Eagles secondary ravaged with injuries. Three of Philly's starters in the secondary, Corey Graham, Jaylen Watkins and Rodney McLeod missed Week 3 with hamstring injuries, and the Giants' receiving corps shredded the backups. Allen's fantasy arrow is pointing up.
SELL HIGH: Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots
In Weeks 1 and 2, Brandin Cooks totaled five receptions and 125 yards. In Week 3, he exploded with five catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns, out-producing himself from the first two games combined. This is the same Cooks we've come to know over the past couple of seasons with the Saints--he's a high-ceiling, scary low-floor receiver who brings loads of weekly volatility.
Cooks has totaled just 10 catches through three games, so he is already seeing less volume than he did with the Saints. And that was to be expected coming into a Patriots offense that runs through Rob Gronkowski and a multitude of other pass-catchers on a game-by-game basis. No wideout on the team has a higher target share than the 16 percent that belongs to Cooks. But shocking no one, Gronkowski's 22 percent share dominates:
The point is, beyond Gronk, Brady spreads the ball out.
New England's Week 3 game was really the perfect storm for Cooks if you think about it. The Pats needed a last-minute comeback and had a ton of field to work with. Obviously, Brady was chucking it deep and happened to find a shockingly wide-open Cooks in the end zone to win the game. Good things come to those who wait, right? But waiting three weeks in fantasy football for a big game from a receiver you probably drafted in Round 2 is far from ideal.
The Patriots won't often be trailing like they were to Houston. When they're winning, they'll salt the clock with Mike Gillislee. That's going to limit Cooks' opportunity for games like the one he had on Sunday. Move him now after a ceiling game before he disappears for a few weeks and you're left wondering when his next blow-up game will be.
BUY LOW: Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
Week 3 was supposed to be a fantasy-points bonanza for Jay Ajayi and the rest of the Dolphins' offense. Unfortunately, they ran into a Jets defense that severely limited Miami both on the ground and through the air. Ajayi finished the game with just 11 carries for 16 yards after recording 30 touches and over 120 yards rushing the week before.
But now, the Dolphins head to London, where Ajayi hails from. So obviously, the homecoming narrative is strong for a Week 4 bounce back. But seriously, Miami goes up against the Saints this week. If you hadn't heard, the Saints defense remains one of the worst in the league, especially at stopping running backs. Through three games, the Saints have allowed a league-high 610 total yards to running backs, including 320 rush yards at a 4.5 yards per carry clip. It's a prime spot for Ajayi to make up for his outlier Week 3 performance.
SELL HIGH: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
T.Y. Hilton's fantasy value was looking pretty grim with Andrew Luck sidelined. In the first two weeks, Hilton had a combined seven catches for 106 total yards, and posted outings of 3.7 and 4.9 standard fantasy points. This is a guy who led the entire league in receiving yards last year. Owners of Hilton were beginning questioning their existence.
Then Week 3 happened.
In the first half against the Browns, Hilton posted 145 yards and a touchdown. He ended up with 21.3 fantasy points on the day, thanks in large part to a 61-yard touchdown. Here's the thing about that touchdown play though: Jacoby Brissett only threw the ball about 11 yards. Hilton did the rest with his feet, somehow burning four Cleveland defenders on his way to the paint. It counted as Brissett's first ever NFL touchdown pass in four career starts. Sure, he ran for two touchdowns in the game too, but that does nothing for Hilton.
Brissett is averaging about 18 pass completions per game in his two starts this year with the Colts. He averaged 14 completions in his two starts with the Patriots last year. That lack of volume is a major concern for Hilton's value going forward. He's likely to be the starter for at least another three games with Luck's return still a mystery. And even when Luck is back, sure he'll be an upgrade for Hilton. But there are no promises that Luck will be full-steam ahead after shoulder surgery.
Plus, according to FantasyPros.com strength of schedule research, Hilton and the Colts wideouts face the toughest schedule in the league in terms of pass defenses for the rest of the season, starting with Seattle in Week 4. Hilton will go against Jacksonville twice, Cincinnati, Houston twice and Buffalo, Denver and Baltimore during the fantasy playoffs. Hilton will have his games and should improve as a fantasy asset when Luck returns, but you have to sell him now while his value elevated after a big performance.
BUY LOW: D'Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans
The rookie running back is probably even available on the waiver wire in your league, but if he's owned, he's warming the bench. The perfect buy-low time is now.
Foreman's outlook is trending up just three weeks into the season. He has recorded double-digit touches in each of his last two games (12, 10) working in as a change-of-pace behind Lamar Miller. It's encouraging that Foreman is getting work in the first half of games, too. He's getting opportunities to produce early on and with Miller posting questionable efficiency ahead of him, it's safe to assume that Houston's coaching staff should give Foreman more looks as the season wears on. For what it's worth, Miller currently has the third-fewest standard points among all running backs with at least 45 carries.
Oh, and one more thing. Coming out of college, Foreman was knocked for his pass-catching skills as a main weakness. Well, the kid just racked up 65 receiving yards on two receptions against the Patriots last week and out-produced Miller in Week 3 with 11 PPR fantasy points. No, it's not crazy volume, but the way Deshaun Watson holds onto the ball, there will be more opportunities like this where plays break down and Foreman is open for intermediate dump offs.
Foreman has the athletic profile and pedigree of a three-down, workhorse back. He possesses the right attitude for a young player and a veteran playing ahead of him who is simply not getting the job done. So make a move for him before his role increases
A FEW FOR THE ROAD
BUY LOW: Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce was targeted only once in Week 1. He had a single catch ... for a single yard. It was his lowest receiving yardage total since Week 2 of the 2013 season when he had zero yards against the Cowboys as a rookie. He was on the field for 100 percent of Kansas City's offensive plays in Week 3 and there's absolutely no doubt he'll bounce back. It was an outlier performance, so if the Kelce owner in your league is wrongfully paranoid, it's a good time to move on him.
SELL HIGH: Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
It was refreshing to see Jordan Howardproduce 26 fantasy points (RB2) in Week 3 after many left him for dead, basically. But it's evident that the Chicago backfield is a two-man approach with Tarik Cohen still cooking. Howard will likely do well when the matchups permit, but after Week 4, Chicago faces the Vikings, Ravens and Panthers. That's a three-game stretch where you'll have to question starting Howard each week. He's also reportedly playing through a sprained AC joint. Given his power-running style, it's worth wondering if he'll hold up all year with that kind of injury.