In this edition of Trade Calls we set our sights on five 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 5 slate. Let's dig into the good stuff.
SELL: Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins
Pryor is coming off his "best" fantasy outing of the season with a mere 13 standard points against the Chiefs. Approximately 40 percent of Pryor's 24.6 standard fantasy points on the season came on one 44-yard touchdown catch in Week 4. The fact that it's taken Pryor four games to find the end zone despite being the No. 1 receiver in Washington is concerning.
Even with Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed banged up, Pryor has struggled to produce. The converted quarterback has no more than five targets in each of the last three games and has fewer touchdowns than Ryan Grant, who is only on the field for about half of the Redskins plays. Pryor has displayed a lack of chemistry with Kirk Cousins and committed some awful drops along the way.
After a Week 5 bye, Pryor has two tough divisional matchups against Dallas and Philadelphia followed by a road game in Seattle. Then, the Redskins go up against the Vikings where he'll likely be shadowed by shutdown corner Xavier Rhodes resulting in a severely limited ceiling for Pyror going forward.
BUY: Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Through four games, Martavis Bryant has posted just one solid fantasy outing. He put up 15 standard points in Week 2 with a season-high 91 receiving yards and scored on a 51-yard touchdown in that game. He has been disappointing otherwise, but he's been literally inches away from connecting on huge touchdown plays in two other games.
In week 3, Ben Roethlisberger had him open downfield on the very first play against the Bears. Bryant had separation, Ben cocked back and unloaded a bomb, but it tipped of Bryant's outstretched hands and fell to the turf. In Week 4, more of the same: Ben found that Bryant had created significant separation from coverage on his way to a 40-plus yard route to the end zone, But Roethlisberger overthrew his target and the ball landed about a foot in front of Bryant, kicking up dirt in the paint. Bryant's so close to a fantasy breakout and needs to be moved on now. He's the league-leader among wideouts in NextGenStats Average Targeted Air Yards metric (TAY) with a 21.6 air yard average on his looks. With that kind of deep target volume, it's only a matter of time until Bryant erupts.
SELL: Deshaun Watson: QB, Houston Texans
With significant injuries to Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr, plus Week 5 byes for quarterbacks including Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins, Watson will be a hot commodity in trade talks. The rookie is coming off a five-touchdown game and has posted 20 and 33 fantasy points in each of the last two weeks, so his value may never be higher than right now. If you own him, it's likely you paid bottom dollar to acquire him off the waiver wire, so moving him at his ceiling for a running back or wideout to someone in need makes sense.
Not to take anything away from him, but Watson's strong two-week stretch may be somewhat inflated by favorable matchups against two of the NFL's worst statistical defenses (Patriots, Titans). Looking ahead, he'll face five defenses in his next seven outings that could limit fantasy production, making Watson a matchup-based starter at best.
Everyone is pointing to the positives with Watson, and he deserves praise for the massive improvements he's made since the preseason. But don't overlook the fact that he's thrown four picks and lost a fumble in just four games this year. He's still a rookie quarterback, capable of making rookie mistakes and there are likely to be some speed bumps. His value may never be higher, so try to move him before his next game.
BUY: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Through basically three-and-a-half games, Jones ranks eighth in the NFL with 285 receiving yards. He has yet to find the end zone, which has limited his fantasy production so his owners are likely growing frustrated. Jones has just one red zone target this season, after reports this summer that the team wanted to get him more involved near the end zone, so some course correction may be coming.
Jones' main competition for targets, Mohamed Sanu, is set to miss time with a hamstring injury, and when Sanu was healthy Jones still dominated looks with a 22-percent target market share in Atlanta's offense. He is set up perfectly for a bounce back with three consecutive favorable matchups against the Dolphins, Patriots and Jets after the bye.
SELL: Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you drafted Doug Martin in August, you've been patiently awaiting his Week 5 return. He was officially activated by the Buccaneers earlier this week and has been taking first-team reps in practice. He's slated to start on Thursday night against the league's worst statistical defense in the Patriots, despite rumors that Martin could share work with Jacquizz Rodgers. So why trade Martin away? You'd be surprised at how much you might be able to get for a running back that has yet to play a snap this year, because his value is all about potential.
Use Martin's matchup against a New England defense that's giving up more yards per game to opposing offenses than any other team in the NFL right now to sweeten the negotiation. Another alternative is to wait to see if Martin goes off on Thursday night and sell him high after the game. He has a three-game stretch coming up in Weeks 6 through 8 against the Cardinals, Bills and Panthers--three of the league's best run-stopping defenses.
Martin is juicy trade bait to an owner who may have been affected by the early season attrition at running back.