In the first edition of 2017 Trade Calls, I'll evaluate a few players to consider selling high on ahead of Week 1 matchups. A lot can change in the preseason and even between the final preseason game and regular season kickoff. Players are waived, cut, and picked up off waivers or added to practice squads and all of this movement can be viewed as teams and coaching staffs signaling how they plan to move forward with a certain player or position group. So let's look at some players you might want to consider moving before the season kicks off.
SELL HIGH: LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
You probably drafted LeSean McCoy late in the first round to be your locked-in RB1 for the season. Based on his production last year, that draft price makes sense. He put up a career-high 5.4 yards per carry in 2016 and averaged 108.2 scrimmage yards per game to go along with 13 rushing touchdowns and was fantasy's RB3 behind David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott. But there's some growing cause for concern when it comes to McCoy's outlook. The Bills have sent signals all offseason that they're full steam ahead with rebuild mode under a new front office and coaching regime. Here are a few of them:
-- Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, the team's top targeted receivers WR in 2016, departed in free agency
-- No. 2 RB Mike Gillislee departed in free agency after BUF failed to match an offer from the division rival Patriots
-- Veteran Anquan Boldin signed with the team and promptly retired within a few weeks
-- Buffalo traded 2014 first-round pick Sammy Watkins as part of a three-team negotiation, acquiring Jordan Matthews (who is already injured) and future draft picks
-- As part of that same three-team trade, Buffalo sent Ronald Darby, who was slated to be the team's No. 1 corner, to Philadelphia
-- The team shockingly jettisoned forecasted McCoy backup Jonathan Williams after the final preseason game
Yes, Buffalo boasted the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense over the last two seasons, averaging 157.7 rush yards per game. But now, they'll employ a new system under coach Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. With the regime change comes a new offensive outlook, and it's worth questioning how much success McCoy will have in the new system with virtually no other offensive threats around him. Personally, I tend to fade players on teams in their first season in a new offensive scheme, because it can take some time for everyone to get on the same page. Nobody got time for that.
For all of these reasons, it makes sense to put the feelers out on a McCoy trade offer before the season begins.
SELL HIGH: Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins
Not to take away from his athletic talent, the guy converted from quarterback to receiver and managed 1,000 yards last year with the Browns. That is not something that I'd call common. But prior to last season, Pryor's season-high in targets was a mere eight. His 140 targets in 2016 ranked him 12th among wideouts, and with that kind of volume, pretty much anyone can produce big numbers.
In his first season in Washington, there seems to be enough target market share for him to thrive once again. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, both 1,000-yard receivers last year, have moved on. Combined they collected 135 receptions on 214 targets. But there are threats to Pryor's workload in tight end Jordan Reed, who when healthy is the team's lead target hog and third-year receiver Jamison Crowder, who will reportedly play in two-wide sets and be a factor in the red zone despite his diminutive size.
We've already seen a lack of chemistry between Kirk Cousins and Pryor in preseason action. Pryor had just two receptions on his seven preseason targets and dropped three of four looks in Washington's third preseason contest. Considering that Pryor is being drafted as the WR14 according to FantasyPros ADP, his value right now is based mostly on his potential. Despite finishing as fantasy's WR18 in standard scoring last year, Pryor had the third-highest drop rate among the top 20 fantasy receivers.
There is no question that Pryor can get open; He registered the third-highest average yards of separation when pressed at the line of scrimmage (2.4-yard avg on 40 targets) per Next Gen Stats. But it's his inconsistent hands that seem to be the issue. Sell him for value before the season starts, because if you own him, you likely invested too much draft stock.
SELL HIGH: Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winston is developing into a solid NFL quarterback and is poised to take a leap in Year 3. But how big can that leap really be? He already has two 4,000-yard seasons under his belt. In fact, he's the first quarterback in NFL history to begin his career with back-to-back 4,000-passing yard campaigns. Unfortunately, he has also ranked among the bottom five among NFL quarterbacks each season in interceptions. Winston threw 15 picks in 2015 (fourth) and 18 in 2016 (second). Granted, he had only a few reliable targets last season. Young quarterbacks make mistakes, it happens.
But that's exactly why I feel the hype might be a tad overboard heading into 2017. We've seen him up close and personal throughout this season of HBO's "Hard Knocks" which likely has only fueled the fire in terms of his top-10 ADP among fantasy quarterbacks, per FantasyPros.
I do understand that Tampa Bay has done work to add weapons around him, in the hopes of increasing his productivity. But even in the preseason, he made some head-scratching mistakes. No, I'm not questioning his work ethic, his charisma, his leadership skills or his long-term outlook in the NFL. He clearly has a bright future. The brightest, man. I'm merely saying he's a hot name heading into this season due to some factors that don't have a lot to do with fantasy football. His 16.0 fantasy points per game average last year screams inconsistency, and I don't expect that to change a whole lot in 2017. Ship him off to someone in need of a quarterback for depth at another position.