While drafting smartly and managing the waiver wire are keys to fantasy success, few teams lift up a trophy at season's end without swinging some trades along the way. All season long I'll try to help you figure out when the time is right to trade for and trade away certain players in this weekly series, dubbed "Trade Calls." Two weeks of football does not a season make, yet there are without a doubt plenty of fantasy owners over-reacting to what has transpired thus far in the infancy of this NFL season. These emotional swings are what create profitable trading opportunities, and savvy fantasy owners will try to exploit them.
Let's take a look at some options to trade for and trade away as Week 3 approaches.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys: With Dez Bryant out of the lineup, the No. 1 WR duties fell on the shoulders of Williams. A quick look at the box score and it'd seem like Williams lived up to his new status, with 84 receiving yards and one touchdown. However, almost all of that production came on one 42-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Weeden with 4:20 left in the game. Let's put that in context. As the No. 1 receiver, Williams managed to catch only three of his six targets for 42 yards through roughly 56 minutes of the game against an Eagles' secondary that was hapless in trying to defend the Falcons in Week 1 (yes, that was partly the demi-god known as Julio Jones, but you get my point). Williams was inconsistent as the No. 2 option for Dallas over the last few years. Now that he's the top option in a Brandon Weeden-led offense (for the next several weeks), are we really supposed to expect him to deliver WR1-2 numbers weekly? I'm guessing he won't, which is why I think owners can use his big game from this past week to lure some WR-needy owner into a trade.
Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins: Now, I feel the need to make a statement here before I get flamed in the comments and on Twitter. ALL TRADES ARE SITUATIONAL AND NOT CREATED EQUAL. By putting Jones here, I'm not advising every Jones owner to try and send him packing, but that the situation could be ripe for you to trade him. Jones definitely looks like the most explosive back in Washington, but he still seems locked in a committee. In Week 1, Morris received the lion's share of the carries, while in Week 2 he and Jones split it almost down the middle (19 for Jones, 18 for Morris). Jones certainly will have good weeks, and could end up finishing with far more fantasy points than Morris. That being said, until we get more clarity out of this backfield situation, those weeks are going to be hard to predict. If you were a savvy drafter and Jones has been on your bench all season long, that's the kind of situation where you can use his strong performance in Week 2 to lure an owner with a need at running back into giving you some more stable contributors in return. However, if you are that needy RB owner and won Jones off of waivers, then you likely won't want to part with him just yet.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks: While the Graham trade was an exciting blockbuster in the offseason, we weren't sure it would be the same in fantasy. So far, that has come true on the field for the Seahawks. While Graham did find the end zone in Week 1 after being force-fed the ball in the red zone, he was held to just one catch for 11 yards on two targets in Week 2 against the Packers. Jacob Stevens wrote a comprehensive piece for SBNation breaking down Graham's role in the passing game in Week 2, which doesn't inspire a ton of confidence in me for his season-long outlook. That's why I think now is the time to try and use Graham's tremendous name value to swing a trade to acquire some high-upside RBs or WRs. Given the wealth of semi-productive tight ends still available in most leagues (Crockett Gillmore, Richard Rodgers, Eric Ebron, etc.), you can get rid of Graham via trade and find a suitable replacement off of waivers. Graham is a tremendous player, but his fantasy value could become completely touchdown-dependent moving forward in this run-first offense. Why not flip him for some upside players and roll the dice with one of the similarly touchdown-dependent tight ends mentioned above?
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Last week in this space, I argued for trading for Dez Bryant ... right before it came out that he was more likely to miss 10 to 12 weeks. Talk about bad timing. Thankfully, we won't have to worry about a similar situation in trying to target Mike Evans via trade (I hope). With the news hitting today that Austin Seferian-Jenkins will likely miss four to six weeks with a shoulder strain, it will be up to Evans to pick up the slack in the passing game as he returns to health. The Evans owner in your league is very likely panicking after Evans followed up being inactive in Week 1 with a three-target, zero-catch outing on Sunday. However, Evans looked pretty good, and should see a much more heavy volume of targets in the coming weeks as he returns to full health and builds a rapport with Jameis Winston. Try and prey on his owner in your league and acquire what should be a WR1-2 for the rest of the season for some pieces from your bench.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers: I know there are plenty of skeptics out there regarding Jones' production and potential in the Green Bay offense, but I'm a believer. Jones was this close to having five touchdown receptions after Week 2 -- he had one called back for a ticky-tack hold in Week 1, and the near butt-catch in Week 2. Five touchdowns. In two weeks. Now, touchdowns can be fluky, but it is evident watching the tape that Aaron Rodgers not only trusts Jones, but Jones knows what Rodgers wants. Watch Jones adjust his route on the free play from Week 2 to beat Richard Sherman to the middle of the field for a touchdown. That is a veteran move that both the quarterback and wide receiver read perfectly. While I doubt Jones will average 1.5 touchdowns a week from here on out, I believe he'll continue to produce as a rock-solid WR2. If his owner is looking to sell-high in your league, try to acquire Jones for a backup off of your bench. The potential return could be huge for your fantasy team as the season progresses.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions: This is another case where the situation calls for a savvy owner to strike on a panicky one. Abdullah, despite starting this weekend, only saw seven offensive touches as the Lions were dominated by the Vikings. Use this poor game, as well as the Lions' continued devotion to the lackluster Joique Bell, to swing a trade to pry Abdullah away from one of your leaguemates. Abdullah is too talented to only see seven touches in a game, and the Lions will soon realize this. Hopefully you can have him safely nestled on your bench before they do, so you can enjoy the breakout games that are sure to be coming for the talented Nebraska product.