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." With Week 1 in the rearview mirror, we've firmly entered "overreaction territory," creating potentially profitable trading opportunities across the board.
Let's take a look.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: Mariota looked phenomenal in his rookie debut, but that was against a suspect Buccaneers defense on a series of highly-scripted plays designed to play into his strengths as a quarterback. Mariota still executed those plays to perfections (backed up by his perfect 158.3 passer rating), but defenses will soon wise up and make him challenge them as a true pocket passer. Is he up for the challenge? Potentially. But his stock might never be higher than it is right now. If he's your backup or you won him off of waivers, try and package him in a deal with an owner whose quarterback struggled in Week 1. Target the Peyton Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco or Teddy Bridgewater owner in your league.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: ASJ broke out in a big way for the Buccaneers on Sunday ... after Mariota had already put the game away and the Titans were coasting to a win. Can he do it on a week to week basis, especially once Mike Evans returns from injury and starts sucking in passing targets like some sort of wide receiver vortex? That's the question you'll need to answer before considering flipping ASJ this week. Personally, with the potential re-emergence of the tight end position happening, I'd gladly flip ASJ for an upside running back or wide receiver and take my chances with a different, young, upside tight end that is likely still on waivers (see Richard Rodgers, Crockett Gillmore, Eric Ebron, etc.).
Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills: It was great to see Percy catch that deep touchdown on a perfect pass from Tyrod Taylor, but something about this Bills WR corps just doesn't feel right. Sammy Watkins only had three targets, and two were on psuedo busted plays. As Ryan Talbot of Billsmafia.com noted, this is because the team sent him on 16 go routes, primarily as a decoy. That doesn't figure to be the case every week, which is why Harvin is a perfect trade candidate right now. Target someone with a need at WR (perhaps Dez Bryant or DeSean Jackson's owner?), and try to flip Harvin for something else you need, be it depth, young upside players, etc. If they need convincing, tell them Harvin has a juicy matchup in Week 2 against the Patriots secondary.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: I mentioned Dez above, but my oh my do you want to try and strike now for Bryant. His owner is likely distraught at the mixed reports of his recovery time from foot surgery (four to six weeks, eight to 12, who knows!?). If you can flip a WR3 for Bryant, say ... Percy Harvin, do so in a heartbeat. There's a decent chance Weapon X heals up faster than expected (Donte Stallworth tweeted that he recovered from a similar injury in six to seven weeks), and if he does, you'll gain an immediate advantage at one of fantasy's most important positions. If you have WR depth right now, this is 100 percent the move you need to be trying to make.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Can you sense the Adrian Peterson owner in your league panicking over his 10 carry, 31 yard performance on Monday night? Good, good, let their hate flow through you. Peterson certainly looked rusty, but there's no reason to panic just yet. All you need to do is do what you can to drum up that panic in your leaguemate so they're willing to part ways with Peterson. Now, this might be a tougher trade to pull off, but just think of the reward if you're able to manipulate ... err, convince them to give up Peterson for a handful of prospects or a more recent "breakout" player (i.e. Bishop Sankey). It could just be the trade that wins you your league.