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Trade Alert: Opening Week!

Trade Alert: Opening Week! @tristancook_ is back to give you some trade targets before they get too expensive!

We are back for another season of ‘Trade Alert’! If this is your first time reading this, the ‘Trade Alert’ article is a weekly piece that aims to identify players who are about to have a change in value. Whether that means an increase or decrease doesn’t necessarily matter, because the idea is to identify the player before the change and make the appropriate trade decisions. It’s obviously a task that is easier said than done, but hopefully, this article will help you make a few moves that can improve your roster, regardless of your team’s situation.

For reference, as always, assume that the values I am providing, unless otherwise noted, are for 12-team, PPR leagues. For example, an “early” 1st round pick refers to 1.01-1.04, a “mid” 1st would be 1.05-1.08, and a “late” 1st is 1.09-1.12. Let’s get to this week’s players.

The first article of 2020 will focus on four pass catchers that I will be trying to acquire in my leagues. These players have seen a shift in their respective values, but I will be trying to add shares everywhere I can. So, let’s get to it.

Credit: Maddie Meyer|Getty Images

N’Keal Harry – Acquire 

The first player on this list is N’Keal Harry. I was a big fan of N’Keal coming out of ASU in 2019, but he struggled to get on the same page with Tom Brady. He stumbled to a 12/105/2 stat line in his rookie season, which tanked his value. Enter Cam Newton. In week 1, Harry hauled in 5 passes for 39 yards. However, that stat line doesn’t exactly explain why I am trying to acquire as many N’Keal Harry shares as possible. 

So, what is the reason? In one game, Harry got almost half of his reception totals from 2019 and was a couple of feet shy of scoring a TD. His fantasy performance looks worse because he fumbled the ball through the endzone for a safety. That resulted in his Week 1 performance being overlooked. I think Harry will be a big part of this offense going forward, so I am trying to acquire him now before the cost of acquisition goes up dramatically. I don’t think you have to spend a 1st round pick; you might get him for a 2nd.

Credit: Troy Taormina|USA TODAY Sports

Jonnu Smith – Acquire

Next, we have the only non-WR on this list. Titans TE Jonnu Smith is my next target. After two mediocre seasons in Tennessee, Jonnu has assumed the starting role. Smith looks like he can finally have the breakout that many of us have been waiting for. Smith posted a 4/36/1 line in Week 1 on seven targets, which, while not amazing, is a strong performance for a TE in fantasy these days.

The leading cause of my optimism with Jonnu is twofold. First, he is a perfect candidate for the well-known 3rd-year breakout. We know the TE position is one of the slowest developing positions in the NFL, so a slow start to his career is not necessarily a bad sign. The encouraging thing to takeaway is that he was routinely involved and performed well in his first game of the season. The second reason for promise is that we know the Titans heavily utilize the TE position. For years we saw Delaine Walker have fantasy relevance in this offense.

So, we know that Smith is starting to show signs of life in his third year at a position that notoriously takes a long time to develop. We know that he is in an offense that regularly highlights the TE. We also know that the development of the WRs on the outside should lead to  more opportunities for Smith in the middle of the field. 

If you are in a TE premium league or need a TE, I would be heavily targeting Jonnu Smith. At worst, you will be adding what should be a consistent low-end TE1. At best, you’ll be getting a TE that could perennially be in the top 5. I would be willing to spend a late to mid 2nd round pick if I am contending and thin at TE. I think you could acquire him for cheaper, but I’d be willing to go that high.

Credit: Chris Faytok | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Darius Slayton – Acquire

Moving on, we have Giants WR Darius Slayton as the next target. I have our very own Garret Price ( @DynastyPrice ) to thank for pointing me in his direction. In case you aren’t familiar with him, Slayton was drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of the University of Auburn. He was unheralded coming into the NFL but has made a name for himself as a home run hitter in his time in the league. 

However, despite being top 5 rookie WR, he didn’t see much of an increase in value. I saw Slayton inexplicably fall in start-up drafts all off-season. I’m not sure what is causing apprehension surrounding Slayton. He has shown the ability to produce at the NFL level. The Giants do not have an established WR1, and the offense figures to be playing from behind with some regularity. 

Slayton had a strong performance in week 1. You may have to pay a bit of a premium for him, but I’d feel very comfortable sending a 2nd round pick for Slayton. Depending on how he is valued, you may not have to spend that much. I’d try to stay away from giving up more draft capital than that. I’d be alright with adding some type of throw in with a 2nd to acquire Slayton.

Credit: Joe Sargent|Getty Images

Parris Campbell – Acquire 

Finally, my last target for this week is Parris Campbell. Similar to the aforementioned N’Keal Harry, Campbell disappointed in his rookie season last year. He struggled to stay healthy and only played in 7 games, amassing 127 receiving yards on 24 targets for 18 receptions with 1 TD. The Parris Campbell hype train was severely derailed with the unexpected retirement of Andrew Luck. Fortunately for Campbell, 2020 looks like it may have a much more promising outlook. 

Like Harry, Campbell has a new QB in town. In week 1, he was targeted nine times, hauling six of the passes for 71 yards. Campbell was a significant part of the offensive game plan. I expect that workload to continue and even increase going forward. 2019 hurt his value significantly, but we should see a nice rebound this year. Now is the time to take advantage of that dip and acquire him before the value increases too much.

I would be willing to pay any 2nd round pick for Campbell. It could feel like an overpay, but I am fully expecting Campbell to continue to see his value increase. So, you want to buy your shares now before the price goes up too much. I think we will look back later in the season and see that this was the lowest his value was all season.

That’s it for this week’s ‘Trade Alert’ article. Come back next week to look at some players we are looking to trade for or deal away. If you have any suggestions or feel like talking dynasty, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@tristancook_). I am always open to hearing other people’s opinions on dynasty values.

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