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Trade Alert – Week 3: Making Moves and Winning Titles!

Should you be buying or selling Mark Ingram II? What about Joe Mixon? @TristanCook_ has the answers in this week’s ‘Trade Alert’ !

Welcome! 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 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 the situation your team is in. Not every player will be available in your league, but as the great Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you never take”. 

Last week’s article highlighted Mike Evans as a buy, and Emmanuel Sanders as both a buy and sell, depending on your team’s situation. Hopefully, you were able to buy Mike Evans last week, because he likely is no longer available at that price. Emmanuel Sanders had a disappointing day on Sunday but should remain a buy for contenders and a sell for rebuilding teams. If you were unable to buy him before week 3, I would send out another offer. Once again, for reference, 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.

JOE MIXON – BUY 

The Cincinnati Bengals looked awful in week 3. They also somehow had a chance to win the game. Much of that was due to Joe Mixon, who saw an incredible 48.5% touch rate. That means that on nearly half the snaps he was on the field, he touched the ball. Mixon came into week 3 after two disappointing weeks. His final stat line for week 3 looks pretty good, but as a Mixon owner, it was a frustrating day until he scored late. The Bengals have been inconsistent at best on offense so far in 2019. Aside from the first half of the Seattle game and a handful of big plays, this team hasn’t looked extremely promising. At 0-3, Cincinnati fans are already calling this season a lost cause and looking towards 2020. So, why is Mixon a buy? Well, the talent is there, and it is hard to imagine his situation getting much worse. So, he likely will see an increased value in the future. 

He is a bit of a unique buy for me. I expect some ups and downs throughout 2019, so he doesn’t need to be an immediate buy, but, I would try to send out some feelers to see if his owner is concerned or panicked, and buy low on him. The Bengals terrible offensive line, news of Giovani Bernard’s extension, lackluster offense, and slow start to 2019 have depressed Mixon’s value. So, to put it kindly, there’s room for improvement. Whether or not that improvement comes quickly is another question entirely. It’s feasible to see a scenario where Mixon’s value could get slightly lower. If he is unable to bounce back into the top 15 RBs by the end of the year, there will undoubtedly be people saying that he’s #notgood and that would probably bring his value down slightly further. However, what I think is more likely, is that he will be able to produce mid to high-end RB2 numbers on a bad Bengals team, and will be someone that gets hyped up leading into 2020. That will likely make his price tag be much higher, and make him difficult to acquire. So, is his price tag? Well, according to multiple trade calculators, he’s valued at roughly two 1st round picks. I’d ideally like to pay less than that, and I think with the aforementioned concerns, you probably wouldn’t need to spend that much. I would certainly be willing to give a 1st and 2nd for Mixon, especially if one of those picks (preferably the 1st) was in 2021. Mixon is a bit of a polarizing player in that some people are #truthers, looking at you @DynastyPrice, while others are ready to jump ship. Depending on what type of person the Mixon owner in your league is, you might be able to get him at a discount. One thing to keep in mind is if your team is likely to pick early, you could try coupling a pick with someone like the next player I’m trying to sell, Mark Ingram II, to get Mixon. 

MARK INGRAM II – BUY/SELL

The Baltimore Ravens have been a bit of a surprise so far in 2019. After winning their first two games, they managed to keep their week 3 game against the highly-touted Chiefs team a competitive one. Most of the attention, and rightfully so, has been given to Lamar Jackson, Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews. However, somewhat under the radar, Mark Ingram II is off to a great start to 2019. This Baltimore offense has looked very high powered to date, leading the NFL with an astonishing 511.7 yards per game. While it is fair to say that part of this is due to a relatively easy schedule, some credit has to be given to their offense. Quietly, while the world is focused on Lamar Jackson’s ability to throw the ball, Mark Ingram II is averaging 85.7 yards rushing per game, has scored a league-high 5 rushing TDs, and has even been involved in the passing game. In most formats, Mark Ingram is a top 5 RB. So, what do we do with Mark Ingram II? Well, at 29 years old, his days in the NFL are likely somewhat numbered, but he has shown that he clearly has gas left in the tank. So, that makes Ingram both a buy and a sell. 

BUY

Who should be buying Ingram? Anyone that thinks they are a contender in 2019 and/or 2020. Ingram is signed through 2021, but the Ravens have an out after 2020 that could spell the end to Ingram’s time in Baltimore and possibly his career. Even if you think you have solid depth at RB, it is a position that seemingly always has a plethora of injuries, and extra depth is always useful. I don’t think I would want to give up a 2020 1st, but if I could get Mark Ingram plus something, like maybe a 2021 2nd, for my 2020 1st, then I’d be willing to pull the trigger. If I was very confident that I’d be picking at the end of the 1st, I might be able to part with my 1st straight up, but I’m avoiding that if at all possible. 

SELL 

If you have Ingram on your roster you need to take a long look in the mirror and evaluate what your realistic chances are in 2019. If you are a playoff bubble team, now is the time to make an important decision. Are you all-in or not? If you are a team that isn’t going to win right now, then you need to act. Mark Ingram’s value isn’t likely to go anywhere but down if you hold onto him. He’s not getting younger, and as we all know, the RB cliff is a real thing, it’s not a matter of if, but a question of when he falls off. Well then, what’s the lowest offer I’d take for Ingram as a non-contender? Likely something in the neighborhood of a 2020 2nd and 3rd would be acceptable. I probably wouldn’t be thrilled if that was the best offer I got, but as I said, his value is going the wrong way. If I could get a 2020 1st, I’m going to smash that accept button. Your selling points to a contender should be that he’s providing top-level production and at the fraction of the cost of any other RB1. The Ravens are likely to lead the NFL in rushing yards, and he’s near the top of the NFL in red zone rushing attempts. Another strategy would be to target the Saquon Barkley owner, who likely is reeling after the announcement that he is likely to miss 4-8 weeks. 

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