Trading is the quickest way to take your team from sitting on the bubble of a playoff berth to a championship contender, or vice-versa if you make the wrong deal, which is why it is so important to make sure you are targeting (and selling) the right players at the right time.
And yes - every player has a price. It doesn't matter whether they are the best player in fantasy football or a dwindling kicker - every player has a price that they should be traded away for or should have something given up to get. If you don't know what the value of your players is, head over to our Trade Charts!
For people in leagues that are more active in trading, this is for you - these are our top 5 trade bait pieces based on the "buy-low, sell-high" approach with players highlighted likely to see a decrease in value in the near future due to difficult matchups, surrounding injuries, improving/changing scenarios, etc:
1. Jerome Ford- RB, Cleveland Browns
This is a prime add-and-trade option off of the waiver wire with Nick Chubb suffering a season (and potentially career) ending injury on MNF in Week 2.
Ford was very productive after Chubb's exit, going 16 carries for 106 yards and adding another 25 yards with a TD on 3 catches (24.1 points, RB6). A majority of that came on a 69-yard run to the goal line, but my concerns for Ford don't reside in a big play or in production, but rather in the very strong likelihood that the Browns bring in another RB to not only draw carries but likely lead the backfield.
Since Chubb's injury, the Browns have been connected to potentially bringing back RB Kareem Hunt, a current free agent who played for the Browns up until this season. Between a potential Hunt reunion and a potential trade (i.e. Jonathan Taylor), it is very difficult to envision Cleveland allowing Ford to serve as a workhorse long-term. In leagues where I got Ford off of waivers, I'm actively looking to flip him for RB2 value before any news of a potential addition at RB surfaces.
2. George Pickens - WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickens is an exceptional receiver and it seems that every time he gets an opportunity, it turns to gold. The issue is, he rarely gets the opportunity with how horrific the Steelers' offense (and play-calling) is.
He got his chance in Week 2, catching 4 of 10 targets for 127 yards and a TD (22.7 points). I like the target share, I like the overall production, but I don't like the reliance on the big play where 14.1 of his 22 points came on his 71-yard TD.
While I do anticipate him to be a solid option while Diontae Johnson (hamstring, I.R.) is sidelined for at least the next 3 weeks, I'm not gambling on Pickens generating long scores on a weekly basis to overcome the Steelers' offensive struggles. Sell him off of a solid game inflated by a 70-yard TD for a safer WR2.
3. Brian Robinson Jr. - RB, Washington Commanders
Robinson has been nothing short of amazing through two weeks of 2023, totaling 195 yards and 3 TDs thus far, including a 129-yard, 2-TD, 29-point performance in Week 2.
Everything is there for a very successful season - the volume (40 touches), the yardage (195 yards), the touchdown production (3), and the redzone role (7 RZ touches, 3 G2G touches). The concern for me is whether this level of production is sustainable, both for Robinson and the Washington offense.
Robinson is a very solid RB who can handle a heavy rushing workload, but he isn't some hyper-talented dual-threat RB and arguably isn't the most talented RB in the Commanders' backfield. It's the combination of his lack of versatility with the strong likelihood that Washington doesn't end up playing with the Robinson-friendly game script that has led him to such heavy usage and production.
I'm not anti-Robinson for 2023, but I am looking to move him off a 2-TD, 29-point game for a more PPR-friendly RB2 option with a bit more stability when it comes to TD Dependency.
4. D'Andre Swift - RB, Philadelphia Eagles
After a very underwhelming Week 1 where he saw just 1 carry for 3 yards and 1 catch for 0 yards, D'Andre Swift exploded in a run-heavy Eagles offense on TNF against the Vikings, taking 28 carries for 175 yards and a TD while adding 3 catches (on 3 targets) for 6 yards.
That level of utilization (and production) is unheard of by an RB in a Nick Sirianni offense, that (prior to Week 2) had never seen an RB eclipse 30 touches in a game, had seen just one instance of 25+ carries, and just 4 instances of 20+ carries by a single RB in the two years with him at HC.
The issue with that is it came with virtually no competition for work in the Eagles backfield. Kenneth Gainwell, the Eagles' lead back (who drew 14/16 carries and 18/22 RB touches in Week 1), was out with a rib injury, and Boston Scott exited in the first half with a concussion, leaving just Rashaad Penny (who was a healthy scratch in Week 1) as the only other RB besides Swift.
Swift is hyper-talented, but that has never been the problem. We have seen time after time that this type of workload is not sustainable for him and that there is a very strong likelihood that, when Gainwell comes back (likely this week), Swift will serve in a split (or even as the 1B/2 to Gainwell) even despite a strong Week 2 performance.
I am as big of a Swift advocate as they come, but in leagues that I own Swift, I am actively trying to trade him away before Gainwell returns and production comes back down to reality for Swift. Sell him at a premium RB2 value while his price is at its peak following a 27-point performance.
5. Deebo Samuel - WR, San Francisco 49ers
Samuel rebounded from a pedestrian 63-yard, 11-point Week 1 with a 101-yard, 1-TD, 22-point Week 2.
My concerns for Samuel don't reside in his abilities but rather his consistency (or lack thereof) due to the plethora of weapons in the 49ers offense. We saw this as an issue in 2022 for Samuel and we have seen signs of it in 2023 with a modest Week 1 followed by a Week 2 performance that saw limited production until Brandon Aiyuk suffered a shoulder injury and was used sparingly.
He'll have games where he's productive but just as many where he's not a WR2, especially in PPR leagues. I'm looking to see if I can capitalize on his solid outing in Week 2 to try and get back more stable WR2 production or equivalent value elsewhere.