Trade Value Rankings: Tom Brady sinks, backup RBs emerge

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Eric Karabell ranks players for their fantasy football trade value the rest of the 2022 season every week until the fantasy football trade deadline (noon ET, Nov. 30, 2022). Use the information to propose or assess trades and to optimize the players on your bench for their future potential. Eric’s top 100 can be found below the positions in this column.

Quarterback

Rankings changes: The top options continue to perform exceptionally well, and they pass by several standard, high-end flex options. Buffalo’s Josh Allen, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts are producing numbers at an elite level and make up a top tier. The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, Chargers’ Justin Herbert, Cardinals’ Kyler Murray and Bengals’ Joe Burrow (welcome back, Joe) are the next tier. Then comes the significant and frustrating drop.

Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady (oh no, is this really the end?) and Denver’s Russell Wilson (who could have imagined this?) continue free-falling in the overall top-100 picture, but other than the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, there’s nobody at QB to usurp their ranking spots. Another big game from Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence could get him there.

Later at quarterback, for those in deeper formats and SuperFlex ones, Patriots starter Mac Jones (ankle) may be out a while, so Brian Hoyer gets to play. This is not exactly exciting news. Young Jet Zach Wilson making his season debut in Week 4 is exciting, though. See if he is available in your league. We always believed Lawrence and Wilson would matter quickly, even in standard leagues. Lawrence is proving it. Wilson is next.

Trade for: If you’re losing patience with Brady and Wilson — and my hand is raised here — then consider dealing what it takes — whatever that means — for a QB from the top two tiers. It’s tough to imagine what Jackson may cost in your league as he breaks fantasy records. It’s nice to see Burrow back on track.

Be cautious: Yeah, things should improve for Brady when he gets his wide receivers back, but, still, trading for him as a definite top-10 fantasy QB seems too risky now. And Wilson, wow, this just looks uncomfortable. We warned last week about assuming Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa was a top-10 fellow, and then he showed his volatility versus Buffalo. Washington’s Carson Wentz got sacked while you read this.

Running back

Rankings changes: Not the best week for top-end running backs, as more than a few backups were among the top PPR scorers at the position. The Bears’ Khalil Herbert and Lions’ Jamaal Williams saw big volume and move up in the rankings, and we cannot hold back the Giants’ Saquon Barkley from the top 5 and Jaguars’ James Robinson and Falcons’ Cordarrelle Patterson from the top 20 any longer. Forget what you believed a month ago. Miami’s Chase Edmonds and the Patriots’ Rhamondre Stevenson return to statistical relevance. The Rams’ Darrell Henderson Jr. falls from it.

Trade for: Anyone? Who do you trust? We think Colts star Jonathan Taylor will be fine, and the Titans’ Derrick Henry ran well Sunday, even as the offenses around them remain in some state of flux. The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler lacks rushing attempts. The Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey lacks receptions. What’s up with the Bengals’ Joe Mixon averaging 2.8 yards per rush this season? May be time to add Samaje Perine, just in case. Trading for Robinson and Patterson as if they continue to see ample volume may be the smart move, at this point.

Be cautious: Everyone? Herbert ran great, but we don’t know yet if David Montgomery will miss time. Williams cannot stay on pace for more than a touchdown per game, we think. McCaffrey deserves a weekly mention in this space because, while he gets the rushing attempts and produces with them, only 10 catches over three games remains a huge concern, and three games hardly makes someone suddenly durable. Perhaps the Panthers are more concerned about injury with him than are fantasy managers.

Wide receiver

Rankings changes: None of the top 10 wide receivers performed at that statistical level this weekend, but we are not worried. Wide receivers now boast the top four spots overall. The players who moved up did not quite infiltrate the top 20 (Cardinals’ Marquise Brown, Browns’ Amari Cooper, Eagles’ DeVonta Smith), but some noteworthy options that fell (Panthers’ DJ Moore, Texans’ Brandin Cooks) sure don’t look like WR2 choices anymore. A whole flurry of newcomers rounds out the top 60, some names you know (Patriots’ DeVante Parker, Bengals’ Tyler Boyd) and some you may not (Bills’ Isaiah McKenzie, Chargers’ Joshua Palmer).

Trade for: Well, we all love and admire the Cardinals’ Greg Dortch, but trading for him seems aggressive. Stick with the top 20 options for now. It’s a good time to go get the Buccaneers’ Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Jets Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore get Zach Wilson throwing to them soon. The Steelers’ Diontae Johnson should have strong-armed rookie Kenny Pickett throwing to him soon.

Be cautious: Perhaps the latest Michael Thomas (toe) injury is nothing major, but we have reason for skepticism after the past few seasons of so many missed games. As for the top Denver receivers, something’s just not right with the offense. We thought Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy would emerge. Sutton looks good, not Jeudy. Moore and Cooks just may not be able to overcome their shoddy quarterback play.

Tight end

Rankings changes: Falcons sophomore Kyle Pitts has been the big story here for his lack of targets, but Sunday was a better day. 49ers star George Kittle debuted, though it was a quiet statistical performance. The Jets’ Tyler Conklin continues to see ample targets, and he knocks on the door of TE1 inclusion. (Yep, really doesn’t take too much!) Perhaps the Browns will keep David Njoku just as involved moving ahead. Don’t all rush out to add the Colts’ Jelani Woods after he scored two touchdowns. Those are his lone catches this season.

Source: ESPN


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