Coming off of Thursday Night Football, there are some intriguing players to examine in this week’s fantasy football trade analyzer article. With another good performance for Christian Watson and Derrick Henry, are either a player to sell high on? Equally, should fantasy managers be looking to buy low on Allen Lazard coming off two tough games?
Additionally, we will also take a look at the values of two backs having contrasting seasons in D’Andre Swift and Saquon Barkley. Should you be looking to buy low on Swift for your playoff run, and does Barkley’s usage present a major risk to his potential down the stretch?
Week 11 Trade Analyzer | Players To Trade for Include D’Andre Swift and Allen Lazard
Despite the main purpose of this article being to help fantasy managers make decisions in season-long leagues, it has other utilities as well. For example, if you play in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball leagues on a weekly basis, this article can help you identify players to consider chasing or fading in upcoming weeks.
If you want to see how the value of more players stack up for the remainder of the 2022 season, then check out our Week 11 fantasy football rest-of-season rankings. Each week, our Senior Fantasy Analyst Tommy Garrett looks at the value of the main fantasy-relevant players around the league.
Allen Lazard, WR | Green Bay Packers
If you have Lazard on your roster, the last two weeks have been tough to swallow, especially in non-PPR formats. Despite seeing 15 targets, he’s managed just 102 total receiving yards for an average of 5.1 fantasy points. In half-PPR, that jumps to 7.1, and in full-PPR, it goes to 9.1. Unfortunately, in 12-team leagues, those are fairly underwhelming returns if you started Lazard.
In the same time frame, his rookie colleague, Watson, has five touchdowns and 158 receiving yards on eight receptions. The rookie has lit a fire under the offense in the past two weeks, and that could actually prove to benefit Lazard.
Until now, Lazard has been viewed as the primary receiver for the Packers. However, with five touchdowns in two games, defenses are going to have to pay more attention to Watson going forward. The veteran receiver continues to lead the team in snaps and has now seen double-digit targets in two of the past three weeks.
If Lazard’s fantasy manager in your league is getting frustrated, now is the time to strike. A 1-for-1 deal might be hard to do, but if you can get Lazard and another starting-caliber piece in a deal, that could have huge potential for your roster depth heading into the playoffs.
D’Andre Swift, RB | Detroit Lions
I wrote about Swift being a buy-low option last week, and I remain on that train heading into Week 11. His snap share rose back up to 31% last week, and even though the output was disappointing, with 12 yards on nine opportunities, the fact his opportunities rose is a nice sign going forward.
Through Thursday of Week 11, Swift has been a full participant in practice on both days. The last time he was a full participant all week, Swift had a 55% snap share, which he turned into 33 yards and a touchdown with five receptions. While his snap share might not eclipse that level, his usage should continue trending upward. If Swift has a monster game this weekend, any hopes of buying low will evaporate.
Swift is a hard player to evaluate because it feels like we haven’t really seen him healthy outside of Week 1. However, in that game, he had 144 rushing yards, 31 receiving yards, and a touchdown. When he’s at his dynamic best, Swift is one of the best backs in the game. Now nearly two months removed from originally suffering both injuries, Swift should be a player primed for a strong finish to the season.
The Lions have also won their last two games and have a schedule they could exploit down the stretch. Games against the Giants, Jaguars, and Panthers are all winnable. Throw in the Bears and Packers — who they’ve already beaten — and the Vikings, who they should have beaten, and this is a team with an outside shot of being a playoff contender this year if things break right. Swift should be a major part of that push.
Is Now the Time To Sell High on Christian Watson?
If you have Watson on your roster, you’re probably feeling pretty smug right now. Even more so if you have had him in your lineup for the past two weeks. However, despite the joy and the bragging rights you have in your leagues right now, a sense of realism has to set in. This two-game stretch for Watson is simply incredible, but is it sustainable?
In his past two games, Watson has scored 49.8 fantasy points. Coming into these two weeks, he had just 21.7 fantasy points in half-PPR scoring in the previous six games he played. Watson was averaging 1.55 fantasy points per target in those games. In the last two weeks, that average is 3.56.
To put that into perspective, Tyreek Hill, who leads WRs in half-PPR scoring at 181.8 fantasy points, is averaging 1.71 fantasy points per target. Stefon Diggs is at 1.78, Justin Jefferson is at 1.75, and Cooper Kupp is at 1.67. Those are the biggest fantasy producers in the league this year, and they’re averaging around half of Watson’s.
Let’s project Watson settles down to the elite level that those top four are averaging, which is 1.72 fantasy points per target. In the last two games, Watson has averaged seven targets per game. That is approximately 12 fantasy points per game in half-PPR. That would make Watson the WR18 on average, based on the current 2022 scoring.
However, let’s now consider that defenses put more focus on Watson, is he as talented of a receiver as those players on that volume? He might be, but in his rookie year, we don’t know that.
Therefore, it’s fair to project that Watson could be looking at dropping back to his 1.55 fantasy points per target he was seeing prior. In that instance, seven targets per game would still be borderline starting value in half-PPR leagues, but it would not be a slam-dunk on a weekly basis if his target share falls on a given week.
You’re really looking to test the water right now with Watson’s value. If someone is willing to give a consistent starting option, such as Mike Evans or A.J. Brown, who has struggled in the past two weeks, then that bears considering. Equally, if you can use this breakout to package Watson and another piece for a weekly starting RB option, then that is also a good use of his current spike in value.
Should You Consider Selling High on Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley?
Derrick Henry is coming off another game this season with double-digit fantasy points. This season, he has only had three games in which he did not achieve that feat in all scoring formats. Henry leads the position in total fantasy points (194.06) and is second only to Austin Ekeler in points per game (19.4).
Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley is fourth in total points (165.3) and points per game (18.4). However, both have achieved that with incredibly high usage.
Entering last night, Barkley led the league in total touches at 227. Henry passed him last night and now has 248 touches (not including passing attempts). They are the only players averaging over 24 touches per game, with only four other players over 20.
Through nine games, Barkley is averaging 25.2 touches per game. Meanwhile, Henry is averaging 24.8 through his 10 games. That puts Barkley on pace for 428.4 touches and Henry on pace for 421.6.
Those would be the highest numbers since DeMarco Murray had 449 touches in 2014. Since then, only two running backs have topped 400 touches — Christian McCaffrey with 403 (2019) and Le’Veon Bell with 406 (2017). Those three are the only players to have topped 400 touches in the past decade. Dating back to 2006, the only other player to have done it was Chris Johnson, demonstrating how rare it is for teams to have their RBs top 400 touches.
The odds are against even one of Barkley or Henry managing it, let alone both. Granted, they have an extra game in the season, but even in a 16-game season, both would top 390 touches at their current pace.
Even topping 390 touches has only been done seven times in the past 15 years. What this all means is that there is a reason to be concerned about both of them down the stretch of the fantasy season. While injuries are tough to predict, there is also a very good chance both of these teams are in the playoffs. Thus, we might see both have their touches managed in the final month to six weeks of the season.
If you even contemplate selling Henry or Barkley, you’re not doing so lightly. You would want a lot in return. There are very few 1-for-1 trades that would suffice right now. So you’re likely looking at acquiring two or three high-level pieces even to consider making the move. You would need at least two starting-caliber options and probably some additional upside as well.
This is not to say you should be actively trying to sell them. However, if your roster is a little thin in terms of depth, and an injury to either Barkley or Henry could torpedo your season, then selling them is a prudent move to consider.
If you can sell them and add two or three starting options, then that could be a good return while mitigating the risk of your fantasy season going up in flames with an injury to either.
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