Are you 3-2 and needing a win to stay firmly in the playoff picture? Are you 1-4 and about to throw in the towel? Whatever your situation, it’s always the right time to improve your fantasy football team, and sometimes the best way to improve it is by selling high — unloading players whose values likely will drop. Which players should you be looking to sell high ahead of Week 6?
Week 6 Sell-High Trade Targets | AFC
I am urging managers to sell high on three running backs right now. Which AFC player should you be looking to move?
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
Am I insane? If you mean insanely confident, yes, I am. Kareem Hunt is doing the near-impossible. He’s the sixth-highest-scoring fantasy RB. For a complementary back, that’s almost unheard of (almost — see Cordarrelle Patterson below). But of course, we’re talking about an elite Browns backfield, and Hunt is a former bell cow. So yes, he has the talent and the opportunity to thrive.
And yet, he’s averaging an unsustainable 1.30 fantasy points per touch. For context, in his record-breaking 2019 season, Christian McCaffrey averaged only 1.17. Meanwhile, 2021 leader Derrick Henry is netting only 0.86. If you keep betting on Hunt, you’re betting on him maintaining a pace that most running backs could never conceive of.
What’s more, Cleveland’s ground attack could break, or come close to breaking, a series of Super Bowl-era season records. They’re on pace to smash the Steelers’ 45-year-old rushing TD record (33) by 8 scores. They’re also on track to finish No. 2 in rushing yards (behind the 2019 Ravens).
Meanwhile, their wideouts collectively are averaging only 7.6 catches per game. That’s right — only 7.6! Davante Adams is averaging more by himself. For perspective, Cleveland WRs averaged a healthier 10.2 catches per game last season.
Hunt has been incredible. But the odds of him continuing to dominate are smaller than many managers realize. You can trade him for nearly any player you want or package him for a safer elite RB1 or elite WR1, or even Travis Kelce, depending on your needs. Don’t wait for the decline. Head it off by cashing out now.
Week 6 Sell-High Trade Targets | NFC
Which NFC running backs should you be looking to sell high on ahead of Week 6?
Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons
Look, if you came here for obvious predictions, you came to the wrong place. I look at players who are seemingly untouchable and ask, “Can they keep this up?” RBs like Austin Ekeler and Alvin Kamara have track records and usage rates that support continued investments. But Cordarrelle Patterson? There are too many yellow flags to sit tight.
My colleague Jason Katz summed up Patterson perfectly in last week’s Start/Sit column: “It’s tough to advise starting a player who’s on the field for approximately 30% of a team’s offensive snaps. Yet, here we are.”
The 30-year-old journeyman is part of a long line of breakout fantasy stars despite limited touches. He’s not exactly capitalizing on his 8.2 carries per contest, averaging only 34.6 rushing yards and totaling 1 touchdown. But he’s leading all fantasy RBs in receiving yards (295) and receiving touchdowns (4) while catching the third-most passes (25).
Beware the next five weeks, beginning with the Falcons’ bye. Then, after facing the beatable Dolphins in Week 7, Patterson will have to contend with the Panthers, Saints, and Cowboys in succession — all top-10 defenses.
Running through the Jets, Giants, and Washington is one thing. Producing at an RB1 level against the toughest competition he will have faced all season is quite another.
I believe Patterson will finish the season outside the top 14. This means he’ll be no better than a back-end RB2 the rest of the way. Sell high now.
James Conner, Arizona Cardinals
If your No. 2 RB doesn’t catch many balls and needs touchdowns to remain relevant, it’s time to bail when the going gets good. And the going couldn’t be better for those who invested in James Conner.
The former Pittsburgh bell cow has 5 touchdowns on 39 carries in his last three games. Every savvy fantasy manager understands this is not normal. Enjoyable if you started Conner? Absolutely. But not normal.
Conner’s 3.2 yards per carry isn’t doing managers any favors in the long term. He’s currently the No. 26 fantasy RB, which means you should be able to net a stable RB3 or WR3 in return. He’s a TD-dependent complementary back in an offense with many talented mouths to feed. There’s no RB2 ascension in his future. Get what you can for him before he reverts to his more customary output of 5-8 points on a weekly basis.