It’s been a long offseason waiting for the return of football, but we officially had our drought come to an end with the kickoff of the 2020 NFL season over the weekend.
This weekly series of Trade, Drop & Hold articles is new this season for Loaded Box, but we’ll be releasing this article every Monday or Tuesday over the course of the regular season.
Here’s what you can expect not only for this week, but for all of the weeks of the fantasy season as we help you maximize those squads that you’ve recently drafted.
Each week I’ll be making my case for a player you should attempt to either trade or trade for, a player that you might as well drop from your roster and take your chances on a new player from the waiver wire, and a player that you should hold by not dropping or trading them.
Now that we’ve seen each team through one week of action, let’s take a look at this week’s Trade, Drop & Hold as we start preparing for week two.
Trade: Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
In a game that hardly saw Kirk Cousins throw passes until the second half, Adam Thielen made the most of his opportunities posting a 6-110-2 stat line on eight targets.
Life for the Vikings’ wide receiver unit, sans Stefon Diggs, was pretty bleak outside of Thielen as Bisi Johnson caught three passes for 56 yards while rookie Justin Jefferson hauled in just two balls for 26 yards. The remainder of Cousins’ eight completions were recorded by tight ends or running backs.
Even though Thielen dominated the targets and significant stats of the team’s receivers, now might be a great time to sell if you’re able to. I do believe Thielen will be fairly consistent, and every once in a while he’ll pop off with a stat line similar to Sunday’s, but if you can land an impactful running back in a deal for Thielen, I’d pull the trigger.
One of my biggest reasons for trying to sell Thielen now is due to when the majority of his stats came. Thielen caught two passes for 32 yards in the first quarter, and was then held without a catch until the fourth quarter where he scored both of his touchdowns in garbage time.
Do we really think the Vikings are going to be playing in many games where they’re accumulating a bunch of stats in garbage time? Despite the fact that they only ran the ball 22 times, I think it’s more likely that Minnesota finds itself in closer games for the remainder of the season where they’re running the ball more often.
He’s definitely not a bad guy to roster if your team is constructed where you just need him to be a consistent option, but if you can potentially land a starting running back in a trade, it may just be a good time to sell high.
Drop: J.D. McKissic, RB, Washington Football Team
I typically don’t like dropping guys too early in the season, but if you find yourself in need of making a waiver-wire addition so you can snag a guy like Nyheim Hines or Marquez Valdes-Scantling, go ahead and cut ties with J.D. McKissic.
After being listed as the team’s starter, McKissic was a popular roster add leading up to week one, however, running for -2 yards on three carries, while adding one catch for one yard isn’t worth stashing on your roster.
The team was fairly inefficient on the ground in general, rushing for just 80 yards on 36 attempts (2.2 ypc), but it’s safe to say Antonio Gibson and Peyton Barber will be receiving the bulk of the team’s carries, regardless of whose “listed” as the starter.
Hold: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
There were a lot of people that dropped DeAndre Hopkins in their fantasy rankings this year due to the fact that he was playing in his first season with a new team that already had quite a few mouths to feed. Fortunately for me, I was not one of these people as I had Hopkins as my overall WR3, and if you were also fortunate enough to land him in your draft, do not sell high after Sunday’s monster game.
Hopkins hauled in a career-high 14 receptions for 151 yards and was a video review away from finding the end zone (his 33-yard catch was originally called a touchdown before being reviewed and marked down at the 1-yard line). Even without scoring Hopkins still posted 29 points in PPR leagues; and you can see that it didn’t take long for Hopkins to find Deshaun Watson-like chemistry with new quarterback, Kyler Murray.
Another impressive aspect to Hopkins’ debut with Arizona is that he did it against a very respectable defense in San Francisco.
The Cardinals proved on Sunday that they will be a tough out in every game this year. They’ll likely have a pretty solid run/pass balance, but that’s not going to hurt Hopkins’ value over the long haul. If anything, Murray will continue targeting Hopkins in these close contests as he clearly trusts him as the team’s top playmaker.
Murray is fantasy gold, Hopkins is fantasy gold, and if you’re thinking about trading either of these guys after their performance in week one, you should definitely reconsider.