Another week in the books means it’s time for another handful of potential trade targets in your dynasty leagues. A couple of last week’s nominations provided some immediate return (Terry McLaurin & Mike Williams), so we’ll see if we can lead you down the right path once again this week.
For a reminder, please keep in mind that the trade candidates in this weekly article aren’t going to be beneficial for each individual dynasty team. Some players will be targeted for the sole purpose of attempting to win now while others will be targeted as buy-low options.
With that being said, here’s a look at some players I recommend targeting via trade as we head into Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Do we really expect Barkley’s struggles to last as he continues to get healthier and the Giants’ schedule gets a tad easier? Barkley looked like the version of himself that we all quickly fell in love with on a 41-yard run against Washington last week, but he managed just 16 yards on his remaining 12 carries. Is there a chance your league’s current owner is a bit on tilt after Barkley missed nearly all of last season while logging just 83 rushing yards through the first two games of this season? I’m not sure the level of concern has been raised to the point where the current owner wants to trade him, but I’d say it’s worth your time to ask. Barkley gets the Falcons, Saints and Cowboys in his next three games, so if there was ever a window to potentially trade for him before a breakout game, now is the time.
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Another proven player that’s underperformed through two weeks of the 2021 season but will inevitably have his breakout soon is Ravens’ tight end, Mark Andrews. Andrews caught all five of his targets on Sunday night against the Chiefs, but has just 77 total receiving yards on the season. As we all know in fantasy football tight end is one of the trickiest positions to find a weekly stud at, but Andrews has that potential and has shown it throughout his career in Baltimore. There are going to be weeks where he catches three balls for 30 yards… it happens. However, if you’re in a position to compete this year and could use an upgrade at the tight end position, I’d test the waters here to see if you can turn your (would should be) late first-round pick (and likely another player and/or draft pick) into a reliable option at the tight end position. Baltimore gets Detroit in Week 3… so act accordingly.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
This one is tricky. Aiyuk showed why he was worth of the 49ers’s first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft last year posting a 60-748-5 stat line (he also added 77 yards and two touchdowns on the ground). However, the 2021 season couldn’t be off to a much worse start as he’s caught just one pass for six yards after his week-one goose egg. I was a big fan of Aiyuk when he was heading into the NFL and I remain a big fan as I’m under the belief that this limited usage he’s currently experiencing will soon pass. It’ll be tough to pry Aiyuk away from the current owner after his stellar rookie season, but maybe there’s a chance the current owner wants to cut ties before things potentially get worse while his value is still relatively high? To be honest, my gripe with Aiyuk isn’t his current standing with Kyle Shanahan, but rather it’s how big of a fan I also am of Deebo Samuel. The bright side is that I see Samuel and Aiyuk eventually both becoming fantasy relevant, nearly on a weekly basis, so I wouldn’t let the fact that Samuel has been pretty solid over the first two weeks get in my way of potentially landing Aiyuk if you can get him at a slight discount. The 49ers have the Packers, Seahawks and Cardinals in their next three games, so expect to see a lot of points on the board.
Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
I try to keep this article as realistic as possible, and if I’m being 100% honest, I’d say that landing Herbert in a trade right now is likely the most unrealistic option of this week’s five nominations. BUT… every dynasty league is a little different and as we all know, some owners can be wild cards every now and then. The passing yards have been there this season for Herbert, but his touchdowns (2) aren’t what we became used to last season and his three interceptions have not been ideal. Whether you need a quarterback now or you’re planning for the future, Herbert is a solid solution. He flashed enough as a rookie for the Chargers to hold him out of the entire 2021 preseason, so there’s also the possibility that he’s just shaking off a bit of rust from the offseason. The Chargers possesses a nice core of playmakers and Herbert’s touchdowns should increase while he turnovers decrease soon enough. As I previously mentioned, the odds of you landing Herbert in a trade this week aren’t very high, but if you have the ammo to swing a deal, you’re likely not going to catch him at a better “buy low” time during the ’21 season.
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp has been the Rams’ receiver to own so far this season, but with how explosive the team’s offense has looked through two games, it’s just a matter of time before Robert Woods is the receiver topping 100 yards and scoring a couple of touchdowns. It’s not that Woods hasn’t been involved, as he scored week one and saw nine targets last week, it’s just that by comparison Kupp has a 16-271-3 stat line already. If you’re looking to acquire Woods in an attempt to compete now, you may have a bit of an advantage as well due to his age. While he’s only 29, which isn’t terrible for a wide receiver, several dynasty owners see the age of 30 as the point in time when a player’s long-term value takes a bit of a hit. Woods is another player that you’re likely going to have to pay a bit of a premium for, but if you’re looking to compete for a championship yet this year and you need a receiver you can count on as a weekly starter (maybe you already lost Jerry Jeudy or Michael Gallup), Woods would be a preferred option.