Week 6 Fantasy Football Trade Targets: Baker Mayfield’s Breakout is Coming
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Baker Mayfield, Carlos Hyde
- A suddenly-productive Browns offense makes Baker Mayfield and Carlos Hyde two of the top fantasy football trade targets heading into Week 6.
- Meanwhile, Isaiah Crowell's career performance means there's no better time to sell the Jets running back, who remains locked in a timeshare.
Committees and pecking orders have mostly revealed themselves as we head into Week 6, which means time is ticking to make a league-altering fantasy trade.
The NFL’s ridiculous non-guaranteed contracts and salary cap have made player-for-player trades fairly rare over the years, but it’s a market that can be exploited in fantasy by focusing on both potential mistakes in popular public opinion and season-long trends.
Let’s break down some of Week 6’s top fantasy football trade targets, as well as players you should consider selling sooner rather than later.
Top Fantasy Football Trade Target for Week 6
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
Mayfield has led the Browns to more wins (2) in three games than head coach Hue Jackson managed in 2016 and 2017 combined (1). The first overall pick has certainly had his ups and downs, but Mayfield leads all rookie quarterbacks in adjusted yards per attempt, pass yards per game and quarterback rating through five weeks.
The Browns are coming off single-possession thrillers against the Jets’ No. 2-ranked defense in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA, the Ravens’ fifth-ranked defense and the Raiders.
Next up is a five-game stretch against some of the league’s worst defenses in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks per game:
- Week 6 vs. Chargers (21)
- Week 7 at Buccaneers (32)
- Week 8 at Steelers (31)
- Week 9 vs. Chiefs (28)
- Week 10 vs. Falcons (30)
The consistent excellence of Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff has deservedly earned both plenty of hype, but don’t forget about the 2018 draft’s most-promising quarterback to this point. Mayfield ranks among the league’s top-five quarterbacks in both deep ball and pressured completion rate this season (per PlayerProfiler.com).
Honorable Mention Trade Targets
Donte Moncrief, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars will once again be without Leonard Fournette (hamstring) in Week 6, so expect the league’s sixth-most pass-happy attack to continue to try to move the ball through the air. Moncrief has clearly been the Jacksonville passing game’s featured target through five weeks:
- Total targets: 37
- Targets inside the 10-yard line: 4
- Air yards: 482
- Average target depth: 15.3 yards
The loss of Austin Seferian-Jenkins (core, IR) could lead to even more looks for Moncrief near the end zone. Upcoming matchups against middling secondaries from the Cowboys, Texans and Eagles should give him plenty of fantasy-friendly chances to prove he’s the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Cleveland Browns
Second-round pick Nick Chubb converted three carries into 105 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 … only to again receive only three rush attempts last week against the Ravens. It’d be surprising if Chubb didn’t become more involved at some point this season, but the rookie has yet to play even 15% of the offense’s snaps in a game.
Meanwhile, Hyde’s usage is on par with some of the league’s true workhorse backs:
RBs with 15+ carries in all 5 games this season:
Carlos Hyde 👀
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 8, 2018
Only Todd Gurley (10) has more carries than Hyde (9) inside the 5-yard line.
Improved play from both the quarterback and defense has enabled the Browns to consistently stay in games. The best might still be to come for Hyde, even with Duke Johnson continuing to work on pass downs.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson managed to find the end zone three times on only 21 pass attempts against the Rams this past Sunday. Tyler Lockett led the way with five targets, while Baldwin converted his lone target into just one-scoreless yard.
We know Baldwin is playing at less than 100% due to a knee injury, but his meager 6-42-0 line over the past two weeks is probably more indicative of his floor than his median. Baldwin has played 76% and 88% of the offense’s snaps over the past two weeks, respectively, and doesn’t figure to be buried in the Seahawks’ talentless passing game for much longer.
Fantasy Football Players to Sell in Week 6
Isaiah Crowell, RB, New York Jets
There’s little doubt that Crowell has impressed this season, racking up 390 yards and five touchdowns on just 57 carries (an average 6.8 yards per rush). His latest performance consisted of a franchise-record 219 yards on just 15 rush attempts.
Crowell ranks among the league’s top-10 backs in both breakaway rate (runs of 15+ yards) and Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating.
And yet, one of the league’s most-productive backs remains firmly locked into a timeshare with Bilal Powell.
Crowell’s goal-line role and big-play ability have helped enable him as the PPR RB12 entering Week 6, but his usage indicates that he might have over-achieved to start the season. Look to sell this suddenly valuable fantasy commodity before Crowell’s inevitable decline as a committee back in an offense led by a rookie quarterback.
Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Speaking of committee backfields that haven’t shown any signs of changing: The Ravens have seemingly positioned Javorius Allen as the offense’s most fantasy-friendly running back.
- Carries: Collins (57) vs. Allen (34)
- Targets: Collins (14) vs. Allen (27)
- Carries inside 5-yard line: Collins (3) vs. Allen (5)
- Snap percentage: Collins (41.8%) vs. Allen (48.5%)
Collins’ stretch run in 2017 earned him plenty of preseason hype, but Allen has been the superior fantasy option in 2018. Attempt to move Collins before the Ravens’ backfield plan becomes more obvious.
Josh Gordon, WR, New England Patriots
This is painful to write as a life-long Gordon truther. His ceiling in the Patriots offense remains the roof, but Week 5 didn’t offer much indication that he’s poised to jump ahead of the position’s more-experienced players:
- Chris Hogan: 63-of-69 snaps (91%)
- Julian Edelman: 48-of-69 (70%)
- Phillip Dorsett: 42-of-69 (61%)
- Gordon: 18-of-69 (26%)
- Cordarrelle Patterson: 8-of-69 (12%)
Fantasy owners with loaded rosters can afford to wait and see whether Gordon’s involvement increases in the coming weeks. But those who aren’t as fortunate should look to move the extraordinarily-talented receiver to another owner who might believe Gordon’s season-long 5-99-2 line will soon be replicated on a weekly basis with Tom Brady under center.