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Fantasy football trade targets: Week 4

We're looking at some stars from the 2013 fantasy season who are good buy-low candidates after three weeks in 2014.

Steve Dykes

If you're off to an 0-3 start to your fantasy season, there's still time to turn it around. It might be time to mix up the roster a bit after hitting the waiver wire.

Full disclosure: Last week's targets included buying Pierre Garcon and Kelvin Benjamin. Those two looked great in Week 3. I advocated selling Stevan Ridley, Darren Sproles and Ahmad Bradshaw. Ridley and the Patriots are going to be hit or miss every week and Sproles is volatile as well. Bradshaw still looks like a good sell-high candidate, but he continues to impress with the Colts.

Here are the players you should target in trades for Week 4. A few of these names are obvious, but you'd be surprised how many owners are ready to sell.


LeSean McCoy

McCoy hasn't exactly been putting up stellar numbers through the first three weeks of the season. He's rushed for 175 yards in that span, average 2.9 yards per carry with just one touchdown overall.

Darren Sproles only touched the ball five times in Week 3, so it's not like McCoy is ceding work to his backup. Chip Kelly runs one of the most running back-friendly offenses in the NFL. Both will be involved going forward, but McCoy is the star in Philadelphia.

I've already seen owners asking experts on Twitter who they can acquire by shipping out McCoy. Your goal in fantasy football is to load up your starting lineup with studs who can produce every week. McCoy is one of those guys. He's off to a slow start. Bet on a breakout soon.

Demaryius Thomas

Another obvious candidate to buy low on, Thomas hasn't surpassed 62 receiving yards in a single game in 2014. He now has two games of four catches for under 50 yards. Some of his owners are panicking.

Consider a few things before you worry too much about Thomas. In Week 1, the Broncos were leading the Colts 31-10 in the fourth quarter. Peyton Manning didn't need to throw the ball constantly, and Thomas still saw 11 targets. In Week 3, Denver faced one of the toughest teams to play at home. Thomas matched up against Richard Sherman often while seeing nine targets.

Can the Broncos and Manning match the ridiculous numbers they posted last season? Probably not, but Denver still possesses an elite passing game.

Thomas is averaging 5.3 yards after the catch per reception and an average depth of target (aDOT) of 8.0. Last those numbers were 7.7 and 10.8 respectively. Thomas hasn't been able to break off huge plays on screens, and Manning isn't targeting him as far downfield. I expect both those numbers to increase in the coming weeks. We've seen how much damage Thomas can do in open space. Get him now while his stock is falling.

Bishop Sankey

He might be a free agent in your league, and if that's the case, you should be picking him up immediately. The Titans started putting Sankey to work against Cincinnati in the second quarter, and the rookie finished the game with 61 yards on 10 carries. He also had a 22-yard run negated by a holding call.

Shonn Greene was ineffective against the Bengals tough defensive front, rushing for just 33 yards on the same number of carries as Sankey. Greene's longest run of the day went for 20 yards, so he actually picked up 13 yards on his other nine touches.

Ken Whisenhunt still criticized Sankey's performance after Week 3, commenting on his attention to detail with his footwork. I'm not sure how long Whisenhunt can keep holding the rookie back when his offense looks terrible every week. The Titans need help. They've scored 17 points over the past two weeks.

Sankey will likely be volatile in the coming weeks and will still battle Greene and Dexter McCluster for snaps, but he's the most talented among the trio. I would buy low and wait for Tennessee to wake up.

Vincent Jackson

While this is probably the least glamorous name on the list, Jackson's stock probably can't drop any lower. Right? At least we hope so.

In Week 3, Jackson was targeted a team-high nine times. He finished with two catches for 15 yards and a touchdown. Now there's news of him suffering a small wrist fracture, but he plans to play through it. Why should you buy low?

Mike Glennon is taking over for Josh McCown. With Glennon under center, Jackson averages nearly five catches, 74 yards and 0.54 touchdowns per game. He fantasy numbers are better with Glennon throwing the ball.

The Buccaneers defense looks awful right now, and if they continue to play that poorly, their offense will be forced to throw often. You can probably get Jackson for next to nothing today.

Isaiah Crowell

The Browns backfield does not provide an ideal situation for fantasy owners to buy into. Terrence West and Crowell have filled in nicely over the first three weeks. Ben Tate is hoping for a comeback in Week 5, though, which will only cloud the outlook more.

However, if I were to bet on one of these backs going forward, Crowell would be my pick. He's averaging 0.45 fantasy points per snap, which ranks No. 6 among all running backs with at least 15 touches. Crowell broke four runs of 15-plus yards and scored three touchdowns in his first 27 carries.

West has averaged under 4.0 yards per carry in his past two games, while Crowell is gaining 5.2 yards per carry on average so far. Crowell plays the part of an NFL back well. The Browns offense runs smoothly when he's running the ball.

I'm not saying Crowell will be startable all year. But Tate is injury prone and West isn't as impressive. Especially in dynasty leagues, Crowell should be targeted right now.

Other players to target

Cordarrelle Patterson: He made this list last week. Kyle Rudolph is out. AP isn't coming back. The Vikings have to figure out a way to get Patterson the ball. This week he gets a bad Atlanta secondary.
Matt Forte: Another stud with back-to-back down weeks. Take advantage.
Travis Kelce: A common name found in this column, Kelce played over 60 percent of the snaps in Week 3. That number continues to grow.
Allen Robinson: Started in Week 3 and catch seven passes on 10 targets. Role continues to grow.


Knile Davis

Davis continues to serve as a workhorse for the Chiefs with Jamaal Charles out. He rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins, and he'll continue to put up solid numbers if Charles can't play.

Unfortunately for Davis owners, Charles is coming back at some point. When he does, Davis moves back to the No. 2 spot. I think both running backs will be involved going forward, which hurts their fantasy value.

I'm not a fan of selling Charles, but Davis isn't going to sit on the bench the entire time. I would sell Davis now if you have the running back depth. Charles is a hold, though his long-term stock looks somewhat depleted given what Davis can do.

Brandin Cooks

The rookie wide receiver led the Saints in catches, receiving yards and targets in Week 3. That makes him a perfect sell-high candidate for Week 4.

I don't think you should sell Cooks because he isn't going to put up decent numbers the rest of the season. He's a valuable asset in the Saints offense. I think you should sell because he won't be consistent the rest of the year.

Cooks finished with 17 receiving yards in Week 2. He's battling Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas and Kenny Stills for targets. We saw Darren Sproles' numbers fluctuate every week in New Orleans. Cooks will likely ride that same roller coaster of a season.