Fantasy Football Week 1: Updated Trade Value for Top 100 Players

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Fantasy Football Week 1: Updated Trade Value for Top 100 Players
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote in a 1936 article for Esquire entitled "The Crack-Up," that "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."

You probably never thought those words would apply to fantasy football. But trust me, they do. Because while I believe very firmly that fantasy owners shouldn't tinker with their teams until they have a better grasp of their own players a few weeks into the season, I also believe that it is never, ever too early to make a trade. 

Maybe that's some first-rate intelligence. Or maybe, like many owners, I just can't help myself when it comes to tinkering. Whatever the case may be, there is a good chance you have already made a trade, considered a trade or watched as someone in your league got the wheeling and dealing started.

No matter when you make your first trade, you absolutely, positively don't want to get ripped off. And that's where I come in to help, as I reprise the weekly trade value chart. Now, you'll have a handy guide to ensure you are maximizing value with every trade you make.

And that's definitely some first-rate intelligence, folks.

The Trade Chart

Trade Value for Top 100 Players
Rank Player Team Position Value
1 LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles RB 30
2 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings RB 30
3 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs RB 30
4 Matt Forte Chicago Bears RB 30
5 Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers RB 29
6 Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints TE 29
7 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions WR 29
8 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos QB 29
9 Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks RB 28
10 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB 28
11 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB 28
12 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos WR 28
13 Doug Martin Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR 27
14 A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals WR 27
15 Arian Foster Houston Texans RB 27
16 Zac Stacy St. Louis Rams RB 26
17 Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys WR 26
18 Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears WR 26
19 DeMarco Murray Dallas Cowboys RB 25
20 Alfred Morris Washington RB 25
21 Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons WR 25
22 Matt Stafford Detroit Lions QB 24
23 Cam Newton Carolina Panthers QB 24
24 Le'Veon Bell Pittsburgh Steelers RB 23
25 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers WR 23
26 Montee Ball Denver Broncos RB 23
27 Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers WR 22
28 Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers WR 22
29 Julius Thomas Denver Broncos TE 22
30 Alshon Jeffery Chicago Bears WR 22
31 Andre Ellington Arizona Cardinals RB 21
32 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots TE 21
33 Andre Johnson Houston Texans WR 20
34 Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR 20
35 Giovani Bernard Cincinnati Bengals RB 20
36 Victor Cruz New York Giants WR 19
37 Reggie Bush Detroit Lions RB 19
38 Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts QB 19
39 Toby Gerhart Jacksonville Jaguars RB 18
40 Keenan Allen San Diego Chargers WR 18
41 Ryan Mathews San Diego Chargers RB 18
42 Vernon Davis San Francisco 49ers TE 18
43 C.J. Spiller Buffalo Bills RB 17
44 Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals WR 17
45 Ray Rice Baltimore Ravens RB 16
46 Rashad Jennings New York Giants RB 16
47 DeSean Jackson Washington WR 16
48 Pierre Garcon Washington WR 16
49 Ben Tate Houston Texans RB 15
50 Torrey Smith Baltimore Ravens WR 15
51 Emmanuel Sanders Denver Broncos WR 15
52 Trent Richardson Indianapolis Colts RB 14
53 Jeremy Maclin Philadelphia Eagles WR 14
54 Michael Floyd Arizona Cardinals WR 14
55 Robert Griffin III Washington QB 13
56 Nick Foles Philadelphia Eagles QB 13
57 Roddy White Atlanta Falcons WR 12
58 Michael Crabtree San Francisco 49ers WR 12
59 T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis Colts WR 12
60 Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys TE 12
61 Kendall Wright Tennessee Titans WR 12
62 Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers RB 11
63 Percy Harvin Seattle Seahawks WR 11
64 Joique Bell Detroit Lions RB 11
65 Chris Johnson New York Jets RB 10
66 Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings WR 10
67 Shane Vereen New England Patriots RB 10
68 Marques Colston New Orleans Saints WR 10
69 Eric Decker New York Jets WR 9
70 Wes Welker Denver Broncos WR 9
71 Terrance Williams Dallas Cowboys WR 9
72 Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns TE 9
73 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB 8
74 Golden Tate Detroit Lions WR 7
75 Julian Edelman New England Patriots WR 7
76 Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts WR 7
77 Bishop Sankey Tennessee Titans RB 6
78 Stevan Ridley New England Patriots RB 6
79 Sammy Watkins Buffalo Bills WR 6
80 Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers QB 6
81 Mike Wallace Miami Dolphins WR 5
82 Cecil Shorts Jacksonville Jaguars WR 5
83 Lamar Miller Miami Dolphins RB 5
84 Fred Jackson Buffalo Bills RB 5
85 Steven Jackson Atlanta Falcons RB 5
86 Anquan Boldin San Francisco 49ers WR 5
87 Pierre Thomas New Orleans Saints RB 4
88 DeAndre Hopkins Houston Texans WR 4
89 Darren McFadden Oakland Raiders RB 4
90 Maurice Jones-Drew Oakland Raiders RB 4
91 Darren Sproles Philadelphia Eagles RB 4
92 DeAngelo Williams Carolina Panthers RB 4
93 Knowshon Moreno Miami Dolphins RB 4
94 Riley Cooper Philadelphia Eagles WR 3
95 Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB 3
96 Danny Woodhead San Diego Chargers RB 2
97 Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers TE 2
98 Jordan Reed Washington TE 2
99 Tom Brady New England Patriots QB 2
100 Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys QB 2


Tom Lynn/Associated Press

Just to be clear before we get into any analysis, the numbers you see above are meant to represent a player's value in a trade. So, if a player is worth a trade value of 30, whichever players you get back in the trade should, in theory, at least equal 30 or exceed it. 

It's also important to note that these values are currently being assigned based on my fantasy rankings heading into the season. Once the games begin, I'll consider very seriously a player's VORP (value over replacement player—more on that here) alongside his upside. But for now, these values are strictly about upside.

Okay, we got the boring stuff out of the way. Let's get to some theoretical trades based on the chart above.

Let's say you really need wide receiver help and you can dangle Jamaal Charles because you have awesome running back depth.

Based on the value chart, one trade you could make is to add Pierre Garcon (value of 16) and Michael Floyd (value of 14). Last year in standard-scoring leagues, Charles scored 295 fantasy points, making him the top running back. Combined, Garcon and Floyd scored 282 points. Floyd seems likely to see his value bump slightly as his role increases in the Arizona offense, while the addition of DeSean Jackson in Washington will slightly diminish Garcon's value, so their combined point total should be around the same this year.

In other words, the fantasy points in this trade add up, and you could justify making this deal. 

But c'monCharles is giving you a ton of value at one slot in your lineup, while to maximize the value of Garcon and Floyd you need to take up two slots. Maybe your wide receivers are so horrible and your other running backs are so strong that you can justify this deal. The value chart says you can find a way to be okay with making the move.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

But personally, I think if you are giving up any of the top 25 or so players on this chart, you should be trying to get another player in that range.

Let's use the above example again to make some other more viable trades in exchange for Charles:

Don't you feel way better about these deals? Maybe you aren't getting two startable players each and every week like you'll get with Garcon and Floyd, but you are maximizing your value at one starting place by nabbing players like Megatron, Green or Bryant. 

And you can't tell me that you wouldn't make that Jones and Wallace deal in a second. Imagine the potential upside for you there.

The key takeaway here is this: You can use the trade value chart however you like, based on whatever your philosophy may be. The idea here isn't to suggest that the numbers on this chart represent absolute values, but rather give you a starting point when trying to determine the value you are getting back in a potential move. 

For example, I'd generally recommend you always try to exceed the listed values when making a trade. If you are dealing Peyton Manning (value of 29) and need help at running back, see if you can't snag Giovani Bernard (20) and Ben Tate (15), for example.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Likewise, I'd generally recommend you don't dip below the value of your players represented on the chart. If you are stacked at wide receiver and really want that elite tight end, don't deal Randall Cobb and Torrey Smith for Jimmy Graham. Even though Graham maximizes the value at one position, you are giving up way too much to get him.

Yes, Graham had 211 fantasy points last year, better than all but three receivers (Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, Megatron). But Cobb had 71 points in six weeks of action, which equates to 189 points in a 16-game campaign (and would have been good for eighth last year among wide receivers, for what that's worth). Add in Smith's 132 points, and the pair totaled 321 fantasy points.

It's really hard to justify making a move for Graham if you are giving up that level of potential output. 

Let's single out a few players now. Wes Welker, for starters, is worth very little at the moment given his four-game suspension, so now might be a great time to go out and get him if you don't mind waiting for him to be eligible to play. 

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

On the other hand, now is either the best or worst time to deal Emmanuel Sanders. In one sense, his value in a trade has never been higher in his career. With Welker out, Sanders is clearly the third option in the passing attack behind Demaryius and Julius Thomas. He could be set to explode in the first four weeks.

In another sense, we actually have no real grasp on his value yet. He might not take advantage of this opportunity. He might not ever have the naturally defined role that Welker has or Eric Decker had before he bolted to the New York Jets. You could be sitting on the shiniest piece of fool's gold in fantasy football and could get a huge return for a potential bust (or at least a player whose value hasn't actually increased).

Andy Behrens of Yahoo Sports leans toward this argument:

I tend to side with the first argument—Manning and this offense made Knowshon Moreno an RB1 last year, for heaven's sake—so if you can get Sanders on the cheap, do it, do it, do it! Michael Fabiano of tends to agree with me:

And in case you were wavering, Ian Rapoport of should soothe you with the following tweet:

Of course, if a Welker owner in your league is pretty weak at wide receiver, now might be the perfect time to dangle Sanders in his face and demand a king's ransom in return. 

A Reggie Bush or Andre Ellington could be coming back your way if you play your cards right.

The opposite of Sanders' situation during the preseason is the case of Bishop Sankey. After failing to really seize the starting gig in Tennessee, it's hard to forecast much value for the rookie running back. Yes, his value seems likely to go up given the fact that Shonn Greene is a pretty mediocre running back and Sankey will get his shot to earn the starting gig.

But until we see that happen, well, Sankey's value is pretty low. If you can afford to sit on him, you can get Sankey at a really reasonable price right now, at least in my opinion.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As you can see, however, a poor preseason hasn't caused me to completely dump gasoline all over the value of Robert Griffin III. Things with Jay Gruden may have been rocky thus far, but with Garcon, Jackson and Jordan Reed catching passes, Alfred Morris pounding the rock and what appears to be a strong relationship already between Gruden and RG3, he could be in line for a really big year. 

Consider the following, from Les Carpenter of Bleacher Report:

In turn, Gruden has been authentic in his assessments of Griffin’s transition to a pocket passer. He notes publicly his quarterback’s successes in mastering new fundamentals while simultaneously grasping a different offense. And he freely acknowledges the things Griffin does that frustrate him, like an occasional insistence on trying to make every play in training camp a touchdown or challenging tacklers rather than avoiding contact.

Nothing is hidden. Everything is clear.

'I think (RG3) feels a fresh start with a new staff,' backup quarterback Kirk Cousins had said a few days before. 'He likes this staff.'

On the couch, Griffin nods.

'To have them is a blessing,' he says.

His value is probably a bit lower than even I have it, but I think he's a player who could have a really big year. No, he probably won't be encouraged to run for 815 yards and seven touchdowns like he did in his rookie season, but his passing numbers could also be career highs this year.

I'm not getting off the RG3 bandwagon just yet. If his owner in your league has buyer's remorse after drafting him, however, you might be able to get him on the cheap. It's something worth considering. 

Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy questions and make some corny jokes, too. It's more fun than a trip to the Kentucky Derby with Wes Welker.

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