"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living," Dr. Seuss once said. Sure, he wasn't talking about fantasy football, but you try living without your weekly fantasy football routines.
The thought bums you out, right?
Yeah, me too. Not as much as a team that is slowly submerging in mediocrity, however. Of course, any season can be salvaged with a few savvy waiver-wire additions and a few timely trades. Below, we'll be focused on the latter, with our weekly trade value chart.
Remember, players not listed below have a value of one. And, as always, may the fantasy points be with you!
Trade Value: 11
1. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
5. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
6. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
It's very likely that, for the duration of the fantasy season, this group will go unchanged. Perhaps a player or two will ascend to this top tier, like Melvin Gordon or Jordan Howard. But for the time being there aren't six more valuable players going forward, in my opinion, than these six running backs.
Trade Value: 10
7. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
10. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
11. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
12. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Hopkins has been red hot, and it doesn't seem coincidental that it corresponds with Deshaun Watson's emergence as a major playmaker at quarterback.
Only Brown (64) has more targets on the season than Hopkins (61) among wide receivers. His five touchdowns are tied for second at the position with Chris Hogan, and his 35 receptions are second in the NFL.
Hopkins was a force of nature in the 2015 season, catching 111 passes for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns, so his elite production this season has precedent. Hopkins won't catch three touchdown passes every week like he did against the Chiefs in Week 5, obviously, but he's reemerged as one of fantasy's elite wideouts.
Trade Value: 9
13. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
14. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
15. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
16. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
17. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
18. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Gordon has been excellent for fantasy owners once again this season, and he is coming off a massive Week 5 performance that saw him rush for 105 yards and catch six passes for 58 yards and two scores. Save a hiccup in Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Gordon has been one of the most consistent players in fantasy.
Remember when there were questions if Tarik Cohen would eat into Howard's production? It's probably safe to put them to bed. Howard has registered 60 carries for 169 yards and three rushing touchdowns the past three weeks.
Howard may not get the sheer quantity of touches as the elite options in fantasy, but he's continued to produce for fantasy players.
Trade Value: 8
19. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
20. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
21. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
22. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
23. Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots
24. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
25. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
26. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Martin is back after serving his suspension, and he didn't disappoint, opening his season by rushing 13 times for 74 yards and a score. His workload is only likely to increase, and his production should follow suit.
Any questions about Anderson's role on the Broncos with Jamaal Charles in town have been answered, as Anderson notched 20 or more carries in three of the first four weeks. Continue to roll him out as a high-end RB2.
Gronkowski's value has trended down slightly given his injury woes. Still, his massive potential leaves him as a no-brainer top-20 value.
Trade Value: 7
27. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
28. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
29. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
30. Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots
31. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
32. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
33. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
34. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
35. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
36. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
37. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
38. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
Ertz has been the most consistent tight end in fantasy this season, scoring eight or more points every week in standard-scoring leagues. Given his obvious rapport with Carson Wentz, he is locked in as a top-five tight end this season.
Newton is playing like the guy who won the 2015 MVP, with 671 yards through the air and six passing touchdowns in the past two weeks. After a slow start to the season, it would appear Newton has hit his stride. While some folks may still be gun-shy after his first three games, Newton's recent success is likely closer to his production going forward.
And then there's Watson, who is out of his mind right now. It's pretty odd to have seven quarterbacks among the top-40 players in fantasy right now, but those seven have proved to be valuable. Watson's torrid form since starting the season has not only made him a must-start player, but also one who you'll be buying high on if you try to land him in a trade.
It's more likely his production will plateau at some point and his value will take a slight dip, so now probably isn't the moment to strike a deal for him. Frankly, fantasy players who picked him up probably aren't going to want to give him up right now anyway. Sometimes, you've just got to play the hot hand.
Trade Value: 6
39. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
40. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
41. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
42. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
43. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
44. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
45. Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams
46. Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
47. DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
48. Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
49. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Coming into the season, both Murray and Ajayi were players with RB1 potential. What the heck has happened?
Murray's dip in production is harder to explain, though against Miami his offensive line didn't play well and Marcus Mariota didn't play, allowing the Dolphins to key in on the running back. And there's always the looming threat of Derrick Henry, though Murray continues to hold him off and remain the starter.
Unless Murray has lost a step—and that's possible at 29, following a season where he logged 346 touches—he's due for a resurgence at some point. That makes him an intriguing buy-low candidate.
Ajayi, meanwhile, appears to be caught in the whirlwind of Miami's offensive mediocrity. Jay Cutler running an offense in 2017 just isn't ideal.
On the plus side, Ajayi is going to get plenty of touches. He's the feature back, and the Dolphins are plenty incentivized to establish a running game each week given the whole "starting Cutler in 2017" factor. Like Murray, there is the potential for resurgence here. But Ajayi feels riskier than Murray, if only because he finds himself toiling on what has been the NFL's worst offense thus far.
Trade Value: 5
50. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
51. Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts
52. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
53. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
54. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
55. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
56. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders
57. Mike Gillislee, RB, New England Patriots
58. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
59. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings
60. Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills
61. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington
62. Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
63. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
McKinnon answered the question of who should emerge as Minnesota's lead back on Monday night against the Bears, accumulating 146 yards from scrimmage and a score on 22 touches. Latavius Murray, meanwhile, managed just 43 yards on 14 touches.
It's possible the Vikings will continue splitting the workload between the two players, which would mean McKinnon's value ultimately isn't this high. After his Week 5 performance, however, his perceived value is most certainly this high, meaning you could probably get a solid return for him if you have a surplus of running backs.
Or you could just hold onto him on the gamble that the Vikings give him more snaps and touches. If you added McKinnon to your team, you certainly have options.
If ever there was a buy-low option, meanwhile, it's Reed. He's once again battling injuries this year and hasn't produced at all for fantasy players. Perhaps an extra week of rest following Washington's bye sorted him out, however.
When healthy, he's a top-three talent at tight end, easily. Like Gronkowski, his value is almost always limited by injuries. Buy low or hold onto him and hope he regains his elite form—now is absolutely not the time to sell.
Trade Value: 4
64. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
65. Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
66. Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington
67. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington
68. Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks
69. Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers
70. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
71. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans
72. Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
73. DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It's very possible that Fuller and Funchess' recent spike in production can be tied to the corresponding play of Watson and Newton, and that each is due for a letdown. Fuller has four touchdowns in the past two weeks; Funchess has three. Surely that isn't sustainable.
Still, if Watson and Newton continue to ball out, Fuller and Funchess will benefit. Funchess, in particular, is required to play a larger role with Greg Olsen out of commission. So while a slight regression to the mean is possible for this pair, it seems likely that they are going to remain in the flex conversation for the rest of the season.
And may continue to gradually climb in value.
Trade Value: 3
74. Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
75. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
76. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
77. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
78. Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens
79. Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers
80. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
81. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
82. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
83. Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
84. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Welcome to the Land of Running Back Committees. It's a scary place full of fluctuating value, alternating prominence depending on the game plan or opponent and a general lack of clarity for fantasy players.
If you're forced to spend too much time in the Land of the Running Back Committees, well, your team took a wrong turn somewhere. Of course, hope abounds here, as those running backs who can't seem to escape promise that they have the potential and upside to eventually ascend to the Ethereal Plane of the Feature Backs.
And yet, you can almost hear Hotel California playing in the background as you scroll through the stats of this group, and if any of them are on your team, the lyrics practically roll off your tongue.
"You can check out any time you like / But you can never leave!"
Run for your life. Escape this place if you can. If you can't, well, we've all been there. Just remember:
"We are all just prisoners here, of our own device."
Trade Value: 2
85. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
86. Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens
87. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
88. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
89. Chris Thompson, RB, Washington
90. Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
91. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens
92. Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
93. Jermaine Kearse, WR, New York Jets
94. Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
95. J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals
96. Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
97. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
98. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
99. David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
100. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
Buy in on Njoku and Engram now. Especially in dynasty leagues.
Both are in pretty similar situations: bad offenses with a scarcity of other weapons in the passing game. In Njoku's case, that comes from being in a rebuilding situation with the Browns. In Engram's case, that comes from being on a Giants team that watched as almost all of its wide receivers suffered injuries last week.
Both offer similar games: Highly athletic targets who can make plays after the catch and offer significant matchup nightmares for defenses.
And yes, both are rookies, which caps their upsides. But don't be surprised when both finish the season as low-end TE1s or high-end TE2s.