Fantasy Football Week 5: Tips, Trade Value Rankings for Top 100 Players

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2019

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates scoring in the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Mark Tenally/Associated Press

With the first month of the NFL season complete, you probably have a good idea of where your fantasy football team stands. Unfortunately, it may not be exactly what you thought it would be, as injuries and underperforming players have completely scrambled the fantasy landscape this season.

The good news is there is still time to strengthen your roster and make a run. The waiver wire is an obvious avenue, but this is the point in the season when you should also strongly consider entering the trade market.

The key to proposing and pulling off a successful fantasy trade is knowing the value of the players involved.

Below, you'll find the top 100 fantasy players ranked in order of their current trade value. This isn't a look at past production or a strict player ranking, but rather a look at each player's value in both the short and long term.

For example, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley would be a top-two or top-three player in a traditional fantasy ranking. However, he's still working his way back from a high ankle sprain and isn't quite as valuable as a player who will actually take the field in Week 5.

"He's progressing," Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said after the 22-year-old was spotted running at practice, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan.

Factors like player health, projected role, upcoming schedule and team trajectory—how well a team or offense is performing as a whole—will be considered here.

        

Fantasy Football Week 5 Trade Value Chart, PPR

The Elite

1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

3. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

4. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

5. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

6. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles  Chargers

       

This is the tier of players who realistically shouldn't be traded unless you're extremely deep at their respective positions and in dire need of help elsewhere.

Running backs Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook are at the centerpieces of their offenses and likely to see a top-five workload every week. DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones and Keenan Allen are elite receivers and the focal points of their respective passing games.

As previously mentioned, Barkley would be in this tier if 100 percent healthy. Keep this in mind if proposing a trade. Dealing, say, McCaffrey for Barkley and a starting-caliber receiver will hurt in the short term but could pay off down the playoff stretch.

Duane Burleson/Associated Press

         

The Nearly Elite

7. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

8. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

9. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

10. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

11. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

12. Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets

13. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

14. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns

15. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

16. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

        

This group consists of the non-elite players who were most likely drafted in Round 1 or early in Round 2. These are workhorse running backs and No. 1 receiving targets. They are players who should not be traded in one-for-one deals involving any player from a lower tier.

The exception is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He is the lone signal-caller worth treating like a premier trade asset. Due to the team's lackluster defense and reliance on the passing game, you're not going to find a more productive fantasy quarterback in most weeks.

If you're going to make Mahomes part of a package deal, make sure you're getting a top signal-caller, such as Deshaun Watson or Lamar Jackson in return.

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb is a player with more value to the buyer than the seller right now. Plenty of fantasy enthusiasts are going to view the potential return of Kareem Hunt in Week 10 as a threat to his value.

However, the Browns are going to find it difficult to take the 23-year-old off the field for more than a few plays per game.

Don't be the person who sells low on Chubb, believing his value will plummet during the playoff stretch.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

        

Must-Starts

17. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

18. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

19. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

20. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

21. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

22. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

23. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

24. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

25. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

26. Mark Ingram, RB, Baltimore Ravens

27. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

28. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

29. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions

30. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

31. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

32. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

33. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

34. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks

35. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

36. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

37. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

38. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions

39. Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams

40. Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

        

This is the group of players you're going to want to start every week until further notice, provided they are healthy. There are a few things to keep an eye on here, though.

One of the biggest storylines right now is the return of Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon from his holdout. His return will cut into the workload of Austin Ekeler, who has been an elite fantasy back to this point, but it shouldn't lead you to sell low on the 24-year-old.

Ekeler has proved his worth over the first month of the season, racking up 490 combined rushing and receiving yards and six touchdowns. Making the Western Colorado product a full-time backup wouldn't be fair to him and wouldn't make a lot of sense for Los Angeles.

"Obviously I want to be the starter, but not necessarily [saying] 'I need to be No. 1 on the depth chart," Ekeler said, per Alex Butler of UPI.com.

Also keep an eye on Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill, who is working his way back from a shoulder injury. Now is a great time to buy low because he should be a near-elite player once he's back on the field.

        

Starting Caliber

41. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns

42. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams

43. Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

44. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

45. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

46. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

47. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

48. Darren Waller, TE, Oakland  Raiders

49. James White, RB, New England Patriots

50. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

51. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

52. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants

53. Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos

54. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

55. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers

56. Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

57. LeSean McCoy, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

58. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots

59. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans

60. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens

61. Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders

62. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

63. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

64. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons

65. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

66. Jordan Howard, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

67. Josh Gordon, WR, New England Patriots

68. Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

69. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

70. Carlos Hyde, RB, Houston Texans

71. Frank Gore, RB, Buffalo Bills

72. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

73. Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers

        

When it comes to skill-position players in this group, you're primarily looking at starters. However, you're not going to start these guys every single week. Depending on the matchups, you may want to stream a different option.

This is the core group of players you should be comfortable dealing. A guy such as Tyrell Williams—who has 216 receiving yards and four touchdowns—is going to look great in a trade offer, but he isn't going to make or break your fantasy team.

When valuing a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, keep in mind that name recognition means a lot. You may be able to snipe a couple of starting-caliber skill players by dealing Rodgers to a manager with, say, Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.

Just make sure you have a reliable replacement option before dealing your starting QB.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

         

The Best of the Rest

74. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills

75. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins

76. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

77. Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins

78. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

79. Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons

80. Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos

81. Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks

82. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

83. John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills

84. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears

85. Duke Johnson, RB, Houston Texans

86. Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks

87. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

88. Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens

89. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

90. Curtis Samuel, WR, Carolina Panthers

91. Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

92. DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

93. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

94. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

95. Golden Tate, WR, New York Giants

96. Chicago Bears D/ST

97. Will Dissly, TE, Seattle Seahawks

98. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets

99. DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

100. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers    

       

These are the players you won't necessarily start on a weekly basis but you don't want to simply cut, either. The exception is the Chicago Bears defense, which should be started weekly and really shouldn't be dealt if it is avoidable.

There are some starting-caliber quarterbacks in this tier as well, but they are tradeable. There's nothing wrong with including Matt Ryan or Jameis Winston in a package deal if a guy like Philip Rivers or Jared Goff is on the waiver wire.

Tight ends Austin Hooper and Will Dissly should be viewed similarly. They're worth starting in your TE slot, but they can be dealt if you have depth at the position.

The rest of this tier primarily consists of bench players, streamers and spot starters. There are a couple who are worth buying low on if possible.

Giants wideout Golden Tate is just now coming off of suspension and could see a significant role on the opposite end of Daniel Jones' passes. Robby Anderson should see a spike in value once New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is cleared to return from mononucleosis.  

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