Here's a pretty good rule to follow when trying to determine a player's fantasy value following a big week. One good game might be an anomaly. Two good games could be a fad. But three good games in a row is almost always a trend worth respecting.
Just two weeks into the season, it can be hard to know whether certain hot players are better put in the fad or trend department. Some guys you know you can trust—Travis Kelce, Derrick Henry and Kyler Murray, for instance, have already proved to be top fantasy options. Their value is secure.
Other players are trickier to evaluate. When it comes to trading them away, or acquiring them in deals, a bit of patience may be your best best.
Of course, the helpful trade guide is always here to lend a hand, as we attempt to provide a general idea of how you should be valuing your players. Any players not listed have a trade value of one. And as always, may the fantasy points be with you!
Trade Value: 15
1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
Trade Value: 14
2. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Trade Value: 13
3. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
4. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
5. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
6. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
7. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
8. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Trade Value: 12
9. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
10. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
11. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
Trade Value: 11
12. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
13. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
14. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
15. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
16. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
17. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
18. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
19. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
20. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
21. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
22. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
Trade Value: 10
23. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
24. Julio Jones, WR, Tennessee Titans
25. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
26. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
27. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team
28. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
29. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
30. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
31. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
32. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
33. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team
34. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
35. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
Trade Value: 9
36. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
37. Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
38. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
Trade Value: 8
39. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
40. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
41. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
42. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
43. Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears
44. Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers
45. Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Trade Value: 7
46. Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
47. Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Los Angeles Rams
48. Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers
49. Ty'Son Williams, RB, Baltimore Ravens
50. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills
51. Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots
52. James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
53. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
54. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions
55. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Trade Value: 6
56. Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans
57. Kenny Golladay, WR, New York Giants
58. Corey Davis, WR, New York Jets
59. Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
60. Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
61. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
62. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
63. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
64. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
65. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Trade Value: 5
66. D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
67. Mike Davis, RB, Atlanta Falcons
68. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
69. Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals
70. Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Trade Value: 4
71. JuJu Smith Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
72. Antonio Brown, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
73. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
74. DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
75. Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
76. Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
77. William Fuller V, WR, Miami Dolphins
78. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
79. D.J. Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
80. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
81. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
82. Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team
83. Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos
Trade Value: 3
84. Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals
85. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
86. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
87. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
88. Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons
89. Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Trade Value: 2
90. Melvin Gordon III, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
91. Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
92. Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
93. Myles Gaskins, RB, Miami Dolphins
94. Mark Ingram II, RB, Houston Texans
95. Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
96. Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
97. Matt Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams
98. Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
99. Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams
100. Jared Cook, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
What if I told you that Kelce was the most valuable player in fantasy football last season and is on pace to be in the running for that honor again this year.
You might scoff, because Josh Allen led all standard-scoring fantasy leagues in points last year, while Alvin Kamara was the top non-quarterback scorer. In terms of overall fantasy points, Kelce finished 17th.
But the argument for Kelce is that he offers more value at the tight end position than any other player offers at their respective position.
Let's say you are in a 10-person fantasy league. That means that every week, 10 tight ends must be started. Thus, to compare how much value a player like Kelce offers, you need to look into how many more points he gets your team per week than a player who shouldn't be started at tight end (aka a player outside the top 10 in scoring). In this case, the best such player is the Buffalo Bills' Dawson Knox, 11th in points scored at tight end.
Per week—and yes, it's only been two weeks—Kelce is scoring a whopping 15.9 more fantasy points than Knox. You are getting incredible return at tight end if you roster Kelce. The only player in football currently scoring more points per week than the top possible replacement player at his position is Henry, averaging 16.7 points more than No. 21 running back Damien Harris (No. 21 is the top replacement player at running back because you must start two running backs per week, and hence, a 10-person league has 20 guaranteed starters at the position).
And no, it's not a fluke. Last season, Kelce scored 11.7 more points per week than the top replacement tight end. Nobody had a better mark in football, with Kelce clearly beating out Davante Adams (10.8) and Alvin Kamara (10.2). Also, in a reminder of why you can sit and wait on a quarterback in your draft (at least in one-quarterback formats), Josh Allen finished just 5.7 points per week better than the No. 11 quarterback.
The point of this conversation is to remind you that fantasy value goes beyond just the overall number of points a player scores in total. When looking at trade proposals, you need to consider how much of an edge that player gives you compared to the field. A player like Kelce consistently gives you more of an advantage at tight end than almost any other player, at any other position. And that's why he's No. 2 on this list.
Why is Christian McCaffrey No. 1, then? Because he still has the potential to be even more valuable at running back than Kelce at tight end, given that he's also one of the best wide receivers in football. A healthy McCaffrey is a fantasy anomaly. Just ask the fantasy players who rostered him in 2019.
Speaking of running backs, when trying to forecast the overall value of young, unproven players at the position, one good metric worth monitoring is how many touches they are getting. For fantasy players, the more, the merrier.
Through two weeks, for instance, Ty'Son Williams has 27 total touches (22 carries, five receptions). Averaging 13.5 touches per week isn't great, but he also plays on a run-heavy team and has emerged as the top option. You should be valuing him in the low-end RB2 to high-end RB3 range right now, even if Latavius Murray lurks.
Najee Harris? Thirty-two touches through two games. And Elijah Mitchell is at 38 touches through two contests, both on very solid offenses that will grind it out on the ground.
But then there's Michael Carter, on a very poor Jets offense. At 18 touches through two games, it's fair to not be sold on him just yet, even as a buy-low candidate. One would imagine the New York Jets will be playing from behind quite a bit, hurting his chances at seeing too many 20-carry games.
Even Javonte Williams, in a clear timeshare with Melvin Gordon III, has 29 touches through two games.
If you can pry either Williams, Harris or Mitchell free for a reasonable price, make your move. Carter remains on the periphery of relevance, however.