This series was originally shared only with Patrons of the DynastyTradesHQ podcast. Man of the people that I am I decided to go ahead and share with all of the DFF readers. Hope you enjoy!
Every time you make a trade you’re trying to win that trade (at least I hope you are). While we often focus solely on the big names involved in our trades, an Odell Beckham Jr., David Johnson, Joe Mixon, etc., you should always try to get something else thrown in on the back end of a trade. You often hear me advocate getting rookie picks added to a trade since you can use them as currency to facilitate future trades.
Another area you can win at the margins is getting players with perceived lower values added to fantasy trades. If you don’t think it matters ask anyone who had Spencer Ware added to a trade earlier this season if it does. Or how about Matt Breida owners who acquired him last year. While most of these players will likely fade into obscurity, it only takes one hit to make this a worthwhile venture, considering they will just be “throw-ins” in trades.
The 26-year-old Conley is an athletic marvel. With a 130.8 (97TH) Sparq-x score Conley has few peers athletically at the wide receiver position. Unfortunately for Conley his skill-set as a deep threat never meshed with Alex Smith. Outside of a fluke 2017 season Smith refused to attempt deep passes, which is precisely where a burner like Conley should thrive. After Smith was jettisoned, Conley’s fortunes appeared to be on the upswing. But the Chiefs went out and signed Sammy Watkins, which has limited Conley’s target share.
In games where Watkins has missed or been limited Conley has been a viable fantasy asset though. Conley has scored 5.3 (Week 4), 3.2 (Week 10), 26.4 (Week 11) and 11.5 (Week 13) in the games Watkins has been limited to 9 or fewer routes or missed outright in 2018. Given a change of scenery with an expanded role Conley might be able to provide low-end flex value in the future.
Williams is an unrestricted free agent after this season and will play at 27 years old next year. In 2016 Williams set career highs in targets, receptions, yards, touchdowns and fantasy scoring. In Keenan Allen’s absence Williams was the de facto lead receiver for the Chargers that season. Averaging 13.6 fantasy points per game Williams was the WR22 overall. Since the 2016 season, Williams targets and corresponding stats have fallen.
But digging deeper into his advanced metrics does bring hope. In both 2017 and this season, Williams ranks top 12 in Fantasy Points Per target and top 4 in Yards Per Target. Ranking top 12 in 2017 and this season in QB Rating when targeted shows that Williams is still a reliable receiver when used. Williams 81st percentile Speed Score has been utilized enough the last two seasons for Williams to remain in the top 36 in Air Yards even with just over 4 targets per game over those two seasons. Though Williams 4 targets per game in 2018 rank just 74th at the wide receiver position, he is currently the WR48.
Williams has had two WR1 weeks in 2018, finishing as the WR8 in week 6, scoring two touchdowns and dropping 118 yards on the Browns on just 3 receptions. The following week Williams roasted the Titans for another 118 yards and a touchdown on just 4 receptions. As a UFA Williams will be able to choose his next destination. Here’s hoping it’s one where he’ll see closer to 6 to 7 targets per game than the 4 he sees with the Chargers.
Montgomery is another player who will be an unrestricted free agent with the conclusion of the 2018 season. After struggling as a wide receiver, Montgomery was switched to a running back in October 2016. Montgomery fared well enough as a running back to believe that he could hold off late round draft picks Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones entering the 2017 season. After three excellent weeks to start the season (RB7, RB2, and RB21) injuries started to rear their head on a nearly per game basis Montgomery ceded touches to both Williams and Jones and never got them back.
Prior to being cut by the Packers Montgomery had 6 or fewer touches in 5 of 7 games played. Former Packer Head Coach Mike McCarthy was either unable or unwilling to find a way to utilize Montgomery’s skill set. In a league where Theo Riddick, a far worse athlete than Montgomery, regularly posts 50+ receptions a season there’s no excuse for McCarthy not utilizing Montgomery. In the two weeks Montgomery has been active with the Ravens he’s been the RB33 both weeks.
Week 12 saw Montgomery haul in 3 receptions and add 8 rushing attempts for 64 total yards. Against the Falcons in Week 13 Montgomery only need 8 total touches for 55 yards. As a former receiver who didn’t convert to the running back position Montgomery is an excellent receiver out of the backfield with great after the catch ability. At 6’0” and 215 lbs. he also has the size required to be a full time running back. If Montgomery can find an offense that will get him the ball 8-10 times a game he can easily post RB3 numbers. And if he happens to find a coach innovative enough to use him more than that than might post RB2 numbers.
Is Murray any good? I don’t know. I do know that when he receives at least 10 rushing attempts he produces like a good running back.
Having a running back on your bench that could give you nearly 14 points if he had to fill in as a starter that week isn’t a bad thing to have, no? Those splits might be skewed a bit from Murray’s time as a full-time starter in Oakland. Let’s just look at Murray’s splits during his two seasons in Minnesota.
While Murray’s points dip slightly from nearly 14 to closer to 13 the point still holds. Whether Murray stays in Minnesota as the oft-injured Dalvin Cook’s backup or finds another backup role (maybe even a starting role) Murray has shown he can produce.
As always thank you for reading. Let me know who some of the players you’ll be looking to target as “throw-ins” in the comments below or on Twitter @DFF_Shane.