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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 you ask anyone who had Spencer Ware added to a trade 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.
You can find Part I of this series here.
After going undrafted out of Clemson in 2015 Humphries has turned into a productive if not consistent fantasy asset as well as an NFL receiver. Humphries has increased his snaps, snaps %, targets, receptions and receiving yards every season up to this season, and is on pace to do so again this season. He also happens to be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.
In 28 games played in 2017 and 2018 Humphries has also worked his way into to being a usable fantasy asset, with WR4 or better finishes in ½ (14 if you don’t want to do the math) of those games.
WR1 Finishes: 2
WR2 Finishes: 5
WR3 Finishes: 3
WR4 Finishes: 4
In 2018 Humphries has put up two WR1 weeks and three WR2 weeks. While Humphries stats may not seem that impressive at first glance, adding context to them does wonders. Humphries only averages 6 targets per game but has seen 5 or fewer targets in 6 games in 2018 (that’s half of his 2018 games). Using the RotoViz Game Splits apps we can see that when Humphries is targeted 6 or more times, he’s a low-end WR2. To be precise, the 16.22 points would be good enough for the WR19 in average fantasy scoring.
Disregarding any splits Humphries is the WR38 on the season, which is excellent production for a player most owners pulled off the waiver wire.
Humphries is a unique situation entering free agency. If he moves to another team, it’s reasonable to assume an increase in both his snap share (70.4%) and his targets. If he instead decides to remain in Tampa Bay, he should still see an increase in snaps and targets with the expectation that DeSean Jackson will be cut since doing so would save the Buccaneers $10 million. Humphries and Ty Montgomery (discussed in Part I) are the players I’ll be targeting most as “Throw-ins.”
As I’ve noted in the past, John Harbaugh has a fixation on Dixon. Dixon certainly flashed in the second half of the 2016 season with five RB2 finishes, including one RB1 week, or better over the last eight games. Since that time Dixon has spent most of his time either injured or suspended or injured and suspended. This season started well for Dixon with 13 carries, 44 yards and a touchdown in week 1 against Buffalo. Then Dixon was out for the next 11 games due to…injury. Active for the first time in 11 weeks Dixon saw 9 touches against Oakland in week 13. Facing the Chiefs Dixon flashed this week with a touchdown and 59 yards on just 8 carries, adding 21 more yards on one reception.
After this season the only running back under contract in Baltimore is Dixon. Ty Montgomery, Gus Edwards, Alex Collins, and Buck Allen are all free agents after the 2018 season. But not Dixon. Dixon still has one more year on a rookie contract that will pay him a little more than $800K next season. We can assume that Baltimore will add a running back or two via the draft and/or free agency, but Dixon will still be involved due to his versatility as a runner and pass catcher.
It wasn’t that long ago that Crowder was being called the next Antonio Brown by more than one fantasy analyst. After his 2016 season with 67 receptions, including 7 touchdowns and 847 yards at age 23 the sky seemed to be the limit for Crowder.
So how did Crowder follow up his WR38 2016 season? With another WR38 finish in 2017 (I removed any players who did not play in at least 10 games in a season from these rankings). A high-end WR4 is not very Brown-like.
Crowder had more weeks as a WR5 or worse (6) than he had as a WR2 or better (5) in 2017. Not only is that a volatility that no one wants to deal with on a weekly basis, it means in more than a third of the season Crowder was a black hole in your lineup. As always, adding context matters. Crowder’s 2017 season was truly a tale of two halves. Excluding week 17 (because no one should have a week 17 fantasy championship!), all five of Crowder’s WR2 or better weeks came in the final eight weeks of the fantasy season. In fact, over those final eight weeks, Crowder had two WR1 finishes, three WR2 finishes, and two WR3 finishes with just one dud of a week, a WR58 finish in week 14.
Once Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson were finished for the season after week eight (excluding a brief week 13 cameo for Thompson) Crowder’s 2017 season turned. In the first six weeks of the 2017 season, Crowder saw 7 targets of more once, while in the final eight games he met or exceeded 7 targets in six out of the final eight games. With Thompson being used similarly to Crowder and a healthy Jordan Reed Crowder’s targets and subsequently, his fantasy scoring was affected. Once Reed and Thompson were removed from the equation Crowder’s targets and fantasy production was buoyed.
I’ve used a lot of words discussing Crowder’s 2017 season but none on his 2018 season purposely. Crowder has played in 5 games and averaged 4.9 targets per game. Alex Smith, who was terrible until being lost for the season, started four of those games. One game was started by Colt McCoy and finished by Mark Sanchez, so yeah. The only thing the 2018 season has done is further depress Crowder’s value which makes him the perfect target as a “throw-in.” The 25-year-old Crowder is a free agent after this season, and it’s expected that Washington will let him move on. Crowder may never be Antonio Brown, but he could easily be a WR2 if he lands in a situation like Indianapolis.
Who are the players you’re trying to get “thrown-in” to your trades? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @DFF_Shane.