Patience is a Virtue: Don’t Trade These 3 Underperforming Players

by Kieran Cottrill ·

Believing the outcomes from week 1 have set players on a specific trajectory, fantasy footballers execute a surprising number of trades after week 1. Zooming out, 60 minutes of football illuminates very little. Often times, fantasy owners are distraught after a poor performance out of the gate and follow up with bad trade. It gets ugly when the player they traded after week 1 lights up the league for the rest of the season. Here are three players fantasy owners should be holding and awaiting a turn of fortune based on advanced stats, metrics, and analytics player profiles.

Donte Moncrief, Touchdown Machine

The Rams defense smothered the Colts offense all afternoon. As a result, nobody on the Colts offense made any significant in roads from a fantasy football perspective. After the Colts disastrous week 1 display, many fantasy owners were pressing the panic button on all players in the Colts offense. The lack of offensive success from Indianapolis is mostly due to the absence of Andrew Luck. Lets be honest,Scott Tolzien is not going to have any fantasy owners smiling. However, Luck is only supposed to miss the first part of the season, although it is ambiguous as to the exact number of games he’ll miss. When Andrew Luck is in the lineup, Donte Moncrief’s fantasy value shoots through the roof. There is also a slew of other factors that will increase Moncrief’s value as the season goes on.

Donte Moncrief has exceptional athletic gifts that prove immensely advantageous for wideouts across the NFL. He recorded a 4.40 (93rd-percentile) 40-yard dash time, which is essential for breaking away from defenders after the catch. Moncrief is very good at getting yards after catch, a highly sough after ability. Further reinforcing this point, he boasted a 119.5 (97th-percentile) Speed Score and 133.2 Burst Score (94th-percentile). In professional sports, athleticism reigns supreme the vast majority of the time. Moncrief is an athletic beast and defenses will not be able to keep him from high fantasy production for long, no matter who is playing quarterback. It also helps that teams’ number one corners will be focused on stopping T.Y. Hiltoninstead of Moncrief.


Donte Moncrief Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

It is expected the Colts will make a quarterback change before Andrew Luck comes back, turning to Jacoby Brissett. Brissett has some NFL experience under his belt from last season and we all know things can’t get any worse than having Scott Tolzien at the helm. Look for Donte Moncrief to rebound in the coming weeks with Brissett and to breakout when Luck comes back. Aside from his raw athleticism and change in personnel he is also a crucial part of the Colts’ red zone attack. Last season, in just nine games played, he recorded eight red zone receptions, good enough for being in the top 30 amongst all receivers. Moncrief also has a 10.23 (87th- percentile) catch radius, making him a sizable target all over the field, especially by the goal line. Moncrief is going to start scoring touchdowns in bunches, so it would be wise to hold on to him despite his slow start.

Brandon Marshall, Still a Matchup Problem

Leave it to the New York Giants to have a more miserable day at the office last week than the Colts. The Giants could only muster up 3 points against a ravenous Cowboys defense that had been touted as weak prior to the season. The Giants were equally toothless running the ball and going through the air. Consequentially, the new addition to their wide receiving core, Brandon Marshall, was held to just one catch. While many fantasy owners who started Brandon Marshall this past week have steam blowing out their ears and are combing the free agents, they should take a breath before making any ill-advised decisions. The reason he had so few targets was because Eli Manning was under constant duress from the Dallas front and an offensive line that leaked like a sieve. Marshall’s lack of production is not an indication of his future performances.

Brandon Marshall might lose some targets to Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, but when Odell Beckham is back in the lineup, look for Marshall to get open a lot more than he did in week 1. Marshall also has a 10.19 Catch Radius (81st-percentile). His size will create mismatches with defenders up and down the field. As a nice complement to his elite size, Marshall recorded a 114.7 Speed Score (95th- percentile). Marshall’s combination of size and speed is a nightmare for cornerbacks, and it will pay dividends in fantasy leagues. He is a big receiver that will see lots of targets in the coming weeks, especially in the red zone. In fact, Marshall scored a 33.3- percent Red Zone Target Share (No. 3) last season, with an inferior quarterback situation to this season. Marshall will inevitably see more touchdowns as his relationship with Eli Manning improves and he gets more comfortable in the offense.

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Brandon Marshall Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

So much of a receiver’s production is tied to the play of their quarterback. While Eli Manning throws loads of interceptions, he also throws the ball a ton and includes all his receivers well. Last season, Manning had 599 passing attempts (No. 7) and 78 deep ball attempts (No. 7). This is good news for Brandon Marshall as his size gives him a big advantage over smaller corners down field. Also taking into consideration the consistency that Manning brings, currently holding the longest active consecutive games played streak, we know he will be out there. If manning is on the field, Marshall will be able to flourish this year in fantasy leagues. Put the week 1 debacle at Dallas behind you and keep starting Marshall, its only uphill from here.

Alshon Jeffery, Eagles’ Ultimate Weapon

Many fantasy football “experts” on the four-letter network were predicting Alshon Jeffery to be a massive bust moving over to Philadelphia. Jeffery logged just three catches for 38 yards Sunday against Washington. Many of his fantasy owners who lost in week 1 will be looking at ESPN’s “expert” predictions and think they’re prophets. Before trading away Jeffery here are a few things to consider:

First, Alshon Jeffery was facing off against an elite corner in Josh Norman for most of the afternoon. Norman is known to shut down the likes of Odell Beckham and Dez Bryant as well. Once Jeffery gets faced up against corners lacking the quality of Norman he will see an uptick in production. In addition, Jason Peters, the eagles all-pro offensive lineman, was injured during the game thus limiting his playing time. Carson Wentz was exposed to more pressure than he normally would be with a healthy Peters. Peters will likely be back next week against Kansas City. In other words, Jeffery’s lack of fantasy production was not entirely his fault, but a product of his surroundings.

Like Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery is a big target that will see plenty of red zone targets throughout the course of the season. Similarly to Marshall, he has a blend of size and speed that makes him a constant fixture in a potent Eagles offense. Jeffery achieved a 105.4 Speed Score (84th- percentile) and a 10.88 Agility Score (84th- percentile). Carson Wentz has never had a receiver quite like Jeffery, it will be extremely interesting to see the chemistry they’ll build throughout the course of the season. To make matters better for his fantasy owners, Jeffery’s College Dominator Rating was also solid 39.7- percent (78th- percentile). Unfortunately, in the early stages of his career, Jeffery has been limited due to his poor quarterback situation. Now with a promising youngster throwing the ball to him, he’s ready to start dominating fantasy leagues. Do not trade Jeffery, hold on to him and see your fantasy squad reap the benefits.

Check out Alshon Jeffery on the Updated PlayerProfiler Seasonal & Dynasty Rankings:

There are a few lessons to be learned here for fantasy owners. Primarily, do not let your emotions overcome you if your team has one bad week. If you let your anger get in the way of football knowledge, then you will just end up making your team worse. Secondly, think before you make a trade based on one week’s performance. The notion of buying low and selling high is always valid. Take advantage of other owners’ frustration based on a small sample size and don’t be the person that gets rid of their best assets too early. Lastly, stay patient with players that you believe in. Every week is a new week and you never know who is going to light up the field come Sunday. Stay patient with pieces that you liked coming into the season because it just might be the savior of your fantasy season when the later weeks arrive.