Week 6 Trade Targets for Keeper Fantasy Football

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
Oct 6 2013 Cincinnati OH USA New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady 12 passes the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati defeated New England 13 6 Mark Zerof USA TODAY Sports

Target: Tom Brady

Last year, Drew Brees surpassed the great Johnny Unitas by throwing a touchdown in more consecutive games than any quarterback in NFL history. Unitas’s record of 47 games had lasted since 1960, and Brees continued his streak through 54 games. At the time the streak ended, week 6 was circled on the New England calendar, the inevitable date that Tom Brady would tie Brees. The story would get better when the schedule was later released, pitting Brady against Brees in the game they would tie.

But when the 2013 season began, Brady had none of his five top targets from 2012. His completion percentage through the first two games was only 52.7 percent. His receivers have a combined 10 drops for the season. And Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins are tied for fourth in the league in that category.

On Sunday, Brady completed 18 of 38 passes (47.4 percent) for 197 yards, no scores, and an interception. The streak came to an end at 54 games. It would be difficult to imagine many better buy low situations in recent memory. Danny Amendola returned Sunday to lead the team in targets with nine. Rob Gronkowski should be back soon. Things will get better when these two men return, and the young offense improves its chemistry.

Target: DeAngelo Williams

Suggesting a Carolina Panther running back has been laughable for more than a couple of years. It’s one of the more obvious models to demonstrate the difference between a good NFL player and a serviceable fantasy starter. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have been two of the most talented runners in the league since entering the NFL. Before Williams restructured his contract in the 2013 offseason, the star-studded backfield was under contract for over $80 million.

But their talents cancel each other out on the fantasy field. In games they have played together, Williams has averaged 12 carries for 59.4 yards, and Stewart has rushed 10.3 times for 46.1 yards, with the two combining for 0.9 touchdowns per game. When separated, Williams gets 16.1 attempts for 78.5 yards per game, while Stewart runs 18.0 times for 97.5 yards on average.

The schedule for Stewart’s return is still murky at best. He is eligible to return Week 7 from the PUP list, though nothing is definite at this point. In fact, the Charlotte Observer suggested in August that Stewart could potentially miss the entire 2013 season. There is a lack of clarity among starting fantasy rushers this year, and Williams is averaging 18.5 carries per game. He could be a serviceable flex option for the duration of the year. And, you’ve heard this before, should one be sent to a new team in the offseason, their values will each increase. There’s a new sheriff in town; Dave Gettleman replaced Marty Hurney as General Manager in January.

Target: David Wilson

In 2012, of running backs with at least five rushes of 20 or more yards, David Wilson was more efficient than anyone besides Adrian Peterson. On average, it took only 12.9 attempts for each big gain by Peterson, while Wilson needed 14.2 rushes to break a long run. He’s due.

The doghouse theorists have a point with Tom Coughlin. After Wilson’s second career carry ended in a fumble, he wasn’t trusted with more than seven carries until his 13th game. In the final four games of 2012, Wilson rushed 43 times for 247 yards (5.7 yards per attempt). He also averaged 178 all-purpose yards (68.3 on offense), while scoring five touchdowns during that stretch.

Wilson fumbled again in week one. Tom Coughlin stuck Wilson in the doghouse, only allowing him to rush seven times in each of the first two games. Wilson has only turned the ball over against Dallas, and has zero career fumbles after week one. Brandon Jacobs was recently promoted to second-string following the release of Da’Rel Scott.

Following a neck injury Sunday, Wilson left the game as a precaution. Jacobs later fumbled on his fourth carry of the game. The only other running back active Sunday was Michael Cox, who has two kickoff returns and no offensive touches in his short career. A firm believer in Couglin’s doghouse would have to recognize that Jacobs has now become the most recent offender.

Regardless, Wilson is the team’s most talented runner and gives the Giants the best chance to win. Some thought Jacobs would be stealing goal line touches from Wilson, but the starter scored his first touchdown of the season on a five-yard carry. Wilson already tweeted, “Be back next week,” and will face the easiest schedule of run defenses through week 16.

There are few better target opportunities right now in fantasy, especially considering Wilson’s upside as an elusive 22-year-old. With good production through the remaining 11 games, he could become a first or second round prize in 2014 re-draft leagues. Depending your keeper rules, Wilson may be a very valuable asset for a long time to come.

Stats and contract data courtesy of pro-football-focus.com, nfl.com, and spotrac.com

author avatar
Dave Major
Senior Fantasy Analyst for @XNSports. While not wasting immeasurable time as a stand-up comic in New York, Dave Major can be found watching three football games at once and telling people how to live their fantasy lives. If you're out of ideas, use your one phone call on !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');