Fantasy Football Buy or Sell: Trade Deadline Edition
As the playoffs draw nearer, so does the trade deadline. Most league’s deadline is sometime either this week or next, depending on the league and/or site. Here are some last minute moves to make to help your team down the stretch.
Players to Buy
Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL)
Let’s face it. Lamar Jackson didn’t live up to the 2nd round price tag that fantasy owners paid this offseason, but now is the perfect time to buy low on him, or as low as you’re ever going to get for a player of his caliber. The last two weeks Lamar faced arguably the two best defenses in the NFL in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, but the schedule gets far more favorable from here on out. Particularly the last four weeks, where he gets the Cowboys, Jaguars, Giants and Browns (who he tore up in week 1). If you’re a playoff contender looking to try and solidify your title hopes now is the time to buy as Lamar should be a top 3 fantasy QB to wrap up the fantasy season.
Drew Brees (QB – NO)
Brees looked like he found the fountain of youth last week against a tough Tampa Bay defense that just looked lost all night. He looked particularly strong when pushing the ball downfied, which has been an issue for him this season. Now with the tough part of his schedule in the rear view mirror, his schedule really opens up the second half, ranking as the 3rd easiest schedule for QBs the rest of the season. And if that wasn’t enough, five of those seven games are indoors. Oh yeah, and Michael Thomas is back.
Miles Sanders (RB – PHI)
Fantasy football is a game of “what have you done for me lately” and after missing the past two games (followed by a bye week) Miles Sanders has fallen off of people’s radars. Despite having one of the toughest fantasy schedules the first half of the year (LAR, CIN, @SF, @PIT, BAL), Sanders still managed to average 6.1 YPC in those five games and finished as a top-20 RB in four of them. When active this year, he’s handled over 80% of the team’s rushes per game and has gotten 13% of the target share. Now, moving forward he has the Giants, Browns, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, Cardinals and Cowboys to round out the year. Between a heavy workload and a soft schedule, Miles Sanders should be a top 5 fantasy RB the rest of the season.
Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
JT’s stock has plummeted after back-to-back disappointing performances and many fantasy owners are worried due to Wilkins’ workload of late. Now is the time to buy at an extreme discount and one that could be a low risk/high reward move that helps you win your league. From week 10 on, Jonathan Taylor has the easiest fantasy schedule for RB’s in the league, facing off against the Titans (twice), Texans (twice), Packers, and Raiders. It’s very possible we see a rookie second half similar to Miles Sanders in 2019.
Leonard Fournette (RB – TB)
Since returning from injury, Fournette has put together three straight double-digit performances. In his three games since his return, Fournette has outsnapped Ronald Jones 124-64 and is not only the clear-cut passing down back but is also looking like the preferred early-down back moving forward. With a favorable fantasy schedule, Fournette should be a set-it-and-forget-it RB2 the rest of the season.
Robert Woods (WR – LAR)
After a 20 target, 11 catch night in week 8, all eyes are on Cooper Kupp, as he has been the 8th most traded for WR in fantasy coming off of their bye. Meanwhile, Robert Woods is quietly ranked WR16 on the year and has Seattle coming to town in week 10, who give up the most fantasy points to WRs. The Rams have relied heavily on Jared Goff this season (averaging 35.5 pass attempts per game) and Woods should be a fantasy staple down the stretch, as they draw NE, NYJ, @SEA in the fantasy playoffs.
Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE)
Jarvis Landry had a disappointing stat line in week 8 (4 for 52), but much of that can be attributed to the terrible weather in Cleveland, as Baker had to deal with wind gusts of up to 29mph. Looking deeper into the numbers however, you’ll see Landry had a season high 11 targets in that game. With OBJ out for the season, that target share should only continue. From week 10 on, Cleveland has the 6th easiest WR schedule and with Nick Chubb returning, it should only alleviate the passing game. If you’re in a PPR league Landry is a cheap WR2 option moving forward.
Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)
Since his return from a toe injury, Sterling Shepard has combined for 26 targets and has caught at least 6+ catches in each game. The Giants have Philadelphia this week followed by a bye, but after that they get the Bengals, Seahawks, Cardinals and Browns which ranks the 4th easiest schedule in the league. Shepard is a cheap move that provides a high-ceiling WR3 value the rest of the way in PPR leagues.
Mark Andrews (TE – BAL)
As I stated above, Lamar Jackson is set to finish the season on a high-note, and if that’s the case it would only make sense that his favorite target should follow suit. Andrews has been the definition of a bust so far this season, but much of Andrews struggles have been due to Lamar throwing for less than 200 yards in five of eight games this season. Just like the stock market, its always best to buy when the stock is lowest.
Other Names to BUY: Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, Deandre Swift, Antonio Gibson, Chase Edmonds, Keenan Allen, Tyler Lockett, Tyler Boyd, Jerry Jeudy, Jamison Crowder, Allen Lazard, Hayden Hurst, Austin Hooper, Hunter Henry, Dallas Goedert
Players to Sell
Ryan Tannehill ( QB – TEN)
Tannehill has been extremely efficient this season, passing for 19 TD to only 3 INT and throwing for multiple TD in 5 straight games. But lets be real here, this is Derrick Henry’s team and the passing numbers mirror that. Through eight games, Ryan Tannehill has only thrown for 250+ yards twice and his fantasy production has been big-play dependent. At the halfway mark, Tannehill is tied for 4th in the league in 40+ yard completions and is tied for the 3rd longest active multi-TD streak in the NFL. Meanwhile, he has only completed 18 or fewer passes in four of his eight games. His numbers are purely unsustainable. Now Tannehill has Indianapolis (twice) and Baltimore the next three weeks. Now is the time to jump ship.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC)
The preseason darling that is CEH has become quite the headache over the past few weeks, getting eight or less carries in three straight games. The KC backfield has turned into a full blown committee between CEH, Bell and Williams, which has destroyed any upside. If that wasn’t bad enough, Andy Reid has practically went away from the running game all together, passing on 75% of downs since week 5. It only get’s worse down the stretch as the Chiefs have the 3rd toughest schedule for RB’s the rest of the season.
Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL)
This is a lost season for the Dallas Cowboys and I don’t expect it to get any better for Elliott owners either. Zeke still ranks as the RB5 in PPR points per game, which provides the perfect facade to try and move him. The Cowboys have lost both starting offensive tackles to injury and Pollard’s role will only continue to expand as Dallas falls further out of NFC East contention. Between a bum hamstring and a remaining RB schedule that ranks the #1 toughest in the league, use the name value to see if you can move him for someone like Aaron Jones or Miles Sanders.
Adam Thielen (WR – MIN)
Much like the Titans, the Vikings are a team predicated on the run, but unlike the Titans, they have had extremely inefficient QB play. This team rides on the shoulders of Dalvin Cook and as long as he is healthy Mike Zimmer is going to continue to play “control the clock”, mistake-free football. That means taking the ball out of Cousins’ hands. In five of eight games this season Cousins has finished with 16 or fewer completions and only has a combined 34 passing attempts the past two weeks. Over the next 7 weeks, Thielen only has two remaining matchups that favor him (DAL and JAX) and an overall schedule that ranks the 6th toughest in the league.
Christian Kirk (WR – ARI)
Christian Kirk has taken advantage of an extremely soft fantasy schedule, scoring 6 TD over the past 5 weeks. During that span however, Kirk is only averaging 6 targets per game and has only broke the century mark once. Sell high before he comes back down to earth.
Jonnu Smith (TE – TEN)
Jonnu salvaged his day last week catching a TD late in the 4th quarter, but was catchless the first 3 quarters of the game. He now has 4 or fewer targets and 6 combined catches the last four weeks. Between quad and ankle injuries he clearly hasn’t been 100% and as I stated with Tannehill the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Down the stretch the Titans have the 2nd toughest schedule for TE’s.
Other Names to SELL: Deshaun Watson, Joe Burrow, Josh Jacobs, Todd Gurley, James Conner, Melvin Gordon, Ronald Jones, David Montgomery, Mike Evans, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Terry McLaurin, Justin Jefferson, DJ Chark, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski
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