We are going to switch things up a bit. As the regular season is winding down, for those still in contention, we are going to take a look at players you should be targeting via trade to help you win your league this year, and for those already out of it, we are going to look at players to pick up right now that will give you a chance to win next season.
Players To Trade For This Season
Andrew Luck (QB, Ind) – HC Chuck Pegano confirmed this week that Luck will resume starter duties once he is cleared to play, so there is a very good chance Luck is back for the final week or two of your fantasy playoffs. Despite having a down year, Luck is still a top five quarterback this year when playing, so try and grab him for a receiver or running back you are not using, or if you can flip your backup quarterback for him, that works too.
Drew Brees (QB, NO) The Saints have been pretty brutal as a whole this season and Brees has struggled through a shoulder injury. But they play much better at home and since their defense can’t stop anyone, you can expect heavy volume from Brees to close out the season. The Saints also have a phenomenal three game stretch Weeks 14-16: @TB, vs. Det, vs. Jac.
Lamar Miller (RB, Mia) – Some people will judge Miller as a bust by looking at his stats the past two weeks without digging a little deeper. Miller is actually averaging 4.8 yards per carry on the season and inexplicably had only five carries last week. That’s the sort off thing that will get coaches fired, and that’s exactly what happened with OC Bill Lazor being dismissed this week. Miami will keep losing if they continue to let Ryan Tannehill carry them and HC Campbell understands that. Look for Miller to get 15+ touches a game the rest of the way, and with a good schedule down the stretch, he should be leading your team every week as well.
C.J. Anderson (RB, Den) – It may be too late to get him, but the Bronco run game is finally getting going. The rumors coming out of Denver for weeks have been that they would still love for Anderson to be their lead back with Ronnie Hillman the change of pace. Anderson stepped it up last week, gashing a solid New England run defense for 15/113/2 rushing and 4/40 receiving while playing 56% of the Broncos’ offensive snaps. In turn, Hillman’s 34% snap share was his lowest since Week 1. Try and pry him away from a sleeping Anderson owner now.
Brandin Cooks (QB, NO) – See my notes on Brees above, but it wouldn’t be surprising if you could get Cooks for cheaper than you think.
Julius Thomas (TE, Jac) – Thomas is finally starting to get things going after a slow start to the season due to injury. He scored in Week 11 and then went off for 9/116/1 in Week 12. With Allen Hurns dealing with his own injuries, and an easy upcoming schedule, Thomas could finish as a top 5 tight end down the stretch.
Player To Trade This Season
Julio Jones (WR, Atl) – Matt Ryan has been brutal lately and the team faces shutdown corner Josh Norman and the Panther defense in Weeks Fourteen and Sixteen. Don’t trade him unless you get legitimate value in return, but I would take a 2 for 1, RB2 and/or WR2 for him in a heartbeat.
Ronnie Hillman (RB, Den) – See my notes on C.J. Anderson above. With every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Try and trade him to the C.J. Anderson owner. Otherwise, he might be best used as a flex play going forward.
1) Josh Gordon (WR, Cle) – We know what Gordon can do when he’s focused and hopefully a year off from football will do the trick. So far he has stayed quiet and passed a plethora of drug tests, so he should be good to go come next season. He is a Top 5 WR when he is on the field.
2) Breshad Perriman (WR, Bal) – It’s a lost season for the Ravens, but Perriman holds legit WR1 upside next year. Noted NFL analyst Greg Cosell compared him to Julio Jones coming out and mentioned that he was big and strong, with powerful movement strong hands, really good body control and could make difficult catches away from his body. He said he had movements of a smaller wide receiver, but in a bigger body. With Steve Smith retiring, Perriman will be the teams WR1 and he will be a WR1 for fantasy as well.
3) Kevin White (WR, Chi) – A year off learning to refine his route running is not an entirely bad thing for White, who has the potential to be another legit WR1 like Perriman. Alshon Jeffery is a free agent at the end of the season, but I think it would actually help White if Alshon stayed to draw coverage away.
5) Jay Ajayi (RB, Mia) –Lamar Miller is a free agent next season and Miami has never fully bought into his talent. In comes Ajayi who many believed to be the second best running back in this years draft class behind Todd Gurley. He’s a foundation back that can do it all, block, run and catch.
6) Dorial Green-Beckham (WR, Ten) – In terms of sheer natural ability, DGB is better than both White and Perriman. He barley played in college including missing his final year due to disciplinary issues, so it is not a surprise to see him struggle this year. With Marcus Mariota only getting better in year two, you can expect DGB to take a big step forward himself. He has the potential to be the best of all the young receivers. He could also flame out like Cordarelle Patterson if he doesn’t start to learn the mental part of the game.
7) Donte Moncrief (WR, Ind) – Moncrief compares favorably to another Colt wide receiver, Andre Johnson. Fortunately for Moncrief, Johnson is just about done and will be gone next season while Moncrief will be the teams starting X receiver, playing with Andrew Luck for years to come.
8) Ameer Abdullah (RB, Det) – It’s been a rough start for Abdullah, but he has tons of juice and is very laterally explosive. And despite his size, he can run it up inside well. Think a more talented Justin Forsett or Amahd Bradhsaw.
9) Tyler Lockett (WR, Sea) – We’ve already seen what Lockett can do, and the is no reason to believe he swon’t be even better next year. He’s a TY Hilton type player with the toughness of a Golden Tate. The only downside here is the teams letting Russell Wilson chuck it around more.
10) Maxx Williams (TE, Bal) – It always takes tight ends a year or two to adjust to the pro game and Williams is no different. Think of Dennis Pitta’s best season as his floor. With Steve Smith gone next season, Williams should catch a ton of balls and people will be clamoring for him in August like they were Travis Kelce this past season. The only difference? Williams has a quarterback willing to get him the ball.
11) Matt Jones (RB, Was) – I have a feeling Washington lets Alfred Morris walk as a free agent next year, leaving the explosive Jones as the teams lead ball carrier. Your only fear is Christine Michael, who was signed to the teams practice squad, and theoretically has more talent than Jones.
12) David Johnson (RB, Ari) – Unfortunately it may be tough to get Johnson now with Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington both injured and Johnson set to take over lead duties. But if your season is done and there is a way you can trade a more expensive asset for him now, it is worth a shot since he may be their lead guy next season and has some solid juice and size. The big knock on him is that while he is a bigger back, he doesn’t necessarily hit it up the middle like one.
13) Duke Johnson Jr (RB, Cle) – He could easily dominate touches in this backfield both as a runner and receiver next season and this team just has to be better, right? Well, maybe. But you have to think they bring in a new coach, with a better quarterback and they will have Josh Gordon back in the fold. Most of the offensive line is also locked up for the next few years and they are one of the best in the league.
14) Phillip Dorsett (WR, Ind) – Dorsett is a smaller receiver so it’s not surprising that it has taken him some time to adjust to the physical NFL game. But with Andre Johnson gone, Dorsett should see the field regularly in three receiver sets. He was the Colts first round draft pick for a reason and he can straight fly. Think a slightly less physical DeSean Jackson.
15) Nelson Agholor (WR, Phi) – While he can play anywhere on the field, Agholor is better suited in the slot. Unfortunately Jordan Matthews has been playing that role, albeit not very well. Hopefully the Eagles will move Agholor there next year where he could be a PPR beast, with a Jarvis Landry floor. If not, Agholor will project more as a complimentary piece with WR2 upside, as he is a smart player that has great run after the catch ability. It is just not easy for smaller receivers to play on the outside when they are not as fast as TY Hilton or DeSean Jackson and not necessarily as physical as a player like Antonio Brown. That said, you also can’t rule out Brown type upside. He’s a quality player that hopefully finds his role.
16) Brock Osweiler (QB, Den) – There is zero chance Peyton Manning returns as the starting quarterback for the Broncos’ next year. If they can get their offensive line fixed and healthy, this is a team with tons of weapons, including young receiver Cody Latimer. He’s a good fit for Gary Kubiak’s offense and could easily be a top 12 option next season.
17) Cody Latimer (WR, Den) – Speaking of Latimer, he was drafted in the second round last season and they would love for him to start on the outside with Emmanuel Sanders kicking into the slot. He’s extremely gifted physically and there were reports that Peyton Manning got in his head too much. Fortunately that won’t be the case with Osweiler who has practiced with him on the b-team for the past two seasons.
18) Devin Funchess (WR, Car) – Funchess is not as talented as Kelvin Benjamin, but he’s another big receiver that fits this offense well. The problem with Funchess is that he will be third in the receiving chain next season behind Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen, and in reality everyone is behind Cam Newton when it comes to scoring touchdowns. He’s never going to be a WR1, but if you are looking for a rock solid WR3, you could do a lot worse than Funchess.
19) Justin Hardy (WR, Atl) – Roddy White is all but done and Leonard Hankerson, despite putting up decent numbers, has the worst drop rate in the league this year and grades out as PFF’s worst receiver. While not big or fast, Hardy is a tough player that could be PPR gold next year playing out of the slot.
20) Kenny Bell (WR, TB) – Our own Matt Waldman compared him to Hines Ward. He was also compared to Nelson Agholor coming out this year. With Vincent Jackson getting up there in age, Bell may be the 1b to Mike Evan’s 1a for years to come.
21) Chris Conley (WR, KC) – he’s an absolute physical freak, standing 6’2, 213lbs running a 4.35 forty with a 45 inch vertical and 139 inch board jump. He underwhelmed in college, but has serious potential. The downside is that he also could be another Justin Hunter, although at least he is very smart and excelled academically in college.
SONG OF THE WEEK
This week I present Foals and their new single Moutain At My Gates that you can check out below:
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