We’re coming down to the wire for the trade market, which has closed already for many.
But for another week after this, I’ll continue to keep looking for any and all angles that make sense to me in terms of finding players whose values should rise and whose values should drop in the near future. As usual, if I list a player, it’s never a buy or sell at all cost recommendation (unless otherwise noted).
Here’s what I got this week….
PLAYERS TO TRADE FOR
David Montgomery (RB, Chi) — My goal with this article is to turn a profit, even if it’s only for 2-3 weeks, since that’s the nature of fantasy football this year. So I’m including a guy who’s been so hopeless this year that I handed him the nickname “Stonewall” about 7-8 weeks ago. It’s been brutal, but I actually forgot he existed for about 6 days during his bye week myself, so I’d guess he can be had for next to nothing in a trade. The guy needs some serious help, and he won’t get any from his OL, but maybe from his QB position if they switch to the more mobile Mitchell Trubisky. Most importantly, the schedule looks usually soft starting now: at GB, vs. Det, vs. Hou, at Min, and at Jax in Week 16 (GB in Week 17). That’s about as good as it gets for a RB schedule here in 2020. Montgomery returned to practice early this week, so I’m assuming he’s set to return Week 12.
Christian McCaffrey (RB, Car) — If we learned one thing this year about Panthers HC Matt Ruhle, it’s that players will produce in his offense and with OC Joe Brady pulling the strings, even if they’re backups. As for McCaffrey, he’s been great when out there this year, so he’s a worthy gamble for those with the depth to take the hit. It sure seems like the team is holding him out Week 12 with an eye on their next game in Week 14. Since they have that bye next week, it makes sense to give CMC another week off this week. It’s entirely possible that he’s back for the start of the fantasy playoffs, and if so he’s a league-winner. If his owner is desperate for wins now, it’s time to buy.
JK Dobbins (RB, Bal) — Were the Ravens not playing on Thanksgiving, Dobbins may have been able to play in Week 12, but that’s out of the question. If his owner is desperate for a win this week or is worried about Dobbins’ value (which may be warranted), he’s not a bad guy to look at this week on the chance that what we saw in Week 11 will be remembered as his breakout game. Dobbins last week had 15/70/1 rushing and 2/15 receiving on a 63% snap share with a career high 17. He was kind of the guy, so his value may be soaring after his next game (we presume) in Week 13.
Zack Moss (RB, Buf) — There’s no compelling reason to want to acquire him, since the timeshare in the Bills backfield is still essentially 50/50 with Moss having a slight edge in touches the last month. Their schedule isn’t great, but it’s not terrible. The one thing in Moss’ favor is the weather, which is about to get cold and they have some potential bad weather games upcoming in Pit, Den, and NE. Moss’ role could be growing a bit, since he’s better suited to run the rock in bad weather.
Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC) — It may be too late now, but he’s not a lock to play Week 12. If he needs a week and sits Week 12, and if his owner needs a win now to stay alive, the Chargers have a run of really nice matchup for RBs upcoming: at Buf, vs. NE, vs. Atl, at LV.
Christian Kirk (WR, Ari) — He’s not a brilliant addition to this list, but he is coming off a so-so game (yet one in which he played well in), so his value took a hit. Truth is, he was overachieving and due for a letdown. But a look at his schedule gave me some optimism, especially since they have several upcoming matchups where a top corner will likely spend a lot of time with DeAndre Hopkins in coverage. In fact, it could be argued that D-Hop will see four of the 6-7 best outside corners in the league in their next four games against NE, LAR, NYG, and Phi.
Jamison Crowder (WR, NYJ) — Most need not worry about Crowder as you look to make your playoff pushes, but in deeper league, there might be a small opportunity with Crowder, since he’s been pinched by Joe Flacco’s aggressive approach and the return of their two tall outside WRs. However, Sam Darnold is on the mend and is a good bet to return Week 12, and Darnold loves slot, so Crowder’s target share may be back to normal as soon as this week.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT I STILL THINK THEY ARE VIABLE:
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Ind) — What do you know? Taylor got the ball last week and he produced and got better as the game went on. He also had a nice 20-yard TD run called back. And he’s still hauled in 26-of-27 targets, dispelling the myth that his hands were bad. His value shot up this week, but it may not have peaked just yet. The Colts still have a dream slate of games the next four weeks: Ten, Hou, LV, and Hou.
James Conner (RB, Pit) — He did look good last week, but he got vultured for a TD by Benny Snell, so his value didn’t soar. He’s not a must-have, but he is due for some improvement in the TD department, and his matchups at Buf and Cin look appealing Weeks 14-15.
Raheem Mostert (RB, SF) — He is back this week, but so is Jeff Wilson. I still think a healthy Mostert will get 15 opportunities a game, and he was doing a lot more this year in the passing game.
Chris Carson (RB, Sea) — He is also back this week. Carlos Hyde looked great Week 11, but Carson is their primary back. The Seahawks need to recommit to the run to settle things down, protect their defense, and get Russell Wilson back on track and Carson is still the RB7 in fantasy points per game (17.5).
Deebo Samuel (WR, SF) — With Brandon Aiyuk on the mend, fantasy owners may be sleeping on Samuel, who is back from the bye this week and should be back in action this week.
Evan Engram (TE, NYG) — Week 10 was a disappointment, but Engram came close to a spectacular catch right in front of the goal line, so he came somewhat close to scoring. But before Week 10, every data point and film review was extremely positive on Engram and his usage, so there's a current buying opportunity for a player more than capable of posting top-5 numbers at TE down the stretch. Their schedule looks good.
PLAYERS TO TRADE
Matt Ryan (QB, Atl) — I was pushing to move on from Ryan and Julio Jones here 4-5 weeks ago, and while they had a nice run for 3-4 weeks, the vibes are once again bad. Ryan is basically worthless without Julio, and we can’t count on Julio for the rest of the season, most likely. You can’t use Ryan against a good or better defense with any confidence, and there are several upcoming on the schedule like NO, TB, KC, and TB (Week 17). Not that you can get much for him, but I don’t want to have to rely on Ryan the rest of the way.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Ari) — His value is down a little, I’m sure, so I wouldn’t move him for a poor return. But if moving him made sense and the return was strong, there’s reason to believe D-Hop may continue to underwhelm. In his next four games, he’s a good bet to work often (if not on most snaps) against some of the top outside corners in the league in Stephon Gilmore, Jalen Ramsey, James Bradberry, and Darius Slay.
Tee Higgins (WR, Cin) — An obvious one, but that doesn’t mean Higgins’ stock won’t plummet further in 1-2 weeks. I expect him to take the biggest hit out of their skill players due to the loss of Joe Burrow. They don’t have a particularly good schedule the rest of the way, either.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT I STILL THINK THEY ARE VIABLE:
Deshaun Watson (QB, Hou) — Watson and the Texans have the firepower to overcome it, but make no mistake: a three-game run vs. Ind, Chi, and Ind is as bad as it gets, and that starts Week 13. If you can get a good return and pivot over to a comparable option with better matchups, that is more than viable.