We’re now into the month of December, and the pickings are slim on the trade market - if there even is a market still in your league. So for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to produce some shorter blurbs with a little less detail but the main points covered on the players who stand out to me as assets you want to acquire or unload for the playoff run.
PLAYERS TO TRADE FOR
David Johnson (RB, Hou) — Remember him? It seems like it’s been three months since we’ve seen Johnson, but it’s actually been only three weeks. He’s now eligible to return from IR, so he will try to practice this week. He’s feeling a lot better, so there’s a very good chance he will return very soon, as soon as this week. If you’re really hurting at RB, Johnson can help you, and they may commit more to the running game with Will Fuller out of the mix. Personally, since I’m playing against a team with Johnson in my #1 league and need to win to make the playoffs, I’m not only expecting Johnson back this week, I’m expecting him to be impactful (the Fantasy Gods are against me in this league this year). They do have some tougher matchups upcoming against Ind, Chi, and Ind, but Johnson can catch some passes each week and they also have Cincy in Week 16, and Johnson could end the season on a high note and win some championships. One thing is clear: Duke Johnson is not cutting it in the running game and we’ve seen guys come back strong this year after a multiple-week absence, like David Montgomery last week.
Brandin Cooks (WR, Hou) — Incredibly obvious, but Cooks has been terrific in Houston, and with Will Fuller out of the mix, I think he’s a WR1 the rest of the way. He won’t come free, but if you’re looking for volume and big upside, and who isn’t, Cooks has both the rest of the way and is worth paying up for.
Curtis Samuel (WR, Car) and Robby Anderson (WR, Car) — The Panthers got good news on WR DJ Moore this week in that X-Rays on his injured ankle were negative. But the injury still looked bad and Moore had to be carted off the field, so I’d guess he will miss their next game in Week 13. He could miss more time. Even if he doesn’t miss any time, it’s not like Samuel and Anderson are bad options. Samuel actually intrigues me more than Robby, since he’s more of a downfield threat this year. If Moore misses 1-3 games, I think Samuel might be a league-winning type. He’s clicked well with Teddy Bridgewater, and the coaches have done a great job utilizing him.
Anthony Miller (WR, Chi) — This is on the low-end, but if Mitchell Trubisky can play well enough to keep his job, Miller might have a chance to be impactful down the stretch, and it’s not like Miller needs Trubisky, since he’s worked relatively well with Nick Foles this year. I do like their schedule the next four weeks, that’s for sure: Det, Hou, Min, and Jac. All four of those teams are in the bottom half of the league in terms of giving up fantasy points to slot receivers, per SIS. Miller did catch 7 TD passes in 2018 with Trubisky as the starter most of the season.
Noah Fant (TE, Den) — Hey, he caught a pass last week, which is more than I can say for, well, anyone else on the Broncos. Fant saw 12 targets in Weeks 10-11, and he does appear healthy right now and the Broncos expect Drew Lock back in Week 13. If you’re really hurting at TE, Fant did look tremendous early in the season with Lock and I really like their next four matchups for an athletic TE like Fant: KC, Car, Buf, and LAC.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT I STILL THINK THEY ARE VIABLE:
Christian McCaffrey (RB, Car) — Last call for CMC. The Panthers have a bye this week, but McCaffrey should be back for their next game, and they handed him his normal bell cow role with 29 opportunities - and that’s in a game he got hurt in. Obviously, there’s really only one angle with CMC right now: his owner must be in a win-or-go-home situation in Week 13.
JK Dobbins (RB, Bal) — I have no idea what to expect from the Ravens in Week 12, but now Dobbins will be able to play, so he’s at least in the mix and back playing football. If you were to get him, last week was ideal, but Dobbins could still be about ready to go on a productive run to end the season. In his last game, he was the guy with 15/70/1 rushing and 2/15 receiving on a 63% snap share with a career-high 17 touches.
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Ind) — I wish this guy would just go ahead and break out already so I can stop writing and talking about him in this space. Maybe it doesn’t happen until next year (but it will happen), but there were clear signs of promise in his last game, and Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins didn’t do anything of note in the running game in Week 12 without Taylor. I’m assuming Taylor will be back in Week 13, and there’s RB1 potential for him these next three weeks against Hou, LV, and Hou. I will predict right here that Taylor will run for at least 175 yards against the Texans this month.
James Conner (RB, Pit) — The Steelers haven’t played yet in Week 12, of course, but it matters little for Conner, who is out. He did look good last week, but he got vultured for a TD by Benny Snell, so his value didn’t soar. He’s due for some improvement in the TD department, and his matchups at Buf and Cin look appealing Weeks 14-15. I will add that before you pull off a trade for Conner this week, it would be wise to get some clarity on his availability for Week 13. I’m assuming he can be taken off the Covid list in time, but that’s not 100% clear.
Christian Kirk (WR, Ari) — He’s failed to eclipse 50 yards or 4 catches now in three straight games, but he’s at least had a solid 6 targets in each game. Kirk, it appears, is a streaky player who’s in a cold streak, but Kyler’s Murray’s lingering shoulder concerns should be considered before acquiring Kirk. But if the price is right, and his price is down right now, Kirk’s value could shoot back up very soon, as long as Kyler’s shoulder is okay. In their next three games, DeAndre Hopkins is looking at shadow coverage from Jalen Ramsey, James Bradberry, and Darius Slay, so the Cards will need Kirk. I’d feel a little better about Kirk if Andy Isabella didn’t exist, but if Larry Fitzgerald is back this week, Isabella’s snaps will drop from Week 12, when he played over 50% of them.
PLAYERS TO TRADE
Wayne Gallman (RB, NYG) — Hate to say it because he’s been a lifesaver for me and many others, but I think Gallman’s luck has run out. The injury to Daniel Jones looks serious, and that’s a big problem for Gallman because the offense will be much less dynamic with Colt McCoy under center. More importantly, their upcoming matchups do not look good for Gallman: Sea, Ari, Cle, and Bal. Gallman has been living off his TDs and he has only 6 catches total in his last four games. It’s time to sell high. Jarvis Landry (WR, Cle) — Yeah, I’m not buying it. Part of me thinks the only reason Jarvis went off last week was because I was playing against him in my #1 league, but his Week 12 performance has fluke written all over it. He is the top guy, as evidenced by his incredible 38% target share in Week 12 and his strong 28% target share since Odell Beckham went down. But I still don’t trust him and wouldn’t mind selling high, if possible. They have Ten, Bal, NYG, and the NYJ in their next four games, which doesn’t exactly look promising. None of those teams look capable of holding a big lead against the Browns in the second half, and the Titans and Buc eat up a lot of clock with their running games.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT I STILL THINK THEY ARE VIABLE: