Heading into Week 9, the trading marketplace should be as active as ever, but the number of viable options is dwindling - and many can get the help they need off the ever-fruitful 2020 waiver wire.
But I’m still looking to isolate players whose values are likely to rise in the coming weeks, and those whose values are a good bet to drop. I’m not going to list a guy as a sell just because he had a big game, but there will be some of that. And if I list a player as a player to consider trading, I’m not saying to sell at any cost (if I want to convey that, I will).
Basically, I’m just 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, and I’m passing any recommendations along to you here each Tuesday.
Here’s what I got this week….
PLAYERS TO TRADE FOR
Josh Allen (QB, Buf) — I’m not totally sold on Allen bouncing back, but even in what has been a month-long slump, he hasn’t been awful. Allen’s last four weekly finishes since his hot start: QB14, QB17, QB19, and QB20. Sure, he’s trending in the wrong direction, but he’s also had a couple of tougher matchups and didn’t have John Brown Weeks 5 and 7, plus he has missed TE Dawson Knox. Allen has a good chance to come through with big numbers this week against Seattle, and then they have Arizona after the bye, which is a decent matchup. He does have the Steelers Week 14, but Allen can produce with his legs if need be. Overall, his schedule looks like a positive the rest of the way, and high-impact QBs don’t grow on trees, so if you’re looking for one, Allen looks like the best guy to target this week.
D’Andre Swift (RB, Det) — Well, he’s back on the list this week after a craptastic performance in Week 8. The Lions aren’t going to suddenly gain a clue and feature their talented #2 pick, but Swift has been trending in the right direction. Swift’s snap rate over the Lions last five games is as follows: 9% > 38% > 38% > 45% > 62%. In addition, in Week 1-4, Swift saw just 14% of the team’s carries, but over their last three games, Swift has seen 45% of Lions’ carries. At some point, they may give him even more work so he doesn’t feel pressure to maximize his production on this minimal touch count, but that may be asking too much. Overall, his remaining schedule looks good - except for Week 16 against Tampa.
Jerry Jeudy (WR, Den) — He’s been underwhelming for sure, but he is just a rookie who didn’t have an off-season, and his starting QB, still learning on the job himself, has missed time. But there were signs of life last week, with Jeudy getting 10 targets and 4/73. They were missing Tim Patrick, who has been very good, but Jeudy (28) and Noah Fant (22) led the Broncos in targets in Drew Lock’s starts this season, and it’s entirely possible that Jeudy starts heating up now because he’s a straight-up baller who’s going to be great at some point soon. He’s hardly a must-have, keep in mind. This is on the lower-end and/or for larger, more competitive leagues.
Chase Claypool (WR, Pit) — I’m not giving up on Diontae Johnson yet. The guy did go off 9 days ago, after all. But his injury concerns have officially gotten completely ridiculous, so Claypool looks interesting to me right now. JuJu Smith-Schuster does look pretty good lately, but he’s cleared 90 yards just once in his last 19 games, which isn’t exactly encouraging. Claypool has been a little quiet lately, so his value isn’t where it was 2-3 weeks ago. But after seeing just one target in Week 7, Claypool led the Steelers in targets this past week with 9. I am concerned about Ben Roethlisberger’s arm and his lack of downfield action, but I don’t think the Steelers can count on Diontae right now (he will be iffy in Week 9), and Claypool looks capable of picking up the slack.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT I STILL THINK THEY ARE VIABLE:
Nick Chubb (RB, Cle) — Chubb will not play in Week 9, since the team has a bye. But after that, Chubb should be good to go, since he’s made good progress and is on track to return on schedule from his MCL injury suffered in Week 4. He’s not a lock to help you, since he’s averaging only 1 target per game, which often makes him TD dependent, but he’s also at 5.9 YPC, and excluding Week 1 when he had only 10 carries in an ugly loss in Baltimore, and also leaving out Week 4 when he got injured, here’s Chubb’s rushing lines from his other two games: 22/124/2 and 19/108/2. Clearly, Chubb was rolling. If his owner is in desperate need for help now and may miss the playoffs with 1-2 more losses Weeks 9-10, it’s time to let them know that you’ll be happy to trade away some quality depth in exchange for Chubb.
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Ind) — Call me stubborn if you’d like, but as unappealing as Taylor looks right now, keep in mind his value also took a massive hit in Week 8, so Taylor’s asking price should be lower. You can probably now get him by moving a couple of depth pieces that are viable starters for the Taylor owner. Something like a Christian Kirk and Darrell Henderson, two players who aren’t locked-in starters for you. Obviously, Taylor has issues right now and can’t be counted on. But I still think he looks fine, even in the passing game where he’s caught 18 of 20 targets, and it would not be surprising at all to see him turn the corner and start producing IF THEY WOULD COMMIT TO GIVING THIS VOLUME BACK ACTUAL VOLUME. Trust me on this one: anyone bailing from Taylor now and saying he’s just another bad Wisconsin back is going to eventually look like a total jackass; it’s just a question of when.
Terry McLaurin (WR, Was) — His value did go up after his last game, but his owner may be thinking of selling still, since his QB situation is less than ideal. However, Per SIS, Kyle Allen has been on-target on 83% of his throws — which is the second-best rate in the league. Allen has also been on-target on 58% of his throws of 10+ air yards so far. Dwayne Haskins was on-target just 39% of the time. The offense is now going in the right direction with Allen, and things could continue to improve as he gets more and more reps with the ones. His role is huge, so if Allen can play fairly well, McLaurin is a fantastic asset. He and DeAndre Hopkins are the only two WRs who have seen 7 or more targets in every game so far this season.
Marquise Brown (WR, Bal) — Once again, stubborn. But also once again, if you’re trading for Hollywood right now, you’re doing so at a further discount from his asking price just weeks ago. The Ravens do have some tougher spots on the schedule upcoming, like Ind, NE, and then Pit again, but the Steelers have been shaky on the back-end this year, as have the Patriots, who do not have anything close to the shutdown defense they had this time last year (thanks in large part to their terrible offense). Baltimore’s fantasy playoff schedule looks pristine starting Week 13: Dal, Cle, Jac, NYG, and Cin. I’d still be fine rolling with Brown as a WR3 in a competitive 12-team league, and he’s a nice depth piece with upside in all leagues, thanks to that playoff schedule.
Jarvis Landry (WR, Cle) — Jarvis was here last week and he was very active with 11 targets (rest of the team had 14), and he had a TD taken off the board. He’s been banged up all year, but it’s clear he has a way better chance to produce without OBJ on the field.
SOME OTHER PLAYERS I’D BE INTERESTED IN TRADING FOR THIS WEEK:
Aaron Jones (RB, GB) — The Packers probably won’t have him in Week 9, and his groin injury must be more severe than they let on. But if his owner is in dire need of a win this week, I’d come knocking on his or her door.
Joe Mixon (RB, Cin) — Similar to Jones, it’s a good time to see if the Mixon owner is in dire need a win this week or wins in the coming weeks, and if they’d be willing to part with Mixon, who will get them 0 points this week on a bye. They do have the Steelers after the bye and after that, but after that their schedule looks good overall: at Was, vs. NYG, at Mia, vs. Dal, vs. Pit, and at Hou Week 16. If your championship is Week 16, Mixon vs. the horrible Texan run defense could win you a championship.
Miles Sanders (RB, Phi) — And here’s another guy to look at this week. Sanders should be back after their bye week this week, and since he won’t play in Week 8, he may come at a discount, especially if his owner needs a W this week. There is absolutely nothing scary about their remaining schedule, and Sanders could be a league-winner in Week 16 against the hapless Cowboys.
Stefon Diggs (WR, Min) — The Bills passing game and Josh Allen has slammed into a brick wall the last month or so, yet Diggs is the only receiver who has scored 10 or more fantasy points in every game so far. He gets Seattle this week, which is reason enough to trade for Diggs. But his schedule is really solid overall, so if Allen can fight his way out of his slump and they can continue to adjust to how teams are playing them, Diggs’ value will rise - and it’s been pretty stable through this slump the last 4-5 games.
PLAYERS TO TRADE
Todd Gurley (RB, Atl) — I’ve listed him here this year and have basically been wrong, but my main problems with Gurley remain very prevalent. For one, he doesn’t look good running it most of the time, lacking explosion and burst, and he’s still not getting much love in the passing game. In Week 8, he was on the sideline for a healthy chunk of the first half, so it seems like he’s been hanging on by a thread. As of right now, 39% of Gurley’s fantasy points have come from TDs this year, the second-highest rate in the league. If the TDs dry up, he’s just a guy - and who knows if his arthritic knees can hold up for the rest of the season. I’m not actively shopping Gurley unless I have good RB depth, but no matter what I’d be okay moving on from him as long as the return was fair and could help my chances the rest of the way.
Mike Evans (WR, TB) — Evans’ season has been weird to stay the least, but there are clear trends to hang your hat on. In Evans’ four games without Chris Godwin, he’s posted the following: 7/104/1, 7/122/1, 5/41/1, and 5/55/1 (on 34 targets). In four games with Godwin, the numbers are depressing: 1/2/1, 2/2/2, 1/10, 2/37 (on 12 targets). Evans is averaging 20.1 fantasy points per game without Godwin and 7.3 FPG with him in the lineup, and now Antonio Brown is in the mix? Sell.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT I STILL THINK THEY ARE VIABLE:
None of note.