PLAYERS TO TRADE FOR
Dak Prescott (Dal) — Even though he’s coming off a bye (which is nice to have out of the way for all players), he’s still banged up this week and no lock to play, so there’s some downside to trading for him with Week 8 in mind. It’s also a tougher matchup against the Vikings. But starting Week 10, Dak’s matchups are amazing. Here’s the opponents with their current FPG given up to QBs: Atl (20.5), at KC (25.2), vs. LV (19.5), at NO (16.5), at Was (29.6), at NYG (20.5), vs. Was (29.6), vs. Ari (13.4), and at Phi (20.5). That is, overall, a great schedule.
Derek Carr and Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs (LV) — Carr’s value is up, but we may be only 1-2 games away from his stock seeing a significant increase, if he can stay hot. Only six QBs are averaging more EPA per pass than Carr right now (Stafford, Prescott, Murray, Brady, Mahomes, and Cousins), while Carr’s passer rating from a clean pocket is also top-7 in the league at 114.7. They do have a tricky schedule Weeks 15-16 (at Cle and vs. Den), but starting after their bye this week, the schedule is fantastic. They are at NYG, vs. KC, vs. Cin, at Dal, vs. Was, and at KC. Ruggs has been pretty darn good this year, and he might just be getting started. Waller’s value took a hit in Week 7, but it may be forgotten if he feasts on these good matchups.
Aaron Jones (GB) — Nothing earth-shattering here, but he is coming off a really weak performance, yet he could go off in Week 8 if Davante Adams is out. Over the last three years, Jones has averaged 29.1 FPG when Adams is out compared to only 16.5 FPG when Adams plays. And so far, I totally overrated AJ Dillon’s impact in this backfield this summer. Not that I was down on Jones, quite the contrary, but Jones isn’t really losing anything of note to Dillon in terms of touches and production.
Darrel Williams (KC) — He’s coming off a terrible game with only 8.0 FP and Clyde Edwards-Helaire will be eligible to come off IR after this week (Week 8). However, the Chiefs beat writers are already speculating that CEH may stay out of action until after their Week 12 bye. If that’s the case, then Williams may return RB1 production for four more games. Those four games represent 57% of the remainder of the regular fantasy season (assuming that ends Week 14), which is considerable. Over the last two weeks without CEH, Williams has handled 27 of the 30 RB carries and has run a route on 66% of the pass plays. Plus, per Graham Barfield’s Week 8 Stat Pack, he’s seeing 8+ men in the box on just 9.6% of his carries, which is the fourth-lowest rate in the league. The next four matchups also look good vs. NYG, GB, at LV, and vs. Dal. If Patrick Mahomes can start checking the ball down to Williams more, which he needs to and may be coached to do now, he could easily catch 5 balls a week, in addition to his rushing potential.
Zach Moss (Buf) — Given their incredibly easy schedule the rest of the way, Moss could really start emerging as one of the better finishers in the league, and he’s scored in three of his five games already. Barring some injuries or something unforeseen, the Bills look destined to win 10 of their final 11 games with softer matchups against Mia, Jax, NYJ, Ind, NO, NE, TB, Car, NE, Atl, and NYJ. That schedule is pretty absurd.
Brandin Cooks (Hou) — The numbers for the Texans with Davis Mills are fairly astonishing. For example, they are averaging only 7.4 points a game and they've had 52 drives over the last five weeks with only five of them getting inside the red zone. Cooks has obviously suffered and has fallen below 10 FP in three of his last four games. However, the cavalry may be coming soon in the form of veteran Tyrod Taylor, who helped Cooks post 5/123 on just 7 targets in Week 1. If Taylor is back in as the starter, Cooks’ production and perceived value will definitely rise, so the time to get him at a discount is now.
Tyler Lockett (Sea) — He’s dying without Russell Wilson, but he may have to suffer through only one more game without Russ, and that game is this week against the Jaguars, one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Per various reports, Wilson will get the pin removed from his finger soon, which would accelerate his timetable to return, and he might miss only one more game (Week 9 bye).
Dawson Knox (Buf) — He’s certainly out this week, and he could miss two games, but if his owner needs wins now, they may be panicking. Knox could always heal quickly and miss only Week 8, as well. Regardless, he could easily be a league-winning asset down the stretch given the incredible chemistry he’s shown this year with Josh Allen (as well as Knox’s improved hands). I have to assume, once he returns, that his broken hand will not be an issue. Also, their schedule is absolutely incredible for TEs based on the current numbers with three straight opponents giving up 20+ FPG to the position starting Week 9 (Jax, NYJ, Ind).
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT STILL GOOD BUY-LOW GUYS:
Trey Lance (SF) — It’s clear the 49ers are ready to move on from Jimmy G, and I think Garoppolo will be out of a job by Week 12 at the latest. If so, their schedule down the stretch is great starting Week 12: vs. Min, @Sea, @Cin, vs. Atl, @Ten, and vs. Hou Weeks 12-17.
Javonte Williams (Den) — His value rose in Week 7, but there are still Melvin Gordon apologists out there who think that Gordon deserves and/or will continue to get about half the snaps and touches. Gordon does not deserve that, and I don’t think he will get that type of work down the stretch. Again again, their schedule is incredible for the final nine games, starting Week 9: at Dal, vs Phi, BYE, vs. LAC, at KC, vs. Det, vs. Cin, at LV, and vs. KC. It almost doesn’t even matter what he does because the schedule is too good not to go all-in on.
Calvin Ridley (ATL) — I don’t know if his value rose or fell in Week 7, quite frankly, but if it rose, it wasn’t by much. Still, this passing offense has arrived over the past month or so, and it’s clear that new HC Arthur Smith is, in fact, good. Ridley’s overall usage is still very strong with at least 25% of their targets in 4-of-5 games.
Kadarius Toney (NYG) — Toney may miss another game or two, so if his owner is desperate for wins, I’d come knocking. He’s an absolute league winner.
OTHER PLAYERS I’D BE WILLING TO TRADE FOR NOW BEFORE VALUE GOES UP:
Saquon Barkley (NYG) — Barkley may play in Week 8, but ideally, he sits another 1-2 weeks and is easier to trade for if his owner needs wins now. There’s obvious risk, but if they can get healthier, they do have a really nice slate of games to close out the season starting Week 12 vs. Phi, at Mia, at LAC, vs. Dal, at Phi, at Chi, and vs. Was.
Tony Pollard (Dal) — Now that their bye week has passed, it’s more important than ever to secure your Ezekiel Elliott handcuff. Pollard has actually hit 10 FP only twice in six games, so his owner may not view him as a must-have if they don’t also have Zeke. If you don’t have Zeke, then Pollard is a lot less appealing, of course.
Noah Fant (Den) — Shaky QB situation, but at least he’s clicked with Drew Lock in the past if we have to go there. And his TE schedule is really, really good.
PLAYERS TO TRADE
David Montgomery (Chi) — If his value is way down, as it should be, and it’s never a good idea to give a player away by selling low, so keep that in mind. But if you can get something decent for Montgomery, then I’d do it. This is especially true if you do not have rookie Khalil Herbert. Herbert is the key because he’s been so good that I can’t see how they stop using him. That’s a potential crusher to Montgomery’s volume, and he needs volume. Considering Herbert has much better burst and speed to the perimeter, we’re looking at a dual backfield here with both guys playing 35-40% of the snaps at least. To that point, the rookie is averaging nearly 4.0 YPC before contact, two full yards more than Montgomery (who does average twice as many yards after contact).
George Kittle (SF) — If you’ve waited this long, you’ll have to get a solid return for Kittle, or else I’d just suck it up and roll with him. But he’s not going to play until Week 9 at the earliest. That’s one problem, and the other may be the QB because I think we’re looking at Trey Lance very soon. Ideally, Kittle is playing with Jimmy Garopollo, just like it’s probably ideal for Deebo Samuel to play with Jimmy G, at least initially. But also, Kittle’s schedule for TEs is pretty tough. And finally, just because he returns doesn’t mean he won’t get hurt yet again. Kittle got paid last summer, so he’s even more reckless now!
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT STILL GOOD SELL GUYS:
Jalen Hurts (Phi) — Last week, I wrote that “there may come a time in the not-too-distant future when the Eagles, loaded with 2021 #1 draft picks, may actually want to take a look at Gardner Minshew.” Now the Philly media is picking up on the possibility. I’m not selling at all costs, of course, and I need a strong alternative (Trey Lance is risky, but he could be it), but I’m not opposed to selling high. Heck, his value probably dropped from last week, and it could drop further.
Courtland Sutton (Den) — Stud receiver Jerry Jeudy is returning this week, and they don’t have much at the QB position, so I’d be concerned about Sutton’s upside and maybe his viability as a fantasy starter.