PLAYERS TO TRADE FOR
Nick Chubb (Cle) — There’s not a lot out there in terms of high-end RBs whose values are down, but Chubb is a decent choice despite some worrisome usage in Week 8. Chubb got 16 carries while D’Ernest Johnson got just four, but Chubb’s passing down usage was disappointing, as he ran only 13 routes to Johnson’s 12. But Chubb’s passing game work could tilt strongly in his favor at any time, and he’s got some tasty upcoming matchups at Cin, at NE, and vs. Det.
Sony Michel (LAR) — This is a notice to all Darrell Henderson owners: if you do not have Michel on your roster right now, find a way to get him. If Henderson went down, Michel’s value would likely triple and he'd be an RB1 if he had the backfield all to himself.
Mike Williams (LAC) — An absolutely classic buy-low choice here. Injuries have been a concern lately for Williams, but he practiced fully with his knee injury all week last week, so he’s fine. Williams did have only five targets, but he ran a route on 88% of the Chargers pass plays, which was back to normal for Williams. The problem last week was more about Justin Herbert’s struggles against the Patriots. After that game, his two worst career passer ratings games have now come against the Patriots. Better days are ahead for Herbert and for Williams.
Chase Claypool (Pit) — We all liked Claypool to break out this season, but it’s been a down year. Still, it’s not over yet and Claypool does stand out as a potential second-half breakout guy or at least value in a trade. One element that helps is his usage closer to the line of scrimmage and inside. Claypool has run 33% of his routes from the slot in two games without JuJu Smith-Shuster, which is almost double the slot routes he was previously. With only 6/68 total in receiving the last two games, his owner may be willing to sell low, but more efficient days are coming for Claypool.
Emmanual Sanders (Buf) — We’re already running out of good angles in the trade market, so if a good player ghosts his owner in a given week, it’s a buying opportunity. That’s what Sanders did in Week 8, when he didn’t register a catch. But he did have four targets, and he actually led the Bills WR group in routes (43) followed by Cole Beasley (42) and Stefon Diggs (41). Last week was a Beasley game, but there will be better days ahead for Sanders, who was producing earlier in the season even when TE Dawson Knox was balling and producing.
Russell Gage (Atl) — This is on the low end, of course, but Gage got shut out in Week 8, so his value took a big hit. But he played 68% of the snaps and he was second behind Kyle Pitts in routes (33), so he’s hardly irrelevant. Gage ran 23 routes and will be needed with Calvin Ridley out indefinitely. Per Graham Barfield’s Stat Pack, in the two games that Ridley has missed, Pitts has almost strictly been used as a wide receiver, so Gage should eventually benefit from the coverage Pitts commands.
Darren Waller — Obviously, given the Henry Ruggs situation, Waller will be needed even more. No Ruggs on the field may hurt Waller at times, but their schedule is pretty fantastic. They are at NYG, vs. KC, vs. Cin, at Dal, vs. Was, and at KC. Waller’s value took a hit in Week 7, but if he’s healthy, it definitely hasn’t peaked.
Dalton Schultz (Dal) — All Dallas receivers are good buys right now, but Schultz is not only likely to get Dak Prescott back in Week 9, he’s got three sublime matchups (Atl, KC, LV) his next four games.
Logan Thomas (WFT) — The FT has scored a TD on just 44% of their red-zone drives, which is the second-worst rate in the league. The absence of Thomas has absolutely contributed to that. But Thomas (hamstring) will be ready coming out of the bye in Week 10, so the time to get him is now. If you combined Thomas’ and Ricky Seals-Jones’ production on the season, the FT’s TE would be the TE6, tied with Kyle Pitts. RSJ had only 1 target before Thomas went down, so Thomas should return to a huge role.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT STILL GOOD BUY-LOW GUYS:
Dak Prescott (Dal) — Starting Week 10, Dak’s matchups are pretty amazing: vs. Atl, at KC, vs. LV, at NO, at Was, at NYG, vs. Was, vs. Ari , and at Phi . That is a very good schedule, and if Dak’s owner has another strong QB1 or needs help elsewhere, he’s one of the few remaining QBs who make sense in terms of buying at a discount.
Trey Lance (SF) — Jimmy G likely bought himself some time with a good game in Week 8, but there are many possible paths for Lance to be the 49ers’ starter. Garoppolo could get hurt again, or he could slump. Or, the 49ers get eliminated or close to it, and they get the rookie out there for valuable reps. As a best guess, I still 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.
Zack 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 had 18 targets and 11 catches in just his last three games. Barring some injuries or something unforeseen, the Bills look destined to win the majority of their final 10 games with softer matchups against Mia, Jax, NYJ, Ind, NO, NE, TB, Car, NE, Atl, and NYJ. That schedule could help make Moss a nice RB2 if he can get some TDs.
Javonte Williams (Den) — If you don’t think I’ll have the nerve to list him every week, just watch me. Their schedule is incredible, starting this week: 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.
Dawson Knox (Buf) — It’s early in the week as I write this, but it looks like Knox has a chance to play in Week 9, so I’d look to acquire him before potential news of him returning hits the wire. Fort Knox has been fantasy GOLD this year, and 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 has some great TE matchups the rest of the way, and especially the next three weeks (Jax, NYJ, Ind).
OTHER PLAYERS I’D BE WILLING TO TRADE FOR NOW BEFORE VALUE GOES UP:
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 seven games, so his owner may not view him as a must-have if they don’t also have Zeke. If you do have Zeke, now is the time to acquire him cheaply as a handcuff.
PLAYERS TO TRADE
Boston Scott (Phi) and Jordan Howard (Phi) — These Eagles coaches are operating as if they do not possess a clue, so I trust no one in this backfield. I’d expect Kenny Gainwell to put up 20 FP this week, for example. I’d sell off both players if I got a decent return. Miles Sanders could be back in two weeks, as well.
Kyle Pitts (Atl) — It’s risky to bail from this stud, but we got a glimpse of Pitts as the
top dog in Week 8 and it didn’t look pretty, as Pitts put up only 2/13 on six targets. If I had another quality option or quick access to another quality option, and the return for Pitts was palatable, I do think he will be boom-or-bust now the rest of the season with more attention on him. He also has mostly tougher matchups by the current numbers left on the schedule.
Noah Fant (Den) — As Fant owners know all too well, his best games have come in garbage time, when they are throwing the ball on every down in the second half. But Teddy Bridgewater, probably still hurt, is throwing the ball fewer than 30 times a game the last two weeks. The schedule does look promising for some higher-scoring games, but Fant was worthless in Week 8, and it’s no coincidence that Albert Okwuegbunam returned to the lineup. Fant ran a season-low 21 routes in Week 8, and, Per Graham Barfield’s Stat Pack, in the four full games that Okwuegbunam and Fant have played together, Fant has run a route on 69% of the Broncos pass plays and gotten 21 targets while Okwuegbunam has been involved on 42% of the plays and gotten 11 targets. That’s not good, and now Jerry Jeudy is back and Tim Patrick may stay involved. Fant does not look like a consistent weekly producer.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK, BUT STILL GOOD SELL GUYS:
Jalen Hurts (Phi) — I don’t want to say the writing is on the wall, but it kind of feels like the writing is on the wall. Not that there’s anything imminent, but it does seem like the Eagles, loaded with 2021 #1 draft picks, may want to take a look at Gardner Minshew, and if for no other reason than to evaluate their own coaching staff. Again, if he’s your best option, don’t panic and sell at all costs.
David Montgomery (Chi) — If you can still get something decent for Montgomery, I’d do it. This is especially true if you do not have rookie Khalil Herbert. Herbert once again proved to be the real deal in Week 8, so he’s going to have a larger role even if Montgomery is back and healthy. That’s a problem for Montgomery, who usually needs volume to produce.