It’s been another good year of staying ahead of the trade markets in terms of the recommendations, and I’m particularly pleased because there were only a few calls over the last 10+ weeks that look very bad. I take risks in this article, so it’s hard not to look very bad at times.
But we are winding down, so for this week and next, I’ll keep things short and point out any remaining buying or selling opportunities I see.
PLAYERS TO TRADE FOR
Tyler Boyd (WR, Cin) — In four games Boyd has played since Week 8, he’s only the WR58. But in Weeks 1-7, my man was the WR17 on the season and 26th in PPG with a solid 13.6 FPG. The common denominator is Ja’Marr Chase, who played in Weeks 1-7 but missed Boyd’s four games since Week 7. With Chase coming back in Week 13, Boyd’s matchups will be better while playing strictly inside, so he looks like a savvy buy-low guy in deeper/more competitive leagues.
Cordarrelle Patterson (RB, Atl) — Patterson’s snaps (38% > 49% > 58%) and touches (6 > 12 > 14) have increased in three-straight games as backups Caleb Huntley (2 touches Week 13) and Avery Williams (0 touches Week 13) have been less and less relevant. The Falcons are only a half a game out of first place in the NFC South, so I think they will look to lean more heavily on Patterson down the stretch, since he won’t be worn down in December like he was last year. Patterson hasn’t scored an offensive TD in three games, so his value should be down a little, and he’s now due.
Drake London (WR, Atl) — This is on the low end given the poor QB play, but I’m okay with London right now. He hasn’t eclipsed 40 yards since Week 3, but London led the team in route share (92%) in their first game without Kyle Pitts last week, so Drake could start hauling in 4-5 balls every week. Olamide Zaccheaus is merely a weekly matchup guy who gets an increase in targets in certain matchups and fewer looks other weeks.
Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR, Cle) — For deeper and/or more competitive leagues, I still think he’s the best bet to emerge as Deshaun Watson’s deep threat down the stretch, and he is coming off a bad game in Week 13.
Mark Andrews (TE, Bal) — Mandrews is only the TE6 in PPG his last two games, and over the last four weeks, since he’s missed two games, he’s only the TE10 in production, so his owner may be frustrated and willing to trade for a lesser TE along with a RB or WR starter. It’s a small buying opportunity for those teams deep enough to trade away a key depth piece, and Ideally another high-end TE like Dalton Schutlz or George Kittle.
Cole Kmet (TE, Bal) — It’s a little risky, but his value is down, and Kmet had a season-highs in route share in Week 12 with Darnell Mooney getting hurt last week. It’s possible they shut Justin Fields down for the season at some point soon if he doesn’t improve — which could actually be a boon to Kmet’s production with the QB throwing the ball more from the pocket.
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK BUT WORTH LISTING AGAIN
David Montgomery (RB, Chi) — His value is up, but he hasn’t had a blowup game, and his schedule looks nice vs. GB, bye, and vs. Phi, vs. Buf, and at Det Week 17. Montgomery is in the final year of his rookie deal and he’s getting a chance to show what he can do with 15+ carries and 3-4 targets most weeks.
Nick Chubb (RB, Cle) — I think things are going to go well with Deshaun Watson.
AJ Dillon (RB, GB) — I wrote here two weeks ago that I “can almost guarantee Dillon’s value will rise noticeably in the coming weeks if healthy, in part because it’s dropped so much” and it happened in Week 12 with 11 touches, 88 scrimmage yards, and a TD. His value is up and I’m not selling the farm to get him, but we are due for a game or two when it’s all Dillon. It’s December, and this is his time to shine, after all.
Marquise Brown (WR, Ari) — I’ve had Hollywood here for a couple of weeks, and he returned in Week 13 and promptly led the team in routes (32) and targets (8), and was their primary slot guy with Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch out, so for right now Brown’s a strong WR2. When the other slot guys are back, I think he’ll be their shot play guy, and if they can hit on him regularly, his production will rise.
Pat Freiermuth (TE, Pit) — I still think he’s an elite fantasy TE, but he’s not producing like one, so if I didn’t have an elite TE, I’d look at him.
PLAYERS TO TRADE
LISTED HERE LAST WEEK BUT WORTH LISTING AGAIN
Dameon Pierce (RB, Hou) — I had Pierce here three weeks ago, since I kinda saw the rookie wall coming, and he slammed into it. In his last two games, he’s turned 20 touches into 33 yards over the Texans last two games. Any trade partner would know Pierce is struggling, and I never like to sell totally low (so I might just hold). But if I could get something decent for him, his value will likely drop in the near future with tough matchups/situations vs. Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, and Tennessee the next four weeks.
Courtland Sutton (WR, Den) — He’s been hanging in there, but that’s only while Jerry Jeudy has been out. In five games with Jeudy playing fewer than 60% of the snaps, Sutton is averaging 6.4 receptions and 88 yards (on 9.4 targets) per game. In their other games with Jeudy playing 60% of the snaps or more, Sutton’s production drops to 3.3/41.3 yards (on 6.8 targets) per game. Jeudy was out of practice early in the week leading up to Week 13, but he could return any given week, including this week.
Allen Lazard (WR, GB) — It looks like we’re getting the best case scenario for Aaron Rodgers (ribs), and one similar to Justin Herbert from earlier this year in which he didn’t practice but played. But the Packers are also teetering on being eliminated from playoff contention, and it’s pretty clear they will get a look at Jordan Love down the stretch while shutting Rodgers down. Love did look great in Week 12, but he’s not Rodgers, and I could see him homing in on rookie Christian Watson and I could see Lazard losing juice without his boy Rodgers.
Michael Pittman (WR, Ind) — As expected, Pittman is getting the ball from Matt Ryan, but barely, since Ryan’s arm looks shot. Since Ryan returned to the lineup in Week 10, Pittman has a healthy 27 targets (30% target share), but his average depth of target of 7.6 yards is bad and way down from last year, when Pittman’s aDOT last year was 10.3 yards. If I could, I’d be happy to move on from Mike as long as the return was palatable.
Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR) — It was a nice little run, but FYI, Higbee the fantasy asset is dead, as are the Rams. Higbee ran a route on only 37% of the team’s pass plays last week with Bryce Perkins, since he had more blocking duties due to their ravaged OL. It’s over.