The NFL moving back the trade deadline to mid-season (the deadline is next Tuesday) means that more teams have a chance to assess their chances and start to make trades for the future if they aren’t a contender, or trade for a key piece if they are. Just in the last week, we’ve seen Carlos Hyde go to Jacksonville, opening up an opportunity for Nick Chubb, and Dallas trade for Amari Cooper. It’s highly likely that a few more trades that could impact fantasy football happen over the next week.
For example, Denver may be shopping Demaryius Thomas. Courtland Sutton isn’t really fantasy relevant right now in seasonal leagues, but if the opportunity opened up, he would become a WR3 candidate. If you have a roster spot where you can stash for a week until the deadline, he’s worth a low-risk gamble.
Tevin Coleman is a free agent next year, the Falcons have already paid Devonta Freeman, and the Falcons are facing an uphill climb to the postseason with injuries. I doubt it happens, but Ito Smith has value as a flex anyway and is worth adding, just in case.
LeSean McCoy would seem to be an almost certain candidate for a trade. While the position hasn’t been productive in Buffalo so far, Chris Ivory would be a starting back if that happened.
And trades come out of nowhere, so be alert this week and ready to pounce on value. If you are a loaded team, you might even make a 2-for-1 trade to get a spot available in case.
Here are the rest of the recommendations.
The big injury news this week is Marshawn Lynch going on IR. That means some combination of Doug Martin (38%) and Jalen Richard (30%). I prefer Richard as far as consistency and in PPR formats, as he will likely see a slight uptick in rushing attempts and was already averaging 5 catches a game. Martin is more likely to be the rushing attempt leader, and the candidate to get 20 carries if the Raiders are playing with the lead, but will be more hit-and-miss. I suspect we are looking at a platoon situation here where both are flex options, with Martin having a little more upside but Richard the better floor.
Raheem Mostert (17%) continues to emerge in San Francisco and is solidly a flex option. With Breida’s injury he could be more than that this week.
Kenjon Barner (1%) could be a short-term play while Sony Michel is out. James White has been fantastic but is not going to get 20+ carries a game, and Barner should have flex value and potentially get a TD.
Ronald Jones II (29%) is a low-end add if Peyton Barber (who is on early injury reports) is out this week.
It is also time to think about handcuffs. If you assess your team and you would be more likely to start your star back’s backup instead of your RB3 or RB4, and you don’t have a starting need that week, handcuffing can save you a headache. Someone like Malcolm Brown (10%) can be valuable to you if you have Todd Gurley.
The Miami Dolphins’ situation is a mess. Albert Wilson is out for the year. Kenny Stills is hurt. Devante Parker is in the doghouse. That leaves Danny Amendola (8%) and Jakeem Grant (0%) as guys who are out there. Amendola has been getting catches each week, while Grant likely slides into the Wilson role.
Tre’Quan Smith (35%) is going to be worth adding, as he again was a decent part of the offense even though he didn’t put up big numbers last week. I’d buy early rather than miss out late.
Robby Anderson (55%) is worth an add if you need a receiver this week.
I actually think I would go Seth Roberts (0%) over Martavis Bryant with the Amari Cooper trade. Roberts filled in when Cooper was hurt in London and basically filled his position.
The pickings are getting bare at tight end and the matchups aren’t tasty, but I would go with Ricky Seals-Jones (41%) or Ben Watson (30%) if I need someone this week. In deeper leagues, you can roll the dice on Jeff Heuerman (5%) at the Chiefs.
I recommended Joe Flacco (53%) as a quarterback to target based on the upcoming schedule for the second half of the season, and he’s available in about half of leagues. The matchup this week might be his toughest for the rest of the year, against Carolina, and it’s not so daunting you couldn’t roll him out in a pinch. And after this week he will be a Top 12 guy based on schedule.
If you need a matchup play, roll with Derek Carr (39%) coming off a bye week at home against the Colts. Yes, Amari Cooper got traded but he has been a non-factor anyway in many weeks.
Baker Mayfield (65%) against the Steelers is another option, and Mayfield has several good matchups in coming weeks if you are looking for depth and options.
Randy Bullock (11%) will have several opportunities against the Tampa defense to add points. Matt Prater (50%) against Seattle is another option.
Roll with the CARDINALS (50%) or 49ERS (9%) playing each other, STEELERS (46%) against the Browns, or REDSKINS (17%) getting to play against Eli Manning.
- WR Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans
- RB Jalen Richard, Oakland
- RB Doug Martin, Oakland
- WR Danny Amendola, Miami
- RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco
- QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore
- WR Courtland Sutton, Denver
- WR Jakeem Grant, Miami
- RB Kenjon Barner, New England
- WR Seth Roberts, Oakland