Henry John @HankTimeSports
BANK IT! Whether your Fantasy Football team is a contender, pretender, championship-ready, or at the bottom of the league, this article is for you! Perhaps you are just one key piece away, or need to plug a gap until an injured star returns. No matter your circumstances, there are just 2-3 weeks remaining until the start of the Fantasy Playoffs. With the trade deadline in most redraft leagues occurring prior to Thanksgiving, time is running out to make your move. Here are some players that fall on both the buy and sell end of the spectrum.
Let’s face it, the Rams offense is nowhere close to the masterful scoring machine we saw a season ago. Various reasons account for this, but I trust Sean McVay to figure out a solution. Last week against the Chicago Bears, part of that solution was feeding Todd Gurley 25 carries. Running behind a revamped offensive line that included three players with a combined four starts entering Sunday, he amassed 97 yards and a score. It wasn’t a pretty game from an offensive standpoint, but with Brandin Cooks expected back this week, a rebound for the passing game will open up more lanes for Gurley. Upcoming matchups against the Cardinals, Seahawks and Cowboys also bode well for Gurley’s production.
The Bengals may have played the Oakland Raiders tough Sunday, but it was largely thanks to a strong defensive showing as opposed to anything done on the offensive side of the ball. Joe Mixon did manage 103 total yards, including 86 on the ground and Cincinnati’s lone touchdown. That stat line could be enough to convince RB-needy owners that Mixon does indeed have value in a terrible offense. The thing is, the schedule doesn’t do him any favors down the stretch. Outside of a Week 16 tilt against the Dolphins, the Bengals take on the Steelers, Jets, Browns and Patriots, all some of the NFL’s better defenses in terms of stopping the run. A tough schedule for a back in a bad offense is not a combination I want to be tied to entering the Fantasy Playoffs.
In perhaps one of the bigger surprises in terms of player roles this season, Carlos Hyde has maintained the Texans’ lead back role from the get-go. In fact, Week 11 marked the only time this season Hyde failed to garner double digit carries, and this was due primarily to game script. He has 19 or more carries in five games as well. Chunk yardage and touchdowns have been somewhat difficult to come by, but that kind of volume in a strong offense could be enough to get an opposing owner to bite. And why are we selling on Hyde as the Fantasy Playoffs near? That answer lies in the fact that of Houston’s remaining opponents, only the Colts this week have a run defense ranked outside the top half of the league in adjusted efficiency, per Football Outsiders. Hyde will face the numbers 1, 4, 6, and 13th rankled run defenses after that. No thanks!
I must admit, I wouldn’t have expected to be recommending any Dolphins for Fantasy purposes a couple of months ago. But as the roster has continued to evolve with injuries and trades, DeVante Parker has carved out a nice role for himself as the team’s lead receiver, evidenced in his having 5 or more receptions in four of the last five games. He has also surpassed 50 yards receiving in each of the last five games, including 135 against the Buffalo Bills last week. Ryan Fitzpatrick may not be an MVP but at least he is competent. Add in the now depleted backfield and a matchup against awful pass defenses in the Jets, Giants, and Bengals in the Fantasy Playoffs and Parker is a prime buy-low candidate thanks to the uniform he wears.
If you are looking for a high-risk, high-reward option at the deadline ahead of the Fantasy Playoffs, Josh Gordon could be your guy. There are certainly concerns, but it seems unlikely that the Seahawks would’ve brought him aboard without a plan in place to get him the ball. Indeed, in his very first game in Seattle, Gordon caught a pair of passes for 27 yards. Russell Wilson has no shortage of weapons in his arsenal, with Tyler Lockett remaining the team’s top wideout, and D.K. Metcalf and emergent tight end Jacob Hollister also in the mix. But Gordon is in a prime position to establish himself as a clear WR2 down the stretch.
No need to go into much analysis here. So long as Dwayne Haskins is the starting quarterback behind a disinterested offensive line in D.C., Terry McLaurin and all Redskins pass catchers are not viable Fantasy options. The Jets are allowing the second-most Fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position. McLaurin was only able to muster 3 catches for 69 yards in last week’s game. And yet the FantasyPros ECR still lists McLaurin as the WR25 for Week 12. Some people still believe he has value, but I can tell you he certainly won’t be winning you a championship. Adios!
At a position forever marked by Fantasy Football inconsistency and disappointment, finding a reliable tight end to help you win crucial playoff matchups is tricky business. One option could come via a buy-low trade for Vance McDonald. His current owner will likely have little sentimental love for him, given that he has failed to surpass 40 yards receiving and has just 3 touchdowns all season long. The Pittsburgh offense hasn’t exactly been a work of art with Mason Rudolph at quarterback. But with the teams top two wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson both suffering injuries last week, McDonald could be in lien for some more targets right away. Positive matchups against the Bengals and Cardinals in two of the next three weeks add to the intrigue.
When it comes to trading in Fantasy Football, selling high is just as important as buying low. Fresh off back to back games with over 250 yards passing, 6 total touchdowns and no interceptions, there has never been a better time to sell high on Josh Allen. Allen’s rushing ability presents added Fantasy value that a lot of quarterbacks don’t have. The problem is the schedule is predominantly brutal the rest of the way for Buffalo. The Broncos, Ravens, Steelers, and Patriots are all top-flight defenses and the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day won’t be easy either. Given that separation between QBs is minimal in Fantasy, trading Allen away while his value is high could help bolster other positions on your roster for a deep playoff run.
For more players to acquire via the Waiver Wire and free agency as we head into Week 12, click here!