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.