We’re one week closer to the fantasy foot ball playoffs! Week 9 looked like a continuation of UFC 217, with several brawls on the gridiron which could lead to suspensions and even more fantasy implications (as if injuries and bye weeks weren’t enough). Whether you own any of the players involved or not, there’s never been a more important time to evaluate your roster and upgrade wherever possible. Trade values are constantly changing, and several players look better (or worse) heading into Week 10 and your trade deadline.
Let’s take a closer look into which players you should consider buying low and which players you should consider selling high as we head into the final weeks of the fantasy football season and make that final playoff push. More more late-season trade ideas, check out recent editions of this article (Week 9; Week 8)
Fantasy Football Trade Candidates: Stock up
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers. Jonathan Stewart is doing everything he can to make sure CMC gets more touches in this offense, including fumbling twice in Week 9 against Atlanta. On the season, Stewart is averaging 3.0 yards per carry and has a single touchdown with virtually no role in the passing game. CMC isn’t very good between the tackles, but with Cam Newton doing his fair share of running in short-yardage situations, defenses are struggling to contain McCaffrey on the outside. The elusive back now has 54 receptions through only nine games, and with Stewart’s ineptitude in the run game, he looks to have gained an increased role in that department by toting the rock 15 times for 66 yards in Week 9. Carolina is battling New Orleans for first place in the NFC South and will be looking to McCaffrey for explosive plays and consistent production down the stretch, so go get him now, especially in PPR leagues. He’s on pace for 96 receptions.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints. Another rookie running back with an exceptional ability to catch the ball and keep defensive coordinators up at night with his game-breaking quickness. Kamara has shown that he can be the total package for what the Saints are looking for by excelling between the tackles and being a force in the passing game. On pace for 74 receptions, Kamara is intriguing in PPR leagues the rest of the season because of his upcoming schedule and increasing trust from head coach Sean Payton. New Orleans faces a Buffalo team in Week 10 that has given up five rushing touchdowns over the past two weeks, followed by the Redskins and Rams, who gave up 5.3 and 4.3 ypc, respectively, in Week 9. Any increase in carries for Kamara would push his stock through the roof, as he’s averaging 5.8 ypc on the season in limited action thus far.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles. No Zach Ertz, no Jason Peters, no problem. Wentz went up against the "No Fly Zone" Broncos defense and flapped his wings vigorously. Carving up this defense takes an elite performance, and that is exactly what Philly got from their franchise quarterback, as he threw four touchdowns and no interceptions. Newly acquired Jay Ajayi and company ran for a whopping 197 yards and three touchdowns to give the Eagles an extremely balanced attack. With a 23:5 TD/INT ratio on the season, Wentz seems to be heading for top-tier status among fantasy quarterbacks, and with this performance against the vaunted Denver secondary, he may have just shown the world he is matchup-proof. This is obviously not a "buy-low" spot; rather, it's a a BUY spot. Mr. Carson Wentz, we're all in.
Fantasy Football Trade Candidates: Stock down
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers. The Bucs are a disaster, Jameis Winston (shoulder) is injured, and the coaching staff has failed with game planning the majority of the season. If Winston doesn’t play, backup Ryan Fitzpatrick can still get the ball to Evans. However, this isn’t a team that’s heading in the right direction, so if you invested in Evans on draft day you can’t be excited about what’s to come. Evans hauled in one reception against the Saints in Week 9 and could possibly be facing a suspension for his cheap-shot hit on Marshon Lattimore. All of these situations undoubtedly reduce the receiver’s prospects in the immediate future, something that could devastate your lineup heading into the fantasy playoffs if things don’t turn around quickly in Tampa Bay.
Will Fuller, WR, Texans. As we all know by now, Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in his right knee in practice before Week 9, and the one player it will be affecting the most is Fuller. With Watson at the helm, Fuller caught seven touchdowns in only four games with no signs of slowing down. Enter Mr. Tom Savage. Savage is not good, plain and simple. The fill-in quarterback looked to Fuller eight times in Week 9 but only connected on two of those passes for 32 yards, a huge step down from previous performances with a superior quarterback. Savage has nowhere near the arm talent of Watson, obviously, so expectations should be very limited going forward. Houston finishes the season with four games against teams in the top seven in lowest points allowed to wide receivers, leaving little hope for decent production the rest of the season.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Eagles. With every passing week the Eagles look more legit, and the front office went out and added another piece in RB Jay Ajayi to potentially win that long-awaited championship. This is great for the Eagles but not for Blount. In Ajayi’s very first game in Philly, he carried the ball only eight times but racked up 77 yards and one dramatic touchdown. His touches will only increase from here on out, and on top of that, running back Corey Clement had another 14 touches and scored on three of them in Week 9. With no role in the passing game and now possibly losing meaningful carries to Ajayi, Blount is a player that appears to have very little value in 2017.
Fantasy Football Trade Candidates: Stock neutral
Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars. Minutes before roster lock in Week 9, the Jaguars announced that star running back Leonard Fournette would be inactive due to violation of team rules. This turn of events led to the Jaguars leaning on quarterback Blake Bortles (yikes). Bortles stepped up, however, and delivered a positive performance heavily focused on Lee, connecting on eight of 12 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown. With 28 targets over the past three games, Lee is the wide receiver that Bortles wants to feed. Lee is a player to watch here, as he faces CLE, IND, HOU and SF over the next seven games, so he could be a nice addition to your fantasy teams at a price that wouldn’t break the bank. He’s only owned in 34.7 percent of ESPN leagues.
Jared Goff, QB, Rams. Wentz and Goff were selected with the first two picks in the 2016 NFL Draft and both have looked as if they’ve already turned a corner in '17. Goff, available in over 50 percent of ESPN leagues, is an undervalued QB with clear upside in the right matchups. An upcoming schedule with Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Francisco deliver great matchups for the rest of the year. Goff is a guy to target if you had Watson or Aaron Rodgers and need a guy to keep you in the hunt. The Rams are a run-first offense with star running back Todd Gurley, which allows Goff to get the matchups he wants in the secondary with teams focusing on stopping the run. Sheer volume may not be there like in Week 9, but the efficiency and consistent floor should be sufficient.