I like to make fantasy football trades. Really, who doesn’t? We all look at other teams’ rosters, checking out who we might be able to snag without giving up too much, who can make our teams better, who someone might be too low on, etc. Fantasy football trades are fun. Each week, I’ll be writing a column describing some guys I’d be trading for and why. Usually, they’ll be “buy low” guys, but sometimes they’ll just be guys that I might be higher on than most. I’ll also be giving you some sell high guys who you should try to trade away while their values are high. We’re now just a month away from the trade deadline, so start making moves to improve your team while you still can!
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, BUF) – If you read my matchups column last week, you’d know I wasn’t on board with my guy this week against Arizona (which turned out to be a good call). But I AM back this week, baby! With Fitzpatrick matched up against the terrible Tennessee pass defense, I am all buy on Fitzy. Looking ahead, he’ll have a bye in week eight, followed by matchups against Houston and New England, which I don’t think are necessarily bad. Buffalo should be playing from behind in both games, and Aaron Rodgers showed the vulnerability of the Houston pass defense on Sunday night. The schedule gets easier after that: MIA, @IND, JAC, STL, SEA, @MIA, and NYJ. If you have an elite quarterback, look to trade him for Fitzpatrick and another elite player to give your lineup a big boost.
Matt Forte (RB, CHI) – This man is at least a borderline top five fantasy back, but his current value isn’t treating him as such. After an impressive week five in which he topped 100 yards on 22 carries, Forte is coming off a bye to face two of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL (Carolina and Tennessee) over the next three weeks. Expect him to go off and re-establish his true value with those matchups, and see if you can grab him beforehand to reap the rewards.
(WR, KC) – I know what you’re thinking. “Uh, dude. Brady Quinn?” Well, he may return in week eight after the Chiefs have a bye in week seven. Speaking of which, owners are always a little more willing to trade away guys who have a bye since those guys can’t actually help them during the week of the trade anyway. So why am I high on Bowe? Even after his abysmal performance with Quinn at the helm in week six, Bowe still had nine targets and is third in the NFL in targets overall this season. He’s very much the only option in their passing game. Considering how often Kansas City plays from behind, I can see plenty of big games in Bowe’s future.
Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE) – Time to pounce in a big way. Listen, you’re not buying him that low. He’s going to cost you. But I’m putting him here because the cost is going to be far less than the reward. He was outscored by fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez in week six, Hernandez’s first game back from an ankle injury. Hernandez was expected to be very limited, and he ended up being a bigger part of the offense than the healthier tight end (Gronk). Combine that with the fact that Gronk now has six points or less in three out of the past four weeks, and fantasy owners have to be a little concerned. He’s still one of the best tight ends in the game, and if you can find an owner that’s feeling a little shaky towards him, take advantage.
Andy Dalton (QB, CIN) – With his fifth game in a row of double-digit fantasy points on Sunday, Dalton’s value can’t get much higher than it currently is. But, keeping matchups in mind, let’s take a look at why that is. Of the six teams he has faced so far, the best pass defense Dalton has faced was Baltimore in week one(currently ranked 23rd). His other five opponents have been Cleveland (30th), Washington (32nd), Jacksonville (24th), Miami (27th) and Cleveland, again. Dalton has matchups against defenses currently ranked in the top 15 against the pass in six of his next nine games. He’s due for a serious regression and should be able to fetch you a valuable asset for the time being.
Chris Johnson (RB, TEN) – I don’t know if a player has ever driven fantasy owners as insane as Johnson. He looks like the CJ3K of old at some points, when he runs all over a defense and can dominate a game. Other days, he looks like he’s on the same level as Michael Turner. Johnson now has posted respectable point totals in two of his last three games. What does that mean? SELL! I’m not a believer in the least. Now, I’ll preface this by saying he does face the worst run defense in the NFL next week when he and the Titans travel to Buffalo. He has a decent chance of upping his stock even more. But, my thoughts are that this is Chris Johnson. If anybody is going to have the best matchup in the world and blow it, it’s him.
Vincent Jackson (WR, TB) – Back and forth. It’s been Jackson’s story his whole career. He goes off, then he doesn’t show up. Then he goes off again. You never know what you’re going to get with him. After his two touchdown game in week six, I’d be looking to deal Jackson for someone more consistent. Maybe a Denver receiver or Dwayne Bowe? There are lots of more consistent options out there. If you can deal with the high-risk, high-reward style of play every week, then stick with him. But if you’re like me, you want someone safer and more regularly productive. Those are two characteristics that have never fit Jackson.
Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN) – I love this guy. I do. He’s an athletic freak capable of making big plays with potential to be a superstar. But based on his performance thus far, he’s starting to look hit-and-miss. Now, I certainly think that will improve, but it just doesn’t look like it will happen this year. He’s now had two productive weeks in a row, but considering his opponents were Tennessee and Washington, you know the matchups can only go downhill.