Talkin’ Trades: Playoff Stopgaps and Dynasty Stashes
Welcome back to Talkin’ Trades, a weekly column that will highlight players to target today before their prices change tomorrow.
This is not the place to get irrationally angry that the trade deadline has not yet passed in a total stranger’s fantasy league. That place, of course, is Twitter. Here at RotoViz dot com, we are agnostic about your league settings. Live and let live!
With that in mind, lets take a look at some last minute additions to gird your playoff loins. And for you unlucky souls out there, let’s find a few end-of-bench stashes that your leaguemates will search the wire for in the spring, only to see them hanging out on your roster already.
Here are some of the best buys and sells at each position.
Tyrod Taylor – Despite his injury and benching, Taylor is still third in the league in QB rushing. The uncertainty around his future is high, which is why I want to buy now. I believe he can put up fantasy points anywhere he goes, but some owners may be itching to get off the roller coaster.
Sam Bradford – Bradford is a free agent at the end of the year, which means he can likely choose a situation where he’s going to have the best chance to start and to succeed. On the one hand, Bradford is likely to get another chance and was playing some of his best football before his knee injury. On the other hand, it was basically one game, and those knees aren’t getting any younger. Now on the wrong side of 30, I’m looking around to see if there are any owners who see his tank as half full.
Andre Ellington – If you’re in a real pinch at RB and can still make trades for the playoff run, Ellington is a sneaky cheap guy who could have a decent floor essentially playing WR for the Texans. With an injury-depleted group of pass-catchers, Ellington has some appeal in the passing game for playoff teams, and his uncertain future should keep his price down.
Jay Ajayi – In general, I want to sell RBs over the offseason, but Ajayi’s reputation has taken such a dive since getting traded away from the Dolphins and then spending a lot of time on the sidelines in Philadelphia that I’m definitely interested in finding out the price. LeGarrette Blount is likely to be gone next year, and while Corey Clement looms, Ajayi definitely has a chance to dominate the snaps in 2018.
Kenyan Drake – Drake’s speed was on full display against the Broncos. He finally put up that signature game owners were waiting on, turning a whopping 23 carries into 120 yards and a TD, with five targets for good measure. Drake will be one of the biggest names the fantasy community will look at to take the leap to RB1 status next year. That said, this game was a blowout, and Drake hadn’t had double-digit carries in a game all year. This is likely to be Drake’s best game of the season, so if you are looking to move on, this may be the top of the market.
Once the NFL draft approaches, visions of sugar plums will be dancing in the heads of fantasy owners, with every Brian Hill and Jeremy McNichols seemingly a potential workhorse. And if the Dolphins decide to pair Drake with a complementary goal line-type back, his value could nose-dive. Drake may very well be a hold, but if you are interested in moving him, selling ahead of the playoffs could net some nice offers.
Josh Reynolds – Reynolds received 79 percent snaps in place of Robert Woods last week. A preseason favorite of RotoViz,1 he’s a late-season stash who could jump in price if Woods misses more time. If Sammy Watkins moves on from the Rams next season, there could be real opportunity ahead for Reynolds, even on a team with solid competition for targets.
Eric Decker – Decker is still just 30 years old and has proven himself healthy after his injury-plagued 2016. As something of a surprise cut, he wound up in Tennessee on a one-year deal, but should have a much wider range of teams in the mix for his services next year. He hasn’t reached four receptions or 40 yards since Week 6, so his price should be more than reasonable right now. I would try to get him for a song now, and hope that his circumstances improve in 2018. There could be a slot role available in Green Bay if the Packers decide to move on from Randall Cobb, for example.
Mack Hollins – With all the buzz surrounding the Eagles right now, the conditions are brewing for some real Hollins trutherism to boil over these next few months. His size/speed combination on an explosive offense is tempting, but this is a player profile I’d like to sell high on if he has a breakout game down the stretch or in the playoffs. Especially with Alshon Jeffery signing an extension, Hollins is likely to remain the fourth-best target in 2018 behind Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Nelson Agholor.
Lance Kendricks – Despite getting increased opportunity with Martellus Bennett out of the picture, Kendricks hasn’t found much of a connection with Brett Hundley. He’s under contract for cheap through next year, though, so I think he’s a speculative buy who has a chance to stick around and hopefully have his boat lifted in the rising tide of Aaron Rodgers’ eventual return.
Stephen Anderson – Ryan Griffin and C.J. Fiedorowicz are both on I.R. so Anderson should have a nice stretch of starts to build some value. Anderson is coming off an awesome 12-target, 79-yard game with a touchdown and could be flipped to a playoff team dealing with Rob Gronkowski’s suspension or Zach Ertz’s concussion. He could also be held to gain more value through the end of the season.
He’s a sell because Fiedorowicz is guaranteed all but $500,000 of his $5.5 million salary next year, which makes Anderson more of a developmental prospect for 2019 and beyond. That’s too long a time frame for developing a TE in my view, given that TE value is so dependent on scheme. Anderson also has great looking explosion and agility metrics for a TE, but this is in part because he only weighed 230 pounds at the time of the combine (and pro day). I don’t mind an undersized TE, but comparing him to 260-pound players exaggerates his athleticism a bit.
That is a wrap for Talkin’ Trades. I’ll be recapping last weeks picks on Thursday in the forums. Let me know in the comments if you have specific player questions or roster dilemmas you’d like to see addressed next week.