For most of you the trade deadline countdown is on, and by now it should be clear if you’re a buyer or a seller. You could be in the market for a depth piece or two that solidifies your chances at a championship, or maybe you need to make that blockbuster move to put you over the top once and for all?
Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline saw plenty of action — on top of the previous Amari Cooper and Carlos Hyde deals leading up to it — with staple names like Golden Tate and Demaryius Thomas finding new homes.
What does this mean for your fantasy squads? Let’s find out as we dive into some potential trade targets below that can make an immediate impact in your lineups for the stretch drive.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
This probably seems obvious considering Thomas was just dealt to the Houston Texans this week, but Sutton has been trending up for a couple of weeks now. The talented rookie receiver out of SMU hasn’t seen more than four targets come his way since Week 5 against the New York Jets, but that is about to change. DT garnered 33.3% of the Broncos’ target share through Week 8 and I can only imagine some of those targets will now benefit Sutton in the passing game. With DT’s departure, Emmanuel Sanders remains the slot wideout, and Sutton will stretch the field. Don’t go crazy on the offers, but make a play for the rookie.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
What a relief it was to see Ty Montgomery shipped to the Baltimore Ravens on deadline day. If you’re sitting there thinking the benefactor is Jamaal Williams, think again. Jones turned his biggest workload of the season into his most productive game — 12 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown. We’ve been hearing all year long that Jones’ lack of involvement in the running game was a result of his inadequate blocking, but that’s malarkey (no, not Mike Mularkey). Per Pro Football Focus, Jones has registered a pass-block grade of 82.5 this year, whereas Williams comes in with a grade of 79.4. Jones is also averaging 6.2 YPC on 44 attempts so far, while Williams is at a mere 3.7 YPC on 63 attempts this season. It’s time for Mike McCarthy to take the shackles off and let Jones run wild.
D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
It’s safe to say that Moore has officially arrived in the Panthers’ offense. Last week against the Baltimore Ravens he set career highs in snap percentage (70%), receptions (five), targets (six) and receiving yards (90) — he even rushed twice for 39 yards. It’s clear that Norv Turner is looking for ways to get Moore the ball — he’s now at 85 rushing yards on the year, that ranks 2nd in the NFL behind Robert Woods — as he climbs up the depth chart to become a staple in this offense. Oh, and the best part? The Panthers’ wideouts face the easiest strength of schedule (per FantasyPros) down the stretch from Weeks 9-16.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
If you’re like me and already own Drake in one of your lineups, then you’ve been stashing him in hopes that Adam Gase would finally listen to your prayers and start increasing his volume. Well, he listened. Drake found the end zone twice last week against the Texans and he’s now scored in consecutive games. The Dolphins running back has averaged 4.4 YPC or better in four straight weeks and over that span he’s caught four passes or more three times, so the play-calling has definitely turned in his favor. With the recent injuries to Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills, the receiving corps is thin, so look for the Dolphins to lean on their third-year back down the stretch.
By Jamie Zadow – @jamiezadow