Buying and Selling at the Deadline

Buying and Selling at the Deadline

This article with be updated (Updated Friday @ 5pm)
By: Pete Davidson : November 15, 2012 3:14am

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The purpose of this article is to help you as you ponder your deadline deals. Most leagues have trade deadlines this week or next, so the time is now. While most of the article is about players to go after, I did highlight a few players that could or even should be moved depending on your circumstances.  Jim Hackett and I discussed some of these players in our weekly podcast, so check that out.

Please know that this article is a work in-progress. I will be adding more names tomorrow and perhaps on Friday as well, so check back for more targets and players to move. Timing is everything, so I’m publishing it as I go. I may even stop spell-checking to save time. No really, I do spell-check.

I've also added a recent post to the blog about trades and I invite you all to use the comments section to talk about trades that you are considering. I will do my best to respond to all questions, but please feel free to participate and to jump in with your own considered opinions and pertinent facts. I know a lot of you guys really know your football based on some of the e-mails I receive, so feel free to say it publicly. That’s what the blog and the forums are for.

Lastly, as usual, I’ve put a little spreadsheet together to help me with schedules and matchups. I’ve included the generic one for download at the bottom of this article. It can be useful for mapping out your team’s matchups to see where you may be weak or strong. Download the PDF version or use the Excel or Numbers versions if you plan to tweak.

Ok, let’s get to work.

Players to Trade For

Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins

If you listened to me a few weeks back and sold while he was still the #1 ranked player at his position, you did very well. Now, another opportunity presents itself as a lot of folks are souring on RGIII for a lot of reasons we told you about earlier this year. If you need some help at QB, you might be able to get him below value. The Ravens in Week 14 is no longer the bad matchup it was a few weeks back. RGIII can be a very nice playoff option.

11 - PHI
12 - @DAL
13 - NYG
14 - BAL
15 - @CLE
16 - @PHI

If his owner is not on-board, do not fret. There are some other good options to deal for in what is a very deep QB market.


Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions

Stafford has been playing better lately and should continue to play at a QB1 level. A lot of his owners made other arrangements a month or so ago and Stafford could be available for a good price. He is a good guy to add if that’s the case in your league.

11 - GB
12 - HOU
13 - IND
14 - @GB
15 - @ARI
16 - ATL

That schedule is nothing scary and now that Megatron is scoring touchdowns again, the time is ripe to add Stafford if QB is a need position for you.


Cam Newton, QB, Panthers

As poor as Carolina has played, Newton is still right on the fringe of QB1 status in most scoring formats. By the time the season ends, we expect him to be well inside the top ten. For those teams who have championship aspirations, its worth noting that Newton has maybe the best matchup of all the Week 16 quarterbacks--home against the Raiders.

11 - TB
12 - @PHI
13 - @KC
14 - ATL
15 - @SD
16 - OAK

He also has matchups with KC and Philly and nothing scary as you can see. He’s played his rough matchups and things will improve going forward. We like him as a buy-low option.


Eli Manning, QB, Giants

This is another one that requires extra context. Right now, Manning’s owner is pulling his hair out--and he’s wishing it was Manning’s. Eli has been brutal for the last few weeks and there’s no immediate help coming with the Giants on the bye this week.

11 - BYE
12 - GB
13 - @WAS
14 - NO
15 - @ATL
16 - @BAL

That being said, we like Eli plenty and the Giants usually pick things up in December. If you are a winning team with a need at QB, Eli could be a very good add and he could be cheap too. He is worth looking into.


Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

I like his schedule and he’s been remarkably consistent with his defense usually putting them in catchup mode. He has a rough Week 15 matchup, so he may not be the answer for every game from now until Week 17, but he has a bunch of cream puff games apart from that.

11 - @NE
12 - BUF
13 - @DET
14 - TEN
15 - @HOU
16 - @KC

So far, Luck has been all that he was advertised to be and more. If he is a QB2 for somebody in your league and you need a starter, he is a good player to target. Apart from that Week 15 matchup, we really like what we see.


Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers

Are you a playoff team? If you are, you might want to talk-up Mathews’ owner. First of all, he’s probably just about fed up and who can blame him? No offense to the ladies. I know there are some of you out there. Mathews has been bad and his team is not helping him at all and neither is his HC or GM. None of that really matter now, but we suspect that they eventually give Mathews’ the opportunity as they look to next year or maybe just saving their jobs--if that is even possible. I could go on forever when it comes to bashing San Diego, so let me cut to the chase. Mathews has a few nice late-season matchups. He has Denver this week but he has a decent history against them. While his Week 14 matchup against Pitt is not desirable, we like him as a starting option in weeks 15 and 16.

11 - @DEN
12 - BAL
13 - CIN
14 - @PIT
15 - CAR
16 - @NYJ

He may not be a weekly play for a fantasy team with good talent. I play matchups at my flex with Mathews and Leshoure in a league where I start Rice and Spiller as my 1-2 combo. I’m quite happy with that. The bottom line is that Mathews is a decent buy-low opportunity and he could help teams that are already in a strong position. Again, buy low. He’s not a guy to move Heaven and Earth for.


Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers

Stewart has underwhelmed in the weeks since his “promotion.” Only the Panthers would consider 14 carries a week to be a lead back’s diet, but that’s the Panthers for you. Still, we like his closing schedule.

11 - TB
12 - @PHI
13 - @KC
14 - ATL
15 - @SD
16 - OAK

There are going to be some good performances in there and we like adding J-Stew on the cheap right now as a matchup play going forward. He’s a good flex in 12-team leagues for most of his remaining schedule.


Shonn Greene, RB, Jets

You can get him cheap if he plays for a team in win-now mode. He posted a somewhat predictable downward trend since his big Week 6 against the Colts.

11 - @STL
12 - NE
13 - ARI
14 - @JAC
15 - @TEN
16 - SD

The part we like is what happens once the playoffs roll around. Green could easily post RB1 numbers during the three most common layoff weeks. Not bad for a guy you can land quite inexpensively. And, really, the Jets are committed to him, so there’s hope for him to score on most weeks. He’s flex-worthy in 12-teams leagues on most weeks the rest of the way with the Patriot game being the possible exception.


Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions

He’s coming off a bad game, but he has several good matchups the rest of the way and only a few bad ones. He’ll be worth something as a RB3 or even an RB2 if you have a need there.

11 - GB
12 - HOU
13 - IND
14 - @GB
15 - @ARI
16 - ATL

If the guy with Lesoure is well stocked at RB, it might be worth using some of your functional depth to make an offer. He could post respectable RB2 numbers the rest of the way.


Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding Chris Ivory, but Ingram has led the team in carries since Darren Sproles got hurt and he’s responded with some very solid play. He might be an asset in 12-team leagues if the trend continues. The schedule is neither good nor bad.

11 - @OAK
12 - SF
13 - @ATL
14 - @NYG
15 - TB
16 - @DAL

The Saints usually have good numbers to run against due to Brees and company, so he could be a weekly flex if things keep trending in his favor. Ingram can still be had cheap and is worth looking into if you lack RB depth. HC Joe Vitt has had very positive things to say about the 2nd year back and the carry totals back up the praise.


Julio Jones, WR, Falcons

He’s been just good enough to not be a bust, but teams have made a point to double him often and Roddy White has been the one who has really gone off in 2012. Jones missed half of last week with an injury, so his stats look deceivingly poor, but he was on his way to a third straight strong outing and he did return near the end of the game. Jones is a player to add in our opinion.

11 - ARI
12 - @TB
13 - NO
14 - @CAR
15 - NYG
16 - @DET

He has a good closing schedule and sweet playoff matchups for weeks 15 and 16. He’s a great add, especially for teams that are out ahead of the pack.


Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens

He’s got rough matchups in the near term, but he has sweet matchups in week 14 and 16 and that’s a very nice thing for playoff bound teams. I like Torrey as a player to add for teams that are playoff bound, but he may be a bit frustrating over the next three weeks with the Steelers on the schedule twice.

11 - @PIT
12 - @SD
13 - PIT
14 - @WAS
15 - DEN
16 - NYG

If you are a team that needs to win now, you might consider moving Smith for a player with more immediate value. This is a perfect transition to the next part of the article.


Thursday's Additions


Beanie Wells, RB, Cardinals

There’s more than one kind of owner in fantasy football. One owner might have Beanie on his roster because he knows that Wells could come back strong as soon as Week 12. Another owner might just have Wells laying around.

11 - @ATL
12 - STL
13 - @NYJ
14 - @SEA
15 - DET
16 - CHI

The schedule is not great, so don’t go crazy, but Beanie is going to be fresh and has been running well if you believe reports, some of which come from Beanie himself. Wells is a very talented back and can do major damage when healthy. He’ll probably be a recommended RB2 option in weeks 12, 13 and 15. Value him that way.


Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

I like the idea going after Dez right now. He’s playing pretty well and is past his scare with the hip injury. Tony Romo has been saying very good things about Bryant lately and he’s always had elite WR1 talent.

11 - CLE
12 - WAS
13 - PHI
14 - @CIN
15 - PIT
16 - NO

The schedule, which includes four home games, has appeal for both the end of the regular season and for the playoffs, so he’s a good add regardless of your team’s circumstances.


Steve Smith, WR, Panthers

He struggled with healthy early on and he’s been caught up in his team’s struggles since then but Smith is still quite capable of doing big things and the schedule says he will do some of those things over the next six weeks.

11 - TB
12 - @PHI
13 - @KC
14 - ATL
15 - @SD
16 - OAK

There is not a single scary matchup there and we like Smith a whole lot as an add at the trade deadline. This is a classic buy-low opportunity. He’s coming off of a brutal 1-point game. He’s ripe for the taking and you should not have to pay anywhere near full price.


Stevie Johnson, WR, Bills

His owners are not happy. Use that to your advantage. Johnson has a chance to close out strong and the projected ascension of CJ Spiller will help him if that indeed comes to fruition. The schedule is not a problem.

11 - MIA
12 - @IND
13 - JAC
14 - STL
15 - SEA
16 - @MIA

Then again, the schedule is nothing to get excited about either. Johnson is the main cog in their passing attack and since QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been spreading the ball around the last few weeks, teams may slack off Johnson a bit going forward. Don’t go all our for Stevie, but see if you can get him on the cheap. With just a single score since September, he should not be sold at his typical price.


Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles

If there is a guy on the Eagles’ roster who will benefit from Nick Foles at QB, it is Maclin, who runs excellect routes and is open consistently. Maclin has underproduced for a few reasons this year and he is nursing a sore back as we speak, but if you want a guy who is performing at a flex level but is capable if elevating up to the RB2 level with ease, Maclin is your guy. And the matchups....

11 - @WAS
12 - CAR
13 - @DAL
14 - @TB
15 - CIN
16 - WAS

The matchups are excellent. One of the reasons we held out some hope for Vick was the ultra-pass-friendly closing schedule. Now Foles may get it and Maclin should be the primary beneficiary. He is worth going after in all formats.


Cecil Shorts III, WR, Jaguars

If a team is looking to sell high on Shorts, then talk trade. Cecil is a player that we’ve always believed in, and he is going to keep getting enough snaps to remain very relevant in 12-team leagues. Laurent Robinson’s return will not take Shorts out of the picture. The Jags play plenty of three-wide and they have a very nice schedule the rest of the way.

11 - @HOU
12 - TEN
13 - @BUF
14 - NYJ
15 - @MIA
16 - NE

While he’s not a priority, I am looking to add Shorts where and when I can. He can play for you as a flex on most weeks and he won’t kill you as a WR3 either.


Randall Cobb, WR, Packers

I’d call Cobb’s owner just to kick the tires. Maybe he thinks that the return of Jennings will hurt Cobb’s value. You never know. The schedule is not bad at all and this kid is a matchup-proof anyway when you look at how they use him.

11 - @DET
12 - @NYG
13 - MIN
14 - DET
15 - @CHI
16 - TEN

The Pack is not out ahead of the field this year, so they will need to press the issue all the way through. Cobb is a very good add if you can pull it off without overpaying.


Heath Miller, TE, Steelers

If there is a player who might be unaffected by the loss of Ben Roethlisberger, it is Miller, who runs very QB-friendly routes and has been used heavily by new OC Todd Haley. Miller has always been a player whose talent exceeds his fantasy value, but that has changed this year with the arrival of Haley, who has made Miller a staple in the passing game.

11 - BAL
12 - @CLE
13 - @BAL
14 - SD
15 - @DAL
16 - CIN

There’s nothing in the schedule that really scares us. And, if Big Ben does play with the injury, those short routes that Miller runs will be even more appealing than going downfield or into a tight window. If Miller’s GM is spooked by Big Ben’s problems, then adding Miller on the cheap is a reasonable idea. Getting the Roethlisberegr discount is the key and it’s something you can sell if you do it tactfully. 


Friday's Addition


LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles

He’s been solid and very consistent. In fact, and this is just odd, McCoy has been between 10-18 points in all but one game this year--a seven point effort in Week 3. If you are a McCoy owner, then a score in the low teens rings a loud bell. A few things.... While Shady has been less than his owners paid for, he has been a solid guy to own if not a stud. He has value. I also like the possibilities for him if Foles sticks as the QB going forward, and I think he will. Foles is going to allow teams to pay less attention to the backfield and we may see safeties pulling back and or redeployed. LeSean is a dual-threat player, so the schedule is not a problem at all.

11 - @WAS
12 - CAR
13 - @DAL
14 - @TB
15 - CIN
16 - WAS

Right now, I’d be talking to McCoy’s owner in your league. He might be undervalued right now as that GM is looking at the player through the prism of the price he paid for the player. McCoy could easily be a top five back the rest of the way. He’s had a fairly light workload so far, so he’s not worn out.


Players to Trade


James Jones, Packers

He’s been so good that I’m sure some folks want to ignore the impending Greg Jennings problem. It’s understandable, but if you are a good team with a high probability of making the postseason, you need to see things clearly.

11 - @DET
12 - @NYG
13 - MIN
14 - DET
15 - @CHI
16 - TEN

If Jennings makes it back by Week 13 as most expect him to, he will be significantly cutting into Jones’ value by Week 14. Right now, there are teams in your league who are more than willing to not care about Week 14. Use that against them and cash in on Jones now--if you can. Again, if you are a must-win-now team, then go ahead and keep him, but do it with open eyes. He may only have two weeks left at his current snap-rate. For what it’s worth, we do not expect a similar drop in value for Randall Cobb, whose role in the slot is all his. Lastly, just in case you were hoping that Jordy Nelson’s injury would provide some daylight, Nelson has already practiced this week.

Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers

If you are out ahead, then you can wait and hope that Big Ben makes it back for the games that really matter. That said, if you are in trouble and need to win now and next week too, you should at least test the market for Wallace. If a playoff bound team has a need, they would be wise to look at him. He has value, it’s just not as high in the near term.

11- BAL
12 - @CLE
13 - @BAL
14 - SD
15 - @DAL
16 - CIN

The schedule is nothing scary with Big Ben at the help, but even seemingly good matchups could be problematic with either Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich under center.


Arian Foster, RB, Texans.

Hear me out. This is a very specific trade recommendation. If you are still fighting for a spot, then Foster will help you too much in the next few weeks to move him. BUT, if you are rolling at 8-2 or better--if you have a playoff bye almost locked up, you might look at moving him. The reasoning goes like this.... They look like a team that is going to go 14-2. Their next three games are all layups.

11 - JAC
12 - @DET
13 - @TEN
14 - @NE
15 - IND
16 - MIN

Foster has already had a big workload and with Ben Tate still banged up, he may run a lot in the next few weeks. What will the Texans motivation be once they get clear of New England after Week 14? It is way too easy to envision a scenario where they are trying to get Tate ready for the playoffs and simultaneously trying to lighten the load on Foster, but still trying to keep him active. It could be a classic cluster****. Right now, Foster is on pace to reach 300 carries by the end of Week 13. If he keeps his pace, he will shatter his personal high of 327 and end up near 400 for the year. I see that not happening. I see the Texans prioritizing the playoffs. I see a 350 total, which is still too high. So where do those extra carries get carved off? Weeks 15-17 would be my guess.


Frank Gore, RB, 49ers

He’s injury prone and nine healthy games does not erase a history of missed games. Dealing him now off of a good game makes sense when you consider his propensity for injury and his closing schedule, which features a lot of rough run matchups.

11 - CHI
12 - @NO
13 - @STL
14 - MIA
15 - @NE
16 - @SEA

If you want to keep Gore, we still recommend Kendall Hunter as a handcuff, and he may cheap to add right now as Gore in healthy, but again, we’d rather see you cash in right now if you can.

Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins

Morris has had a good rookie year, but he has faded lately--not having a plus outing since Week 7 against the Giants. His remaining schedule is something you can sell in trade negotiations as it’s not bad at all.


What has us worried is the general malaise in Washington and the possibility of Morris hitting the rookie wall right when you need him most. So don’t go giving him away, but see what you can get for him and assess.


Michael Turner, RB, Falcons

This one is tricky. We think he is fading, but the schedule is far from problematic, so he will have a few good games the rest of the way.


What gets my attention is the playoff schedule. It’s not very run-friendly. If you are a team that is headed to the playoffs, you might consider selling his schedule over the next few weeks as it’s not bad. I really don’t like the idea of starting Turner in weeks 15 or 16 as both matchups call for throwing to win. If I was a playoff team, I’d move Turner for Shonn Greene in a heartbeat. I might even sweeten the pot a bit if I had the depth.


Thursday's Additions


Sidney Rice, WR, Seahawks

He’s coming off a big game and right into the bye. That’s your excuse to deal him if you are in must-win mode, but the real reason to deal Rice is the schedule. If you can get a GM to buy into Rice’s recent resurgence, then you can get more for him than he is worth over the next six week where he only plays five games.

11 - BYE
12 - @MIA
13 - @CHI
14 - ARI
15 - @BUF
16 - SF

There’s only one plus matchup there and there is plenty of room for underperformance. I like Rice as a player and I like Russell Wilson, but the schedule says they are less valuable than they look on the surface. Use that to your advantage.


Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos

This is a tough one to punch out on the old keyboard. I say that because we love DT over at Rotobahn. He was one of our better waiver wire recommendations last year and we loved him coming out of Ga. Tech. The problem we see is the knee. He’s been dealing with it for a few weeks and he was forced from last week’s game and required some help getting off the field. He did return and that should help if you decide to include him in trade discussions. The schedule is also a big plus.

11 - SD
12 - @KC
13 - TB
14 - @OAK
15 - @BAL
16 - CLE

Now, please understand--I am not telling to to unload this guy. When you look at his talent, his QB and his schedule, there are plenty of reasons to keep Thomas. What I’d do, and what I intend to do in the leagues where I own him, is to include him in talks to gauge his value. Remember, any player can be dealt if the price is right. Perhaps you’d be better off with a stud at RB than a stud at WR? Maybe you have DT and Roddy White too, yet you lack pop at tailback. Maybe you can use DT and a back to make a move for Doug Martin or AP. These are the kinds of players that can enter the discussion if you re offering a top five receiver, and is where Thomas is currently ranked. You can sum up my take on Thomas in a single sentence. Do not be afraid to deal him if the price is right. 

Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons

Gonzo is one of my all-time favorite players, but after his Week 10 outburst, I’d be derelict in my duties if I didn’t at least suggest selling high at the deadline. I made some solid cash back in his heyday taking him ahead of his ADP before I switched to doing the same with Antonio Gates. Gonzo has had a fabulous year and while keeping him on your roster has some merit and is quite understandable, I am encouraging you to keep an open mind. Gonzo went off last week and that gives you a chance to cash him in at his overall season numbers, which are very good. Reality is that he had very much leveled off going into Week 10. He has an absurd 15 targets last week and we don’t expect to see that again. Remember, Julio Jones sat out more than half of last week’s game before returning late with a taped-up ankle.

11 - ARI
12 - @TB
13 - NO
14 - @CAR
15 - NYG
16 - @DET

The schedule is solid, especially for the wide receivers and that is what worries us. The Julio Jones Show may be about to begin and Gonzo’s old wheels (he’s 36 years old) are needed all the way through the playoffs. Last year, Gonzo failed to score in December and January after scoring thrice in November. There’s precedent here. I’m not saying move him at all costs, but if there’s a team trying to get him from you, I think you need to listen and see if you can improve your team overall. With 110 fantasy points to date in performance scoring, Gonzo has some nice cache in the trade market. Don’t be afraid to cash him in if you can. If I could make a deal where I gave Gonzo and got back an underperforming player like Vernon Davis, Kyle Rudolph, Antonio Gates or Brandon Pettigrew, I would look into it. The key, obviously, is to get the right upgrade on the other side. Let’s say I have Gonzo at TE but I have a sink hole at my WR3 spot. I might try a deal like one of these.

Gonzo and Andre Roberts for Rudolph and Denarius Moore.
Gonzo and Anquan Boldin for Vernon Davis and Jeremy Maclin.

It may not fill your heart with glee, but you just got better over the next six weeks. You get an upgrade at WR and you get a replacement TE that could easily outperform Gonzalez down the stretch. That’s the idea. Lay the ground work for a solid stretch run. And, for what it’s worth, if you find the right owner, you might even be able to get a better deal than the ones I laid out.