As early as it seems, it's never too soon to start making plans for your fantasy football playoffs. In this week's trade targets column, I wanted to take a look forward at some favorable schedules that can help you secure your spot to make a deep playoff run and secure that fantasy championship. Mounting injuries and bye weeks are putting your fantasy skills to the test but fear not. Whether you're 3-4 or 6-0, here are some of my favorite trades to make to get you through the tough times.
The advice to trade for Patrick Mahomes is undoubtedly not for everyone. If you're looking like you'll be staring down the barrel of the fantasy playoffs, this one is for you. Mahomes is out for around three weeks with a dislocated knee cap, suffered on a quarterback sneak in the Chiefs' TNF win against the Broncos. He entered the week banged up with an ankle injury that lingered after an aggravation suffered against the Colts. The rest may be an opportunity to get fully healthy and get you primed for your fantasy playoffs. If the Mahomes owner in your league needs wins now, leverage a piece coming off a great week, like Marvin Jones, in a trade to acquire the stud QB. Patrick Mahomes has one of the more daunting quarterback schedules through the fantasy playoffs. However, as we've all seen, a healthy Mahomes is essentially matchup proof.
In his first game reunited with QB Sam Darnold, who returned from a bout of mononucleosis, Robby Anderson managed to reel in 125 yards and a touchdown. Anderson is a big-play threat, but to make good on that threat, he needs a quarterback who can sling the ball. Darnold started his rookie season in a tight spot, but after sitting out several games with a foot injury, he balled. In the four-game span after Darnold's return in 2018, we saw Anderson accumulate the seventh most receiving yards (336) and tie for the second-most receiving touchdowns (3). Anderson gets a tough matchup versus the Patriots secondary on Monday Night Football before opening up to a wide receiver friendly schedule through Week 15. Anderson is a WR2 with WR1 upside with Darnold under center, and if he struggles against the Patriots secondary, you may find yourself in a sweet spot for a trade.
Tevin Coleman still feels long-forgotten after coming down with a high ankle sprain in Week 1 that kept him sidelined for the two following weeks. He returned fresh out of the 49ers bye week and has averaged 18 rushing attempts per game since his return. Although he's averaged just 3.78 yards per attempt, Coleman has dominated running back snaps in the end zone and red zone. As if the Kyle Shanahan offensive scheme isn't friendly enough to the running back position, the scheduling deities have blessed our fantasy teams with a delightful schedule leading to your fantasy playoffs. The 49ers will face Seattle, Green Bay, and Arizona twice over the next four weeks and are already past their bye. Coleman is the lead back for an offense that is leading the league in rush percentage at 57%, and his upcoming schedule should afford him the ability to dominate as an RB2 or better.
Editor's Note: Here are some of the top guys to target for trades, but who should you give up? Plug your trade props into our Season Pass Trade Analyzer to make sure you're coming out on top of every deal!
Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
Sony Michel might be disappointing fantasy owners with his 3.48 yards per carry on the season, but he continues to be fed the ball week in and week out. He has yet to eclipse 100-yards rushing, a feat that he managed four times in his 13 regular-season games played in his rookie season. He hasn't been flashy, but he's been at least serviceable through bye weeks and mounting injuries. The Patriots have a Week 10 bye, and after that, they face the Eagles, Cowboys, Texans. Not the best matchups, sure, but the real magic happens during your fantasy football playoffs: Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Buffalo. Michel's disappointing season has driven down his cost significantly, but he's a cheap insurance policy that would pay off handsomely through your championship weeks.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Houston Texans
By all accounts, it looks as though we were hyping up the wrong running back in the Texans Offense in the preseason. Carlos Hyde was expected to be a major bust in the 2019 season, but he's found new life in Houston. Hyde finishes Week 7 as the RB21 on the season while seeing the ninth-most rushing attempts and racking up the ninth-most rushing yards among all other running backs. He ranks eighth in avoided tackles, has looked elusive, and has managed three touchdowns so far on the season. Though he's got a tough upcoming schedule, his perception remains relatively low within the fantasy community, perhaps allowing you to acquire an efficient lead back at a discount.
Sells of the Week
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Chris Carson has dominated through 2019, thanks to the efficiency of a Russell Wilson-led offense and a run friendly scheme. He ranks fourth in rushing attempts, third in avoided tackles and has had three 100-yard games already in 2019. He's been an absolute stud that was well-worth the fourth round price in your fantasy drafts. However, he's got a rough schedule coming up that might damper his production when you're most in need of a win. From Week 8 on, Carson sees top ten rushing defenses in six out of his next eight matchups. It will be an uphill battle, so if you can trade him for a running back bound for a similar workload, the move could pay huge dividends.
Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals
After David Johnson was deemed active for Week 7, many fantasy owners were burned as they removed Chase Edmonds from their active lineups. He dominated, finishing his day with 150 yards from scrimmage and three scores, making him the RB1 on the week barring any changes after Monday Night Football. He's looked like the superior runner when given the opportunity so far in 2019, and his performance this week only confirmed that. Word came Monday that RB Jay Ajayi worked out for the Cardinals, which isn't exactly a vote of confidence for Johnson, but his upcoming schedule makes him a prime sell moving forward. The Cardinals face New Orleans, Tampa Bay and San Francisco twice before their Week 12 bye, all defenses more than capable of stuffing the run. If you can package him coming off a hot week for an asset with a less confusing situation and a more inspiring schedule, that will be a massive return on investment.