Fantasy Football Week 8 Trade Analyzer: Examining the running back market

·4 min read

By Alex Gelhar, 4for4

Special to Yahoo Sports

It is almost hard to believe but we’re pretty much at the halfway point in the season. Somehow, someway, we made it. But instead of passing around high fives and platitudes, it’s time to focus. Most fantasy trade deadlines will be hitting in a matter of weeks (the Yahoo Fantasy default is November 14). That means time is running out for moves to bolster your squad for a playoff push. Below are some ideas on three running backs for you to consider either dealing or holding tight.

Trade away … Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

Elliott’s fortunes are heading the same way as the Cowboys, and that would be clearly spiraling down. Zeke was already having a frustrating year, but he’s currently the RB3 on the year in PPR scoring thanks to six touchdowns and 31 receptions. However, Zeke’s fumbling problems and the Cowboys’ implosion have pushed Tony Pollard more into action, as he’s handled 24 carries over the last three weeks despite seeing just seven over the first four weeks.

The Cowboys face a number of good offenses in the coming weeks, which is bad news for Zeke’s outlook as he’s handled just 24 carries the last two weeks in back-to-back blowout losses. The Cowboys still have to face the Eagles (twice), the Steelers, the Ravens, the Bengals, and the 49ers. Zeke’s current status on the scoring leaderboard and name-value make him a decent trading piece at this point.

The market: Zeke was traded straight up for James Conner, Todd Gurley, Julio Jones, James Robinson, and A.J. Brown. Zeke was swapped for Robby Anderson and Nick Chubb in one league, and Robert Woods and Chris Carson in another. He and Michael Thomas were traded for Keenan Allen and James Conner.

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Trade away … Todd Gurley, RB, Falcons

Weeks ago I advocated for holding onto Gurley to ride a (hopefully) solid series of games where he could exploit favorable matchups. Well, over the last four weeks, no running back has scored more fantasy points than Gurley, thanks in large part to his five touchdowns over that stretch. Gurley has averaged just over 20 touches per game in that span, but aside from a 150-total-yard outburst against the Panthers, he’s averaged just over 70 total yards per game.

That’s a troubling trend considering Gurley is heading into a number of tough matchups for running backs, including two against the Saints, one against the Broncos, one against the Buccaneers, and another against the Chargers. If the touchdowns dry up for Gurley and his yardage output holds steady or declines, he’s going to drag fantasy squads down with his production. Gurley’s fantasy stock is high right now given his recent scoring run, and with a nice matchup against the Panthers up next, he may be an enticing trade offer. If you have the running back depth, consider moving Gurley.

The market: Gurley and Kenny Golladay were traded for Michael Thomas and Matt Breida. Gurley and Christian Kirk were swapped for DK Metcalf. Gurley was traded straight up for Robby Anderson, Ronald Jones, and D.J. Moore. Gurley and Cole Beasley were exchanged for Randall Cobb and Tyreek Hill, and in another league, Gurley was paired with Travis Fulgham for Ezekiel Elliott.

[Week 8 Fantasy Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Kickers]

Hold …Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This one frustrates me, because right when I was starting to put my faith back in Jones, Leonard Fournette returned to the active roster and stole away 17 touches from Jones, including six receptions. Jones found the end zone (thankfully), but this is a worrisome sign for his rest of season outlook. However, I don’t think it’s time to cut bait yet. The Buccaneers offense is a strong unit and should score plenty of points. Wait and see if things even out, or if Jones returns to more of a 1A role in the coming weeks. He was performing extremely well for the Buccaneers (and fantasy managers), so it could be risky to jump ship after one troubling game with Fournette back.

The market: Jones was traded straight up for Adam Thielen, Darrell Henderson Jr., Le’Veon Bell, Jonnu Smith, Will Fuller V, and Robert Woods. He was paired with Marquise Brown for Jonathan Taylor in one league, and with Tyler Boyd for Amari Cooper and Devin Singletary in another. He and Phillip Lindsay were swapped for Keenan Allen in another league.

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