In this week's trade targets column, I'd like to highlight some players with the potential to help you secure one of those final playoff spots in your fantasy football leagues. It's been an up and down season with lots of unexpected breakouts and busts. It's time to decide who's the real deal and capitalize in your fantasy leagues.
It's been a down year for the Bears Offense, but the one player immune to that seems to be Allen Robinson. Robinson saw a season-low five targets Sunday and just six yards in a matchup that many were predicting to be a juicy matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles secondary. It didn't come to fruition, but still, Robinson ranks WR19 on the season, 13th in air yards among wide receivers and is tied for seventh-most avoided tackles among wide receivers. Another year coming off the torn ACL has meant nothing but good things for Robinson, but while he remains on a struggling offense, it's hard to appreciate his value for fantasy football.
Robinson's consistency is hard to pass up, moving forward towards your fantasy football playoffs. He's managed less than sixty yards just twice this season, and his standing as the WR16 coming into this week should make him an affordable but reliable acquisition for your fantasy playoffs.
Leonard Fournette has been dominant so far in 2019, and healthy, which may be the bigger surprise. Despite a down week, Fournette still ranks as the RB6 in half-PPR formats and remains on pace for over 2,000 yards from scrimmage. His utilization as a dependable workhorse is difficult to come by, and despite a challenging upcoming schedule, he's been the type of back who doesn't seem to mind the challenge. He ranks second in red zone carries, seventh in avoided tackles, and fifth in yards per contact per attempt. Buy low on Fournette this by packaging a lower-tiered running back who performed in Week 9, such as a Phillip Lindsay, and a serviceable WR, and enjoy his RB1 workload.
Stefon Diggs has been previously highlighted this column as a "sell," but a hamstring injury to counterpart Adam Thielen changes everything. Diggs started the season ice-cold as the WR58 through the first five weeks of the season. Since that time, he's ranked as the WR5 in half-PPR formats and ranks third in total air yards among wide receivers.
In 2019 Diggs has managed the second-most yards per route run among wide receivers with 20 or more targets and leads the wide receiver corps in Minnesota with an average depth of target of 16.1 yards. Given how quickly Thielen reaggravated his hamstring injury in his first game returning, it wouldn't be surprising to see him held out a while longer for Diggs to continue his reign as the WR1 in the Vikings Offense.
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!
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
It's pretty rare for me ever to recommend trading to acquire a defense. Still, between the Steelers dominance and upcoming schedule, it's hard not to see the upside in buying them heading into the fantasy playoffs. The Steelers finish the week leading the league in turnovers (22), tied for sixth-fewest yards allowed per play (5.1), and fifth-most sacks (29). They're the number three fantasy defense so far on the season, despite having faced such offenses as the Patriots, Seahawks, Ravens and Colts. The Steelers face the Rams in Week 10, but following that matchup, they've got one of the most favorable defensive schedules in the league: Browns twice, Bengals, Bills, Jets. Need I say more? Given the Patriots' upcoming schedule, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Steelers finish as the number one overall defense in fantasy football to end the season.
Sell of the Week
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons Offense is hurting, and their upcoming schedule isn't about to make things any easier. Freeman hasn't been the most consistent asset, posting 30 or fewer rushing yards in five of his eight contests so far. Lucky for fantasy owners, he's been an asset in PPR formats as he's averaged 4.4 receptions for 35 yards per game. It's provided him a relatively safe floor amid his low ceiling.
Freeman has yet to see a rushing touchdown and is averaging 3.43 yards per carry on the year. Next up, he sees three defenses ranking top-ten in fewest receiving yards allowed to the running back position, two of which have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL. If you're able to sell on his Week 8 performance as the RB 17 in half-PPR formats coming off the bye, you may save yourself from the temptation of starting him.
DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
DK Metcalf has provided the Seahawks a reliable and big-bodied target early on in his rookie season. He had a breakout game Sunday, posting his first 100-yard game of the season and ranking as the WR3 on the week. Though his talent matches well with the elite and accurate talent of Russell Wilson, he's about to see some more competition in town.
Newly acquired WR Josh Gordon passed his physical this week and will start practicing with his new team. Though it takes time for wide receivers to adjust to a new playbook and offensive scheme, it's hard to imagine that this acquisition may not take away some of Metcalf's opportunity, and therefore, upside. In a season where we've seen (as we always do) the inconsistencies that rookie wide receivers display, it's the prime time to sell high on a breakout game and acquire a consistent veteran asset.