We have reached the point in the football season where we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from most players. However, there reaches a point in every season where you need to just cut ties with certain guys. Either they are vastly underperforming the expectations you had for them going into the season, or circumstances aren’t favoring them going forward.
It doesn’t mean you still can’t benefit from them though. Everything in fantasy is about value. If you can flip an underperforming guy because of his name or potential, and get something positive in return, that is a win.
Conversely, there are also guys who have either come out of nowhere, or have developed a role for themselves, that can help you during the stretch run. First, here are five players, based on their outlook the rest of the way, that you should trade immediately.
FIVE PLAYERS TO TRADE FOR THE STRETCH RUN
DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
People had high expectations for Murray after a big year in 2016. However, he has only averaged 10.3 fantasy points per game up to this point. If you take away his only 100 yard game in Week 3, his average drops down to eight points per game. In fact, he has only had 2 weeks where he has scored in double digits.
Derrick Henry is slowly taking over the feature back job for the Titans, and it has put both backs in a running back by committee. DeMarco Murray has only had 20+ touches in a game ONCE this season. His usage and health are trending downward, and you should trade him before his value dips any further.
Marshawn Lynch, Oakland
Many people were excited about the return of Beast Mode, especially with him seemingly going to a perfect fit with the Raiders. Things just haven’t turned out the way everyone thought. Lynch is still running the ball well, he just isn’t getting the touches.
He has ZERO games with 20 touches, and only two with more than 13. He is also sharing the backfield with two other talented young backs. Add that onto the receivers that need to be fed on the Oakland offense, and the touches just aren’t going to be there for Lynch.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay
On the season, he scoring average has dipped to 12.1 fantasy points per game. With Aaron Rodgers out the rest of the way and Brett Hundley under center, the outlook is grim for all Packers receivers.
In the two games that Hundley has started since taking over for the injured Rodgers, Nelson is averaging 2.4 catches and 24 yards per game. There are bound to be some people in your league that still think he has potential the rest of the way, take advantage of that and get as much as you can for him.
Will Fuller, Houston
He burst onto the scene after coming back from injury and has been one of fantasy’s highest scoring players. His rumored chemistry with quarterback Deshaun Watson was put on display as he averaged 1.75 touchdowns per game in the four games they played together.
However, with Watson out for the year and no legitimate backup to take his place, this lowers Fuller’s value quite a bit. Fuller is not a high volume reception receiver. He gets most of his points off of big plays. For example, in the four games with Watson, Fuller averaged only 3.25 receptions per game. With those 3.25 receptions, Fuller was able to average 69.75 yards and almost two touchdowns a game.
That type of production won’t be consistent or even available with a subpar quarterback like Tom Savage. Not to mention, his chemistry with Watson most certainly played a part in his touchdown total. Someone in your league may not realize all of this, so you might be able to get great value in return.
Sammy Watkins, L.A. Rams
Going to a new team and seemingly healthy for the first time, expectations were high for Watkins. The result has been Watkins becoming the biggest healthy bust of the fantasy season. In five of the eight games he has played, he has fantasy point totals of 5, 2, 0, 2 and 7. Last week, he had 16 points, but got it all on a 67 yards touchdown reception. He only had one other target the entire game, even though the Rams scored 51 points.
On the season, the Rams are one of the league’s top scoring offenses and Watkins just isn’t a big part of their scheme. If you can find someone willing to give you a starter or a player with potential, make the trade before they reconsider. In fact, any value at all that you can get back would be a victory for your fantasy team.
FIVE PLAYERS TO ADD FOR THE STRETCH RUN
Greg Olsen, Carolina
He is still on IR, but reports are saying that he will be back for the Panthers week 12 contest. He is only owned in 50.8% of leagues, meaning there is a pretty good chance he is available for you to pick up. He was already top three at his position, and his targets should only increase with Kelvin Benjamin no longer in the picture.
Grabbing a top tight end for the fantasy playoffs would be a great Christmas present to yourself. You should actually stop reading and check to see if he’s available, and then come back and read the rest.
Charles Clay, Buffalo
He isn’t Greg Olsen, but he is still a top 10 tight end and he is going to be playing a lot sooner. Word out of Buffalo is that he might have a chance to play this week. Even if he doesn’t play, you should still pick him up. In his five games before injury, he was averaging 15.25 fantasy points per game.
He is second on the Bills in red zone targets and has good chemistry with quarterback Tyrod Taylor. He is only owned in 46.2% of leagues, grab him is he’s available. You may already be set at the tight end position, but Clay could still represent good trade value in that situation.
Orleans Darkwa, N.Y. Giants
His arrow has been trending upwards, and last week he received 18 touches in a game where the Giants were blown out. The Giants are going to want to see if he is their future, and they are also going to try to shorten games by running the ball when possible. Both of these things make for a great potential combination for Darkwa.
Robert Woods, L.A. Rams
Having the exact opposite type of season as Sammy Watkins, Woods has emerged as the Rams #1 receiver. In his last six games, Woods is averaging 4.5 receptions and 65 receiving yards per contest.
He is the #1 receiver on one of the league’s highest scoring offenses, yet he is only owned in 66.4% of ESPN fantasy leagues. Woods has a very solid floor and could explode if he adds a few more touchdowns to his stat line.
Robby Anderson, N.Y. Jets
On what has turned out to be a better offense than anyone expected, Anderson has emerged as the #1 receiver. Over his last 4 games, Anderson is averaging 4.25 receptions, 65.75 yards, 0.75 touchdowns and 16 fantasy points per game. At worst, he could be a solid backup with a solid fantasy floor, at best he could be a top 15 wide receiver the rest of the season.
Looking for more fantasy football tips and sleepers? You can find Blake on Twitter @blakegibbs for further guidance.