Fantasy Football trades to make heading into playoffs


In fantasy football, DeShaun Watson (left) is red hot, while Lamar Jackson (right) is not. So, which one should fantasy players trade away, and which should should they trade for? The answer may be surprising.

As the pivotal NFL month of December approaches, many fantasy football players are either preparing themselves for the playoffs, trying to earn their team a spot in the playoffs, or have just given up entirely. For those still holding out hope, let’s take a look at some players that fantasy managers might want to consider trading for or trading away to gain an advantage in the coming weeks of play.

Trade for: QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens  It’s no secret that the reigning NFL MVP has struggled in his third season after being put on the cover of Madden 21. For the unaware, the “Madden Curse” is a superstition among NFL fans that players who are put on the cover of the Madden video game are cursed with injuries or poor play in the upcoming season. However, there’s reason to believe these struggles may soon be coming to an end. The fact that Lamar Jackson has thrown for over 200 yards just four times this season could be something to bank on. In weeks 13 through 16, Jackson will face the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New York Giants, which is a dream schedule for any playoff contender. It’s a wise move to buy Lamar Jackson, while he’s probably cheap.

Trade away: QB Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans  Watson’s game was taken to a new level after the firing of simply awful head coach Bill O’Brien. Romeo Crennel, the interim head coach, finally showed Watson how to use his new offensive weapons, and it has paid off for the Texans as they have now gone 3-3 since their 0-4 start. However, now is the perfect time to sell Deshaun Watson while he has peak value. In the next four weeks, he’ll play against the Chicago Bears and twice against the Indianapolis Colts, both of which are in the top-five against opposing quarterbacks. Those are not matchups fantasy managers want to be facing in the fantasy playoffs.

Trade for: RBs Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns  It doesn’t matter which of the Cleveland Browns’ elite running back duo you have as long as you have one of them. It’s interesting how Chubb and Hunt perform better when both of them are healthy and playing together, rather than one without the other. The duo has looked unstoppable this season, and if Nick Chubb hadn’t been hurt in week four, both Chubb and Hunt would be top-15 running backs this fantasy season. Coming off a pretty “meh” game against Philadelphia in the rough Cleveland weather, try and buy one of these all-star tailbacks as four of their next five matchups are in the bottom half of the league against opposing running backs. It may also be wise to go out and snag handcuffs to other star running backs such as Latavius Murray if you own Alvin Kamara, or Jamaal Williams if you own Aaron Jones.

Trade away: RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings  One of many great running back selling chips, Dalvin Cook might be the best of the bunch, with others including James Robinson and Antonio Gibson. Cook has arguably been the fantasy MVP so far this season, rushing for over 100 yards five times and scoring a rushing touchdown in all but two games. Don’t expect this kind of production to continue though, as his remaining fantasy playoff schedule is nothing short of a nightmare. All three of his matchups in weeks 14 through 16 are top-10 against opposing running backs. While Cook will definitely still get the volume and post the numbers of a star running back, maybe sell high on that “fantasy MVP” reputation he’s established for himself, and trade for someone like Derrick Henry, who has far easier matchups and a head of steam heading into the end of the season.

Trade for: WR Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears  Allen Robinson is a prime choice for fantasy managers heading for the playoffs in need of wide receiver help. Other than the fact that he’s fourth in the NFL in targets, 12th in receptions, and 11th in receiving yards, “A-Rob” is very obviously the focal point of Bill Lazor’s offense and quarterback Nick Foles’ favorite target. Not to mention his schedule from weeks 14 through 16 consists of the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, and Jacksonville Jaguars, all in the bottom-10 against wide receivers this season. Cincinnati Bengals receivers Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins need an honorable mention just because their schedule is so enticing as the Bengals play two teams in the bottom-10 versus opposing wide receivers in the fantasy playoffs. However, Joe Burrow’s injury does take a bit of the shine off Boyd and Higgins. 

Trade away: WR Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos  Injuries, inconsistency, and lack of experience have plagued the Denver offense all season long, and while the Broncos’ first-round pick out of Alabama has been putting up low-end flex numbers in deeper leagues. It’s hard to have faith that trend will continue. Tight end Noah Fant is finally completely healthy, and Tim Patrick looks like the clear WR1. Also, the Broncos should continue to run the football with the schedule they have remaining with two out of four upcoming matchups coming against teams in the bottom-10 against opposing running backs. Speaking of schedules, Jeudy will be facing four teams from weeks 13 through 16 in the top-10 against opposing wide receivers. The immediate future for Jeudy doesn’t look bright, but from next year on, look out for the Broncos as this team has serious potential if they can stay healthy.