Week 8 Fantasy Football Trade Targets

Week 8 Byes: NONE

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Trade For…

Quarterback: Justin Herbert

I’m not shy about my love for Herbert. I’m a Duck too. I watched him in high school and every game at Oregon. I love the dude as a person as well. That said, I’ve been disappointed by his last two outings for fantasy. However, with plus matchups ahead and the imminent firing of HC Brandon Staley, Herbert should be back on the mend soon. I want that on my team. Even after two “down” weeks, he’s still QB5 in PPG. He’s third in deep ball attempts but hasn’t been connecting since Mike Williams got hurt. Joshua Palmer caught a 40+ yarder and was tackled inside the five. He scores on that, and we feel much different right now. Herbert is top five in RZ attempts, pace of play, yards per attempt, rushing TDs among QBs and carries in the RZ. The points are left on the field with silly interceptions. He’ll clean that up against CHI, a beat-up NYJ secondary, DET and GB over the next month. If there’s a buy-low window for Herbert, it’s now.

Running Back: Austin Ekeler

You can go two ways with this one. I’m sure I’ll get comments saying to trade him away, but this is what you do when a star is struggling. Ekeler is top three easily when right. He’s not right. The Chargers are middle of the pack in all rushing statistics but have only had a healthy Ekeler for Week 1. He was RB2 with 164 total yards on 20 touches with a touchdown. Missed Weeks 2-4, bye in Week 5, then stumbled out of the gates the last two weeks. He tweaked his other ankle Sunday but returned. This is all negative, I get it, LOL. All that said, he’s got a fruitful schedule up ahead, and I smell a bounce back. CHI gives up the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs. NYJ gives up the 11th most on the ground but third most to RBs through the air! DET are straight-up dawgs vs. RBs (29th), but even Gus Edwards, who averages four receptions per year (!), had an 80-yard reception vs. them. GB has been dreadful all around to RBs, giving up the third most fantasy points on the ground and 7th through the air. This will be the only chance you have to potentially secure a league winner before it’s too late. Worth a try, at least.

Wide Receiver: Cortland Sutton

“Broncos suck!” I know. Sutton doesn’t, though. He’s scored a touchdown in five of their seven games and was WR8 last week, catching all six targets for 76/1. Jerry Jeudy is about to get traded, and Sutton may too. Either way, he’s clearly the top option in whatever the offense is trying to do. I don’t love that his bye is Week 9 and that he’s got KC this week, but he did go 4/46/1 two weeks ago against the Chiefs. He’s a WR2 with upside, so temper expectations, but I want consistency and boom potential in my WR2/3 slot. I’m not going to lie. His next four matchups are tough, with three of them vs. bottom six matchups vs. WRs (that’s bad). However, his fantasy playoff schedule is among the best, getting LAC twice, who gives up the most points to receivers, along with DET (11th) and NE (20th). Perhaps this is more for managers sitting at 4-3 or better, but if you are, Sutton could be a nice insurance piece down the stretch.

Tight End: Sam LaPorta

This might be a long shot at this point, but it’s the TE position, and I’m contractually obligated to find someone to target, so… here goes. LaPorta is the real deal. I loved this kid coming in and expected him to take over the “Hockenson role” in DET. I did not expect him to do it this quickly. He’s been TE8  or better in four of his first five games but struggled against two of the toughest matchups vs. the position finishing TE17 vs. TB and TE10 last week in a blowout loss to BAL. Capitalize on that! His managers may be concerned the early season flare has dulled, or that he’s still nursing an injury (he’s not), or that it’s “The Lions” and they’ll come back down to earth (they’re not going to). He’s got a cake matchup vs. LV on Monday night. Then a bye in Week 9, but he’s the second read after Amon-Ra St. Brown in a usually high-powered offense that just got embarrassed. Do you think a Dan Campbell team is going to get routed twice in a row? Me neither. The Lions are at home in a prove-it game on national TV, which they haven’t been since… well, Week 1 when they beat KC, but before that, it’s been my entire life. If you don’t get the rookie now, you won’t be able to. Try to sell the dude I mentioned below… shouldn’t be hard to pull off.

Trade Away…

Quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa

Drafted ahead of Herbert by one pick, Tua has elite weapons and offensive play-calling, but somehow he’s not as explosive weekly as you’d expect. His QB finishes on the year are QB1, 26, 2, 18, 12, 3 and 22 last week. His worst fantasy finish came against the Patriots in Week 2. He was QB26 with 249/1/1. Bill Belichick has had Tua’s number since he entered the league. The Dolphins play NE on Sunday. Then he’s got KC at Arrowhead, then a bye. You don’t want to start him in the next three weeks, but you will if he’s on your roster. Tyreek and a great run game cover up mediocre play too often for my taste. Tua is first in passing yards, touchdown throws, and yards per attempt. Love that. Unfortunately, he’s also 28th in pressured throws which has led to 9 interceptable passes (10th) and just 16.2 expected fantasy points per game (14th), yet he’s sitting at 19.6 PPG (6th). I’m concerned about regression in the wrong direction. Tua has more allure than Herbert, but I’ll take the 6th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft over the 5th.

Running Back: Aaron Jones

Other than him not being healthy, it’s hard to explain Jones after being RB1 overall in Week 1. He missed Weeks 2,3 and 5. In Week 4, he was RB63 (?!) and last week (after their bye), he was RB26 in PPR, being untouched by AJ Dillon 17/11. I love Jones when he’s proper, but this ain’t it. The Packers’ offense looks bad all around, and their schedule won’t help them over the next six games – MIN, LAR, @PIT, LAC, @DET, KC. No thanks. Try to move on name value, but don’t expect Round 2 ADP in return anymore. Just get out if you can. Give me James Cook, Rhomandre Stevenson (last week’s RB trade for), Jahmyr Gibbs or even Javonte Williams over Jones.

Wide Receiver: Michael Pittman

Pittman is one spot ahead of Sutton at WR19 on the season, but it’s fool’s gold IMO. Pittman went from 11, 12, and 11 targets over his first three games with Anthony Richardson to 5, 7, 14 and 5 this last month, including just 2/83/1 last week – 75 yards of which came on a blown coverage in the 4th quarter. I can handle a mustache or jorts, but I can’t trust a man rocking both. Therefore, Gardner Minshew stays on my list of NFL QBs I’d love to party with but not have on my fantasy team (Desmond Ridder, Derek Carr, Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo(?), Deshaun Wat… you get the idea). Pittman’s schedule coming up is sketch too. He’s got NO, CAR, NE, bye, TB. The first three are top 12 vs. WRs. His fantasy playoff schedule is worse. Bail.

Tight End: George Kittle

Let me be clear… I LOVE Kittle. I love how he plays, his personality, his swagger and his “just a regular dude” attitude. Unfortunately, the only thing I don’t love about him is his inconsistent fantasy production. He’s been TE3, 45, 1, 51 and 8 over the last five games after TE26 and 32 to start the season. Obviously, I also love his boom games, but the 49ers simply don’t need him very often with all of their other weapons. Now, think ahead with me… Deebo Samuel is out until after SF’s bye in Week 9. Kittle has historically benefitted from Deebo’s absence (duh). On the contrary, he’s more of a blocker (and a damn good one) when Deebo is in as a hybrid running back. I’m looking to move away from Kittle after a massive three-TD game vs. DAL three weeks ago and a 5/78 performance Monday night. He’s got a great matchup this week vs. CIN, who gives up the 4th most fantasy points to TEs, so if you want to hold him another week, I get it, but then they have their bye. After that, Deebo returns and the matchups are bad – JAC (14th), TB (23rd) and SEA (28th) twice in three games, with PHI sandwiched in between. Kittle can also come to that awkward QB party I mentioned above, but like those guys, he’s moving off my fantasy roster. Go get LaPorta or Waller.

For more from Sky and his Razzball content, find him on Twitter @skyguasco.