We’re going to do something a little different this week. Instead of looking at just Week 11, we need to look further. For most season-long leagues, trade deadlines are rapidly approaching. Waiver wires have likely been picked clean by now. So, if you’re going to tweak your roster for the stretch run and playoffs, finding a trade partner is going to be increasingly important.
To help you on this task, I’m dedicating this week’s article primarily to identifying players who you may want to look at further. I’ll try to stay away from the most obvious plays and identify those that may be lounging on an opponent’s bench and more likely to acquire. We’ll go through the key positions, and I’ll make a case for you to get to work. But before you get to work, I’ll need to get to work.
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So, let’s go…
Starting at the QB position, here are the QBs with the best-projected matchups, based on the team’s Strength of Schedule (SOS) for Weeks 11-17:
- Joshua Dobbs (Vikings) – Dobbs must feel like he’s living in the penthouse now. His mail hasn’t even been forwarded yet, but he now inherits the starting gig of the hottest team in the league. The Vikings also draw the most favorable QB SOS for the rest of the season. Oh, and the mailman will be delivering the best WR very soon as well.
- Dak Prescott (Cowboys) – It wasn’t that long ago when we were all writing Dak’s eulogy as the Cowboys QB. A few short weeks later, after three 30+ fantasy point games, he’s a must-start on all but the shallowest leagues.
- Justin Fields (Bears) – Fields returns this after a 4-week hiatus from a dislocated right thumb. If you can pry him loose, he has some very nice matchups with the Lions (twice), Cardinals and Falcons upcoming.
- Russell Wilson (Broncos) – Russ is on a roll with a pair of 20+ fantasy points versus the Chiefs and Bills. Despite this, odds are there are owners who are still on the fence, especially with games vs the red-hot Vikings and tough Browns defense coming up. Time to strike!
- Brock Purdy (49ers) – After getting through a rough patch, Purdy has his weapons back in line and some QB-friendly games on the horizon.
- Kyler Murray (Cardinals) – The window to buy Murray is probably closed. I’ve been telling everyone to stash him. Now it’s time to unleash.
- Jared Goff (Lions) – There may be some managers out there who still think Goff doesn’t play well on the road. With games coming up @NO, @CHI, @MIN and @DAL, use that mischaracterization to your advantage.
Time to discuss RBs now…
- Austin Ekeler (Chargers) – No need for me to say anything here.
- Isiah Pacheco (Chiefs) – Pacheco remains the Chiefs primary ball carrier. Chiefs’ upcoming opponents and throughout the fantasy playoffs are extremely favorable for low-RB#1 status.
- Breece Hall (Jets) – The Jets offense is generally a mess, and Hall’s YPC is not exciting. Dalvin Cook is also a threat to pilfer a few carries per game. Despite a favorable schedule, he may not be the best RB target to pursue.
- Tony Pollard (Cowboys) – Wow, what’s the deal with Pollard? If he doesn’t erupt versus one of the worst RB defenses this week, I think we can safely put a fork in him for fantasy purposes. Despite this, I still find his owners value him for what he was expected to be rather than what he has become.
- Rachaad White (Buccaneers) – He’s been one of my trade targets in PPR leagues for many weeks. With 20 rushing attempts in each of the last two games, the Bucs clearly view him as every-down back now. I’ve upgraded him to a primary trade target in all formats now – and traded for him in one of my leagues just this week.
- Jaylen Warren (Steelers) – Warren has been named the starter moving forward. My buddy, @Stiles08, predicted this way back in the preseason. I’m excited it’s finally here. His rushing attempts have been going up, and he’s still involved in the passing game. Buy! Buy! Buy!
- Kyren Williams (Rams) – If he’s not stashed on someone’s IR, go get him now. It looks like he’s on track to return in Week 12 and should pick right back up where he left off.
Turning to the WRs, here are my recommendations for both slot and wideouts.
- Chris Olave (Saints) – By most accounts, Olave hasn’t delivered like we hoped this season. However, with Michael Thomas looking at a prolonged absence and the Saints drawing the most favorable SOS for slot receivers, Olave (scores about half his fantasy points from the slot position) has a chance to end on a high note.
- Marquise Brown (Cardinals) – A similar situation here. The return of Kyler Murray brings a little excitement to Brown owners as they hope to build on the special connection they shared last season. He’s worth a WR#2 – WR#3 consideration moving forward.
- Jayden Reed (Packers) – Here’s a cheap stash if he’s still out there on the wire, in particular. Reed scores 90% of his points, almost 10 fantasy PPG, from the slot position. The Packers offense is nothing to get excited about right now, but if things start to come together, you’re going to want Reed.
- CeeDee Lamb (Cowboys) – Yes.
- Tyler Lockett & Jaxon Smith-Njigba – JSN has been on the rise, and both of these Hawks score over 40% of their fantasy PPG from the slot. K. Metcalf is also on the rise (see below), but getting a piece of this offense, especially in deeper leagues, is not a bad idea.
- Josh Downs (Colts) – The Razzball crew has been touting Downs most of the season, and I’ll continue to do so here. He scores 64% of his fantasy PPG from the slot, and the Colts have a favorable schedule coming out of the bye.
- Zay Flowers (Ravens) – The shine has come off on this Flower lately, but I note the Ravens draw the best wideout SOS moving forward. Although Rashod Bateman and Odell Beckham line up more out wide, Flowers is delivering more fantasy PPG from the position. Take away a holding call by OBJ last night, and he has goes to the locker room at halftime with 20+ fantasy points.
- Brandon Aiyuk (49ers) – I love me some Brandon Aiyuk. Over 90% of his double-digit average fantasy PPG come from this position, and the 49ers appear to have righted the ship. I traded for Aiyuk in one of my leagues this week, and I’m ecstatic about it…just saying.
- Tank Dell (Texans) – With Stroud playing so well and peppering both the slot and wideouts frequently, Dell (86% fantasy PPG from wideout position) should continue to be a worthy WR#2 start.
- Insert Name (Giants) – The Giants draw a nice SOS here, but who do we trust? Exactly! I’ll pass on all of them.
- Calvin Ridley (Jaguars) – With Zay Jones likely out of the picture for the time being, Ridley stands to benefit from the added looks out wide. It’s been a roller coaster ride for Ridley managers, so you might be able to pry him away from his frustrated owner for a discount.
- Diontae Johnson (Steelers) – I’ve never really been on the Diontae train, but I’m coming around. Monitor the thumb injury for sure, and I’m not recommending him this week vs the Browns, but he’s not a bad add to your roster if you want to shore up the WR#2 spot moving forward.
- Courtland Sutton (Broncos) – On the flip side, I’ve been riding with Sutton every chance I get. He provides a very nice floor that you can count on week-in/week-out. If you hate running out WRs that put up 4-5 fantasy points some weeks (who doesn’t), Sutton is your cure.
- D.K. Metcalf (Seahawks) – Normally, you wouldn’t be able to trade for Metcalf at this point in the season, but those drafting him early may have grown tired of the injuries and underwhelming performance. You’ll still need to pay a high price, but his fantasy playoff schedule is worth it.
On to TEs:
- Jake Ferguson (Cowboys) – Ferguson has 21 targets and 3 TDs in his last 3 games. He’s not an every-game starter right now, but that should change soon. Trade for him if you can.
- Trey McBride (Cardinals) – Since he assumed the primary TE role, McBride seems to follow up a big game with a clunker. Following that trend, he’s due for a clunker this week against the Texans. Overall though, he’s surpassed my expectations and should continue to thrive once he and Kyler build rapport.
- Isaiah Likely (Ravens) – If Mark Andrews’ injury is as serious as it appears, the Ravens will need to turn to Likely. Remember what he did when given a shot last season? If not, you might want to check.
- Tyler Conklin (Jets) – See “Breece Hall” writeup above, and multiply by 10.
- Dalton Kincaid (Bills) – The window to trade for Kincaid is probably locked down tight…and for good reason. His owner may need a replacement for Week 13. If so, make a pitch.
- David Njoku (Browns) – Njoku was becoming a reliable TE streamer, but now that Watson is out for the year and Dorian Thompson-Robinson takes over the helm (who?). Downgrade Njoku.
- Sam LaPorta (Lions) – If you follow our show, you know I love me some Sam LaPorta. I can’t recommend enough to make a pitch to his owner. You may not be successful, but it’s worth a shot.
As usual, I’m skipping kickers. Bobby (@BobbyLamarco) is our resident expert in that department, so I encourage you to join us on one of our shows and get those questions answered. Labeling Bobby as a “kicker whisperer” is a fair assessment in my book.
What I will do here to round out my “five things” is identify a few DSTs to look at further. If you’ve gone this far streaming DSTs, why stop now?
- Falcons – The Falcons DST may not be scoring a lot of points, but they have upcoming matchups with the Jets, Panthers, Colts and Bears. Streaming this team during the playoffs may quietly put you over the top.
- Texans – Same with the Texans. With fantasy playoff matchups against the Titans, Watson-less Browns and the Titans again, you could do worse.
- Rams – Despite losing 3 in a row, the Rams have a playoff shot if they string together a few quality wins. The Rams DST should be forefront in that effort, especially against the Cardinals, Browns, Commanders, and then Giants in Week 17.
- Lions – There’s not a lot of pressure on the Lions DST to carry the squad. However, 2 upcoming games against the Bears look awfully attractive.
- Dolphins – The Dolphins DST draws the Raiders, Jets, Commanders, Titans, and Jets again over the next 5 weeks. You may want another DST ready for the fantasy playoffs (Cowboys and Ravens), but this is a solid squad to get you there.
There you go, another week of insights in the books. Best of luck in your season-long or DFS action, and don’t forget…
If you have Start/Sit questions leading up to kickoff, don’t forget to subscribe and tune into the one-and-only @RazzballNFL Start/Sit show on Sunday mornings. Right up to game time, @BobbyLamarco, @SkyGuasco, @Stiles08, and I will be answering all your fantasy football questions. Don’t miss it.
Look for my articles right here each week, and be sure to follow me on Twitter/X @Derek_Favret. I’m now on Bluesky as well (@dfavret.bsky.social).
Until next time, my friends.