In many sports, the arrival of the trade deadline is something that is looked forward to as the also-rans in any given season are given the opportunity to build for the future by unloading talented veterans to a contending team.
It typically isn’t that way in the NFL, where there are always rumors of big names trading places, but it rarely happens. The trade deadline is 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Nov. 2, and there will be a flurry of rumors of players moving to new teams, but too often the rumors don’t become reality.
For fantasy owners, this can be an important time if you have any of the players on the trade block. Owners of Zach Ertz are elated that he finally got out of Philly after months of contention and goes to Arizona – a high-octane offense in need of a playmaking tight end.
Some players have been disappointments, mired on fantasy benches or a “silk hat on a pig” type (see Brandin Cooks). The deadline will come and go as it always does, but will this year be the year where things are different and there are a flurry of moves? Don’t hold your breath.
Here is the Week 9 Fantasy Football Market Report:
Fantasy Football Risers
Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets
It’s difficult to overly excited about anyone from the Jets, but Carter has started making a case for himself to be considered. He is the Jets’ leading rusher and has more than twice as many carries as anyone on the team. He has double-digit attempts in each of the last four games and has scored three touchdowns in that span. He is also the team’s leading receiver with 26 receptions – 17 of those (and 162 of his 226 receiving yards) coming in the last two games. He has emerged as a strong daily fantasy player and is making it more difficult to keep out of league lineups.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
It has taken a while for Pittman and Carson Wentz to get on the same page, but Indy started winning when Pittman became the primary focus of the passing offense. In his last four games, Pittman has scored four touchdowns and posted yardage of 86, 89 and 105. He has 594 receiving yards and nobody else on the team has more than 265. He has quietly asserted himself as the go-to receiver in this offense and is still being viewed as a fantasy bargain who has to prove it. That won’t last much longer. He’s already proved it.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers
From the day Christian McCaffrey went down in Week 3, the majority of the rushing workload has fallen on Hubbard. In his last four games, he has had a pair of games with 24 rushing attempts (gaining 101 and 82 yards, respectively) and has scored two touchdowns in the last three games. With McCaffrey expected to return, Hubbard’s value may plummet, but he has earned the opportunity to be more than just a McCaffrey handcuff. If CMC goes down again (he missed time due to three injuries last year), you could have a fantasy starter on your hands.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
This may be a little more projecting that anything based on a breakout performance, but what has always held Goedert down was sharing time with Zach Ertz. When Ertz was injured in the past is when Goedert posted his most impressive numbers. In the five games he played prior to the Ertz trade, he was averaging three catches and 43 yards. In the two games since the trade, he has nine catches for 142 yards, including his biggest yardage games of the season (70 and 72 yards). While he isn’t a lock to be a fantasy stud suddenly, his trajectory is pointing strongly up with his primary competition out of the picture.
D’Ernest Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
Browns fans didn’t know what to make of their run game when both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were out in Week 7 against Denver. The only person who seemed unfazed was head coach Kevin Stefanski, who said Johnson could get the job done. All he did in his first start was rush 22 times for 146 yards and a touchdown. Chubb came back last week and Johnson’s production took a dip. He rushed just four times for 22 yards in Cleveland’s loss to Pittsburgh, but he scored another touchdown. With Hunt expected to be out four to six weeks, Johnson is going to have the opportunity to fill his role in the offense, which could mean double-digit carries and chances in the screen game. He’s a reach, but one that could be dividends for a team in need if he does fill Hunt’s role in the offense.
Fantasy Football Fallers
Jared Goff, QB, Detroit Lions
Early in the season, it looked as though the Matthew Stafford might not be as lopsided as it appeared. In his first two games (against San Francisco and Green Bay), Goff threw for 584 yards and five touchdowns. It’s been all downhill in the six games since. He has thrown for less than 225 yards (with his team behind in most if not all of them for considerable stretches of time) four times and has just three TD passes in those six games – including just one in his last four games. He brings nothing as a rusher and has brought next to nothing as a passer. The Lions are in line for the No. 1 overall pick as the lone winless team in the league and that player will likely be Goff’s replacement.
Jonnu Smith, TE, New England Patriots
The Patriots made a big splash in free agency by signing the two hottest tight ends – Smith and Hunter Henry. Both got off to brutal starts, but Henry has turned his fantasy season around, scoring four touchdowns in his last five games. The same can’t be said for Smith. Through eight games, he is averaging less than 24 receiving yards a game and has just one touchdown catch. For a guy who blew up for the Titans last year just in time to make millions, he has been unqualified bust for the Patriots and has rendered himself almost unplayable.
Buffalo Bills running backs
This one has been frustrating for owners of both Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. Mos has scattered four touchdowns in the first half of the season, but is averaging just 3.7 yards a carries with his worst two weekly averages coming in the last two weeks against teams that have struggled to stop the run (Tennessee and Miami). Singletary is averaging 5.1 yards a carry but hasn’t had more rushes than Moss since Week 2 and has a total of 18 carries in the last three games. With neither being a threat as receivers, it has become impossible to play either of them and expect production.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen is one of the rare players who historically has himself on both the Risers and Fallers list in the same season. The problem with Allen is consistency from a fantasy perspective. In seven games, he has scored just two touchdowns (one on Sunday), but after hitting 100 yards in each of his first two games, he hasn’t topped 77 yards in the five games since and has three games with 50 or fewer receiving yards in three of those. It’s impossible to recommend benching Allen, because he came to fantasy rosters to start every week and you get the feeling he’s going to have another one of his three- or four-game streaks where he plays lights out and scores a handful of touchdowns. It’s what Allen does.
Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
The best thing that happened to fantasy owners with Ebron is that he was inactive Sunday with a hamstring injury and couldn’t be played. That’s the good news. The bad news is that a player who has posted some monster weeks over the years is a complete afterthought in this offense. Fellow Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth had as many receptions (seven) in Pittsburgh’s Week 7 game with Seattle than Ebron has had in the six games he has played. The numbers are staggeringly bad – seven catches for 47 yards and no touchdowns. The Steelers may try to move him at the trade deadline, but with those numbers who wants him?