Do you feel good about your fantasy football squad at 6-2 or 5-3? Are you past your bye week roster struggles? We need to start focusing on winning when it counts most: the fantasy playoffs.
With the playoffs just around the corner, this article outlines 12 players to consider trading for in the weeks ahead.
Hurts may not be having a transcendent sophomore season as fantasy managers hoped, but he has more fantasy points than Kyler Murray despite being a first-year starter. Hurts, believe it or not, has averaged 24.5 fantasy points per game. In spite of a mediocre supporting cast, his dual-threat ability gives him a high floor and a high ceiling. Hurts’ schedule from Weeks 15-17 makes him an appealing trade candidate, as he faces the Washington Football Team twice and the New York Giants once. The two teams have allowed quarterbacks to score an average of 21.64 fantasy points per game.
With 281.7 passing yards, 38.4 rushing yards and 29 fantasy points per game, Allen is putting up impressive numbers. The schedule Allen has from Weeks 15-17 should prompt you to take whatever it takes to acquire him, even though won’t come cheap. With games against the Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, Allen could single-handedly propel your team to a championship. These three defenses have allowed quarterbacks to average 18.3 points per game against. As the Bills’ offense utilizes these matchups to boost their playoff chances, Allen could easily surpass those per-game averages. Imagine pairing him with Emmanuel Sanders or Cole Beasley.
Jimmy Garoppolo is still the 49ers’ quarterback, but the team has largely struggled over the past month and the veteran has done little to cement his position as the starter for the remainder of the season. Though Lance struggled in his Week 5 start against the Arizona Cardinals, he did manage to run for 89 yards on 16 carries. We expect Lance to continue to put pressure on Garoppolo every week and possibly make some starts near the end of the season. The 49ers are designed to win right now, and the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft may be what puts them over the top. Lance’s dual-threat ability is worth stashing due to matchups against the Falcons (21.25), Tennessee Titans (20.32) and Texans (20.44) from Weeks 15-17.
Herbert has struggled over the last two games, averaging only 14.4 points per contest. His statistics since last season are likely familiar to you. Between Week 1 of last season and Week 5 of this season, Herbert averaged 295.6 passing yards and 26 points per game. With the offensive playmakers surrounding him, he’s likely to bounce back sooner rather than later. From Weeks 15-17, he faces the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos, a trio that allows an average of 19.2 points per game to the position.
Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
In last weekend’s game against the Football Team, Williams out-touched Melvin Gordon III 13-11, but unfortunately Gordon was the one who scored two touchdowns for the Broncos. Despite a middle-of-the-road offensive line in Denver, Williams has a knack for forcing missed tackles and may continue to see more touches down the stretch. Currently, he averages 12.6 touches, 61.3 total yards and 10.4 fantasy points. In Weeks 15-17, Williams could surpass those per game averages against teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals (27.47), Las Vegas Raiders (25.83) and Los Angeles Chargers (27.47), all of which rank in the top-12 in points allowed to running backs.
Elliott is enjoying a very good season. He averages 20.4 opportunities, 97.9 total yards and 17.8 points per game. Besides being able to coexist with Tony Pollard, Elliott plays for an offense that leads the NFL in total yards per game with 454.9. If you consider the number of points allowed per game to running backs by the Giants (25.9), Washington (23.54) and the Cardinals (20.61), Elliott can be a valuable addition to your fantasy team while running behind Dallas’ stout offensive line.
According to Adam Schefter, Robinson avoided a serious foot injury in the Week 8 loss to the Seahawks. Since Week 1 of last season through Week 7 of this season, he has averaged 20.3 opportunities, 99.6 total yards and 17.9 fantasy points per game. Robinson will continue to play a significant role in the Jaguars’ running game and might surpass his per game averages from Weeks 15-17 against the Texans, Jets and Patriots, a trio which have allowed a combined 29.1 points per contest to the position during that span.
Following Swift’s poor Week 8 performance against the Eagles, you may be able to buy low on him now. In addition to rushing 12 times for 27 yards, he caught five passes for 24 yards. From Weeks 1-7, Swift averaged 18.6 opportunities and 19.6 points. No matter whether the Lions are in front or behind, he will be actively involved as a runner or receiver. From Weeks 15-17, he has several week-winning matchups against the Cardinals, Falcons and Seahawks.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
Renfrow has an opportunity to prosper following the Raiders’ release of Henry Ruggs III. Although many managers gravitate towards Bryan Edwards, Renfrow has been a safety valve for quarterback Derek Carr since his rookie season in 2019. This season, Renfrow has averaged 7.3 targets, 5.4 receptions, 57 receiving yards and 12.8 points per game. In the absence of Ruggs, he could become the Raiders’ Cooper Kupp. From Weeks 15-17, Renfrow and Las Vegas face the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. His success against those defenders shouldn’t be an issue. This season, Renfrow has averaged 2.7 yards of separation per target, which ranks top-five among receivers.
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Since Lamb’s rookie season, he has been excellent; on average, he has 7.2 targets, 4.9 receptions and 67.7 receiving yards per game. With Dak Prescott back at the helm in 2021, Lamb is thriving even more and there’s much to like about his favorable end-of-season schedule. From Weeks 15-17, he’ll face the Giants, Washington and Cardinals. Wide receivers have scored an average of 39.0 points per game against these defenses. You’d better grab your popcorn because Lamb has a chance to put on a show for your fantasy team.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen has been underwhelming for fantasy managers thus far this season, but he still averages 9.9 targets per game. With 77 yards and a touchdown last week against the Patriots, Allen caught six out of 11 targets. He faces the Chiefs (33.9), Texans (36.7), and Broncos (33.4) during the playoffs, placing him firmly on the WR2 radar and someone you shouldn’t overlook considering the points per game these defenses have allowed to receivers this season.
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
At LSU, quarterback Joe Burrow and receiver Chase displayed a rapport that quickly has translated to the NFL. He leads all rookies in receiving yards (768) and averages 20.7 yards per reception and 98.3 receiving yards per game to go with seven receiving touchdowns. Chase is matchup-proof as he faces the Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and Chiefs between Weeks 15-17.
Sean McVay expects bigger roles for Odell Beckham Jr., Von Miller when Rams play Packers on Sunday
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Coach Sean McVay expects wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and outside linebacker Von Miller to have increased roles when the Los Angeles Rams play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
“A lot more, hopefully,” McVay said Friday when asked if he expected to get more out of the veteran duo in their second appearance since joining the Rams, who are 7-3 and coming off a bye.
The Rams will need an all-hands approach against Aaron Rodgers and the 8-3 Packers at Lambeau Field as they attempt to end a two-game losing streak.
Beckham agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million contract with the Rams four days before he suited and played 15 of 55 snaps in a Week 10, 31-10, loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The eighth-year pro caught 2 passes for 18 yards and was targeted on a third pass, but the deep throw from quarterback Matthew Stafford was intercepted as Beckham apparently broke off the route.
“Odell [is] just getting more familiar,” McVay said. “I mean for him to be able to even play in the game against the Niners is an incredible credit to him.”
The Rams did not practice Thursday because of high winds at their training facility but instead held a walk-through. McVay noted that more physical reps were added to Friday’s schedule to atone for the change and said that the additional walk-through could help Beckham.
“It helps because he’s getting up to speed mentally,” McVay said. “You don’t take for granted how important those physical reps and the rapport that he and Matthew are continuing to develop is and so because we’ll do a little bit more reps today, we’ll end up getting about the same amount that we would in a normal week, so it will be a good thing, but he’s done great.”
Beckham, who has been held under 30 receiving yards in five of his last six games played, said he spent the bye week concentrating on the playbook and his physical fitness, which was affected due to a lack of routine after his last game with the Cleveland Browns on October 31.
“I’ve definitely felt like I haven’t been in that flow that I would’ve normally stayed in with a regular schedule,” Beckham said. “So just trying to get back into that and find my way back to where I know I can be.”
Stafford said he’s been impressed by what Beckham has been able to grasp in his short time with the team.
“Nine times out of 10, he breaks the huddle with a whole bunch of confidence, knowing what he’s about to do, which is awesome for me as a quarterback to be able to just kind of do my job,” Stafford said.
Miller, who was acquired in a blockbuster deal with the Denver Broncos ahead of the trade deadline earlier this month, was inactive in his first game in Los Angeles as he continued to recover from an ankle sprain, so the three-time All-Pro also made his debut ahead of the bye against the 49ers.
Miller played 45 of 68 snaps and recorded two tackles, including one for a loss.
“Von did a good job, played a lot of snaps,” McVay said. “I think he’ll be that much more healthy, that much more fresh coming off the bye and giving his ankle another handful of days to continue to make progress and steps in the right direction without having any setbacks over these last couple of weeks.”
With the Rams’ bye coinciding with the Broncos, Miller said it came right on time,
“I’m feeling pretty good, feel a little bit more comfortable with the playbook, ankle is a whole lot healthier,” Miller said. “So the bye week was great.”
When asked to clarify how well his ankle, which he sprained in Week 7, felt, Miller said it was something he did not even think about.
“It’s a non-factor,” Miller said about the injury. “What we did was perfect by waiting one week, playing a week and then having a bye week after. Just kind of cleaned up some stuff, so it’s really a non-factor and I really don’t think about it.”
In eight games this season, Miller has 4.5 sacks.
Minnesota Vikings’ Everson Griffen goes on non-football illness list
Griffen, 33, was transported to a mental health facility Wednesday after he refused to come out of his home following a disturbing series of posts he made on Instagram, including one in which he held a gun and said people were trying to kill him. Griffen called 911 shortly after 3 a.m. local time Wednesday and said someone was inside his home and that he needed help from the police. He told the 911 dispatcher that he fired a weapon but that nobody was injured.
Local law enforcement and Vikings team psychologists were on site and in communication with Griffen beginning around 7 a.m. Wednesday before the defensive end finally came out of his residence without incident around 1:30 p.m.
Griffen’s wife and three children were not inside their Minnetrista, Minnesota, home at the time of the incident.
Coach Mike Zimmer did not provide any update on Griffen’s condition Friday afternoon, shortly before the team placed him on the NFI list.
“You know, I don’t know,” Zimmer said. “I don’t have much of an update on him. You know, we’ve been so busy with everything.”
Griffen was officially ruled out of Minnesota’s Week 12 game at San Francisco on Friday. His absence is considered indefinite in nature.
Dallas Cowboys consider sitting Ezekiel Elliott to heal injured knee, source says
The Dallas Cowboys will consider providing running back Ezekiel Elliott some time off to heal from the knee injury he has been managing, including the possibility of holding him out of next Thursday night’s game in New Orleans, a source told ESPN.
The source does not believe that placing Elliott on injured reserve is a consideration at this time.
Elliott has consistently downplayed the significance of his injury. Asked last week whether he had discussed with the coaches taking time off, Elliott said it wasn’t necessary.
“It’s football,” he said. “You get hurt. You aren’t going to be 100%. I’m tough. Play through it.”
However, in a conference call Friday, coach Mike McCarthy admitted concern about Elliott.
“It’s that time of year, McCarthy said. “Zeke’s running style is ferocious. He gives a pounding, and he takes some hits. We need to evaluate that, and this week we’ll see what the preparation looks like for him.”
The Cowboys have lost three of their past four games, and Elliott’s rushing total has declined each of the past four weeks — from 51 to 41 to 32 to 25 yards against the Las Vegas Raiders.
After Thursday’s 36-33 overtime loss to the Raiders, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Elliott has limitations and that the coaches went into the game seeking to establish the running game and planning 25 touches for Tony Pollard.
The Cowboys were averaging 152 rushing yards per game and nearly 5 yards per attempt through Week 8. That’s down to 84.5 yards per game and 3.8 yards per rush over the past four contests.
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