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Fantasy Football Trade Targets - Week 8

The fantasy trade market is always a fun one to evaluate. Articles like this are essentially glorified "Who's Hot and Who's Not" pieces but the tables are turned to where sometimes, you want to trade for those that are cold and trade away those hot.

Now, seven weeks into the season, we have several big-name players underperforming and others over-performing. The trade market has the most leverage possible early on in the year when owners are 1-6 or 2-5 with injuries flooding them (especially this year). The time to buy/sell is now and I am here to help.

If you like this piece or others like it,  follow me on Twitter @RotoSurgeon to catch on any relevant and/or ask questions. Best of luck!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Players To Trade For

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts rest-of-season schedule bodes extremely well for Taylor and the Colts' run-game.

In order, their opponents' DVOA versus the rush up as of right now until Week 16 rank: 23rd, 3rd, 16th, 22nd, 16th, 27th, 29th, 27th, and 1st. While the match-ups against their AFC North opponents are brutal, you can look past that for the rest of the juice available in the second-half. Typically, teams tend to feature their rookies more past the bye but due to Marlon Mack's achilles injury early in the year, Taylor has been forced into more action that the Colts likely intended. Now that the bye has passed, Taylor has probably had enough reps to have his legs under him after losing out on the pre-season and having an expedited offseason.

While you can make this argument can be made for every single rookie in the league, Taylor has the makings of an all-purpose, every-down back and that is hard to expect out of a rookie immediately. Learning blocking assignments and routes to play on obvious passing-downs along with neutral downs takes time and now that we are two months into the season, it is possible that Taylor's role expands moving forward, taking away time from Nyheim Hines who is a much less of a threat when on the field. Taylor played the second most snaps of his season in the week prior to their bye and will look to continue the trend moving forward. Despite being the third running back selected in the 2020 Draft, there is a legitimate argument to be made for Taylor as the best of the entire bunch and most capable of handling a bell-cow load due to his mix of size and speed along with his proven track-record of college usage and production. The Colts will be a better team with him on the field over any other back and hopefully that comes to fruition sooner, rather than later.

The price to acquire a versatile RB like Taylor will not be cheap but given that he is sitting as an RB2 right now and has not exactly "busted", managers may be willing to part with him for a proper return. Taylor has a ceiling of the overall RB1 and that is worth attaining regardless of cost. Give a little more than "fair" value in a deal right now to reap the benefits on the back-end of Taylor's season.

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

Not only do the Raiders' matchups bode well for the second-half of the season, but also, their offensive line should return to form sooner than later.

The Raiders have been down their two best run-blocking offensive linemen in Richie Incognito and Trent Brown for most of the season. Incognito exited Week 2 versus New Orleans early due to an achilles injury and Brown has been dealing with not only an injury of his own but some low-key off-field issue that has been fairly shady. But, fortunately, Brown seems set to return this week or next and Incognito could be back in two to three weeks.

Jacobs has struggled this season and has saw a significant decline in play-time versus Tampa Bay. He played fewer than 50% of the offensive snaps for the first time all season this past week but that is just due to the Raiders getting blown-out by the Buccaneers throughout the game. On top of that, most of the Raiders' offensive line room was quarantined for the week due to coming in close contact with COVID.

Jacobs is absolutely someone to inquire about in your leagues given his increased involvement in that passing game, allowing for a decent PPR floor and his heavy usage in the red-zone. Jacobs already has 5 touchdowns on the season and is 9th in the NFL in rushes inside the opponents' 20-yard line (that's with having a bye already). His efficiency on the season is very mediocre at just 3.4 yards-per-carry after averaging 4.8 last season but that should regress once his talented offensive linemen get back on the field. Also, losing Henry Ruggs for two games and Bryan Edwards for three has not helped. Edwards' run-blocking on the outside was extremely beneficial through the first three weeks of the year and Ruggs' elite speed forces defenders away from the line-of-scrimmage, especially when he's sent deep.

Derek Carr is playing some of the best football of his career through the first six games of this season and we are seeing a revitalization of Nelson Agholor. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. If the Raiders' offense can get/stay healthy, Jacobs should benefit significantly moving forward.


Players To Trade Away

Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers

With Jeff Wilson Jr. hitting injured reserve, Raheem Mostert still out of action, and Coach Shanahan's comments on a "breather" a window is open to trade away McKinnon before his play-time continues to remain dismal. McKinnon is just not running well and looks like a shell of his former, explosive self. His combine and SPARQ score are all top-percentile stuff but after back-to-back season-ending leg injuries between 2018 and 2019, the electric athlete that once was is a step-slow which does not bode well for a player who relies solely on that for his production.

Hopes were extremely high for McKinnon upon his arrival in San Francisco with a perfect combination of talent and scheme. Shanahan makes the running back position so easy with his massive gaps to run through and any RB who cannot perform there essentially cannot perform anywhere. McKinnon is averaging 2.87 yards-per-carry since first seeing an increased workload five games ago and has been phased out of the offense in recent weeks. McKinnon is 28 and essentially around the age-apex for running backs. He is not exactly some unknown commodity as he has received just over 200 touches in back-to-back seasons with the Vikings. He failed to produce much back then and is doing worse now. There may be future value in a limited, scat-back role a la Chris Thompson but the hope for McKinnon as a lead back should significantly dwindle.

There are still fantasy managers out there who believe in McKinnon's talent and I'm sure the prospects of him regaining control of the backfield are enticing. With Tevin Coleman presumably out-of-commission for another week, the backfield as it currently stands is comprised solely of McKinnon and rookie JaMycal Hasty. While the expectation should be that Hasty controls most of then ground-game, there should be a bit of McKinnon mixed in unless the 49ers choose to elevate someone from their practice squad.

This sell-window is narrow but with how thin the RB position is as per usual, you could certainly find a buyer. Might as well get someone roster-able rather than dumping McKinnon in a week or two, no?

Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

At this point, Antonio Brown is more likely to get suspended again than significantly contribute to your fantasy team. He has an open sexual assault lawsuit against him and is just flat-out not a  good, or even smart person. No matter who is watching over him in the Tampa Bay organization, there is bound to be a window to mess-up (see: cryogenically freezing his feet to the point they peeled off in 2019).

On top of Brown's personal issues, he has not played professional football since Week 2 of the 2019 season. Arians has made it clear that targets will not always be going his way and there is a reasonable argument to be made that he is the third-best receiver on the team.   While he did create some semblance of rapport with Tom Brady in their time together last year, there's going to be a lot of mouths to feed in Tampa Bay once Chris Godwin returns from his fractured finger. With Evans, Godwin, Gronkowski, Miller (who has earned a role) along with their offense primarily functioning on the ground by means of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, it is hard to imagine a scenario where Brown is seeing a consistently significant target share that can support fantasy value.

Brown is just 32 which is not too old to produce at the WR spot and has been practicing extensively in the offseason as we know through a myriad of social media posts. There is a CHANCE that he has not lost a step and comes back looking like the AB of old but given how unreliable he has been for the past season+ along with how much of a head-case he is, you are better off trying to profit off of trading him off of your roster than holding out hope as long as the return in a trade is not waiver-wire fodder.

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