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Trading for the Playoff Run

At this stage of the fantasy season, the playoff picture in your league is likely to be taking shape. Making the right move at the right time is key for your success, and that means looking at what players you should aim for before your league's trade deadline falls.

Acquiring a player who has a great schedule for the playoffs can bring you one step closer to victory. Defenses and offenses have taken shape now we are able to start putting together targets for targetting a playoff victory.

The below analysis is based upon the projected strength of schedule remaining from Week 9 to Week 16 and looks closely at upcoming matchups, along with teams to avoid. Now, let's get you playoff ready!

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Players To Target



Joe Flacco has mostly impressed this season, and although he still has a bye week to come, the matchups afterward are weak enough that adding him to your team is a great option. Flacco has scored quite consistently so far this season, throwing a touchdown in every game other than the Week 5 encounter against the Cleveland Browns. Flacco's remaining games are all against teams that give up a high number of points to the position, with the exception of the Week 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Ravens have a number of passing game options, to combine with a run game that, while it isn't the best in the NFL, is certainly able to keep the opposition honest.

Cam Newton has been a lot more consistent that he has been in previous seasons. Newton's ability to run provides fantasy owners with a stable floor for production, while the team's passing options are performing at a high level, giving Newton the type of ceiling that makes him a strong option. Newton is currently ranked as the fourth-highest scorer at the position; his opportunity to build upon that with his matchups for the rest of the season means that he is a great addition to your fantasy roster if you can acquire him via trade. The Panthers are due to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice and the Atlanta Falcons, who are giving up a ton of points to the position. Look for an owner who's been riding Pat Mahomes or may be content to roll with a player like Jared Goff or Mitch Trubisky that is willing to deal their QB1.


Running Backs


Alex Collins is likely to see the same workload that he has been thus far this season, while new addition Ty Montgomery is likely to take the passing game work that Javorius Allen had previously enjoyed. Collins is a good add if you can get him with the schedule for the running back being one of the easier for running backs. His upside is somewhat capped in PPR leagues but he can serve as a solid RB2 in half-PPR and standard leagues.

David Johnson hasn't yet hit the fantasy highs that owners would have hoped for. Johnson could be a great target for a trade with that in mind. Johnson's remaining schedule is the easiest of any other at the position, and Johnson is resilient against how his team is performing with his involvement in the passing game. Johnson has the potential upside to be a championship winner if you can buy-low before the deadline.


Wide Receivers


John Brown has been one of the better fantasy gems this season, while he has always been talented it looks as though the injury-plagued years that blighted him are behind him now. Flacco, as mentioned above, has a good slate of games to come, and Brown seems to be one of his favored targets. Teams seem to be eliminating the threat of fellow wide receiver Michael Crabtree, while Willie Snead has been largely disappointing this season.

If you are able to trade for him, Devin Funchess is a fantastic target for fantasy owners. Coming off a bad game against the Baltimore Ravens is a fantastic time to try and pull off a trade. Funchess is one of the favored targets for quarterback Cam Newton, and although rookie D.J. Moore has been more involved, Funchess will continue to be a fantastic play for fantasy owners.


Tight Ends


David Njoku has really taken a leap forward this season, and the timing couldn't be better to try and trade for him before his easier slate comes to pass. Njoku is a target that is looked for by quarterback Baker Mayfield, while the coaching changes in Cleveland may have muddied the waters the big body of Njoku means he will have upside as a receiver for the Browns going forward- his easy schedule just makes it that much more of an easy decision to make a move for him.

Jeff Heuerman is a great addition for the playoffs, with Demaryius Thomas leaving town to go to the Texans Heuerman will be looking to capitalize his those targets leaving the team, and score more touchdowns going forward. Case Keenum may have been wildly inconsistent this season (in fact the only consistent thing this season has been he has thrown an interception in each game this season) but the Heuerman has been a favored target, particularly in the red zone. If you don't have a high-end tight end or are streaming the position, try adding him now.

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