FANTASY PLAYS: Trade winds blow for fantasy owners
Congratulations on that seven-touchdown game last weekend, Drew Brees. But you've been traded.
With trade deadlines rapidly approaching in some fantasy football leagues, many keen owners are searching for the final move that will pay off come playoff time. Or, if you happen to be in a keeper league, it might be time to get that bargain deal if you're just treading water near the bottom of your standings. Maybe trade Charcandrick West to someone who wants to win now, in exchange for Jamaal Charles, who's out for the season.
Believe it or not, Brees and Rodgers are among the most traded QBs in Yahoo leagues. Rodgers was dealt 373 times in one day earlier this week - and four owners actually dropped him. He was dreadful against the Broncos' vaunted defense, but not quite that dreadful.
Anyway, there are good deals to be had. Might be an opportune time to get a king's ransom for a running back such as Todd Gurley. Saw a trade where someone gave up Gurley straight up for Peterson. Intriguing, but not sure about that one.
In another league, someone picked up West and Ronnie Hillman for Davante Adams and Marshawn Lynch. And in another, Andrew Luck was dealt for Jameis Winston and Latavius Murray. There are trade analyzers to make sure you're not being fleeced.
In keeper leagues, this might be a chance to pick up Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell - out with a knee injury - if the person who has him is in first place and you happen to own backup DeAngelo Williams. After all, if you're 2-6 or 1-7, probably time to think about next season.
ONE WORD - OUCH
Now, the scrambling begins. Obviously, Jeremy Langford is a good backup plan in Chicago, just in case Forte's injury is longer than anyone suspects. Although, if you didn't grab him early he's probably gone (from 2.1 percent last week to 73.8 percent this week in ESPN leagues).
Tennessee tailback Antonio Andrews (38 percent owned in Yahoo) is definitely worth picking up, with interim coach Mike Mularkey expected to call his number quite a bit.
THOUGHTS ENTERING WEEK(END) 9
- After struggling against Denver, Rodgers faces another tough test this weekend in Carolina.
- Speaking of Denver, Von Miller & Co. are playing so well, they may be the type of defense you want to avoid unless absolutely necessary. So think twice about playing Luck this week.
- Don't sleep on St. Louis wide receiver Tavon Austin (43 percent started in CBS Sports leagues), who will only get more and more opportunities now that teams have to stack the line of scrimmage to stop Gurley. The Rams can use Austin in a lot of different ways.
- Anyone bench Brees last weekend in favor of, say, Cam Newton? (Hand is raised.) That's a mistake not to make again, especially with Brees at home against Tennessee. Such a sinking feeling watching Brees throw TD after TD after TD after TD as he sits on your bench.
- Need tight end help? Consider Coby Fleener, who had 11 passes thrown his way from Stanford buddy Luck against Carolina. Fleener caught seven for 43 yards and a score. He's owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues.
- Oakland's Derek Carr is one of the most added QBs this week. If you're lucky, you grabbed him early. He's now taken in 53.6 percent of ESPN leagues.
CAN CUTLER BE TRUSTED?
There was a time when you really weren't certain what you'd get out of Chicago's Jay Cutler. But over the last three games, he's thrown four TD passes and just one interception. He's actually making smart decisions.
Pat Graham is an Associated Press sports writer based in Denver. He's played NFL fantasy football for a while and also dabbles in college fantasy football. Follow him on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pgraham34