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Fantasy Football Buy, Sell, or Hold: Take a Shot on David Johnson

Taking a look at the fantasy football trade market heading into Week 10.

If your league has a trade deadline, chances are it is arriving soon, perhaps as soon as this weekend. That leaves precious little time to improve your team via the trade market.

Looking at multiple factors for a trade target will serve you best, including schedule, potential floor and ceiling, and health of surrounding teammates. You’ll see references to 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric (aFPA) in this column, which we rely on heavily to determine weekly matchup strength.



David Johnson, RB, Cardinals

This is not the first time the Arizona back has appeared in this space, but with his remaining schedule and new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich calling the shots, he’s still very much an asset this season. Johnson got 20 touches in Week 8, Arizona’s last game, totaling 100 yards, just his second game this year with 100 yards from scrimmage. Five of Johnson’s remaining eight opponents, not including Week 17, rank in the bottom half of the league in running back aFPA, including the 32nd-ranked Chiefs in Week 10 and the 30th-ranked Lions in Week 14.

Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

Allen hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1, but is still averaging 78.8 receiving yards per game. He gets a juicy matchup in Week 10 against the Raiders, a unit that surrenders an aFPA of 37.7 PPR points to receiver groups weekly. With the Chargers in strong playoff position—they’re 6-2 and their only losses are to the Rams and Chiefs—a positive touchdown regression is certainly possible for Allen. Fantasy managers with the sixth-year receiver on their roster may be frustrated due to his lack of touchdown dances, making him an intriguing buy-low possibility.

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Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

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Evans had his worst game of the season last week, catching just one of 10 targets for 16 yards. He has a history of producing with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, and has posted 137 yards or more in three of Fitzpatrick’s five starts, plus the 179 he amassed in the comeback against Cincinnati, much of which took place after Fitzpatrick relieved an ineffective Jameis Winston. You’re not going to get Evans on the cheap, but last week’s dud could be the impetus for a deal.


Jordan Howard, RB, Bears

With four touchdowns in his last three games, and 49 touches to Tarik Cohen’s 27 in that same timeframe, now is the perfect time to deal Howard. Chicago faced the struggling Jets and Bills in Weeks 8 and 9, leading to positive game scripts for the team’s primary rusher. Cohen, however, is the more dynamic player, and has racked up 5.3 targets per game, compared with 1.9 for Howard. The Bears’ remaining schedule during the fantasy season includes matchups with the Lions (twice), Vikings, Rams and Packers, games in which Cohen should have a large role. If you can move Howard for a more consistent player, do it now.

Marlon Mack, RB, Colts

Mack has been excellent in his last two games, running for 258 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries, eclipsing the 125-yard mark in both of them. He did it, however, against a couple of soft run defenses in Buffalo and Oakland, rank 24th and 19th, respectively, in running back aFPA. Mack has a checkered injury history, and has had his practice time limited since returning from a hamstring injury in Week 7. The Colts schedule toughens up in the coming weeks, as they face off with Jacksonville, ranked sixth in running back aFPA in PPR leagues, twice, and the third-ranked Titans once.

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Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions

This is not necessarily a sell-high situation based on performance, but one due to hype. The Golladay hype train took off after the Lions traded Golden Tate to the Eagles. In the team’s first game without Tate, Golladay caught just three balls for 46 yards against Minnesota’s fifth-ranked defense in receiver aFPA. Many fantasy owners are likely willing to give him a pass, considering the opponent, but there was more to worry about than just bottom-line production. Golladay was fourth on the team in targets, trailing Marvin Jones, Theo Riddick and Kerryon Johnson. In Weeks 14-16, the fantasy playoffs, the Lions face the Cardinals, Bills and Vikings, defenses that rank 11th, first and fifth, respectively, in wide receiver aFPA.


Duke Johnson, RB, Browns

Johnson’s value is on the rise after he caught all nine of his targets for 78 yards and two scores in Cleveland’s first game under interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens last week. Still, it makes sense to hold him, unless a trade offer knocks you off your feet. Johnson gets a great matchup this week against a Falcons defense ranked 28th against backs in PPR leagues. If he crushes again, he’ll do it for you and his value will rise even higher.