The fantasy football season is rapidly passing us by. We’re at the halfway mark of the year, meaning it’s time to look in the mirror about your season with a critical eye. Dynasty managers especially need to know when to buy or sell.
The NFL trade deadline is also this week, so we’ll have a clearer eye on each team’s intention as to whether they’re playing for now or for the future. Be honest about your team and whether you’re doing the same.
Dynasty Risers After Week 8
Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
We advised that Javonte Williams was a good buy-low candidate a few weeks ago, and it’s already paid off if you made a move for him. Williams produced an RB8 performance in Week 8, carrying the ball a whopping 27 times with three more receptions. It wasn’t pretty, but head coach Sean Payton will ride Williams, and the Denver Broncos don’t have the assets to replace him soon.
Since Week 1, Williams has finished as a top-30 back in all but one game he’s played. He’s seen his production increase from RB25 to RB19 before this past week’s explosion. The volume is there, even if the efficiency is out of his control. Week 9 is a bye week, but expect Williams to continue playing well across the back half of the season.
Will Levis, QB, Tennessee Titans
How about that debut for Will Levis? Despite being maligned as a prospect, Levis walked into his first game and delivered haymaker after haymaker against the Atlanta Falcons. Is it sustainable to throw more 20+ yard throws (eight) as throws 10 yards or fewer (seven)?
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Maybe not, but Levis has guts and fits into an offense with enough playmaking to complement his game as long as Derrick Henry and DeAndre Hopkins are there. Levis completed 19 of 29 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns. If nothing else, he proved he has the physical talent to belong and the acumen to play to his strengths.
Dynasty Fallers After Week 8
Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
If you already read the tea leaves about Tony Pollard’s production a few weeks ago and moved off him, then you did well. Pollard hasn’t been awful this year, finishing in the top 15 of backs in four of seven games. But the efficiency that made him special is gone, which was predictable, considering it was previously Ezekiel Elliott who soaked up the less valuable, early-down carries.
Pollard has produced less than 73 rushing yards and 38 receiving yards in all but one game this season. The explosive moments are all but gone, and the Dallas Cowboys offense can’t recapture the fantasy magic that Kellen Moore once had before he relocated to Los Angeles.
Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Drake London is one of the more uniquely talented big-bodied receivers in the league. Despite reaching double-digit targets just once all season, he’s managed four top-23 receiver finishes in PPR leagues. But he’s been a complete non-factor in fantasy in other weeks, and Atlanta’s switch to Taylor Heinicke at quarterback doesn’t move the needle enough to boost London’s stock.
Arthur Smith’s lack of transparency about what’s happening at quarterback and apparent issues evaluating the position further cloud London’s outlook. Atlanta passed on making a move for Lamar Jackson because of their misplaced faith in Desmond Ridder and are now replacing the second-year starter. London would have to luck into better QB play in the future to build a higher value.
Dynasty Buy-Low Trade Targets
Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
With only one top-44 finish this season, Tee Higgins has been unplayable in fantasy leagues in all but one week. Since Week 2, Higgins has only seen more than six targets once, and he missed Week 5’s contest against the Arizona Cardinals. The pending free agent must become a bigger part of the Bengals’ offense for the team to win in the playoffs.
When that will happen is unknown. A flurry is likely coming at some point, but with Buffalo, Baltimore, and other solid defenses left on the second-half slate, Higgins’ dynasty value might be at an all-time low. Now is the perfect time to strike a trade as a buy-low and wait until Higgins’ production returns to a high level.
Brian Robinson Jr., WR, Washington Commanders
There’s absolutely value to a quality RB2 or Flex option. As soon as Ron Rivera’s Washington Commanders drafted Brian Robinson Jr., it was only a matter of time before he took over the backfield and proved to be a quality high-volume piece. Unlike Pollard, who relies on explosive plays to be an asset, Robinson is a workhorse who will get red-zone touches and enough targets to be relevant.
Coming off his second-straight RB24 finish, it’s a good time to check in on Robinson’s trade value. He’s a good starter and will rarely be a great one. A strong roster could use Robinson as a great depth piece or complementary starter.
Dynasty Sell-High Trade Targets
Zack Moss, RB, Indianapolis Colts
How long will the madness with Zack Moss last? That’s the key question that managers of both Moss and Jonathan Taylor are asking themselves. Moss has been arguably the best return on investment of any running back this season, finishing as RB10 or better in all but two weeks.
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Several quality run defenses await the Colts, and while Moss is still in line to get touches, the cliff might be coming sooner than later. Taylor out-touched Moss again in Week 8, and Moss’ efficiency will be difficult to sustain. Trading Moss for nothing would be unwise, but a return with a starter would be a quality sell-high.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Commanders
Believe it or not, it’s possible to finish as the WR3 on your own team and still be a sell-high candidate. Terry McLaurin caught five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 but still looked up to Jahan Dotson and Jamison Crowder ahead of him. It was the second game this season McLaurin finished in the teens in PPR leagues.
Despite the offensive coordinator change and new quarterback, McLaurin just hasn’t gelled into the 2023 Commanders offense as hoped. Sam Howell is struggling, and McLaurin has suffered. Unless he’s locked into your Flex position and you have faith Washington will upgrade at QB sooner rather than later, exploring a McLaurin trade makes the most sense right now.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!
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