FANTASY FOOTBALL: Sifting through an eventful NFL trade deadline

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While the trade deadline in your league is still a week or two away, the NFL had its own on Tuesday, with a few fantasy-relevant players being moved.

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Arguably the biggest name moved was Canadian WR Chase Claypool, who finds himself in a much better spot in Chicago. After a stellar rookie season in which he scored 11 TDs, Claypool had seen his production dip in Pittsburgh. After the Steelers drafted George Pickens this spring, Claypool became the third option at WR and expendable.

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Now, the Bears aren’t the best passing offence in the league – in fact, they’re literally the worst, averaging just 126.9 yards per game – but they have shown huge signs of improvement and Claypool will form a solid tandem with Darnell Mooney and should be a top red-zone target.

In Pittsburgh, look for Pickens to continue his ascent and buy low on him if you can.

• In a rare intra-division deal, the Lions shipped star TE TJ Hockenson to the Vikings. Hockenson was TE5 overall in fantasy and provides the Vikes with a solid middle-of-the-field target to take attention away from WRs Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. The deal is also a sign that Minnesota isn’t too optimistic about Irv Smith Jr.’s potential return from the IR. Hockenson remains an every-week starter at a very shallow position.

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In Detroit, this is excellent news for Amon-Ra St. Brown. In the five games that Hockenson missed last year, the Sun God averaged 8.2 receptions, 94.8 yards, 0.8 TDs and 24.9 fantasy points per game.

• The Dolphins were wheeling and dealing RBs, sending Chase Edmonds to Denver in the Bradley Chubb trade before landing Jeff Wilson Jr. from San Francisco. Edmonds will likely serve as the third-down back in Denver while Melvin Gordon II and Latavius Murray split early down work. Wilson should serve as Raheem Mostert’s backup and handcuff, which is marginally better than his role with 49ers.

• For managers in deeper leagues or those playing full PPR, Nyheim Hines joins the high-powered Bills. Buffalo was looking into a third-down backs in the off-season and finally got their guy. While Hines might not have the upside of being Jonathan Taylor’s handcuff anymore, he’ll have better week-to-week value now.

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• In a move to watch for keeper and dynasty leagues, the Jags traded for suspended WR Calvin Ridley, who is serving a one-year ban for betting on the NFL – ironically, he bet against Jacksonville. Ridley has a chance to be the team’s top WR next season, with the big caveat that he has to file for reinstatement this coming spring.


It looks like Cam Akers is stuck in L.A. after the Rams couldn’t find any takers for the frustrated RB. Now, he is reportedly back with the team after sitting out the past two games and had a discussion with coach Sean McVay about his usage. How much he actually plays remains to be seen, but we should note that Ronnie Rivers led the team in carries last week over previous starter Darrell Henderson Jr. and Kyren Williams is eligible to return from the IR any day now. The whole situation sounds like a mess.

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Christian McCaffrey became the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 with a passing, rushing and receiving TD in a game last week. It’s just the four time in NFL history, too … Tyreek Hill has 69 catches for 961 yards so far this season and is on pace for 146 receptions and 2042 yards. Hill and Jaylen Waddle (who has 727 yards, fourth in NFL) have combined for 1,688 yards through eight games, which is the most by teammates through eight games in the Super Bowl era … There are only two players in the NFL with 500+ rushing yards and 200+ receiving yards: McCaffrey and Rhamondre Stevenson … Only Jakobi Meyers has more targets on the Pats than Stevenson and, in the two weeks that Damien Harris has been back from injury, Stevenson leads Pats RBs in snaps 89-40 and routes run 47-22 … Heading into Week 9, Eagles WR A.J. Brown had 659 receiving yards, while the Titans WRs had combined for 658 … The touchdown bomb from Carolina’s PJ Walker to DJ Moore had 62 air yards, which is the most on a TD since ESPN started tracking in 2006 … In Moore’s first six games, he had a target share of 24% but 57% of the targets were catchable, 19% below the league average. In his two games with Walker starting, Moore has a 38% target share and 76% were catchable.

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Start Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB at DET

Rodgers has been poor this season, but the Lions have given up multiple passing TDs four times in past six games.

Sit Derek Carr, QB, LV at JAC

Coming off a shutout and has scored more than 13 fantasy points just once in past four games.

Start Antonio Gibson, RB, WAS vs. MIN

Has scored 32.4 fantasy points over the past two games while getting a healthy workload.

Sit Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KC vs. TEN

With the Chiefs coming off their bye, it’s hard to trust CEH over rookie Isaiah Pacheco.

Start Khalil Herbert, RB, CHI vs. MIA

Despite his limited snap count behind David Montgomery, Herbert has racked up 31.1 points in the past two weeks.

Sit Robert Woods, WR, TEN at KC

Even if Ryan Tannehill can play, the Titans passing offence will be very limited.

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Sit Michael Pittman Jr., WR, IND at NE

He has only topped 60 yards once in his past six games and hasn’t scored since Week 1.


With 219 rushing yards against Houston last week, Derrick Henry has now rushed for at least 211 yards in each of his past four games against the Texans with a grand total of 892 yards.


Justin Fields, QB, CHI

He has risen to QB11 overall thanks to 50.4 combined points over the past two weeks, coming against the two great defences, and has been QB2 over the past four.


Marquise Goodwin, WR, SEA

Both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett played through their seemingly mild injuries last week, with puts a low ceiling on Goodwin’s fantasy opportunities.


Minnesota Vikings DEF
The Vikings defence has scored 25 total fantasy points over its past two games against much better offences (Miami and Arizona) than the one they’ll be facing this week in Washington.

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