Time to trade for David Montgomery, Najee Harris, and Michael Pittman Jr.
As we make our final descent into the stretch run of the fantasy football season, make sure your seatbelts are fastened and your trays are in the upright and locked position — there’s bound to be turbulence ahead. The trade deadline for most leagues is this week, and the fantasy football trade analyzer is here to guide you through the clouds with some suggestions to bolster your roster for the playoffs ahead.
Let’s start with some trade targets coming off underwhelming performances that should be valuable assets over the last month of the fantasy football season. Get them if you can!
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
Thanksgiving was full of weird football, with the Bears being no exception. David Montgomery, who has eviscerated the Lions in his last two outings, posted only 46 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards, and no touchdowns. It was remarkably unremarkable.
His 8.9 half-PPR points won’t get it done on a weekly basis, but we know with certainty that Montgomery is Chicago’s lead back, will see volume, and has proven to be capable of big games. He was a high-end RB2 early in the season, but he hasn’t found the end zone in three games since returning from injury. If you can trade for Montgomery and get him cheap, he has the possibility of filling in as an RB2 or a flex play for the rest of the season.
Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Remember when rookie running back Najee Harris looked like an RB1? He mustered only 37 scrimmage yards in Week 12 against the Bengals, who took it to Pittsburgh in a blowout. This was the first game since Week 1 against Buffalo that Harris failed to score double-digit fantasy points.
This recommendation isn’t of the same “buy-low” variety as Montgomery, seeing as Harris has been much more valuable for fantasy this season. However, there’s a possibility that Harris’ manager is panicking based on how anemic the Steelers’ offense looked in Week 12, and you might just be able to pry him away and onto your fantasy roster.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
The young lead receiver for the Colts has now failed to score a touchdown in three straight games, with a high yardage of 71 yards over that stretch. Michael Pittman Jr. has cooled off dramatically, just in time for fantasy managers to make a move for him.
Next week, Pittman has a date with the Houston Texans, who allow the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. He’s in a great spot to bounce back this week before the Colts’ Week 14 bye, meaning he’ll be rested and ready for the fantasy playoffs. He’s one of my favorite trade targets in fantasy football right now.
Now that you’ve put together your Christmas list of players to trade for, let’s look at a few names worth moving on from. Don’t seem too eager to unload them with your league mates.
Odell Beckham Jr, WR, Los Angeles Rams
I’m bearish on Odell Beckham Jr. and the Rams’ offense right now, especially with the litany of injuries currently plaguing Matthew Stafford. Yes, the Rams finally put up a good offensive performance, scoring their most points since Week 7, but they still look shaky and out of rhythm at times.
Beckham had a nice day in Week 12, recording 5 receptions for 81 yards and a TD. 54 of those yards came on a big play, where Beckham managed his first touchdown reception since joining the Rams. OBJ saw 10 targets, which was encouraging, but LA’s aerial attack is still headlined by Cooper Kupp, while RB Darrell Henderson is getting a good amount of work. Beckham could very well be a WR2 for the rest of the season, but I’d be happy to cash in on the big game.
Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins
It’s a day ending in “y,” so I once again will be professing the fact that I want nothing to do with Myles Gaskin and this Dolphins rushing attack. Prior to Week 12, Gaskin had only scored 1 rushing touchdown this season. He had just 49 rushing yards and 3 receiving yards in this game, but he salvaged his fantasy day with a pair of rushing TDs.
His back-to-back double-digit fantasy performances are the most consistent he’s been all season, and I’d be happy to move him for a running back that I think will offer more stability to my roster. Gaskin has scored fewer than 9 fantasy points five times this year. No, thank you.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
There is a genuine reason for concern around Ezekiel Elliott, who appears to have aggravated the knee injury that’s been giving him issues this year. Reports out of Dallas indicate the Cowboys might give him some time to rest. Elliott has admitted that his knee is hurting, and head coach Mike McCarthy also expressed his concern, adding that the team “needs to get in front of lingering issues somehow.”
It doesn’t sound like they’re planning to sit him. Injured reserve hasn’t been mentioned, but Elliott’s workload could be taking even more of a hit with Tony Pollard performing well. It sounds like the Cowboys are trying to save Elliott for the NFL postseason, not the fantasy playoffs. If you can trade him on name value, I would.