With the playoffs drawing increasingly closer and trade deadlines looming, fantasy football owners are in crunch time when it comes to making a last-minute deal.
This is the time to put your roster under a microscope, evaluate strengths and weaknesses, and identify players who could be packaged in a trade.
If you own Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, you did not spend a high pick on him, and you may not have even drafted him at all. He has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2012 season, but now owners must decide if he is worth keeping or if he would be more useful as trade bait.
Here are all the angles to consider before making a decision on whether or not to get rid of Cobb.
Why You Should Keep Him
Cobb has scored the ninth-most points among wide receivers in ESPN leagues. He is a top-ten fantasy WR and has been producing at an incredibly high level recently.
He has six touchdown catches in his last four games and currently leads Green Bay in receptions.
Both Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings have struggled with injuries this season, and Cobb has picked up the slack. He has the quickness to excel in the slot, the speed to run deep routes and can even line up in the backfield.
The Packers have clearly come around to the idea that getting the ball in his hands as often as possible will make the offense successful, and Rodgers has targeted him more than any other receiver. Throw in the return yards and the occasional rushing attempts, and the amount of time he spends in possession of the football makes him extremely valuable.
Why You Should Trade Him
Trading a top-ten wide out in the midst of the most productive stretch of games in his career is certainly something fantasy owners should think twice about, but there are reasons to be skeptical about Cobb’s ability to stay this hot.
Nelson is healthy again, and Jennings is likely nearing his return. As The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tyler Dunne reported, the veteran wide receiver underwent a procedure to repair an abdominal muscle injury on November 1, and was expected “to run at full speed three weeks after surgery.”
Jennings’ return would not mean that Cobb’s role in the offense would drastically decrease, but he would be bumped down the pecking order.
In addition, the Packers still have the New York Giants, the Chicago Bears and two matchups against the Minnesota Vikings left on the schedule. All of these teams rank in the top-15 in points allowed this season, and while only the Bears present a truly frightening matchup, Cobb will be facing tough defenses during fantasy playoff weeks.
What You Should Get For Him
Despite these concerns, fantasy owners should not settle when trying to trade Cobb.
Now that bye weeks are over, it is time to start sacrificing depth in order to bolster starting lineups. For those lucky enough to hit on the wide receivers they drafted early, packaging Cobb with a player like Roddy White or Reggie Wayne and making a run at one of the top wideouts or running backs is a wise move.
He could also be paired with a top-ten running back like Frank Gore or Stevan Ridley and offered for a top-five RB like Marshawn Lynch or Adrian Peterson.
Ultimately, Cobb is an excellent player to use in order to acquire one of the top running backs or wide receivers. If a deal like this is not possible in your league, hold on to him as he will still be productive going forward.