22. Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Zach Ertz's enormous game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10 (14 receptions for 145 yards and two scores) pushed him past Travis Kelce in terms of fantasy points per contest (12.1 to 11.5). The two remain neck-and-neck for the honors of being the top tight end in fantasy.
But quietly, Eric Ebron (11.8 ) is ahead of Kelce in points per game as well. No other tight ends are averaging double-digit fantasy points per week in standard leagues, a reminder of just how valuable these three players have been this season (and how weak the rest of the field is).
Trade Value: 7
23. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
24. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
25. O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
26. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
27. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
28. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
29. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
Just outside the top tier of tight ends sits George Kittle, and his ascension in the fantasy ranks has come down to how much production he musters per route:
While Ebron has made a jump this season by becoming Andrew Luck's favorite red-zone threat, scoring nine touchdowns, Kittle has established himself as the San Francisco 49ers' most reliable option in the passing game, catching 50 passes on 71 targets for 775 yards and three scores.
Only Ertz and Kelce have registered more receptions, targets and yards amongst tight ends. Kittle continues to be the real deal.
Trade Value: 6
30. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
31. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
32. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
33. Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington
34. Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears
35. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
36. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
37. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
38. Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Robert Woods was already having a great season for fantasy players, but the unfortunate season-ending ACL tear Cooper Kupp suffered should slightly increase Woods' value going forward.
Kupp did his best work from the slot, a role Woods should now largely handle for the Los Angeles Rams:
Cooks' role in L.A.'s offense shouldn't change much, keeping him in the WR2 conversation. But Woods' ceiling just rose, as he should see an increase in targets out of the slot.
Trade Value: 5
39. DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
40. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
41. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
42. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
43. Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
44. Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos
45. Golden Tate, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
46. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
47. Josh Gordon, WR, New England Patriots
48. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
49. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
50. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
The New England Patriots have had a weird year on the offensive side of the ball.
Tom Brady is still a fantastic quarterback, but it's hard to ignore that he's regressed somewhat. Rob Gronkowski has had by far his worst season as a pro, dealing with injuries and a general lack of production. The team's most productive running back has been James White. Chris Hogan, whom many tipped for a breakout year, has been largely invisible.
But Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon have provided respite from the team's other concerns. Gordon has managed eight or more fantasy points in standard leagues four times over the past six games. Edelman has been even better, with nine or more fantasy points in five straight games.
That has left both players as solid WR2 options despite the fact that the Patriots are just 11th in passing yards per game (269) this season, a fine mark for most teams but a somewhat surprising rank for Brady and the Co. Brady's fantasy production has been disappointing, with just four gameweeks of 20 or more fantasy points, but it hasn't hurt Gordon or Edelman.
Trade Value: 4
51. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
52. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
53. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
54. Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers
55. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
56. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
57. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
58. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
59. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
60. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
A lot of these players are more likely to be the guys you throw into a deal to nab a high-end star (outside of A.J. Green, who is only this low because of an injury), not the guys you target on their own.
So if you're targeting a big fish, what might the bait look like?
- Melvin Gordon for Robert Woods and A.J. Green (One would imagine the Gordon owner in this scenario was loaded at running back, dramatically needed help at wide receiver and was willing to wait out Green's injuries. A lot of variables, for sure, but a fair deal nonetheless.)
- Davante Adams for Joe Mixon and Jimmy Graham
- David Johnson for JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jared Goff
- James Conner for T.Y. Hilton and Mike Evans
- Travis Kelce for Ben Roethlisberger and Jordan Howard
As always, your particular team needs and league rules must be taken into account. But these examples should give you a guideline on what it will take to add a big name for the stretch run.
Trade Value: 3
61. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
62. Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears
63. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
64. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
65. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
66. Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Detroit Lions
67. Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
68. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
69. John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
70. Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders
71. Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons
72. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
73. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions
74. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
75. Isaiah Crowell, RB, New York Jets
76. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
In his past five games, Austin Hooper has registered nine or more receptions in three of them. While Hooper hasn't turned that type of usage into major production, it nonetheless makes him a solid option at a thin position, giving him more value than you might have expected coming into the season.
Mitchell Trubisky is another player making waves this year. While his production can still be a bit erratic from week to week, he has four games with 315 or more passing yards in his past six contests.
Plus, he gets a sneaky bump in value on the ground, where he's rushed 41 times for 320 yards and three scores.
Among quarterbacks, only Cam Newton has rushed more more yards (352) and touchdowns (four). That might feel like an unsustainable source of production, but Trubisky is a legitimate threat on the ground.
The Chicago Bears quarterback, from a fantasy perspective, continues to both thrive and surprise.
Trade Value: 2
77. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
78. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
79. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
80. David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
81. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
82. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
83. Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers
84. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
85. Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans
86. Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
87. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington
88. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
89. Duke Johnson Jr., RB, Cleveland Browns
90. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
91. Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
92. Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings
93. Mike Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers
94. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
95. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns
96. Devin Funchess, WR, Detroit Lions
97. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
98. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Houston Texans
99. Allen Robinson, WR, Buffalo Bills
100. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
Amari Cooper clearly makes the Dallas Cowboys' passing game better. But does that passing game make Cooper better?
It looks like it. In his first two games for the team, Cooper was targeted 18 times, recording 11 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown. To put that into perspective, he was averaging 5.1 targets and 46.6 yards in his six games with the Oakland Raiders this season, only finding the end zone once.
If Cooper keeps up this pace his value will raise significantly, meaning he may still be a buy-low candidate. He remains in this tier because he's been wildly inconsistent the past two seasons and because the Cowboys' passing game has struggled throughout the season. In other words, regression could be in order.
But if that regression doesn't come, Cooper is a player you will want down the stretch. For that reason, he's worth targeting in trades.