Week 8: NFL Trade Deadline Shakes up Future Outlooks
With some skill position players already being moved - and more rumors swirling - a lot of players are seeing their fantasy stock shift, whether that means for the better or worse. This week, I'll go through some of these players and break down if I think they're worth buying or selling, as well as highlighting some who I am targeting for unrelated reasons.
When on the field, Rashod Bateman seems to transform Baltimore's offense into something it isn't otherwise. We all know Lamar's legs and Mark Andrews are the priorities of this offense, but every time Bateman plays, he carves out a role for himself. In each of the last two games he's played, Bateman has been the most targeted player on the team, with that number being north of 31% this week. If Bateman plays the rest of the season, I'd expect him to be a solid second option in this offense, which gives him more upside than what his scores indicate so far. He's just too good of a player to not bet on for me.
I can already picture people thinking to themselves "I can't buy Aaron Jones low, he's the RB10." I think he has some upside to produce much more than 15 points per game though. It seemed like this week, Green Bay finally realized that Jones was not only a talented player, but also their best receiver. They threw ten targets his way en route to a big week. With the team desperately in need of some pass-catching help, the names they're rumored to be looking at have been severely underwhelming. With the past stubbornness of this front office very much in my mind, I can picture a very likely scenario where this team does nothing impactful on the trade market, and just leans further into Jones' ability as a receiver. I'm seeing a lot of people wanting to sell Jones because of the ineptitude of the offense so far, but in this instance, I want every share of Jones in fantasy that I can get my hands on.
Finally, Moore has posted a boom of a week. It was getting almost comical seeing his busts pile up on ESPN's counter. But now that we're here, I actually find Moore's outlook intriguing. The Panthers actually allowed Quarterback PJ Walker to air the ball out this week, as opposed to the ridiculous screen-heavy offense they had showcased in week 6. Walker, delivered, doing enough to produce one of the most impressive offensive outputs of the season for Carolina, and seemingly secure the starting job for the time being. With Christian McCaffrey shipped off to the Bay Area, DJ Moore is left as the only established threat in this offense. The Panthers appear to be shying away from trading their star receiver, meaning we can expect him to see ten targets per week as the focal point of this offense going forward. Even if he were to get traded, he would almost by default be put in a better offensive situation, potentially increasing his touchdown upside. Between the benching of Baker Mayfield, the firing of Matt Rhule, and the trade rumors, this is looking like a win-win-win situation for DJ Moore's fantasy stock.
In my opinion, there's been a very large internet overreaction to the Jets' acquisition of James Robinson. Breece Hall was the first runningback off the board in this draft, and he seemed to have an impact on this offense in a way that isn't going to be replaced this year. While Robinson brings a good 1-2 punch to this room, I am not even sure he'll be a full bell cow back in New York, and even if he is, he won't produce the way Breece did. I'd sell Robinson now while your leaguemates are buying into the uncertainty.
Geno's looked good this year so far, and it may continue. However, between the strength of schedule for Seattle beginning to rise, and DK Metcalf's injury, I think the safe bet is to sell off Geno just in case. Without Metcalf, this offense is really going to be lacking a legitimate physical threat, and will rely solely on smaller, quick, deep threats. I think this will take a bigger hit on Seattle's offense than many are thinking. You can probably pull off a QB swap deal to sell off Smith and find a small upgrade for cheap if you look in the right places.
JuJu has now boomed in back to back weeks, but I think I'm going to advise you pump the brakes on his future outlook. It is extremely clear that Travis Kelce is the number one in KC, and while JuJu has some nice upside when the offense booms, (which is admittedly quite often,) his usage doesn't scream "consistent producer" to me. I wouldn't expect production every week, and I'm not anticipating it coming as often as it has either.