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Fantasy Football Trade Targets, Sells, and Holds – Week 13

By Matt Schauf 8:14pm EST 11/29/23

Who Should You Buy, Sell, or Hold This Week?

It’s Week 13, time for the final edition of Trade Targets this season.

Many trade deadlines have already passed. But if you’re still able to make moves in your redraft league, make sure you keep in mind how your approach should change at different times of the year. And don’t ignore the specifics of your situation.

If you’ve already clinched the No. 1 seed, for example, then Week 13 doesn’t matter to you at all. Ignore it and look to the playoff weeks.

Need to win these next two weeks to make your playoffs? Well then you shouldn’t be trading away a guy with good matchup this Sunday to get a wideout with a rosy Week 17.

We’ll get into more specifics with each category and player below – and also review the players we suggested the past two weeks.

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Fantasy Trade Targets

At this point in the season, you shouldn’t be chasing after a player who might turn into something. Your trade needs to have a purpose.

Why bother acquiring a player who will sit your bench – maybe start once if everything goes right for him?

Go get a player who can help you right now, or at least during your playoffs.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

We mentioned Swift as a Week 10 trade target, heading into Philly’s bye. Since then, he has tallied 107 total yards and 2 TDs against the Chiefs, and then 14-80 rushing against Buffalo.

One factor I pointed out last time was the impending return of G Cam Jurgens. Swift’s rush yards over expected per attempt clearly dipped over the six games Jurgens left early or missed. How has Swift fared with Jurgens back?

(Jurgens games in bold.)

  • 1: (Nick Sirianni forgot Swift was on team)
  • 2: 1.46
  • 3: 1.40
  • 4: -1.30 (Jurgens left early, missed next five games)
  • 5: -1.05
  • 6: -3.46 (Lane Johnson left early, returned Week 7)
  • 7: -0.12
  • 8: -1.08
  • 9: -0.97
  • 11: 2.72 (Jurgens returns)
  • 12: 1.20

Pretty good.

Swift gets tougher matchups this week and next, which certainly might limit his production. San Francisco has been variable on run defense, though. And Swift got 18 carries in the first Dallas meeting, despite lagging efficiency.

After that, he gets the third-best three-game finish of any RB – including a pair of home games that are sure to find Philly heavily favored.

Josh Downs, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Downs and the next guy on this list are deeper cuts. You shouldn’t be looking at either as a top-24 WR the rest of the way. But you can tap either player if you need more upside from your WR3 or flex spot.

Downs looks healthy again. After playing limited snaps because of a knee issue in weeks 9 and 10, he didn’t appear on the injury report at all coming out of the bye. And the rookie racked up 13 targets in the win over Tampa Bay.

He didn’t do much with them, catching just five for 43 yards. But that marked five straight healthy games in which Downs has caught at least five passes.

He and the Colts get upside WR-scoring matchups with Tennessee, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh the next tree weeks. Atlanta and Vegas beyond that come in negative by our adjusted fantasy points allowed, but neither sports an actually worrisome defense.

Christian Watson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Watson has spent almost all of this season being worthless for fantasy rosters. Thanksgiving’s 5-94-1 receiving line marked just the second time all year he exceeded 37 yards in a game.

Why bother?

Well, part of it is that first sentence. Anyone holding Watson could reasonably look at this week as a sell-high opportunity. And maybe he will bust the rest of the way.

Everything Coming Together?

It’s also possible that things are aligning for Watson. He posted his highest route rate of the season at Detroit and second-highest rate of targets per route.

The latter rate has varied, especially recently. Here are his targets per route by week, starting with his Week 4 return from injury:

  • 18.2%
  • 23.3%
  • 16.7%
  • 18.2%
  • 7.7%
  • 19.4%
  • 11.4%
  • 21.9%

QB Jordan Love has also played better recently, delivering his four best Pro Football Focus passing grades over the past four games. Lov has also notched his three best adjusted completion rates over that span and significantly decreased his turnover-worthy throws.

Buy Tentatively?

This week’s matchup with the Chiefs looks much tougher than last week’s at Detroit. It stands as the fourth-worst on their full-season schedule for WR scoring. So it’s OK if you have better options for Week 13.

But continued good usage and positive play from Love could make Watson an asset in Week 14 at the Giants, Week 15 at home against the Bucs, and Week 17 in Minnesota.

Just don’t overpay to get him.

Recent Buys

PLayer Week listed Buy/Sell/Hold?
Tyler Lockett 12 Buy
Zay Flowers 12 Buy
Najee Harris 12 Buy
DK Metcalf11Buy
Jonathan Taylor11Hold
  • What can you do with Jonathan Taylor besides hold him while we wait on his thumb to heal?
  • The toe issue we didn't know about for D.K. Metcalf at this time last week only cost him one practice and no game time. Nothing has changed for him or Tyler Lockett otherwise, besides QB Geno Smith playing poorly through his first post-injury game against a tough opponent. There's another tough matchup this week with Dallas, but Smith should be healthier. And the matchups get better beyond that -- especially over the final three weeks.
  • Pittsburgh's first game after the OC switch looked good for everyone on offense, including Najee Harris already paying off if you bought him.
  • Zay Flowers' first game after TE Mark Andrews' injury found him drawing 25% target share and scoring a pair of TDs.

 

Fantasy Sells

These aren’t players ready to crash. They’re guys who look poised to underperform their perceived value the rest of the way.

Does that mean you should dump them for whatever you can get? Of course not. But for the right returns, dealing any of these players can help upgrade your starting lineup.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Chase remained fine last week, going for 81 yards on 4 receptions in QB Jake Browning’s first start. But he lucked out a bit with a 31-yard catch-and-run off a tipped pass that was actually intended for a different Bengal.

Chase remains relevant in fantasy because he’s good enough to make things happen like that. But he otherwise caught just three passes for 50 yards. That followed a 2-12 receiving line on 7 targets in Joe Burrow’s injury game. And it marked the third time in the past four weeks that he logged 4 receptions or fewer.

You didn’t draft Chase to be OK, but the QB change likely doesn’t leave him a ceiling much higher than that. Move him if you can get a meaningful return. If not, treat him like a WR3.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

Oh, baby. Henry’s coming off a 2-TD game and gets the Texans in two of the final three fantasy weeks? He KILLS the Texans!

That’s exactly what you should be hoping a league mate is thinking.

Reality check: These Texans are much different than the versions that have acted as Henry’s speed bump. And he’s different as well.

Houston Better on Offense and Defense

These Texans rank a solid 10th in run-defense DVOA, and sit as a fairly neutral scoring matchup for RBs. On offense, they rank 10th in scoring and sixth in yards.

Tennessee? 27th and 28th, respectively. The Titans are worse on offense and defense. And that matters more to Henry’s workload than it used to.

Henry’s 16.0 carries per game this year mark a 5.8-carry dip from last year and his lowest average since 2018. Even in losses last season – when the Titans went 7-10 – Henry averaged 18.9 rushes. This year: 12.7.

Remaining Schedule

He’s in a decent spot this week against the Colts, who present a positive fantasy-scoring matchup for RBs and rank 24th in rush DVOA. But even this matchup yielded just 13 Henry carries in the first meeting. And Indy heads toward Sunday as a 3.5-point favorite.

After that comes a trip to Miami and two shots at Houston, all games likely to find Tennessee an underdog. A Week 16 home date with Seattle looks better. But is Henry worth clinging to for that, at a time of year where you basically need to win every week?

Henry was adding decent receiving volume (at least for him) earlier this year but has totaled just 5 targets and 3 receptions over the past three games.

Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Let’s start with the positive: Etienne’s touch volume remains strong. Only Josh Jacobs has more carries this season. And just seven RBs have more targets.

Etienne racked up 24 touches in Sunday’s win over the Texans and has fallen short of 17 just twice in 11 games. And he’s in a nice spot this week against Cincinnati.

So what’s the problem?

Lagging Efficiency

Etienne’s getting plenty of work but struggling a bit to leverage that.

Among 46 qualifying RBs, he ranks 34th in NextGenStats’ rush yards over expected per attempt.

Among 60 RBs with at least 40 carries this season, he sits:

  • tied for 38th in PFF rushing grade
  • tied for 33rd in yards after contact per attempt
  • 14th in elusive rating

That last ranking is actually pretty good, and points to Etienne doing well at forcing missed tackles this year. (Only Christian McCaffrey has more.)

But His O-line Stinks

Jacksonville ranks 31st in PFF run-blocking grade and 30th in Aaron Schatz’s adjusted line yards. And now that unit will go without starting LT Cam Robinson for at least four weeks (knee injury).

The blocking has helped Etienne fall short of 4.0 yards per carry for six straight games. He went three straight games without a carry from inside the 10-yard line before logging four against Houston … and not scoring on any of them.

For the season, Etienne sits tied for just 19th in expected rushing TDs. So his seven ground scores actually mark over-performance – and potential for regression.

Remaining Schedule

As I said, this week’s matchup with the Bengals looks good. If you can hold Etienne through that and then trade him next week, that would be the ideal move.

A strong matchup with Carolina also awaits in Week 17. The problem will be getting to that.

In between sits the worst trio of RB-scoring matchups for any team over that span:

  • at Cleveland
  • vs. Baltimore
  • at Tampa Bay

You’ll still need to get a strong return for trading Etienne to make sense. But you should consider making the move.

Recent Sells

Player Week listed buy/sell/hold?
James Cook 12 Sell
Zach Charbonnet 12 Sell
Brian Robinson11Sell
Courtland Sutton11Sell
Tua Tagovailoa11Sell
  • James Cook drew a season-high 22 touches against Philly since our listing. Shouldn't that make us re-think his inclusion? Not necessarily. That touch count -- and the one before -- was driven by high play volume for the Bills in those games. Not a role increase.
  • Zach Charbonnet didn't do anything to make himself more attractive against San Francisco last week. He did dominate backfield work, and Ken Walker is doubtful for this week. So you can shop Charbonnet to a RB-needy team.
  • We haven't seen anything with Brian Robinson, Courtland Sutton, or Tua Tagovailoa that would change their statuses.

 

Fantasy Holds

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots

Stevenson has just two games of 20+ carries all season … and they happened over the past two weeks.

That followed a string of five straight games with 10 carries or fewer. And they came despite New England losing both games.

Stevenson also ranks fifth among RBs in targets for the season and has fallen short of 5 targets just once in the past six games.

He’s the only thing going right for the Patriots on offense right now. They – and you – should cling to that.

The matchups matter less for him because he’ll be involved regardless of game script, but it’s the fourth-best remaining schedule for RB scoring.

Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons

London’s case is similar to Stevenson’s: His pass offense doesn’t have much going right … except for London.

His Week 11 return from injury proved quiet, with Atlanta benching starting QB Taylor Heinicke and attempting just 21 total passes in a loss to Arizona. But London rebounded for 5 receptions and 91 yards on 7 targets in Sunday’s win over New Orleans.

That marked his fifth game of 5+ catches among the past six. London has also garnered 7+ targets in six of his past seven outings.

Jerome Ford, RB, Cleveland Browns

Don’t worry too much about Ford getting just 9 carries in Sunday’s loss at Denver, even though Kareem Hunt trailed him by just two.

Ford still dominated playing time: 51 snaps to Hunt’s 19. That primarily surfaced in the passing game, where his 7 targets ranked third on the team. (Hunt had 0.)

Cleveland is switching to Joe Flacco this week, the least mobile of the QBs they’ve thrown out all season. That means more scrambles becoming dump-offs.

And Ford remains an upside rusher. Week 8 marked the first game after his ankle sprain. Since Week 9, he ranks 10th among RBs in expected half-PPR points per game, according to PFF.

The receiving will help him through tougher rushing matchups the next two weeks. Then comes a three-game stretch of opponents that have been more helpful to RB scoring.

Recent Holds

Player Week listed buy/sell/hold?
Joe Mixon12Sell
Ja'Marr Chase12Sell
Bijan Robinson12Hold/Buy
Tony Pollard 11 Hold/Sell
David Montgomery 11 Hold
  • You already saw the case for Ja'Marr Chase higher. Things went even more poorly for Joe Mixon and the offense on whole last week. And now he has just one non-negative scoring matchup left on the schedule.
  • Two of Bijan Robinson's four largest touch counts for the season have come over the past two games. He has also garnered three of his five goal-line carries for the season over the past two outings.
  • Tony Pollard finally scored for the second straight game (first time this season). He also hit 6 receptions for the third time this season, but continued to fare poorly on yardage. The remaining schedule still isn't great. He gets a good matchup this week against Seattle. But then come three negative RB-scoring spots and a potential shootout at Buffalo.
  • David Montgomery still has a solid matchup this week, good ones each of the next two weeks, and a winnable game (supporting rushing volume) at Minnesota in Week 16.

 

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