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Talkin’ Trades Week 9: Second Half RBs to Target and a Dark Horse Tight End

Robby Anderson is probably a small winner of the trade deadline by staying put. Kenyan Drake most likely puts the kibosh on Chase Edmonds’ momentary stardom. And Josh Gordon to the Seahawks tosses a little cold water on my Jacob Hollister recommendation. But all in all a pretty quiet trade deadline as usual.

Let’s take a look at some players that should be trending up for the stretch run.

QUARTERBACK

Sell Matthew Stafford

Stafford has been balling, and the word is out that Darrell Bevell has not in fact been a run-heavy anchor for Stafford, but has in fact opened up the downfield passing game that was so glaringly absent in 2018. There’s no reason to bail on his successful season, but if, for example, the bad Cam Newton news, the continued Patrick Mahomes recovery, or even the Andy Dalton benching has a team feeling pressure to deal for a QB, then Clayton Kershaw’s childhood friend is a nice chip that might net you a much-needed starter at another position. If you can hype this week’s Oakland matchup before some of these tough NFC North opponents roll in, all the better.

RUNNING BACK

Buy Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay

I like both Denver RBs as their price begins to slide with Joe Flacco‘s injury and an even workload split between them. This type of cannibalization frustrates people, but the underlying value of the RB position in this offense is exciting. Freeman and Lindsay have combined for 26% of team targets this year, and now with Flacco out (and Drew Lock likely coming off IR at some point) that means Theo Riddick will probably not be able to come off IR. If either player gets injured, the passing game upside for the last man standing is incredibly high.

Buy Devin Singletary

When we take a look at how efficient Singletary has been (1st in YPC and 6th in FPOE/Gm), there is probably not another RB with a better claim to be more involved in the offense going forward, especially with a 36-year-old RB ahead of him in Frank Gore. And with the Bills in good shape to make the playoffs, they should be aggressive about resting Gore to keep him healthy if he shows any sign of injury.

If we’re looking for an RB that could have that kind of 2018 Nick Chubb, supercharged second half of the season, Singletary is my candidate. And if there is a front-running team that is rostering him, point out that ugly Pittsburgh/New England combo in the championship weeks. Our Strength of Schedule algorithm doesn’t like the Bills opponents, but especially in the short term, I’m not afraid of Washington, Cleveland, and Miami.

WIDE RECEIVER

BUY Tyreek Hill

Hold your nose, folks, but most teams that drafted Hill are probably in bad shape. According to the excellent Bestball Win Rate tool, we can see that Hill is delivering a disappointing 5.1% win rate to drafters.

Even though those GMs are aware that Patrick Mahomes is returning at some point, they may not have much leverage to keep waiting. Chad Henne has been activated off the practice squad, indicating at least another week on the pine for Mahomes. This is a rich get richer move, and maybe you can bully a desperate team out of a player they’d be happier not rooting for anyway.

BUY Chris Conley

Keelan Cole is the sexier pickup for whatever reason in Jacksonville, but Conley is the guy who has actually delivered multiple startable weeks this year and should be a fine plug-and-play while Dede Westbrook is out.

He shouldn’t cost an arm-and-a-leg, so if you can offer a bench player and are desperate for a starter, I’d rather make a trade than pray for a miracle off the waiver wire.

TIGHT END

BUY Josh Oliver

So the buying window on Oliver probably remains open as Seth DeValve outsnapped him 44 to 29 in his first game back from injury. However, Oliver ran more routes, which is what we care about. The opportunity could shift to Oliver rapidly, and especially with a banged up WR group, I’d rather be a week early than a week late.

Image Credit: Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Royce Freeman.

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