After a whirlwind trade deadline in 2018, NFL fans were sorely disappointed by the lack of movement on Tuesday. Despite a storm of rumors with potential for massive fantasy impact (per usual), the most noteworthy move of the day came as the Rams moved cornerback Aqib Talib and a fifth-round pick to Miami. It's a smart move on the Rams' part, essentially trading a pick to help create cap space for new acquisition Jalen Ramsey to get the deal he's been waiting for. What else could have been?
The Trades That Could Have Been
These trades could have been, and they weren't, but it doesn't mean there aren't fantasy implications moving forward as we enter the second half of your fantasy season.
The Jets "Firesale"
Robby Anderson, Le'Veon Bell and safety Jamal Adams stay put. Jets GM Joe Douglas was busy fielding calls Tuesday regarding the trio, despite comments that he was not actively shopping them. Robby Anderson had been the subject of trade rumors in the past week, but a trade never happened. He's in a contract year, but the Jets were reportedly hoping for a second-round pick, and the right offer never came. It wasn't exactly the best time for them to sell high, given that Anderson has had less than 25 yards receiving in four games this season. Anderson has yet to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in his four years in the NFL but could be a viable deep threat for another offense should the Jets not offer an extension this offseason. He's a worthy trade target in dynasty leagues. The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that the Jets are shopping offseason acquisition, Le'Veon Bell. It's been a disappointing season for Bell owners, as he finishes Week 8 as the RB19 in PPR formats and has averaged just 15 touches per game since Sam Darnold's return and a career-low 3.8 yards per touch. Good news for fantasy owners - though these pieces will linger in a struggling offense, their schedule lightens up in Week 9. The Jets see the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, and Raiders on the upcoming slate, which should allow some breathing room to put points on the board.
Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard had been the talk of trade rumors, and fantasy owners would have likely approved. He's likely the biggest bust of 2019 drafts, as he sits as the TE40 in PPR leagues through Week 8. His season has been plagued with mental mistakes and lack of usage, seeing just 13 targets so far on the season, at which point he'd seen 34 in 2018. A trade would have likely meant a return to fantasy value, but he's probably safe on waivers until we see an uptick in target share.
Bengals WR A.J. Green will remain with the Bengals through 2019, as he continues to rehab from an ankle injury sustained in late July. He's been predicted to return in Week 10, but it's unfortunate timing for Green considering the benching of long-time quarterback Andy Dalton. The Bengals Offense is a mess, and a rookie quarterback under center isn't bound to help turn the boat around. Green has struggled to stay healthy, but it's worth checking waivers in case he shows flashes of his former self upon return. The Bengals see the Ravens, Raiders and Steelers in the weeks following his expected return.
Quarterback and Running Back Slants
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton received some bad news on his birthday Tuesday. He will officially take a seat on the bench in favor of fourth-round rookie Ryan Finley. Dalton has been a surprising asset for fantasy for anyone brave enough to get him in their lineups, ranking as the QB14 through eight weeks. Though he's been an average quarterback at best, he hasn't been set up for success with the weak offensive line and his wide receivers' affinity for drops. Finlay is worth an add in superflex leagues, but he won't be the magic answer to fix the Bengals broken offense. ... The San Francisco 49ers might be short on running back help this week. Matt Breida (ankle) and Raheem Mostert (quad) were both held out of practice Tuesday, and per Adam Schefter, Jeff Wilson also suffered a stinger Sunday. It appears that Tevin Coleman will be the only healthy back for the 49ers on a short week against the Cardinals, which puts him in "must-start" territory. ... On the other side of this Thursday night matchup, David Johnson has not yet resumed practicing, and Chase Edmonds has already been ruled out for the Cardinals. The Cardinals traded for running back Kenyan Drake on Monday, but it's hard to imagine him carrying a significant workload on a short week. We can expect a pass-heavy scheme, but it will be an uphill battle for Kyler Murray and company. The 49ers are averaging the fewest passing yards per game with 156 - ranked second-best in coverage per PFF, only behind the Patriots. San Francisco is, in fact, the real deal. ... After a game-winning performance in Monday Night Football, RB James Conner continues to be evaluated for a shoulder injury. Good news for the Steelers, Jaylen Samuels has been cleared to return and is currently available in 78% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. Should Conner be unavailable in Week 9 against the Colts, Samuels is an easy RB2.
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Wide Receiver Slants
Brandin Cooks, who exited Sunday's game with a concussion, is heading to Pittsburgh to see a concussion specialist. It's his second concussion of the season and fourth since entering the NFL, which could mean he misses some time despite the Week 9 bye. It's worthwhile to target Robert Woods in a trade this week, as he's had a disappointing season, but could see a further uptick in workload should Cooks miss time. ... Broncos WR Tim Patrick is expected to return to practice following a broken hand this week. He should return in Week 11 barring any unforeseen setbacks, but with backup quarterback Brandon Allen, it's not likely that Patrick becomes fantasy relevant anytime soon. ... Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a shoulder injury. He hasn't contributed much since 2017, as he has struggled to stay healthy. The move doesn't change much for lead receivers D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook, as Lee has absorbed just four total targets so far in 2019. ... Bill Belichick commented Tuesday that rookie WR N'Keal Harry is making progress in his return from I.R. with an ankle injury. He's not even worth a speculative add in redraft leagues at this point, given the time that he has missed within the offense. He's a buy-low in dynasty leagues as we continue to wait and see what he can do with Tom Brady throwing him the ball.
Tight Ends, Kickers and More
After battling a nine-week groin injury, Chargers' placekicker Mike Badgley will make a return Sunday versus the Packers. ... Holdout left tackle Trent Williams reported to the Redskins facility Tuesday afternoon after the trade deadline. The Cleveland Browns made an effort to acquire him after Washington said he was available Tuesday but never got a deal done. Despite the return, JP Finlay of NBC Sports reports that Trent Williams has "no intention" of actually playing, which could lead to some further consequences as the year goes on. If he does ever return despite his fractured relationship to the team, it would only mean good things for the Redskins, who currently rank 25th in pass blocking grade per PFF. Williams allowed one sack in his thirteen active games in 2018. ... Matt Bryant was released by the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday after missing two field goal attempts Sunday. Bryant will be replaced by kicker Younghoe Koo, who hasn't kicked since 2017 since missing three of six field goal attempts with the Chargers. ... The Patriots released kicker Mike Nugent, who has missed three of eight field goal attempts filling in for Stephen Gostkowski. Nick Folk is the next man up.