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Football Daily Dose

Teams to Target Before the Trade Deadline

by Lauren Carpenter
Updated On: November 16, 2020, 11:17 am ET

Week 10 was certainly an interesting week of football. We saw a host of revenge matchups, redemption wins, and there were more late afternoon games than early games for a change.

I normally would recap our fantasy studs like RB Alvin Kamara, QB Tom Brady, and WR DeAndre Hopkins and fantasy stinkers like WR Michael Thomas, QB Russell Wilson, and RB Mike Davis. However, most of us have our leagues’ trade deadline this week and need to start planning for the playoffs before the deadline passes. The waiver wire can offer spot starts, but trades are where you can get the real fantasy gems to lead you to the promised land.

Instead of listing names to trade for or trade away, let’s take a look at the favorable to poor schedules starting next week through Week 16. I identify a handful of teams by position to give you some ideas on players you should be looking to acquire as well as who you can move from your rosters.

IMPORTANT NOTE: These are not rankings. These lists represent a group of teams who either have favorable or poor matchups based on fantasy points allowed and should be used to help identify trade opportunities. I highly recommend using our Strength of Schedule premium content to get a detailed and colored coded breakdown of the best and worst matchups overall and by rushing and receiving. These are also not an exhaustive list of potential teams to target so check out the premium content to get a comprehensive view of the NFL for your playoffs.

Running Backs

Favorable Matchups Weeks 11 - 16

Bears

Colts

Lions

Favorable Matchups Weeks 14 - 16

Bears

Buccaneers

Lions

Poor Matchups Weeks 11 - 16

Cowboys

Bills

Poor Matchups Weeks 14 - 16

Cardinals

Bills

Cowboys

Perhaps the juiciest names to target at the running back position are D’Andre Swift, Ronald Jones, and David Montgomery. At this point, Swift may be in that unattainable range now that he has seen his breakout. His toughest games will be in Week 13 against Chicago and then Tampa Bay in Week 16, but he will face the bottom eight defenses against running backs in his other matchups.

Jones, or even Fournette, are also good targets to go after and may be easier to acquire because of their committee backfield and spotty performances. They will face a tough Rams Defense in Week 11, which could be just the selling point you need to get the deal done. They have Kansas City, a bye, Minnesota, Atlanta, and then the worst defense against RBs in the Detroit Lions in Week 16.

Montgomery had a poor showing in Week 9 with 3.7 points in PPR and will miss this week due to a concussion. He hasn’t been a flashy fantasy player so he may be the best option (with arguably the best upcoming schedule) to trade for to secure a good matchup for the playoffs. He has a bye this week so managers may need to make some moves to get active players in their lineups. The Bears face the Packers, Lions, Texans, Vikings, and the Jaguars in Weeks 12 through 16 who are in the bottom of defenses against running backs in fantasy.

Trade-away options based on upcoming schedules would be Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, and Ezekiel Elliott if it’s at all possible. The Bills tandem backfield had a poor showing in Week 10 against the Cardinals but they, Moss especially, may have enough credibility built up that you can still trade them for a decent player in return. The same can be said for Elliott who has been so lackluster this year, it’s almost hard to believe. His name value may still carry some weight. It breaks my cardinal rule of trading a player at their lowest value, but if your deadline is this week, then you may not have a choice.

Having a consistent running back for the playoffs can be the key to winning your championship. 

Wide Receivers

Favorable Matchups Weeks 11 - 16

Eagles

Washington

Saints

Favorable Matchups Weeks 14 - 16

Rams

Washington

Bengals

Poor Matchups Weeks 11 - 16

49ers

Texans

Broncos

Poor Matchups Weeks 14 - 16

Falcons

Texans

Patriots

Wide receivers in fantasy usually have more depth than other positions like running backs, but it’s still important to start players who have the best chance of succeeding in a matchup. The Eagles wide receivers are prime trade-for candidates and are attainable with excellent matchups. 

Looking ahead a few weeks, the Bengals' Tyler Boyd can also be a key piece for your squad. Tee Higgins outshined Boyd against the Steelers during a windy game in Pittsburgh. QB Joe Burrow spent most of the time in the dirt and under pressure. Their schedule gets significantly better, especially in Weeks 14-16. While Higgins managers may not budge, Boyd managers may be more willing to listen after Boyd had a disappointing 7.1 outing. They will face bottom-10 defenses against wide receivers after their Week 11 game against Washington.

If you are hanging on to Will Fuller, now may be the time to part ways. He still has big-play potential, but the Texans’ schedule is brutal moving forward. I would also try and use Broncos Jerry Jeudy in your trade negotiations after his 22 point game in Week 9 and 8.8 performance against the Raiders this week. Like the Texans, their schedule moving forward is tough, and QB Drew Lock is still a young quarterback who is boom or bust. 

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Tight Ends

Favorable Matchups Weeks 11 - 16

Saints

Steelers

Browns

Favorable Matchups Weeks 14 - 16

Bears

Buccaneers

Vikings

Poor Matchups Weeks 11 - 16

Bills

Rams

Washington

Poor Matchups Weeks 14 - 16

Bills

Dolphins

Washington

Rams

Tight ends are always tricky in fantasy football. The gap between the elite and everyone else is quite large, but a good matchup will increase your chances of having a good game. If you are planning on targeting a tight end or need to move one, consider adding one to a bundle. 

Jared Cook and Jimmy Graham are excellent players to target to get you to and through the playoffs. Cook is coming off of a disappointing goose egg against the 49ers. Not only did QB Drew Brees play only one half, but San Francisco is in the top-five defending tight ends. His schedule isn’t great in Weeks 15 and 16 facing the Chiefs and the Vikings, but the Saints see Atlanta twice and as well as Philadelphia to get you to your playoffs. You can consider streaming TE Irv Smith for the Vikings in those two weeks who will see bottom defenses against TEs in Chicago and New Orleans.

Speaking of Chicago, it gives me such joy to still be talking about Jimmy Graham. The Bears have a bye in Week 11 then have two rough matchups in Weeks 12 and 13. However, they will play Houston, Minnesota, and Jacksonville during the playoffs, and Graham is QB Nick Foles’ big-bodied red zone target. 

If you have Rams TE Tyler Higbee, you may be able to trade him instead of dropping him completely from your team. Higbee has been disappointing this year after a massive breakout was looming for him in 2020. Alas, this is fantasy football and educated guessing. We can’t win them all. See if adding Higbee to a package deal can help you move him from your roster and get something in return.

Quarterbacks

Favorable Matchups Weeks 11 - 16

Saints

Chargers

Favorable Matchups Weeks 14 - 16

Chargers

Buccaneers

Rams

Poor Matchups Weeks 11 - 16

Texans

Lions

Seahawks

Poor Matchups Weeks 14 - 16

Texans

Vikings

Patriots

Like tight ends, quarterbacks are another streamable position, but you may be in a deep league that doesn’t have as many options available on the waiver wire. Consider looking at Brees, Justin Herbert, or Jared Goff. Their schedules are ripe for points and are more attainable than Patrick Mahomes.

If you need a piece to sweeten the deal for another position like RB, you may want to consider adding a quarterback who has a bad upcoming schedule. Deshaun Watson is struggling in 2020 without DeAndre Hopkins and his upcoming matchups won’t do much to help him. He still has that big-play ability and may just be the ticket to get a deal done.

Remember, these are ideas to get you started on negotiations before your league’s trade deadline. Just because a team has a poor matchup at a certain position, doesn’t mean you have to rush to get rid of that player. Take Josh Allen or Darren Waller, for example. Just because they will face tough defenses does not mean you have to trade them away. Evaluate your team’s needs, use the Strength of Schedule tool in our premium content, and don’t be afraid to bundle a player to sweeten the deal. 

Injury Updates

Ravens TE Nick Boyle suffered a gruesome, season-ending knee injury and was carted off the field. ... Saints QB Drew Brees did not play in the second half with a rib injury. ... 49ers RB JaMycal Hasty broke his collarbone and is out indefinitely. ... Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater left the game early with a knee injury.

Lauren Carpenter

Lauren Carpenter (@stepmomlauren) is a St. Louis native, graduate of the University of Missouri's Journalism school, and all-around fan of sports. She is a fantasy football analyst and writer who enjoys communicating about sports and fantasy football, but will not inflate your vanity or listen to condescension. Let's all be kind to one another.